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Martin Heckscher

Hi Paul,

The 20″ tyre issue is a big problem.

Yes, Coker & Simplex tyres are available but in my experience they aren’t very grippy! Within the last two or three years Avon made a limited batch of 3.25/3.50 x 20 original pattern SM rears one of which I fitted to a Velo. But it was horrid, very high profile and very “square” in section, with very deep treads, OK for a tourer perhaps but very far from sporty. I ended up by swapping my 20″ rear wheel for a 21″ (see below).

I have a similar problem with my TT Rep currently fitted with a 20″ rim but the ancient tyre is not long for this world, though strangely it grips well. It seems to me that the options are:

1. Fit a “new old stock” tyre – but it may well be age hardened.

2. Depending on the bike:

Fit a 21″ rim (perhaps better for your Sprint) and fit to this a modern enduro front tyre (it must be fitted backwards i.e. the opposite of the marked direction of travel). Both Avon and Continental make suitable tyres. The man at Avon says you should check this with your insurance company! I’ve had a Continental like this on the back of the Sprint for several years and it’s been very impressive.

Or, again depending on the model, go for a 19″ rim. As far as I can see, this was a manufacturer’s option when new on the TT Rep, and probably others too. There are plenty of choices of rubber in the 19″ size.

I’d be interested to hear which way you go on this. How is the Sprint project progressing? Feel free to phone me if you want to discuss the tyre question further.

Best wishes
Martin Heckscher