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Finding New 700x21C Gumwall Clincher Tires

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Finding New 700x21C Gumwall Clincher Tires

Old 04-18-24, 05:48 AM
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Finding New 700x21C Gumwall Clincher Tires

Where can one purchase 700x21C gumwall clincher tires these days? (And hopefully for less than car tire costs.)

With my last retro bike build, I bought a pair of Michelin Dynamic Classic tires in 700x23C size which is as close as I could get to what I really want, but even those tires are hard to find. The few tires I've found in a 700x21C size are all black (i.e., no gumwall) which I think looks odd on a retro build. I remember riding even narrower tires than a 700x21C when I was young and couldn't find anything wider, but I'm guessing I'll never find a 700x20C or 700x19C these days. Note that this bike build is going to be largely a wall hanging, so the tire width is more about remembering the past than it is about comfort, ride quality, or speed.

Semi related... 35 years ago, one could hardly find a road bike tire wider than 700x23C at one's local bike shop, now it's nearly impossible to find one narrower than a 700x25C. I wish the bike industry would've discovered wider tires decades ago which would've saved me a lot of physical pain. I now ride 700x32C and love 'em... and I would've considered that a mountain bike tire when I was younger.
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Old 04-18-24, 06:59 AM
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Veloflex makes the Master 20. 20 mm and fairly cheap. I'll have to pick up a set myself.

Veloflex tires
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Old 04-18-24, 07:03 AM
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I have a pair of skinwall Schwalbe Luganos in size 23 if you're interested. Hardly worn, stored way from UV and come with tubes, great for a wall hanger.
Yours for the cost of postage, PM me if you'd like them.
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Old 04-18-24, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Veloflex makes the Master 20. 20 mm and fairly cheap. I'll have to pick up a set myself.

Veloflex tires
Good sleuthing. I also searched, with no success. Cheaper than most car tires, per the OP's stipulation. And very good quality, no doubt. The quality is likely unimportant for a bike that's going to be hung on a wall, but good luck to the OP for finding anything cheaper in that size.
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Old 04-18-24, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Good sleuthing. I also searched, with no success. Cheaper than most car tires, per the OP's stipulation. And very good quality, no doubt. The quality is likely unimportant for a bike that's going to be hung on a wall, but good luck to the OP for finding anything cheaper in that size.
Yes, I believe they're still hand-made in Italy.
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Old 04-18-24, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
Veloflex makes the Master 20. 20 mm and fairly cheap. I'll have to pick up a set myself.

Veloflex tires
I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but many tire manufacturers have "adjusted" their tire sizes to accommodate the greater widths of modern rims. I've had a number that ended up a couple of mm smaller than the marked size when mounted on a vintage rim.

One example is the Veloflex Corsa Evo (formerly known as the Master)... I bought some 25mm versions and mounted them on some Mavic MA-2. These ended up measuring closer to 23mm.




I've seen this on some Continental models too, although their sizing between models hasn't been consistent.

My point... some new 23mm tires may work to replace a 20mm tire on vintage rims, although it would be work to find out which ones would do it.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-18-24, 07:22 AM
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The website confirms that they're hand made in Italy.
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Old 04-18-24, 09:39 AM
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Can't you "remember the past" with a 23mm tire?
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Old 04-18-24, 09:58 AM
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If it's going to be a wall hanger, you might consider used: https://www.ebay.com/itm/294042736274

Fwiw, I think I put a set of these on my Raleigh SuperCourse around 1991 so that I might go "faster."
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Old 04-18-24, 10:44 AM
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I know a guy with some 23s in perfect shape.

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Old 04-18-24, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
I know a guy with some 23s in perfect shape.

You and your love of phat tires.
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Old 04-18-24, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
^
True. My 25mm Conti GP5000 tires measure 23.5 on brand new Sun m13ii rims.
by chance, it was the GP5000 in 25mm that caused me trouble. Mine measured 22.5mm wide on the Mavic MA-2.





The frustrating part was that I had some Conti Grand Prix Classics in 25mm that measured about 26mm on the same MA-2 rims.
I also have some Conti touring tires that measure 3 or 4mm smaller than the labeled size, so I knew that Conti's sizing was sketchy. However, I assumed that there would be some consistency in the Grand Prix family of tires.
I was wrong.
Efforts to contact Conti and get info on their sizing was unsuccessful, despite full cooperation from the US distributors. They all said that Conti was known to be unresponsive to questions.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-18-24, 11:48 AM
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Another vote here for the Veloflex in 20s. I use their tubulars, which really render that classic look.
You can find Vittoria Graphene 2.0's in 23, which likely measure closer to 22, knowing their penchant to "oversize."
They put much larger graphics on their tires, though, so that might turn you off. Available for cheap, nowadays.
Some LBS's may stock old Continental Grand Prix's in 20 - non-foldable or foldable. Haggle the price downward.
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Old 04-18-24, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
^

True. My 25mm Conti GP5000 tires measure 23.5 on brand new Sun m13ii rims.
Wait, I found a pair in my stash!

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Old 04-18-24, 04:31 PM
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Only one.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/27593979932...Bk9SR86Dp7XeYw
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Old 04-18-24, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but many tire manufacturers have "adjusted" their tire sizes to accommodate the greater widths of modern rims. I've had a number that ended up a couple of mm smaller than the marked size when mounted on a vintage rim.

One example is the Veloflex Corsa Evo (formerly known as the Master)... I bought some 25mm versions and mounted them on some Mavic MA-2. These ended up measuring closer to 23mm.

My point... some new 23mm tires may work to replace a 20mm tire on vintage rims, although it would be work to find out which ones would do it.
My Veloflex Master 23s measure 22.4. Close enough in my book.
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Old 04-18-24, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by smd4
My Veloflex Master 23s measure 22.4. Close enough in my book.
The Masters have been out of production for 2 or 3(?) years. The Corsa Evo's use the new sizing standards.
I'm still wondering if the change in the name was just an excuse to use a bigger label or what.

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Old 04-18-24, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
I know a guy with some 23s in perfect shape.

Hold onto them until the marketing geniuses run out of things to sell and tell us narrow tyres are actually faster.
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Old 04-19-24, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy
The Masters have been out of production for 2 or 3(?) years. The Corsa Evo's use the new sizing standards.
I didn’t know there was such a thing as “sizing standards.” I thought there was just “sizing.”
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Old 04-19-24, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by smd4
I didn’t know there was such a thing as “sizing standards.” I thought there was just “sizing.”
As the saying goes "the nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from".

A new standard known as ETRTO (European Tire something something something) came into effect a few years back, in order to account for a move to wider rims for road bikes. Vittoria was one of the few folks to make an effort to explain how this changed how the marked width compared to actual width.


I'm not sure how long it takes for the warehouses to clear out the older tires, but anything made "recently" should be narrower than the equivalent tire produced before ETRTO took effect.

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-19-24, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Wait, I found a pair in my stash!
I'm not sure those tires are still good? Tires "dry rot" over time and should not be used once that gets too bad. The photo of your tires indicates the tires are likely dry rotted as well.

As such, I'm looking for new tires for my restoration build in case I get the itch to actually ride it.
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Old 04-19-24, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by P!N20
Hold onto them until the marketing geniuses run out of things to sell and tell us narrow tyres are actually faster.
I agree that a lot of what we do in cycling seems to be a fad, but I don't think that 100 PSI, pencil-thin tires were ever a good idea on real-life roads. (A velodrome is a different story.) IMHO, the pencil thin tires of the past were the result of "it seems like a good idea for going faster" without actually doing the research.

Up until recently, road bike tire size was limited to a 700x25C (approximately) due to the brake caliper limiting that size. Now that disc brakes are the norm, rims have gotten wider and so have tires... and I'm thankful for it! In the last Tour de France, 700x28C was a common tire size and 700x30C and 700x32C was common on the Paris Roubaix. Where I live in lumpy-road Wisconsin, having wider tires has radically reduced the amount of fatigue on my body, allowing me to ride further w/o feeling like my bike just beat-me-up.

That being said, you don't have to wait for marketers to tell you which tire size is faster... Try different sizes and find out for yourself what works best for you. I've ridden tires from 19C to 35C in width (mostly for light gravel) and for me, 700x32C is a sweet spot between comfort, performance, and handling.
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Old 04-19-24, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield
Where can one purchase 700x21C gumwall clincher tires these days? (And hopefully for less than car tire costs.)

With my last retro bike build, I bought a pair of Michelin Dynamic Classic tires in 700x23C size which is as close as I could get to what I really want, but even those tires are hard to find. The few tires I've found in a 700x21C size are all black (i.e., no gumwall) which I think looks odd on a retro build.
Panaracer Pasela is available in 700C x 23mm and tan sidewall:
https://www.amazon.com/panaracer-Pas...t_sto_dp&psc=1

Last edited by JohnDThompson; 04-19-24 at 10:14 AM. Reason: https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81amTxYd69L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
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Old 04-19-24, 04:01 PM
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I recently got these Panaracers in 70x23 and they're supple and look the part...

https://www.amazon.com/panaracer-Tir.../dp/B07X7JH12K
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Old 04-19-24, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield
due to the brake caliper limiting that size.
I dunno, looks like plenty of room to me.

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