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Widest tires possible on road bike ?

Old 03-23-21, 05:18 AM
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mark d
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Widest tires possible on road bike ?

Bike...Panasonic dx-5000 1987 (I think)

Did the c&o canal with this bike last year. No issues with wheels as it was super dry, but was thinking of getting some wider wheels. 35 mm seems to be the consensus, I have 23 mm.

I can not measure anything now as I am on my ship till may. Thanks
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Old 03-23-21, 05:35 AM
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Chesapeake and Ohio? You mean you work on a ship and then cycle along a canal in your free time

Is this for the look of the bike, or do you have another reason, such as tire type? What kind of tire size were you thinking?
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Old 03-23-21, 06:31 AM
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I can’t help you with fit but I rode the C&O twice on 32s . They worked well for me. My wife had the same tires.
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Old 03-23-21, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Geepig View Post
Chesapeake and Ohio? You mean you work on a ship and then cycle along a canal in your free time

Is this for the look of the bike, or do you have another reason, such as tire type? What kind of tire size were you thinking?
Yeah I like water. It's how I ended up on the sea. Now land, that's scary

I don't care about the bikes looks, you should see the rider, I just think more of a hybrid type set up would be better for c&o canal
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Old 03-23-21, 06:46 AM
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It really depends on the bike. I can fit 32s on 3 of my 6 road bikes and 35s on only one (and they are really tight). Not all tires of the same nominal size will inflate the same either so it will be trial and error I'm afraid.

I've made a measuring tool that consists of a wood stick with a dowel in one end to fit into dropouts and the other end with marks indicating rim position. To that end you can staple a cross section of the tire profile you're trying to fit. Rotate it past the stays/bridges to check for interference. I found that the height of the tire usually interfered more often than the width.

On one of my road bikes, I opted to use 650B rims with 40mm tires, I had to use long reach brake calipers and also dimple the inside of the chain stays but I have to say that it works really well for the not so smooth surfaces.
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Old 03-23-21, 06:51 AM
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Have someone measure between the fork, seat, and chainstays, substract 6-9mm from the narrowest measurement, and that should give you an idea as to how wide your new tires could be and order accordingly. And as Moe said, the inflated tire's height might cause interference with the fork crown, or brake bridge at the seatstays. Safe return trip to homebase.

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Old 03-23-21, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
I canít help you with fit but I rode the C&O twice on 32s . They worked well for me. My wife had the same tires.

thanks for the reply. I will look into 32s. The consensus seems to be 23s are to narrow for this sort of application. Is this your opinion as well ?
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Old 03-23-21, 08:35 AM
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Yes. I think 32 would be as narrow I would go. While wider would work, I am not sure it is required.
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Old 03-23-21, 08:44 AM
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If your bike was originally designed for and sold with 700 x 23 tires it is very unlikely that 700 x 35 will fit. Even 700 x 32 might be too wide. When riding on unpaved surfaces tires will pick up bits of gravel and small stones. If clearance is too small it is possible for a wheel to jam and cause a fall. Don't think about buying tires until you know how much clearance you have.
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Old 03-23-21, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan el Boricua View Post
Have someone measure between the fork, seat, and chainstays, substract 6-9mm from the narrowest measurement, and that should give you an idea as to how wide your new tires could be and order accordingly. And as Moe said, the inflated tire's height might cause interference with the fork crown, or brake bridge at the seatstays. Safe return trip to homebase.
Check the clearance at the brakes and at the front derailleur, which is the tight spot on two of my bikes. Check everywhere, actually.
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Old 03-23-21, 11:21 AM
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1987 was not a good year for 35mm or even 32mm tires. The DX-5000 was a pure skinny tire racing bike.

Here is a video of a 1988. Take a good look at the tire clearance. I'm guessing the tires might are 25's, since I have seen that size on this bike. My advice is to not waste your money on wider tires that probably won't fit. You can always search the internet and maybe find a thread or video on your bike and more info.


John
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Old 03-23-21, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by mark d View Post
To be fair, without knowing the internal width of the rim it's kind of difficult recommending tyre widths.
A 25 on a narrow 14mm (internal) rim will measure about 25 depending on the brand but the exact same tyre on a wider rim could measure 28mm.
Be careful to research because some tyres come up quite a bit bigger in real life than the advertised size.
The only way to really know is to see what you have now and what it actually measures and make an informed decision from there...
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Old 03-23-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mark d View Post
thanks for the reply. I will look into 32s. The consensus seems to be 23s are to narrow for this sort of application. Is this your opinion as well ?
...it is my opinion that, yes, 23mm tyres are ill suited for the C+O canal ride in many, if not most, places.
There are a lot of ways to increase the tyre size you can fit on the average road bike like your panasonic.

But it would not at all surprise me if you could get 32's on there. If they rub somewhere, try 28's.
Save rebuilding the wheels with a smaller diameter rim to increase tyre space clearance (and the resulting issues with matching your brakes to those rims), for another time and place.

What really kind of gets in the way on a ride like that is if you run fenders.

Edit: I just saw that photo of your bike, and have revised my opinion. I think I might try a different bike, one designed more for touring, less for racing.
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Old 03-23-21, 12:51 PM
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What tire is on them now? If you are wanting to know what the max is for your bike, then find the place on your bike between tire and bike that has the least clearance and measure that. Typical places are the tire tread to seat tube and tire tread to rear rim brake caliper. Sometimes front sidewall to fork stay or tread to fork crown. At least that's what I've had to consider the most.

Tires grow in overall diameter pretty even with the change in width dimension. But different brands and different tread patterns from what is now on your bike will make a difference.

So whatever the smallest measurement for clearance you have now, minus the gap you desire for safety factor and plus or minus 1.5 mm for the differences from one tire brand and/or model to the next will be what you can put on it.

If you are strictly concerned with what the rim will handle because of it's width, then I'd just say unless you want to be conservative like all the charts show, then ride it and see if you think it handles well enough for you.
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Old 03-23-21, 01:09 PM
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Thanks to all for your replies. Hmmmmm
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Old 03-23-21, 01:16 PM
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As has been mentioned, it will depend. I have 2 mid-eighties bikes which will fit 32's. I had to remove the reflector mounts for them to work. This is on 27" rims. If I had upgraded to a 700c wheelset it would not have been an issue.

If you really like the frame, and if it has 27" wheels, replacing the wheels with a 700c will provide more room. Check Velomine.co. for affordable wheelsets.
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