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Can I fit 32mm tyres on a 36mm rim?

Simonlane2Simonlane2 Posts: 4
edited October 2014 in The workshop
Hi. I've got a bike with 36mm rims, currently with 37mm width Conti tyres.
I fancy something a bit narrower, looking at say 35 or 32mm tyres.

Will they fit?

Can I have tyres narrower than the rim, or does that just not work. Any advice appreciated!


  • deswellerdesweller Posts: 5,271
    A 36mm rim is awfully wide - what bike & wheels are they?

    Personally I'd have said that you'd be pushing it a bit, you'd have to be careful about your pressures.
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  • Its' a Ridgeback Velocity SE - A lightish hybrid bike that I use for commuting; mix of road and pretty gentle towpaths / gravel tracks.

    Rims are Alex ACE-19 36h, and current tyres are Continental Contact 700 x 37c.
    Those were fine, but I'd like something a bit narrower just to reduce the rolling resistance a bit; the rear 'squashes' noticeably even when at it's max 85psi.
  • Ahh- I've just checked the spec on the Alexrims website, and measured the bike. The width of the rim is actually 17mm. (I was assuming that the "36h" in the spec was the width).

    So - should be fine with going from 37 to 32mm tyres! What an idiot.
  • Simonlane2 wrote:

    Can I have tyres narrower than the rim, or does that just not work. Any advice appreciated!

    Yes. The width of the tyre when inflated by the inner will push out to the width of the inner rim.

    However you can go too far with a super wide rim and thin tyre as it might not be able to push far enough, though you're should be OK with 35's but not sure on the 32's. Hopefully someone will be along shortly with the same width you run and can set this straight.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • mpdouglasmpdouglas Posts: 219
    Sheldon Brown is a good reference on stuff like this. He has a table here:

    Suggests you are fine with anything between 25mm and 37mm tyre width on a 17mm rim.
    "The Flying Scot"
    Commute - Boardman CXR 9.4 Di2
    Sunday Best - Canyon Ultimate SLX Disc w/ DuraAce Di2
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