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Why is it so hard to find commuting bikes with 26" wheels?

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Why is it so hard to find commuting bikes with 26" wheels?

Old 05-15-08, 11:38 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by rando View Post
I personally like the 700c over the 26" for my commute. to me it was like night and day... maybe others feel the same?
You sure it wasn't the different bike making the night/day difference?
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Old 05-15-08, 11:39 AM
  #52  
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I chose to build my bike out of Nashbar's cyclocross frame and carbon fork. The carbon fork has disc brake tabs. I built this after wearing out a dept store mtb, or as I was wearing it out.

I decided to build it because I couldn't find everything I wanted in an out of the box bike.

Wheels are 29'r Sun Ringle Highriders. It's a mtb wheelset in 700c size. The brake is an Avid BB7 mechanical on front (roadbike version). Tires are Panaracer Pasela GT, kevlar belted and kevlar beads 700c x 32 with Mr. Tuffy tire liners.

Handlebars: Bar One Midge, a mild drop bar in mtb tube diameter Shimano barend shifters, Sora delrailleurs.

I wish now, I had done this sooner. The difference is amazing. Headwinds are not the devil they were on the mtb.

You could take a rigid mtb frame and build out a commuter with drop bars and road drive train.

My riding environment/road conditions are as bad as anyones. Broken glass and new potholes dictated my choice of wheels and tires. The wheel choice mandated a cyclocross frame. Disc brake on front narrowed choice of fork to the one sold by Nashbar. I am not afraid to take off road detours when necessary.

I built this after commuting every day for 18 months. I even put the cyclocross fork on the mtb for the last few months. It handled very well. It was the first part I bought. came up on sale one day.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:47 AM
  #53  
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^^^sounds like a nice build^^^

I think it's mostly a matter of gearing and tire width as to how one gets off the line. I run a MTB with 1 inch slicks pumped to 100psi and it rips on the street. I also run a SS with road (700s'). In the winter the MTB gets the big fatty knobbies and the speed dramatically decreases. As for comfort.. fit in relation to abilities/fitness/body type as well as just how sporty one wants to be positioned on the ride into work would be a determinative set of factors in deciding what to buy for commuting.
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Old 05-15-08, 11:52 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by Leiniesred View Post
26 inch wheel with a fairly common 2.125 is about the same circumference as a 700C X 25.

*shrugs* Same effective size if you ask me. I just get to soak up holes and can fearlessly smash into curbs with a 26 inch wheel. (I pay for that comfort in sidewall deflection when cornering and in weight, but hey I'm not RACING on my commute, so what difference does it really make?)
all true - but:

if you use small profile 1" tires on your 26" rims they are definitely smaller, with all that entails.

some people's commutes might be along highways or country roads (maybe yours is too - ?), in which case some - self included - would prefer 700s.

I realize commuting is not the TdF, but still nice to have the proper bike depending on the route.
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Old 05-15-08, 12:48 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
You sure it wasn't the different bike making the night/day difference?
nope. good point
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Old 05-15-08, 12:48 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
You sure it wasn't the different bike making the night/day difference?
nope. good point... went from a mtn bike to a road bike.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:02 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Leiniesred View Post
26 inch wheel with a fairly common 2.125 is about the same circumference as a 700C X 25.

Are you sure about this? I've had a 700c x 28 once and I don't remember it even being marginally close in width to a MTB tire of about 2" wide, but maybe I'm wrong. I've never looked at them side by side.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:11 PM
  #58  
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they're close enough.


but even pumped up to the max of 60 psi or so, no way a fat 26" knobbie (or slick for that matter) rides/feels like a good 700 wheel for my money.
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Old 05-15-08, 01:31 PM
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considering a 25 is a little bigger than a racing tire, and the MTB is sporting two + inches of rubber, night and day difference in rolling resistance
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Old 05-15-08, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by pgoat View Post
they're close enough.


but even pumped up to the max of 60 psi or so, no way a fat 26" knobbie (or slick for that matter) rides/feels like a good 700 wheel for my money.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean. From your experience,
so making these equal, a MTB slick compared to w road slick... a skinnier road tire is both faster and more comfortable than a fatter, and equally smooth, MTB 26" tire. Is this because overall, larger diameter tires are both faster and more comfortable than a smaller diameter tire?
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Old 05-15-08, 02:46 PM
  #61  
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I enjoy my 26" commuter wheels on my Breezer.

Love the wider tires than those on my 700 mm hybrid. More importantly, the bike handles better. It's quicker and more responsive than the hybrid, even though the hybrid is a faster bike.

I have to take it up and down stairs daily and I appreciate that it isn't so tall.

I also have a folder with 20" wheels. In my opinion, wheel size doesn't make a lick of difference in speed as my folder is just as fast as my hybrid. Both are a hair faster than my IGH Breezer.

Irregardless, I prefer to ride my Breezer.
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Old 05-15-08, 02:56 PM
  #62  
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Thread summary for cyclists in a hurry: This is a non-issue for commuting purposes.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:19 PM
  #63  
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There are so many factors that go into speed. If you are using slicks, I don't think the tire width, circumference, or volume (within reason) will affect speed as much as aerodynamics will.
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Old 05-15-08, 04:23 PM
  #64  
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On any decent bike, on flat ground and a non-windy day, proper bike fit is the #1 factor in the speed vs. effort equation, IMO.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:07 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by bkrownd View Post
On any decent bike, on flat ground and a non-windy day, proper bike fit is the #1 factor in the speed vs. effort equation, IMO.

I guess I agree. At the same time, I automatically assume (for these types of discussions) that people are already riding bikes that fit them. Seems along the lines of saying, having air in your tires is the #1 factor in speed.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:31 PM
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Well, for instance my mountain bike is an undersized frame, which works well for curb-hopping and off-roading where I'm mostly standing on the pedals. I commuted on it happily for a decade before I ever sat on a bike that actually "fits" me in the way that a "road" bike is supposed to.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:07 PM
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My Diamondback Transporter has 26" wheels. I swapped out the WTB terrainasorus tires for street slicks, though. It comes stock with fenders so I'm sure D'back had the commuters in mind.

https://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...er-review.html
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Old 05-15-08, 10:11 PM
  #68  
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I'm not sure I understand what you mean. From your experience,
so making these equal, a MTB slick compared to w road slick... a skinnier road tire is both faster and more comfortable than a fatter, and equally smooth, MTB 26" tire. Is this because overall, larger diameter tires are both faster and more comfortable than a smaller diameter tire?


in my experience, yes...ymmv, of course.

but I agree - these are negligible differences. You'd really feel it on a bmx with 20" wheels or maybe a folding bike? But yes, proper fit (including frame geometry) and gearing is more important. The thigs we tend to obsess about (components, frame materials, etc.) matter, but probably to a much lesser degree.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
That's weird. I haven't seen hardly any 26" wheel commuters in the bike shops. Most of the bike shops have 700c commuters. What brands have a 26" wheel purpose-built commuter?

Trek has 700c commuters
Specialized 700c commuters.
Specialized also has 26-inch models. Have a look at the Globe Centrum:

https://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...08GlobeCentrum

Nice looking frame. 26-inch tires.
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Old 05-16-08, 05:23 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
Old rigid mountain bike + slicks + rack == win.

Or you can do what I did and just pick up a cheapo frame from Nashbar and build your own.
The pertinent point in that post being 'slicks'. Fitting slicks to replace the mtb tires will take you more than half way to having a commuter with 26" wheels. Slicks will also take more air pressure.
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Old 05-17-08, 05:58 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel View Post
I like how Surly does it with the Long Haul Trucker. 26" wheels on the smaller frame sizes and 700c wheels on the larger frame sizes. Makes sense to me.

Some of the boutique brands have 650B wheeled commuter style bikes. Those wheels are similar to 26 inch MTB wheels (with street tires). I'm not a 650B fan, but they do address the OP's issue.
Absolutely! I'm 5'7", and have ridden road bikes with 700c wheels forever. Every one of them has toe overlap problems because of the wheel size. I just bought a 1993 Bridgestone XO-2, which is specced with 26 inch wheels but has road geometry. I LOVE IT. No overlap. The tires absorb a lot of shock, and I don't notice much of a performance hit. More small bikes should come with smaller wheels. Period.
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Old 05-17-08, 09:49 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by bellweatherman View Post
That's weird. I haven't seen hardly any 26" wheel commuters in the bike shops. Most of the bike shops have 700c commuters. What brands have a 26" wheel purpose-built commuter?

Trek has 700c commuters
Specialized 700c commuters.
Swobo 700c commuters
Electra 700c commuters
where are the 26" commuters?

Oh and really wide 26" tires are good. I tried some Schwalbe fat apples in a 26x2.3" and they are sooooo comfy. Floating over any rough pavement is a breeze.
I bought this...:

https://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=34073

It has 26" x 1.5" tires.
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Old 05-17-08, 10:37 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by squeakywheel View Post
Edit: 1980's steel rigid fork mountain bikes make good commuters. Find a nice used Specialized Hardrock or Rockhopper.
Or a early 90's Kona...


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Old 05-17-08, 12:06 PM
  #74  
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I think the problem is that companies are trying to make "niche" commuter bikes, when a lot of bikes make great commuters when commuting wasn't their intended purpose. Find a 26" bike that's comfortable to you, with eyelets for racks and/or fenders. They're everywhere. In fact, all four of the bikes my wife and I have (3 of which are 26") have these eyelets and with the exception of my 700c road bike, I wasn't looking for the eyelets.

So quit looking for bikes that have a cardboard circle in the wheel or a hanging tag from the handlebar that proclaims it as a "Commuting" bike. Just look at 26" bikes and you'll find your answer. Sure, you might need to replace knobby tires with higher-pressure "city" tires. Big deal.

My current backup commuter is a steel rigid-frame Diamondback from the 90s, outfitted with Forte Slick City ST tires, clipless pedals and smaller cogs on the rear wheel (less climbing ability, more speed). I think bike included I've spent $150 on it.
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Old 05-17-08, 12:22 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
Old rigid mountain bike + slicks + rack == win.
My thoughts exactly.

An early '90s Specialized Hard Rock, slicks, rack, fenders and lights! And now it has a trailer hitch for my Bikes to Work trailer. What a workhorse.

Part of the problem might also be that bike companies may be targeting road riders as the ones to become commuters. Riders making this switch will naturally be looking at it from a roadie perspective.
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