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  1. #1
    Senior Member buffalo_cody's Avatar
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    Rims too skinny for winter tires?

    I'm currently commuting on a single speed road bike conversion. When I converted it I bought a new wheel set, and at the time wasn't really thinking about winter commuting, and got 700cx18c rims. I'd like to get some wider winter tires, but I'm not sure what width to get, or if I can get them. According to Sheldon Brown's tire sizing chart (if I'm reading it correctly) the widest tire I can fit should be a 37c? That seems really wide for the rims. What do you guys recommend I do?

    Also if anyone has pictures of skinny rims, with bigger tires I'd like to see them.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I have put 38c tires on a 20c rim but it was kind of hard to get the bead to seat. Once it did it was fine. I think you could get 32c tires on the 18c rims. Maybe even some 35c tires. Some studded 32c tires would be just fine. No need to go any wider unless you plan on riding without studs.

    I actually prefer 32c tires since they are lighter. 37 &38c tires work better with a 23-25mm wide rim which are generally the width of entry level 700c wheels and touring wheels. 35c tires are kind of in between size but I think you might have a little trouble with a 18mm rim.
    Last edited by Hezz; 10-16-09 at 09:40 PM.

  3. #3
    cyclocentric curmudgeon bgaskill04's Avatar
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    A 35-37mm tire should be no problem on a 20 mm rim. Are you planning on riding through the snow or over the snow? I have had better luck using skinnier cyclocross tire in the winter because they tend to sink down through the snow and grab the pavement rather than the snow itself.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    My Specialized Crosstrail came with 45s on it, as OEM. The rims are 700X18.

    Schwalbe says anything up to 50 is OK on this rim size.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  5. #5
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    The rim width is actually less of a problem than the rim shape and the thickness of the tire at the bead. Most 700c tires in the 32-38c size are designed for hybrid and recreation and touring bikes and are made from heavier materials than tires for racing and designed to fit on a 22-25mm rim. Except for the CX tires which are usually 28-33c and will easily fit on a 18-20mm rim. So sometimes the hybrid tires can be hard to get to work with the narrower rims. Especially in the 37 & 38c size. However, a 45mm 700c is a 29'er tire and is probably designed to work with a narrower rim.
    Last edited by Hezz; 10-18-09 at 05:47 PM.

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