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Old 07-10-17, 06:20 AM   #26
ItsJustMe
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I can't remember the last time I was in a decent-sized town (bigger than 50k or so) in the US, without a bikeshop.
Sure, decent sized town. That's not the topic though. The question is, at any given random middle of nowhere place on the planet, what tire size are you most likely to find?

99.xxx% of the planet is not a city with 50K or more people.
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Old 07-10-17, 07:18 AM   #27
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For someone between 5'4"" and 5'9", give or take a few inches either way, The 650B (584) makes a lot of sense because the smaller wheel diameter allows you to have fenders and wider tires without compromising the frame design. Tall riders on big frames might be better off with 700c or 27" wheels. Short riders would probably be happier on 26(559) wheels.

Since this is a commuting forum, I don't think the problem of being stranded in , say Kirghizstan, would arise. Touring with 650B might be another matter.
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Old 07-10-17, 07:42 AM   #28
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Sure, decent sized town. That's not the topic though. The question is, at any given random middle of nowhere place on the planet, what tire size are you most likely to find?

99.xxx% of the planet is not a city with 50K or more people.
Actually, I was really interested in peoples opinions about ride quality, rolling resistance, puncture resistance, and general likes and dislikes between the two. Availability in general is also a concern, so I'm glad you folks are bringing up these points too.
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Old 07-10-17, 08:12 AM   #29
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For someone between 5'4"" and 5'9", give or take a few inches either way, The 650B (584) makes a lot of sense because the smaller wheel diameter allows you to have fenders and wider tires without compromising the frame design. Tall riders on big frames might be better off with 700c or 27" wheels. Short riders would probably be happier on 26(559) wheels.

Since this is a commuting forum, I don't think the problem of being stranded in , say Kirghizstan, would arise. Touring with 650B might be another matter.
+1. People often forget which forum they're in when discussing "what-ifs". It would take a pretty badass commute to need to factor in replacement tire availability.
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Old 07-10-17, 08:24 AM   #30
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For someone between 5'4"" and 5'9", give or take a few inches either way, The 650B (584) makes a lot of sense because the smaller wheel diameter allows you to have fenders and wider tires without compromising the frame design.
What you describe is how I'm rolling these days. I've put 650b wheels and WTB Horizon Road Plus tires in my designed-for-700c frame. I've done it on both my single-speed bike (photo below), and for my geared bike. I love the result. The frame and wheel proportions feel more or less the same, and my comfort level on gravel roads is much improved.

20170503_174151 (Small).jpg
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Old 07-10-17, 08:39 AM   #31
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Sure, decent sized town. That's not the topic though. The question is, at any given random middle of nowhere place on the planet, what tire size are you most likely to find?

99.xxx% of the planet is not a city with 50K or more people.
Actually, more than half of the world's population lives in an urban area ... you can check each country here ... thus, someone is more likely to encounter both tyre sizes than not (making the assumption that people ride bikes to the same extent in urban/non-urban areas.)

https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/
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Old 07-10-17, 09:04 AM   #32
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Actually, more than half of the world's population lives in an urban area ... you can check each country here ... thus, someone is more likely to encounter both tyre sizes than not (making the assumption that people ride bikes to the same extent in urban/non-urban areas.)

https://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/
Yes, but again, we're not talking about where people live, we're talking about touring, which means going from place to place. You ride a bike from one big city to another, you don't magically teleport from one city to the next; almost all of your time is going to be spent more than 5 miles from any place with a bike shop.

If you need to go into a Walmart and buy a tire, because that's what's near, what do they stock? What about in a village in Peru? Nova Scotia? Nigeria?
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Old 07-10-17, 11:14 AM   #33
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On the difference of availability of 26" v 700c. This is something I've missed from switching to 700c. I live in a relatively large city (population almost 400k) and while I could get 26" tubes even at large supermarket chains, 700c is only available at bicycle stores of which we only have a handful.

Considering my own 15km commute route if I have a flat and not carrying a spare I only have 2 LBS on the way, I have to seriously get away from my route (and walk) to get to them and there's always the chance they won't have 700c tubes at all.

I always read 26" is dead/dying, but it's certainly alive and kicking in this part of the world (:
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Old 07-10-17, 11:46 AM   #34
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I like the ride qualities of Soma B-line 650x38 tires which are essentially Paselas. As far as rolling resistence is concerned , the tire's construction , especially the flexibility of the side walls, is more important than the diameter of the wheel. Unfortunately, puncture resistant tires, such as Schwalbe Marathons do no have the reputation of being fast. They are supposed to be pretty bombproof however. I guess a lot depends on the condition of the roads on your commute. If the roads are clean without a lot of glass or other crap, you might go for speed over puncture resistance, otherwise you might choose something bombproof.
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Old 07-10-17, 01:18 PM   #35
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559 tires seem to be a weird spasm of history that is now fading. Even at Walmart.
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Old 07-10-17, 02:32 PM   #36
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559 tires seem to be a weird spasm of history that is now fading. Even at Walmart.
I'd argue that 650C was an even weirder "spasm of history" -- originally a puffy French tire, revived as a skinny tire for triathloons to get really low on their bikes, and now even more definitely on the way back to obscurity.
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Old 07-11-17, 05:31 AM   #37
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Yes, but again, we're not talking about where people live, we're talking about touring, which means going from place to place. You ride a bike from one big city to another, you don't magically teleport from one city to the next; almost all of your time is going to be spent more than 5 miles from any place with a bike shop.

If you need to go into a Walmart and buy a tire, because that's what's near, what do they stock? What about in a village in Peru? Nova Scotia? Nigeria?
You do know this is the commuter forum, right?
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Old 07-11-17, 12:19 PM   #38
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No that's not necessarily true in the US. if you're bike can only take a tire as large as 700 x 32c, you can have issues finding this tire in many small towns. 26 inch tires are more readily available as are fatter volume 700c tires.
I find myself looking at the date when this was written?

In the US (where I live at least) stores have stopped carring 26" tires, and many manufacturers have limited their selection of tires. They are getting harder and harder to find. (blame the 27.5" and 29" influx) 700c seems to me to be a tried and true standard world over.
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Old 07-11-17, 12:21 PM   #39
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I find myself looking at the date when this was written?

In the US (where I live at least) stores have stopped carring 26" tires, and many manufacturers have limited their selection of tires. They are getting harder and harder to find. (blame the 27.5" and 29" influx) 700c seems to me to be a tried and true standard world over.
I didn't say that 700c tires were difficult to find. I said that 700 x 32c can be difficult to find in bike stores in smaller towns; at least that has been my experience.
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Old 07-11-17, 12:27 PM   #40
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Actually, I was really interested in peoples opinions about ride quality, rolling resistance, puncture resistance, and general likes and dislikes between the two. Availability in general is also a concern, so I'm glad you folks are bringing up these points too.
I think a more interesting question is the width of a tire.

I ride 26" from 25mm - 60mm and 700c from 23mm - 50mm.

above 20mph (where I often commute) works best for me with a 28-32mm tire. at 15mph or slower, anything from 40mm to 60mm works for me.

I just bought a set of Schwalbe's fastest tires (more accurately the tires with the least rolling resistance). They are 60mm wide tires (650b in my case). I'm looking forward to trying those out!

Yeah, a 700c tire tends to ride over bumps better because of the increased rolling diameter, and tends to be a lighter and faster build than a 26" tire. That is mostly why I switched from 26" to 700c.

My biggest problem with flats is pinch flats on narrow tires, but I took the tube out and I am riding tubeless (with sealant) now - so pinch flats are a thing of the past.
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Old 07-11-17, 01:37 PM   #41
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You do know this is the commuter forum, right?
Yes, but the original #1 post in the thread says commuting and touring, and links to a touring site. So I assumed we're talking about touring.

But even when I'm commuting, on a 25 mile route skirting a major city that has several bike shops, I ride right past 8 different department stores, all of which stock 26" tires and none of which stock 700C tires. I'm never farther than about 3 miles from a store where I can buy 26" tires, and I'm never closer than 5 miles from a bike shop where I can get 700C tires.
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Old 07-11-17, 02:01 PM   #42
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sadly, not for long with those 26'ers
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Old 07-11-17, 03:50 PM   #43
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I think a more interesting question is the width of a tire.

I ride 26" from 25mm - 60mm and 700c from 23mm - 50mm.

above 20mph (where I often commute) works best for me with a 28-32mm tire. at 15mph or slower, anything from 40mm to 60mm works for me.

I just bought a set of Schwalbe's fastest tires (more accurately the tires with the least rolling resistance). They are 60mm wide tires (650b in my case). I'm looking forward to trying those out!

Yeah, a 700c tire tends to ride over bumps better because of the increased rolling diameter, and tends to be a lighter and faster build than a 26" tire. That is mostly why I switched from 26" to 700c.

My biggest problem with flats is pinch flats on narrow tires, but I took the tube out and I am riding tubeless (with sealant) now - so pinch flats are a thing of the past.
Thanks for your input. These are the kind of things I'm trying to learn about. Tubeless tires with sealant, eh? What rims? If special rims are required, what price range would get me into a decent set? Can they be had in either Schrader, or Presta? I tend to lean towards Schrader for my use. Is that doable? I know, don't laugh. I just like Schrader better.
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Old 07-11-17, 04:02 PM   #44
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sadly, not for long with those 26'ers
Maybe Jan Heine can work his magic to keep 26" alive, like he did with 650B.

I want some of these for my 26" bike:

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Old 07-12-17, 06:48 AM   #45
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Thanks for your input. These are the kind of things I'm trying to learn about. Tubeless tires with sealant, eh? What rims? If special rims are required, what price range would get me into a decent set? Can they be had in either Schrader, or Presta? I tend to lean towards Schrader for my use. Is that doable? I know, don't laugh. I just like Schrader better.
Yep, you need specific wheels and tires (although I’ve done it with standard wheels and tires – search “ghetto tubeless – it’s a little risky though). Used wheels off of craig’s list might be a good way to start. 26” and MTB wheels have been tubeless compatible for over a decade, its rather new for road tires.

It is a pain to set up sometimes – I hear of people taking 30 minutes to set up some wheels. Mine went on quick and easy (well, ghetto tubeless takes a lot of time).

I have heard of people using Schrader by splitting the tube along it’s diameter and using the split tube (and valve) as a rim liner. You would need one with a removable valve core, and a tool to remove the core in order to put sealant in. I think all Schrader valve cores are removable?
I’ve used slime in my inner tubes in the past. That only seems to work if something gets stuck in a tire (like a nail), and seems to work best with tires 2” or bigger in width.
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Old 07-12-17, 01:56 PM   #46
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im gonna have to go with....650b...i say this bc i just got the kona fire mountain and i think it's a happy medium having ridden both 622 and 559 wheels. i was out of the loop for a while and was surprised to see the new 27.5 inch tire size (marketing) my brother got on his jamis trail x. so i went down to the ol bike shop to see what i could see. rides nice. now i have to update my profile as i have also acquired a raleigh twenty that i had a sturmey archer 3 speed wheel built for. n +1 strikes again!

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Old 07-13-17, 11:47 AM   #47
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I have to wonder how long that standard will last - the industry is so fragemented right now. And there is a dearth of options available in the 27.5 size. That said, it is better than 29" for shorter people (i.e. most women). I just bought a nice pair of Schwalbe G-ones for the GF's bike that were 50% off for 650b size. Looking forward to those...
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