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Got a noob question for you guys in respect to wheels

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Got a noob question for you guys in respect to wheels

Old 10-09-14, 06:27 PM
  #1  
mark2810
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Got a noob question for you guys in respect to wheels

Hello BF,

Quick question, would it be possible for me to use 26 inch wheels/rim and interchange them on a MTB, road, bike, fixie if they all are 26's.

Or does the width of the wheel play a factor in determing whether the rim is specifically road/MTB?

So noob question.
Sorry lol
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Old 10-09-14, 06:41 PM
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Not necessarily. There are several nominal 26" wheels that are mutually incompatible. What you need to match is the bead seat diameter, which should be indicated on the tire's ETRTO specification. Most MTB wheels use a 559mm bead seat diameter. English 3-speeds with nominal 26" wheels use a 590mm bead seat diameter (AKA "650A"). And an old standard gaining popularity in some circles is "650B" with 584mm bead seat diameter. And there are others nominally labeled as 26". In short, it's a hot mess.
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Old 10-09-14, 07:27 PM
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Some old road bikes had 26" wheels but those were usually 590mm so they are bigger than MTB wheels.
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Old 10-09-14, 07:34 PM
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The above is true, but if the tires are all labeled 26 x 1.xx (or 2.xx) they should all be interchangeable. Rather than rehash what has been covered in detail: Tire Sizing Systems
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Old 10-10-14, 02:41 AM
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As for interchangability between bikes, most modern mountain bikes use 135mm spacing for the rear dropouts, most modern road bikes use 130mm, and fixies use even less, sometimes as low as 110mm. Unless all you're swapping out is the front wheel (where spacing is more consistently 100mm), you may have issues there.

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Old 10-10-14, 09:50 AM
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...in addition to all the above issues, it's unlikely the brake shoes on all the bikes (as originally configured) would hit the rim, but it's possible to arrange it.
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Old 10-10-14, 11:16 AM
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The first difficulty that came to my mind was compatibility of brakes, then rear hub width, both of which have been covered. There's tire clearance between the rear stays to consider as well. I have a burning question for the OP, though... Considering that bicycle frame "styles" and wheel/tire combinations are designed for specific purposes, what would be the benefit of trying to use one set of wheels for multiple frames of different types (MTB, road, fixie, etc)? I can understand having a few sets of wheels for one bike to suit different riding conditions, but having multiple bikes for one set of wheels makes no sense to me.
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Old 10-13-14, 11:15 PM
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It wasn't regarding the frames, even then it would make sense if a frame is totally damaged and I need to yank the wheels off it and put it on another frame. Or if I need wheels for a frame and just bought some of the same size off of CL.

Also, it was regarding more so of the rims of the wheel itself. Could I just switch out the tire and swap rims from bike to bike if they are all 26's.
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Old 10-13-14, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mark2810 View Post
Could I just switch out the tire and swap rims from bike to bike if they are all 26's.
In short, no.

1) Not all 26" standards are the same. See post #2 in this thread by JohnDThompson.

2) Even if your bikes are compatible with the same diameter 26" rim, the frames may be built for hubs of different widths. See post #5 above by Airburst.

3) If you somehow manage to clear those two hurdles, what about gearing? If you're using friction shifting, there's a chance you could make it work. If you're using indexed shifting, it might be possible to make it work, but you'd have to know what you're doing to ensure compatibility because the shifters, derailleurs, and the cassette on the wheel need to be compatible with one another. And swapping wheels between geared bikes and a fixie? Forget it unless you're MacGyver.
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