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Thread: 650 or 700's.

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    Senior Member joseph senger's Avatar
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    650 or 700's.

    I recently started riding a norco triathlon (tange). It is a bike out of my free bike program cause all mine have flats. I think ive fallen in love with the 700c with low CG, this bike is just such a pleasure. I am really questioning the frame I am about to hand build. The plan was designed around 26's. Is it the low cg that is getting me, or do you experienced tourers really find a big difference between 26 and 700 in terms of rolling resistance and stability?

    barrett
    Last edited by joseph senger; 11-12-07 at 06:52 PM.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    A larger wheel is going to have more stability, the smaller wheel will be tougher all things being equal.

    Both are good choices for a touring bike. If you like 650, did you ever hear of 650b? 650b tires are of a good size like a Mtn bike tire, but a little larger wheel
    than a 26".

    Basically you want a frame that fits well and is designed to do what you want to do.

    The rest isn't all that important.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseph senger View Post
    I am really questioning the frame I am about to build with was going to be design around 26's. Is it the low cg that is getting me, or do you experienced tourers really find a big diff between 26 and 700 in terms of rolling resistance and stability?
    Tourers? Worrying about rolling resistance?!?

    In terms of performance, 26" vs 700c is basically a wash.

    In terms of stability (and comfort): geometry, tire width and tire pressure are far more important than 26" vs 700c.

    In terms of tire availability: It's my understanding that you can get 26" tires pretty much anywhere, whereas 700c is mostly US and Europe. If I was going to travel for months at a time in Central / South America, for example, I'd probably go for 26".

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    Senior Member joseph senger's Avatar
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    bacciagalupe,

    that was my initial reason to go with 26. I had two tire(ing) catastrophes this past summer, both of which i had to buy tires in small towns. Both times i had troubles finding a 650c but did, all i could find were 650b! 700's would had been out of the question, and this was in america, really you need a bike shop to find them. My concern is deeper tho, what happens when a rim busts? i mean if im travelling in a remote location i will surely have an extra tire, but im not going to carry an extra rim. so i was thinking a 36h 26in is strong, and relatively easy to find around the world...? hey international guys, is this just ignorant thinking?

    as well, like i said before, i like the 650b but im scared about the availability for them, which is odd cause it was what i could find easiest when in need this summer, but my concern is for quality 650b tires, i dont suspect there is a large market for them anymore. do they make a nice 650b touring? am i restricted to most all of my choices being 1 3/8ths? (which isnt such a bad thing)

    thanks for the comments!

    and really i think of it petty as well to consider the size so much, but, im just really loving this norco! and ive ridden 700's before, im thinking in part its the low cg of the fame.
    Last edited by joseph senger; 11-12-07 at 07:42 PM.

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    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    I toured on 700c rims/tires from Europe to Asia.

    I will now only use 26" for future off the beaten path tours. While looking for replacement 700c tires (I never found suitable ones), I allways found 26" wheels and tires.

    I found suitable MTB stuff in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Xinjiang & Tibet, Nepal, and all over south east asia.

    A lot of times the MTB stuff was of really excellent quality too. Also I'm not talking about only in capital cities either. I found stuff in mid to larger sized cities untill south east asia. In southeast asia any tourist "hotspot" type area has rental/tour outfits.

    I would have been royally stuffed had I had rim problems.
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    Senior Member joseph senger's Avatar
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    thanks camel

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    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseph senger View Post
    thanks camel
    Hey your welcome,

    Worst case if you run a size not found locally, and need replacements, is to have them shipped from home.

    ...I waited a good 3 weeks in Kashgar (Xinjiang China) for replacement tires. The company used UPS, and UPS then handed them off to China Post. It would have taken under a week had they used FedEx, or if I had had family/friends buy them & ship them using FedEx.

    Shipping times w/ FedEx were confirmed because I later met other cyclists who had care packages sent from the US to Kashgar.

    Shipping costs didn't seem that outrageous either. In my case it was free as a warranty replacement on the tires.

    -Guess it depends on where you are likely going to tour, how much time you have "worst case", and what kind of support network you have back home.
    mmmm coffeee!

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    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    In terms of performance, 26" vs 700c is basically a wash.
    I disagree. I went with 700c for the simple fact that they are faster. I can pedal my butt off on my unsprung mtb (amazingly similar to the industrial-type Thorn tourers I've seen here) and never catch a person (of equal ability) on a 700c bike. That's what spurred my my first road bike purchase. Those folks who travel Eastern Europe, Asia, Central and South America have need of a smaller, more durable wheel and more robust rubber for the simple fact that they're not always on paved roads. Quite the opposite from what I'm given to understand. If your plans only include North America, I'd go 700c. It's just plain faster. But, what do I know?
    None.

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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foamy View Post
    I disagree. I went with 700c for the simple fact that they are faster. I can pedal my butt off on my unsprung mtb (amazingly similar to the industrial-type Thorn tourers I've seen here) and never catch a person (of equal ability) on a 700c bike. That's what spurred my my first road bike purchase. Those folks who travel Eastern Europe, Asia, Central and South America have need of a smaller, more durable wheel and more robust rubber for the simple fact that they're not always on paved roads. Quite the opposite from what I'm given to understand. If your plans only include North America, I'd go 700c. It's just plain faster. But, what do I know?
    With proper gearing choice a 26" will be just as fast...or slow...as a 700. You can't go to quite as stupid gear sizes on a 26 like you can on a 700 but you can get close. But, then, who needs a 127" gear? Even for an insane downhiller like me, that's too tall to be useful.
    Stuart Black
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    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foamy View Post
    I disagree. I went with 700c for the simple fact that they are faster. I can pedal my butt off on my unsprung mtb (amazingly similar to the industrial-type Thorn tourers I've seen here) and never catch a person (of equal ability) on a 700c bike....
    Definitely. But that's not so much a function of the wheel diameter as it is numerous other factors.

    For example, let's say your hardtail has flat bars that are 1" above the saddle, 34c semi-treaded tires at 85psi, 36-spoke wheels with off-road-worthy rims, a high bottom bracket, a long wheelbase, an average reach and a relaxed seat-tube angle; and your 700c roadie has drops set 1" below the saddle, 23c 120psi tires, narrow rims, a short wheelbase, a slightly longer reach and an aggressive seat-tube angle. Those factors are more important than wheel/tire size (and weight) in terms of performance.

    Or to put it another way: a lot of the triathletes were using 650c tires for awhile. There were several reasons for it, but even to this day some of 'em believe that 650c's are faster because the slightly smaller wheel has an (alleged?) aero advantage over 700c. I'm not sure they are correct, but I believe the differences are so small that in the real world they're barely perceptible or quantifiable.

  11. #11
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    Bacciagalupe, cyccomute, I respect you guys and your opinions and cycling knowledge far more than most folks. But, I'd still go (and did) for the 700c's. I guess it's comparing apples to oranges, I don't know. What I do know is that I'm much happier travelling distances on a larger wheeled bike. In my case, I know I'm travelling faster. And I can use all the speed I can get. Maybe I should stop generalizing.
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foamy View Post
    Bacciagalupe, cyccomute, I respect you guys and your opinions and cycling knowledge far more than most folks. But, I'd still go (and did) for the 700c's. I guess it's comparing apples to oranges, I don't know. What I do know is that I'm much happier travelling distances on a larger wheeled bike. In my case, I know I'm travelling faster. And I can use all the speed I can get. Maybe I should stop generalizing.
    I understand and respect that. I have 700s on my touring bike but if I were have a frame built I'd go with the 26". Stronger wheel for touring. Speed is secondary.
    Stuart Black
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    I find it very hard to believe that you can easily find a 650 tire of any type, B or C, in most North American smaller towns, but you can't find some tire to put on a 700c wheel. As for touring in central/south america, well, of course, you really have to have a bike for that in case you ever do.

    If you're talking about putting a road tire on that 26 inch wheel, that's one size of tire you might find is hard to get. 650B is even harder, but 650B is irrelevant for your purposes anyway, since it's intended to be the same overall diameter more or less as a 700c wheel with a road tire (the fatter tire makes up for the smaller wheel and so ends up pretty much the same overall diameter).

    Look, I'm short, and I rode a road bike built around 26 inch wheels for years and years, and I've had one on 700c wheels now for over a decade and a half. I even rode both types one after the other a few times. I saw nothing that I would label as a difference between the 26in and the 700c in the actual ride. Maybe, with equal tires, the 26in ride might be a touch choppier over bumps. I prefer having the same 700c wheels as everyone else.
    Last edited by Longfemur; 11-13-07 at 04:11 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member joseph senger's Avatar
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    what about 559's? although going even smaller, i think this may be a good option. the strength is an issue as well, as i am about 200lbs touring and usually have about 40lbs gear.

    thanks all

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