I am riding a no-suspension hybrid with rigid reinforced fork and 700c wheels. I go on touring trips with very flexible itinerary. I stay on gravel/tarmac/trail 80% of the time but occasionally I like to link parts of the tour by going off-road or on rough trails.
I currently run 700x35C touring tires and I am very pleased with their performance on good surface. However I would like to get some oversized (preferably foldable) tires that I can pack when touring and put on for a day or two during the tour when necessary. Here are some cases from my recent trips when my 35c's felt "not enough" and I wish I had wider tire:
Here are few details:
- Rims are WTB 700C
- Rim inner width measures just under 17mm
- I currently run 700x35C
- Disc brakes, so brake assembly will not be a limiting factor
- Frame and fork will not be an issue as well (both look like they could accommodate 55+ size and still have plenty of clearance)
Rim inner width:
Sheldon Brown says I should not go above 37mm... Yet I know that this bike came from the manufacturer with 47c continentals fitted...
Any advice is appreciated. I would like to hear not only what is OK for this particular case but also what are general considerations. How does one decide when tire is too wide and unsafe.
Additional problem that I am facing is that it is hard to find wider 700c tires. For gravel / hybrid tires advertised as 700c sizes go from 25mm up to 37mm.
For mountain bikes (29 inch wheel) sizes begin at 2.25 inches which is approx 57mm.
There appears to be a gap between 37mm and 57mm and it is very rear that one come across a tire that falls in that gap category. Or am I not looking for a right thing?