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  1. #1
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Non clyde/athena wheel question

    When I brought my Cannondale Quick in for a new chain and cassette I decided to buy a second, inexpensive set of wheels (and cassette) as I want to change my tires fairly frequently. I have slightly knobby tires, standard hybrid tires, and a pair of slicks. I brought the wheelset home and put on the hybrid tires. Man, I could hardly get them on. I actually had to use the tire levers to get them on and was extremely displeased. How am I going to change a flat? Well, I discovered that I had bought 26 x 1.5 inch rims and my tires are 26 x 1.25. Odds are that the wheels on the bike are 26 x 1.25. I don't know how all of us erred. I do know that the knobby tires on my original wheels are 26 x 1.7. Right now the bike is at the LBS, I haven't looked at the wheels on the bike to check to see if they are 1.25 inches.

    Anyway, what should I do? Should I just put the knobby tires on these rims? Will it work to go back and forth between the wheels when they are slightly wider? Should I see if the LBS will take them back? I wonder about that because I already had tape put in the rims and the cassette installed.

    Thoughts?

    My thumbs hurt. Plus I am extremely irritated that I made this error. For some reason I was sure that the wheels were 1.5 inches.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Er, I don't think I understand. The 26" measurement refers to the diameter of the rim, the 1.25 and 1.5 measurements refer to the depth of the tyre. There should be no problem fitting a 26x1.25" tyre to a 26" rim that previously took a 26x1.5" tyre.

    It isn't unusual for me to have some difficulty installing tyres with my bare hands, and I have reasonably strong hands. I don't think you should conclude that you have the wrong size of tyre.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I get what you are saying. I just never had that much trouble getting a tire on and thought that the rim size may have made a difference. At least I didn't pinch the tube forcing it on. It took me an hour to get both tires on the wheels. This does not give me confidence.

    My 1.7's go on easy and I have changed flats on those on the road with no problem.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 05-24-12 at 02:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Many new tires are difficult to install the first time. It seems after they are used for a few miles it gets easier.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    Many new tires are difficult to install the first time. It seems after they are used for a few miles it gets easier.

    This is my experience, as well.

    Also, sometimes you get a tire at the high-end of its tolerances, and sometimes you get one at the low-end.

    I keep tire-irons in my seat bag. I'm not ashamed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Is it going to matter going back and forth between 26 x 1.25 rims and 26 by 1.5 rims? Will the brakes have to be adjusted each time I switch?

    The particular tires I put on maybe have 600 miles on them but have only been taken off the wheels once, when I originally switched them out for different tires.

  7. #7
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Is it going to matter going back and forth between 26 x 1.25 rims and 26 by 1.5 rims? Will the brakes have to be adjusted each time I switch?
    Tyre sizing confuses the hell out of me, I confess. Bt my understanding is that the crucial measurement is the ISO bead seat diameter. if you have a 559, as I expect you do, that should take a tyre of any diameter between 1" and 2.125".

    I think our confusion may arise because you are referring to rim sizes, but quoting something that seem to me to be tyre sizes. Check with the LBS the ISO designation of your new rims.
    Last edited by chasm54; 05-24-12 at 02:40 PM. Reason: 559, not 599
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  8. #8
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    The LBS said the new wheels are 26 by 1.5. The rims are marked 559 by 19c on them (which I don't understand). My old rims are probably 26 x 1.25 but the bike is in the shop so I can't be sure. Maybe I am guessing because the original tires for the bike, which I just put on the new wheels, are marked 26 x 1.25. I suppose I need to look. If in fact the rims are different sizes do I need to worry about switching wheels back and forth on the bike? I get that it appears that I can put a wide range of tire sizes on these wheels.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 05-24-12 at 03:22 PM.

  9. #9
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    The LBS said the new wheels are 26 by 1.5.
    THis is our problem right here. As far as I know, 26x1.5 is a tyre size, not a wheel or rim size.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  10. #10
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    OK, I am learning. So the wheels are marked 559 by 19. What does that mean?

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    559mm x 19mm

    or 26" x .75"

    What you are worried about with the brakes would be the difference in the width between the two rims, not the tire size. (though depending on type of brakes, you may have difficulty fitting larger sized tires.)

  12. #12
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html is an article about tire and rim sizing. 559X19 would be a somewhat narrow rim for a 26" Mountain bike wheel. 559mm is the bead seat diameter. That's the part that the tire hooks to the rim and would be the narrowest part near the outer part of the rim. The 17mm is an indication of how wide the inner part of the rim is. I have a couple sets of 622X17 rims. They use 700c tires. One inner measurement is 15.88mm the other is 16.23mm They're both called 622X17. So the 622 is a pretty rigid spec. the 17 is more of a grouping.


    26" is a nominal diameter for a mounted tire. As you go wider the diameter gets bigger

  13. #13
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rearviewbeer View Post
    559mm x 19mm

    or 26" x .75"

    What you are worried about with the brakes would be the difference in the width between the two rims, not the tire size. (though depending on type of brakes, you may have difficulty fitting larger sized tires.)
    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html is an article about tire and rim sizing. 559X19 would be a somewhat narrow rim for a 26" Mountain bike wheel. 559mm is the bead seat diameter. That's the part that the tire hooks to the rim and would be the narrowest part near the outer part of the rim. The 17mm is an indication of how wide the inner part of the rim is. I have a couple sets of 622X17 rims. They use 700c tires. One inner measurement is 15.88mm the other is 16.23mm They're both called 622X17. So the 622 is a pretty rigid spec. the 17 is more of a grouping.


    26" is a nominal diameter for a mounted tire. As you go wider the diameter gets bigger
    Yes, what I am worried about is whether there is a difference in width between the two rims. I really was clueless about rims as evidenced by my first post. I guess I won't know until I read what is on my original rims. So, I still don't know if I am going to have a brake issue going back and forth, swapping wheels. After all, I did buy the extra wheels to make life easy, not hard.

    Based on Shelden's site, clearly the 559 x 19c rims will fit the 26 x 1.25 tires (also marked 559 by 32) that I just installed. I also know that whatever rims are currently on the bike they have given me no problems with my 26 by 1.7 tires.

    So, my real lesson is to not make decisions in the LBS without researching first. I have reached the little knowledge is dangerous phase of my biking career.

    I am still worried about how hard it was to put on those hybrid tires.

  14. #14
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Tire/rim sizing is kinda a mess as Sheldon's article shows. The good news is that the rims you have are more than adequate for your petite size. I'd stay with the 1.25 - 1.75 tire size for the 26" rims and really the 1.25" is probably a better size for you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    Tire/rim sizing is kinda a mess as Sheldon's article shows. The good news is that the rims you have are more than adequate for your petite size. I'd stay with the 1.25 - 1.75 tire size for the 26" rims and really the 1.25" is probably a better size for you.
    I like the bigger tires for rutted, gravel road riding because they are like riding on pillows. That is why I am going to be switching wheels back and forth. The 1.25 is nice for when I am riding better quality roads.

  16. #16
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Around here gravel roads are were they use 3/4" limestone rock to fill holes that would swallow a bicycle. I'd want something like this to ride on them.http://surlybikes.com/bikes/pugsley

  17. #17
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, are the rims or tires Bontrager brand?

    I ahd Bontrager rims on my MTB and had to walk down the dirt trail 5 miles after a flat and failed attempt to install a Panaracer tire on a Bontrager rims without a jack hammer.

    One bud told me that he had heard that Bontrager makes their wheel tire combos somewhat difficult to deal with other brands (sales gimmick). I bought a new rim, SunRyno and the Panaracer tire went right on no problem at all .

  18. #18
    Senior Member gyozadude's Avatar
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    When you refer to ISO standards for rim size, the 559, 622 or 630 refer to the rim bead diameter supported. 26 inch tires require a 559 rim. As another poster referred to, the 19mm is the inner width between rim walls. Typically, most hook bead rims will be 3mm wider in metal on each side to form the hook-bead to retain the tire. That means add roughly 6mm to get the rim outside width, or around 25mm outside width (approx. 1 inch).

    In general, you have a pretty standard 26 inch MTB wheel and standard width. It should fit a range of tires and tubes from 1.3 inch wide to 2.25 inch wide without too many issues.

    The trick to putting on clincher tires is to mount the first bead (bead1) on one side of the tire, have tube inserted (maybe slightly inflated) and then mount the other bead (bead2). Bead 1 is easy to put on because we can get part of the bead on and keep that part in the middle of the rim where the circumference is smaller. The rest of bead1 just pops in. Bead2 goes on easily as well if we can use the same technique. We mount most of bead2, and then deflate the tube fully to maneuver the majority of bead 2 into the center, deeper section of the rim, and voila, pop goes in the last section of bead2. As the tire bead stretches over the life of the tire, this gets easier. But with new narrow clinchers, it's harder to put on because there is less volume to fit the tube and pinch it out of the way. It's not as easy to slide the majority of the bead into the center of the rim to relieve bead tension. Hence, that last section of bead is really hard to put on. One solution is to use a smaller size-ranged inner tube. The other solution is to use some friction reducing stuff like talcum powder so new rubber isn't so grippy. And if you're really careful, maybe re-mounting is sometimes - rarely - necessary with a tire lever.

    The main issue with switching wheelsets is the difference in rim width. If it's significant, you may need to re-adjust brake shoe tilt and cant to get proper function. The rear derailleur is also an issue if the cogs are slightly different in alignment. I have two sets of wheels for on/off road on a bike, but it's got drop bars and friction barcons. It allows me to swap between narrow 8 speed cassette and old wide 6 speed without too much fuss. But I go with 25.5 mm wide rims on both. 1.5 IRC metro IIs for city use, and 2 inch Geax knobbies for off road.
    Yes, I can roll my own potsticker skins!

  19. #19
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gyozadude View Post

    The trick to putting on clincher tires is to mount the first bead (bead1) on one side of the tire, have tube inserted (maybe slightly inflated) and then mount the other bead (bead2). Bead 1 is easy to put on because we can get part of the bead on and keep that part in the middle of the rim where the circumference is smaller. The rest of bead1 just pops in. Bead2 goes on easily as well if we can use the same technique. We mount most of bead2, and then deflate the tube fully to maneuver the majority of bead 2 into the center, deeper section of the rim, and voila, pop goes in the last section of bead2. As the tire bead stretches over the life of the tire, this gets easier. But with new narrow clinchers, it's harder to put on because there is less volume to fit the tube and pinch it out of the way. It's not as easy to slide the majority of the bead into the center of the rim to relieve bead tension. Hence, that last section of bead is really hard to put on. One solution is to use a smaller size-ranged inner tube. The other solution is to use some friction reducing stuff like talcum powder so new rubber isn't so grippy. And if you're really careful, maybe re-mounting is sometimes - rarely - necessary with a tire lever.
    This winter in thorn country I had the experience of changing many flats and used this technique. These particular tires were far and away much more difficult to put on. It was the first time I ever had mounted these tires. I really dread ever having to remove them or put them on again. The was the first time I had to use lever to put on a tire and I barely could get them on even with the levers.

    The main issue with switching wheelsets is the difference in rim width. If it's significant, you may need to re-adjust brake shoe tilt and cant to get proper function. The rear derailleur is also an issue if the cogs are slightly different in alignment. I have two sets of wheels for on/off road on a bike, but it's got drop bars and friction barcons. It allows me to swap between narrow 8 speed cassette and old wide 6 speed without too much fuss. But I go with 25.5 mm wide rims on both. 1.5 IRC metro IIs for city use, and 2 inch Geax knobbies for off road.
    This is my concern. I'll know more tomorrow. The cassettes on the two wheels are exactly the same but I see what you mean by alignment.

  20. #20
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Got my bike back just as the LBS was closing today. No one around to talk to about the differences in the two wheel sets. The old rims are 559 x 21. The new are 559 x 19, so a bit more narrow. I don't know if I am going to be able to easily swap them back and forth, without adjusting brakes or anything. If not, I just blew a hundred bucks.

    Went for a ride on the bike to test the new chain, cassette and new brake pads. It felt pretty much the same.

  21. #21
    Senior Member 1FJEF's Avatar
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    Flip that sucker over & put the other front wheel on & try the brakes!

  22. #22
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1FJEF View Post
    Flip that sucker over & put the other front wheel on & try the brakes!
    As soon as it stops pouring rain!

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