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Old 12-09-12, 08:17 PM
  #14  
Chris Pringle
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Pearl of the Pacific, Mexico
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Bikes: '12 Rodriguez UTB Custom, '83 Miyata 610, '83 Nishiki Century Mixte (Work of Art), '06 Specialized Epic Marathon MTB

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Originally Posted by corvuscorvax View Post
Can somebody explain to me the rationale behind the widespread notion that 700c wheels "ride better" or faster or anything else on the road than 26" wheels? I can think of no physical or engineering reason for concluding that the difference between the wheel sizes anything but minimal, given similar width/pressure tires. Especially on the road.
I did a search. I found this article that happens to be written by the owner of R+E Cycles in Seattle. It explains the dilemma the average consumer faces when they walk into many shops in North America and they are told 700c (29er) rolls faster than a 26" wheel. It seems like almost every decade the bike industry comes up with a new wheel size or recycles an old one: 27" in the 70s, 700c in the 80s, 26" for MTBs in the 90s, 29er for MTBs in the first decade, now 27.5" (650b) is the new rage (popular in the 40s and 50s in France.) These are all attempts by the bike industry to convince people their older bikes are obsolete and need to be replaced by something new -- something that will perform better and faster. Remember, speed is about feeling comfortable (fitting) on the bike and how much you train (the engine!) For touring, 26" means convenience. There have been several accounts of people (here and in various blogs) who have been stranded for days or weeks in many places around the globe (even in small towns in the U.S.!!) because they couldn't find replacement rim or tire while surrounded by lots of 26" at the dingy LBS or at the local WalMart.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 12-10-12 at 07:51 AM.
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