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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 11-06-13, 10:03 PM   #1
Hendo252 
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26" vs 700c for utility bike... Much difference?

I'm thinking of obtaining a utility bike to use for short rides near the house... Coffee runs with my GF, grocery runs, etc. all in dry weather and paved streets, although some of that pavement is in poor shape.

Is there any reason to look for 26" wheelers compared to 700c? My road bike is 700c and I've never ridden a 26"er so I thought I'd ask...

Thanks in advance!

-Tom in SoCal
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Old 11-07-13, 04:31 AM   #2
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Doesn't really make much difference. My main city bike uses 700cx40, my back up bike is an old Raleigh 3 speed with the 590x35, the backup to that is a Raleigh Twenty with 406x42 tires. I ride them on everything but single track.

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Old 11-07-13, 08:07 AM   #3
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No, not much difference, though a 26er will generally accommodate wider tires for a more plush ride, which it sounds may be of value to you.
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Old 11-07-13, 10:16 AM   #4
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Another thing to consider is fenders. 700c tires are 700mm in diameter, which is 27.5". You may have difficulty finding fenders that fit wide 700c tires. Fenders should generally be compatible with a somewhat narrow 700x35 or maybe 700x38. It all depends on the fenders. Meanwhile, 26" wheels can easily accommodate fenders with 26"x1.6" tires. The 1.6" equates to 40.6mm which is pretty beefy for handling potholes and some off road use.
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Old 11-07-13, 03:19 PM   #5
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Main bike has 26" wheels .. seems like an 80s , pre sus Fork MTB would do , newsboy basket on the front .

now there is the even Plusher Fat bike, 4" wide tires in simple 1 or 2speed . and the CVR Nuvinci hub too..

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-07-13 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 11-07-13, 03:32 PM   #6
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My utilitarian bikes roll on 26, 20, and 16 inch wheels ... mtb wheels tend to be a little more robust and you have wider options for tyres, the 16 and 20 inch wheels are very strong and lighter in weight compared to their full sized counterparts.

But there is nothing wrong with 700c wheels if they are built to serve the purposes they are put to... just picked up an older steel hybrid that has 700:38 wheels and tyres and having enjoyed a similar set up in the past expect that this will be a very useful and utilitarian bicycle. The 36 spoke wheels should stand up to some use and abuse and the 38's roll over things very nicely.

Getting wider fenders was not an issue.
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Old 11-07-13, 09:48 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for your thoughts-- very helpful.
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Old 11-09-13, 06:16 PM   #8
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Planet Bike fenders are usually 40mm wide. I'm running some schwalbe 700:35 under them. I built up some Salsa rims for them. I would agree that 26er rims would likely have more mtb style rims. I suggest double walled rims for rigidity, wide tires for better gravel handling and pothole absorbtion. The thing I don't care for in my Salsa rims is that they are not deep, so I don't have much reflective surface. I have 26er tire on my bakfiet with a deep-v rim (and disk brakes, so I was able to stick wide reflective stickers on my rims. I spend a lot of time in the dark on my bike, so the deep-v design is definitely a consideration for me.
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Old 11-09-13, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
My utilitarian bikes roll on 26, 20, and 16 inch wheels ... mtb wheels tend to be a little more robust and you have wider options for tyres, the 16 and 20 inch wheels are very strong and lighter in weight compared to their full sized counterparts.

But there is nothing wrong with 700c wheels if they are built to serve the purposes they are put to... just picked up an older steel hybrid that has 700:38 wheels and tyres and having enjoyed a similar set up in the past expect that this will be a very useful and utilitarian bicycle. The 36 spoke wheels should stand up to some use and abuse and the 38's roll over things very nicely.

Getting wider fenders was not an issue.
x2
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