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I used my old Trek mountain bike last winter (Helsinki, down to -25C, lots of snow) for commuting to work (8km each way, roads) but it probably needs too many repairs to be worthwhile.

I got a new sports hybrid thingy (Crescent Zetta) in the summer, and it might be ok for winter use with some studded tyres. It has disc brakes and 32-622 tyres. I don't know the size of the rims.

I have 26" Nokian Hakkapeliitta W106 studded tyres for the mountain bike, which were very good last winter. These obviously won't fit on the Crescent's bigger 28" wheels, but the W106 also comes in 37-622 (700x35c).

Would 37-622 tyres fit in place of 32-622 tyres or is it too big a difference?

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It depends on your rim width. If the the existing tires seem relatively narrow compared to the rims then they should have no problem accepting the wider tires (though if you had rim brakes you could have brake clearance issues, and you could still have fork clearance issues). If the existing tires are already bulging out quite a bit on the rims, however, the larger tires might be a problem. –  Daniel R Hicks Dec 3 '11 at 5:03

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You'll probably have lots of room. Mountain bike frames generally have lots of room in the fork and stays for various sized tires. But it would be best to measure it.

The supposed size difference in your tires is 5 mm, so hypothetically you would need more than 2.5 mm of clearance on either side between the tires and the forks on the front and back of the bike. However, you will absolutely want more than this amount of clearance for several reasons.

  1. advertised tire widths are not necessarily accurate. It could easily be off by a milimeter or two. Especially if one tire is lugged and the other is not.
  2. Tires will move around a little when you are riding. If it's only clearing the fork / stays by 1mm in the stand, it will definitely make contact occasionally while riding.
  3. If you have fenders, be very wary. Fenders are often designed to only fit a certain tire size. Be extra careful measuring clearances here.

So I would only recommend investing in the sidegrade if you have 1cm clearance right now, or more.

As a more general answer for this question to others seeking similar information, you should also check that the brake arms will clear a wider tire. It shouldn't usually be a problem with cantilever brakes, but with calipers a wider tire is often not going to fit. It's not an issue for Hugo because he is running disc brakes.

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Thanks, so it's more a matter of clearance than rim size in this case. I bought the tyres and they fit just fine, but I had to remove the mudguards. –  Hugo Dec 16 '11 at 10:42
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I also later found some good advice and safety tips from Peter White Cycles, see How to fit the fat ones. –  Hugo Dec 16 '11 at 10:48

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