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Vintage Frame Tire Fitment

Old 12-21-21, 06:29 PM
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Rdmonster69
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Vintage Frame Tire Fitment

I am building a 2001 Litespeed Classic frame. Factory it came with 700x23. I would like larger tires but am unsure of the max size that would fit. I imagine 700x25 would fit OK but would like a little bigger if possible. Im hooked on the fat tires that came on my Trek SLR !!

I am using Dura Ace 9100 rim brakes and plan on getting a set of Dura Ace C40 wheels. I know I can't go big with this bike but am seeking ideas for options.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-21-21, 07:52 PM
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If your frame is anything like mine ('96 Catalyst, 2006 Tuscany) anything bigger than 700-23 is iffy and bigger than 700-25 is likely impossible. Depending on the fork you have it's likely to be equally the limiter.
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Old 12-21-21, 07:57 PM
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Real simple... Measure.
Place wheels into frame, measure your clearance from the rim. Measure width, measure from rim to brake bridge in MM. That will give you an idea on the largest tires you can run. Give yourself 2mm in clearance for safety (If you measure 29mm from rim to bridge, (29-2=27) so for safety go with a 25mm tire.
You sizes are 700x23, 700x25, 700x28, 700x30, 700x33. I wouldn't expect you to need much over that on a Litespeed. If you do, you probably need to reevaluate frame selection.
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Old 12-21-21, 08:12 PM
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Even easier is to try a wider tire and see if it fits. Since tire labels are not measurements and rim internal widths effect tire profile one can't really use measurements as the final word. Shops I have worked in will allow a customer to test fit a tire to see what, in real life with the real rims and frame/brakes, will fit with what clearances. When dealing with tires and it comes down to a couple of mm's only a true trial counts. Andy
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Old 12-21-21, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
If your frame is anything like mine ('96 Catalyst, 2006 Tuscany) anything bigger than 700-23 is iffy and bigger than 700-25 is likely impossible. Depending on the fork you have it's likely to be equally the limiter.
It's probably similar. The fork is modern tho and is sometimes used for gravel bikes so it will be fine. I may put the 700x23 wheelset from my other Trek on just to see what it looks like.
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Old 12-21-21, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Rdmonster69 View Post
It's probably similar. The fork is modern tho and is sometimes used for gravel bikes so it will be fine. I may put the 700x23 wheelset from my other Trek on just to see what it looks like.
There ya go. Your frame, wheels, and whatever you can scrounge up for feeler gauges will tell you way more than we can.
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Old 12-22-21, 08:27 AM
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Switch to tubulars. A 23mm tubular will ride like a 28mm clincher, only better.
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Old 12-22-21, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
Since tire labels are not measurements and rim internal widths effect tire profile one can't really use measurements as the final word.
Andy is exactly right. I had an 1992 Trek road bike that came with 700-25 tires that fit perfectly. When they wore out I replace them with another make of "700-25" tires that wouldn't clear the chainstays near the bottom bracket. That said, every make of 700-23 tires I've installed on my Litespeeds have fit well.
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Old 12-25-21, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
...whatever you can scrounge up for feeler gauges...
Hex drivers are a great tool for this.
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Old 12-26-21, 08:28 AM
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I have a 2004 Litespeed Classic with 700-25 Continental GP5000. They fit with no problem at all. I canít speak about any other brand of tire because Iíve never tried any other tire.
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Old 12-26-21, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Rdmonster69 View Post
I am building a 2001 Litespeed Classic frame. Factory it came with 700x23. I would like larger tires but am unsure of the max size that would fit. I imagine 700x25 would fit OK but would like a little bigger if possible. Im hooked on the fat tires that came on my Trek SLR !!

I am using Dura Ace 9100 rim brakes and plan on getting a set of Dura Ace C40 wheels. I know I can't go big with this bike but am seeking ideas for options.

Thanks in advance.
Iím running 25s (Rubino Pros) on my 2000 LS Vortex with Ouzo Pro fork. With C17 wheels (Campag Zondas) the actual measured tire diameter is 26-26.5 mm. Thatís as wide as I would comfortably go.
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