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I have a set of rims which state their size is:

26 x 1.50/1.75

Which I believe means I could take tires which are any:

  • 26 x 1.50 (40-559)
  • 26 x 1.625 (44-559)
  • 26 x 1.75 (47-559)

The new tires I am going to buy are relatively stiff / tough, but I also frequently have to do roadside tire pulls and tube repairs.

Which size tire would provide the easiest hand-pull off and on the rim, the largest or smallest available size?

  • You should probably tell us a little more about your punctures - you really shouldn't be getting enough that it matters in most conditions. – Chris H Jan 9 '17 at 17:30
  • @ChrisH, the punctures are typical city riding fare (Queens NYC) on very cheap multi-purpose "big box store" tires. As the bike lanes are often on the main roads, but barriers prevent street sweepers, they are full of glass and metallic fragments (particularly in more industrial areas with many trucks). Since I began tracking my rides, I have had a total of 4 flats in some combined 330 miles. Plan to buy "flat-less" tires to combat this (Schwalbe). – nicholas Jan 9 '17 at 19:05
  • Consider carrying some light tyre levers on your bike, along with pump and tubes. – Criggie Jan 9 '17 at 19:33
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    The difficulty of getting a properly-sized tire onto a rim is not really dependent on the width of the tire, within reason. Some brands/styles of tires (especially "heavy duty" ones) are simply more difficult to mount than others, and there can also be a slight variation in rim size. Plus, heavier/thicker tubes make mounting more difficult, especially if the tube is, say, a 1.5-2.0" tube going into a 1.5" tire (vs the same tube going into a 2.0" tire). – Daniel R Hicks Jan 9 '17 at 19:37
  • @nicholas and I thought our roads were bad. I usually run anti puncture but one of my bikes has some cheap tyres with liners and they've been fine for say 500 miles so far. – Chris H Jan 9 '17 at 19:43
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I actually run two tyres identical except for the width, and when I first fitted them it made no difference at all to the difficulty. My situation is a little different: they're marathon plus 28 and 32 mm (700c).

There's much more variation between brands, types, and maybe even batches, with anti puncture tyres generally harder to get on/off than cheap multi purpose tyres and some coming up big, some small (which makes a big difference)

To be honest though, if the time to take a tyre off and change the tube is significant, something else is wrong. I've just had my first puncture in over 3000 miles on fairly rubbish tarmac, for example.

  • Good to hear. I have gotten quite fast at pulling my tires, but this "skill" is probably better attributed to their age and general softness. I suppose in this case I will be going for the "largest that will fit", the 1.75". – nicholas Jan 9 '17 at 19:10
  • The time to change out a tube becomes significant when flats occur so rarely that you forget how. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 9 '17 at 23:08
  • @DanielRHicks, true and it will vary between people but still once or twice a year should be plenty to keep your hand in. I don't know how much the OP rides but for me since my commute got shorter that would be around one a week. Certainly worth doing something about. But I think everyone agrees that anti puncture tyres are a good idea - that seems to be where the OP was starting from – Chris H Jan 10 '17 at 7:03
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    @ChrisH - With good tires (and not terribly bad roads) it's easy to go a year or more (your 3000 miles) between flats, even if you're a reasonably regular rider. You forget the "tricks of the trade". – Daniel R Hicks Jan 10 '17 at 13:12
  • @DanielRHicks I swap on winter tyres so that's 2 changes per wheel per year as a baseline. I don't know if I brought bad luck on myself with my previous comment but I've had my 2nd puncture in less than a week, having gone years since the last. – Chris H Jan 10 '17 at 13:41

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