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Buying my first road bike but unsure of the wheel size...

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Buying my first road bike but unsure of the wheel size...

Old 02-27-21, 12:34 PM
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Seb1987
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Buying my first road bike but unsure of the wheel size...

Hey yall
So I'm looking to buy my first second hand road bike, it's so exciting and have spent hours searching for one. I'm 1m74 and figured out that the right frame size, of a road bike, for me would be 53 to 55cm. I'm looking at a road bike online which has a framesize of 55cm but 26inch wheels. When I bought my hybrid bike in the store years ago the salesman asked my size, I said 1m74 and he replied that a 28inch wheel was best for me. Does that apply to road bikes aswell? Are 26inch wheels good enough or must/should I go for 28inch wheels for the road bike? I found a frame size calculator compared to your actual size online but is there one for wheel sizes too? Thanks
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Old 02-27-21, 12:43 PM
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26" wheels aren't going to be on any decent road bike you may want. The 28" reference- guessing you might be from a part of the world that isn't "local" to me (we love the metric system but we don't use it). In which case sometimes road bike wheel sizes are referred to as 28" on the tires (mainly Continental). Reality is that in the industry we refer to "standard" road bike wheel sizes as 700c. ISO sizing would be 622 and is interchangeable with the mtb wheel standard of 29"

Confusing? don't let it be. If you get a "road bike" it should have 700x wheels on it ...but at the end of the day buy what fits and you like to ride. The wheels will be whatever size they are.
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Old 02-27-21, 02:59 PM
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I know the forum title says road bikes, but that might be misleading. What's considered a road bike by most is an endurance type frame made for doing long rides as well as short rides. Most everyone here probably is in the wanna-be racer category or we ride at a level of effort that wouldn't be considered leisurely riding. So most of your advice is going to come from that perspective.

If you are wanting a cargo bike, utility bike, commuter bike, cruiser bike or even a time trial bike, there are other sub-forums that will have users more knowing the specifics for them. And all of those are bike that you ride on the road. But they aren't what we typically think of as road bikes.

As another said, if you are getting anything made in the last 20 years that is a road bike, it very likely will be 700C wheels. Unless you are getting one of those other bikes I mentioned that also get ridden on the road.

1m 74 is 174 cm? Never seen it written like that. Don't go into looking for a bike using wheel sizes. That'll confuse everyone.

First decide what type bike you actually want and base that on the type riding you intend to do with it. And no, just because you want to ride pavement does not mean it's a road bike you want.
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Old 02-28-21, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Seb1987 View Post
When I bought my hybrid bike in the store years ago the salesman asked my size, I said 1m74 and he replied that a 28inch wheel was best for me.
Don't go back to this store.
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Old 02-28-21, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I know the forum title says road bikes, but that might be misleading. What's considered a road bike by most is an endurance type frame made for doing long rides as well as short rides. Most everyone here probably is in the wanna-be racer category or we ride at a level of effort that wouldn't be considered leisurely riding. So most of your advice is going to come from that perspective.

If you are wanting a cargo bike, utility bike, commuter bike, cruiser bike or even a time trial bike, there are other sub-forums that will have users more knowing the specifics for them. And all of those are bike that you ride on the road. But they aren't what we typically think of as road bikes.

As another said, if you are getting anything made in the last 20 years that is a road bike, it very likely will be 700C wheels. Unless you are getting one of those other bikes I mentioned that also get ridden on the road.

1m 74 is 174 cm? Never seen it written like that. Don't go into looking for a bike using wheel sizes. That'll confuse everyone.

First decide what type bike you actually want and base that on the type riding you intend to do with it. And no, just because you want to ride pavement does not mean it's a road bike you want.
Very common in the rest of the world for someone to refer to their height as 1m XX instead of 1XXcm. It's much like we say 5' 10".
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Old 02-28-21, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Very common in the rest of the world for someone to refer to their height as 1m XX instead of 1XXcm. It's much like we say 5' 10".
Maybe it is, but for the places I've traveled that were metric, it was either centimeters entirely or metres with a decimal. IE. 1.74 metres. And perhaps in the other countries I visited, we didn't always talk about our personal height.

It's just the first time I've seen that and I had to think a second to understand it.
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Old 02-28-21, 06:10 PM
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I am 178 cm tall and ride a Cannondale Synapse (categorized as a road bike with an endurance rather than a race geometry) in size 54 (roughly comparable to endurance road bikes from other brands sized medium or M). It comes with the standard 700C (ISO 622 mm) wheels. As others above have said, like most other decent road bikes, even the smallest size frame (48) of this bike uses the standard 700C wheel. While you cannot determine which frame size would fit you based on height alone, it is fairly like you would be within one frame size of what I ride. So there is no reason to consider a road bike that uses a non-standard 26" wheel size. I have only come across the 26" wheel size on (a) smaller sizes of cruiser bikes for women and (b) bikes for bigger children.
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Old 03-01-21, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I know the forum title says road bikes, but that might be misleading. What's considered a road bike by most is an endurance type frame made for doing long rides as well as short rides. Most everyone here probably is in the wanna-be racer category or we ride at a level of effort that wouldn't be considered leisurely riding. So most of your advice is going to come from that perspective.

If you are wanting a cargo bike, utility bike, commuter bike, cruiser bike or even a time trial bike, there are other sub-forums that will have users more knowing the specifics for them. And all of those are bike that you ride on the road. But they aren't what we typically think of as road bikes.

As another said, if you are getting anything made in the last 20 years that is a road bike, it very likely will be 700C wheels. Unless you are getting one of those other bikes I mentioned that also get ridden on the road.

1m 74 is 174 cm? Never seen it written like that. Don't go into looking for a bike using wheel sizes. That'll confuse everyone.

First decide what type bike you actually want and base that on the type riding you intend to do with it. And no, just because you want to ride pavement does not mean it's a road bike you want.
It's for riding fast and for long distances. I already have a city bike. And I would be one of those people where if someone said road bike I would think a race/endurance bike for going long distances. But that is because I'm studying bicycle markets and mechanics but I do believe it can be confusing to those who have just started riding. And I bought the bike and it has ETRTO 23-622.

Last edited by Seb1987; 03-01-21 at 07:54 AM. Reason: I forgot to add more information
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Old 03-01-21, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Seb1987 View Post
It's for riding fast and for long distances. I already have a city bike. And I would be one of those people where if someone said road bike I would think a race/endurance bike for going long distances. But that is because I'm studying bicycle markets and mechanics but I do believe it can be confusing to those who have just started riding. And I bought the bike and it has ETRTO 23-622.
Then it sounds like you are in the right sub-forum and may have bought the right type bike....if it fits you well. the 23-622 tire is what is considered the old 700C which most every endurance road bike since the mid to late 80's is. Though there are a few, very few exceptions.

Now you just need to ride and get a few thousands miles on it. Or kilometers. Whichever, just ride a lot.
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