I want to buy a road bike for commuting, fitness, leisure, etc. and not for professional racing. However, because I live in a "wet" country, I would like to be able to change the tires into cross tires.

As far as I know, standard road tires are 25mm and standard cross tires are 30mm.

Are there any entry level (meaning less than 2-3K) road bikes that have the frame/fork/brake clearance for the larger wheels?

  • 2
    A touring bike will have "road" geometry but will accommodate wider tires. (And fenders and racks.) Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 1:46
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    @DanielRHicks But touring geometry makes a very boring ride! Don't get me wrong it is great when you have the bike loaded up to the hilt while riding down dirt roads, just uninspiring for most other riding.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 5:55
  • @Rider_X - The OP was asking for a road bike. Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 10:07
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    @DanielRHicks - The OP stated "commuting, fitness, leisure" for which a proper touring geometry (e.g., very long wheelbase and long chain stay) will give a very uninspired ride. It's great for touring with a load, less so for everyday riding. I stand by my earlier comment.
    – Rider_X
    Commented Oct 16, 2013 at 17:37

3 Answers 3


The main thing to watch out for is the brakes, if the comes with V-Brakes or Cantilever brakes, you should be able to run wider tires and fenders.

Typical CX tires are 32-35mm and typical road from 23-28.

The caliper style brakes found on many road bikes will not accommodate the wider CX tires. There are many options under 2-3K, You could even look at cyclocross bikes as many are under the 2-3K in the US. Visit your local bike shop and look at a few options.

A buddy bought a Kona "Jake The Snake" last year and is a very nice bike and under the 2-3K.

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    Easiest is to get a cross bike and put road tires on it. Cross bikes are very similar to "endurance" road bikes, with clearances for larger tires.
    – freiheit
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 4:57
  • The Surly Cross-Check is another great cyclocross bike that's under $1500 USD. I've been riding one for nearly 6 years now – both with cross tires and road slicks – and it's been nothing but a champ all along.
    – Scott
    Commented May 27, 2014 at 15:07

I would look into Raleigh's Endurance and Cyclocross bikes. Both have road geometries with plenty of tire clearance, with many very affordable options.

Also, if your outside the US, canyon has some great options

But here's a full list of 2017 Bikes with road geometries and at least 35mm clearance.


Most road bikes in the "endurance" genre that use canti brakes can typically support up to a 28mm tire. There are some some decent touring tires at that size such as the Conti Ride Tour. It has some tread on it to imrpove grip in wet conditions. The best bet would be, however, to go with a cross or "gravel" bike, as those can typically accommodate larger tires. The Raleigh Willard or Tamland series are decent enough, and the price is right on those.

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