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.
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.