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Old 08-13-11, 04:54 PM   #1
JLTinsley
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Can 26" and 700c wheels be used interchangably?

I'm buying an old frame to make a fix-er-up project. It comes with 26" wheels, but I'm wondering, would I be able to use 700c wheels with this bike instead? Or am I stuck with 26"? Does the frame and/or fork have any effect on what wheels I can use?

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Old 08-13-11, 05:05 PM   #2
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If the bike has clearance for fat tyres, you might be able to squeeze skinny-tyred 700c wheels in there, but cantilever brake mounts will be in the wrong position. For all the hassle, it's worth just using the appropriate sized wheel. 26" wheels with fat slicks work quite well in my experience, and can be run at a lower pressure.
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Old 08-13-11, 05:08 PM   #3
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Probably not. I am assuming 26" mountain bike sized wheels. Sometimes you might luck up and get a frame they will fit on, however they you have to deal with getting a bunch of different parts to make them work. In most cases it is better to just use the correct size to begin with.

Here is a good article on the different sizes of tires and what fits where.

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Old 08-13-11, 06:33 PM   #4
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Your brakes most likely will not match up to the wheels.
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Old 08-13-11, 06:41 PM   #5
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I suppose I should have clarified better: I'm buying *all* new parts for this frame, including wheels, brakes, forks, etc. So I can pick the front fork to be either 26" or 700c, so I'm not actually wondering about the front wheel or brake stuff or whatever. Also, I'm using disc brakes, so rim brake mounts won't matter. However, does the size of the frame's rear triangle/seat-stays/chain-stays/whatever matter? Can the rear wheel be pretty much any size?

I'm just really hoping I can use 700c wheels, because I found a killer deal on a wheelset I really want, and they're 700c If I really have to, if the bike with 26" wheels can't take 700c, I can just buy a frame that uses 700c.
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Old 08-13-11, 08:06 PM   #6
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Big question, then, is whether the 700 rear tire that you want would fit in the frame?

You aren't asking if 26" and 700 tires can be used interchangeably on either size wheel, are you?

Best plan would be to start with a frame designed for the size wheels that you would like to use.
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Old 08-13-11, 08:13 PM   #7
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Wow, yeah, I just realized that I said "tires" instead of wheels. My bad! What I really mean to ask is if 700c WHEELS can be used for the back wheel on a frame that originally came with 26" wheels?

A totally unrelated question: what are those little metal loops on bikes called that hold the brake and shifter cables on the tubes, so it looks neater and doesn't flop all over?
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Old 08-14-11, 05:02 AM   #8
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With disc brakes it will probably work. My fixed gear conversion, which started life as a 26" wheel mountain bike, now has 700c wheels. In my case a standard road caliper brake was perfect to reach from the fork crown to the brakeing surface.

Here's a word of warning: You can almost never change just one part on a bicycle. Everything works together so, when you change one part, you almost always have to change something else to get the whole package to work. If I already own parts, I'll generally trial fit them to see if I can make the combination work. If I'm buying parts, I'll hold out for stuff that matches.

Good luck.
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Old 08-14-11, 09:21 AM   #9
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Thank you for reply- a fellow Missourian Yes, I will be buying discs to use on it; it came with calipers but I'm scrapping pretty much everything that came on this bike and *just* using the frame. I wanted to get a fork to fit a 700c front wheel so I was hoping the back part could also fit a 700c wheel. Since you said it worked on your bike, I'll give it a try! Thanks!

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Old 08-14-11, 10:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Or am I stuck with 26"?
I don't understand the concept of being stuck with the most popular tire size
world-wide wise..
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Old 08-14-11, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I don't understand the concept of being stuck with the most popular tire size
world-wide wise..
So if "medium" is the most popular size T-shirt world-wide wise, is that what you buy or do you hold out for whatever size best suits you?
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Old 08-14-11, 10:46 AM   #12
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umm.. it's been my understanding that you wouldn't worry so much about the rear clearancewise if there's no fenders involved the real issue would be the front since more then likely you won't have the clearance at the crown... measure it from the center of the fork drop outs to the crown bridge and see if a 700c would fit? and like everyone else said, brakes are gonna be a pain.
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Old 08-14-11, 01:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
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the real issue would be the front since more then likely you won't have the clearance at the crown... measure it from the center of the fork drop outs to the crown bridge and see if a 700c would fit? and like everyone else said, brakes are gonna be a pain.
Um...did you not read what I said about buying a new fork and brakes? Thats exactly why I'm not worried about the front fork OR brakes. I'm just using the frame, and getting all new parts, so I was wondering if 700c will fit in the rear.
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Old 08-14-11, 01:09 PM   #14
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Ahh okay, if you have a 27" wheel throw it on real quick because if that fits why wouldn't a 700?
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Old 08-14-11, 02:27 PM   #15
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It depends on the rear triangle also. If there is little room between the seat tube and the 26" tire then the 700c tire may hit the seat tube.
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Old 08-14-11, 02:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLTinsley View Post
A totally unrelated question: what are those little metal loops on bikes called that hold the brake and shifter cables on the tubes, so it looks neater and doesn't flop all over?


Cable Clips?

Google: cable clip bicycle
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Old 08-14-11, 04:02 PM   #17
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Thanks; I was actually wondering what they are called if they are originally on the frame; cable loops or holes or something? I dunno.

I don't have the frame yet, I was just considering buying it, but I wanted to ask you guys first to see if it would work, because I'm having a hard time finding local, older and/or affordable fix-er-up frames that already use 700c. I'm from a really small town with few used bikes around, and I can't bring myself to buy a new bike, then scrap all the brand new parts for other ones...
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Old 08-14-11, 05:33 PM   #18
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Yeah, they are nicer than zip ties.

But zip ties will work too.
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Old 08-14-11, 09:13 PM   #19
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Simple answer: No.
More complex answer: Maybe, but if someone with the required tinkering skills to pull it off wouldn't have needed to ask.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:04 AM   #20
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700C Tire

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
Ahh okay, if you have a 27" wheel throw it on real quick because if that fits why wouldn't a 700?
Found something out the hard way. Had a flat on the front tire out on the road, rode the thing on in with great difficulty. Bought two new tubes at WalMart, both exploded at about 45 lbs mounted in the old tire. Duh, finally discovered that the beat up flat tire would not seat allowing the tube to expand to the point of explosion at the stress non tire seat area. Solution, new 700C tire, and another tube by the way. Also found that a 27" tube fits quite well. Seems WalMart doesn't have the 700C tube with the Schrader valve, only the Presta valve. Sheesh!
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Old 07-07-13, 10:13 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by bikerbill2 View Post
Found something out the hard way. Had a flat on the front tire out on the road, rode the thing on in with great difficulty. Bought two new tubes at WalMart, both exploded at about 45 lbs mounted in the old tire. Duh, finally discovered that the beat up flat tire would not seat allowing the tube to expand to the point of explosion at the stress non tire seat area. Solution, new 700C tire, and another tube by the way. Also found that a 27" tube fits quite well. Seems WalMart doesn't have the 700C tube with the Schrader valve, only the Presta valve. Sheesh!
Sounds like a fun experience, welcome to the forums btw.
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Old 07-07-13, 10:27 AM   #22
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Thanks. The experience was not without some cost, even at WalMart......New tire was 'Kelvar', maybe now I can ride with some peace of mind.....
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Old 07-07-13, 10:28 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
So if "medium" is the most popular size T-shirt world-wide wise, is that what you buy or do you hold out for whatever size best suits you?
that's not quite the same, but if fietsbob wore a medium size tee shirt and it were the most common size world wide, why try to make a small tee shirt fit?
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