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27 x 1 3/8" tire options?

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27 x 1 3/8" tire options?

Old 01-06-18, 04:25 AM
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vintagebicycle
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27 x 1 3/8" tire options?

I've got an old Japanese bike that has extra wide 27" steel rims, they measure 35mm wide at the bead lip. The original tires were huge Michelin 27x1 3/8" tires but they're rotted beyond use.
I stopped in at a local shop and all they had was Kenda 27x1 3/8" and they were no wider than older 27x 1 1/4" tires.
The rims are marked 35-630, they came on an early 70's Palm Cycles bike.
Does anyone make an affordable tire that's wide enough to fit?
27x1 1/4" won't cut it, they look spread out across the rim. The original tires had a bit of bulge to the sidewalls.
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Old 01-06-18, 04:50 AM
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Swift tire has a couple, but I don't have any experience with them.

They use a folding bead, so they may actually not work with your rims if they don't have hooked sidewalls.
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Old 01-06-18, 11:19 AM
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Ouch, $30 each plus shipping. The bike isn't worth all that.
The rims are steel, the original tires are wire bead from the early 70's.
The old tires look almost like middle weight tires compared to normal 1 1/14" tires they sell today.

The local bike shop has Kenda gumwall tires in both road and knobby but they don't look that wide. They also want $25 each.

I didn't realize that there was a bead difference in 27" tires? Does this mean the folding 27" tires they sell at Walmart won't fit older steel rims?
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Old 01-06-18, 11:41 AM
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The rims are most likely not hooked bead. If they are straight bead you’ll need wire beaded tires like from the old days.

I’ve seen aluminum 27” rims lately. What is hard to find is the 40 hole drilling, if that what’s the bike needs. The Brits used a lot of 40 holes rear and 32 holes front.

What’s the bike?
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Old 01-06-18, 11:53 AM
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27 x 1 3/8" was not a standard size, at least not in the USA. Never even heard of it before. 27 x 1 1/4" was it. Maybe it was used in Japan. Anyhow, you're unlikely to find other alternatives, as the size is so obscure. Most likely the Kendas are the best you will do.
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Old 01-06-18, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
...

I didn't realize that there was a bead difference in 27" tires? Does this mean the folding 27" tires they sell at Walmart won't fit older steel rims?
They'll fit just fine, they just might not stay on the rims once you get them up to pressure. With hooked rims (all modern clincher rims) both types of tire bead - steel and folding - will work fine. With a non-hooked rim, a folding bead tire is more likely to creep up and pop off when you get it to pressure than the more rigid steel bead.

Since it's a fairly odd size these days, you're not going to find much variety, and not dirt cheap. I think the Kendas will probably be the best fit for those old rims. Not exciting, but adequate.
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Old 01-06-18, 12:02 PM
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FWIW Niagara lists a couple others in that size. Have no idea of the quality. Probably not great.

https://www.niagaracycle.com/categor...27x1-3-8-black
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Old 01-06-18, 12:02 PM
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^^^ this is true, at least as far as I've been able to discern. Kenda K40s, the Club Roost Cross Terra or the Kenda K161 cyclocross knobbies, and the SwiftTire Sand Canyon are pretty much your options. And as others said, if you want to keep yer steel rims, the only option is the Kenda K40 or one of the knobby tires.
I put K40s on this Voyageur, I'd guess they measure 32mm wide?



Edit to add another example: I mess around with these Club Roost Cross Terras for a bit, pretty great for gravel and smooth singletrack.


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Old 01-06-18, 01:13 PM
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I have run 27x1-3/8" knobbies in the past, on the Capo Modell Campagnolo. Great for multitrack or gravel roads. I haven't looked for them during this decade, however.
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Old 01-06-18, 02:31 PM
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What I'm running into is that the Kenda K40's in 1 3/8" aren't as wide as the Michelin 1 1/4" tires on it now.

The rims are super wide. The bike is a low end model, all steel everything but its in nice shape. I'm just looking to put new tires on it so it can be ridden. The wheels have medium flange steel hubs, (they look the same as the Suzue hubs around at that time), the spokes are straight 14 gauge, and the rims are nearly double the width of say the rims found on a Schwinn Varsity. It was originally set up as a 10 speed bike with a chrome steel cottered crank, steel bars and stem, and steel seat post and sprung saddle. It says Palm Cycles on the head badge. I only remember seeing a few of these around over the years, the dealer that sold them was small and probably didn't move many bikes around here. However this one I believe was brought here from the west coast by a guy who moved here from SoCal in the 80's. I bought it off a relative of the original owner but I remember the bike from back in the day. Its similar to a mid 70's Nishiki Sport, but with more steel and wider rims. It originally had full fenders too, those are around here somewhere. (Think 27" Raleigh Sprite, but made in Japan and with drop bars).
I've got several new pair of Kenda K40's here, they fit but the sidewalls are angled outward towards the rim when installed. They barely make it. They look about like if you were to put a 7/8" tire on a Varsity steel rim.
The old tires were Michelin 1 3/8" gumwalls from the 80's but the first set of tires it came with new were blackwall tires marked 27x1 1/2" but those rotted away 35 years ago. If I remember right, they had some odd brand on them. The tread was similar to what came on most three speed bikes back then, sort of a block tread with a center rib.
The bike was cheap when new, maybe $40 or so but it was a shop bike.
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Old 01-06-18, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
27 x 1 3/8" was not a standard size, at least not in the USA. Never even heard of it before. 27 x 1 1/4" was it. Maybe it was used in Japan. Anyhow, you're unlikely to find other alternatives, as the size is so obscure. Most likely the Kendas are the best you will do.
Specialized had the Expedition tire in 27 x 1 3/8". I had them on my tandem once. There's one new old stock available on ebay right now: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-NOS...-/362196841678
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Old 01-06-18, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
Ouch, $30 each plus shipping. The bike isn't worth all that.
Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
The bike is a low end model, all steel everything but its in nice shape. I'm just looking to put new tires on it so it can be ridden... The bike was cheap when new, maybe $40 or so but it was a shop bike.
Well, are you going to ride it, or what? If you are, it doesn't matter how much the bike cost, put decent tires on it. Otherwise just sell the thing to someone who will.
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Old 01-06-18, 08:22 PM
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Don't put so much trust in the printed size on these 27" tires. The current 1-1/4" Michelin World Tour tire will look and fit about right on this bike and is as wide or wider than any 1-3/8" tire ever offered!

The World Tour tire likely is identically sized to your original tires, and similarly labeled as "27X1-1/4". Simply put, these are huge, heavy tires, and with plenty of tread wrap for this wide-rim application.

The folding tires sold at WalMart are actually steel-beaded, so are fine on straight-sided rims, but are a very basic tire and likely not all that wide. Might be worth a try to take home and gently test-fit if WalMart is nearby, since you can return them.
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Old 01-06-18, 08:29 PM
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Huh??? How do you fold a steel-bead???
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Old 01-06-18, 09:05 PM
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I went to another smaller dealer tonight, they had only one option in 27x1 3/8" tires, they're kevlar beaded, fold up type. $14.99 each.
I gave them a shot but they're small, these are no larger than the cheap CST 27x1 1/4" tires they sell.

I did notice that the hubs, and rims have Shimano logos, the hubs say Shimano '333' on them. The rims are marked 27x1 3/8" under a single Shimano logo. The tires are marked 38-630 and 27x1 3/8". The tread is very slight and very much like the tread design found on 26"x1 3/8 three speed tires years ago but the center tread is directional.
They were super tough to get mounted, the tire barely made it over the rim, then I had trouble getting it to sit high enough all the way around. I don't think its possible for it to rise off the bead.
I have them inflated to 75psi as pictured.

The problem is that with weight, the rim will likely hit the asphalt if compressed. There is more rim showing than there is rubber.
These are roughly the same size, maybe just slightly larger than the Kenda K40 tires.
I think they would make a good 27x1 1/4" replacement to regain some of the size lost over the years in tires but they are not a true 1 3/8" tire. They measure under 1 1/4" wide fully inflated, (29mm wide). The Kenda K40's measured at 28mm on these rims. Looking down on the tire, the sidewalls are slanted outward towards the bead.
I don't think there's a difference between some 27x1 1/4" tires and 1 3/8" tires, its as if they just change the markings. I have some vintage IRC 1 1/8" tires that are larger than these which are marked 1 3/8".
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Old 01-06-18, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Huh??? How do you fold a steel-bead???
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/...r-folding.html
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Old 01-06-18, 09:22 PM
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Ok, I call that looping. I was thinking of turning steel-bead tyre into a compact burrito-like roll and stuffing into box.
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Old 01-06-18, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
The problem is that with weight, the rim will likely hit the asphalt if compressed. There is more rim showing than there is rubber.
These are roughly the same size, maybe just slightly larger than the Kenda K40 tires. .
That's still a MASSIVE tyre!!! When I was 245-lbs, I was using 700x28mm tyres @ 110psi without any problems pinching. You've got a HUGE 35mm tyre that should be fine for supporting 350-lbs @ 110psi. Tight fit is good, those steel-rims don't have hook-beads to trap tyre.
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Old 01-07-18, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Huh??? How do you fold a steel-bead???

The steel beads can be made from wire rope instead of simply several strands of thick wire, that's how!
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Old 01-07-18, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by vintagebicycle View Post
I went to another smaller dealer tonight, they had only one option in 27x1 3/8" tires, they're kevlar beaded, fold up type. $14.99 each.
I gave them a shot but they're small, these are no larger than the cheap CST 27x1 1/4" tires they sell.

I did notice that the hubs, and rims have Shimano logos, the hubs say Shimano '333' on them. The rims are marked 27x1 3/8" under a single Shimano logo. The tires are marked 38-630 and 27x1 3/8". The tread is very slight and very much like the tread design found on 26"x1 3/8 three speed tires years ago but the center tread is directional.
They were super tough to get mounted, the tire barely made it over the rim, then I had trouble getting it to sit high enough all the way around. I don't think its possible for it to rise off the bead.
I have them inflated to 75psi as pictured.

The problem is that with weight, the rim will likely hit the asphalt if compressed. There is more rim showing than there is rubber.
These are roughly the same size, maybe just slightly larger than the Kenda K40 tires.
I think they would make a good 27x1 1/4" replacement to regain some of the size lost over the years in tires but they are not a true 1 3/8" tire. They measure under 1 1/4" wide fully inflated, (29mm wide). The Kenda K40's measured at 28mm on these rims. Looking down on the tire, the sidewalls are slanted outward towards the bead.
I don't think there's a difference between some 27x1 1/4" tires and 1 3/8" tires, its as if they just change the markings. I have some vintage IRC 1 1/8" tires that are larger than these which are marked 1 3/8".

The Michelin World Tour tires would have easily measured all of 35mm on your wide rims, and taller as well.


The rims aren't Shimano-made, the logo is a Japanese industry logo used by various parts vendors back in the day. But Japan did turn out some of the nicest chromed-steel rims ever made, smoother along the brake tracks than most others.
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Old 01-07-18, 03:00 AM
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We have rough roads around here, lots of cracks, potholes, and 2" curbs. The tires I have here are only rated at 90 psi, not only would I be pushing the limits of the casing but also the rims at even that pressure. I've seen steel rims fold over and let tires blow out just from pressure.
On smooth road they will be fine, but I'm more looking to set this up for bike trail riding. The trails are mostly loose packed mulch here. Lots of trails through the game preserves and parks through wooded areas. Not rough enough to need a mtb, but too loose and soft for skinny tires. A lot of guys run the Kenda 1 3/8" knobby tires but then they suffer on the street with a soft tire and bumpy tread.
I want as much width as I can get. I wish I could find the Michelin tires that were on it but I'm sure they're long gone from production these days.
These tires are marked 38-630 but in actual measurement are only 29mm, no where near even 1 1/4" let alone 1 3/8". The old tires were almost 1 1/2" wide. I see this on a lot of bike tires these days, try finding true to size 26" x 1 3/8" tires for an old Raleigh sports these days, the tires are so narrow you risk damaging a rim.
Also keep in mind that these rims are wider than most, almost as wide as some mtb rims.
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Old 01-07-18, 03:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dddd View Post
The Michelin World Tour tires would have easily measured all of 35mm on your wide rims, and taller as well.


The rims aren't Shimano-made, the logo is a Japanese industry logo used by various parts vendors back in the day. But Japan did turn out some of the nicest chromed-steel rims ever made, smoother along the brake tracks than most others.
I don't see the World Tour tires available any where in 27" these days?

The original tires were Michelin, but I can't read what they were. They were definintely wide but they all but fell apart once the gumwall bubbled up and cracked. The beads were actually sharp from the fibers sticking out on the old tires. The tubes had blown after the tires gave way when the bike sat for many years.

These rims are clean, no seams anywhere that I can see.

The hubs are clearly marked Shimano with that globe type logo, the rims do not say Shimano, they just have the logo. They do say w/o after the size though? I've seen narrow Araya steel rims marked the same way but these a missing the Araya stamping. The bike doesn't have many miles on it, just a lot of storage wear over the years. Its been through four moves since I've had it and it was brought here from out of state by the original owner years ago.
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Old 01-07-18, 06:04 AM
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W/o just means 'wire-on,' as I've always understood it, which means it takes a clincher tire rather than a tubular tire.
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Old 01-07-18, 08:58 AM
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I get these NGK tires for about $4 at the local parts store.
IMG_20180107_155320246 by Bwilli88, on Flickr

IMG_20180107_155213988 by Bwilli88, on Flickr

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Old 01-07-18, 11:25 AM
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...keeping in mind that either these NGK (Nangkang?) tires or the Michelins will be even much wider yet due to being mounted on a very wide rim, so obviously much more air volume than so-called "27x1-3/8" knobbies!


I did a lot of mountain biking on 27" tires that measured roughly 30mm wide mounted on 25mm (outside width) rims. I used only 60psi and weighed 155 while riding a 35lb touring bike shown below.
I almost never pinch flatted except when a thorn puncture had already caused a slow leak, and I rode on hundreds of miles of rocky fire road trail and singletrack, both on Mt. Tam and in the Auburn State recreational area (American River Canyon).



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