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I need to replace the front wheel on my E-bike (2016 Batavus Razer, original wheel is 622 x 15C Rodi in 6063 alloy, 36 spokes, 'V' shaped rim profile) I believe Rodi supplied Batavus with wheels for several years, but unfortunately I don't live anywhere near Netherlands, and can't find a suitable wheel with 36 spokes and a Rim width anything less than 622x19.

Brakes are Magura HS-11 Hydraulic, adjustable so should be possible to fit a wider wheel rim. The tyres are 40-622 / 700 x 38C Schwalbe Marathon Plus. (Editor: these are hydraulic rim brakes.)

My question is - what would I need to be aware of, if I decide to fit a wider rim front wheel?

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  • I took the tyre off the old wheel today, as was hoping to reuse the tube on another bike (hybrid), but was surprised to find the bike shop had fitted a Conti 47/62 MTB tube! Quick inspection showed that the inner tube had prominent indentations from the spoke housings, no surprise as it was pinched into such a narrow rim. So new rim / tyre / tube combination will be: Vuelta 622 x 19 (with a decent rim tape)/ Schwabe 40-622 / Schwabe 28/47 - 622/635. Sep 11, 2022 at 16:13

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You should read the terminology index article on tire clearance, but there are additional considerations.

It could be useful to know what external rim widths the HS-11 calipers can handle. Note that you indicated that the internal width of the original rims is 15mm, implying an external width around 20mm. A rim with 19mm internal width is probably around 24mm wide. The calipers would need to be adjusted for sure. I would assume they can handle that, but they don't explicitly state a range of widths. For example, Shimano's R8000 rim brakes are officially rated for external rim widths between 20.8 and 28mm. (The latter is very wide indeed, and few rim brake rims of this width even exist anymore.)

The wider rims should make your current tires fit slightly wider, i.e. maybe more like 40mm. Chances are your frame has clearance. One thing you can do is to take an 8mm allen wrench, and stick it between the widest part of the tire and the closest part of the frame or fork. Your bike may have come with fenders, so you might want to consider that. Why 8mm? ISO standards specify (I believe) a minimum of 4-6mm of clearance between tire and frame or fork. If an 8mm allen key fits now, then with a 19mm internal width rim, you should still have enough clearance.

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  • Thanks for a detailed response, the terminology page was really useful. I tracked down technical specs for the Magura HS11 brakes - "rim width min - max" is 18 - 28 so the wheel I'm looking at (Vuelta 622x19, external rim width approx 24mm) would be OK. The Magura brake shoes can be adjusted inwards by at least 2-3mm each side. Sep 11, 2022 at 16:13
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Be aware that Magura hydraulic rim brakes are phenomenally strong.

As such, you will want a stronger/thicker rim-brake track to extend their lifetime. You cannot use a rim for a disk brake.

Also, it might end up that you can't get a wider tyre through the rim brake when its fully inflated. Not a big deal but annoying if you've pumped it up with a minipump and then remembered.

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    That's a nonissue on Magura hydraulic rim brakes. They have a quick release mechanism, where you can disassemble half of the brake and then you have no issue getting the wheel back in. At least that was my experience with them compared to some V brakes.
    – Arsenal
    Sep 5, 2022 at 6:44

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