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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 11-15-09, 10:31 PM   #1
rpvanpatt
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What type/size of wheels and tires for touring?

I am asking for advice for wheels and tires that are best for touring and carrying a good load.

I will be taking the wheels off of a road bike and want to replace them with wheels that will be bigger in order for touring. Any advice on particular wheels or sizes? I would like to stay low budget but any suggestions will give me an idea.
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Old 11-15-09, 11:03 PM   #2
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For a 700...go 35mm or higher I would say. You want the extra for the unexpected...gravel roads, hopping curbs, etc.
I would certainly not go any lower than 28, and 28 only if you are running really light. Many would even suggest going up to 37 or higher.
I currently have 37s on my bike, and they are great on road, and I don't shy away from singletrack trails either.
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Old 11-16-09, 01:01 AM   #3
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I'm a little confused by the question. So you want to put wider rims on a road bike? Your wheels size will be inherent to the bike you are using so I am not sure what you are asking. Your tire size is also limited by the bike you are using so again... difficult to answer.

My impression is that what you plan to do is probably not possible or a good idea depending on what "a road bike" is.
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Old 11-16-09, 08:12 AM   #4
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If you indeed have a road bike, the "widest" 700c tire you're frame would able to take is likely 25mm. If you can go ultralite (and you are not a clydesdale) you can use a large saddle pack and a large handlebar bag and tour. If you can't go ultralite then get a BOB trailer. The latter will keep more than 2/3's of your gear weight off your rear wheel.
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Old 11-16-09, 08:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpvanpatt View Post
I am asking for advice for wheels and tires that are best for touring and carrying a good load.

I will be taking the wheels off of a road bike and want to replace them with wheels that will be bigger in order for touring. Any advice on particular wheels or sizes? I would like to stay low budget but any suggestions will give me an idea.
It depends largely on the frame width, some road frames are designed so that a 23mm tire is pushing it width wise. If that is the case, then what you want to do will not work.
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Old 11-16-09, 08:17 AM   #6
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Assuming your bike can take a wider rim, go with 36 spokes and double walls for strength, and at least a 32mm, puncture resistant tire. Frame clearance could be an issue here so make sure you've got enough. If you've got confidence in your bike mechanic, might be best to let him build the new rims rather than ordering them off the shelf. If you order pre built rims, have them stress relieved.

If your touring plans don't include the self supported version or off road, no need to do anything. Just go with what you've got.
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Old 11-16-09, 09:26 AM   #7
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It also depends on where you are going to tour and what kinds of surfaces you will be riding on and how much weight you are going to carry. To provide reasonable answers, we need more information. Start by telling us exactly which bike you have, where you plan to tour and where you plan to sleep.
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Old 11-16-09, 12:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpvanpatt View Post
I am asking for advice for wheels and tires that are best for touring and carrying a good load.
Not sure what that means. To me a "good load" is a light load, but I am not sure what that means to you.

Personally I weigh 200 pounds and carried 30 pounds of gear and panniers on my last tour. I thought 700x28 Ultra Gatorskins were perfect. I plan to carry closer to 25 pounds on future tours and will continue to use 700x28s.

On the Trans America I used 700x32 tires and they were OK. I was carrying about 40 pounds most of the time. I would carry closer to 25 pounds if doing it again and would probably use 28mm tires, but would also consider 32mm especially if my favorite tire were made in a 32.
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Old 11-16-09, 01:09 PM   #9
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What are you asking about? Tires or wheels?

What are you doing? Pavement touring? Third world roads? Dirt roads? Gravel?

How much do you weigh? Yourself? Your gear? Your bike?

What do you want? Efficient wheels? Long lasting tires? Puncture resistance? Cheap? A comfortable ride?

Input all of the variables and you will get an answer. Ask a vague question and you get vague answers.

My recommendation is to go for 23s on a carbon rim with aerospokes.

GIGO
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Old 11-16-09, 01:41 PM   #10
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True touring bike take different wheels to road-racing bikes and the two are usually not interchangeable.
Most touring bikes are designed to accept MTB style hubs which have a width (Over-Locknut Dimension) of 135mm. Road bikes have OLD=130m. You can do some hacking with replacement axles but its not for novices.
Touring bikes have clearance to fit wider rims and wider tyres. The tight spots are at the fork crown, the seatstay and chainstay bridges and where the tyres passes through the chainstays.
Road bikes usually have clearance for 25mm , some for narrow 28mm.
A special class of light-touring road bike are designed to take long-drop calliper brakes and can take up to 32mm tyres.
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Old 11-16-09, 06:43 PM   #11
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A special class of light-touring road bike are designed to take long-drop calliper brakes and can take up to 32mm tyres.
My Specialized Sequoia is such a bike, and indeed I was able to change to 32mm tires. However, I ended up having to buy a different brand of long-reach brakes since the stock ones wouldn't open wide enough to get the wheel off (unless I let some air out, which was not too convenient!).
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Old 11-16-09, 09:01 PM   #12
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48 spoke double wall rims with tandem hubs riding on a good quality 35mm tire. I am over 200 lbs and fully loaded my bike is over 80 lbs. With over 12,000 miles on the rims I have yet to break a spoke.
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