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  1. #1
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    LHT and 26" vs 650B/C

    Apparently the Surley Long Haul Trucker frames under 56cm only take 26" tires. I was wondering if this means that pretty much any 26" or 650B/C tire should fit? My only real experience in the past has been with 700C rims/tires, so I'm trying to determine how the smaller size would affect my selection of tires.

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    It takes 26" MTB rim size. You can get a wide variety of road and touring tyres for this inc 1" slicks suitable for fast centuries, 1.5" slick commuting tyres , specialist expedition touring and studded winter tyres. Specialized Armadillo and Scwalbe Marathon are both widely used for touring.
    You may be able to jig around with brake block placement to fit a 650B or 650C but it is hardly worth the trouble.

  3. #3
    LHT Commuter wsexson's Avatar
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    The smaller frames of the LHT are designed to be used with 26" MTB rims. Apparently 650B rims also will work:

    "Today I built my first set of wheels and they happened to be 650b. I laced some old Shimano parallax deore xt hubs to velocity synergy 650 rims with conversion of my 50cm Surly Long Haul Trucker. Sizes 42 through size 54cm the LHTs are made to work with 26" (drove me crazy, I hated the way it looked and rode). I purchased some Dia-compe center pull brakes from rivendell to prepair for the conversion and didn't even need them! The cheapo tectro v-brakes that I had on the LHT moved adjusted up perfectly and may even work better now because the pressure is applied further away from the pivot point than before. I don't know if regular reach cantaliver brakes would make for such an easy conversion, but the v's were a sinch. So if anyone wondered, small sized LHTs convert wonderfully to 650b...look and ride like they were made for that."

    http://surlyville.net/tips-02.html

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    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    It can be done, but I honestly don't know why you would want to. Any negative effects that you notice the 26" wheels having on the ride are pure placebo effect. I don't understand why the smaller wheels on smaller LHTs is made out to be a bad thing. Personally, I love them - there are lots of tires available of all kinds, and I NEVER have toe overlap! That last advantage of the smaller (appropriately sized) wheels is difficult to appreciate unless you've experienced the problem. I still catch myself going through the habits I developed to deal with the overlap, and it really is frustrating and "cramps my style" as a rider. It's nice to be able to just pedal through a slow turn!

  5. #5
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    I have a couple of *very* sharp turns (<20*!!!) on some detours injected to my commute by roadwork that give me a whole new appreciation for toe overlap.

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsexson
    The smaller frames of the LHT are designed to be used with 26" MTB rims. Apparently 650B rims also will work:

    "Today I built my first set of wheels and they happened to be 650b. I laced some old Shimano parallax deore xt hubs to velocity synergy 650 rims with conversion of my 50cm Surly Long Haul Trucker. Sizes 42 through size 54cm the LHTs are made to work with 26" (drove me crazy, I hated the way it looked and rode). I purchased some Dia-compe center pull brakes from rivendell to prepair for the conversion and didn't even need them! The cheapo tectro v-brakes that I had on the LHT moved adjusted up perfectly and may even work better now because the pressure is applied further away from the pivot point than before. I don't know if regular reach cantaliver brakes would make for such an easy conversion, but the v's were a sinch. So if anyone wondered, small sized LHTs convert wonderfully to 650b...look and ride like they were made for that."

    http://surlyville.net/tips-02.html
    I'd be dubious about this. A 26" mountain bike wheel has a diameter of 559mm. A 650C has a rim diameter of 571mm and a 650B has a rim diameter of 584mm. That's a lot to ask of brakes to have 12mm of travel for the 650C and 25mm for a 650B. Most brakes just don't have that much adjustment.

    Additionally, unless you are touring in Europe, finding 650C or 650B tubes and tires out in the middle of no where would be nearly impossible. It'd be nearly impossible to find them in civilization! 26", on the other hand, you could find just about anywhere...even Wally World
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  7. #7
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    I agree totally about the re-supply issues, but I wouldn't be surprised if the the 650s fit with v brakes. It can even be an advantage in that the higher block position changes the cable travel and may make the use of travel agents unecesarry. Still this kind of thinking vanishes on the road, where the big issues are reliability and resupply.

    I think the 26" is the better choice on touring bikes, if one takes the mountain bikes out there, whether beaters or thorns, and the high end touring bikes like Sakkits or Gordons, there is a lot pushing the 26" tire on touring bikes. But even if that isn't true, on smaller frames it is a no-brainer.

    Another issue on 650s might be clearance for fenders if you are using them.

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