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27 V 700C History?

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27 V 700C History?

Old 01-16-12, 08:37 PM
  #51  
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Many years ago, I believe sometime in the late sixties or seventies, the world faced a choice. A choice, driven by the understanding of the need for standardization.

At that time, most of the world either had or chose to adopt the metric system of measurement(and I vividly remember those days of trying to adjust). Suddenly European countries, Canada, Japan and many more already metric, or newly adopted, created the opportunity to market the 700c clincher, the clincher technology of the time permitting.

However, one huge market did not embrace the metric system - the USA. That gigantic market could demand that suppliers meet its standards. And the USA standard of measurement was imperial. Hence, the 27" wheel remained entrenched in the North American market for many years after the global move to standardize.

Of course, the above could be a product of happy hour.
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Old 01-17-12, 02:31 AM
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I had an old gitane tdf, and an old raleigh competition that were problably close in age, maybe mid 70's. Both prettty nice 531 road frames and I think both came with 27 inch wheels. But the gitane had much tighter wheel to frame/fork clearances. It also had mafac competition brakes that had an additional adjustment slot at the brake to frame mounts. Made it much easier to switch the gitane to 700c. The brakes still worked fine, and it still looked fine. The raleigh already had generous wheel to frame/fork clearances with 27" wheeels, and even with the relatively long weinman centerpulls, was really a stretch with 700c. Didn't brake well, didn't look good. Seemed almost as if raleigh was trying to make it difficult, and gitane was trying to make it easy.
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Old 01-17-12, 02:51 AM
  #53  
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& 700C, was the common race tire, but it wan't called that, if it was a glued on tire.

27" became a consumer bike wheel, for the rabble .. on Schwinn Varsitys , etc.

then adopting the French nomenclature
the extruded aluminum clincher rim became more popular in the continental tire type & size.
Plus it is a substitute training wheel for the Tubular tire riders.
product managers follow the sales,,

and there we are getting lots of one , and little of the other.
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Old 01-17-12, 12:25 PM
  #54  
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Schwinn and Raleigh were probably the biggest potential users of 27" racing wheels but a brief check of their 1970s era catalogs shows neither maker sold racing bikes with 27" clinchers.

Maybe someone could buy aftermarket 27" racing wheels and tires but I wonder whether they would even fit the true race model bikes which were designed for so-called 27" tubulars or for 700c clinchers.
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Old 01-17-12, 12:34 PM
  #55  
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This thread is going backwards.
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Old 01-17-12, 01:35 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by dnomel View Post
I had an old gitane tdf, and an old raleigh competition that were problably close in age, maybe mid 70's. Both prettty nice 531 road frames and I think both came with 27 inch wheels. But the gitane had much tighter wheel to frame/fork clearances. It also had mafac competition brakes that had an additional adjustment slot at the brake to frame mounts. Made it much easier to switch the gitane to 700c. The brakes still worked fine, and it still looked fine. The raleigh already had generous wheel to frame/fork clearances with 27" wheeels, and even with the relatively long weinman centerpulls, was really a stretch with 700c. Didn't brake well, didn't look good. Seemed almost as if raleigh was trying to make it difficult, and gitane was trying to make it easy.
If you're talking the foil-labeled Gitane's (pre-'74?), the Tour de France, Interclub, and Professional Grand Corsa all came with 700c sewups standard. In fact, I've never seen a TdF with clinchers, and always assumed that the clearances on the frame were for sewups.
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Old 01-17-12, 02:14 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
This thread is going backwards.
It's about wheels. It'll come back around eventually.
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Old 01-17-12, 04:32 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
Schwinn and Raleigh were probably the biggest potential users of 27" racing wheels but a brief check of their 1970s era catalogs shows neither maker sold racing bikes with 27" clinchers.

Maybe someone could buy aftermarket 27" racing wheels and tires but I wonder whether they would even fit the true race model bikes which were designed for so-called 27" tubulars or for 700c clinchers.
Good point, now why will 700 clincher rims NOT work on my Internationals without brake modifications, both originally factory equipped with tubular tires and wheels???
Were the original rims 27" tubulars???
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Old 01-17-12, 05:02 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by jbkirby View Post

Alright, now I'm confused. My 1971 Raleigh International would have been equipped from the factory with clincher rims. I built it with 27-inch Weinmann concaves, and the brakes reach without difficulty, but no deal with 700 rims. The 1972 RI on the right is equipped with 700 Weinmann concave rims, and I had to replace the rear Weinmann 999 Vainqueur 610 caliper (factory original) with a Weinmann 999 Vainqueur 750 caliper to prevent pad rub on the 700 sidewall. IF: 1970s tubulars were all 700mm, why is brake reach such an issue with both bikes when using 700 rims?
I never saw a 70s International that came new with clinchers.
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Old 01-17-12, 06:51 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by jbkirby View Post
Good point, now why will 700 clincher rims NOT work on my Internationals without brake modifications, both originally factory equipped with tubular tires and wheels???
Were the original rims 27" tubulars???
Thing is, so-called 27" tubulars are actually 622. The only difference is in the marking.

Do you have the original brakes?

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Old 01-17-12, 09:54 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
Thing is, so-called 27" tubulars are actually 622. The only difference is in the marking.

Do you have the original brakes?
Yes, except I had to replace the rear calipers on my 1972 so they would reach far enough with 700 rims. The front calipers seem to have no reach issue.
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Old 01-17-12, 09:56 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
I never saw a 70s International that came new with clinchers.
Good catch. Mine came with tubulars but were retrofitted with clinchers. My bad in the previous posting, I meant to say tubulars. Now I am confusing myself...
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Old 01-17-12, 10:23 PM
  #63  
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Before we pile on Dunlop for inventing a "propriety" tire size let's keep in mind that Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire in 1889 for bicycles (automobiles not having been invented yet).

What's remarkable about the 27x1/1/4 tire size is that rims, complete wheels and tires are still being sold more than twenty years after they stopped being OEM for bicycles in the US. My LBS sells a wide variety and lots of them.

Manufacturers in the 1970's considered 1 1/4" (or 32mm) to be a good width for the vast majority of the types of riding new ten speed owners would be doing back then. They were right.

I am thankful that modern tires are better made and lighter. I'm also thankful good tires are being made in 30-35mm for 700c rims and there is a smattering of good 27x1 1/4 tires.
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Old 01-18-12, 12:23 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
If you're talking the foil-labeled Gitane's (pre-'74?), the Tour de France, Interclub, and Professional Grand Corsa all came with 700c sewups standard. In fact, I've never seen a TdF with clinchers, and always assumed that the clearances on the frame were for sewups.

Yeah, it was a foil stickered gitane tdf with simplex dropouts. It had 27 inch clinchers on it when I got it used, and it seemed stock so I just figured it probably came that way. I used both the gitane and the raleigh with 27 inch clinchers for a time, but eventually wanted to use 700c. It was no problem making the switch with the gitane compared to the raleigh, and it made me wonder if maybe they had both purposely made them that way for their own reasons. The mafac brakes on the gitane were nice, but they wouldn't have helped on the raleigh. Don't know why the raleigh competition had such large clearances, even with 27's the brakes seemed a little long. And at that time it seems like it would have made practical sense to close a bit of the gap and make it better compatible with both sizes, like that gitane was.
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Old 01-18-12, 01:04 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
Sure but all my theory requires is that not enough OEMs supported the 27" racing size to make 27" racing clinchers take hold, and they didn't. I saw the 27x7/8" Avocets on Sheldon, I know they exist.

Racing drives road bike marketing. If not enough OEM race bike makers are using 27s then 27" is destined for obsolescence.
27 by 7/8 Avocet TT30 tyres are some of the finest clinchers ever made for the 27 inch wheel... there was never as great a demand for them and they are nearly impossible to find (I have one set).

Araya made high quality 27 inch rims for a while, but 700c was adopted as the standard for road bicycles and the 27 inch wheel became a relic of another time and place.

The British used 27 inch wheels to supplant the 26 by 1 1/4 EA1 (Dunlop) in the mid fifties while the folks across the pond used 700c wheels... the Rigidas on my '57 Peugeot are 700c while export models got 27 inch wheels unless they were racing bicycles and then those often got sew ups.
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Old 07-24-17, 03:55 PM
  #66  
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The American bike industry was HUGE in the 60s and 70s. After WW11 many wartime mfgs went to making bikes. The first foreign bike invasion was English 3 speeds. Then the 10 speeds (2x5) invasion from all over Europe, Austria, Italy, France. All of these bikes through 1970 were 27 x 1 1/4 or sew ups. Even the Peugeot and Gitanes which had different (French ) threads were brought in with 27" wheels.

My first 700c rim went on a my Gitane in 1973 that I had rolled a sew up tire off. Very few 700c tires were available in 73. I opened a bike shop in 79 and we mainly sold low end Japanese bikes which all had 27" tires. All my competitors selling Peugeot and Raleigh had 27" tires too. . I quit selling road bikes in 88 and went full on Mountain bike. In the Mid 80s when mountain bikes were coming on the market with 26 x 1.75 tires the road bike industry slowed way down and they also converted away from 27" at the same time The main reason was all the high end bikes could easily convert to and from sew ups since the brake track was the same. I don't know the year Trek converted from 27 to 700c---that would be interesting.

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Old 07-24-17, 04:12 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by dnomel View Post
Yeah, it was a foil stickered gitane tdf with simplex dropouts. It had 27 inch clinchers on it when I got it used, and it seemed stock so I just figured it probably came that way. I used both the gitane and the raleigh with 27 inch clinchers for a time, but eventually wanted to use 700c. It was no problem making the switch with the gitane compared to the raleigh, and it made me wonder if maybe they had both purposely made them that way for their own reasons. The mafac brakes on the gitane were nice, but they wouldn't have helped on the raleigh. Don't know why the raleigh competition had such large clearances, even with 27's the brakes seemed a little long. And at that time it seems like it would have made practical sense to close a bit of the gap and make it better compatible with both sizes, like that gitane was.
The Raleighs were built to fit fenders to also.
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Old 07-24-17, 04:17 PM
  #68  
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In 38+ years in the bicycle industry I have never seen a 27" sewup tire available.
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Old 07-24-17, 04:46 PM
  #69  
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This is kind of a soap box topic for me, I hear often when folks talk about old 10 speeds the presumptive bromide that one Must swap to 700c wheels... and I always think why? Why spend extra money on wheels and potentially brakes just to have the "modern" wheel size. Granted if I had a fleet of 700c bikes and wanted to standardize, I get that, and if I found a frame only or maybe a bike with a suspect wheel set and happened to have a spare 700c wheel-set floating around I understand that too, and if for some reason I wanted super skinny (<25c) or super fat tires (>37c) on my old 10 speed speed and it could accommodate them then yes I would concede that 700c is the choice for that. In just about every other instance however I just don't see the need to swap, new 27" tires are abundant and readily available in 4 sizes in the equivalent of 25c (1"), 28c (1 1/8") 32c (1 1/4") and 37c (1 3/8"). Then again I may just be a luddite. 27 until I die!
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Old 07-24-17, 05:11 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
Before we pile on Dunlop for inventing a "propriety" tire size let's keep in mind that Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire in 1889 for bicycles (automobiles not having been invented yet).
....
While Dunlop had filed for a patent on a pneumatic tire in 1889, it was later revoked because the pneumatic tire actually had been already patented by someone else in 1845, with further patents issued before 1889.

Michelin invented the first detachable pneumatic tire a couple of years after Dunlop's filing.
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Old 07-24-17, 05:31 PM
  #71  
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Tubular size has been constant since June/July 1892 when John Palmer got his friend B.F. Goodrich to make his new design tire. In Europe tubulars are still often referred to as 28" Palmer. 700C clinchers as created had a diameter allowing them to use the same brake track as a 28" Palmer. All this information used to appear on the Wiki page for John Palmer, seems to have been dropped. I can't remember if 26" Palmer equates to 590(26-1-3/8") or 597 (26-1-1/4").

Sewups precede everything. American tires sold and competed very well in 1890s.
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Old 07-24-17, 06:12 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Tubular size has been constant since June/July 1892 when John Palmer got his friend B.F. Goodrich to make his new design tire. In Europe tubulars are still often referred to as 28" Palmer. 700C clinchers as created had a diameter allowing them to use the same brake track as a 28" Palmer. All this information used to appear on the Wiki page for John Palmer, seems to have been dropped. I can't remember if 26" Palmer equates to 590(26-1-3/8") or 597 (26-1-1/4").

Sewups precede everything. American tires sold and competed very well in 1890s.
Palmer products were found in the Canadian market as well. I've got a 26 x 1 3/4 rim/wheel (delivery size?) as well as an oversized Palmer 28 x 1 1/4 oversized EA4 tire. This is not 700c, it's a 647mm bead. I've got a couple of Palmer tubes as well.

Early Canadian roadsters had wood rim 700c tubulars and when metal clinchers found their way into the market, they too were 700c. I've got a few of those too.
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Old 07-24-17, 06:36 PM
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Wow! 647! Biggest I've ever seen was Swedish 640 and that was big.
John Palmer invented a bunch of tire stuff besides the sewup. The Palmer Tire Company did automotive as well (remember there was no automotive market in 1892), had factories and distribution around the planet. Anyone wants to research you will find it.
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Old 07-24-17, 08:47 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
...Sewups precede everything. American tires sold and competed very well in 1890s.
This is a common misconception All the major types pre-date the sew-up tire, including the clincher, wired-on and single tube. The original Dunlop, which pre-dates all of them, does not neatly fit into any category, lasting only a few years before being replaced with a wired-on wired version.
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Old 07-24-17, 09:27 PM
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One often overlooked aspect in the introduction of high performance 700C in 1976, was the lack of American acceptance of tubulars during the early 1970s bicycle boom. Many bought tubular equipped racing bicycles only to be disenchanted with the fragility, cost and maintenance. Switching to 27 x 1-1/4" or 28 x1-3/8 x 1-5/8" brought a notable depreciation in performance, along with a significant increase in weight. They were really only medium performance rims and tyres. Tubulars were the accepted high performance rim and tyre system in Europe but non-racer Americans did not see why they could not have everything in a single package.

As the complaints flowed up from the consumer and bicycle shops, MAVIC and Michelin saw the need for a high performance wired-on rim and tire system that approached tubular performance and weight. Besides eliminating potential complaints from new customers, both companies realized that a significant number of the boom era buyers would become hooked on cycling and would be looking to upgrade in the near future. Tubulars might jeopardize the decision to upgrade but a high performance wired-on system would encourage many. There would also be a substantial retrofit market for tubular equipped racing bicycles that had simply been parked in the basement or garage, or had been outfitted with a medium performance rim and tyre system.

While high performance 700C slowly made in roads in the late 1970s and very early 1980s, the USA was hit with the perfect storm in the mid-80s. Americans clamored for high peforrmance 700C equipped sports models when the televison networks started giving coverage to major cycling events. We saw Grewal win the 1984 Olympic road race, LeMond's early success in Europe and a fascinating new sport - triathlon. Marketers and manufacturers were wringing their hands with glee, as a significant upscale shift took place in the market.

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