Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Bikes: 86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
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They tend to be on the conservative side when recommending min/max due to lawyers etc.
The 26X1.25 are pretty much designed for MB width rims simply due to thee fact narrower 559MM rims just aren't as common.
I run 26MM tires on my hybrid with 20MM wide rims and nothing looks weird or gives me cause for concern. I would even go to 25MM, although not less than that.
With your weight, 1.5" sounds good to me. A smaller tire would have to be pumped up to a near rock hard state.
A bit of cushion will result in less strain on everything when you hit a pot hole.
As a side note-
I'd suggest getting your spokes PROPERLY tensioned. At least the rear wheel, since that is the most problematic.
You are trying to "unwind" 1/2 the spokes when you pedal, so each stroke gives a tightening/loosening effect on the rear spokes.
Under tensioned spokes kind of get a "running start". This tends to flex the spokes at the bend and results in cumulative metal fatigue.
Properly tensioned insures the spokes "share the load" evenly and minimize the "running start" effect.
I'd also avoid standing on the pedal and mashing down hard.