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  1. #1
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Never thought I'd be back on 20" wheels

    I was taking a ride on my folding bike today and it came to me that my bikes collectively have five 20" wheels.

    My folder has 2 20" wheels.
    My Sun recumbent has 2 20" wheels
    My RANS recumbent has a 20" wheel and a 26" wheel.

    2 years ago I would have never thunk that I would riding so much on 20" wheels.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  2. #2
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    Yup, what goes around comes around.

  3. #3
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    And around and around and around.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    So have you noticed any ride/performance differences?

    From time to time I toy with the idea of acquiring a recumbent but I'm put off by the idea of 20" wheels. What do you think? What would I be giving up and what would I be getting in return?

    I can read all of the "engineering" and "scientific" analysis that I want. I'm more interested in hearing comments from real world users. Frankly, Tom, I think that you're more objective than most in reporting things like that.
    Last edited by Retro Grouch; 06-05-09 at 01:50 PM.

  5. #5
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    20" wheels are said to be very, very robust, all else being equal, and I've found that seems to be true.
    They are also said to get up to speed faster or with less effort than bigger wheels.
    Currently riding a 20/26 and previously a 20/20.
    You could avoid little wheels, RG, by going with a big/big 'bent.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  6. #6
    Senior Member defjack's Avatar
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    Or get a Cruzbike I have 26in wheels on my kit bike and 700 road wheels in the Silvio.Both bikes ride just fine. Jack
    Cruzbike Vendetta ,Silvio,Quest Santa Monica -San Diego

  7. #7
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cranky old dude View Post
    Yup, what goes around comes around.
    And what I said to my daughter who just graduated from college with a BS in nursing - I changed your diapers - one day you will change mine.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  8. #8
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Your not cool until you do it on 16"/20" wheels.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    .........

    My folder has 2 20" wheels.
    My Sun recumbent has 2 20" wheels
    My RANS recumbent has a 20" wheel and a 26" wheel.

    ................
    406's or 451's, or both?

    It can get confusing at times for me.

  10. #10
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    The Sun and RANS use 406mm. I haven't checked my folder, so I don't know.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  11. #11
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    So have you noticed any ride/performance differences?
    I'd love to be able to answer that from first hand experience, but I am such a non-performance rider that I can't really speak to the issue with any certainty.

    I have read numerous threads where the typical final conclusion is that there is a little performance difference in favor of large wheels, due to lower rolling resistance. But the bigger difference is aerodynamics, and some of the low racer 20" wheel bents are incredible on that front.

    Some of the fastest bikes in the world are recumbents with 20" wheels. And trikes with 20" wheels.

    Also given the same diameter tire, the ride is a bit rougher on a 20", due to the shorter spokes not having as much give in them. I address this by using 1.5" tires and my long wheel base RANS with steel frame has more flex that a steel frame upright bike does.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  12. #12
    Approaching Nirvana megaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    Also given the same diameter tire, the ride is a bit rougher on a 20", due to the shorter spokes not having as much give in them.
    Yep, that's pretty much the way it seems to me too. Also 26" wheels don't fall as far into small holes, which many of my local roads seem to have.
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."
    -- Albert Einstein

  13. #13
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I
    Also given the same diameter tire, the ride is a bit rougher on a 20", due to the shorter spokes not having as much give in them. I address this by using 1.5" tires and my long wheel base RANS with steel frame has more flex that a steel frame upright bike does.
    Oh, and the 3" thick foam cushion seat helps a bit too!
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    20" wheels

    go with a 67 tooth chainring up front..
    It'll make it feel just like you were running a 53 thru 700c wheels ..lol

  15. #15
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger63 View Post
    go with a 67 tooth chainring up front..
    It'll make it feel just like you were running a 53 thru 700c wheels ..lol
    And with a short wheelbase recumbent those teeth are right in the very front.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

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