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Old 10-23-10, 08:59 AM   #1
MitchL
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Rim / tire compatibility?

My wife and I both have hybrids with smooth tires (27 x 1 1/4). I want to get knobby tires for them so we can do some light trail riding. But I can't find any knobby tires in that size, the closest I can find is 27 x 1 3/8. Can I use that size tire with the rims I have?

Are there any other tire sizes I can use? Can I use a 27 x anything or any 630mm tire?
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Old 10-23-10, 09:06 AM   #2
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I think your going to find slim pickens (not the actor) for knobby 27" tires. the big question is what brand of bikes do you have and will the 27x1 3/8 tires fit your frame? they will certainly fit on your rim but again your frame is the question
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Old 10-23-10, 09:15 AM   #3
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They are LL Bean / K2. Astral 3.0 I believe... but I'm not home at the moment.

Do I just need to measure fork and chain stay clearance to make sure they fit the frame?

What determines rim compatibility? I've read all of SB articles on it... and I'm still not getting it.
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Old 10-23-10, 09:36 AM   #4
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1. The issue you may find with 27 X 1 3/8 knobbies is squeezing them between the brake pads. You could have frame clearance problems too but every 27" bike that I've seen had plenty of frame clearance.

2. Are you sure that you really need them? I suppose there may be some specific use where they work but frankly, the tiny, closely spaced knobs that are found on 27 X 1 3/8 tires don't really do much. If you're thinking of riding some place like a crushed limestone rail/trail conversion, I wouldn't bother.
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Old 10-23-10, 11:05 AM   #5
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If the knobs don't do much then maybe its not worth it. But we want to go on snowmobile trails and maybe some easy mountain trails, so the tires we have now won't work.
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Old 10-23-10, 12:23 PM   #6
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If you do your own mechanic work, you might think of getting another wheelset to put 'knobbies' on. 29er wheels are just 700 wheels for MTB use. They usually have slightly wider rims, so you can put on a 700 tire of your choice, to work on those trails. You WOULD need to have brake calipers that will reach the rims (622 vs 630 wheel--4mm longer reach~).

I had bought a set of Schwalbe Marathon 700x32 tries to use on a project bike, but could NOT mount them on regular 700c rims, so bought a set of 29er wheels with 20mm wide rims (regular 700 was 14-15mm). Got the tires mounted fine, and went on with the project.

If this would work for you is something you need to decide. I like having the option to switch wheels for different riding conditions, rather than swapping tires. Normal road riding I use smooth tread--trails, I use 'lightweight' knobbies. It is a lot easier for me to do wheel switches.

Another plus is that there is a WIDE assortment of 700c/29er tires available to choose from.

Last edited by badamsjr; 10-23-10 at 12:25 PM. Reason: content
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Old 10-23-10, 12:28 PM   #7
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In reading your post, I noticed you do not say what type of brakes your hybrids use. If they use canti's or v-brakes, you may be able to merely adjust the pads for 700 wheels. If caliper style road type, you may be able to adjust, or may have to get 'long-reach' calipers.
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Old 10-23-10, 12:35 PM   #8
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so much good advice on this thread, with some conflicting philosophies coming into play. I feel confident that you'll be able to move to 27x1-3/8" knobbies without any real issues. However, I agree with the poster above, who said that the knobs won't show a very significant benefit. In terms of switching to 700c wheels, well, depending on your future plans, that may be worthwhile someday. For now, i'd just run what ya got, or if your tires are shot anyway, get the knobbies and see how ya like em.

Are these fairly recent model bikes? I'm simply shocked that anyone is speccing 27" wheels anymore, although i suppose there may be lots of NOS 27" rims, and folks like ll.bean and k2 might be getting them for soooo cheap, and selling them to ppl who don't realize it's a nearly obsolete size...

-rob
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Old 10-24-10, 04:44 PM   #9
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Correction: I was going by memory and I got the tire size wrong. One bike has 700 x 28C tires and the other has 700 x 32C tires.

So can I put on any size 700 tire as long as the frame has room for it?
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Old 10-24-10, 05:56 PM   #10
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yes. you can get 700x32mm cross tires quite easily. i think that the kenda small block 8's in that size are the hotness.

-rob
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Old 10-24-10, 11:51 PM   #11
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I'm going to agree with some of you and say that narrow knobbies won't help much. They'll be noisy and slow on pavement but aren't wide enough to help much in offroad conditions. Says Sheldon:

"Hybrids usually come with 622 mm (700c) wheels like road/touring bikes, but with wider tires than are normally supplied for touring. Most hybrid bicycles, unfortunately, come with tires designed for looks rather than for function. These are typically knobbies 35-40 mm wide. These tires are not good for much. Knobby tires are good for dealing with soft sand and mud, but hybrid tires are too narrow for these conditions -- if you plan on riding through soft sand and mud, you really should buy a mountain bike. When ridden on firm surfaces, these tires are noisy and slow, and can cause an irritating buzz as they roll. They also corner poorly on pavement."

By the way, a 35-40mm 700c tire is about the same width as the 27x1 3/8 tires you're considering. I've ridden these hybrid tires, and also the knobby 27 inchers you're thinking of. IMO they're pretty useless.
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Old 10-25-10, 09:41 AM   #12
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I just bought a pair of these tires for my cross bike -- they are inexpensive, have a smooth ride on asphalt, and reading the reviews they wear well and have decent traction on trails, etc. Kind of a compromise between a road tire and a mountain bike tire.

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...erra+Tire.aspx

(I don't race, I just use my cross bike for riding trails and dirt roads)
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