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My new bike came with rims that have a 23 mm flange distance. There is no hook to hold the tire's bead though. A 32-622 tire (Maxis mud wrestler) is paired with it.

I also got a set of a 28- and a 32-622 Vittoria randonneur tires.

Common knowledge (see link below) says the former wouldn't be safe. I am not entirely convinced that this is always true today.

The 28 likely is too narrow for that rim, is it?

Would the 32-622 do?

photo of the rim flanges

I posted a related question where I tried to abstract the problem to make it more generally useful:

What is the smallest width of a tire for a given rim width?

  • A 23mm rim may be a bit on the wide side for a 28mm tyre! – Carel Aug 20 '17 at 7:32
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Hookless is getting more commonly seen and will probably become pretty normal. More analysis here: http://www.bikeradar.com/us/mtb/gear/article/trail-tech-off-the-hook-40749/ . Basically, the bead lock area of modern tubeless compatible rims diminishes the need for it. For this kind of rim (very short sidewalls, center mounting groove, bead lock), lack of hooks shouldn't be a factor in figuring out what width to run.

What will actually get you in trouble, or keep you out of it, when determining how narrow you can go is how much tire you have overhanging the outer sides of the rim, which protects the rim from dings and scrapes. A reasonable minimum is 1-2mm per side, and never a tire whose inflated width is narrower than the rim. (There are some trends in the racing world to break this rule, but rims suffer as a result.) Internal width is a relevant consideration, especially in gaging how wide you can or should go, but it's not the end-all factor that it's sometimes made out as these days.

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