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 10-30-12, 12:50 PM #1 teachme Senior Member Thread Starter     Join Date: May 2011 Location: Nederland, Texas Bikes: 2011 Specialized Sectuer, 1988 Bianchi Posts: 1,441 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) What is 700cc a measurement of in a wheel set? I teach 5th grade math and we did an activity on the circumference of a circle using the front wheel off my Specialized Sectuer as a manipulative. We measured the circumferance of the tire on the wheel and it measured out to be approximately 84 inches which converts to approximately 213.5cm. So, what does the 700cc stand for? Thanks, Bert
 10-30-12, 01:09 PM #2 LarDasse74 Guest   Join Date: Jul 2008 Location: Grid Reference, SK Bikes: I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame. Posts: 3,769 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) THe wheel size is '700C' not cc... cc is a unit of volume: cubic centimeter. (edit 1) Hopefully you already know that, being a math teacher 700C today refers to a rim with a bead seat diameter (BSD) of 622mm. Many years ago there were 700A, 700B, 700C and 700D wheels. Each had a different size rim and tire set that resulted in a nominal diameter of 700mm. Modern 700C wheels are used with tires from 18mm (super narrow racing tires) to ~75mm wide (wide '29er' mtb tires which also use 700C rims) so there is great variation in the diameter. But the rim size remains the same. (edit 2) 700A, B, and D are obsolete. GT made a few hybrid/cruiser bikes a while back with 700D wheels, and if you have one of those today and the tires wear out you basically need to buy a new bike. Other wheel sizes that used a similar system are 650B (medium width tires used on old dirt path and 'camping bikes, I think, as well as many modern mtbs) and 650C (small racing wheels used for an aerodynamic advantage in time trials and triathlons) (edit 3) Read this: http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html Last edited by LarDasse74; 10-30-12 at 01:15 PM.
 10-30-12, 01:10 PM #3 TampaRaleigh Senior Member     Join Date: Oct 2012 Location: Tampa, FL Bikes: 1986 Raleigh Competition (Restored to Original), 1986 Cannonade SR400 (Updated to Dura Ace 7800) Posts: 1,941 Mentioned: 1 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) 700 mm is the (approximate) outer diameter of the rim WITH a tire mounted. The "c" was an old designation for a tire/rim type. There WERE "700a", "700b", etc... but those are long gone. (It's 700c, not 700cc) LarDasse beat me to it, and his explanation is much better.
 10-30-12, 01:11 PM #4 Andrew R Stewart  Andrew R Stewart     Join Date: Feb 2012 Location: Rochester, NY Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Raleigh Pro, Trek Cycle Cross, Mongoose tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder Posts: 8,832 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 829 Post(s) Think of tire "sizes" as labels. It's kind of like clothing sizes. The labeled size is kind of but not really the measured size. Andy.
10-30-12, 01:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by teachme I teach 5th grade math and we did an activity on the circumference of a circle using the front wheel off my Specialized Sectuer as a manipulative. We measured the circumferance of the tire on the wheel and it measured out to be approximately 84 inches which converts to approximately 213.5cm. So, what does the 700cc stand for? Thanks, Bert
Divide 2135 by 700. What do you get? (It's off a bit, but it should be pi; 700 refers to the nominal tire diameter at the tread. Kind of. Tire sizes are very weird.)
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

10-30-12, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by LarDasse74 700A, B, and D are obsolete.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by TampaRaleigh There WERE "700a", "700b", etc... but those are long gone.
Not quite. 700B is still used on rod-brake roadsters such as Flying Pigeons. They certainly are not common anymore.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

10-30-12, 01:41 PM   #7
LarDasse74
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 Originally Posted by Doohickie Divide 2135 by 700. What do you get? (It's off a bit, but it should be pi; 700 refers to the nominal tire diameter at the tread. Kind of. Tire sizes are very weird.)
Good thought! By doing this we can see the actual diameter of the OPs wheel is ~680 mm, which, if we assume the tires have a round cross-section with the bottom approxiately at the bead seat, we know the OP has tires that are (680-622)/2 = ~29 mm... Do you, by chance have 700 X 28C tires on your bike, sir????

10-30-12, 01:48 PM   #8
teachme
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 Originally Posted by Doohickie Divide 2135 by 700. What do you get? (It's off a bit, but it should be pi; 700 refers to the nominal tire diameter at the tread. Kind of. Tire sizes are very weird.)
I see... The 700 is just a label representing one unit of approx. pi. ??

10-30-12, 01:52 PM   #9
teachme
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 Originally Posted by LarDasse74 THe wheel size is '700C' not cc... cc is a unit of volume: cubic centimeter. (edit 1) Hopefully you already know that, being a math teacher
Quote:
 Originally Posted by LarDasse74 700C today refers to a rim with a bead seat diameter (BSD) of 622mm. Many years ago there were 700A, 700B, 700C and 700D wheels. Each had a different size rim and tire set that resulted in a nominal diameter of 700mm. Modern 700C wheels are used with tires from 18mm (super narrow racing tires) to ~75mm wide (wide '29er' mtb tires which also use 700C rims) so there is great variation in the diameter. But the rim size remains the same. (edit 2) 700A, B, and D are obsolete. GT made a few hybrid/cruiser bikes a while back with 700D wheels, and if you have one of those today and the tires wear out you basically need to buy a new bike. Other wheel sizes that used a similar system are 650B (medium width tires used on old dirt path and 'camping bikes, I think, as well as many modern mtbs) and 650C (small racing wheels used for an aerodynamic advantage in time trials and triathlons) (edit 3) Read this: http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
Yeah, I didn't mean to typ cc, but was confused if the "c" meant centimeter. So the "c" is a label not a unit of measure?

10-30-12, 01:53 PM   #10
LarDasse74
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 Originally Posted by teachme I see... The 700 is just a label representing one unit of approx. pi. ??
Not sure what you mean.

700mm is the nominal diameter of the wheel with a medium width tire (~35 mm).

10-30-12, 01:54 PM   #11
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 Yeah, I didn't mean to typ cc, but was confused if the "c" meant centimeter. So the "c" is a label not a unit of measure?
Correct. 'C' is just the name. 700 cm is ~23 feet.

10-30-12, 01:59 PM   #12
teachme
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 Originally Posted by LarDasse74 Not sure what you mean. 700mm is the nominal diameter of the wheel with a medium width tire (~35 mm).
Is that where the 700 comes from? The measure of diameter in millimeters?

10-30-12, 02:17 PM   #13
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 Originally Posted by teachme Is that where the 700 comes from? The measure of diameter in millimeters?
Yes, millimeters, the C is just a designator of the rim width, as already pointed out there used to other widths named A, B, and D with A being narrowest and D the widest, C was the most commonly used so they just went with C's as the standard 700 mm rim, discontinuing the others for the most part. They are also called 29 inch rims : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29er_%28bicycle%29

 10-30-12, 02:19 PM #14 jim hughes Senior Member   Join Date: May 2010 Bikes: Posts: 461 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) I might be wrong from a historical perspective, but I don't think the number 700 has any specific meaning today -700c just identifies a standard.
10-30-12, 02:20 PM   #15
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 Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart Think of tire "sizes" as labels. It's kind of like clothing sizes. The labeled size is kind of but not really the measured size. Andy.

I have had 4 bikes with 26" inch rims that were all different diameters. Like to drive me shugbit

 10-30-12, 02:20 PM #16 Doohickie  You gonna eat that?     Join Date: Sep 2008 Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS Posts: 14,588 Mentioned: 2 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 93 Post(s) Using bicycle tires to try to show how things are measured is kind of like wading into the deep end. There is a lot to bicycle tire sizing that is not really obvious. __________________ I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one. Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
10-30-12, 02:22 PM   #17
LarDasse74
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 Originally Posted by Rootman Yes, millimeters, the C is just a designator of the rim width, as already pointed out there used to other widths named A, B, and D with A being narrowest and D the widest, C was the most commonly used so they just went with C's as the standard 700 mm rim, discontinuing the others for the most part. They are also called 29 inch rims : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/29er_%28bicycle%29
Actually, it is the diameters of A, B, C, and D rims are all different, not necessarily the widths. The different sizes were meant for use with tires that were different widths (and also heights) so that each size would result in a wheel diameter of approximately 700 mm.

 10-30-12, 02:41 PM #18 fietsbob  coprolite     Join Date: Jun 2010 Location: NW,Oregon Coast Bikes: 8 Posts: 29,079 Mentioned: 65 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 3178 Post(s) cc is a measure of Volume not length. Cubic Centimeters. [Don't they consider the metric system, subversive, in Texas?] The numbers that count are a agreement between Tire/tyre and Rim Manufacturers. They use a tire-bead seat diameter.. for 700C it's 622mm. so look at tire sidewalls 622-32 is size & width.. Metric . nearest fractional size 27 x 1.25" is (approximate), a 630-32.. not same.. The ETRO numbers are on the sidewall .. circumference changes with tire width. of course.. Last edited by fietsbob; 10-30-12 at 02:49 PM.
10-30-12, 03:10 PM   #19
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 Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart Think of tire "sizes" as labels. It's kind of like clothing sizes. The labeled size is kind of but not really the measured size. Andy.
^^^^^
This.

If you want the "real" size, look for the ETRTO designation

10-30-12, 03:48 PM   #20
wheelreason
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 Originally Posted by teachme I see... The 700 is just a label representing one unit of approx. pi. ??
Step away from the students,....SECURITY!....I'm ordering a Mandarin Rosetta Stone immediately...

10-30-12, 04:18 PM   #21
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by jim hughes I might be wrong from a historical perspective, but I don't think the number 700 has any specific meaning today -700c just identifies a standard.
Well, if you mount up some 39mm tires it will mean something.
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10-30-12, 04:45 PM   #22
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 Originally Posted by teachme I see... The 700 is just a label representing one unit of approx. pi. ??
Quote:
 Originally Posted by wheelreason Step away from the students,....SECURITY!....I'm ordering a Mandarin Rosetta Stone immediately...
I'm still wondering what "one unit of (approximately) pi" is...

10-30-12, 06:15 PM   #23
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 Originally Posted by FastJake I'm still wondering what "one unit of (approximately) pi" is...
I think he meant like in a unit circle... But in the case of a 700c wheel, instead of the unit being 1, the unit is 700.

10-30-12, 07:37 PM   #24
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 Originally Posted by FastJake I'm still wondering what "one unit of (approximately) pi" is...
I think it is one slice (approximately).
mmmmm, pi.

10-30-12, 07:58 PM   #25
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 Originally Posted by FastJake I'm still wondering what "one unit of (approximately) pi" is...
When a circle's diameter is 1 unit, its circumference is pi units.

Last edited by teachme; 10-30-12 at 08:04 PM.