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Old tourer and tire size limits

Old 10-31-22, 07:52 PM
  #1  
Steve B.
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Old tourer and tire size limits

I had the good idea to install larger tires on my '98 Miyata City Liner tourer. Ive been using Marathon Supreme in 32mm, wanted larger to handle gravel rail trails and roads, so purchased same tires in a 38mm.

Then discovered that my 20 year old SKS fenders would not work with the 38's. A bit of research shows me that SKS makes a lot of different fenders for assorted tire sizes and I apparently had legacy fenders for a narrower tire size.

Well, OK, I get a set of new fenders for 50mm tires. Front installs no issues, plenty of clearance. Rear not so great. Issue is the lower mounting point at the B-bracket as well as the seat stay mount are seemingly too limiting for these newer fenders and I've got tire rub on the fender. It seems like the lower and seat stay mounts are designed for narrower tires as well, almost like wide tires were just not used 25 years ago when this bike was designed.

Anybody ever encountered this ?
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Old 10-31-22, 11:49 PM
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i'm sure many have had similar problems, and shirley have workarounds.

post some photos.
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Old 11-01-22, 07:19 AM
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My light touring bike frame was advertised as having room for 45mm tires. It also was suggested that if I wanted fenders, a 45mm wide Planet Bike Cascadia fender was what they suggested. They never said that a 45mm tire does not fit in a 45mm fender, but I knew that. I am using 37mm tires inside Planet Bike 45mm Cascadia fenders. They are about the max that will fit, their website says that my Schwalbe tires are 2mm too wide but they work.
https://www.planetbike.com/cascadia-...s-700c-x-45mm/

That said, I do not know if those fenders will fit your frame and I do not know if they will fit your 38mm tires.

I have no connection to the company, only citing what I have on that bike.
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Old 11-01-22, 07:38 AM
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this is pretty typical for bikes of that era, and some newer bikes too, the rear end is usually where the limiting factor is. I have the same issue with a very similar era mountain bike, it can just take 2.5 in tires in the front, but total no go at the rear end.

too late obviously for you, but taking the bike to a store to get an idea of what fender could fit would have been better. I personally wouldnt have tried 50mm fenders for 38s, but then again, you probably were always going to have issues with this frame and its constraints.

I don't have links, but I have seen people who have done workarounds, like Mr Sores mentioned. Try looking up examples of where fenders have been trimmed down, or even cut in two pieces to avoid or minimize the fender in the tight area--but I suspect you may be up against a given amount of space, but only you seeing it in person will know how much wiggle room you have to try different things.

You could at least take the bike to a store and see how 35mm (ish) fenders fit, or at least get a better idea of what room you'd be dealing with for finding workaround solutions.

if interested, put up a good clear photo showing how much room you have with the 38s on, showing all the clearances you are dealing with.

I assume you won't be able to return the 50mm fenders, so up to you if you want to attempt doing a carving job on them if you can find examples of what others have done, but this shirley will involve improvisation with mounting methods.
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Old 11-11-22, 06:19 PM
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Haven't encountered it yet, but might soonish. 🤔 I'm actually going to be pretty new to fenders, but I've seen the wisdom of using them long ago. 😉

My Soma Saga is supposed to take 700x47s, and I have a 700x 42 on the back so far. It looks like there's a lot of room, lol, but what do I know? 🙄😁
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Old 11-11-22, 07:03 PM
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The fender was not the issue, the bottom bracket mount was a problem, too close to the tire. I ended up mounting the fender on the b-bracket side of the mounting hole, and installing the mounting bolt from the front, the head of the bolt interfered with the tire if it was on the rear side. Theres just enough clearance for the tire. I suspect the tires of the day in 1998 would have been 32-35 mm tops, these are 38.
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Old 11-12-22, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The fender was not the issue, the bottom bracket mount was a problem, too close to the tire. I ended up mounting the fender on the b-bracket side of the mounting hole, and installing the mounting bolt from the front, the head of the bolt interfered with the tire if it was on the rear side. Theres just enough clearance for the tire. I suspect the tires of the day in 1998 would have been 32-35 mm tops, these are 38.
Take a few photos to illustrate what you did and the clearance you have, both from the BB area as well as the side clearance.
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Old 11-12-22, 10:05 AM
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Here's a few photo's. #1 attempts to show the fender at the bottom bracket mount, Not a ton of clearance and no way to install the bolt back to front, which is the easiest access method. i also installed some rubber spacers to position the fender away from the tire. #2 shows the bolt head on the b-bracket side of the vertical mount. I had to trim the fender to fit it forward of the mount. #3 shows that there is reasonable clearance at the brake bridge on the seat stays. #4 is the view of the lower fender mount at the b-bracket area. Miyata installed a bracket welded between the chainstays to have a vertical mount for the lowest fender mount position.




Last edited by Steve B.; 11-12-22 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 11-13-22, 02:22 AM
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For the place where the fender mounts behind the bottom bracket and onto the chainstay bridge, you can get a spring steel clip to put onto the fender and then that clip snaps over the chainstay bridge.



Cheers
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Old 11-13-22, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I had the good idea to install larger tires on my '98 Miyata City Liner tourer. Ive been using Marathon Supreme in 32mm, wanted larger to handle gravel rail trails and roads, so purchased same tires in a 38mm.

Then discovered that my 20 year old SKS fenders would not work with the 38's. A bit of research shows me that SKS makes a lot of different fenders for assorted tire sizes and I apparently had legacy fenders for a narrower tire size.

Well, OK, I get a set of new fenders for 50mm tires. Front installs no issues, plenty of clearance. Rear not so great. Issue is the lower mounting point at the B-bracket as well as the seat stay mount are seemingly too limiting for these newer fenders and I've got tire rub on the fender. It seems like the lower and seat stay mounts are designed for narrower tires as well, almost like wide tires were just not used 25 years ago when this bike was designed.

Anybody ever encountered this ?
I've got a City Liner, and am running Schwalbe 40mm Little Big Bens. I think my fenders are 55 mm SKS. I had to straighten and re bend the fender tab on the dynamo mounting plate to get enough clearance for the tire diameter. All the clearances are pretty tight, but the only problem has been when I ride through soft tar and pick up a layer of gravel, temporarily making a horrible sound.
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Old 11-13-22, 08:26 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Here's a few photo's. #1 attempts to show the fender at the bottom bracket mount, Not a ton of clearance and no way to install the bolt back to front, which is the easiest access method. i also installed some rubber spacers to position the fender away from the tire. #2 shows the bolt head on the b-bracket side of the vertical mount. I had to trim the fender to fit it forward of the mount. #3 shows that there is reasonable clearance at the brake bridge on the seat stays. #4 is the view of the lower fender mount at the b-bracket area. Miyata installed a bracket welded between the chainstays to have a vertical mount for the lowest fender mount position.
hey there, finally had time to look at this properly. Thanks for photos.
Ya, it seems that you found a good method with the rubber spacers and trimming the fender to at least get it forward more.
It really does seem that the immovable object is the welded vertical bracket and that is the roadblock that you just cannot physically change the distance between this and your tire right?

At first I was. going to suggest using zipties to hold the bottom part of the fender in place, as 1- I have done this on a fender with one of those clip things the other guy showed, and it kept popping up and loose on my wifes commuter bike, so I drilled a small hole in the fender and could run two small zip ties through it and around the part of the frame with the hole in it to run a fender bold through (first wrapping it with electric tape to protect paint).
If this would gain you a mm or two maybe that could help, but it looks like the vertical bracket is the limit of clearance between tire and this bracket--plus you've already run the bolt from the other way, so I assume there is not any part of the bolt sticking out near tire.

other than removing this vertical bracket, I can't see how you can gain more clearance.
Am I understanding this all right?
The photos are good, its just not clear to me with the tire in place where the vertical bracket is, but seems that this is the roadblock.

Oh, do you have sufficient side clearances? Look up recommendations but I reckon you'd want a good 5mm for any out of true wheel situation from a broken spoke.
Cant tell from your photos.
cheers
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Old 11-13-22, 10:07 AM
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Can't say what the clearance is, might be about 5mm, it looks OK and a test ride showed no issues.

It really does seem that the immovable object is the welded vertical bracket and that is the roadblock that you just cannot physically change the distance between this and your tire right?

That is correct. That is the primary limitation to the tires, but as I found a workaround, all is OK. I would suspect that as this bike is Miyata's "City Liner" it might have been designed as a commuter, not a full blown tourer. It has all the needed eyelets for front and rear panniers as well as fenders and has a bracket on the drive side seat stay for a generator. It also has 44cm chainstays so makes a perfect tourer and is how I use it, the attempt to move toa big tire was the only issue I had run into And, Yes, Zipp ties would have worked as well, especially the heavy duty 1/4" versions.
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Old 11-13-22, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Can't say what the clearance is, might be about 5mm, it looks OK and a test ride showed no issues.

It really does seem that the immovable object is the welded vertical bracket and that is the roadblock that you just cannot physically change the distance between this and your tire right?

That is correct. That is the primary limitation to the tires, but as I found a workaround, all is OK. I would suspect that as this bike is Miyata's "City Liner" it might have been designed as a commuter, not a full blown tourer. It has all the needed eyelets for front and rear panniers as well as fenders and has a bracket on the drive side seat stay for a generator. It also has 44cm chainstays so makes a perfect tourer and is how I use it, the attempt to move toa big tire was the only issue I had run into And, Yes, Zipp ties would have worked as well, especially the heavy duty 1/4" versions.
Ya, I guess 5mm is enough. I'd have to look at some of my bikes to see, but while its rare for a broken spoke, its generally better to have at least reasonable clearance.
Your workaround did the job, if ever you do use zipties on other bike bits, I'm always amazed how even the small ones can last and last and last. Super tough doo-dads overall.
I too have an old hybrid commuter that is like your bike, very versatile with eyelets and rides well with heavy stuff on the bike. These are great, useable, versatile bikes.

I guess if you really needed to, you could file down the vertical support a bit, to gain some tire clearance if need be.

Oh--I would highly recommend taking out the bolt and putting a good amount of heavy automotive brake grease or something on all of the threads, just to make it easier in the future to get it out again, as it will get wet all the time and rust. I have some copper whatchamacallit heavy grease (toothpaste consistency) for stuff like this, that holds up over lots of time and wet. I know some folks use wax on fender mounts too, just to avoid corrosion and stuck in bolts.
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Old 11-13-22, 10:28 AM
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you could get a bracket for quicky-release type fenders......clamp attaches to the seat tube.
won't use the chainstay bridge at all, just plug the hole.

wallyworld sells one version. you could prolly find dozens in the local family-type bike shop junk bin.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/AOOOWER-B...c-T/1099782481
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Old 11-13-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
you could get a bracket for quicky-release type fenders......clamp attaches to the seat tube.
won't use the chainstay bridge at all, just plug the hole.

wallyworld sells one version. you could prolly find dozens in the local family-type bike shop junk bin.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/AOOOWER-B...c-T/1099782481
No need. I pretty much resolved the issue, it was mostly a question to more learned folks as to whether it seems that older tourers were just designed with more limitations it seems, tire size being one of them. thanks though.
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Old 11-14-22, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
...it was mostly a question to more learned folks as to whether it seems that older tourers were just designed with more limitations it seems, tire size being one of them.
Oh, yeah. My 1982 Santana tandem was designed for 27x1 1/4 tires. There was no concept that one would fit anything larger. I converted it to 700C, but still couldn't mount anything larger than a 700x32. I have a 1984 Trek 620 frame here you might get a 700x38/no fenders in, but heaven help you if a wheel went out of true.
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Old 11-14-22, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
I had the good idea to install larger tires on my '98 Miyata City Liner tourer. Ive been using Marathon Supreme in 32mm, wanted larger to handle gravel rail trails and roads, so purchased same tires in a 38mm.

Then discovered that my 20 year old SKS fenders would not work with the 38's. A bit of research shows me that SKS makes a lot of different fenders for assorted tire sizes and I apparently had legacy fenders for a narrower tire size.

Well, OK, I get a set of new fenders for 50mm tires. Front installs no issues, plenty of clearance. Rear not so great. Issue is the lower mounting point at the B-bracket as well as the seat stay mount are seemingly too limiting for these newer fenders and I've got tire rub on the fender. It seems like the lower and seat stay mounts are designed for narrower tires as well, almost like wide tires were just not used 25 years ago when this bike was designed.

Anybody ever encountered this ?
very, very common problem
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Old 11-14-22, 12:53 PM
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I do like the old steel tourers for their style, and often times, value. Usually much cheaper than a new equivalent tourer. I don't like the fact they are old though, having snapped 3 1980's steel mountain bike frames (all at different points on each frame) in the last decade.

To the OP; it is the nature of the beast with these older touring frames and tire size limitations, which is another strike against them (if you need or seek to use a fatter tire)
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Old 11-14-22, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
I do like the old steel tourers for their style, and often times, value. Usually much cheaper than a new equivalent tourer. I don't like the fact they are old though, having snapped 3 1980's steel mountain bike frames (all at different points on each frame) in the last decade.

To the OP; it is the nature of the beast with these older touring frames and tire size limitations, which is another strike against them (if you need or seek to use a fatter tire)
I agree with you Prairiepedaler 100%. Virtually all (as in the vast majority) of 70's, 80's and 90's road bikes, including touring and sport touring bikes, are mostly limited to 27 1/4 or 700x32; and that's not including fenders. It was a very different landscape back then in terms of tire choices and preferences. You can sneak a few millimeters of clearance by switching to 650b wheels; which I've done on my 1974 Masi GC so I could use fenders and 700cx32 on the mean (and wet) streets of Seattle.
But cyclists back then rode millions of miles loaded down on 27 1/4 or 700x32 tires and somehow survived . With proper bike handling skills one certainly can ride the rough stuff with skinnier tires, one might just have to go a little slower on the really bumpy parts.
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Old 11-14-22, 02:24 PM
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A lot of folks rave about the 1982-85 Trek 720/728 as a prime example of the touring genre. This was Treks top of the line touring bike, full Reynolds 531 double butted (oh yeah), silver soldered, Campagnolo dropouts, a very nice production frame. But the 82 model was spec'ed with 700c x 32 tires. The later models came with 27 x 1/4. Which of course is laughable nowadays. But that's just the way it was back then.

source:
https://vintage-trek.com/images/trek/Trek3.pdf
https://vintage-trek.com/images/trek/85TrekTouring.pdf
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Old 11-14-22, 11:01 PM
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Good job. I like the bolt head on the inside. For some bikes it gives a bit more clearance to get the wheel out. likely that old bike too.
Easier to clean and dry the puddle splatter. I live in an apartment, so I shove a rag in the gap, then the tire rolls the rag around.
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