Max. tyre width on racing rims

by cat1commuter   February 1, 2010  

I've been browsing for a set of wheels. They're going to go in a "road cross" (ie: not pure CX) frame, so I was thinking it would be nice to be able to run some fatter tyres for gravel roads, towpaths etc... I'll probably go for a hand-built pair with Mavic Open Pro rims, but was also looking at Mavic Ksyrium Elite and Fulcrum Racing-3 2-way-fit. Mavic say that 28 mm is the max recommended tyre for their rims, but the consensus seems to be that CX types happily run 35 mm tyres with no problems. I downloaded the manual for the Racing-3s, and was very surprised to see that the permitted tyre width is only 23-25 mm, with a "danger of serious injury or death" if exceeded. Thinking it was something about the 2-way-fit rim I checked the manual for the regular Racing-3s, but it says the same. They all appear to be 622 x 15C ETRTO (ie: gap hooks inside the rim is 15 mm). Sheldon Brown has table of safe tyre / rim width combinations, which suggests that 32 mm is fine for a 15 mm gap. So I guess I shouldn't worry. Still, seems a pity that nobody does a 17C rim, which would be fine from 23 to 35 mm.

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there are wider road rims out there - HED's Bastogne and Ardennes wheelsets both have a 23mm rim (measured to the outside edges) which is at least 2mm wider than most road rims, 4mm wider than most.

Having said that i run 28mm tyres on my fulcrum racing 3s, and so far i've managed to avoid serious injury and death. and i've seen lots of CX bikes with road width rims.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7497 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 10:22

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Ive run 30mm Mich-Mud's on open pro's and they are fine but can squirm a bit at very low pressures (youd have to be a featherweight to consider running them that soft tho). Ive got Mavic A719's now and they are quite a bit wider and give a much nicer profile with wider tyres, not good for anything narrow tho, and a good deal heavier!

If your a normal weight id not worry about the OP's, chances are youll never run them soft enough to have a problem.

STATO's picture

posted by STATO [423 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 10:49

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The HED wheels are interesting. Apparently HED are selling the rims separately as "Belgian Rims".

Also Velocity Wheels make a similar width rim called the A23.

Both are 17C, but UK availability seems limited.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1380 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 15:13

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HED are selling the rims separately

they do let other manufacturers license them too, but i don't know of many that do. Industry Nine are the only ones i know of, and you can't get them over here... Thinking

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7497 posts]
2nd February 2010 - 20:14


I got a price from HED for an Ardennes rim on it's own, as I wanted to build it into a Powertap wheel that would match my road wheels. They quoted £199 each for the rim!

I know they are Scandium, but £199 is insane when you consider a CXP33 or Open Pro are well under £50.

It looks like they throw in the hubs for free if you buy the wheelset, as the price I paid would equal the cost of 2 rims and the equally insane price of the DT Swiss aerolite spokes at £3.50 each.

The Ardennes are great wheels though, and a definite upgrade from the R-Sys's they replaced.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [649 posts]
3rd February 2010 - 9:23

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