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  1. #1
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    small wheels, big frame

    is it possible to put 20 or 24 inch wheels on a road bike frame without changing the frame or fork? i know that the brake mounts would be useless and the clearance is changed, but i'm ok with that. is it easier, harder, possible, impossible to do it with a single speed or fixed gear?

  2. #2
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmcnick View Post
    is it possible to put 20 or 24 inch wheels on a road bike frame without changing the frame or fork? i know that the brake mounts would be useless and the clearance is changed, but i'm ok with that. is it easier, harder, possible, impossible to do it with a single speed or fixed gear?
    Your bottom bracket would be very close to the ground. You would have better luck going from 26" (ERTO 559) to 24" (ERTO 520 or 507) than from 700c (ERTO 622). Going to a 20" wheel (ERTO 451 or 406) would be unwise.

    If you want a small wheel bike, look for the mini velos -- Dahon makes the hammerhead -- or folding bikes.

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    You could possibly put shorter crank arms on it and help some.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  4. #4
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    Totally possible, as long as the hub width/spacing is similar. SS/FG hubs are usually narrower than geared hubs/dropouts.

    You may have to put on shorter cranks due to having less bottom bracket clearance, definitely if you went from 700c to 20".
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

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    20" on a road bike frame is pretty much impossible without some frame modifications. As in, you can't get cranks short enough to be able to clear the ground.

  6. #6
    coasterbrakelockup lz4005's Avatar
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    If your chainring clears the ground, you can get cranks short enough to work.
    Ride lots, have fun, skid often!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lz4005 View Post
    If your chainring clears the ground, you can get cranks short enough to work.

    That bike is a trailer queen though.

  8. #8
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastershake916 View Post
    That bike is a trailer queen though.
    C'mon, just because there aren't gear teeth all the way around the chainwheel?

    Anyway, that shouldn't matter too much here in alt-bikes. If you want practicality, try the Utility Bike forum.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 09-11-09 at 07:08 AM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfolksmashers View Post
    Thats pretty neat.

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    Senior Member Chacal's Avatar
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    I've slapped 24" wheels onto a old 27" road bike (about a 53-55cm frame) - it worked as long as you didn't lean into corners too much. I think the cranks were just 170s, nothing too long, but they'd strike the ground if you were in the wrong part of your pedal stroke as you turned.

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    everything is possible...

  13. #13
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    You want to build a mini velo? They're popular in Asia. Bikes with a normal frame having small wheels.

  14. #14
    I am Noobert.
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    small wheels, big frame, short crank arms

  15. #15
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    I'd go with 165mm or even shorter cranks. You could put 20" wheels on it but then the crank needs to be proportionately shorter to avoid pedal strike when leaning on turns.

  16. #16
    meb
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    Senior Member meb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastershake916 View Post
    20" on a road bike frame is pretty much impossible without some frame modifications. As in, you can't get cranks short enough to be able to clear the ground.
    Yeah, I once had a flat rear on a road bike, and a broken chain stay on a 20 inch rear recumbent. Got stranded at work one night when the last train home came 3 minutes early. Put the 20 on and pedal clear when going straight, but slightest lean resulted in pedal strike.

    It should be harder on a fixie since you can't coast through a turn to keep from striking the ground.

  17. #17
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    funny I didn't hear anyone mention brakes
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchigirll View Post
    funny i didn't hear anyone mention brakes
    coasta brakes!

  19. #19
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    you need bigger gears too.
    1988 Miele Azsora

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