Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

26" Wheels on smaller LHT

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

26" Wheels on smaller LHT

Old 03-13-08, 12:37 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 122
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
26" Wheels on smaller LHT

I'm about to pull the trigger on a new LHT. However, I am a bit apprehensive because I need a 54 cm frameset, and that size and below come stock with 26" wheels to reduce toe overlap.

I have a very slight amount of toe overlap on some of my bikes (usually just when fenders are used). I'm apprehensive because I've only ever ridden with 700c wheel, and I'm not sure what the ride will be like with the smaller ones.

Is this just a stupid quirk on my part, or do you think I'd actually notice a difference between the wheels if I ended up swapping the 26's for 700's?
grantman18 is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 01:42 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you're nuts. shutup and ride.
goldfishin is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 01:58 PM
  #3  
aka: Mike J.
 
treebound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: between Milwaukee and Sheboygan in Wisconsin
Posts: 3,405

Bikes: 1995 Trek 520 is the current primary bike.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 39 Posts
I've looked at the specs on the LHT and like you I'd probably be looking at the 54 size frame. The 26" vs 700c question came up for me as well. I was wondering if Surly would spec build a 54 with 700c. MTB's have come out with the 29ers which I'm told have advantages over the 26" wheeled MTB's, so why wouldn't a larger diameter road/touring bike wheel have an advantage over a 26" wheeled road/touring bike?

I don't have an answer, so I'll just shut up and go ride per goldfishin's input.
treebound is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 02:09 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
kbabin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Fayetteville, AR
Posts: 279
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Also, the smaller frames can take up to 2.1" inch tires. That makes it more adaptable for something like the Katy Trail or C&O.

Kevin
kbabin is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 03:37 PM
  #5  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,342

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 152 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6200 Post(s)
Liked 4,201 Times in 2,357 Posts
Originally Posted by treebound
I've looked at the specs on the LHT and like you I'd probably be looking at the 54 size frame. The 26" vs 700c question came up for me as well. I was wondering if Surly would spec build a 54 with 700c. MTB's have come out with the 29ers which I'm told have advantages over the 26" wheeled MTB's, so why wouldn't a larger diameter road/touring bike wheel have an advantage over a 26" wheeled road/touring bike?

I don't have an answer, so I'll just shut up and go ride per goldfishin's input.
29ers are a fringe thing in mountain biking. The benefits are not as great as you might think and the detriments are greater than you might think. They might roll over stuff a little better but they are larger, heavier and geared higher on the low end. If you add weight to wheels, you are going the wrong direction and I've seldom heard anyone say that they want a higher low gear on a mountain bike. Plus everything is just tighter on a 29er...less clearance tighter...which means less mud clearance.

For touring, 26" wheels make a whole lot of sense. Yes, your high end gears are going to be a little lower so you won't move as fast but that is seldom a problem. Use a 48 or 50 tooth outer ring with an 11 tooth cassette and you'll still have a taller gear than you could have gotten 15 years ago. Your low gear will be a little lower with 26" wheels. Seldom does anyone who is touring wish that they had higher low gears

A 26" wheel is inherently stronger than a 700C. That's one of the reasons that mountain bikes use them (and a problem with 29ers). They use shorter spokes which makes the wheel stronger. If I could, I'd have 26" on my 58 cm bike.

Buy the 54cm and look on the 26" wheels as a gift.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 05:07 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
SweetLou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Some people prefer 26" wheels.
https://www.thorncycles.co.uk/why26inchwheels.html
SweetLou is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 05:28 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 158 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
i certainly felt a difference when i went from my road bike to the new thorn and 26 wheels,took me a couple spin's to get used to the feel of the bike i had to remember i was not on my carbon road bike .
but now it feel's great so dont worry ,unless your a pro rideing a tour every week you aint going to notice.
antokelly is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 05:42 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
craigdurkee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: melbourne
Posts: 522

Bikes: gaint crx 2 2007

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If i had an option on my sutra I would have gone with 26" wheels due to the improvement in strength, with shorter spokes they should be more robust.... Although alot would depend on who built them as well i guess
craigdurkee is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 05:48 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: N. California
Posts: 1,410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I went through the same arguements when I bought my LHT. I was between the 54 and 56 cm with the 54 being favored. After a lot of dithering I got the 54 cm with the 26" wheels and I absolutely do not regret it. If there are any (any) real disadvantages I have yet to experience them.

Embrace the 26"ers without reservations.
The Smokester is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 08:11 PM
  #10  
Just ride it.
 
MrPolak's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've whined enough about the 26'' LHT, so I'll shut it and ride.
MrPolak is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 08:30 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i will never understand peoples obsession with big wheels. smaller is usually better (where size really matters. the only place you'd want bigger is maybe on road bikes, and that's only if you just have to have that extra few seconds per mile). and try some schwalbe tires. even their big tires roll with minimal resistance. my comment may have seemed a bit uncooth, but man, this is silly! go ride the bike!
goldfishin is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 08:36 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Fueled by Boh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: College Park, MD
Posts: 232

Bikes: Cyclocross tourer, Redline Monofixie, Lemond Buenos Aires, surly KM, haro x3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by grantman18
Is this just a stupid quirk on my part, or do you think I'd actually notice a difference between the wheels if I ended up swapping the 26's for 700's?
you can't. search LHT + 26" wheels. you'll find quite a few threads.
Fueled by Boh is offline  
Old 03-13-08, 10:58 PM
  #13  
Fending off mediocrity
 
akisicki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Posts: 23
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I finished building my 54cm LHT not too long ago and have been tweaking it as best I can for the past few weeks. Most of my other bikes are 700c. I really like the 26" wheels. The handling is surprisingly tight, and I can really throw it around, (I have yet to ride it with a full load of gear though). The toe clearance is nice as well. I have to keep note of where my feet are going into a turn on my 29er MTB, but not so with the LHT.

I've also noted that the bike's center of gravity is noticably lower than I would have expected. I'm not sure if that's due uniquely to the 26" wheels, but I'm sure it's at least part of the equation. I am going to have to get a larger outer chainring to address the gearing issue mentioned above, but that's a small price to pay for the benefits the 26" wheels provide.
akisicki is offline  
Old 03-14-08, 07:56 AM
  #14  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 37

Bikes: Felt F4 double, Specialized Roubaix triple, Stumpjumper Comp, Giant Bowery, Surly LHT, Lemond Revmaster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Go with the 26 inch wheels

The Surly LHT 54 cannot be equipped with 700c wheels but it is not an issue. I had the same concerns before I ordered mine a few weeks back and after researching it I determined it was not a problem. After getting the bike I absolutely love it and couldn't be happier with the 26 inch wheels. The bike is incredibly stable and comfortable to ride. I've been filling up the panniers with 35 lbs of water (plus misc assorted gear) and the thing is stable as a rock and a joy to ride. As far as toe clearance that wasn't an issue even after I added fenders, although with the fenders I obviously have less clearance.
gfarrow is offline  
Old 03-14-08, 08:09 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 122
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've read a lot of mixed reviews concerning the 26" - 700c debate. I understand that over long tours, the "slower" speed of the 26" wheels isn't a huge deal. I'm just worried about doing short tours w/ some friends that are of the same fitness as I, but have the 700c wheels. Will they go noticeably faster?

I have a road bike that I ride all the time, but it would be nice to be able to ride the Surly in poor weather for training as well as commuting and day trips. Right now I have a Redline Conquest Pro that I commute on and use as a rain bike, but I'll be selling it to buy the LHT.

The Redline is great for winter riding because it handles like a road bike, and is pretty quick. But I'm selling it because it isn't set up for light touring, let alone fully loaded touring, which is what I'd really like to do. While riding unloaded however, I'll already be losing a lot of performance just by switching to the LHT, so I'm worried that the smaller wheels might just compound the problem.
grantman18 is offline  
Old 03-14-08, 08:09 AM
  #16  
aka: Mike J.
 
treebound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: between Milwaukee and Sheboygan in Wisconsin
Posts: 3,405

Bikes: 1995 Trek 520 is the current primary bike.

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 113 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 39 Posts
I think I'm undergoing a paradigm shift in my thinking, which might not be so bad.
treebound is offline  
Old 03-14-08, 09:33 AM
  #17  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Colorado
Posts: 37

Bikes: Felt F4 double, Specialized Roubaix triple, Stumpjumper Comp, Giant Bowery, Surly LHT, Lemond Revmaster

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Surly LHT 54 with 26 Inch Wheels

The only "analysis" I found online indicated that the difference in wheel size would amount to something like 10 minutes over a century ride. Not real significant. I would suggest that the difference in innate ability between riders is much more than that. Plus I think the greater strength and off/dirt road ability offsets that easily.

"While determining an exact difference in rolling resistance would be fairly easy, the effect on speed is difficult to ascertain. My best current estimate is a 26" tandem with equivalent rims, tread width, tread pattern and inflation will be 2-4% slower than a 700c tandem. While this will be a small difference for those who want the flexibility of using their tandem off-road, those interested in ultra-fast pavement rides might expect a cruising speed difference of up to one mile per hour (or a century finishing time difference of 5-10 minutes)."

https://www.gtgtandems.com/tech/700-26.html
gfarrow is offline  
Old 03-14-08, 12:33 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
badger1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 5,122
Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1579 Post(s)
Liked 1,187 Times in 604 Posts
Originally Posted by SweetLou
+1; Blance's essay (could use some judicious editing) is one of the best things I've ever read on this (recurring!) topic. Makes sense to me, and is in accord with my own (admittedly subjective) experience. FWIW, I'm one of those idiots who actually likes/prefers riding modified mtb's on-road, 26" wheels 'n all. Started back into cycling this way, and have stuck with it. Every so often I convince myself that I "should/need/want" to be riding 700c 'on road' -- do the extended trial/demo thing -- and end up not seeing any reason to change (and that includes 'speed' at average commuting/touring pace), and many good reasons to stay with what I got. Fortunately, I've built a very good relationship with my lbs, which indulges my occasional flights of fancy; they know that even if I end up not buying the bike, I'll throw the money at upgrades anyway
badger1 is offline  
Old 03-15-08, 06:35 AM
  #19  
cyclist
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: vermont
Posts: 352

Bikes: road bike, mountain bike, touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use a 54 cm LHT for my daily commute and love it. Toe overlap with the racing bike, inches of room with the fendered LHT. Yah, its slower, but we are compairing touring bikes to racing bikes so the wheel diameter is a minor part of the speed loss.
Go for it, not an issue.
ncscott is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.