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Old 01-28-12, 02:24 PM   #1
catbackr
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Need some new tires.

I'm cleaning up my old (1986) Trek 520 that I haven't ridden in about 15 years and I've forgotten most everything I ever knew about bikes. I need some new tires and I need some re-education about tire sizes. I've got 700C rims...so far so good. It's the width that I'm confused about. Can I put pretty much anything on the rim..23, 28, etc, or am I bound by that particular rim, which I can't tell the size on?. What would be the reasons to have a 23 as opposed to a 35, etc? As far as tires go, for general riding on pretty good paved roads, do any of you have a real preference for brands? I was thinking either Gatorskins or Vittoria rubinos. Thanks.

Last edited by catbackr; 01-28-12 at 02:25 PM. Reason: another question
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Old 01-28-12, 02:40 PM   #2
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catbackr, Generally touring bikes are equipped with rims suitable for 28 mm-35 mm and sometimes larger. 32 mm is a popular tire size. The Panaracer Pasala is a good and inexpensive tire.

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Old 01-28-12, 02:41 PM   #3
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25 is a good all-purpose size
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Old 01-28-12, 02:51 PM   #4
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catbackr, Generally touring bikes are equipped with rims suitable for 28 mm-35 mm and sometimes larger. 32 mm is a popular tire size. The Panaracer Pasala is a good and inexpensive tire.

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+1
The Pasela is a favorite of many riders, and for good reason.
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Old 01-28-12, 02:59 PM   #5
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The rim may be able to accept a variety of widths, but you also have to make sure your fork crown will take something larger than 25's. Most touring bikes have the clearance, but quite a few racing/sport bikes do not. Also the sportier frames' chainstay clearence is something to be aware of also.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:01 PM   #6
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Whatever size or brand you decide on, I would recommend something with extra puncture protection . FWIW, I have Bontrager Race X Lite hard case tires on my 2 riders, and have only had one flat in two years , caused by external debris . (I have had a few flats cuased by rim strip failure, so make sure to check yours)
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Old 01-28-12, 08:16 PM   #7
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25 is a good all-purpose size
Your roads are better than mine.
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Old 01-28-12, 08:55 PM   #8
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25 is a good all-purpose size
I tend to agree, and we have (officially, according to a national over-the-road trucker's organization) the worst roads in the USA.

I would add that imo 25-29 is a nice range, as long as the frame has sufficient clearance (many 'racing' frames don't, so check first, OP...).
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Old 01-28-12, 09:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by catbackr View Post
I'm cleaning up my old (1986) Trek 520 that I haven't ridden in about 15 years and I've forgotten most everything I ever knew about bikes. I need some new tires and I need some re-education about tire sizes. I've got 700C rims...so far so good. It's the width that I'm confused about. Can I put pretty much anything on the rim..23, 28, etc, or am I bound by that particular rim, which I can't tell the size on?. What would be the reasons to have a 23 as opposed to a 35, etc? As far as tires go, for general riding on pretty good paved roads, do any of you have a real preference for brands? I was thinking either Gatorskins or Vittoria rubinos. Thanks.
What width tires are on it now? Do you like those, or want something wider, perhaps?

Paselas are an excellent value, and are available in many sizes and variations. Approx. $20-35 each. Going up from there, performance-wise, in the 26-30 mm range, Challenge Roubaix and Grand Bois 26/28/30 tires are very nice also, but none of those is inexpensive (about $60-ish per tire). The highest-performance tires will wear out the fastest, just like with car tires....
My wife rides Grand Bois 26s regularly, and seems to get about 2200 miles out of her rear tires, and about double that on a front tire, as a data point. She is riding on our notoriously awful roads, but she doesn't weigh very much, fwiw.
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Old 01-28-12, 10:21 PM   #10
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I avoid anything smaller than a 28 mm tire, but I'm not very fast. This is a good all-around first shot if you're not sure yet, provided you think it'll fit in your bike, because it's a pretty good fit for just about all road/touring rims. I've run 32 mm tires on narrow rims, and it worked but looked funny and I had to deflate the tire to remove the wheel. I've run a 1" tire (25.4 mm) on a rim that should have worn 1-1/4" tires (32 mm), but it looked funny and I was afraid to lean hard in turns.
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