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27" Component Availability?

Old 06-02-05, 06:29 AM
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fritz1255
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27" Component Availability?

With 700C wheels now the standard for road bikes, are the 27" components likely to become hard to find? As of today, 27" wheels are still reasonably easy to find, and even KMart has tires and tubes, but for how much longer?
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Old 06-02-05, 06:50 AM
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By the time the glaciers return, you're guaranteed not to see them anywhere. But for the short term, they'll be available. I read somewhere that 20 million bicycles in the US alone use this size, and that is too big a market segment to ignore. The problem is in securing high quality 27" tires. They are getting rare...
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Old 06-02-05, 08:31 AM
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I think there is greater 27" tire selection today than there was 6 or 7 years ago... perhaps the emergence of fixies.
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Old 06-02-05, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Noah Scape
I think there is greater 27" tire selection today than there was 6 or 7 years ago...
I concur. In fact, I am actually converting the Capo back to 27" wheels. I have a nice 27" wheelset with Normandy Luxe Competition high-flange hubs, which I can surpass only by spending big bucks on historically accurate high-flange Campag. Records. Continental now offers 70-80PSI 27x1-1/4" touring tires which will work safely with my vintage non-hooked rims.
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Old 06-03-05, 06:49 AM
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Wait! does that mean that 27" is becoming more popular? Will we see a trend away from 700c? (the difference has always been irritating to me. It's like, about 4mm or something).
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Old 06-04-05, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by luker
By the time the glaciers return, you're guaranteed not to see them anywhere. But for the short term, they'll be available. I read somewhere that 20 million bicycles in the US alone use this size, and that is too big a market segment to ignore. The problem is in securing high quality 27" tires. They are getting rare...
Continental and others are MAKING top quality tires in size 27, but not many local shops keep the expensive ones in stock. Sheldon Brown's shop sells them "mail order".

Because there are millions of bikes in the UK and the USA that use these tires, I'd bet the supply of tires will be good over the next twenty or thirty years. For as long as people are willing to buy them. At some point, the bikes that were built before 1985 are going to be "retired" from on-the-road use, and become "wall hangers". Then, the "demand" for the tires will become close to zero.

Rivendell has been able to get tire makers to make "special" tires for them in relatively small batches (a couple thousand pairs, perhaps). Rivendell has found that the big expense is the molds to make "Tire No. 1". Continental has been making tires in size 27 forever, and the molds and machines are long since paid for. Continental's $60 a pair 27 inch touring tires are a very profitable item for them. But, when the orders drop from 100,000 tires a year to 1,000 tires a year?

When I go to the Houston Zoo in April, and other sorts of places where you see the "five times a year" cyclists, I see a LOT of road bikes from the 1970's. There are days where I see more bikes from that era than "current" road bikes. Of course, the riders are not getting any younger...the typical customer for that size seems to be about fifty or sixty years old...the buyers may disappear before the bikes do.
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