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Old 02-20-12, 11:22 PM   #1
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Tyres too wide on a hybrid

I have just started riding a second-hand hybrid with new tires that was given to me as a gift.

Problem is that the rear tire is a tiny bit too wide where it passes between the chain stays and it rubs somewhat.

Short of getting new tires do I have any options? I have thought of using sandpaper to take off about 1mm of each side of the tire where it rubs. Or trying to bend the stays out a little?

I don't have a lot of money so a new rear tire is not an option at the moment.
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Old 02-21-12, 12:05 AM   #2
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I wouldn't recommend trying to remove material from the sides of the tire to make it fit and definately don't be bending the stays. It is possible to cold set steel rear triangles a few mm at the dropouts, but to attempt to bend your chain stays out behind the BB and in again to realign the dropouts is not something for the average guy to try in his garage. A different tire is really your only option. You can get some decent hybrid tires for $25-30. I've used Bontrager H2 and H4 Eco's on several bikes and they are durable and have decently low rolling resistance for about $25. If you have a bike co-op in your area, you might be able to find a decent used tire to get you by until you can afford something new. As you mentioned that the tires on your bike are new, it's too bad whoever put them on didn't notice the clearance problem while they could still be returned or exchanged. When you get a different tire, make sure you have a few mm of clearance between your frame and tire. You want a little room so that mud and grit stuck to the tire don't chew up your frame and that tiny bits of debris can't jam you up.

I completely understand the money issue. I spent all last summer flipping bikes and scrounging good condition used and heavily discounted parts to get bikes put together for my wife and myself. My daughter built her own bike at a bike co-op in exchange for volunteer hours. I'm afraid this is one time you are going to have to find someway to replace the tire. Since your tires are in almost new condition (I'm assuming you have ridden on them) perhaps you could find someone who wants wider tires who would be willing to swap for what you need. Check with your local bike shop or club, just about everyone who has been riding for very long has a used tire or two lying around that they might let go cheap.

If you post what tire size you have and let us know where you live, perhaps someone here could lend a hand or point you in the right direction.
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Old 02-21-12, 12:07 AM   #3
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bending the bike should not be an option, dont even think about it

really, just get new tires

or, sand paper the ones you have so the sidewall threads tear, the tire fails, then just get new tires

well, maybe if you're lucky and the only part that rubs is raised tread knobs, but hybrid tires are generally smooth to begin with... your call
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Old 02-21-12, 12:28 AM   #4
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Do yourself a favor and skip eating out a couple nights and buy yourself a new tire. One can be had for under $20 plus shipping. Not knowing the specs of your hybrid, I'll assume we're talking about a 700c hybrid:

One of these in 32 or 35mm flavors should be fine if you do mostly road:

If you like getting a little dirty this will work in 700 x35mm

Just pick one a size down from your current tire and you don't need to buy a matching set. On my old hybrid I had a 29er tire in the front and a 700x40mm tire in the back. More than likely the 32mms are a safe bet. If you don't plan on flying hells bells down single tracks, any of those cross/off road tires will be fine.
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Old 02-21-12, 12:39 AM   #5
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If you have craigslist where you are just put your tire up for sale. Sell as almost new, give maybe 15% off new price. Should give you enough cash to get your new tire without to much loss. I have a hybrid and run a 700Cx 35 on the back. Just curious what size you have. I think 38 is the widest. Keep your eyes open on Craigslist, i got most my 700C tires for free or cheap.
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Old 02-21-12, 01:38 AM   #6
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If they're knobbies and it's all knob that's rubbing I'd go for a knob trim. X-acto #2 or #11 or razor saw. Take your time. If you hit thread toss the tire.

Otherwise Performance Bike usually has tires in the $8-12 range.

Need to look at the tires and find out the width you have. I'm assuming 700c, just look up the width and go skinnier.

Forte Strada 28mm $10
Forte Metro 35 $11
Forte Gotham 32 or 35 $14

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 02-21-12 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 02-21-12, 01:50 AM   #7
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If it's only rubbing at one or two points as the wheel rotates then you might be able to true the wheel to eliminate the problem. But I agree with the above comments about getting an inexpensive tire of the right (i.e. narrower) size. I've hardly ever had to pay more than $10 for a tire on either my road or touring bikes.
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Old 02-21-12, 01:53 AM   #8
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Is the rear axle seated all the way back in the drop outs?
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Old 02-21-12, 06:27 AM   #9
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first time you ride in the rain, your tires will pick up some grit,
and you've just invented sandpaper. pretty soon you'll have
some nice grooves cut all the way through the thin metal

go buy a new tire. now. can't afford something nice?
wally-world or western auto should carry something you
can ride on for $5.

too much? try the salvation army. flea market. yard sales.
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Old 02-21-12, 09:53 AM   #10
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If you don't care much about the bike and it is steel I see no problem crimping the stays a couple mm to fit a tire. I did this on my MTB when the left crank arm didn't quite clear the chainstay. A few seconds with a Vise Grip and all was well.

Cold setting the rear triangle will have almost no effect.
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Old 02-21-12, 10:48 AM   #11
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I understand not having cash to spare, but there's no way to thin a tire. I'm surprised it's an issue since hybrid chainstay clearances are pretty generous. Is it possible that it isn't as much a width issue as a position or alignment issue, rubs one side only, or rim obbles a bit rubbing one side, then the other?

If it's definitely a chainstay width issue, I can help you out with a low cost (under $16.00 inc. postage within USA) narrower tire. Let me know what you have now, and what you think you need and I'll confirm by PM.
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Old 02-21-12, 06:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
Is the rear axle seated all the way back in the drop outs?
+ 1 for checking the simple stuff first. Followed by checking for whether the wheel rubs in one place because it's out of true. And if the tire truly is too big then one cheap tire from Target or Walmart is a better idea than sanding the existing one.
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