I have just thrown together a single speed bike using parts I had left over from another project and an old Raleigh frame my girlfriend found in the river.
All went well, fitting a new bottom bracket gave it a near perfect chain line, just some fiddling to do with the bar height/style.
Now I used an old wheelset I had lying about, The frame was obviously designed to use 26" or 700c tyres, these are 27". Coming a bit close to the top of the fork but the brakes line up with the rim ok and I quite like the funky "oversize wheel" look it produced. No room for a mudguard, but I don't intend to ride it in the rain anyway.
Having had a sucessful test ride, I went to put new tyres on it, the old ones being a really badly perished set of "swallow" road tyres. How hard can that be? I'd read the size off the side of the old ones 27 x 1 1/4. and ordered with some Michelin "world tour" in the same size.
Just put them on and they're rubbing on the top of the forks and the crosspiece of the frame the rear brake bolts to.
They are clearly quite a lot wider and taller than the ones that came off (a good 5-6mm both ways).
So what did I do wrong? Have they changed the sizes or something in the 20-30 years since the originals were made? Or do different makes have a totally different profile? That being the case, how do I know what to order? I could land up with a big pile of useless tyres.
I'm pretty reluctant to try any of the bike shops in this area again because they are totally useless. I've had nothing but bad advice, poor service and screwed up parts orders from them, they also charge a good +50% on internet prices for the privelage.
Equally, I'm not so keen on buying new wheels, kind of defeats the purpose of making a bitsa. Also, they are perfectly good wheels with smooth, quiet hubs fitted to straight and true steel rims which fitted fine with the old tyres.