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Old 05-27-11, 09:13 AM   #1
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Most Common Wheel Size Globally?

Is 26" the most common wheel size globally?

"The ‘Trucker is available in a 26” wheel size across the size run, with an option for 700c in 56, 58, 60, and 62cm sizes. Some people prefer the larger diameter 700c, and that’s cool. 26" is a more popular size around the world, however, so you’ll more easily be able to find replacement tubes, tires, and rims should the need arise. Smaller wheels are also stronger than their 700c counterparts, so they’ll stand up better to rough roads and heavy loads."

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Old 05-27-11, 09:56 AM   #2
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26" is a little more common.

However, it's not like you're going to get a high-quality touring tire if you're stuck in a rural town in the middle of nowhere.

I don't think it matters.
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Old 05-27-11, 10:23 AM   #3
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Mountain bike has met world wide-popularity,
particularly since mass production from Asia, of them,
in the 70's, and after, kicked in.

Common on children's /bmx bikes, 406 is #2.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-27-11 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 05-27-11, 01:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post

I don't think it matters.
It matters. Trust me. I will never leave the US on 700c again. Here's my story:
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Old 05-27-11, 02:07 PM   #5
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26" is the most sensible size for global touring.
The most common wheel globally is probably British 28" (Westwood rim) as used on the Chinese Flying Pidgeon and old British roadsters and their local variants throughout India and Africa.
Its not a great size to tour on these days but in the past it was the one people used.
The first off-road (ie no roads) crossing of Iceland was done on this type of bike in the 1930s.
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Old 05-29-11, 01:44 PM   #6
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What size 26" tires? I believe there are five different tires and rims marked 26", but they have different bead seat diameters, 559mm, 570mm, 584mm, 590mm, and 597mm. They are not interchangeable.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:01 PM   #7
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I have two bikes with 700c wheels down here in Mexico. Most likely, those will be the last ones. It's pretty difficult to find quality parts (spokes, rims, etc.) I travel a few times a year to the U.S., so that has made it a little easier. For touring worldwide, 26" for sure.
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Old 05-29-11, 10:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
What size 26" tires?
The OP means ISO559mm, but if one should ever walk into a bike shop in a foreign location, it might be handy to know:

There are eight different, non-interchangeable “26 inch” wheel sizes.

1) 26 x 1.25: bead seat diameter 599mm. Obsolete.
2) 26 x 1 1/4: bead seat diameter 597mm. Also known as Schwinn S6. Obsolete.
3) 26 x 1 3/8: bead seat diameter 590mm. Also known as 650A and EA3. This is also a common wheelchair tire size.
4) 26 x ?: bead seat diameter 587mm. Also known as 700D. Very obscure and obsolete size.
5) 26 x 1 1/2: bead seat diameter 584mm. Also known as 650B.
6) 26 x 1 3/4: bead seat diameter 571mm. Also known as 650C. Obsolete. Tires are still made, but uncommon.
7) 26 x 1: bead seat diameter 571mm. Known as 650C as well. Used today on time trial and triathlon bikes.
8) 26 x 1.0 to 2.35: bead seat diameter 559mm. The ubiquitous mountain bike tire size, descended from the American balloon tires of over a half century ago. Now made in a huge array of widths and tread patterns. In the wheelchair world, this smallest 26-inch size is sometimes referred to as “25-inch”.
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Old 06-05-11, 05:14 PM   #9
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Another vote for 26" Mountain bike wheels for a touring bike. A very common size, any bike shop that carries tires will carry some variation of that size.

That being said, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that if one is stuck with a 700c bike, to make sure that it can fit 28 x 1 1/2 wheels. It will look a bit odd, and most likely force the use of disk brakes, but as mentioned, 28" Westwood wheels was the old size used in most parts of the world, and the shops should have a few tires and tubes lying around.

Note that this is only if they already have a 700c touring bike, judging from the link that OP provided, 28" wheels will fit, but only without fenders. If OP wants fenders on his touring bike, go for 26" wheels.
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