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Old 07-23-13, 02:27 PM   #1
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27 in. Tire Availability

What's generally available in 27 in. tires? I only seem to see 1-1/8 and more commonly 1-1/4 in. widths, which actually are pretty undersized at ~25 mm. I'm interested in something closer to 35 mm.
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Old 07-23-13, 02:33 PM   #2
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Psst.

The only tires I know of marked 27 x 1 3/8 are Kenda crap. I'm not sure if Panaracer makes the Pasela in 27 x 1 3/8 any longer.
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Old 07-23-13, 02:39 PM   #3
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What's generally available in 27 in. tires? I only seem to see 1-1/8 and more commonly 1-1/4 in. widths, which actually are pretty undersized at ~25 mm. I'm interested in something closer to 35 mm.
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Old 07-23-13, 03:19 PM   #4
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I was just browsing around for 27" tires this morning. I have a pair of gorgeous Tipo hubs I just polished and a pair of 27" Fiamme Professional (yellow label) clincher rims, both of which were original to the bike I am restoring. I don't mind spending a little extra on tires for this build, but the limited options for 27" tires is really discouraging. Seems like Panaraceer Pasela's about the best new 27" tire with tan sidewalls (which is important to me) currently available. I'd hoped to keep the bike original, but now I'm reconsidering. 700c rims would give me a lot more tire choices, plus more clearance for fenders. Decisions, decisions....

By the way, the Continental website mentions that they are reintroducing the Continental SuperSport tire. Their website mentions 27 x 1-1/4 and 27x1-1/8 options, but adds that not all sizes are available in all countries. Haven't yet checked to see if my LBS can get them. They only come with black sidewalls though:
http://www.conti-online.com/www/bicy...t_plus_en.html
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Old 07-23-13, 04:51 PM   #5
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The Michelin World Tours in 27 x 1 1/4 seem wider. Maybe around 35mm. I just replaced them with 27 x 1 1/4 Panaracer Paselas which seem far narrower.
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Old 07-23-13, 05:01 PM   #6
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Except the afore mentioned Kendas I don't think there were many 27" tires made wider than x 1 1/4. I could be wrong but I think 27" wheels were a US market thing and always intended to be for "light weight" bikes so fat tires were never a big deal. I do recall seeing some sort of knobby 27" tires back in '90ish but they were really cheap.
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Old 07-23-13, 05:16 PM   #7
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1" = 25.4mm

1-1/8" = 28mm

1-1/4" = 32mm

Lots of 27x1-1/4" tires from online sources like Niagara Cycle.
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Old 07-23-13, 06:10 PM   #8
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Conty also makes their Gatorskins and GS Hardshells in 27x1-1/4. They're not quite 35's, but they're pretty fat and they're nearly bullet proof.
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Old 07-19-14, 12:28 PM   #9
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Nashbar Prima Plus 2. 27 x 1 1/4". Kevlar, durable "rubber", blackwall. (CST) These roll and handle very well. Have just surpassed 3100 miles and NO wear than I can see. NO flats even though I've picked-out several goat heads, thorns, and a piece of steel or two. They are usually $12.00 each at Nashbar. They replaced a pair of Panaracer Pasella TG's than wore to paper thin at 1600 miles.
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Old 07-19-14, 01:54 PM   #10
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Except the afore mentioned Kendas I don't think there were many 27" tires made wider than x 1 1/4. I could be wrong but I think 27" wheels were a US market thing and always intended to be for "light weight" bikes so fat tires were never a big deal. I do recall seeing some sort of knobby 27" tires back in '90ish but they were really cheap.

I'd love to find a set of these (that aren't dry rotted out)

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Old 07-19-14, 01:56 PM   #11
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By the way, on the bike that I got them from it was paired with this:

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Old 07-19-14, 02:26 PM   #12
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I had a 27x1-3/8 set of cyclocross knobbies for a while. I don't recall who made them, wtb I think.

You could consider changing your bike over to 700c. There's only 4mm difference in rim radius so your existing brakes may have enough reach.
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Old 07-19-14, 02:56 PM   #13
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My Paselas are 27 x 1 1.4" & measure 32mm width with digital calipers. Yes, I'd love wider ones too without having to go the "cross" knobby versions. I tried some 700c wheels on my mixte (which sports it's original 27" wheels), and I thought the 700c wheels looked "insignificant" compared to the 27". I know there's not much of a difference in size, but the overall gestalt on the bike was not aesthetically pleasing. You will have more tire choices, however, if you go 700c.
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Old 07-20-14, 05:47 AM   #14
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Except the afore mentioned Kendas I don't think there were many 27" tires made wider than x 1 1/4. I could be wrong but I think 27" wheels were a US market thing and always intended to be for "light weight" bikes so fat tires were never a big deal. I do recall seeing some sort of knobby 27" tires back in '90ish but they were really cheap.
27" was popular in North America, up until the late 1970's when they started disappearing in Canada. I think it had to do with the start of the failed start to metric conversion. I think they held on much longer in the US. Even so, nobody has made a new bike with 27" wheels in over 20 years, so it's surprising that there are ANY 27" tires still around.
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Old 07-20-14, 10:34 AM   #15
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27" was popular in North America, up until the late 1970's when they started disappearing in Canada. I think it had to do with the start of the failed start to metric conversion. I think they held on much longer in the US. Even so, nobody has made a new bike with 27" wheels in over 20 years, so it's surprising that there are ANY 27" tires still around.
Why?

The tire companies aren't the bike companies. I can understand the bike companies wanting to force the change- but the tire companies sell the product to those holdovers. There's no innovation on the 27" end, and just the cursory models, and that seems to be enough to keep the people that still have 27" wheels in use.
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Old 07-20-14, 11:01 AM   #16
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Even so, nobody has made a new bike with 27" wheels in over 20 years, so it's surprising that there are ANY 27" tires still around.
I was surprised twice, the first time when I learned 27" and 700c were different sizes, the second when I found you could still get decent tires in the obsolete size. But it makes sense, the 27" size was used to the exclusion of nearly all else on good road bikes, of which they made millions in the early 1970's and many into the 80's; so there will still be a market for service parts. What doesn't make sense to me is that they changed it for something arbitrarily slightly different but functionally the same. Can you imagine being a bike shop owner and carrying two sizes of nearly the same thing, or having to tell the guy the very nice bike he bought in '87 won't take the best tires available in '92?
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Old 07-20-14, 11:32 AM   #17
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I was surprised twice, the first time when I learned 27" and 700c were different sizes, the second when I found you could still get decent tires in the obsolete size. But it makes sense, the 27" size was used to the exclusion of nearly all else on good road bikes, of which they made millions in the early 1970's and many into the 80's; so there will still be a market for service parts. What doesn't make sense to me is that they changed it for something arbitrarily slightly different but functionally the same. Can you imagine being a bike shop owner and carrying two sizes of nearly the same thing, or having to tell the guy the very nice bike he bought in '87 won't take the best tires available in '92?
My understanding is that 700c's came first then, way back in the 1930's, Dunlop introduced 27" tires which mainly caught on in North America, while in Europe they stuck with their 700C's and later on we made the switch back to what everyone else had stuck with in the first place.

I could be wrong on this though. It seems certain that tubular 700's preceded 27" clinchers, but I'm not so certain that 700 clinchers came out before 27" clinchers.
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Old 07-20-14, 12:12 PM   #18
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Nashbar Prima Plus 2. 27 x 1 1/4". Kevlar, durable "rubber", blackwall. (CST) These roll and handle very well. Have just surpassed 3100 miles and NO wear than I can see. NO flats even though I've picked-out several goat heads, thorns, and a piece of steel or two. They are usually $12.00 each at Nashbar. They replaced a pair of Panaracer Pasella TG's than wore to paper thin at 1600 miles.
These are one of my favorite tires, not too heavy and few flats for me.

They are actually Cheng Shin (CST) C-740, which can be purchased in many solid colors.

They measure only about 28.5mm wide though on some 22mm Mod58 rims at 100psi.
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Old 07-20-14, 12:21 PM   #19
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My Paselas are 27 x 1 1.4" & measure 32mm width with digital calipers. Yes, I'd love wider ones too without having to go the "cross" knobby versions. I tried some 700c wheels on my mixte (which sports it's original 27" wheels), and I thought the 700c wheels looked "insignificant" compared to the 27". I know there's not much of a difference in size, but the overall gestalt on the bike was not aesthetically pleasing. You will have more tire choices, however, if you go 700c.
That's what I got got when I measured the 1-1/4" Paselas.

Michelin World Tours in the same size also measure about 32mm, making these two tires the fattest 27" tires available.

27" tires labeled 1-3/8" are not even this wide! This includes the Kenda and Cheng gumwalls, as well as the knobbied 1-3/8" cross tires such as Kenda Kross Cyclo or Club Roost Cross-Terra.

Note that the Michelin World tour tires are rather heavy, but with lots of rubber protecting the sidewalls, so can handle trail riding at lower pressures.

Years ago I was using Michelin's lightweight 1-3/8" version of the World Tour for my cyclocross racing, at pressures around 50psi.

The lightweight, folding version had Kevlar beads and was called HiLite-Tour. It had very light-colored skinside sidewalls.

Though sold as both 1-3/8" and 700x35, these were no wider than the current 1-1/4" World Tour or Pasela tires.

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Old 07-20-14, 03:19 PM   #20
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@dddd-that's good to know about the Kenda Kross tires. I guess the final width of the tire has to do with the specific rim it's mounted on? It sounds like, from what I've read, that some tires spread out more when mounted to a particular wheel and other tires are "taller". Someone on one of my earlier thread had the opinion that, on a vintage mixte with good paint, "cross" type tires wouldn't be a good look. I went with my old stand by, the Paselas.
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Old 07-20-14, 04:22 PM   #21
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@dddd-that's good to know about the Kenda Kross tires. I guess the final width of the tire has to do with the specific rim it's mounted on? It sounds like, from what I've read, that some tires spread out more when mounted to a particular wheel and other tires are "taller". Someone on one of my earlier thread had the opinion that, on a vintage mixte with good paint, "cross" type tires wouldn't be a good look. I went with my old stand by, the Paselas.
A wider rim will appreciably widen a bike tire's casing and flatten the tread profile, but actually also slightly increases the height of the tread above the rim (at least it does when the original rim is considerably narrower than the tire, which is usually the case).

Tires like the Kenda Kross get some added width and height from their free-standing tread knobs, but I measure tire width only across the casing and I measure tire height only up to the base of any such open tread blocks.

The thickness of a smooth tread affects any dimension where the measurement is taken, especially the height.
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Old 07-20-14, 04:22 PM   #22
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I was surprised twice, the first time when I learned 27" and 700c were different sizes, the second when I found you could still get decent tires in the obsolete size. But it makes sense, the 27" size was used to the exclusion of nearly all else on good road bikes, of which they made millions in the early 1970's and many into the 80's; so there will still be a market for service parts. What doesn't make sense to me is that they changed it for something arbitrarily slightly different but functionally the same. Can you imagine being a bike shop owner and carrying two sizes of nearly the same thing, or having to tell the guy the very nice bike he bought in '87 won't take the best tires available in '92?
It was used to the exclusion of nearly all else, in North American and possibly parts of the British Commonwealth, 700C was used just about everywhere else. I think bicycle companies eventually dropped it, because there were fewer and fewer countries that used imperial measure for everything. 27" disappeared in Canada and much of the Commonwealth in the late 70's as part of the move to metric. That left the US as the sole user of that size, and the bicycle companies, many of which are international in scope, dropped it, because it cost too much to maintain that size.

Personally I think we should quit using the old methods of referring to tire sizes, my road bike has 622-28 tires on it, and my mountain bike has 559-50 tires on it, I'd like to replace those with 559-38 or 559-42mm tires, and the road bike will likely get 622-32's next time. The only thing that keeps the old measures alive is marketing. I can't stand that idiotic reference to 622-50 and wider as 29"....
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Old 07-20-14, 09:11 PM   #23
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My Paselas are 27 x 1 1.4" & measure 32mm width with digital calipers. Yes, I'd love wider ones too without having to go the "cross" knobby versions. I tried some 700c wheels on my mixte (which sports it's original 27" wheels), and I thought the 700c wheels looked "insignificant" compared to the 27". I know there's not much of a difference in size, but the overall gestalt on the bike was not aesthetically pleasing. You will have more tire choices, however, if you go 700c.
You are spot-on about aesthetics. As you know also, 27"ers are smoother than 700's due to the increased radius just as 27.5 and 29" are smoother, among other things, than 26" tires. I feel the difference readily. That's why you see 27"s on my Ironman (previous post) rather than 700's. Weight differences are only found in set designs, so that's not a concern for me. There are more tire choices with 700's, but only in the higher priced, lighter and more puncture-prone designs that I don't want as a general statement.

I was disappointed when the industry moved to 700's and still see it as a negative.
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Old 07-20-14, 09:43 PM   #24
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I was surprised twice, the first time when I learned 27" and 700c were different sizes, the second when I found you could still get decent tires in the obsolete size. But it makes sense, the 27" size was used to the exclusion of nearly all else on good road bikes, of which they made millions in the early 1970's and many into the 80's; so there will still be a market for service parts. What doesn't make sense to me is that they changed it for something arbitrarily slightly different but functionally the same. Can you imagine being a bike shop owner and carrying two sizes of nearly the same thing, or having to tell the guy the very nice bike he bought in '87 won't take the best tires available in '92?
We had to do this back when I was working in a shop. (1979-1984) We had one side of the tire racks for 27", the other side for 700C. It wasn't that big of a deal. We were also a Schwinn shop, so we were always explaining to people the size difference between a "Schwinn" tire and an "everything else" tire. You whippersnappers don't know how good you got it.
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Old 07-20-14, 10:53 PM   #25
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Seems like this type of thread is initiated once or twice a year.
I found the Specialized All Condition Armadillo to be excellent at 27".
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