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  1. #1
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    Switching from thin to thicker tires

    I'm not sure if this is doable, but is it possible to switch thin tires on a bicycle with thick, mountain bike-like tires? I hate thin tires and have trouble riding bikes that have them.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    It depends on exactly what bicycle you are talking about.

    Everything on a bicycle works together. The bike frame and brake clearance will dictate how wide of a tire you can use.

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    no narrower a tire than the width of your rim+ 30%.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Mountain bike tires go from an inch and a quarter up to 2.5 inches. Then there are some real fatties.
    Road racing bikes go from about 22 mm up to 28 mm. Maybe even a little smaller.
    Touring/commuting tires go from 28 mm up to 40 mm.

    Mountain bike tires can only be swapped with other Mountain bike tires.
    Touring / commuting tires can replace road tires, subject to the limitations explained above.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  5. #5
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    My mtn bike (gary fisher) came with 2.25" tires. I use 1.5, 1.8 and the original 2.25" tires regularly depending on the terrain so it all depends on your rim but if you have a mtn bike then it's almost a sure thing that you can put on narrower tires than what came with the bike. How narrower I can't say. You can't put on 23C racing tires but you can certainly vary the size of the tire on any given rim...and with mtn bike tires you can often vary it quite a bit. check with your LBS.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fennec15 View Post
    ..is it possible to switch thin tires on a bicycle with thick, mountain bike-like tires? I hate thin tires and have trouble riding bikes that have them.
    There are two things you need to consider:
    1) (As RG mentions) Fork and frame clearance. Have a look at your bike up by the fork crown, by the seat stay bridge, along the seat tube and down by the chain stays. If you know your current tire size the amount of clearance you have at these points will give a good indication of how wide you can go.
    2) Internal rim width. While this is rarely a showstopper, there is a relationship between rim width and which tires that will sit nicely on that rim. Here's a link to Sheldon Brown's page about it, http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#width scroll down to "width considerations"

    Quote Originally Posted by fennec15 View Post
    I hate thin tires ...
    Well, that's your opinion and you're obviously entitled to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fennec15 View Post
    ....and have trouble riding bikes that have them.
    Now this I wonder. Sure, thin tires on soft or loose surfaces can range from pretty much unrideable to functional but scary. But if you're having troube simply riding thin tires on a decent surface, then I don't think it's the tires you should blame.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    Now this I wonder. Sure, thin tires on soft or loose surfaces can range from pretty much unrideable to functional but scary. But if you're having troube simply riding thin tires on a decent surface, then I don't think it's the tires you should blame.
    My guess is that its too uncomfortable for him to "ride". I assume he means that he is getting a lot of road shock from the thin tires causing pain.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabac View Post
    1) (As RG mentions) Fork and frame clearance. Have a look at your bike up by the fork crown, by the seat stay bridge, along the seat tube and down by the chain stays.
    Tires can also hit the underside of the caliper if you have caliper brakes.

    I think you should make sure the bike fits, including the seat. It should be a half inch wider than your sit bones.

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