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  1. #1
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    Beginner's Question - 26" vs. 20" Wheel - Bacchetta Strada/Giro

    Hello,

    I am close to purchasing my first bent. After much research and finding a local dealer, I may go with the Bacchetta Strada, which has a 26" front wheel. The dealer didn't have one in stock at the time for a test ride, so I'll have to wait before making a final decision.

    The dealer did have a Bachetta Giro which I test drove; however, it has a 20" front wheel. It took an extra try to get moving, and I found myself a bit wobbly but after a few minutes things went much better. I could tell a learning curve would be involved, but it didn't seem over the top by any means.

    My question is this: is the high-riser (26") bents much more difficult to ride for the beginner? Any special considerations for a 26" vs. 20"?

    Thanks,
    David in FL

  2. #2
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Any bike is easy to ride given enough practice. I wouldn't make a final decision based solely on how easy or difficult it is to ride at the start. I chose a Giro 26 mainly because it's easier to get good quality tyres/rims/spokes/tubes in that size around here. You may not have that problem though. As to which bike - which one made you smile the most?
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  3. #3
    Its happy hour somewhere, Mockpo's Avatar
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    My girlfriend just went through this decision a couple months ago, same bikes. She had a hard time deciding between the 2 as the bottom bracket was about 5-6 inches higher on the Strada, as I recall. She went with a Volae Expedition (dual 26) and has had no problems. She liked the stationary steering post as opposed to the fliping of the Bachettas. I've read about other riders having a difficult time with the dual 26 but once I rode one, I was hooked. I felt the smaller front was too squirrely. Theres things to consider like the few times you may have to make a sharp turn and hit your heel with the front wheel. But like unclipping prior to a stop, you just get used to adjusting your feet.. If you do tour, its typically easier to get 26" tires as opposed to 20"s.
    Just test ride as many as you can and you'll find a good fit.
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  4. #4
    sch
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    Partly depends on how tall you are. People 68" tall or above have little difficulty
    with the 22-24" seat height of dual 26, but as you go below this height the
    stretch to the ground gets to be a problem. You 'get used to it' to some
    degree, but below 64" tall I suspect a 20" front wheel a better choice.
    Heel strike on dual 26 is definitely going to happen, but as a prior poster
    suggests you adjust, it only occurs on tight radius turns at low speeds, not
    otherwise. Heel strike does not occur with 20" wheels.

  5. #5
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sch View Post
    Heel strike does not occur with 20" wheels.


    Not in my experience.

  6. #6
    Cycling Anarchist Trsnrtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in PA View Post
    My question is this: is the high-riser (26") bents much more difficult to ride for the beginner? Any special considerations for a 26" vs. 20"?

    Thanks,
    David in FL
    Dual 26" ers or dual 650 bents can be difficult to learn on for beginners, especially if one is shorter. I'm 5'7" tall and can ride a dual 650 Bacchetta or Volae and have owned both. It's a stretch, but it can be done with practice. I have a friend that is 5'6" tall and rides a dual 650c Volae Team.

    Personally, if I had to choose between the Strada and the Giro, I'd go with the Strada. For one thing, you don't have to carry two different sizes of tubes or keep two different sizes of tires around the house. Besides that, it's more of a personal preference for me. I'll let others debate the differences between the two models that you cite.
    Dennis T

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    If you have not joined BentRider online and Bacchetta's own forums, you should do so because there are many posts regarding just this choice that you can search out easily.

    Have you considered the Giro 26 or is it now too difficult to get one until next year's model arrives? The Giro 26 gives you great flexiblity in tire size (narrow as you want up to over 2" tires) & wheel size (26" is stock but 650, or 700c will fit), plus disc brakes. The Euromesh seat is a no cost option; saves about 2 lbs, is more comfortable to many people, better ventilated, and I found it easier to get my feet down on the ground. The tire options are particularly nice if you ride good streets sometimes, potholed ones sometimes, and unpaved bike trails other times.

    The Volae Expedition has similar features.

  8. #8
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
    Dual 26" ers or dual 650 bents can be difficult to learn on for beginners
    I wouldn't want that to discourage anyone from getting one though. I didn't find the learning curve intolerable, and once you do get the feel for it, it's a sweet, sweet ride. (not that I have any experience on other bents to compare, but compared to a regular bike it's unbeatable)
    If we learn from our mistakes, I must be a goddamn genius.

  9. #9
    Ric
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in PA View Post
    Hello,

    I am close to purchasing my first bent. After much research and finding a local dealer, I may go with the Bacchetta Strada, which has a 26" front wheel. The dealer didn't have one in stock at the time for a test ride, so I'll have to wait before making a final decision.

    The dealer did have a Bachetta Giro which I test drove; however, it has a 20" front wheel. It took an extra try to get moving, and I found myself a bit wobbly but after a few minutes things went much better. I could tell a learning curve would be involved, but it didn't seem over the top by any means.

    My question is this: is the high-riser (26") bents much more difficult to ride for the beginner? Any special considerations for a 26" vs. 20"?

    Thanks,
    David in FL

    Hello,

    I own and ride the Strada and I can tell you from experience that there is a learning curve and it will take some getting used too. After you ride for 15 to 20 miles and start getting used to the bike you'll find it to be a fantastic ride.
    I ride the conversion and my seat height is two or three inches higher yet but the 700c made a big difference in top end speed.
    You say your in FL, if so and you want to test ride the Strada just drop me an email Bikerric@tampabay.rr.com and your welcome too ride.
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  10. #10
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    Hello,

    Thank you everyone for the excellent advice. I really appreciate it!

    I'd like a to add a specific question: If you're already on a very steep hill, how difficult (or not) is it to get going from a dead stop with a 26" front wheel?

    Thanks,
    David in FL

  11. #11
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David in PA View Post
    I'd like a to add a specific question: If you're already on a very steep hill, how difficult (or not) is it to get going from a dead stop with a 26" front wheel?
    I don't think wheel size matters that much. It's more a matter of what gear you start in. If you switch to a lower gear before you stop, it's no biggie. On the other hand, if you're in a really high gear, getting started can be hard even on flat ground. I have dual 650s on the bent in my avatar.

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    I am 74" tall and have size 14 shoes. I am also considering buying a Bacchetta Giro 20 or 26. I'm not sure which one to go with? Is the tradeoff for steering control, speed and smooth ride going to be more important than heel strike. Any help with this?

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    This thread has been inactive for five years. (Zombie Thread)
    That said, are you able to test-ride both bikes?
    My swb V-Rex is a candidate for heel strike but it has never been a problem. You learn how to deal with it/avoid it. Not sure how much of a problem heel strike on a Giro 20 is compared to a V-Rex. Plus, my shoe size is only 10.5.
    Dual big wheels on the Giro 26 will make for a more aero position and will roll over imperfect surfaces better than small/big wheels on the 20.
    Ideal situation is to ride both bikes to see which you like best.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member oddball's Avatar
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    I'm the same height as you and have both a Giro20 and a Strada. IMHO you might be better off with the 26. The learning curve is a little steeper but not by much.

    The Giro 26 has a longer frame which will allow you to set the seat closer to the center of the frame. In my experience my Strada rides and handles better because I'm more centered on the frame. Even the my Giro20 has slightly wider tires (35mm vs. 28mm) the ride is better on the Strada. Also, the lightly weighted front tire bounces pretty hard on road imperfections.

    The handling on the Giro is quicker. I don't know if its due to the unweighted front tire or the fact that its only 20".

    If I were to do it all over again I probably would buy a Giro26 instead. Not that the 20 is bad but I think the 26 is a better fit for riders 6' and over.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    While of course you have to carry two different sized tubes, I recommend a 20-26 especially in a LWB recumbent. The front 20" wheel is not loaded all that heavy yet is stronger. Also it has less aero drag, and less rotational enertia so you can get up to speed faster.

  16. #16
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    Thanks! I did buy the Giro 20. Happy so far.

  17. #17
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    Thanks!

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