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Do bigger bicycle tires need new bicycle rims

Do bigger bicycle tires need new bicycle rims

If you are interested in changing the feeling of riding, you can consider installing larger bicycle tires on your bike. However, before making any changes, you should consider whether you need to replace the larger bicycle tires with new rims. Do you need new bicycle rims to fit larger bicycle tires? If you want larger diameter tires, you need to buy new compatible rims. If you only want larger tires, then your existing rims may work properly.

Buying larger tires for your bike shouldn’t be that complicated. However, there are some differences between one type of bicycle tire and another, so making the right choice is not always easy. The bike you own and how you ride will influence your decision. The rim of your bike will also affect your choice. However, in the final analysis, it depends on whether you are looking for larger diameter tires or wider tires.

bicycle rims

Can you put larger tires on the same rim?

Bicycle tires and rim sizes are designed for compatibility. There is an obvious difference, but in a larger diameter size and a larger width size. You should first understand how tire size works.

Tire diameter size

Bicycle tire diameters can be measured in nominal (traditional) or actual (ISO) dimensions. The nominal size is more ambiguous, making you feel the relative size, but will not tell you whether the tire is compatible with your rim. The International Standards Organization has adopted a system to make diameter dimensions clearer.

Called the real tire size, the ISO diameter description is represented by two numbers-the inside diameter, or more strictly, the diameter of the tire bead (in millimeters) and the width of the tire when it is fully inflated (in millimeters). The bead of a tire is the part that connects to the rim, so the real tire size depends on the so-called bead diameter (BSD).

Nominal size

There are many different sizes of bicycle tires. If you have an older bicycle, the size is even more confusing. Even more confusing is that before the introduction of the ISO standard, each country and most bicycle manufacturers had their own tire sizing methods. This creates a situation where tires of the same size are known by different numbers in different countries. To make matters worse, tires of different sizes that are not interchangeable are usually marked with the same number.

The traditional tire size measurement system is based on the measurement of the outer diameter of the tire. This is usually measured in inches (26, 27, etc.) or millimeters (650, 700, etc.).

With the development of bicycle riding styles and tire manufacturing, the measurement of tires and rims has become more confusing. For example, the length of a bicycle tire is 26 inches and may have been adjusted to meet customer needs for lighter, faster, or larger and stronger. Therefore, even if it is still considered a 26-inch tire, the outer diameter may be between 24-7/8 inches and 27 inches.

ISO size

The European Tire and Rim Technology Organization (ETRTO) developed a system in the late 1970s to make tire dimensions more consistent and clear. Their diameter size indicates the size of the rim, not the outer diameter of the tire. This makes the ETRTO system the most reliable guide for determining which tire fits which rim.

ISO has adopted this system for worldwide use. ISO tire size is described by two numbers-the first number defines the width of the tire (in millimeters), the second number defines the diameter around the inner edge of the tire (BSD), also in millimeters. For example, ISO size 25-622 describes a tire width of 25 mm and a bead diameter of 622 mm. The ISO size will be printed on the sidewall of the tire or molded into the rubber.

The key ISO dimension is the three-digit number or BSD. BSD is the most important metric, it determines whether a given tire and rim are compatible.

Typical tire diameter

There are six common sizes of tire diameters used on standard adult bicycles today:

ISO 559-This is the size used by most mountain bikes and some hybrids. Generally, any 26-inch tire with a decimal width is ISO 559. For example, 26 x 1.0 or 26 x 1.75.

ISO 571-This tire diameter is used for smaller road bikes and triathlon bikes. It is mainly used for competitions. It is also called 650C or 26 x 1. Certain Schwinn bicycles, exclusively marked “Schwinn 26 x 1-3/4” on the tire sidewall, also have the same BSD as ISO 571.

ISO 584-also known as 650B, 26 x 1-1/2 or 27.5, is used on most mountain bikes and is the standard size for most French multifunctional bicycles, heavy touring bicycles and tandem bicycles. The 27.5-inch version is a wider multi-section tire and also offers an ISO 584 bead set diameter.

ISO 590-Tires of this size are common on most British three-speed bicycles and are used on some cheap 10-speed bicycles. It is equivalent to 650A and 26 x 1-3/8. This is a popular tire size in Japan.

ISO 622-is also considered 700C or 29. This is most commonly used for modern road bikes.

ISO 630-This is an older size, also known as 27, but many bicycles are made with it, so it is still easy to buy today.

Tire width size

Unlike tire diameters, bicycle wheels can handle a range of different widths. Therefore, it is not absolutely necessary to replace tires with tires of exactly the same width. As long as your bike has enough clearance to handle larger sizes, there are some advantages to using wider tires.

Wider tires will have a larger contact area. It will provide better traction, less rolling resistance, slightly improved flat resistance and a more comfortable ride experience. For most popular tires, there are a variety of widths to choose from.

bicycle rimsTypical tire width

In the past, most rims designed for road bikes were relatively narrow, with an internal width of 0.5 inches or about 14 mm. In recent years, rim and wheel manufacturers have increased the width of rims to improve aerodynamics, so it is not uncommon to see rims of 17 mm or close to 0.75 inches. Even the narrower rims can accommodate tires of 32 mm or 1.25 inches wide, but a typical road bike does not have enough clearance to handle such wide tires, especially when using rim brakes.

The typical width of city bikes and touring bikes is 32 to 38 mm (1.5 inches). Most mountain bike tire widths are specified in inches. For off-road and forest road bikes, it usually ranges from 2 inches (approximately 50 mm) to 2.4 inches (approximately 70 mm), while endurance and downhill bikes will have wider tires .

The most common road riding width has historically been 23 mm, although in recent years more bicycles have been equipped with 25 mm (approximately 1 inch) tires. These widths are the most recommended tires for recreational road cyclists. The width of 25 mm is very suitable for long-distance riding because it will provide a more comfortable riding experience.

For self-supporting travel, wider tires are preferable because the increased load can be distributed over a larger contact area. This will improve handling and reduce the occurrence of flattening. If your bicycle can hold it, use tires that are at least 28 mm (slightly more than 1 inch).

Many touring and hybrid bicycles will be equipped with wider tires-up to 47 mm (nearly 2 inches) wide. These wider tires will definitely provide a more comfortable ride, so if comfort is your top priority, it’s a good idea to stick to these wider tire widths.

For mountain bikes, wider tires (2 to 2.5 inches) will provide more air volume, which is good for riding on loose roads. It can also prevent pinching on very rugged terrain. If you are riding mainly on hard dirt roads, narrower tires (1.5 to 2.2 inches) will reduce weight and provide better performance.

bicycle rims

Tire width problem

Keep in mind that not all rims and bicycle frames accept all possible tire widths. Usually increasing the width by one or two will work, as long as your frame can accommodate the larger size.

If the installed tire is too wide for the rim, the tire shape will become too tall and round-just like a lollipop or a light bulb. Then it becomes too soft at the top because the shell is restricted. You will get more tire roll, which creates greater leverage on the tire, causing the shell to collapse and roll over the rim, especially when making sharp turns. Too wide tires will reduce traction and corner stability.

Reasons for changing bicycle tires

There are actually two main reasons why you need to change your bicycle tires:

Your tires have worn out.
You are not satisfied with the handling or riding style of your bicycle.
How to identify worn tires
Bicycle tires wear out in many different ways, but a common sign that needs to be replaced is that they will continue to blow out. This happens because the tread is too thin to protect the inner tube from sharp objects you have ridden.

Check it when you have a new tire so you can recognize what a good tread looks like. Keep checking the depth of the groove and pay attention to your pedals. This way, when the groove starts to disappear, you know it’s time to change the tire.

For most road bikes, the tread wear on the rear tires is approximately 1,500 to 3,000 miles, and the tread wear on the front tires is approximately 2,000 to 4,000 miles. The rear tires wear faster because 60% of your weight falls on the rear tires.

Flattening is another sign of wear. This mainly occurs on the rear tires, as the top of the tread becomes flat after driving for several miles. The tires are not so fast after they are flattened. If you continue to ride on the tire, you will eventually wear the tread and expose the threads of the shell below it.

Tires will wear out with age. If you store your bicycle for a long time, be sure to check the tires before riding. The tread will not wear out, but it may harden and crack. In addition, the outer shell (or side wall) may have rotted, cracked, or delaminated. All of these can cause serious tire blowouts.

Replace tires to improve ride quality

Sometimes, you will want to change to the perfect tires because they don’t feel right or you are riding the way you like. This is common for off-road riders who need to ride a specific type of ride on a specific route. But this is also true for people who want a more comfortable ride in everyday use.

Increasing the tire width will not only provide a more comfortable ride, it will also make you feel safer, because the traction will be better and the chance of flat tires will be less.

As long as you pay attention to the correct diameter of the rim and make sure that your frame has enough clearance, you should be able to fit larger and wider tires on your bike without any problems.

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