I've got a set of fairly wide road tyres (32c) on my charge plug. I'm looking to move to 23c. My current rim (inside) width is 22mm I've heard of some dangers of narrow tyres on wide rims, but no one has been specific or had any hard evidence of problems. Has anyone heard of any problems or had any troubles? As far as I can think, logically there shouldn't be any?

  • It is not logic it is physics. If the tires is not wide enough to protect the rim it won't.
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 21:43
  • You should, of course, see what your current rim width is. There is a fairly wide variation in rim widths for tires that wide. Commented May 16, 2015 at 23:31
  • @DanielRHicks Really 13 and 15 is fairly wide variation?
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 1:43
  • @Blam - It's 15 to 19 by Sheldon's chart, and I've seen rims out to about 23 used. Commented May 17, 2015 at 2:48
  • @DanielRHicks Old, tired, crazy. Read the question. "Move to 23".
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 10:27

1 Answer 1


If you at the Sheldon Brown tire width chart, you can see that there's only 1 width listed where 23 and 32 are recommended. On that page, he says using too narrow a tire can result in pinch flats and rim damage. If you think about the extreme case, where the width of the rim is almost as wide as the tire flattened out, then you wouldn't have much cushion between the rim and the road.

What is your reason for wanting to go with such a narrow tire? Wider tires are more comfortable and offend have less rolling resistance. the advantages of narrow tires are lighter weight, and more aerodynamic. however, the aerodynamics only matter at very high speeds, and a good quality 32 mm tire won't be that much heavier than a 23mm one. If you want to go a little narrower, you should probably try 28 or 25 at a minimum. A lot of racers are using 25 mm tires now.

  • 1
    Some people like to punish themselves with narrow tires. Some people eat painfully spicy chili peppers.
    – Nik
    Commented May 16, 2015 at 23:47
  • Thanks! I had a look at Sheldon brown. It's just a matter of cost - my father has a pair of new 23c tyres and my current tyres have huge tread on them - and now the weathwew is improving I wanted to switch
    – tomandco
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 8:21

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