Old 05-17-13, 09:24 AM
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OP: The several suggestion on going with a smaller wheel fully agree with my experience also. I will add:

1) In the cases when a large diameter wheel is used on a small frame, the physics seem to not be right. By this I mean that when a wheel/tire spins, its mass has a lot of centrifugal force that affects the bike and its rider. It seems that the amount is about right when a large wheel is used on a large bike and about right when a small wheel is used on a small bike. Some will categorize the effect as being one of the wheel attempting to steer the bike or to resist the riders effort to steer the bike. Sort of becomes a bit of a fight between the rider and the bike.
2) The other aspect is that the weight of the rim and tire/tube has to be rotated around the axle by the riders muscles. When the rim/tire/tube is disproportionally far away from the axle for a respective frame size, then the amount of work the rider must do is also equivalently disproportional.
3) Most riders have a vision of what a good bike looks like to them. In my view, when one steps back 10 feet from any bike, it should not be notable whether it is a large/large or a small/small. When the wheels used are out of proportion to the frame size...well it just looks goofy and draws negative attention... often along the lines of questions like "when are you going to trade that in for one that fits you?" Ouch!
ksisler is offline