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changing wheels on my hybrid

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changing wheels on my hybrid

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Old 10-07-11, 02:59 PM
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starminer
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changing wheels on my hybrid

I have a hybrid with 26" x 1.75 wheels. I'm looking to get some skinny wheels on these, since my commute is all on the road. Can I fit 700c wheels on these? I found a guy who has a warehouse full of bike parts. What kind of wheels should I look for? Thanks.
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Old 10-07-11, 03:06 PM
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More details on your bike would be useful but unless you have disc brakes, the change is very difficult, even assuming your frame and fork have clearance for the larger diameter wheels. Cantilever and V-brakes set up for 26" (ISO 559) wheels won't adjust nearly enough to align with 700c (ISO 622) rims.
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Old 10-07-11, 03:11 PM
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It's an old Giant Prodigy bike. I have the standard type brakes. If not 700c, should I just look for 26" skinny wheels?
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Old 10-07-11, 03:15 PM
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Skinny does not automatically mean faster or smoother...

There is a good selection of 26 inch tyres designed for road / urban use... have been using Schwalbe Silentos (1.75) on my 26 inch wheeled commuter and have been loving these for the ride and rollout and am a long term fan of the wider Schwalbe Hurricae which is a 2.0 but rolls out more like a road tyre, is faster rolling than a Marathon, and just as bulletproof at a much lower cost.
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Old 10-07-11, 03:19 PM
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So, the treads are more important than width for reducing drag & rolling resistance? My current tyres are the knobby type.
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Old 10-07-11, 03:26 PM
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If you are riding on the road a tyre requires no tread whatsoever and the less tread you have the more contact area you have with the road... treads / lugs serve to aid in traction on loose surfaces but offer no advantage on pavement and actually reduce contact area.

A narrower tyre can offer an advantage in that it will be a little lighter in weight and reducing weight at your rims is beneficial.

A wider tyre has more volume and will often resist pinch flats and there is a small aerodynamic penalty but this really only applies at much higher speeds.

The compound and casing of the tyre does more to determine it's rolling resistance and speed and there is always a plus to riding a higher volume tyre in urban environments as they can allow you to blow through things that you might want to dodge with skinnier, higher psi tyres.

I ride a vintage fixed gear bicycle that rolls on some very smooth 700:38 cross tyres and it is deceptively fast and these tyres blow through everything.

Some bicycles do best with different tyres... my stiff as nails aluminium hybrid was a pretty harsh ride on 700:28 road tyres but was the smoothest bike ever on 700:35 cross tyres which ran at a slightly lower psi.
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Old 10-07-11, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I'll try shopping tyres if I can't find a steal on wheels.
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Old 10-07-11, 04:04 PM
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I run 26 x 1.25 slicks on my mtb for road riding works well. 700c wheels won't fit on your bike anyway.

You can pick up narrow slicks at Nashbar and other online shops for around $10 each.

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Old 10-07-11, 04:12 PM
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Starminer: I'm happy with my 26 X 1.85 Michelin City Tires on an old Mongoose rigid MTB. They're fast and smooth on the street and can handle crushed stone and gravel trails well. I've also heard good reports on Continental City Ride Tires in 26 X 1.75. Both have an extra puncture-resistant layer; so far so good with mine.
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Old 10-07-11, 08:33 PM
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Do I need to buy a new inner tube if I change my tires from 1.75 to something a little thinner?
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Old 10-07-11, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by starminer View Post
Do I need to buy a new inner tube if I change my tires from 1.75 to something a little thinner?
The tube should be a match for the new tyre... it is okay to run a slightly smaller tube as this can aid installation but running a tube that is too large can cause mounting problems.
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Old 10-08-11, 12:40 AM
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Tioga City Slickers in 1.25 or 1.5 inch width or Ritchey Tom Slicks at 1.5 inch will make your bike feel like it just became a turbo'ed racer. Especially if you're used to the knobbies.

The bike will feel a lot less squirmy in turns as well with road slicks on your 26inch wheels.

You can't fit 700c to your bike anyway because the brakes won't reach the rims. So new tires is all you've got for an option.


....Welllll.... there is some horseshoe adapters that someone posted to allow such a thing. It just occured to me as I was typing the last line. But really you'll get 95% of what you want to gain by just going with 1.5 or 1.25 inch width tires on your existing wheels.
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Old 10-08-11, 03:59 AM
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Bontreger H2 Eco tires come in a 1.5 inch width that is a great "road" and light trail tire for a hybrid. They will give you reduced rolling resistance and a smooth ride with just enough tread for occassional loose road surfaces.

Mavic makes an adapter that allows you to use 700c rims on a bike designed for 26" assuming you have adequate clearance and canti or v-brakes. The kit costs about $60 online. When measuring for clearance, remember to consider the tires you will be using on the 700 rims which will have a lower profile than your knobbies. IMHO tires under 1.5 inch wide look funny on a MTB and serve no purpose.
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Old 10-08-11, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. I was talking with a bike repair guy, and he mentioned how it was odd that I had mountain bike wheels on my hybrid. My bike has a pretty high top tube, and if you just replaced the handlebars and tires, it would look pretty much like a road bike. Is it possible that the 26" wheels are mismatched to it? The front and rear wheels seem to be of a different make. The bike is at least 3rd hand, and it's fairly old (mid 90's, I'd say). The fit with respect to the fork & brakes seems good, though. If it isn't the original wheel, which road bike wheel size would you guess it came with?

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Old 10-08-11, 07:54 PM
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Post pics, but I bet it came with the 26 inch wheels.

Changing out to wheels of a different diameter, on a bike that age and of that value, you would be better off selling it and buying a different bike. A 20 year old hybrid/mtb will have minimal value. But myself, I would invest around $30 in slick tires and tubes, and enjoy riding it.
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Old 10-08-11, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
...running a tube that is too large can cause mounting problems.
IME, it can also cause pinch flats that manifest themselves in a delayed fashion.
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Old 10-08-11, 08:49 PM
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I know some cyclists swear that there is a huge difference in performance between 700c and 26-inch wheel sizes. I own two hybrids, one of each wheel type and I did a few measurements and calculations. Both bikes have Bontrager H2 Eco tires, 28 x 700 and 1.25 x 26. The difference in diameter of the wheels is about 1.25 inches which calculates to just 4 inches difference in diameter. I confirmed this by rolling each bike across the garage floor marking each time the valve stem was at its lowest point. It works out to just a 6% difference in rollout and .625 inch difference in radius. That is nowhere near as dramatic as I first expected.

I admit that I can feel a difference in rolling resistance favoring the 700c bike (the frame geometry and weight of the bikes are very close) but these figures make me wonder how much can be attributed to wheel diameter as opposed to the 700c wheel and tire being narrower. It would be interesting to put equally narrow wheels and tires on the 26 inch bike, but I'm not going to buy a new wheelset for an old hybrid just to satisfy my curiosity.

My point is that one should not expect huge improvements in performance just by changing from 26-inch to 700c wheels on the same bike. Get some good 1.5 inch (or narrower if your rims allow) hybrid / road tires and my guess is that you will see 90% of the improvement you would by going to 700c with a lot less expense and trouble.

In case you are set on swapping wheelsets, some MTB frames can be converted to 700c by swapping to caliper brakes that have a fair amount of vertical adjustment. You'll have to measure your frame to see if it will work for you.
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Old 10-08-11, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by starminer View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I was talking with a bike repair guy, and he mentioned how it was odd that I had mountain bike wheels on my hybrid. My bike has a pretty high top tube, and if you just replaced the handlebars and tires, it would look pretty much like a road bike. Is it possible that the 26" wheels are mismatched to it? The front and rear wheels seem to be of a different make. The bike is at least 3rd hand, and it's fairly old (mid 90's, I'd say). The fit with respect to the fork & brakes seems good, though. If it isn't the original wheel, which road bike wheel size would you guess it came with?
No. The posts that hold the brakeset are at a specific point on the fork and chainstay to operate with either 26" or 700 mm rims, not both.

Brad

PS OOPS, I hit the reply accidentally. As others have said you're better off buying some pavement specific 26" tires, somewhere between 1.5 and 2 inches.

Another option to use in conjunction with the road tires is to pick up a different cassette if you never use the low gears. For example replacing an 11-30 with an 11-27.

Brad

Last edited by bradtx; 10-08-11 at 09:38 PM.
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