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Old 11-22-11, 03:43 PM   #1
FreakyFast
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How can I tell what wheels will fit into a bike frame?

Okay, I want to put at least 700 x 35 tires on a bike, and have it be a single speed.

I am pretty sure most road bikes can't accomodate 35mm + tires. Hence, I will probably want a mountain bike frame (correct me if I am wrong please.)

Bottom line, is there an easy way to tell, by looking at the 'specs' of a frame, what size wheel it will be able to accomodate?

I know that there may be some difficulty putting 700 tires on a MTB, due to brake issues, but that's okay. I just want to know if there's a way to tell what size wheels a frame can take.

Thanks very much, this is an awesome website.

Dueces.
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Old 11-22-11, 03:50 PM   #2
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700 is referring to the wheel radius, equates to a 622 mm rim, and won't fit on a 26" wheeled MTB frame; you'd need a 29er MTB frame. 35mm tires will fit in most cyclocross frames, you might look at those too. Most manufactures will indicate the maximum tire width for a given frame.

Both of these frames have a road-ish geometry, and will take 35mm tires:

Surly Steamroller

Motobecane Uno

But any singlespeed 29er MTB will work for you.

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Old 11-22-11, 04:11 PM   #3
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I'd just look for a hybrid, though I suppose if you are trying to do this on the cheap a MTB frame is easier to find. Playing around with Sheldon Brown's gear calculator, it looks like if it can take 26x2.35 tires and still have some clearance, 700c x 35 will probably fit. A Schwinn Varsity would fit it with clearance to spare, it normally comes with 27" wheels, and mine is wide enough to fit 26x2.35 tires with fenders. Actually, I'd think most lower end road bikes with 27x1 1/4 tires could fit 700x35 just fine.
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Old 11-22-11, 04:31 PM   #4
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I'd just look for a hybrid, though I suppose if you are trying to do this on the cheap a MTB frame is easier to find. Playing around with Sheldon Brown's gear calculator, it looks like if it can take 26x2.35 tires and still have some clearance, 700c x 35 will probably fit. A Schwinn Varsity would fit it with clearance to spare, it normally comes with 27" wheels, and mine is wide enough to fit 26x2.35 tires with fenders. Actually, I'd think most lower end road bikes with 27x1 1/4 tires could fit 700x35 just fine.
Was just gonna say, take just about any older bike that used 27" wheels and you can fit those wheels/tires on I'm running a set of 700c with 38's on them on a super course atm.. still tons of clearance.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:20 PM   #5
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622 is bead seat diameter, add tire width, as it is as tall as it is wide.
27" is 630.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:26 PM   #6
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As others have said- if you start with an older "10-speed" frame, originally set up for 27" wheels and with horizontal dropouts, you'll be able to create a single-speed bike with 700 x 35C tires pretty easily. I did this with an old Schwinn LeTour: http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/letour/index.htm (I know it's a 7-speed in the pictures- I've since reconfigured it as single speed) and it works great. If you shop around, you can even find good-quality NOS frames: http://pedalr.com/items/707

Starting with an ATB frame is problematic. If the wheels fit, you'll have to do some adapting to get brakes to work. Even then, the cranks are going to be somewhat higher than the usual road bike. It's just going to end up weird.
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Old 11-22-11, 06:43 PM   #7
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As others have said- if you start with an older "10-speed" frame, originally set up for 27" wheels and with horizontal dropouts, you'll be able to create a single-speed bike with 700 x 35C tires pretty easily. I did this with an old Schwinn LeTour: http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/letour/index.htm (I know it's a 7-speed in the pictures- I've since reconfigured it as single speed) and it works great. If you shop around, you can even find good-quality NOS frames: http://pedalr.com/items/707

Starting with an ATB frame is problematic. If the wheels fit, you'll have to do some adapting to get brakes to work. Even then, the cranks are going to be somewhat higher than the usual road bike. It's just going to end up weird.
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Old 11-23-11, 07:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by FreakyFast View Post
Okay, I want to put at least 700 x 35 tires on a bike, and have it be a single speed.

I am pretty sure most road bikes can't accomodate 35mm + tires. Hence, I will probably want a mountain bike frame (correct me if I am wrong please.)

Bottom line, is there an easy way to tell, by looking at the 'specs' of a frame, what size wheel it will be able to accomodate?
Yup. The "easy way" is to borrow a pair of hybrid wheels with 35mm tires and test fit them onto the frame that you're proposing to use. There's several of potential clearance issues so, short of a test fit, it's easy to get unpleasantly surprised.

My bet is that it will work if you have disc brakes. My 700c fixed gear conversion started life as 26" mountain bike. It even uses road bike brakes but I'm using skinnier tires.
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Old 11-23-11, 07:27 AM   #9
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A singlespeed needs some way of tensioning the chain.
Most modern bikes use vertical dropouts which are light, stiff and quick to use but have no back and forward adjustment. You can get spring-loaded chain tensioners but these detract from the simplicity and collect dirt.
The usual methods for singlespeeds are:
Horizontal rear dropouts so you can move the axle back and forward.
Rear facing "track ends" that do the same.
Sliding vertical dropouts such as Paragon
Eccentric bottom bracket (EBB)

The first 2 are the simplest and best ways with a basic singlepseed.

You cant use just any hybrid, road or MTB frame, you MUST use one with a tensioning system.
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Old 11-23-11, 07:36 AM   #10
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You cant use just any hybrid, road or MTB frame, you MUST use one with a tensioning system.
Sometimes, for projects like this, cheaper is better. Look for a mountain bike frame with nutted wheels. It'll probably have horizontal dropouts.
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Old 11-23-11, 04:47 PM   #11
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thanks all very much
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