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Rim size vs tire width

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Rim size vs tire width

Old 06-28-22, 05:58 PM
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UnD3R0aTh
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Rim size vs tire width

Hello,

I have a vintage Araya 27' 1 1/4, not sure what tire width options would go with my rim. I went to the bike shop today and I was told these would fit my rim: Schwalbe HS159 K-Guard Active 27 x 1 1/4" Tires


https://blueskycycling.com/products/...-x-1-1-4-tires

On the tire it says 27' 1/4 28/30-630, what does the "28/32-630" mean exactly? How wide is this tire and are they for road bikes?

Thanks.
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Old 06-28-22, 07:02 PM
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I cannot read the inscription on the tire, but 630 is the BSD: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#isoetrto
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Old 06-28-22, 07:21 PM
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They'll be fine on your rims. There are only a few width sizes around for 27" (630) tires these days as it's basically an abandoned size with newer bikes being 700c (622) diameter
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Old 06-28-22, 08:03 PM
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The 27" clincher wheel is a great size. By ERTRO nomenclature, it is a 630mm rim, whereas the French 700 is a smaller 622mm bead diameter. 27" wheels were a British standard, promoted by Raleigh and adopted by many in the anglosphere, particularly the US market. Since the late 80's or so, 700's have certainly become a more popular standard in all markets, but there was never anything wrong with the 27" wheel.

Because it was a road bike standard through the period of time when early mountain bikes had 26" wheels, 27" wheels were primarily made in rim widths suitable for road bikes. The smaller diameter 700 rims, unfortunately often called 28" or 29'ers (they ought to be called 24.5", and the 650B 23") have been produced in every width from very narrow to wide enough to hold a 3" or wider tire.

What you'll find for 27" wheels is that they're rims are typically around 16mm wide. Exactly what width the rim is and where one measures it is made mostly irrelevant by the fact that tire choices are very limited. There are options in 1", 1 1/8", 1 1/4" or 1 3/8" and that's about it. In French units, those would be nominally 25mm, 28mm, 32mm, and 35mm. The most popular size, by far, are the 1 1/4" and that is the size that will likely best suit the available rims.

There is a thread on this forum regarding 27" tires choices. It's a sticky: The ultimate 27" tire reference thread!
Here is a blog article about available 27" tires: https://www.restoration.bike/tires/2...bicycle-tires/

The Schwalbe HS159 K-Guard are a pretty cheap option. If you want to ride cheap tires to save money or just need rubber to flip a bike, they're not bad.
The Schwalbe Marathon Greenguard is a better tire. I've used these for years and they're bullet-proof. Not necessarily the lightest or fastest though.
I've personally used Vittoria Zaffiro. They were cheap crap that blew off hooked rims. Total garbage.
I bought a bike that had Cheng Shin. Same as the Vittoria.
Most recently, I've acquired some Continental Ultra Sport III's. They are lighter and faster than the Marathons and seem to be great quality. They've proven durable and no flats in about 500 miles. Haven't had them that long though.
That's all my personal experience. I haven't tried them all, so I don't know everything.
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Old 06-28-22, 08:30 PM
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It basically means it's a 27x 1-1/8 or 1-1/4"
It'll work fine.
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Old 06-28-22, 08:32 PM
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I have for years wondered what the bike dimensional situation would be these days had WWII gone the other way. Andy
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Old 06-28-22, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I have for years wondered what the bike dimensional situation would be these days had WWII gone the other way. Andy
Since 28"/700C began as an American standard, we could have skipped a few steps on the way to where we are now.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:31 AM
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700C was definitely not an American standard. 700 refers to the diameter of the tire in millimeters, a French unit. 700A, B, D were also things. To achieve a consistent 700mm diameter with various tire widths, these other rims were of varying diameters. Until 1975, 700C wheels were for tubular tires. Then Mavic introduced the Module E rims along with Michelin's new Elan tire. The bead diameter of the 700C version was 622mm. Mavic and Michelin are both French. Prior to the 1975 introduction of the French Module E and Elan combination, 700 clinchers did not exist. The 700C probably owes its popularity to the transition period during which people wanted to run tubular tires on their race bikes, but have the option of using clinchers during the week.

27" clincher wheels were introduced by Dunlop in the 1930's.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:41 AM
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There are 27 x 1"*, 27 x 1 1/8"*, 27 x 1 1/4, and 27 x 1 3/8"* that will all fit on your rim. The wider 27 x 1 3/8" tire may not fit inside the frame or fork or brakes of every bike with 27" wheels, and 27 x 1" might be narrower than the rim on a lot of bikes, which is not ideal.

* denotes less common tire sizes that may be difficult to find. You certainly won't have many options if you do find any. There used to be 27 x 7/8" tires but I haven't seen this size for a long, long time.
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Old 06-29-22, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
700C was definitely not an American standard. 700 refers to the diameter of the tire in millimeters, a French unit. 700A, B, D were also things. To achieve a consistent 700mm diameter with various tire widths, these other rims were of varying diameters. Until 1975, 700C wheels were for tubular tires. Then Mavic introduced the Module E rims along with Michelin's new Elan tire. The bead diameter of the 700C version was 622mm. Mavic and Michelin are both French. Prior to the 1975 introduction of the French Module E and Elan combination, 700 clinchers did not exist. The 700C probably owes its popularity to the transition period during which people wanted to run tubular tires on their race bikes, but have the option of using clinchers during the week.

27" clincher wheels were introduced by Dunlop in the 1930's.
It's always interesting how people's place in history affects their biases. (I'm as guilty of this as anyone, BTW...)

700C was nothing more than a Frenchified version of the 28" rim size which was absolutely developed here toward the end of the 19th century. I'm not sure when the first clincher/wired versions of that wheel size came around, but there are French catalogs showing 700 "pneus" (not "boyaux"=tubulars) wheels dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. America had gone down the path of single-tube tires at that time, and so we had time to forget before the wheel size was sold back to us by other countries.

The 27" wheel was actually developed as a new proprietary standard to compete with 28"/700C. If anyone dislikes new standards for the sake of getting people to buy new hardware, they ought to dislike 27"!
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Old 06-29-22, 01:26 PM
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The very essence of a rim design hinges on compatibility. There is nothing about the 19th century 28" rims that would be compatible with 700c tires of today, but the 1975 Mavic Module E's would absolutely fit. Those early American 28 wheels would have been fitted with solid rubber tires. It wasn't until 1887 that Dunlop first applied the pneumatic tire to tricycles and bicycles. Pneus in the early 20th century would have distinguished pneumatic tires from solid rubber, not clinchers from tubulars. While Michelin did introduce clamped tires with a separate inner-tube as early as 1891, the 700c clinchers we have today started with the 1975 Mavic and Michelin combination. It is this design and nothing prior that would be compatible and interchangeable with what is sold on the overwhelming majority of road bikes today.

The 27 inch wheel was not introduced as a new standard in an attempt to get people to buy new hardware, but it was introduced to get British consumers to buy Dunlop tires rather than Michelin. Dunlop introduced a domestic standard in an effort to retain domestic sales rather than give way to foreign imports. It should be noted that at the time of its introduction, the British weren't buying 700C tires, but primarily 26" tires. A larger diameter, narrower wheel with high pressure tire was essential for greater performance. The British could have adopted a French standard for tubular tires, or made their own standard for clinchers. 27's were therefore the first high-performance clincher wheel and remained so for about 50 years. The 700C clincher was introduced as a new standard in 1975 but wasn't widely adopted for another 10 years or so. I wouldn't describe it as a new standard to get people to buy new hardware, but instead it allowed people to run clinchers on their bikes that were previously limited to tubulars. 27's had long been offered in both. At some point in the mid-eighties, bike makers did switch the standards and this did get people to buy new hardware. I don't really see the justification for the switch from 27 to 700 except that Raleigh had declined in influence and French, Italian, and Japanese makes had taken over.
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Old 06-29-22, 01:36 PM
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In another what's-new-really-isn't vein, the "700C" standard is, strictly speaking, a 39mm tire that fits on a 622mm rim (39mm + 622mm + 39mm = 700mm). "C" indicated 622mm, and 700mm indicated the overall diameter. Such "monster cross" sizes are only recently coming back into fashion, but a 38 or 40mm tire for a 622mm rim is actually a really old standard size, dating back to the genesis of the Frenchified alphanumeric designators. To be complete, 700A was nominally a 29mm tire on a 642mm rim, 700B was nominally a 33mm tire on a 635mm rim, and 700D was a 59mm tire on a 583mm rim. Sheldon Brown says a 584mm tire would fit on a 700D rim, so I guess that size is pretty close to a modern 27.5" x 2.3" tire.

(I'm not talking about physical fit of a tire on a rim, vis a vis the clincher discussion above...I'm talking only of relative sizes of rims and sidewalls and overall diameter.)

I guess this approach made a lot of sense with spoon brakes, where you want a fixed overall tire diameter so the brake would work about the same regardless of rim diameter. This, of course, doesn't work well with rim brakes, where the frame is constructed to support a certain diameter. I guess discs have brought us back around to the original scenario where we can mix-and-match rim diameters to some degree, keeping overall tire diameter about the same.
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Old 06-30-22, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by greatbasin View Post
The very essence of a rim design hinges on compatibility. There is nothing about the 19th century 28" rims that would be compatible with 700c tires of today, but the 1975 Mavic Module E's would absolutely fit. Those early American 28 wheels would have been fitted with solid rubber tires. It wasn't until 1887 that Dunlop first applied the pneumatic tire to tricycles and bicycles. Pneus in the early 20th century would have distinguished pneumatic tires from solid rubber, not clinchers from tubulars. While Michelin did introduce clamped tires with a separate inner-tube as early as 1891, the 700c clinchers we have today started with the 1975 Mavic and Michelin combination. It is this design and nothing prior that would be compatible and interchangeable with what is sold on the overwhelming majority of road bikes today.
I'm well aware of the Mavic/Michelin pairing that revolutionized the industry in 1975... but I will repeat that 700C (622mm bead seat diameter) existed well before that. There are a few examples from the 1950s and 1960s on Velobase, the 1966 Cyclo-Pedia catalog lists 700C rims and tires (with a special note that they're distinct from 27"), and there's a Canadian Dunlop flier from the 1950s floating around that lists "F13" tires. No reason you couldn't put a new 700C clincher on one of those pre-1975 622mm BSD rims, just don't pump up to 100+ psi...

The French term "pneus" may well have started as a blanket term for inflatable tires, but it seems to have became shorthand for wired-on tires pretty quickly. Here's a 1913 Peugeot catalog page for a track bike. Stock, it came with 28mm tubulars ("boyaux"), but could also be had with "pneus demontables". That "Pneus a talons" ("beaded tires") are specified for only a few models leads me to be pretty sure that wired-on tires are meant for their other uses of the term "pneu."

The 27 inch wheel was not introduced as a new standard in an attempt to get people to buy new hardware, but it was introduced to get British consumers to buy Dunlop tires rather than Michelin. Dunlop introduced a domestic standard in an effort to retain domestic sales rather than give way to foreign imports. It should be noted that at the time of its introduction, the British weren't buying 700C tires, but primarily 26" tires. A larger diameter, narrower wheel with high pressure tire was essential for greater performance. The British could have adopted a French standard for tubular tires, or made their own standard for clinchers...
I feel like you're mostly restating my point here: the Brits introduced a new standard to make sure British riders were buying their products when they bought a new high-performance bike instead of someone else's. Totally logical move for them.
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