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Rim and Tire Options for Gravel?

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Rim and Tire Options for Gravel?

Old 01-24-20, 08:26 AM
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Carvingtr
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Rim and Tire Options for Gravel?

Late last year I restored my father's Raleigh Super Course, Restoring an early 70s Raleigh Super Course

Now that the bike can be ridden again my father would like to be able to use the bike on the local gravel bike paths. What options do I have as far as rim width and tires, and will I need to purchase a new freewheel to go with new rims?

Ryan
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Old 01-24-20, 08:32 AM
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I'm using the 700x32 Compass Stampede Pass. It's a blonde tanwall tire with a supple & lightweight construction and a nearly slick tread. Just be sure it will fit. The Panaracer Gravelking is similar, but has a pigmented brown sidewall. I like the H plus Son TB14 rim. Yes, you will need to rebuild the wheel, but you can reuse your hubs if they are in good condition.
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Old 01-24-20, 08:38 AM
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Sun CR-18 rims are modestly priced, have great quality of construction, fit a wide range of tire sizes, and are very durable. The downside is that they aren't especially light, but for a gravel bike, I think they're a good choice. They are also available in three rim diameters (that I know of) - 650A (590 mm), 700c (622 mm) and 27" (630 mm). I have them on bicycles with tires as narrow as 25mm, and as wide as 54mm.

If you're up for building your own wheels, you can use the existing hub and freewheel, but will likely need new spokes. If you're changing the rim diameter or are planning to make a change to a tire size wider than 35mm, it would be a wise idea to see if you can test-fit a set of wheels on your bike to ensure you have clearance and brakes that will work.
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Old 01-24-20, 08:44 AM
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You should have enough clearance to use Club Roost Cross Terra tires with your original 27" rims. They're great on gravel, but they wear pretty quick if used alot on pavement.
Reasonably priced, but available only as blackwall, unfortunately.
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Old 01-24-20, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
You should have enough clearance to use Club Roost Cross Terra tires with your original 27" rims. They're great on gravel, but they wear pretty quick if used alot on pavement.
Reasonably priced, but available only as blackwall, unfortunately.
This sounds better than having to build a wheel set.

Last edited by Carvingtr; 01-24-20 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 01-24-20, 08:51 AM
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What's the widest tire I can fit on the factory rims?
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Old 01-24-20, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
What's the widest tire I can fit on the factory rims?
which rims are on them now, internal width?
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Old 01-24-20, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
which rims are on them now, internal width?
I don't know the width, but they have 27 x 1 1/4 tires on them.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:30 AM
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Well, there's gravel and then there's gravel. Since you indicate that you are talking about "gravel bike trails", I would think any tire from 27x1-1/4" on up using the original rims would be perfectly fine (for example, the Swift Tire Sand Canyon or Panaracer Pasela). These are roughly 32 mm wide and work well for riding pretty rough gravel roads such as are found on the Eroica rides. If you're actually talking about rough tracks with lots of rocks then you might want something like that Club Roost Cross Terra mentioned above. I ride with guys with gravel bikes who have 32 mm tires.

I don't believe that tires wider than 32 mm are available for 27" wheels so If you want to go bigger you will have to determine whether 700C wheels will work on your bike since those are slightly smaller than 700C and have many more tire sizes available. However, be warned that you might have problems with the brakes reaching to the rims if you make this switch. Your brake pads will need to drop around 5 mm to reach the 700C brake tracks...make sure there's enough adjustment left on the brake arms to do that. Also, this would require either rebuilding the wheels with different rims and spokes, or purchasing 700C wheels. Most new wheels will be 130mm OLD so you will need to stretch ("cold set") the frame and realign the dropouts to be able to fit the wheels. There are numerous threads and web articles on how to do this. Note that this is not without risk.

Also note that advertised tire width is not the same as actual tire width. I have the aforementioned Sand Canyon tires that are supposedly 27x1-3/8 (i.e. 35 mm width), but they measure out to be the same width as my 32mm Stampede Pass tires.

Last edited by davester; 01-24-20 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:32 AM
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I'd put 700c wheels on there and go with a 33-35mm gravel tire. The ride quality will be worth the effort.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:41 AM
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If the present rims are the Weinmann concave ones, I wouldn't want to put anything wider than 1-1/4" on them.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
Well, there's gravel and then there's gravel. Since you indicate that you are talking about "gravel bike trails", I would think any tire from 27x1-1/4" on up using the original rims would be perfectly fine (for example, the Swift Tire Sand Canyon or Panaracer Pasela). These are roughly 32 mm wide and work well for riding pretty rough gravel roads such as are found on the Eroica rides. If you're actually talking about rough tracks with lots of rocks then you might want something like that Club Roost Cross Terra mentioned above. I ride with guys with gravel bikes who have 32 mm tires.

I don't believe that tires wider than 32 mm are available for 27" wheels so If you want to go bigger you will have to determine whether 700C wheels will work on your bike since those are slightly smaller than 700C and have many more tire sizes available. However, be warned that you might have problems with the brakes reaching to the rims if you make this switch. Your brake pads will need to drop around 5 mm to reach the 700C brake tracks...make sure there's enough adjustment left on the brake arms to do that. Also, this would require either rebuilding the wheels with different rims and spokes, or purchasing 700C wheels. Most new wheels will be 130mm OLD so you will need to stretch ("cold set") the frame and realign the dropouts to be able to fit the wheels. There are numerous threads and web articles on how to do this. Note that this is not without risk.

Also note that advertised tire width is not the same as actual tire width. I have the aforementioned Sand Canyon tires that are supposedly 27x1-3/8 (i.e. 35 mm width), but they measure out to be the same width as my 32mm Stampede Pass tires.
The gravel I'm talking about are well kept converted railroad tracks. The bike has the Panaracer Paselas currently installed, if those are sufficient for gravel paths then the bike is ready as it currently sits.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
The gravel I'm talking about are well kept converted railroad tracks. The bike has the Panaracer Paselas currently installed, if those are sufficient for gravel paths then the bike is ready as it currently sits.
Sounds like you may be good to go already.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Sounds like you may be good to go already.
Well this is going to be much cheaper than I originally thought.
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Old 01-24-20, 10:02 AM
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For a crushed limestone rail trail, 27x1-1/4 Paselas will be adequate. If it has rained recently and there is mud and/or ruts, you might want to go to a wider 700C tire.
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Old 01-24-20, 11:03 AM
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Ive done several gravel rides, and two Eroicas, on my '73 Super Course with Pasela 28s mounted on 700c Mavic MA40s. I've also ridden Gatorskin 28s on gravel. I can't tell much difference. I had two wheels built with CR18s and like the look and they seem pretty robust, but I haven't done gravel on them yet, also with Pasela 28s. Not a fan of 27". There are more tire choices available in 700c, and a pair of long reach Weinmann or Dia-compe, will work, if the standard brakes don't reach the 700c rim.

My '73 Super Course on a recent gravel ride, Sulphur Mtn, near Ojai, CA.

Pasela 28 on Mavic MA40.

Gatorskin 28s on a '78 Super Course.

New CR18s on my Legnano.

CR18 profile with Pasela 28 and Universal centerpulls.

CR18 rim with Pasela 28.
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Old 01-24-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Ive done several gravel rides, and two Eroicas, on my '73 Super Course with Pasela 28s mounted on 700c Mavic MA40s. I've also ridden Gatorskin 28s on gravel. I can't tell much difference. I had two wheels built with CR18s and like the look and they seem pretty robust, but I haven't done gravel on them yet, also with Pasela 28s. Not a fan of 27". There are more tire choices available in 700c, and a pair of long reach Weinmann or Dia-compe, will work, if the standard brakes don't reach the 700c rim.

My '73 Super Course on a recent gravel ride, Sulphur Mtn, near Ojai, CA.

Pasela 28 on Mavic MA40.

Gatorskin 28s on a '78 Super Course.

New CR18s on my Legnano.

CR18 profile with Pasela 28 and Universal centerpulls.

CR18 rim with Pasela 28.
Which model of brake pads are you using? I see they're Kool Stop, but they make dozens of variations. I like the ones on your '78 in the event they're not all the same.

Thanks,

Z
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Old 01-24-20, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Which model of brake pads are you using? I see they're Kool Stop, but they make dozens of variations. I like the ones on your '78 in the event they're not all the same.

Thanks,

Z
These, they come with Shimano modern type pad holders and a spare set of salmon color. I like the dual compound for wet/dry conditions. Amazon has them too, sometimes, for better prices.
https://www.harriscyclery.net/produc...oe-kit-471.htm
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Old 01-24-20, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
What's the widest tire I can fit on the factory rims?
Brake calipers or chainstays will probably be the tire width limiting factor.
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Old 01-24-20, 09:52 PM
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I remember your restoration project from the fall. Fine job and it sounds like your father is enjoying your work. You can't go wrong with the advice given above for tires. There is a 27" tire (630) thread in the stickies. I think the widest available is 35-630. BikeTiresDirect.com has a reasonable selection. How wide a tire you can use is going to be up to the rim, but if you have the concave Weinmann rims mentioned above, the OEM specs are in the attached figure.

I ride the local MUPs (crushed limestone, recycled asphalt) and the county maintained dirt roads with 28-630 or 32-630 tires. In the spring when the path is wet, the slightly more aggressive tread of the Continental Tour Ride (32-630) was more sure-footed. When the path is dry, 28s are fine. I've no experience with the 35mm tires though Spring is coming.


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Old 01-26-20, 06:47 PM
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What are those "local gravel bike paths" like? Are you talking about fairly typical crushed limestone surfacing?
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Old 01-26-20, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Carvingtr View Post
What's the widest tire I can fit on the factory rims?
If they're 27" you don't have a whole lot of choice. See the sticky 27" tire thread. Best bets are probably going to be the Pasela 27 x 1 1/4" which is pretty much 32mm, and the Sand Canyon which may be ever so slightly wider than 1 1/4". No chance for a real 1 3/4" width, that's ancient history. So I'd say get a set of Paselas if you don't already have them and see how it goes. Back in the early 1970s I rode my Paramount on the carriage roads in Minnewaska Park in the Shawangunks on 27 x 1 1/4" tires and it was just fine, and most of the crushed limestone bike paths' surfacing is loads better than those carriage roads were.
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