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Old 06-16-06, 08:02 AM   #1
CrosseyedCrickt
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700c vs 26"

Is there any advantage of using one wheel over the other when it comes to commuting assuming both have the same width of tire?
I'm looking at setting up a commuter specific bike instead of using my current MTB for my 20 mile round trip and have the option of getting either a hybrid with 700c rims and 38mm tires or using another mountain bike with 26" rims and 1.5" tires and am wondering if there is much of a "real world" advantage of using one over the other.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:06 AM   #2
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I basically asked the same question here.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:15 AM   #3
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I don't think it matters much. Personally, I would choose based on your height. I like 26 inch tires on a small framed bike and 700c's on a large framed bike. I just think it looks more "in proportion".

The other factor might be which direction you would go if you changed tire widths. 38mm is kind of the intersection of the widths common in the two tire sizes. In this hypothetical change, would you go skinnier or fatter? If skinnier, choose 700c. If fatter, choose 26 inches.

Probably the MTB would occupy a smaller footprint in the garage. The hybrid's handling might be a little less twitchy if the wheelbase is longer.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:15 AM   #4
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For a 20 mile round trip, I'd lean toward 700C, but I find 38C too wide. Is that your choice, or just what comes with the bike? I would use a 28C, or even narrower if you're light or your local roads are smooth. tgarcia2's thread hits on all the major 700C vs. 26" points, so definitely look there. Consider your route, quality of roads, etc.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:20 AM   #5
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With the tires being the same width and all else being equal, there is no perceptible difference.

However there are a few factors... based on information culled from forums etc.

1) Extremely slight preference to 26" for less wind resistance.

2) Extremely slight preference to 700c since it has to rotate slightly less, so less bearing resistance.

3) Extremely slight maneuverability improvement with 26" due to smaller diameter

4) Extremely slight better ability for 700c to deal with road imperfections due to larger diameter.

So... Basically, my understanding is that with everything being equal, you won't be able to tell a difference. However, bikes built for 26" and 700c are rarely identical.

You might make the best choice by exploring the other differences between the bikes you are considering and pretty much ignoring the wheel size.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:22 AM   #6
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I was in a bike shop a week ago that I've been trying to check out for a couple of years. They had a Titus titanium hardtail, going back to 325 tubes--because they were less brittle--tricked out with interlaced diamond shapes that had been laser cut through the tubes and filled with carbon fiber.

Light and looked good too. However, even more interesting to me were the 29" wheels. Something to consider.

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Old 06-16-06, 08:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkrobe
For a 20 mile round trip, I'd lean toward 700C, but I find 38C too wide. Is that your choice, or just what comes with the bike? I would use a 28C, or even narrower if you're light or your local roads are smooth. tgarcia2's thread hits on all the major 700C vs. 26" points, so definitely look there. Consider your route, quality of roads, etc.
It is more of a choice by force. My weight + really bad roads = thin wheelset destruction. I used to have a 700c bike but after 3 rear wheels later I got an MTB. Now my weight is down by 50lbs but I am steer weary of the thinner tires on a thinner rimset combo. (I am slightly under 300lbs now).
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Old 06-16-06, 08:33 AM   #8
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Wow, after reading the other thread all I have to say is:
asked and answered

Now I can make my decision more informed, too bad though that I can not afford one of those Trek Sport Urban Bikes
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Old 06-16-06, 08:36 AM   #9
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1.5 width on either rim should be fine for you.

One advantage of 26 that I didn't mention... they are supposed to be a little stronger due to reduced diameter (assuming similar spoke count and configuration).

My Sedona has carried me 2000 miles, including two metric centuries and I just recently had the first spoke replacement... and I think I rode it for a while before my LBS mechanic noticed it and replaced it. I replaced the stock tires with 1.5" Serfas Drifters about 1000 miles ago, and they are doing fine.

With that said, I am a little bigger than you (hopefully we are both headed in the right direction) and I plan to start riding my touring bike with 27 X 1 & 1/4 tires within the next few weeks (still need to finish a few tweaks)... I am avoiding my classic bike with 700x25 until I get below 220, but I think the 27" should do well.

I started riding at 365 pounds, and to be honest, I wish at times I had bought the Cypress instead of the Sedona. The only real difference is the Cypress uses 700C rims. But, I saw a 2 year old Cypress DX for $125 on CL, and I didn't bother because I am confident I wouldn't notice a difference in the actual ride.
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Old 06-16-06, 08:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgregory57
1.5 width on either rim should be fine for you.

One advantage of 26 that I didn't mention... they are supposed to be a little stronger due to reduced diameter (assuming similar spoke count and configuration).
I concure. I feel that 26" wheels are stronger than 700c, especially if the rim is deep and they are hand built.
On my Giant Rainier I egged the rear Rhino Lite 32h and kept popping spokes on my 36h Mavic (open pros I believe).
But once velocity laced me up a 36h cliffhanger I haven't had a problem in almost a year and I have put this bike thru hell.
A handbuilt 36h wheel is a goooood thing.
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Old 06-16-06, 10:31 AM   #11
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I have both 26x1.5 and 700x38 wheeled/tired bikes. And I can tell you that there is a noticeable difference in ride quality over the same stretch of bad road. The 700's roll over bumps and through potholes alot better than the 26's. So If you have less than idel roads and are tall enough to fit a bike with 700's, I'd go that way.

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Old 06-16-06, 11:16 AM   #12
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I find that no matter how much I work on it my pedal stroke with 26 inch wheels and slicks is a little choppy.

The main advantage with 26 wheels in my experience is that they are pretty bombproof and stay truer, but like others have said a quality handbuilt 700c wheel is a wonderful thing.
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Old 06-16-06, 12:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
But once velocity laced me up a 36h cliffhanger I haven't had a problem in almost a year and I have put this bike thru hell. A handbuilt 36h wheel is a goooood thing.
MUCH agreed. I have a 32H Velocity CliffHanger wheel on a IRO fixed/fixed MTB hub. That wheel is indestructable (and it was cheap!)
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Old 06-16-06, 12:38 PM   #14
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In support of my point that it depends on the frame size, I just want to point out that the Surly Long Haul Trucker is available to fit either 26 inch or 700c. LHT frame sizes 42-54 use 26 inch wheels. LHT frame sizes 56-62 use 700c wheels.

QED
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Old 06-16-06, 05:02 PM   #15
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I would suggest to anybody that does any type of distance
regularly to try both tires first. I cannot / will not ride 26" tires anymore.
Just too slow and ponderous ! I feel the energy being sucked out of
them on every rotation
A good 700x32 tire and rim can take CycloCross racing it can surely take all the
abuse a regular commuter might give it.
Obviously, others might not agree.
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Old 06-16-06, 05:21 PM   #16
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i use 26" tired mtb on the bad weather, snow covered days.
i prefer using 700c x 23 the rest of the commuting time, on a converted road/fast tourer.
i tour self-contained using 700c x 25 (quicker, but forgiving)
all sets are kevlar lined.
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Old 06-16-06, 06:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=-
I would suggest to anybody that does any type of distance
regularly to try both tires first. I cannot / will not ride 26" tires anymore.
Just too slow and ponderous ! I feel the energy being sucked out of
them on every rotation
A good 700x32 tire and rim can take CycloCross racing it can surely take all the
abuse a regular commuter might give it.
Obviously, others might not agree.

This is why the 29-inch wheeled mountain bikes are so popular. All of my current bikes have 26-inch wheels. I recently had a chance to try a Redline Monocog 29er. It was a blast! I couldn't believe the difference in the lack of rolling resistance. This thing was easy to get going. I will be getting a 29er within the next two months.
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Old 06-16-06, 07:30 PM   #18
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If you get one, post up a review !! Mono's are 2-ko0L !
I have an idea to build one up to a winter bike.
If you do a Google search on '29er' a lot of good,
dedicated 29 inch pages come up. Im thinking of
either a monocog based on its unanamously great
reviews or a Karate Monkey fixie with 700x38's.
Hopefully, getting rid of some of the stuff below will
allow time and money for the next round of projects !!
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Old 06-16-06, 09:10 PM   #19
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Bigwheel

700c or 26". One can argue theory all day. Bikes are about aesthetics. The look, the feel of things. I went to all 700c wheels several years ago; road, cross and mountain bikes. There is no going back for me. I like the smoother ride, the more proportionate look of the bike. As for the strength of the wheel, I only use 36 spoke, hand built wheels. No worries. I travel and tour, so I carry spares. The concerns about lack of availability of spares in far-flung locales is not a problem (so far).
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