Brace yourself - this is not normal.

I have an old 22" rim (37-501, 22x1-3/8) and all I can get is skinny tires for it. But I'm an idiot and I really want a wider tire on that rim. I want it so bad I am grasping at straws for ideas.

So here's the thought:

Get a new tire (22x1-3/8) Get a new BMX 22" tire (which is NOT gonna fit my rim)

Cut the skinny one's beads off with about 1" of rubber above it. Cut the bead off the BMX tire very low.

Glue BMX tread to old-school beads.

Viola! a 2" wide tire for the old 22" rim.

Yeah, I know this is nuts. But CAN it be done and become whole again?

Maybe, just maybe, someone here knows if this has ever been done. Please let me know.

  • I don't think getting it wider by that method would work. A similarly contrived plan that I think might work in theory is just get a 24" (507) tire, wire bead, and figure out some way of cutting out a section and either rejoining the bead or transplant a new bead into it entirely, and sew the rest of it together. – Nathan Knutson Sep 27 '17 at 2:02
  • I don't think you're going to have good luck jury rigging a tire even with Nathan's plan. AFAIK, this wheelsize is only used for wheelchairs. Assuming you have adequate clearance, you might want to try to use a different wheel size. – Batman Sep 27 '17 at 2:04
  • Glue is very weak compared to fibers. You need a lot of contact area to make up the difference. I would lap some heavy nylon fabric across the joint, inside and outside glued down with a flexible adhesive. I made this a comment instead of an answer because I have no strong feeling it will work. – Ross Millikan Sep 27 '17 at 2:04
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    501 tyres are very rare for use on bikes. Seraching turns up 25, 32 and 37mm widths with some difficulty. I think you're out of luck. A less dangerous option than the one you suggest would be a wheelchair tyre, but they're not designed for the cornering forces on a bike and tend to run at lower pressue. I wouldn't want to try it myself. – Chris H Sep 27 '17 at 8:35
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    I'm upvoting cos its an interesting question while still being a bad idea. moruyabicycles.com.au/contents/en-uk/d969_22-inch-tyre.html lists this size as "A rare tyre that might be what you need for your ancient bike." and that there are three variants of the same size. So have you considered swapping to a more common and available 20" or 24" rim? Will they fit on your bike? Can you post a photo of your bike to show the challenges you're facing ? – Criggie Sep 27 '17 at 9:31

I don't think what what you are proposing to construct would not be anywhere near strong enough to function properly as a tire.

Tires are not just molded rubber. They are contain a casing of continuous fibers that enables then to withstand inflation pressures and lateral forces caused by cornering.


By gluing parts of two tires together you would not have a continuous casing running through the tire.

  • Ah - yep. Cut the reinforcement and failure becomes too likely. Damn, thougj. wish it could... – 111936 Sep 27 '17 at 3:24
  • Sewing them together could work though. Tubular tires are sewed close too. – Michael Sep 27 '17 at 8:20
  • @Michael no sewing them together is just as bad - the string/rope/twine/leather/wire used for stitching will wear through a heap faster than any other part. Even doing hundreds of discreet stitches (like a surgeon) won't help protect the joint while rolling. – Criggie Sep 27 '17 at 9:16

You can have any tire size shape or colour you want. But you'll pay an incredible amount of money for it.

Companies like Hoosier Tire will make any tire you like. They specialise in vehicles like cars and motorbikes, but money talks if you're paying for a custom build.

I have no experience of the iterative process of tyre design, so you might have to commit to a minimum quantity, or accept the first few might not match the required tolerances.


Another option that may work is dual rims, aka Dualies. Again a concept from the automotive world, this is where two rims are mated to each side of a vehicle's axle, giving four rims and four tyres per axle. The main purpose is increased load capacity, with secondary advantages of spare wheels for flat tolerance, and increased road contact for more grip.

enter image description here

In your case you would want two 22" rims side by side, each with 28 or 32 spokes, laced to a single hub with 56 or 64 holes. This would be a high-spoke-count wheel. I don't think you would have to weld the two rims together, but

Downsides are it would track straight and would resist turning aggressively. Your turns would have to be super slow and vertical, or you have to lean and get onto the inside tyre only, leaving the other suspended in the air. Rim brakes would flat out not work, so you have to have a disk brake.

And your fork and frame clearances would need to be enormous to let two wheel rims and two skinny tyres sit side by side.

Example of dual wheel rims on a bike. This is a custom-built rig for polar snow riding. Chain runs through between the rims so they're separate, but the front rims are together. Tyre pressure is given as only 2 PSI.

enter image description here

From https://gearjunkie.com/4-wheel-bike-antarctica-van-weelden

enter image description here

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    Do you have any examples of dual rims on bikes? – ojs Oct 4 '17 at 20:54
  • Wow. This must be interesting ride. – ojs Oct 5 '17 at 6:54

The only solution I can think of that might have a chance of not killing you would be to take the existing tire, that fits the rim, grind down the tread, and then glue the wider tire around the outside (like retread truck tires.). The obvious weak point is the joint, unless that adds enough in terms of diameter that you don't have to cut the outer tire.

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    How would you inflate the outer tire? – ojs Sep 27 '17 at 17:48
  • You wouldn't. I'm assuming that the difference is small enough that the wide tire would fit over the skinny one. The skinny one sits on the rim bead, has the tube inside it, and holds the air. The outer one is just glued onto it just to provide the wider footprint. – rdl Sep 28 '17 at 20:53
  • Sounds like a retread truck tyre. These just replace the worn-off part of the tyre with a fresh piece - essentially a massive patch over the entire outside. They don't add more area, just replace the bit that has worn off. – Criggie Feb 15 '19 at 0:55

I've just performed a quick search in the country of the bicycles - 22" tyres in 1.75 width are very common, the 1.95 are the widest I've found. All are still reasonably priced (less than €20 a piece). Would that not be wide enough for you?

Apparently the tyres I've found are far to small (44mm in diameter) to fit the OP's rims. The comments below explain the issue. My apologies for false information.

  • There are several different 22" sizes. Are you sure these are the 501mm size the OP asked about? – ojs Oct 4 '17 at 20:55
  • @ojs - good question. I thought the rim size 22" accommodates every 22" tyre (bead size stays the same) while different sizes result in different outer diameter. This approach has never failed on me with 12", 16", 20", 26" and 28". But looking into ETRTO sizes of the tyres I've found they are 47-457 and 52-457 respectively. ETRTO 501 tyres are available but those are advertised as wheelchair tyres. – Mike Oct 4 '17 at 21:42
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    There are also two different 28" rims and at least two different 26" rims. – ojs Oct 4 '17 at 21:44
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    Thanks for pointing it out. I'll keep that in mind. I've already edited my post. – Mike Oct 4 '17 at 21:46

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