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Old 07-03-17, 07:05 PM   #1
Ballenxj
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26" Wheels & Tires vs 700c?

I thought about the differences for city and touring bikes. Even did a small bit of searching on the subject.
What are your thoughts?
An interesting read on he subject can be found in the link below.
Wheels for Cyletouring - 700c vs 26?
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Old 07-03-17, 07:26 PM   #2
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A bit more searching did reveal a thread on BF about this too.
700C vs. 26"
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Old 07-03-17, 10:29 PM   #3
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In my experience, roads are far from perfect in my city and around it - 26" wheel will have a slightly wider tyre than a 28" one in order to be comfortable enough. Apart from that, pros and cons IMO, 26 vs 28:

- smaller diameter and overall bike size - easier for placing the bike in elevators, carrying over tight stairways
- takes wider tyres usually, so winter cycling first choice for me
- rides a bit slower than a 28" wheel
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Old 07-04-17, 03:03 AM   #4
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No difference for commuting at all.
26" bike is more compact than 28"
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Old 07-04-17, 05:11 AM   #5
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I ride 26" and I'm quite happy with it.

You'll get stronger wheels for the same build, but you'll have a lesser selection of tires. I'm fine with the latter, as I'm partial to Schwalbe, and they make almost all their tires in 26". The exception to this is that some of their higher end tires, like the One, are 700c only.
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Old 07-04-17, 07:29 AM   #6
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-559 vs -622 isn't that big of a deal.

Schwalbe make most tires in both sizes.
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Old 07-04-17, 08:30 AM   #7
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A lot of this is down to preference. The size I'm liking these days is 47 mm tires on 650b rims. I've both my urban bikes set up with that combination. The outer tire diameter looks and feels right to me given my body size and bicycle frame size. The wide tire width lets me ride comfortably on rough pavement and my county's seemingly endless supply of gravel road and double-track.
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Old 07-04-17, 01:48 PM   #8
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Most of my commuting is on 26" wheels with 1.75" tires. Not because I did a lot of analysis beforehand, but 26" is what came with the old mountain bike that I converted to fixed gear, and the ability to run those fat tires with fenders is really great.

Every so often, I'll commute on my 700C road bike with 28mm tires on a nice day for a change of pace.
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Old 07-04-17, 01:55 PM   #9
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to be honest, this isn't a question about tyre diameter/width, it's really about frame geometry.

with the correct frame it's quite easy to run 47-622 or 47-559 and disc brakes.
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Old 07-04-17, 01:57 PM   #10
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Six of one, half dozen of another
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Old 07-04-17, 01:59 PM   #11
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to be honest, this isn't a question about tyre diameter/width, it's really about frame geometry.

with the correct frame it's quite easy to run 47-622 or 47-559 and disc brakes.
To a point. The geometry on small frames gets really jacked up if you insist on those tall wheels all the way down. That's why Surly and some other brands only offer the smaller wheel sizes in their smallest frames.
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Old 07-04-17, 02:01 PM   #12
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To a point. The geometry on small frames gets really jacked up if you insist on those tall wheels all the way down. That's why Surly and some other brands only offer the smaller wheel sizes in their smallest frames.
We're not riding in the TdF, we're commuting to work (mostly.) I doubt that we'd notice the difference day-to-day. Unless, the larger diameter tyre shielded us from elbows.
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Old 07-04-17, 02:25 PM   #13
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We're not riding in the TdF, we're commuting to work (mostly.) I doubt that we'd notice the difference day-to-day. Unless, the larger diameter tyre shielded us from elbows.
Those elbows will get ya!
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Old 07-04-17, 06:01 PM   #14
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For touring especially in multiple countries, I think 26" is the logical choice. Anyplace that has bicycle tires at all will have 26" tires. 700C, not nearly the case. Some countries it may be very difficult indeed to buy 700c tires.
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Old 07-05-17, 01:27 AM   #15
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For touring especially in multiple countries, I think 26" is the logical choice. Anyplace that has bicycle tires at all will have 26" tires. 700C, not nearly the case. Some countries it may be very difficult indeed to buy 700c tires.
I can only speak for EU, Americas and SE Asia/coastal China but every bike shop with a 26"/559 will have a 28"/29"/622/700c tyre.
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Old 07-06-17, 09:17 AM   #16
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We're not riding in the TdF, we're commuting to work (mostly.) I doubt that we'd notice the difference day-to-day. Unless, the larger diameter tyre shielded us from elbows.
No, I disagree. The problem is that with a large wheel it can be impossible to get the handlebar low enough for a smaller rider. Though in many cases the smaller rider in question doesn't notice, and/or claims s/he doesn't care, they still end up riding in an inefficient position that leads to discomfort.
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Old 07-06-17, 09:53 AM   #17
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they still end up riding in an inefficient position
Like I aforementioned, we're not riding in the TdF here, we commuting to and from work.
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Old 07-06-17, 11:01 AM   #18
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Like I aforementioned, we're not riding in the TdF here, we commuting to and from work.
Yes, I know. I do this every day.

In order to get on the bike every day, to look forward to riding the bike, whether it's for a shopping trip, commuting to work, or indeed racing, the bike has to fit. This is one of the most important requirements of any bike.
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Old 07-06-17, 11:12 AM   #19
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I can only speak for EU, Americas and SE Asia/coastal China but every bike shop with a 26"/559 will have a 28"/29"/622/700c tyre.
No that's not necessarily true in the US. if you're bike can only take a tire as large as 700 x 32c, you can have issues finding this tire in many small towns. 26 inch tires are more readily available as are fatter volume 700c tires.
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Old 07-06-17, 07:37 PM   #20
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Yes, I know. I do this every day.

In order to get on the bike every day, to look forward to riding the bike, whether it's for a shopping trip, commuting to work, or indeed racing, the bike has to fit. This is one of the most important requirements of any bike.
Totally agree. A few millimeters makes a noticeable difference, even for just a few minutes ride.
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Old 07-07-17, 11:45 AM   #21
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My old Schwinn Continental (or was that a Varsity?) had 27" tires. So, I never even gave it a second thought when the newer road bike came in 700mm.
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Old 07-07-17, 01:41 PM   #22
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I can only speak for EU, Americas and SE Asia/coastal China but every bike shop with a 26"/559 will have a 28"/29"/622/700c tyre.
Bike shops, maybe. But not every town has a bike shop. If you shred a tire, you need one now. I've never seen 700c tires in Walmart for instance.

The touring journals I've read indicate that when you get down into little villages in Mexico and South America, you'll almost certainly not find 700c tires. Bigger cities will have a proper bike shop that may carry 700c tires.
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Old 07-08-17, 02:58 PM   #23
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I now have an old bike now with 590/ 29 and 584/ 37 rear SA 3, just over 26". Not bad at all, maybe a bit slower. Many new bikes and girl bikes still have them. Nice for city traffic really. I always have and always will consider 559 to be a clown size, that is now finally dying out.
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Old 07-09-17, 05:57 PM   #24
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700c
- Faster
- Handles bumpy roads better, rolls over stuff 26" has trouble with

26"
- Turns faster, which is never a problem in commuting
- You can find an older cheaper 26" bike used easier
- Slightly smaller to fit into your trunk

I would not buy a new 26" bike unless it was the kind of thing where I wasn't going to ride it often and it was super cheap nowadays. 700c is just superior.
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Old 07-10-17, 06:01 AM   #25
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Bike shops, maybe. But not every town has a bike shop. If you shred a tire, you need one now. I've never seen 700c tires in Walmart for instance.

The touring journals I've read indicate that when you get down into little villages in Mexico and South America, you'll almost certainly not find 700c tires. Bigger cities will have a proper bike shop that may carry 700c tires.
I can't speak for SA as I haven't cycled around it that much. However, everywhere in Asia carried both 26"/-559 and 28"/700c/-622.

I can't remember the last time I was in a decent-sized town (bigger than 50k or so) in the US, without a bikeshop.
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