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Can I switch from 26x1.75 wheels to something wider?

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Can I switch from 26x1.75 wheels to something wider?

Old 05-08-15, 09:55 AM
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Can I switch from 26x1.75 wheels to something wider?

I have 26"x1.75" tires on my mountain bike. Can I switch to wider wheels and bigger tires? I still want 26" tires, but wider.
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Old 05-08-15, 10:02 AM
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You probably don't need wider rims. How wide are your rims now? I bet you can easily go with a 2" or 2.2" wide tire. How wide do you want to do?
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Old 05-08-15, 10:47 AM
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YOU have to measure what you have, and how much clearance you have to make them larger.

On rim width, you need to measure the inside width - remove the tire, measure in the inside width. See: Velocity Wheels - Hand Made in USA The inside width is 25mm in this picture.

IF you have clearance, then the maximum tire width should be governed by the width of your rims, a good rule of thumb for MTB is no more than 2½ x the inside rim width (please note people exceed this rule of thumb quite often). So if you have Velocity Cliffhangers; that would be 25 x 2.5 = 62.5mm. So you'd be looking for 62-559 tires or narrower.
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Old 05-08-15, 10:58 AM
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Almost certainly you can switch to wider tires. Just look at how much space around the tire in the front fork, and around the rear tire at the chainstays and seatstays.
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Old 05-08-15, 11:04 AM
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The frame and fork limit the width of tire you can fit. Rim brakes can also make very wide tires difficult, especially on narrower rims.
As mentioned, there are guidelines for how wide a tire is acceptable to run on different widths of rims, but people vastly exceeded these recommendations all the time with no/little negative effects.

For example, I have a 22mm rear rim with a 2.1" (approx. 53mm) tire, and an 18mm wide front rim with a 2.4" (61mm) tire. The ratio of the tire width/rim width on the front is 3.4:1, which is considerably outside the 2.5:1 guideline mentioned above, and I have not had any problems with that tire in the two years I have run it like that.
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Old 05-08-15, 02:10 PM
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When checking for frame clearance, remember that a wider tire is also taller (bigger around). Rear brake bridge position is usually the limiting factor, but caliper brakes (on a road bike) could also be a limiting factor.
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Old 05-08-15, 02:17 PM
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Also be aware that especially for MTB tyres, the tread blocks can add substantially to the overall width. So for example, a 2.2" tyre with very thick and large treads may actually be effectively wider (and have a larger diameter) than what it says the tyre casing. You'll need to take that into account for chainstay, seatstay and fork clearance.
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