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Modern tires on vintage rims -- argh!

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Modern tires on vintage rims -- argh!

Old 11-28-23, 11:00 AM
  #1  
John E
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Modern tires on vintage rims -- argh!

I have read about others sharing my frustration in trying to mount new tires on older rims.

Does anyone have some good recommendations for rim-tire combinations that would actually facilitate emergency flat repairs on the road with simple tools? (I can tell you what doesn't work at all.)

I need 700Cx26 (actual size, so 700Cx28 Contis or others that run smaller than callout size would be fine) for the Bianchi.

I also need 700Cx32 and 700Cx35 for the Carlton and the Capos, all of which have more generous clearance than the Bianchi.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:37 AM
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For me the rim profile and rim tape have more effect than the tire. Rims with a shallow bed and thicker rim tape reduce the slack in the tire when getting near the end of mounting the bead. I don't have any specific recommendations though as I haven't bothered to try to convert this observation into my purchasing habits.

The Kool Stop tire jack is relatively lightweight although a little bulky. I might just start bringing it with me on longer rides. It doesn't really make mounting the tire that much easier than a normal tire lever but it does remove the possibility of puncturing the tube with the lever on a difficult mount.
​​​​​​
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Old 11-28-23, 11:40 AM
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Conti 4000s and 5000s are no problem to install on Mavic Open Pros - that's my go-to combination. Those same tires are quite difficult to install on Super Champion Gentleman rims (on my Eroica bike), but I solve that by carrying a Kool Stop tire bead jack in my pocket, which makes installation doable if not exactly easy-peasy. I also use steel levers to get tires off the Gentleman rims - I've snapped one too many plastic levers.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:48 AM
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I think by experience that fresh foldable tires are going to be Tire Jack time to install.
over a month or so of inflation, not allowing to drop pressure very low, the aramid fiber bead cores stretch, Kevlar, vectran all creep under load.

a few months later much much easier, early on? I feel for you.
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Old 11-28-23, 11:51 AM
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I did alright with Conti Grand Sport Race. 28mm tires measured around 26mm or 27mm on some vintage rims. Capable of mounting them w/o help of levers or jacks, though of course with some effort.
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Old 11-28-23, 01:12 PM
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Ditto on the Conti’s, although IME the 4000 series was easier to mount (and wider once on the rim) than 5000’s.
I find Gravel Kings (the no-knobbie ones) to be an easy fit on any rim, at least in 26, 32 and 38mm sizes. As in hands only, no levers. They run pretty true to slightly narrower on every narrow vintage rim I’ve tried including Open Pro/Reflex/SUP and H + Son. Except Wolber Concaves. Those have been sent far, far away to annoy someone else to distraction.
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Old 11-28-23, 02:41 PM
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I, also, have found Gravel Kings easy to mount. One of my favorite tires, Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance, are also one of the easiest to mount tires, as well as having an outstanding ride quality. The downside is that the pricing has gotten quite high. I buy them only if I find a good reduced price.
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Old 11-28-23, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
For me the rim profile and rim tape have more effect than the tire. Rims with a shallow bed and thicker rim tape reduce the slack in the tire when getting near the end of mounting the bead.
​​​​​​
This. Shallow-bed rims like Mavic MA-40 and MA-2 paired with thick Velox rim tape make mounting any tire really tough. I found that switching to thin nylon rim tape or even reinforced packing tape made mounting any tire much easier.
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Old 11-28-23, 03:12 PM
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I have some René Herse Stampede Pass (700c x 32) mounted on Super Champion 58 rims. They weren’t hard to mount at all and definitely not a problem to repair out on the road.
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Old 11-28-23, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rccardr
Ditto on the Conti’s, although IME the 4000 series was easier to mount (and wider once on the rim) than 5000’s.
I second that. GP4000's are easier to mount and also more comfortable riding, than the GP5000
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Old 11-28-23, 03:35 PM
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VAR tire levers work well for tough to mount tires. I’ve used them to mount 2.1 Velociraptors on 14mm Matrix Mt.Titan rims. Used strapping tape for rim tape. Kool Stop Tire Jack works well also.

Personally folding tires seem to be a bit easier. Plus over time most tires can be removed and re-mounted easier than initial install.

John
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Old 11-28-23, 04:18 PM
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A spray bottle with soapy water works great and makes mounting tires easier. ,it also helps with not pinching the tube. Technique helps too , I use 2 Pedros levers to mount them and that usually works fine. .

Im not familiar with the Tire Jack thing.
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Old 11-28-23, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread
For me the rim profile and rim tape have more effect than the tire. Rims with a shallow bed and thicker rim tape reduce the slack in the tire when getting near the end of mounting the bead. I don't have any specific recommendations though as I haven't bothered to try to convert this observation into my purchasing habits.

The Kool Stop tire jack is relatively lightweight although a little bulky. I might just start bringing it with me on longer rides. It doesn't really make mounting the tire that much easier than a normal tire lever but it does remove the possibility of puncturing the tube with the lever on a difficult mount.
​​​​​​
I don't leave the house without a KoolStop tire jack.
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Capo: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger (2), S/N 42624, 42597
Carlton: 1962 Franco Suisse, S/N K7911
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1982 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
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Old 11-28-23, 05:54 PM
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Kapton tape is what I use now. Two layers/runs around the rim. It's worked well. A definite help to old MA2/MA40s with Velox tape previously. Saves weight, too, lol. A trick I've forgotten about that I've used effectively is using a light coating of (Phil) grease on the inside of the tire/tire bead to get the last ~8" to slide up and and over the rim. This is more an issue of rims with machined sidewalls that are extra grippy.

GP5000 28mm tires run about 25mm at ~75-85 PSI on vintage rims, so you should be good there.
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Old 11-28-23, 06:25 PM
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I do not understand the fascination with the Conti GP 4000/5000 tires.

they have a terrible ride.

try the Vittoria Corsa - really like them. Zero flats and easy to mount.

remember you want to get the bead in the "well" of the rim as you mount the tire to give enough slack

Just don't get the "tubeless ready" model

/markp
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Old 11-28-23, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
I do not understand the fascination with the Conti GP 4000/5000 tires.

they have a terrible ride.

try the Vittoria Corsa - really like them. Zero flats and easy to mount.

remember you want to get the bead in the "well" of the rim as you mount the tire to give enough slack

Just don't get the "tubeless ready" model

/markp
I found gp5000 to ride almost as well as the Vittoria, but i had huge flat problems with the Corsa. I think is really is ymmv
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Old 11-28-23, 08:15 PM
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I agree i think the 5000's ride really well. knock on wood no flats so far.
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Old 11-28-23, 08:43 PM
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I recommend this website for getting tire info: https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com

You can see a fair amount for free, but I pay for the BRR subscription (membership), which I find to be quite reasonably priced. BRR doesn't have reviews on every tire, but they do have a lot of good info available.


For getting modern 700C racing tires to fit more easily on tighter vintage rims, I first pre-stretch the new tires on modern wheels which have slightly smaller diameter 700C rims: I first install the new tires and inflate them to 110psi, and leave them for three days. I then decrease the pressure to something more reasonable for storage (~40psi) until I reinstall the tires to use. I find that that the high-pressure storage for three days stretches the kevlar bead a bit. The new tires can then be 'reasonably' mounted on a vintage Mavic MA2 rim by using a Var tire jack or similar assist tool. The Kevlar bead will also stretch a bit more over time and use, so that hand (re-) installation does become possible after a while.


On BRR, I've read good reviews on about the Michelin Power Cup clincher. I've also read good reviews on the PC tire from Spanish web store Bike Inn. Other users stated that the Michelin tire is easier to install and also rides more nicely than the Conti 5000.


I've purchased one pair of Michelin Power Cup (tube version) clinchers in 700x25, which I've not ridden yet. The tires have a 2022 manufacturing date code. After three days of stretching at 110psi, the new tires measure 24.8mm wide x 23.4mm tall, when installed on a Mavic MA2 rim. The MA2 rim has an inner width of 13.5mm.


The Vittoria Corsa 2.0 clincher (700x25, also tube version) measures 24.7mm wide x 23.7mm tall. The tire is new, pre-stretched for three days, and also installed on a Mavic MA2 rim.


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Old 11-28-23, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by RiddleOfSteel
Kapton tape is what I use now. Two layers/runs around the rim. It's worked well. A definite help to old MA2/MA40s with Velox tape previously. Saves weight, too, lol. A trick I've forgotten about that I've used effectively is using a light coating of (Phil) grease on the inside of the tire/tire bead to get the last ~8" to slide up and and over the rim. This is more an issue of rims with machined sidewalls that are extra grippy.

GP5000 28mm tires run about 25mm at ~75-85 PSI on vintage rims, so you should be good there.
Interesting, I can pretty much get as much Kapton tape from work as I want, hadn't thought about using it as rim tape.
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Old 11-28-23, 09:04 PM
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I have Panaracer tires on most of my bikes. I run both 700’s and 27” wheels. The Gentleman Super Champion wheels don’t give me any trouble with road side flat repair …with one exception ….my Colnago! Same wheels / tires that I have been using on my other bikes , but man they are stubborn. I am able to mount the tire with the plastic levers , but it ain’t easy. I have come to terms with the situation as I have learned to take small steps towards the last few inches. I haven’t measured the inflated width of the 25’s but they seem narrow. I don’t know if Panaracer offers a 23 . My 1978 Raleigh Pro has clearance issues and I am running Michelin Classics gum wall 25’s with a little room to spare , I would not be running 28’s on that bike because it is just too narrow at the chain stays.
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Old 11-29-23, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by dphi
Interesting, I can pretty much get as much Kapton tape from work as I want, hadn't thought about using it as rim tape.
I use the 5/8" wide stuff, which is less readily available it seems (YMMV), but it does a good job of covering spoke holes, even on wider modern rims like TB14s and Brevets.
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Old 11-29-23, 05:36 AM
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https://ezclincher.com/

Easier to carry in a pocket than the Kool stop jack
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Old 11-29-23, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by daverup
https://ezclincher.com/

Easier to carry in a pocket than the Kool stop jack
Will either tool take a tight tire off?
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Old 11-29-23, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
Will either tool take a tight tire off?
Not that I can tell. Levers only there, as far as I know.
The bead jacks just make mounting easier with less pinch risk.
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Old 11-29-23, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
remember you want to get the bead in the "well" of the rim as you mount the tire to give enough slack

Just don't get the "tubeless ready" model

/markp
This can't be emphasized enough. It doesn't seem like it should help that much, but pushing the bead on the side you are mounting towards the center of the rim makes a huge difference in the ease of mounting those last few inches. I've been quite surprised by the number of quite knowledgeable folks who don't know to do this.
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