If Fat Tire is a beer, then perhaps Skinny Rim could be an energy drink.
Actually, this post is about trying to winterize my new Trek Earl. My plan is to put Nokian Hakkapeliitta 700c x 35mm studded tires underneath full fenders and a low gearing ratio on its single speed drivetrain so I can pedal out of snow drifts and slowly up steep hills.
When I bought the bike, the shop mechanic assured me that I could fit the 35mm tires on the rims that were sold with 28mm tires. Yesterday, I tried mounting the tire, just to see how it would fit.
The rims are stamped at 14mm. Upon researching tire fit online, I found (you guessed it) that Sheldon had a great chart that shows tire/rim compatibility. This chart delivered a bit of bad news, in that my 14mm rims are not depicted holding a tire much larger than 28mm; a difference of 7mm. However, there's a note that says the dimensions depicted may be conservative.
It took a bit of persuasion with a plastic tire lever to get the snow tire on my rim. As I tried to pump it up with air, I heard an odd creaky noise, followed by a loud pop as the tube herniated through an improperly set bead.
I searched my closet and found, thankfully, another tube with a Schrader valve. I made extra special sure that the bead was set as I remounted the tire, as well as spot checked it as I pumped. Finally I mounted the wheel back on the bike to check for clearance.
It looks good!
My question to any readers: do you have experience in mounting wide tires on narrow rims. Is the 35mm on a 14mm pushing it too far? I won't know how the bike feels until I can get the tires remounted and go for a test spin, though I'd feel silly riding a studded tire around in October while it's still 75 degrees outside.
I may consider a brake upgrade, as the check stock brake has no quick release to facilitate tire changes. I put Tektro brakes on my Schwinn Le Tour II, and I like them, so I may consider a similar brake for the Earl.
My next step is to put on a bigger freewheel. I've got a 22 tooth freewheel on the way.
I'm not in a hurry to see the snow, but I'll be eager to give the Earl a whirl.
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