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Want fatter tires...stick with current wheels or go 650b?

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Want fatter tires...stick with current wheels or go 650b?

Old 12-24-19, 07:06 AM
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FrankTuna
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Want fatter tires...stick with current wheels or go 650b?

I have a Cannondale Topatone AL 105 that I want to setup primarily for commuting and gravel. I currently have Hunt 4 Season 700c aluminum wheels with a 20mm internal diameter. My frame should fit a true 45mm tire...I had Riddler 45s on there but they never seemed to seal properly so I didn't ride them much at all. I'd like to get the fattest tire possible for a comfy commute over rough roads and gravel. I'm tall too if that matters (6'5").

Which of these options do you think makes the most sense? I have a bit of a budget to play with but not looking to spend alot if I can avoid it. Thanks for the input!!
  1. Keep current 700c 20mm internal wheels and ride 45mm tires. Tires will probably end up a bit undersized and rims may be too narrow?
  2. Get 700c wheels with 25mm internal width. Hunt for example has a set around $400. This would be better for 42-45 mm tires which should be more true to size.
  3. Get 650b wheelset with 25mm internal width and run 47mm tires. Hunt has a wheelset for $400 or so. Outside diameter of these tires should be close to a 700x28 and I've spent alot of time riding 28s on this bike so I'm comfortable with that.
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Old 12-24-19, 07:53 AM
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Getting more supple tires will give you more comfort you’re seeking.
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Old 12-24-19, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankTuna View Post
I have a Cannondale Topatone AL 105 that I want to setup primarily for commuting and gravel. I currently have Hunt 4 Season 700c aluminum wheels with a 20mm internal diameter. My frame should fit a true 45mm tire...I had Riddler 45s on there but they never seemed to seal properly so I didn't ride them much at all. I'd like to get the fattest tire possible for a comfy commute over rough roads and gravel. I'm tall too if that matters (6'5").

Which of these options do you think makes the most sense? I have a bit of a budget to play with but not looking to spend alot if I can avoid it. Thanks for the input!!
  1. Keep current 700c 20mm internal wheels and ride 45mm tires. Tires will probably end up a bit undersized and rims may be too narrow?
  2. Get 700c wheels with 25mm internal width. Hunt for example has a set around $400. This would be better for 42-45 mm tires which should be more true to size.
  3. Get 650b wheelset with 25mm internal width and run 47mm tires. Hunt has a wheelset for $400 or so. Outside diameter of these tires should be close to a 700x28 and I've spent alot of time riding 28s on this bike so I'm comfortable with that.
1. 45mm tire on a 20mm rim is just fine (Tubeless I assume from your "seal properly" reference?).
2. I wouldn't bother
3. I would try #1 first. You're just talking about for a commute that includes some gravel, right?
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Old 12-24-19, 09:40 AM
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If you are running the right tire 45 mm should work fine, and your 25 mm rim width is also fine for that size of tire. I run 40 mm wide Clement (now Donnelly) tubeless tires on a 19 mm wide rim and ride on mostly gravel and rough roads and have no issues. They seal fine and I have never had a burp even when I hit a few rough pot holes.

I would agree with the previous comment of possibly running a more supple tire, but before any spending money I would experiment with tire pressure. I run mine at about 45 psi rear and 40 front on rough ground and bump it up to 50 and 45 on smooth surfaces or when I add racks and panniers. I am 180 lbs. Play with the pressure based on your weight and type of riding.
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Old 12-24-19, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
1. 45mm tire on a 20mm rim is just fine (Tubeless I assume from your "seal properly" reference?).
2. I wouldn't bother
3. I would try #1 first. You're just talking about for a commute that includes some gravel, right?
Tubeless for sure. I've had no issues with other tires on these rims, but the 45mm Riddlers were losing 20+psi every night. Didn't inspire much confidence! Maybe I'm over thinking the rim width at 20mm too.

I ride on alot of crappy pavement on my commute and want to do longer gravel rides in 2020 (D2R2 and unPAved probably).

Thanks!
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Old 12-24-19, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Noctilux.95 View Post
Getting more supple tires will give you more comfort youre seeking.
I'm worried about trading durability for suppleness (is that a word?). I ride alot on bad pavement with potholes so I'm trying to find the right mix of comfort and durability. Thanks for the input!
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Old 12-24-19, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeaddiction1 View Post
If you are running the right tire 45 mm should work fine, and your 25 mm rim width is also fine for that size of tire. I run 40 mm wide Clement (now Donnelly) tubeless tires on a 19 mm wide rim and ride on mostly gravel and rough roads and have no issues. They seal fine and I have never had a burp even when I hit a few rough pot holes.

I would agree with the previous comment of possibly running a more supple tire, but before any spending money I would experiment with tire pressure. I run mine at about 45 psi rear and 40 front on rough ground and bump it up to 50 and 45 on smooth surfaces or when I add racks and panniers. I am 180 lbs. Play with the pressure based on your weight and type of riding.
That's a good point with the pressure. I've probably been running a bit high...usually pretty close to the upper limits on the tubeless tires I've been running because I'm tall and about 230 lbs.
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Old 12-24-19, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankTuna View Post
Tubeless for sure. I've had no issues with other tires on these rims, but the 45mm Riddlers were losing 20+psi every night. Didn't inspire much confidence! Maybe I'm over thinking the rim width at 20mm too.

I ride on alot of crappy pavement on my commute and want to do longer gravel rides in 2020 (D2R2 and unPAved probably).

Thanks!
There don't seem to be a lot of options in nominal 45mm width. Maybe try some panaracer gravelkings?
per eg. Mavic's chart for TL, you'll note that a 45mm tire would sit about centered in this chart for compatibility with a 20mm rim (20TC column for hooked bead rim), so this shouldn't be a factor

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Old 12-24-19, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
There don't seem to be a lot of options in nominal 45mm width. Maybe try some panaracer gravelkings?
per eg. Mavic's chart for TL, you'll note that a 45mm tire would sit about centered in this chart for compatibility with a 20mm rim (20TC column for hooked bead rim), so this shouldn't be a factor

This is super helpful...thank you!! I've been thinking about Gravelking SK 43 or maybe Maxxis Rambler 45s. I noticed a big difference in comfort going from 28 to 38...There are plenty of 42mm tires out there...wonder if there's much difference between a 42 and 45?
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Old 12-24-19, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankTuna View Post
That's a good point with the pressure. I've probably been running a bit high...usually pretty close to the upper limits on the tubeless tires I've been running because I'm tall and about 230 lbs.
Weight will make a difference but height won't. I'm tall too.
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Old 12-24-19, 11:46 AM
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I can assure you that you are running the wrong pressure.

For reference when I am doing gravel events I am on 40mm (that measure out to 43mm on my rims) and I am riding 25-28psi at 220 lbs of weight. This is on actual gravel - large limestone chunks. I only mention that because it has come to my attention that many parts of the US consider dirt roads to be gravel.

At that pressure I can't feel a thing. It's like a old school luxury car.

You DON'T need 650b's for your commute. No one needs that for their commute unless their commute is hours long and contains some river crossings. It's all this ridiculous marketing hype. Honestly you'd be better off with some nice tires in a 30-35ish range ridden at the correct pressure. That pressure is not the one listed on the sidewall BTW.
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Old 12-24-19, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankTuna View Post
This is super helpful...thank you!! I've been thinking about Gravelking SK 43 or maybe Maxxis Rambler 45s. I noticed a big difference in comfort going from 28 to 38...There are plenty of 42mm tires out there...wonder if there's much difference between a 42 and 45?
Just saw this - The tires I ride are the Maxxis Ramblers in a 40. They You don't need 45's. The other tire I was going to recommend was the Gravelking SK. Get them in the 35 or 38 and ride the right pressure in them.
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Old 12-24-19, 11:52 AM
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i commute on supple 650bx48 Rene Herse slicks set up tubeless and they are amazing for comfort and traction on a mix of surfaces. Also keeps the geometry closer to the designed tire width of 33c
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Old 12-24-19, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
i commute on supple 650bx48 Rene Herse slicks set up tubeless and they are amazing for comfort and traction on a mix of surfaces. Also keeps the geometry closer to the designed tire width of 33c
What casing do you have on those? From some stuff I've seen, the more supple casings are very comfy but maybe a bit fragile. Have you found that to be the case? Thanks!!!
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Old 12-24-19, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Just saw this - The tires I ride are the Maxxis Ramblers in a 40. They You don't need 45's. The other tire I was going to recommend was the Gravelking SK. Get them in the 35 or 38 and ride the right pressure in them.
I found a boost in comfort going from 28s to Gravelking slick 38s, so that's why I was thinking of trying something even fatter. Do you have a preference in the Rambler vs Gravelking? Thanks!!
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Old 12-24-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by FrankTuna View Post
What casing do you have on those? From some stuff I've seen, the more supple casings are very comfy but maybe a bit fragile. Have you found that to be the case? Thanks!!!
I run the normal tubeless casings, they are thin but not much thinner than tires I use on the rest of my bikes like conti GP4000s. Not much sidewall is exposed during my normal rides with how wide the tread is
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Old 12-24-19, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
I can assure you that you are running the wrong pressure.

For reference when I am doing gravel events I am on 40mm (that measure out to 43mm on my rims) and I am riding 25-28psi at 220 lbs of weight. This is on actual gravel - large limestone chunks. I only mention that because it has come to my attention that many parts of the US consider dirt roads to be gravel.

At that pressure I can't feel a thing. It's like a old school luxury car.

You DON'T need 650b's for your commute. No one needs that for their commute unless their commute is hours long and contains some river crossings. It's all this ridiculous marketing hype. Honestly you'd be better off with some nice tires in a 30-35ish range ridden at the correct pressure. That pressure is not the one listed on the sidewall BTW.
My commute is 26 miles each way and I'm going to try to do it 3 times per week this year starting in April or so. It takes an hour by car with traffic each way, so I don't mind spending 90 mins give or take on the bike! I've got 37mm Riddlers on at the moment so I'll play with the pressure. Thanks for the input!
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Old 12-24-19, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
I run the normal tubeless casings, they are thin but not much thinner than tires I use on the rest of my bikes like conti GP4000s. Not much sidewall is exposed during my normal rides with how wide the tread is
Great looking bike...and not gonna lie, I love the look of some fat tanwalls!!
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Old 12-24-19, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
I can assure you that you are running the wrong pressure.

For reference when I am doing gravel events I am on 40mm (that measure out to 43mm on my rims) and I am riding 25-28psi at 220 lbs of weight. This is on actual gravel - large limestone chunks. I only mention that because it has come to my attention that many parts of the US consider dirt roads to be gravel.

At that pressure I can't feel a thing. It's like a old school luxury car.

You DON'T need 650b's for your commute. No one needs that for their commute unless their commute is hours long and contains some river crossings. It's all this ridiculous marketing hype. Honestly you'd be better off with some nice tires in a 30-35ish range ridden at the correct pressure. That pressure is not the one listed on the sidewall BTW.
So, what are the right pressures for 36mm tires on pavement and dirt roads for a rider who weighs in the low 140s? I am running about 40 psi, but now Im wondering if thats high.
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Old 12-24-19, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankTuna View Post
I'm worried about trading durability for suppleness (is that a word?). I ride alot on bad pavement with potholes so I'm trying to find the right mix of comfort and durability. Thanks for the input!
Unless you're slamming through stuff so hard that you're pinching your tires, tire durability is basically irrelevant for large road irregularities.

Sub-tread puncture-protection layers are useful for stopping stabby things, like goathead thorns. Tough sidewalls are handy for stuff like large sharp rocks offroad where your sidewalls are getting exposed to the riding surface.
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