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Points to consider before tire selection on frame with narrow stays.

First off, I am on my second set of tubeless tires. First set was the latest IRC Roadlite Tubeless. Will be doing a review writeup soon. Great tires, now am on Hutchinsons. Once you go tubeless, you dont want to go back. Tubeless ride softer and track better. Going back to a Clincher/tube combination, I found the ride harsh, jolty, bumpy, like riding on a rock. Tubeless are well worth the extra $$.

If you don’t have a tubeless wheelset, don’t worry, Stan’s NoTubes has a Tubeless kit and others will be joining soon.

Now, back to the issue at hand. Here’s something to think about when guessing if a tire will fit a frame with narrow stays. There is the initial measurement, as well as a ‘900’ mile measurement.

Let me tell you what happened. R5ca with Dura Ace 9000 wheels – I have Hutchinson 700×23 Fusion 3 tubeless on the front. Hutchinson 700×25 tubeless Intense on the rear. Long story, but I am testing some tire combinations for a client. After 900 miles, here is what they now measure. 700×23 Fusion = 24.4mm wide, 700×25 Intense = 23.9mm wide. How can this be? Turns out the Fusion 3’s swell quite a bit after riding awhile. My guess is that constant 105 psi stretches out the casing. The Intense is a heavier duty tire and doesn’t swell. So, after 900 miles, if I would have put a x23 on the rear, it might now be too wide for the seatstays.

One other thing to consider is that after broken in, some wheels will be skewed to the right slightly and might cause the rear tire to rub more on the right stay. This is due to the drive side spokes are under greater tension than the non-drive side. After breaking in, the rim might be pulled slightly to the right side causing tire to rub right stay. The fix is to tighten the non-drive side spokes 1/4 turn. This should get the wheel back to center.


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