Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: History Lesson

  1. #1
    backwoods bicycle militia hobbsc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    My Bikes
    '06 Salsa Juan Solo SS (woodland militia suv), 1983 Bianchi Nuovo Racing (fixed/ss conversion, commuter/urban terror tank), '74 Peugeot Mixte (wife's), '07 Specialized RockHopper (custom, wife's), (mostly) Montere Cruiser (custom, wife's).
    Posts
    251
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    History Lesson

    I've been thinking about building a steel framed, fully rigid, single speed 29er for a while now. As I was looking at parts the other day, I got a little curious about suspensions and wheel sizes.

    Where did the mountain bike wheel sizes come from? Is there something magic about the numbers 26 and 29? Why not 25 or 30 inch wheels?

    Rear suspensions, who first came up with the idea? Is it a "new" thing?

    I'll start doing my homework, but I wanted to ask here as well.

    cmh
    Namaste.

    http://altbit.org
    '06 Salsa Juan Solo (woodland assault vehicle)
    1983 Bianchi Nuovo (daily commuter and urban terror machine)

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,415
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hobbsc
    Where did the mountain bike wheel sizes come from? Is there something magic about the numbers 26 and 29? Why not 25 or 30 inch wheels?
    Standardization is the reason for the wheel sizes. Early bikes had wheel diameters all over the place. Ordinaries (big wheel bikes) had different sizes depending on the rider because the bike wasn't geared. The 26" mountain bike wheel came from the Schwinn Excelsiors that the guys in California were using. When they started building their own frames, they just kept the size because they could get wheels and tires easily.

    The 29" wheel is really a dressed up 700C road wheel. Europe calls them 28" wheels. The size depends on the outer diameter of a idealized tire. The inner diameter of the rims are 622mm which is a 24.4" diameter. Confused yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by hobbsc
    Rear suspensions, who first came up with the idea? Is it a "new" thing?
    The rear suspension is way old. Here's an early but not the earliest from 1892. Here's an early front suspension.
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  3. #3
    ed
    ed is offline
    . ed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Summit of Lee
    My Bikes
    Hecklah
    Posts
    10,932
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    That's hilarious...the second one looks like a girvin crosslink.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,398
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Standardization is the reason for the wheel sizes. Early bikes had wheel diameters all over the place. Ordinaries (big wheel bikes) had different sizes depending on the rider because the bike wasn't geared. The 26" mountain bike wheel came from the Schwinn Excelsiors that the guys in California were using. When they started building their own frames, they just kept the size because they could get wheels and tires easily.

    The 29" wheel is really a dressed up 700C road wheel. Europe calls them 28" wheels. The size depends on the outer diameter of a idealized tire. The inner diameter of the rims are 622mm which is a 24.4" diameter. Confused yet?



    The rear suspension is way old. Here's an early but not the earliest from 1892. Here's an early front suspension.

    Excellent analysis. I'd like to offer my opinion on "28ers". Over there, cyclocross is popular and if you measured the tires you'd find they come out to about 28 inches. Though, this must be folks from the UK as I cannot imagine folks on the continent using Imperial units. We get "29er" because we're using truly FAT MTB tires instead of the merely "enhanced" tires like a cyclocross bikes. Just wait till we donwhill MTB tires and have 3.0" tires, then we'll have 30ers ;-)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •