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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 03-24-13, 08:03 AM   #1
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Max tire width with 20mm wide rims

I've got an old steel Mercian frame with cantis that's got plenty of room for wider tires suitable for dirt/gravel roads. The wheels though have typical 20 mm wide rims. What's the widest tire I can safely put on these and do I match the inner tubes with the tire width or use something narrower?
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Old 03-24-13, 08:08 AM   #2
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You should have no problem fitting a 35mm wide tire. Just check that the rims have a hook on the inside of the rim. If the rim does not have a hook to hold the tire bead, you will need to use a rigid tire with a steel cable bead.
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Old 03-24-13, 10:19 AM   #3
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on the dirt, even 2" tires have worked... For race MTB gear the narrow rims are lighter,,
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Old 03-26-13, 01:17 PM   #4
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The hot setup for MTB wheels back in early 90's was 20mm wide MA-40 road rims that Bontrager rolled down to 26" size. No trouble with 2"+ tires. Wider rims will give the tires a bit more volume but really no fitment issue with any CX tire on a 20mm rim.

700x25c tubes work fine for 35mm CX tires if you have them. Just avoid using really narrow tubes labeled for 18-21mm and you will be fine.
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Old 03-27-13, 06:21 AM   #5
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