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I'm a very short woman and, since I wanted a triangle-frame fixie, I used 26" tires and a 49cm frame so it would fit me perfectly. The trouble is my tires are the wider variety. I want to have the slim fixie look, so I want skinny tires, but I can't find them in 26" size.

Are there any solutions?

I mostly want the slim tires for cosmetic reasons. The current tires function perfectly. (Used to to be a messenger, now I just commute) so maybe there are some tires that just have a more "speedy" look to them?

When my bike looks nice I feel good about riding. So, I'm hoping someone can help.

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freiheit is correct, keep in mind that skinnier tires will give a rougher ride if have bumpy pavement on your routes. –  Dana the Sane Nov 14 '10 at 23:35

2 Answers 2

If your LBS doesn't stock speedier/skinnier 26" tires, you might have to order them (either through the shop or online somewhere).

They are a bit less common, but here's four options I found looking at some major tire manufacturer's websites:

  1. Specialized All Condition Elite (26x1.0 available)
  2. Schwalbe Durano 399 (26x1.10 and 26x1.35 available)
  3. Continental Sport Contact (26x1.3 available)
  4. Schwalbe Kojak (26x1.35 available)

Keep in mind:
There's limits to how narrow a tire you can reasonably put on a given rim. If you go too narrow for a given rim, you'll get pinch flats and possibly even rim damage. Sheldon Brown's site has a helpful chart of tire width and rim width compatibility. What is the (interior) width of your rims? Or at the very least, what size tire do you have now?

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Not sure that 1.5 (38mm) or 1.6 (40mm) count as "skinny". –  darkcanuck Nov 14 '10 at 20:57
    
@darkcanuck: you're right. I dropped everything 1.5 and above, found a few more options below 1.5 and put the skinniest tires first in the list. –  freiheit Nov 14 '10 at 21:30

Considering that I have experience riding on Continental Sport Contacts, I can safely say that they're great tires. 26x1.3 and still have the "slick" look you are going for. On dry land, they corner marvelously, and I have yet to slip out on them. The 80 PSI max is more than sufficient to ride quickly, and I have pushed them to at least 90, so I can say that 80 is just a safe estimate. These tires, do lack a little grip in the rain however, but I guess that's why they're called slicks. As for their flat-resistance, I have yet to get a flat on these tires after 1000 miles for the rubber is rather thick where it contacts the ground. I hope that this helps in making your decision.

The image below is an example of the Continental Contact 26x1.3 on my Surly Long Haul Trucker (touring) bicycle. Just to give you an idea of how it looks like. alt text

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