I have a bike with 27 1 1/4 rims. I plan to buy a pair of Kenda K161 (27 1 3/8) because the roads get really slippery during the winter. Will these tires fit on my rims? I aldo don't want to buy a new 200c wheelset because it's expensive. Another option is DIY studded tires but buying these tires seems the cheapest option. There is a similar question here but the answer isn't really conclusive.

  • That question is you pointed out seems pretty conclusive. 27x1-3/8 should be the same circumference as 27x1-1/4, but the tire will be slightly wider. Whether that fits on your bike will depend on the rim width as well as how much clearance you have. The width isn't that different so the rims should be compatible, and older bikes usually don't skimp a lot on the clearance like newer bikes do.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Nov 25, 2014 at 21:58
  • Should not be a problem, so long as all the components are "standard". Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


Tires that are 27 x anything all have a bead seat diameter of 630 mm, so they should fit on the rim as the tire diameter is the same. (Assuming of course your current tires (27 1 1/4) fit correctly). That leaves the following questions:

  1. Are your rim width wide enough for the wider tire?
  2. Does your frame have sufficient clearance
  3. If you have fenders, do your fenders have sufficient clearance.

The widths of the two sizes in question are 32 mm and 35 mm respectively, which is a small change in width, so it is likely that if again if your current tires (27 1 1/4 tires) currently fit correctly, the slightly wider tires should be fine.

Finally, whether or not the Kenda K161 are appropriate depends on what you mean as "slippery". If "slippery" means wet, then the tire compound matters most (bicycle tires are too narrow to hydroplane), look for soft tacky rubber. If "slippery" means compacted snow, then the lug pattern (see below) could help. If "slippery" means black ice, few if any tires will be sufficient (maybe the Continental Top Winter Contact, but I have never used them). If "slippery" is actual ice, then studded tires are best.

Kenda K161

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