I recently purchased a Japanese vintage early 80s Zunow bicycle. The wheels rim are Araya 27" x 1 1/8 and I need to replace the tires. After some research and recommendation from my local bicycle shop we ordered the Panaracer Pasela but my fork doesn't have enough clearance for them.

Any similar experience or recommendations on other brands of good tires with lower profile I could try?

  • 1
    Any given 1.25" bike tire will have a 1.25 inch internal diameter, give or take a tenth of an inch or so (tire manufacturers are not real precise all the time). What differs most is the thickness of the tread, and the tread adds to the outside diameter. In particular, lugs that stick out sideways can significantly affect the clearance requirements of the tire. Oct 1, 2018 at 12:04

1 Answer 1


There’s really no such thing as a low-profile bike tire, AFAIK. All bike tires take on a circular cross-section when inflated. You’ll need to use a narrower tire. Another more expensive option would be to switch to 700C wheels, which would give you another 4 mm of clearance (and a better tire selection).

Cool bike, btw.

  • I was told some tires are more “round” and true to size while other run more “tall”. Should I look to ignore the size specified on the rim and buy smaller size? First time I deal with this issue.
    – user39540
    Oct 1, 2018 at 9:57
  • 1
    One could also switch to narrower rims. The width of the rim has an obvious affect on the installed width of a given tire, and, generally speaking, a given rim can tolerate about a 30% range in tire width. Oct 1, 2018 at 12:06
  • In this case, wouldn't wider rims have the intended effect? The general point is spot-on.
    – Adam Rice
    Oct 1, 2018 at 12:57
  • 1
    @Sebastien What size are the replacement Panaracer tires? I notice The Pasela comes in 1, 1.125 and 1.25 inch width on a 630mm rim (the actual rim diameter of a '27"' wheel). You could probably drop to the 1" size if you need more clearance. Oct 1, 2018 at 14:47
  • 1
    You would have a better idea than the rest of us how close to clearing the forks your 1⅛" tires are. But presumably yes, you could try 27 x 1.
    – Adam Rice
    Oct 1, 2018 at 15:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.