Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Myth Busted "There are very few options for 27 inch tires"

On one of the bike mailing lists I frequent a gentleman was building up a old school mixte for his lady friend and wanted suggestions for 27 inch tires, in response several well meaning folks mentioned that there were "very few options" for 27 inch tires.  On other bike forums I have seen this expressed by members urging people working on old 10 speeds to convert them to 700c wheel-sets "so you have tire options".  Now I do not dispute that 700c tires have a tremendous variety of widths and options BUT as one who has spent way too much time searching online for tire deals I can tell you  the 27 inch tire cupboard is far from bare.


You basically have 4 widths to choose from for 27inch tires from a 25c narrow width to 37c fat width -see options below

27  inch size  ISO rough metric equivalent width
27 x 1 630x25 25c
27 x 1 1/8 630x28 28c
27 x 1 1/4 630x32 32c
27 x 1 3/8 630x37 37c


There are a bunch of companies making 27 inch tires including;  Avenir, Bell, Cheng Shin, Continential, Kenda, Michelin, Panaracer, Schwable, and Vittoria to name the big ones.  Just do a search on Amazon and you will see for yourself.

Price Range

You can spend $8 a tire for some Cheng Shin gumwalls or $36 a tire for Continental gatorskins and every where in between.


You want a traditional gumwall, my favorite, you have choices in every size.  I personally like the Kenda K35 which is a great looking tire, sturdy and a very good bang for the buck.
You want a lighter tan than the gumwall but not quite a whitewall then go with a skinwall like the Kenda K36
You want to "pimp your ride" with cool white walls - no worries check out the Schwalbe HS159
Like a more modern stealthy all black look - your covered with something like the Vittoria Zaffiiro

You like color matching the side walls or treads to your bike?  your covered- check the selection from Junky Rusty Bikes
You want something knobby for cyclocross of just winter commuting check out the Kenda K161 I put on the Tiger rebuild


So if you want; skinny or fat, colored or black, hip or retro, road or cross, you have choices with 27 inch tires.  Don't get me wrong 700c is a great size with tons of options just don't convert your old school 10 speed to a modern wheel size out of the misguided notion that there aren't many options for the old school 27 inch tires.  That's just a myth..  As Always....



Based on some comments it appears some folks think that 700c tires and 27" tires are interchangeable, THEY ARE NOT, and if I have said anything here to make you think so I am sorry.  To be very clear 27" tire will NOT work on a 700c rim and a 700c tire will NOT work on a 27" rim. I have tried.  The diameters are too different a 27" tire has a bead seat diameter of 630 and at 700c tire is 622.

If you are in doubt about what  size you currently have look at your rims which usually have a size stamped on them and look at your current tire, in addition to having a size on the sidewall, they should also have the ISO number expressed in (parentheses) as below.

This is a 27 x 1 3/8 tire and the ISO is expressed as width and diameter (BSD) so (37-630) if this were a 700 x 23c tire it would be (23-622).  So step 1 - determine your rim size, step 2 - buy tires that match that rim size, Step 3 - don't let tubes confuse you, since they don't have a bead they can be used in either 700c or 27" and you will see both sizes on the box the tubes come in.

As you can see above the phrase "Get the grip" it shows sizes for 700c and 27", tubes are interchangeable, Tires are NOT.    Again tires must match the rim size. I will close with repeating that 27 inch tires and 700c tires are NOT interchangeable.  Thanks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

1970's (?) Fiorelli Part I

Make: Fiorelli
Model: Unknown
Year:  Unknown
Obtained: September 2012
Found: BikeWorks
Paid: $20.00

 I am taking a break from the curb find Raleigh due to a stubborn #@$% bottom bracket cup and so I thought I would post another bike I am working on in tandem with the Raleigh, a 70's something Italian built Fiorelli.

I found this rough diamond at my favorite haunt- Bike Works and I just couldn't resist it.  It's a bit of a head scratcher; a cottered crank but also Shimano 600 components.

Lots of chrome on the lugs and a crudely welded bottom bracket.

A rather weathered Brooks saddle but wing nut front hub bolts. 

I am not really sure what to think but I am a sucker for Italian bikes and it was only $20 so I figured what the heck!

Based on the condition of the saddle, paint and chrome bits it obviously spent too much of its life outside and I am not really sure how much of it I can bring back to life but its worth a try. At the very least I can create a "shabby chic" Italian commuter for someone, rough on the outside mechanically sound on the inside  Unlike the curb find Raleigh I have been able to take this bike down to the frame and so while I struggle with the Raleigh's BB cup I will begin working to bring this roughed up Italian back to La Vita Dolce.  I am trying to be restrained in this build but I did already decide the headset was too rusty to deal with and have ordered a new Velo Orange Alloy ISO headset.
Time will tell if this project will be folly or fortunate but it should be fun and a learning experience along the way.  Until next time.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.