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Old 01-11-06, 05:21 PM   #1
Ridelots24
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I am 5'7" 160lbs. I no longer compete and ride for fitness and recreation.

I have toured only 4x...I plan to increase touring by completing 5-7 days trips...eventually working up to Cross-Country. I believe I should do considerable training on my touring rig to get it dialed in. So i want to buy a durable - comfortable rig.

To the point....i attempted to order a LHT..(Surly - long haul trucker)...and hesitated when i saw my selected frame size 52cm was only 26" wheels...even their 54cm is 26"..Why??. All of my other Road/Cross bikes are 700c.with 54cm top tubes - which i feel comfortable on....am i really that short?! I used to compete in triathlon and am well aware of the argument of 26" vs 700c.....but never really had to place my vote until now!

My intended use: I plan to use this for: training; winter rides; loaded touring on pavement; maybe touring on dirt roads;

I am afraid of buying this thing and being disappointed in the performance of 26" vs 700..speed...handling characteristics...etc....Ive considered the 17" Trek 520 which has 700c.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Ridelots24; 01-11-06 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 01-11-06, 07:14 PM   #2
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my sister is 5'3" and rides a 52. You should look at a 54 for long distance touring.
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Old 01-11-06, 08:14 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridelots24
I am 5'7" 160lbs. I no longer compete and ride for fitness and recreation.

I have toured only 4x...I plan to increase touring by completing 5-7 days trips...eventually working up to Cross-Country. I believe I should do considerable training on my touring rig to get it dialed in. So i want to buy a durable - comfortable rig.

To the point....i attempted to order a LHT..(Surly - long haul trucker)...and hesitated when i saw my selected frame size 52cm was only 26" wheels...even their 54cm is 26"..Why??. All of my other Road/Cross bikes are 700c.with 54cm top tubes - which i feel comfortable on....am i really that short?! I used to compete in triathlon and am well aware of the argument of 26" vs 700c.....but never really had to place my vote until now!

My intended use: I plan to use this for: training; winter rides; loaded touring on pavement; maybe touring on dirt roads;

I am afraid of buying this thing and being disappointed in the performance of 26" vs 700..speed...handling characteristics...etc....Ive considered the 17" Trek 520 which has 700c.

Thoughts?
If you ain't racing, what's the problem with 26" tires?
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Old 01-11-06, 09:03 PM   #4
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Chipcom - no problem with 26" wheels; I guess my body is right in the middle of these frames sizes...well according to LHT 26" start at 56cm. However, i can select the TREK (or others) w/ 700c. Maybe i should have posed the Q as....What are the advantages/disadvantages to both sizes for my intended uses? If you tell me the 700c tires will average a little faster over a long trip wouldn't that be significant? -
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Old 01-12-06, 12:09 PM   #5
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I'm 5'7" and ride a 19" Trek 520.

One argument for the 26" wheels is that you can more easily find tires in other countries.
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Old 01-13-06, 02:03 PM   #6
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On the issue of picking tire size based on use, it seems from other discussions that most of us are averaging about the same speed when it comes to loaded touring. For this use, the tire doesn't make much difference. I just got a touring rig with 26" wheels specifically because my 520 didn't cut it on mountain dirt roads. And now I am almost sold on the idea of 26" wheels for any kind of touring. They are just so comfortable over rough spots and they don't seem any slower to me.
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Old 01-13-06, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridelots24
I am 5'7" 160lbs. I no longer compete and ride for fitness and recreation.

I have toured only 4x...I plan to increase touring by completing 5-7 days trips...eventually working up to Cross-Country. I believe I should do considerable training on my touring rig to get it dialed in. So i want to buy a durable - comfortable rig.

To the point....i attempted to order a LHT..(Surly - long haul trucker)...and hesitated when i saw my selected frame size 52cm was only 26" wheels...even their 54cm is 26"..Why??. All of my other Road/Cross bikes are 700c.with 54cm top tubes - which i feel comfortable on....am i really that short?! I used to compete in triathlon and am well aware of the argument of 26" vs 700c.....but never really had to place my vote until now!

My intended use: I plan to use this for: training; winter rides; loaded touring on pavement; maybe touring on dirt roads;

I am afraid of buying this thing and being disappointed in the performance of 26" vs 700..speed...handling characteristics...etc....Ive considered the 17" Trek 520 which has 700c.

Thoughts?
26" wheels are probably a better choice for touring than 700C. The wheel is inherently stronger than a 700C due to it's small diameter (571 mm vs 622 mm). Shorter spokes are used and there is a smaller lever arm on the spokes so breakage can be less. As for speed, it's all in the gearing and not in the diameter. A 26" wheel with a 48/11 high gear gives a good high gear and, more importantly, a really good low, assuming a 22/34 low. Handlingwise, you probably won't notice the difference. I don't and I ride road bikes with 700C wheels and mountain bikes with 26" wheels. I have even though of trying to build a touring bike with 26" wheels and I take a much larger bike than you do.

If you are buying the LHT as a frame rather than a full bike, the only reason I would choose the Trek over the LHT is cost. While building a bike from a bare frame to finished bike is fun, it is also more expensive. Sometimes much more expensive!

If the LHT is a complete bike and costs are nearly equal, go with whichever one has the color you like.
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Old 01-13-06, 06:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridelots24
I am 5'7" 160lbs. I no longer compete and ride for fitness and recreation.

I have toured only 4x...I plan to increase touring by completing 5-7 days trips...eventually working up to Cross-Country. I believe I should do considerable training on my touring rig to get it dialed in. So i want to buy a durable - comfortable rig.

To the point....i attempted to order a LHT..(Surly - long haul trucker)...and hesitated when i saw my selected frame size 52cm was only 26" wheels...even their 54cm is 26"..Why??. All of my other Road/Cross bikes are 700c.with 54cm top tubes - which i feel comfortable on....am i really that short?! I used to compete in triathlon and am well aware of the argument of 26" vs 700c.....but never really had to place my vote until now!

My intended use: I plan to use this for: training; winter rides; loaded touring on pavement; maybe touring on dirt roads;

I am afraid of buying this thing and being disappointed in the performance of 26" vs 700..speed...handling characteristics...etc....Ive considered the 17" Trek 520 which has 700c.

Thoughts?
As far as performance, I don't think it should make a difference for you.

The main reasons for 26" wheels on those frame sizes is probably: to prevent toe clip overlap with fenders, which many people will put on their LHT and to allow the frame to have an appropriate geometry without making compromises because of the larger diameter of 622 (700c) wheels. Those are important considerations for a touring and commuting bike.

Another post mentioned the better availability of 26" tires in certain parts of the world, which depending on your destination may be significant.

As far as the Trek versus Surly, which cycocommute mentions, since Surly is owned by the largest parts distributor in the US, the complete bikes generally are priced very nicely. I understand people can really keep within their budget with a built up Surly and get to customize the parts the way they want.

If I was using that frame size, I personally would want a 26" tire. Don't smaller riders use smaller tires in triathalons, too (650C)? Not that it matters too much, they have different design priorities.

best
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