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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-19-06, 09:18 AM   #1
sdime
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How to identify wheel size

I just bought an old road bike of the Asian persuasion. The wheel seems slightly bigger than my other bike. How can I tell what size wheel is this?
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Old 12-19-06, 09:23 AM   #2
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check for numbers written on the rim (is there a sticker?) or on the tire (or both), then report back.

if it's old, it's could be a 27" wheel, which is a smidgeon bigger than 700c.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:23 AM   #3
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Look on the tire. It will say either 700 X something or 27 x something. 27 is 8mm bigger, but the tires are usually also larger so they look even bigger than that.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:35 AM   #4
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The tire has two inscriptions that says "32 - 630" and "27 - 1 1/4".

The previous owner said he recently bought the tires from Walmart.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:36 AM   #5
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practice.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:36 AM   #6
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Those are 27 inch wheels. It was an older standard used in the American market.
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Old 12-19-06, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdime
The tire has two inscriptions that says "32 - 630" and "27 - 1 1/4".

The previous owner said he recently bought the tires from Walmart.
the 32 (millimeters) and the 1 1/4" are two ways of showing how wide the tire is. the 630 (millimeters) and 27" tell you the wheel size. it's two of many ways of expressing wheel size. note that 700c is *not* milimeters - 700c wheels are 622mm.

more information is found here
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire_sizing.html
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Old 12-19-06, 12:37 PM   #8
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THanks yall for the great info. Now that I know my wheel size, I am looking for a prebuilt f/g wheel. However, I can't seem to find anyone selling 27" f/g wheel on the internet--I've checked SheldonBrown already. Who sells what I'm looking for?
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Old 12-19-06, 12:44 PM   #9
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http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels1.html

Scroll down. Fixed gear 27" wheel. A solid wheel. Harris Cyclery has a good reputation, Formula hubs are smooth and reliable

You can also call shops with webpages to see if they'll do something for you.
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Old 12-19-06, 12:49 PM   #10
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Harris/Sheldon does have 27" FG wheels, they stock one good economy model for $100 but you could get them or anyone else to build them for you. http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/wheels1.html#630

However, most people with 27" wheel bikes just opt for switching to 700c. Cheapest wheelsets are $150 shipped, but you need all new rubber, so staying 27 can be cheaper if you just want a low cost beater. You need 4mm more brake reach (if you're into brakes), no other compatibility issues unless you have one of those forks that takes the tiny front axles, then you just need round and flat files. Some of the lower-end fujis had them, if that's what your bike is.

Edit: 700c tires and smaller volume (23 or 25 vs 1 1/4) will lower your bottom bracket 4mm plus the change in tire size, so if your bike has long cranks that could be a "compatibility issue"
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Old 12-19-06, 12:57 PM   #11
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I saw Sheldon's page; however, the wheel they're selling has 120 mm backspacing--mine is 126. I don't see that they're selling anything that are 27" and 126mm backspacing.

My bike is Miyata, if that helps any. It has the shifter on the bottom part of the frame, so this must be a pretty old bike--(80s?).
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Old 12-19-06, 01:01 PM   #12
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You can use a longer axle (in fact the stock axle may be long enough) and some spacers (it is only 3mm a side) to get it right or just pinch your rear dropouts a bit.
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Old 12-19-06, 01:01 PM   #13
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Respacing is really easy, you just put 3mm spacers on either side of the hub. Harris will do it for you.

You really need to read, or re-read, all of the stuff on Sheldon's site about fixed and conversions. You're going to be asking a million more questions like this when you try to get your chainline and gearing set up, and they're all answered on there.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:13 PM   #14
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that bike is nothing special. older, yes; but old road bikes are a dime a dozen. i just converted an '82 fuji road racer, it's easy as hell. i would definitly recommend getting a new wheelset, 27s suck. they're hard to get up to pressure, don't allow you to ride as aggressively as fixed gear can demand, and 27 inch tires are harder to find and are usually a little pricier.

ebay has good, cheaper wheelsets, or could do like i did and craigslist a cheap fixed rear wheel and get a front wheelk off a bike friend or just look on ebay for a cheap 700c front wheel. as far as the backspacing: that's what spacers are for. i've got seven or eight mm of spacers on either side of my rear hub.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:53 PM   #15
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How do 27" wheels not let you ride as hard? I don't understand.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:54 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoshKel
How do 27" wheels not let you ride as hard? I don't understand.
Me neither.
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Old 12-19-06, 02:56 PM   #17
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they're not hard to find. fewer places stock them, but that doesn't make them hard to find.
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Old 12-19-06, 03:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoshKel
How do 27" wheels not let you ride as hard? I don't understand.
You won't ride as fast, probably. Higher tire pressure = less rolling resistance = faster. I don't know of many 27" tires that go into the 130's for PSI.
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Old 12-19-06, 04:29 PM   #19
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just buy some 700c's
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Old 12-19-06, 05:04 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoshKel
How do 27" wheels not let you ride as hard? I don't understand.
From what I've seen/heard 27's run at lower PSI than 700's. I put about 120psi in my 700x28's and I think my 27's take 75psi.
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Old 12-19-06, 05:50 PM   #21
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You can also mix and match. Because I am an unfortunate sole I run a 27 inch in the front and a 700 in the back. I don't notice anything strange when riding.... maybe its cuz i have never tried anything else but hey it works.
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Old 12-19-06, 06:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 666pack
they're hard to get up to pressure, don't allow you to ride as aggressively as fixed gear can demand, and 27 inch tires are harder to find and are usually a little pricier.
I'm sorry, but this is the stupidest thing I have read in a few months. I'd say wrong on all three counts. How many 700c tires can you find at Meijer or WalMart... not a lot... but they always have ample stock of $10 27" tires. As for the pressure thing, I have a few sets of Conti's and IRC 27" tires that are good for 100psi. As for pricier, a nice 27" tire runs $15.99, a comparable 700c tire is at least 25.99.
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Old 12-19-06, 07:04 PM   #23
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^^ Yeah, seriously. 27" tires can be had for cheap, where the hell are you shopping? Perfomance has high pressure ones for someting like $12 for two, and conti's etc. You can also find NOS ones on ebay for cheap. I got a set of NOS high pressure, folding 27x3/4 Michelin's for $10.

If you can pull off 27's, go for it. It's the cheaper option. Switching to 700's is can be expensive if you don't figure everything in. I do notice the difference between the two sizes, but if your going for a budget converion, keep it budget.

BTW, Miyata made a couple of nice frames, especially the pro. Not all of them were "a dime a dozen". Have fun with your build.
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Old 12-20-06, 09:02 AM   #24
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FYI: My bike has the word "One Ten" on the top post. The tires are also quite wide, so I take it that this Miyata is one of those working man's entry level model, not a high priced racer.
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Old 12-20-06, 09:29 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quacker
You can also mix and match. Because I am an unfortunate sole I run a 27 inch in the front and a 700 in the back.
*cringe*
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