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Please help clarify some details on my Road Bike purchase

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Please help clarify some details on my Road Bike purchase

Old 03-13-16, 05:47 AM
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Musician1
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Please help clarify some details on my Road Bike purchase

A few days ago I bought a Schwinn road bike from Target and have been making some nice adjustments and improvements to it. I have not bought or ridden a bicycle for many years and am totally confused by the details listed on this bike, here:

Schwinn SOLARA 28"/700c" Road Bike- Black : Target

In its title, it states that it is a 28"/700c bike, but the details below the title state its wheel size is 26" which is true when I take a tape measure to them.

Then again, on the side of the tire it reads 700c-25. So with all my googling, it would seem as though 700c is a bigger wheel (or tire???) than 26".

Is the advertising on this bike wrong? How can I have 26" wheels and still have 700c-25 tires?

Also, the listing states that the tire width is 2", but there is no way that is true. The tires on this bike are 1 inch at most.

Very confusing.

If I should happen to want to get new and better wheels at some time in the future, do I get 26" wheels, or do I go by some other specification? Same thing with getting tires. Do I get 700c-25 tires, or can I get a tire that has more tread on it and thus is a little wider and fit on the same rim (wheel)?

One more thing, please. When buying spare inner tubes, do I go by the size dimension listed on the side of the tire, or do I need to actually open the tire up and look at the tube inside of it for some specs?

Thanks very much to anybody who can help me make sense out of my situation

Last edited by Musician1; 03-13-16 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 03-13-16, 06:21 AM
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The 25 in 700-25 relates to the width of the tire in millimeters.
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Old 03-13-16, 07:22 AM
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You bought it at Target. I wouldn't get to wrapped up in the details. A 700c tube will fit it.
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Old 03-13-16, 07:41 AM
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The bead seat diameter on a 700c wheel is 622 mm. That translates into 24.5 inches. I suppose with a skinny tire the profile might work out such that the outer diameter of the tire when mounted on the rim could end up at around 26 inches.

Tire nomenclature is amazingly confusing sometimes.
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Old 03-13-16, 07:51 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

You've touched on what probably is the most confusing area of bicycle designs. I suggest visiting this link if you want to explore. Otherwise, don't worry much about the inch-based designation. Stick to the ISO designation (622-25 for example) and you will be fine.
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Old 03-13-16, 07:55 AM
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a 700 X 18-25 tube should work for you.

Enjoy many happy miles.
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Last edited by 10 Wheels; 03-13-16 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 03-13-16, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Musician1 View Post
If I should happen to want to get new and better wheels at some time in the future, do I get 26" wheels, or do I go by some other specification? Same thing with getting tires. Do I get 700c-25 tires YES, or, or can I get a tire that has more tread on it and thus is a little wider and fit on the same rim ALSO YES(wheel)?
The numbers on the tire are what matter.
You have 700 x 25.
Ignore everything else

When you need new tires, buy 700 x 25, or if you want a slightly softer ride, you can go wider such as 700 x 28, and run a bit lower pressure. 700 x 32 would be fine too.
90 - 100 psi is typical for what you have now. The wider the tire, the lower the pressure, so 700-32 might try 65-75 psi.

No set rules on pressure, but guidelines, based on tire size and rider weight.

Too low a pressure, and you risk pinch flats when hitting rocks or pot holes, as the tire bottoms out and allows the tube to get pinched.
Too high a pressure, and you get a rougher ride, and at extremes can blow off the tire.
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Last edited by Homebrew01; 03-13-16 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 03-13-16, 08:00 AM
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What everyone else said is right. But wow, that ad for the Schwinn is confusing. The ad says that the wheels are 700c and then in the specs states that the front wheel "height" is 26 inches and that the rear wheel "height" is also 26 inches. Way to go Target in confusing your buyers.
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Old 03-13-16, 08:10 AM
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Target seems to have confused and combined specs for your road bike and one of their (probably Schwinn) mountain bikes. This is why you are reading specs of 26" and 2" wide tire. Those specs are for mountain bike wheels and tires, respectively. You have 700c rims and tires, which is actually around 28".
Have you ridden your new bike?
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Old 03-13-16, 08:26 AM
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As others have said, you can go with wider tires but make sure that they will fit in your frame. Wider tires are also a little taller and may rub on the seat stays or chain stays of some frames.
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Old 03-13-16, 10:45 AM
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Tar-jay' has no Bike mechanics, their assembly is thus questionable ..so for safety sake take the bike to a Bike shop
for a safety check.
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Old 03-13-16, 11:26 AM
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Also get heavy new tubes, these bikes have very cheap tubes and they don't hold air long.
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Old 03-13-16, 11:31 AM
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And when you do buy tubes, they should match the width of the tire, or be a bit smaller. Tubes are usually for a range of widths, such as 700 x 23-25, or 700 x 28-32. Don't stuff a 28-32 tube in a 25 tire. But since tubes stretch, a 25 tube in a 28 tire is ok.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:38 PM
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Thanks very much to all of your for your answers.

To answer a couple of the questions that came back at me, after spending some hours getting the brake pads aligned correctly, adjusting the brake calipers so they are closer to the wheel and thus do not have to squeeze the brakes as far to get them to grab, I have only ridden the bike a very short distance on my street. So in actuality, I have not yet ridden it. I'm intending to use the bike as a starter bike and lose weight on a very flat bike trail in St. Louis, MO called Grant's Trail.

Yes, the bike does lose air after inflating the tires. I bought the bike last week on Tuesday, inflated the tires to just about 105 psi and by Saturday (yesterday) they were back down to 50 psi. So I went ahead and ordered two new Schwalbe inner tubes (700 x 18-28c) with Shrader stems which I was hoping to use as spares in case of a flat, but may end up needing to swap them out immediately if after my first main ride I discover that the air goes out of them too quickly.

Perhaps I could get another answer out of you guys on something I have not yet adjusted, but need to:

When I rode the bike down the aisles of TARGET, and moved the gear shifters, the one that adjusts the chain on the sprocket at the pedals (High / Low) caused the chain to come off when LOW was pushed to its clicking point. So I asked for a manager and they gave me 15% off the price. My question pertains to "How do I adjust this piece of equipment that affects High/Low gear?"

When I look straight down on that mechanism situated above the pedal hub (or the two gears) which the chain flows through, there are two screws that can be adjusted, sticking up. Are either of those screws the ones to adjust for what I need to turn, and if so, which and in what direction?

OR do I need to loosen the nut and pull the cable a tiny bit tighter (or looser) through that mechanism to get the extreme low gear shifting position to not cause the chain to fall off?

Thanks so much!

Last edited by Musician1; 03-13-16 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:43 PM
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Take it to a shop and get it set up correctly.
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Old 03-13-16, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Take it to a shop and get it set up correctly.
Or go to this site (there are others as well): Home Page | Park Tool and learn how to do it yourself. If I understand your problem, the inner of the two screws sticking up is probably what you need to adjust. or you could go to SHIMANO Dealer's Manual / User's Manual and look up your derailleur. The dealer's manual will have instructions on how to set up and adjust it, but you will have to sift through a lot of information to find it. It is not that complicated, though. If you were able to adjust your brakes, I think you should be able to adjust the derailleurs. Hopefully you will get riding soon, and will enjoy it!
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Old 03-13-16, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeWMass View Post
Or go to this site (there are others as well): Home Page | Park Tool and learn how to do it yourself. If I understand your problem, the inner of the two screws sticking up is probably what you need to adjust. or you could go to SHIMANO Dealer's Manual / User's Manual and look up your derailleur. The dealer's manual will have instructions on how to set up and adjust it, but you will have to sift through a lot of information to find it. It is not that complicated, though. If you were able to adjust your brakes, I think you should be able to adjust the derailleurs. Hopefully you will get riding soon, and will enjoy it!

Thanks, Mike. I found the specific answer in the owner's manual. I was surprised to find instructions to that degree of specifics listed in there, but there it was.
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Old 03-13-16, 04:59 PM
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I really like your DIY attitude! Good luck and have fun.

1. All bike tires lose pressure, some more than others. You likely don't need to immediately swap the tubes but it's great that you bought them anyway. It's a good practice to pump up your tires before every ride. Also, buy the proper equipment (tire levers and a portable pump) and learn how to fix a flat on the road. It's really easy and knowing how to do it can literally save the day.
2. A little bike anatomy: the pedals are attached to the "crankset", the gears on the crankset are called "chainrings", the crankset turns on a set of bearings set into the bike's frame called a "bottom bracket".
3. YouTube videos are invaluable for solving bike problems. A video is worth a thousand words.
4. I would check every bolt on the bike, especially the bolts attaching the handlebar to the stem. They don't need to be ultra tight, just properly snug. Also, make sure the quick releases holding the wheels on are nice and snug.
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Old 03-13-16, 05:26 PM
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Welome to the world of cycling, before you know it you will grow out of this starter bike and will be looking to upgrade. After you follow the great advice you have already received (and make sure your bike is safe) I would really encourage you to get out on the road and get some time on the road. You don't need to go fast or kill your legs and lungs to make a difference, just get out there and ride.

Some more basic advice, don't be afraid to spin fairly fast. Many beginners go out "grinding" (or using really hard to pedal gears), and they quickly lose interest because they are miserable. I would find a coffee shop you like or some destination that you want to be able to ride to, then work slowly up to it, riding three times a week or so at first.

I'm impressed with the replies in this thread...way to be friendly peeps (I was afraid there would be some major flaming when I saw "Target").
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Old 03-13-16, 06:07 PM
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Park tool company has one of the easiest to understand set of tutorials for bike maintenance. Here's the one for adjusting the rear derailleur limit screws. Rear Derailleur Adjustment | Park Tool Before you install your expensive Schwalbe tubes in your 700C tires, you might want to check if there is a reason why your current tubes lose air so quickly. Is there something sharp on the rim that caused a pinhole in the tube? It's also possible that the "mechanic" at Target who put the bike together put a tiny hole in the tube during installation. Pull it and do a test under water looking for a pinhole leak. I rarely have to add air more frequently than every 21 days to the 700c X 28 tire on my recumbent trike and I use the inexpensive tubes sold by Niagara Cycle for under $4.
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Old 03-14-16, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Take it to a shop and get it set up correctly.
Not a good idea-guys at most bike shops used openly insult customers who buy boat-anchor cheapie bikes at dimestore retailers. Better to learn how to fix your inadvisable purchase yourself, and learn firsthand what a mistake it was to buy.
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Old 03-14-16, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Not a good idea-guys at most bike shops used openly insult customers who buy boat-anchor cheapie bikes at dimestore retailers. Better to learn how to fix your inadvisable purchase yourself, and learn firsthand what a mistake it was to buy.
True. Some shops won't work on such bikes, but some will. But considering the known problems with the thing, I would expect the spokes need to be properly tensioned, etc. And judging from the OP's alleged unfamiliarity with even basic nomenclature (E.g., "When I look straight down on that mechanism situated above the pedal hub (or the two gears) which the chain flows through, there are two screws that can be adjusted, sticking up."), I think it's worth a shot.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
Not a good idea-guys at most bike shops used openly insult customers who buy boat-anchor cheapie bikes at dimestore retailers. Better to learn how to fix your inadvisable purchase yourself, and learn firsthand what a mistake it was to buy.
Interesting business practice. Missed opportunities for repair money, and future upsell.
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Old 03-14-16, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Interesting business practice. Missed opportunities for repair money, and future upsell.
I don't know about insulting people, but I do know an owner of a LBS who won't work on most big box bikes. His decision was based on a couple of things. First, he found that whatever work he would do would often be pointless in the end because of the crappy construct of the bikes. For example, he'd true wheels and they would come out of true after a short time. Tighten a loose BB and it would work its way loose in relatively short order. The customers would them come back and question the shop's work rather than the quality of what they purchased. The second was fear of liability. Work on someone's big box bike and they are going to be looking for someone live and local to blame if something fails and they are injured. As for lost upsell opportunities, I suspect he felt that anyone who would buy the sort of bike he won't work on is not likely to later purchase something that he sells. In sum, the actual and potential hassles weren't worth the financial gain for him.
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Old 03-14-16, 09:18 AM
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Also, people who buy bikes at big-box stores care only about price, not quality. These people rarely see the need to pay more for a better-made bike, and are unlikely to become customers.
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