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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-28-09, 10:30 AM   #1
alphaqforever24
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26er vs 29er for commuting?

Which bike would be best for commuting on road. currently i have a 26er with ritchey tom slick pro 1.0 tires. The roads were i bike around are not perfect pot holes here and other dangers on the road. Would a 29er with slicks be more better, faster, and safer for the road vs a 26er? I am in the market for another set of wheels one set for the slicks and one for the mountain. Would a set of 29er wheels with slicks fit on my 26er Frame? im running a motobecane fantom trail

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...om_trail08.htm
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Old 09-28-09, 10:44 AM   #2
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Sorry, but you can't run 29's (actually 700c) om a 26" frame.

A 29'er mountain bike might be just a tad more competent on the road given the same tires and set-up as a similar 26" MTB, but you're sort of splitting hairs. The larger question (no pun intended) is how you would fit on a 29'er frame. If you're a smaller rider the transition might not go well.

If you're looking for a more road-worthy steed that can handle crappy weather & roads, then you might consider a cyclocross or touring bike. Both are an improvement over a hardtail MTB (26 0r 29).

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Old 09-28-09, 10:46 AM   #3
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29 inch wheels will not fit a bike that was made for 26 inch wheels.Also there won't be much differance,if any,in speed.The only benefit you will get from the 29 inch wheels would be a slightly smoother ride,although the 26 inch wheels would be a little stronger.
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Old 09-28-09, 12:33 PM   #4
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bigger wheels

Bigger wheels will be faster. +1 on the touring bike.
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Old 09-28-09, 01:04 PM   #5
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29 inch wheels will not fit a bike that was made for 26 inch wheels.Also there won't be much differance,if any,in speed.The only benefit you will get from the 29 inch wheels would be a slightly smoother ride,although the 26 inch wheels would be a little stronger.
Correct
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Old 09-28-09, 01:05 PM   #6
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Some bikes can take 26" or 29" (700c) wheels but there are caveats. If you've got cantilever brakes the bosses will be in the wrong spot. There are options to deal with this.

In your bike's case, it looks like the front fork doesn't have enough clearance so I think you'll have to stick with 26". I don't think there's a huge advantage to either size but you'll probably find that a 1" slick is going to give you a pretty rough ride on a 26" wheel. Put a wider slick on and you should be fine. On the other hand, maybe with the front suspension it doesn't really matter.
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Old 09-28-09, 01:07 PM   #7
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I'd try a slightly wider tire on the bike you have now before anything more drastic. One inch tires are comprable in width the the 25mm skinnies road racers use. Those Tom Slicks are available in 26x1.4". Even going to a good quality 1.75" slick wouldn't slow you down too much on pristine pavement but you'll really appreciate the extra coushion and traction on the hairier parts of your commute.

ps. It is sometimes possible to fit 700c wheels on a disk brake frame designed for 26inch wheels, especially if you're using a suspension corrected, rigid fork and your bike has ample clearence in the rear. It may or may not be worthwhile.
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Old 09-28-09, 01:10 PM   #8
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Another (and much cheaper) suggestion: your original post suggests that 'rough ride' is at least a main factor in your desire to change. Not surprised, if you are using 26 x 1" slicks. Why not try one of the newer, really light/high quality wider slicks? Going up to e.g. Schwalbe Marathon Racer 1.5, or Marathon Supreme 1.6, would almost certainly make a major difference re. ride quality while sacrificing absolutely nothing re. speed over the road. Just a thought.
Edit: apologies to Silver Ghst -- same thought at same time!
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Old 09-28-09, 01:17 PM   #9
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29 inch wheels will not fit a bike that was made for 26 inch wheels.Also there won't be much differance,if any,in speed.The only benefit you will get from the 29 inch wheels would be a slightly smoother ride,although the 26 inch wheels would be a little stronger.
Incorrect. I put some 700c wheels on an old 87 Bianchi Grizzly. Worked fine. Switched from the canti's to road calipers. I do agree with the lack of speed benefits though. It really wouldn't help much if any. PLUS, the 26" wheels are usually more durable since the spokes are shorter, among other things.
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Old 09-28-09, 02:31 PM   #10
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so if i get a little wider slicks it wont really effect speed vs my 1.0 size? ohh and i was thinking maybe a 29er wheels will fit but not actual 29er tires i was thinking 700x35 ish around those lines. cause a mountain bike with 26er and a knobby tire is about the same diameter? not sure though?
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Old 09-28-09, 02:58 PM   #11
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In your case it would probably benefit you. Smaller tires with higher pressure tend to bounce over rough roads thus hurting your speed. Higher volume tires will tend to soak up these bumps and lower your rolling resistance. Or so I've read. Plus they'd be more comfortable. I'm saying this based off good quality tires, not cheap, low quality one's.
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Old 09-28-09, 04:28 PM   #12
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In your case it would probably benefit you. Smaller tires with higher pressure tend to bounce over rough roads thus hurting your speed. Higher volume tires will tend to soak up these bumps and lower your rolling resistance. Or so I've read. Plus they'd be more comfortable. I'm saying this based off good quality tires, not cheap, low quality one's.
+1

Skinny, high pressure tires roll faster on perfectly smooth surfaces, like the velodrome and well maintained highways. Like knobster said, when your wheel encounters a bump, rock or pothole, high pressure tires deflect or bounce over the obstacle, robbing your bike of forward motion. A wider tire run at lower pressure deforms over inconsistancies in the road surface rather than deflecting. Get too wide, of course, and the extra rubber starts to slow you down thanks to increased rolling resistance. To my mind, a 35mm/1.4ish wide tire is pretty ideal for commuting over uneven but not quite moon-like roads. Personal tastes will vary greatly, though.

I ride bikes with 26inch, traditional 700c and 29inch wheels, and I'd say tire pressure, volume and tread effect the quality of the ride in most cases far more than wheel diameter does.
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Old 09-28-09, 07:11 PM   #13
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Incorrect. I put some 700c wheels on an old 87 Bianchi Grizzly. Worked fine. Switched from the canti's to road calipers. I do agree with the lack of speed benefits though. It really wouldn't help much if any. PLUS, the 26" wheels are usually more durable since the spokes are shorter, among other things.

Most 26 frames can fit 700c rims, they even have the holes for road calipers. But tire size is kinda limited. My 26" dahon matrix can fit tires up to 28mm on 700c rims.
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Old 09-28-09, 07:12 PM   #14
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Bigger wheels will be faster. +1 on the touring bike.
Bikes have gears. Bigger wheels are not faster. They do, theoretically, have lower rolling resistance than small wheels, though this probably doesn't amount to much under most circumstances.

That said, I do prefer the ride of 700C wheels over 26" on the road. Wide 26" tires are reasonably cushy and feel a lot lighter than 700C tires of the same width, but they don't roll as smoothly over bumpy pavement. For a pure commuter bike, though, I think that 700C is a little big; wide tires on 700C wheels get pretty unwieldy. Raleigh was right on the money with their 26 x 1 3/8" (650A, ISO 590). 650B is almost the same size (ISO 584). On a traditional commuter bike, that's the wheel size I would want.
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Old 09-28-09, 07:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by alphaqforever24 View Post
so if i get a little wider slicks it wont really effect speed vs my 1.0 size? ohh and i was thinking maybe a 29er wheels will fit but not actual 29er tires i was thinking 700x35 ish around those lines. cause a mountain bike with 26er and a knobby tire is about the same diameter? not sure though?
Gotta be careful with that. Mountain hoops are wider than road hoops, and some road tires won't fit on a mountain rim. Sheldon Brown has a good chart for this (sorry, to lazy to look up the link at the moment).

All in all, it sounds like most of this is splitting hair. If your bike works why change it? Ride it for a while. When you know for certain whether or not you like it, then you can think about changing it. If you are to that point, there may some merit to trying a 29er bike, especially if you can can borrow one before you buy. All I am suggesting is that you not fall into the change for the sake of change on your bike pit.
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Old 09-28-09, 10:35 PM   #16
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any suggestions on some good 26 x 1.4 inch width tire, mainly used for commuting but on occasion go on long rides with the friends.
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