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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking 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 08-17-14, 06:23 PM   #1
AK404
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So dumb question about tire widths...

Aside from trial-and-error, how do I find out what tire widths my bike can handle? I recently tried monkeying around with a set of 700x42s on my 2007 Redline Conquest Pro, only to find that while the front was okay, the rear tire was rubbing up against the chain stays. Now I'm worried that it won't be able to handle anything larger than a 700x32 tire, but I'm not exactly eager to spend money on new tires only to find that they can't fit.
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Old 08-17-14, 10:48 PM   #2
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About the only way I've found is from the bike manufactures website. Hard to tell from just looking at it. The other problem is even with knowing the measurements of the chainstays, I doubt you'd find the measurements of the tire height. If you had that though, you'd be good to go. The width of the stays usually isn't the problem, but rather the length of the stays as you found out.
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Old 08-17-14, 11:09 PM   #3
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measure?
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Old 08-18-14, 07:01 AM   #4
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An article on Jan Heine's site might help.

How Wide a Tire Can I Run? | Off The Beaten Path
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Old 08-18-14, 07:44 AM   #5
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I have a 2009 Conquest Pro that I am running 700x42 Continental Speed Ride tires and they fit great. I love the Speed Rides on road and gravel. They are actually 39-40 mm wide. Is it rubbing on both sides of the chainstay? My frame seems to have alot of room with these tires. Maybe there was a change after 2007. Good luck-
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Old 08-18-14, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
measure?
Sounds snarky but yeah, this.

You can measure how much clearance you have with the 32 and extrapolate from there. It would be a pretty unique CX bike that could fit 42. The chainstays are typically the limiter. That said, the actual width of the tire depends on variables including manufacturer, tire pressure, and rim width, for example. It helps if you can borrow a tire from friend or shop to make sure.
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Old 08-18-14, 10:29 AM   #7
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Chainstays are the typical limiter. My 29er can take up to 29 X 2.0 tires max. Its currently running 700 X 42.
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Old 08-18-14, 10:47 AM   #8
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Measuring is really the only sure-fire method. Every frame, fork, etc, is a little different, and may have unique 'pinch points' that limit tire size.
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Old 08-18-14, 11:13 AM   #9
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I like to use Allen wrenches to determine tire to frame clearance, it makes for a suitable feeler gauge.

Keep in mind that sizes don't translate well from one tire to another. Most tires are smaller in size than the labeling would indicate. However, I also have a few tires that are larger than the label size. For example: my 700x32 Vittoria Randonneur Hyper measures about 33mm wide and my 700x32 Vittoria Randonneur Pro measures 30.5 on the same rim.
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Old 08-21-14, 04:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
Sounds snarky but yeah, this.

You can measure how much clearance you have with the 32 and extrapolate from there. It would be a pretty unique CX bike that could fit 42. The chainstays are typically the limiter. That said, the actual width of the tire depends on variables including manufacturer, tire pressure, and rim width, for example. It helps if you can borrow a tire from friend or shop to make sure.
Yeah, I did something along those lines, then decided to contact the manufacturer. Pleasantly surprised to find that his answer wasn't too far off from the guesstimate I ended up taking.
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