Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page >

700C to 26" Conversion Question

Notices
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

700C to 26" Conversion Question

Old 10-20-20, 05:22 PM
  #1  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
700C to 26" Conversion Question

So - I have an old 1981 Fuji America touring bike. Not sure why, but those bikes in the early 80's had especially tight clearances, which, as an aside, if anyone knows why clearances were so tight for bikes of this era, especially those not intended for racing, please add some color. Because it is so tight, I have been thinking that I would need to basically drop down to 650C rims....except 28" is the widest 650C tire I can seem to find. Which means that a 26" wheel may be the best.

However, it appears there are issues not with the rim, or the tires working with these bikes, but the brakes do not have the reach necessary. However, I was curious if anyone knows of a solution (some long-reach brake that would satisfy the reach to get to the rim, and allow me to turn this into a little more robust bike, as well as allow me to maybe convert it into a little more robust touring bike if I wanted to go back from single speed.
Just finishing up a ride on my single-speed Fuji America conversion
Het Volk is offline  
Old 10-20-20, 05:26 PM
  #2  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 19,565

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 169 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5510 Post(s)
Liked 2,446 Times in 1,570 Posts
650b conversion is likely your best bet as there is wide tire availability and it won't drop your BB height much if at all if you can run a 650b x 38c tire.

I'm surprised you can't fit a 700 x 32c tire as this was designed as a "fast" touring bike with long reach brakes.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 10-20-20, 05:31 PM
  #3  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
You could, except then you can forget fitting fenders. Even 650B, because of the clearance, especially where the chainstay and BB meet, would limit tire size. Hence why I think a 26 would give me the clearance I desire.

BB Clearance: My thinking, is that I would probably be spinning a high cadence type pedal style vs. a more hammer-fest style low cadence riding style. Hence, I could drop to a square-taper 150 - 155" to help with clearance.

Last edited by Het Volk; 10-20-20 at 05:34 PM.
Het Volk is offline  
Old 10-20-20, 05:36 PM
  #4  
bikemig 
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 19,565

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 169 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5510 Post(s)
Liked 2,446 Times in 1,570 Posts
There are potential issues in running 26 inch wheels on a road bike built around 700c. (1) One is the reach of the brakes. (2) Another is that the BB height will get lowered and you may have an issue with pedal strike when cornering. (3) You may not be able to get a much fatter tire than with a 650b since other parts of the frame (bridges, chainstays, etc.) may limit tire width.
bikemig is offline  
Likes For bikemig:
Old 10-20-20, 09:29 PM
  #5  
kroozer 
vintage motor
 
kroozer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico
Posts: 1,499

Bikes: 48 Automoto, 49 Stallard, 50 Rotrax, 62 Jack Taylor, 67 Atala, 68 Lejeune, 72-74-75 Motobecanes, 73 RIH, 71 Zieleman, 74 Raleigh, 78 Windsor, 83 Messina (Villata), 84 Brazzo (Losa), 85 Davidson, 90 Diamondback, 92 Kestrel

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 55 Times in 43 Posts
That bike is made for good roads and light loads. If that's not your plan, look for another bike.
kroozer is offline  
Old 10-20-20, 09:53 PM
  #6  
polymorphself 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,662
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 682 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 379 Posts
This person on Instagram did it, maybe reach out to them.


polymorphself is offline  
Old 10-21-20, 11:33 AM
  #7  
gugie 
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 10,667

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1175 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4115 Post(s)
Liked 3,662 Times in 1,614 Posts
You've nailed it - brakes are the issue. Looks like someone may have put some MAFAC RAIDs on the one above.

Another alternative is to have cantilever bosses brazed on. Of course, paint would be damaged in those areas, but I've had good luck with color matching at an automotive paint store.

I did an 26" conversion for @rhm not too long ago. Rat Trap Pass tires (26 x 2.2") has an OD of about 675mm, 700c x 28 OD is a bit bigger, I think the bottom bracket drop would be minimal as long as you stick with "very wide" tires.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 10-21-20, 03:29 PM
  #8  
polymorphself 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1,662
Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 682 Post(s)
Liked 767 Times in 379 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Another alternative is to have cantilever bosses brazed on. Of course, paint would be damaged in those areas, but I've had good luck with color matching at an automotive paint store.
The person with the IG photo above did end up having canti bosses brazed on. I wonder why they weren’t satisfied with the mafac raid option?
polymorphself is offline  
Old 10-21-20, 04:22 PM
  #9  
gugie 
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
gugie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 10,667

Bikes: It's complicated.

Mentioned: 1175 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4115 Post(s)
Liked 3,662 Times in 1,614 Posts
Originally Posted by polymorphself View Post
The person with the IG photo above did end up having canti bosses brazed on. I wonder why they weren’t satisfied with the mafac raid option?
Hard to tell from the picture, but going from 700c to 26" is a big change in reach.
__________________
If someone tells you that you have enough bicycles and you don't need any more, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gugie is offline  
Old 10-21-20, 04:56 PM
  #10  
pcb 
Senior Member
 
pcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Joisey
Posts: 1,477
Mentioned: 91 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 376 Post(s)
Liked 613 Times in 278 Posts
Fuji catalogs called out the America as "the ultimate touring bike," but it was a Sport-Tour bike at best. The '76 Bikecentennial boom spurred consumer demand for actual touring bikes in the USA, which Panasonic, Miyata and most of the smaller Japanese-sourced brands answered with actual touring designs: heavier tubing, better tire clearance, canti brakes, and more braze-ons, most importantly for racks. Fuji America tried to slot the America into that niche, with little success, so the Touring Series IV was introduced for the '83 model year, followed by the III and V in '84.

I worked for a Fuji dealer then, we were pretty close to the Fuji America execs, and we had to agitate for a while to get those bikes. We couldn't successfully sell the America against the Miyata 1000, Panasonic Touring Deluxe, etc, etc, etc, so we lost most of our higher-end genuine touring sales until '83. We could never land Miyata, biggish dealer nearby, and by the time we got Panasonic, Fuji had the Touring Series. And by then the touring boom had crested and crashed.

My fading memory tells me mfrs weren't designing touring bikes in the early-'80s to fit 35/38/42mm tires because tires that wide weren't on the market yet.

700c clincher wheels didn't really hit the US market till '76 or so, and the main stated reason for them to exist was so that you could swap them with your tubulars in your road/race frame without having to readjust the brakes. I think it was also intended to broaden the appeal of high-quality road bikes to new lesser-geek riders, who wanted high-end performance bikes, but didn't want to mess with sewups. In the production world 700c clinchers were generally only spec'd on the highest-end road frames, and often only one or two bikes in the line. The real racing bikes came with tubies, then there's be one/two road-sport models with 700c clinchers. Then everything else still had 27" wheels.

There wasn't a lot of 700c tire selection early on, and it was heavily skewed to 23/25mm. Finding anything wider was tough.

Touring bikes were spec'd with 27" wheels, partly because there weren't many wide 700c tires on the market, and also because folks touring were still unlikely to find 700c tires in any width for sale in the boonies. I did a tour in Nova Scotia in '80, on 700c clincher wheels, and in the middle of the tour had to have spare 700c tires shipped from the AYH store in NYC to I-forget-where, Ecum Secum?, a week ahead of where we were, because no bike store anywhere had 700c tires in stock. The widest tires I could find were 32mm Hutchinsons, and they were absolutely the worst tire I ever rode in my life. Daily multiple flats, all my tubes had multiple patches, and my friend mercilessly mocked me for being cutting-edge and running 700c. He had few flat problems, and could get replacement 27" tires at any/every bike shop on the way.

A 27"x1-1/4" tire (32mm) was considered _really_ wide at the time, and most of the 27x1-1/4" tires were cheap and heavy, for the medium-/lower-end models. The upper-end Japanese touring bikes were usually spec'd with 27x1-1/8" tires, 28mm. The Fuji Touring Series were all spec'd with 27" tires, 1-1/8" on the III/IV, and finally 1-1/4" on the V, the highest-spec model.

Your America was originally spec'd with 700x28c tires, but I don't remember those 28c tires ever inflating to 28mm. Those were the bad old days of label inflation, 28c-labeled tires lucky to get to 25mm. The tire clearances weren't especially tight, they were perfectly acceptable for the tires available back then.

Very long-winded way of this curmudgeon being able to say: "You don't know how good you got it, kid."

And, as others have said, 650b is the way to go to convert this, but you might not be able to go much wider than 35-38mm.

Gee, I have a '79 America frameset hanging in the garage, oughta see about building it up some day....

Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
So - I have an old 1981 Fuji America touring bike. Not sure why, but those bikes in the early 80's had especially tight clearances, which, as an aside, if anyone knows why clearances were so tight for bikes of this era, especially those not intended for racing, please add some color. Because it is so tight, I have been thinking that I would need to basically drop down to 650C rims....except 28" is the widest 650C tire I can seem to find. Which means that a 26" wheel may be the best.

However, it appears there are issues not with the rim, or the tires working with these bikes, but the brakes do not have the reach necessary. However, I was curious if anyone knows of a solution (some long-reach brake that would satisfy the reach to get to the rim, and allow me to turn this into a little more robust bike, as well as allow me to maybe convert it into a little more robust touring bike if I wanted to go back from single speed.
Just finishing up a ride on my single-speed Fuji America conversion
__________________
Fuggedaboutit!
pcb is offline  
Likes For pcb:
Old 10-21-20, 05:05 PM
  #11  
thumpism 
Bikes are okay, I guess.
 
thumpism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 8,332

Bikes: Waterford Paramount Touring, Giant CFM-2, Raleigh Sports 3-speeds in M23 & L23, Schwinn Cimarron oddball build, Marin Palisades Trail dropbar conversion, Nishiki Cresta GT

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2397 Post(s)
Liked 1,589 Times in 1,105 Posts
Originally Posted by pcb View Post
I did a tour in Nova Scotia in '80, on 700c clincher wheels, and in the middle of the tour had to have spare 700c tires shipped from the AYH store in NYC to I-forget-where, Ecum Secum?, a week ahead of where we were, because no bike store anywhere had 700c tires in stock. The widest tires I could find were 32mm Hutchinsons, and they were absolutely the worst tire I ever rode in my life. Daily multiple flats, all my tubes had multiple patches, and my friend mercilessly mocked me for being cutting-edge and running 700c. He had few flat problems, and could get replacement 27" tires at any/every bike shop on the way.
I had the opposite experience touring in France in '74 on a bicycle purchased in Amsterdam. I was running 27s and in deepest, darkest France one could only find 700C tires. I had to take a train to a fairly large city to find the tires I needed.
thumpism is offline  
Old 10-21-20, 06:06 PM
  #12  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,782

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 555 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1874 Post(s)
Liked 409 Times in 265 Posts
Originally Posted by gugie View Post
You've nailed it - brakes are the issue. Looks like someone may have put some MAFAC RAIDs on the one above.

Another alternative is to have cantilever bosses brazed on. Of course, paint would be damaged in those areas, but I've had good luck with color matching at an automotive paint store.

I did an 26" conversion for @rhm not too long ago. Rat Trap Pass tires (26 x 2.2") has an OD of about 675mm, 700c x 28 OD is a bit bigger, I think the bottom bracket drop would be minimal as long as you stick with "very wide" tires.
Yeah, if you're thinking about converting any bike to 26" I'd definitely take a look at what Mark did to mine. The America has horizontal dropouts, doesn't it? That complicates things.
Originally Posted by pcb View Post
<snip>

Touring bikes were spec'd with 27" wheels, partly because there weren't many wide 700c tires on the market, and also because folks touring were still unlikely to find 700c tires in any width for sale in the boonies.

<snip>
Right, and 27" tires tended to run between 28 and 32 regardless whether they were labeled 1 1/8 or 1 1/4. When I got my Trek 720 I outfitted it with 27 x 1 3/8 Specialized Expedition tires, which I was very proud of. They were the fattest tire available and the frame had room enough for that and fenders. Pretty tight, though.
__________________
www.rhmsaddles.com.

Last edited by rhm; 10-21-20 at 06:10 PM.
rhm is offline  
Old 10-21-20, 10:47 PM
  #13  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
Wow - just a wealth of information. Thank you. You are correct. It is small diameter tubing, and lots of frame flex. I have the original 27' AVAYA rims (well- what came with bike when I purchased it, but spokes needed replacement.

I guess maybe I should embrace this bike as it exists....a great commuter and grocery/beer bike. I put Crank Brothers Double-Shot 1 on so I can ride in flip-flops to dedicated cycling shoes, depending on the purpose of the ride.

But oddly - as a Sport Touring Bike, 27' tires mean less clearance for fenders, yet also has a low trail geometry, which means it rides worse with skinny tires. That being said, if you drop down to 622mm rims, with 28' tires, might be the perfect supported touring bike (think Ride the Rockies).
Het Volk is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 06:23 AM
  #14  
ollo_ollo
Senior Member
 
ollo_ollo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Soviet of Oregon or the NW Florida Redoubt
Posts: 5,195

Bikes: Still have a few left!

Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 427 Post(s)
Liked 286 Times in 169 Posts
Had the same clearance issues on my Winter rain commuter bike, a Centurion Pro-Tour. Could only fit 28c with very little clearance for its Blumels fenders. Saw several other Pro-Tours around town with better clearance. Bike had very high mileage when I got it, rear wheel and hub were shot, but it gave faithful service for years and I would have kept it after retirement save for the clearance issue. Don


ollo_ollo is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 09:23 AM
  #15  
Mr. Spadoni 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 668
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 247 Post(s)
Liked 196 Times in 108 Posts
You mention fenders. In his retrospective of bikes of the 80s, PCB explains a lot of what seem now to be odd choices, that were dictated by equipment availability and market forces. The thing about fender clearance is that is was not an issue because fenders were not widely used. Crazy,, isn’t it? Even the carbonistas use some type of fenders now but then they were not a must have item, even here in the PNW. So when thinking about a bike that would be sold nationally, there was little incentive to allow room for them. In my case, sometime in the 80s I stood inside a frame builder’s shop, drenched from the wet day outside, and had to argue with him to get some fender eyelets added to a frame that was being built to order. If I had fought for fender clearance, I would still be standing there, looking out at the wet day.
Mr. Spadoni is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 10:49 AM
  #16  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
You mention fenders. In his retrospective of bikes of the 80s, PCB explains a lot of what seem now to be odd choices, that were dictated by equipment availability and market forces. The thing about fender clearance is that is was not an issue because fenders were not widely used. Crazy,, isn’t it? Even the carbonistas use some type of fenders now but then they were not a must have item, even here in the PNW. So when thinking about a bike that would be sold nationally, there was little incentive to allow room for them. In my case, sometime in the 80s I stood inside a frame builder’s shop, drenched from the wet day outside, and had to argue with him to get some fender eyelets added to a frame that was being built to order. If I had fought for fender clearance, I would still be standing there, looking out at the wet day.

Great points on the era dictating the issues now faced by owners of those bikes. For some reason, it seems clearance was better on bikes from around pre-mid 70's, but something changed in the mid-70's where clearance tightened up. I also wonder if the lack of fender usage was the market wanting bikes to look race oriented and get away from the "Schwinn" cruiser look that dominated kids bikes from the 60's,

It is clear however from PCB that the market for touring bikes did not want a Sport Tourer that was the Fuji America, and I do wonder if Fuji just rebadged a road bike and added a rear pannier eyelet to the seat stays as a quick budget minded response to the bike boom. However, as PCB noted, real touring enthusiasts were not enthusiastic about the model for dedicated touring.

As for fenders.....I do wonder if some of the lack of demand for fenders was driven by the fact that people were not commuting by bike as much then (even though it is still partly now still). In other words, a lot of people back then had the mindset of only riding in good weather, and therefore, why do you need fenders. And if you think about it, clothing options back then for the average joe were not exactly conducive to riding in damp or wet weather. But again, just my speculation on why clearance for these bikes is now what one would have expected given their traditional, lugged steel design.
Het Volk is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 11:42 AM
  #17  
kroozer 
vintage motor
 
kroozer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico
Posts: 1,499

Bikes: 48 Automoto, 49 Stallard, 50 Rotrax, 62 Jack Taylor, 67 Atala, 68 Lejeune, 72-74-75 Motobecanes, 73 RIH, 71 Zieleman, 74 Raleigh, 78 Windsor, 83 Messina (Villata), 84 Brazzo (Losa), 85 Davidson, 90 Diamondback, 92 Kestrel

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 55 Times in 43 Posts
What kind of riding do you want to do with the bike? Your Fuji seems to be a classic sport tourer, best for day excursions and commuting on good roads and streets with a fairly light load. Converting it to smaller diameter wheels can be expensive and complicated, and even then you might not be able to fit wide tires. If you want to do fully-loaded touring, look for a dedicated tourer. Old rigid-frame MTB's also make great heavy-duty tourers, they check off all the boxes: strong frame, good brakes, full braze-on's, comfortable ride, huge tire clearances. And they're dirt cheap.
kroozer is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 11:53 AM
  #18  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 40,176

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 495 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7014 Post(s)
Liked 1,764 Times in 1,099 Posts
I think fashion also dictated tight clearances. I was a shop mechanic from 1978 through 1984. I saw clearances get tighter over those years. We liked the looks of those short reach brakes. We might have argued that tighter tolerances improved handling incrementally since it allowed for shorter fork blades which in turn lower our center of gravity. The idea has merit but the difference is tiny. In any case, retrospect leads us to ask, what were we thinking?
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Likes For noglider:
Old 10-22-20, 01:58 PM
  #19  
Mr. Spadoni 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 668
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 247 Post(s)
Liked 196 Times in 108 Posts
When your bike was built, commuters faced a bigger issue than clothes or fenders : Lights. For most people, most places, it’s dark at one or both ends of their work day. Gotta see and be seen. Now for very little money, you can buy lights that are strong enough to strip paint and last for hours. When your bike was built, there were heavy, expensive halogens and the dynopowers that only operated while you were moving.
Mr. Spadoni is offline  
Likes For Mr. Spadoni:
Old 10-22-20, 02:54 PM
  #20  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
Originally Posted by kroozer View Post
What kind of riding do you want to do with the bike? Your Fuji seems to be a classic sport tourer, best for day excursions and commuting on good roads and streets with a fairly light load. Converting it to smaller diameter wheels can be expensive and complicated, and even then you might not be able to fit wide tires. If you want to do fully-loaded touring, look for a dedicated tourer. Old rigid-frame MTB's also make great heavy-duty tourers, they check off all the boxes: strong frame, good brakes, full braze-on's, comfortable ride, huge tire clearances. And they're dirt cheap.
The impetus for this conversion is for a couple of reasons:
(a) Interestingly enough, the Fuji America is a low trail bike (see photo below). So they designed a frame with low-trail, but used skinnier tires (which at the time, as others have noted) was what was available. Fatter tires improve the handling of low-trail bikes.
(b) Just would make for a plusher ride, especially since my commute often takes me along rougher roads and a concrete bike path, which as we can all attest, such to ride on purely from the bumpety-bump due to uneven segments.
(c) Fender clearance

Fuji America Fork Rake / Trail
Het Volk is offline  
Likes For Het Volk:
Old 10-22-20, 03:00 PM
  #21  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I think fashion also dictated tight clearances. I was a shop mechanic from 1978 through 1984. I saw clearances get tighter over those years. We liked the looks of those short reach brakes. We might have argued that tighter tolerances improved handling incrementally since it allowed for shorter fork blades which in turn lower our center of gravity. The idea has merit but the difference is tiny. In any case, retrospect leads us to ask, what were we thinking?
I also wonder if the advent of dual pivot, side-pull brakes, and they (at least as designed), more limited reach and less width (i.e. - tighter clearances from the brakes alone) drove some of the frame design choices. Cantilevers were fading from road bikes, and the single-pivot, while it had advantages, often on lower end brakes, seemed to be quite difficult to use compared to the more powerful single-pivot. People spend so much time pouring over bikes from the 50's and 60's, but the era of the bike book seems to be an under appreciated period where there was some dramatic change in bike technology that really did not change much until the early 90's when things really started getting crazy.


Good Article Here
Single Pivot Brakes
Het Volk is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 03:59 PM
  #22  
non-fixie 
Shifting is fun!
 
non-fixie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: South Holland, NL
Posts: 10,292

Bikes: Yes, please.

Mentioned: 262 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1912 Post(s)
Liked 2,788 Times in 1,206 Posts
I'm not familiar with the Fuji America, but I do like the look of it. Looking at internet pics of the America it looks like 700x30C might fit. If so, I find that to be a nice compromise for mixed road surfaces.

Just returned from a trip on these Challenge Strada Bianca's. Like them a lot.

non-fixie is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 05:34 PM
  #23  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
I'm not familiar with the Fuji America, but I do like the look of it. Looking at internet pics of the America it looks like 700x30C might fit. If so, I find that to be a nice compromise for mixed road surfaces.

Just returned from a trip on these Challenge Strada Bianca's. Like them a lot.

So - the one issue I see is that your bike has cantilever brakes, while mine at best, can use single-pivot Dia Compe brakes. But I may try to find some 30MM tires and see if they work.
Het Volk is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 05:37 PM
  #24  
Het Volk
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 266
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 59 Posts
Originally Posted by pcb View Post


A 27"x1-1/4" tire (32mm) was considered _really_ wide at the time, and most of the 27x1-1/4" tires were cheap and heavy, for the medium-/lower-end models. The upper-end Japanese touring bikes were usually spec'd with 27x1-1/8" tires, 28mm. The Fuji Touring Series were all spec'd with 27" tires, 1-1/8" on the III/IV, and finally 1-1/4" on the V, the highest-spec model.

Your America was originally spec'd with 700x28c tires, but I don't remember those 28c tires ever inflating to 28mm. Those were the bad old days of label inflation, 28c-labeled tires lucky to get to 25mm. The tire clearances weren't especially tight, they were perfectly acceptable for the tires available back then.

.
So - this is interesting, because when spec'd with Panaracer 28MM tires for a 27" rim, the tire rubbed against the fork....which supports your statement. Likely, they were originally spec'd with 25MM tires, at 27" (while badged at 28MM), which allowed for the tire to work with those clearances on an older 27" rim.
Het Volk is offline  
Old 10-22-20, 06:53 PM
  #25  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 40,176

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 495 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7014 Post(s)
Liked 1,764 Times in 1,099 Posts
Welcome to bikeforums, @Het Volk. What does your name mean?

Speaking of fashion, I think the resurgence of single pivot side pull brakes was the result of fashion. We got center pull brakes which, while messy to set up, really worked better than side pull brakes. And we looked down our noses at bikes with side pull brakes, because mostly they came on lower end bikes. Then Campagnolo came out with side pull brakes, and they were fancy and expensive, and we wished we could afford them, so all the makers went back to side pulls for many bikes, and some of them got fancy (with finish etc). Some were pretty good, and some were not. I am blessed with large, strong hands, so they work for me, even most of the crappy ones. But they are not good for some people. The dual pivot solves most of the problems of both single pivots and center pulls. I took a long loaded tour with Weinmann side pulls in 1981. They were just about the worst choice, but I didn't know. There were some descents when I barely controlled the bike, and thank goodness for my hands. They equipped some touring bikes with brakes like those. What were they thinking? I can only say that fashion played too big a role.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.