Q&A - Rubbin' rubber

I want to use bigger tyres on my hardtail, but there's not quite enough clearance for the edge knobs

Q. I want to use bigger tyres on my hardtail, but there's not quite enough clearance for the edge knobs. Presumably the soft rubber will just wear away quickly where it touches the frame and the tyre will then fit, or am I wrong?

Chris 'Mum Candy' Denning, via email

 

A. Until recently we thought that tyre rub on a frame would just wear out the rubber and maybe some of the paint, but certainly wouldn't damage the frame. We now have a titanium hardtail with a crescent sliced through the chainstay in under an hour by a soft compound Kenda. Seeing how soft the tyre was and how hard the metal was, we hate to think how fast a harder tyre would go through a soft alloy frame. In other words, don't squeeze that rubber in as it'll ruin your frame.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK
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