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I've been lurking for a couple months, but this is my first post and I still have a lot to learn.

Background

I inherited an old hybrid bike (Raleigh Dash EX) and an old stationary trainer, and I would love to find a suitable trainer tire to keep biking inside while it's cold and snowy.

This is my first time picking out a tire myself, so I need some feedback because I'm struggling to answer this question myself.

Here’s my rim (it's a 700c (622)), and the current tire (700 x 38): enter image description here

What's causing some concern for me when picking out a trainer tire is the tire width.

When I've looked at trainer tires, they tend to be much narrower. Examples:

  • Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Home Trainer Fold Tire: 700 x 23
  • Tacx Trainer Tire: 700 x 23
  • Kinetic by Kurt: 700 x 25

The only one I can find of reasonably close width is the Continental Hometrainer Folding Tire (700 x 32).

Question

Does this mean that my best choice of training tire is the Continental because the others are so far off in width from my current tire?

Another way to phrase this agnostic of endorsing a brand/specific tire: If a tire with width 38mm currently works well with my wheel, would it be better to find a trainer tire with a similar width (e.g. 32+ mm) or does the width not matter enough here to make an impact?

I've seen some different advice involving this because 1) if I were on the road, that width difference has the potential to cause rim damage (source), but 2) because I'm on a trainer, the tire isn't really taking much load so it being a perfect width might be less of a concern.

Follow-up related question: I'm assuming with such a big tire width difference from the existing tire, it's likely that I'll need to assess if I need a new tube. Is that a reasonable assumption?

Thank you!!

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    Measure the rim width -- the interior distance between flanges -- and consult this chart: sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#width – Daniel R Hicks Feb 25 at 0:35
  • Any narrowest bald tyre fitting the rim will do. Inflate to max. indicated pressure. If possible find a narrow road wheel that has the right cassette and that is going to take one of those special trainer tyres. – Carel Feb 25 at 8:25
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What's the width of the rim? (Measure it.) So long as the trainer tire is roughly the same width as the rim, or wider, you'll be just fine. You don't have to worry about hitting the rim or pinch flats as you do outside.

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Another way to phrase this agnostic of endorsing a brand/specific tire: If a tire with width 38mm currently works well with my wheel, would it be better to find a trainer tire with a similar width (e.g. 32+ mm) or does the width not matter enough here to make an impact?

That's a pretty wide rim. A 23 or 25 might work, but you won't know for sure until you've tried. And if it doesn't work, you're stuck with exchanging the tire for a larger one.

From the "2719" label, I suspect the rim width is 19 mm, so that's probably a bit too wide for a 23 or a 25 tire.

See What is the maximum or minimum tire width I can fit on my bicycle for some other answers.

So get the Conti 32. Or find a cheap slick tire in the 32-38 range that fits and use that. Just be aware that cheap rubber tires on a trainer won't last long and will likely shed little bits of rubber all over.

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