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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 05-21-09, 07:25 AM   #1
SlimAgainSoon
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Tires ... how big is big enough?

I'm setting up a Robin Hood as my all-purpose utility bike (see other post on recommendations on baskets).

I'm putting an Alfine out back, and a new wheel up front as well.

Going to 700c for convenience (currently 27-inch).

This will be a go to the grocery store bike, so it will be loaded down somewhat with groceries out back.

Shopping for tires ... and have a question. How big should I go?

Looking at 32mm Panaracer T-serves ... but is 32 big enough for a rig like this?

What would be overkill in the footprint department?
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Old 05-21-09, 07:50 AM   #2
globalrider
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Don't know anything about the Robin Hood but IMHO, the widest tire that fits properly is best for setting up a versatile utility bike.
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Old 05-21-09, 07:50 AM   #3
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I run 35mm Schwalbe Marathon XRs on my 700c touring bike and find that size a nice compromise for speed, comfort and hauling a load.
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Old 05-21-09, 09:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimAgainSoon View Post
I'm setting up a Robin Hood as my all-purpose utility bike (see other post on recommendations on baskets).

I'm putting an Alfine out back, and a new wheel up front as well.

Going to 700c for convenience (currently 27-inch).

This will be a go to the grocery store bike, so it will be loaded down somewhat with groceries out back.

Shopping for tires ... and have a question. How big should I go?

Looking at 32mm Panaracer T-serves ... but is 32 big enough for a rig like this?

What would be overkill in the footprint department?
I wouldn't consider a pair of 50-622 Cream Fat Franks overkill for this type of bike... then again, I'm odd and I'm not sure they'd fit in your frame...
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Old 05-21-09, 07:16 PM   #5
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As long as the tires are wider than your rims, 32s will work fine.
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Old 05-22-09, 10:27 PM   #6
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I care for comfort more than rolling resistance, so on every bike of mine but one I've put on the widest tires that will fit. I don't know about the Robin Hood, but in general you want to check not just for frame clearance, but also chain clearance. The tires might fit in the frame but the chain rubs the side of the tire. This normally won't happen until you start getting into the really wide sizes.

Fender clearance is another potential issue if the bike has fenders. If the fit is too tight the tire might pick up a piece of glass which then rolls against the tire and fender until it punctures the tube. With a bigger gap between tire and fender the momentum might throw the glass out where it just bounces off the fender and falls to the ground. I learned this after cramming a pair of 2.5" tires under a pair of Planet Bike fenders who's maximum recommended tire size was 2.35". I got 3 flats in 1 week with that setup. Each hole was in the exact center if the tire, which is also where it had the least clearance under the fender.

I've got a big enough tire inventory to experiment with a particular tire and frame before making a purchase. If you don't have any tires similar to the ones you want to try, think about asking a friend to borrow a wider set of tires for a day and try them out. Or buy the new tires at a LBS, so if they don't fit you can exchange them for something else in the same day, avoiding the wait and shipping charges you would incur if buying them online only to find out they don't fit.

Last edited by subclavius; 05-22-09 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 05-23-09, 04:10 PM   #7
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I like my thin hard as a rock 27" tires/ there fast and quiet as a mouse down the road./This is my first year with the trailer and have only carried road side plants and fiddleheads so far// going camping soon that will be a weight test./Kenneth
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