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Gear Question: 27" * 1" 1/4 tires, tubes and rims in Europe and beyond

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Gear Question: 27" * 1" 1/4 tires, tubes and rims in Europe and beyond

I'm dusting off my pristine 1986 UniVega Gran Turismo for some cycle touring. My local bike shop in Connecticut said he only sells about a half dozen 27" 1" 1/4 tires per year. Does anyone know of availability issues in the US and western Europe?

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27" * 1" 1/4 tires, tubes and rims in Europe and beyond

I'm a fan of classic steel touring bikes and your frame is a nice one. You may be interested in this:

You will be hard pressed to secure 27 inch tires in Europe and even poor quality ones would be a real find. I did a quick check, on the German ebay there are only two Continentals 27 x 1 1/4 for sale. Funny, on the continental webpage they mentioned that they are not available in Germany and overall 27 inch tires are nearly extinct in Europe and especially Germany. They also stress that "the replacement market is almost zero." I also took a look at schwalbe's www. They produced very popular touring tires and enjoy a cult like following. I did not see any 27 inch sizes on their webpage, but some companies are selling them, see

While in Europe, you can mail order products real easy. If you are in the EU, there is no problem with customs and you can get the products in a couple of days.

Switching to 700 c rims you'll have a much wider range of tires. You need to see if your canti brakes can be adjusted to fit. Most of the time they can be, but sometimes it is a problem. I put 700 c rims on my 1984 Trek 520 that was originally built for 27 inch. Had some campy euclid cantis laying around that fit just fine, just a bit tricky to adjust the rear.

If the cantis can't be adjusted you may with to consider a 650b conversion. You may have to drill out holes for caliper brakes. You will need at least a 70 mm reach, Tektro makes good, inexpensive models. Google 650b conversion to learn if your bike qualifies. Here is a good overview:

I am converting my 1980 Mondia Cyclo Cross bike to 650b.

While finding these tires are also a challenge, there are much more readily available. Outside of Europe, I'd make sure that I start with fairly new tires and take a spare. Schwalbe released a line of 650b tires, so there are some real quality ones out there

Hope this helps
Jary Poland via Spokane USA

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Yes, in Sweden you will.

Yes, in Sweden you will. Besides, make your inet search and you will find more…

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changing wheels is easier at home

I started a trip in Europe with a 27 x 1 1/4 wheel ..... and switch to a 700 (622 mm) on the way after too much trouble finding a tyre!

27 x 1 1/4 tyres are difficult to find in France and Italy. UK and Austria made bikes with this wheel size.

Unless you have truly reliable rims, tyres and spokes, go for local standards.

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