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  1. #26
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimano4
    Actually what I lament is lack of respectable brand focusing on their commuter bic using 26 inch wheel. Their reason? 700c roller faster and better for commuting. But from my personal experience, the different is virtually not there.

    I would want to have a 26 inch dedicated commuter. I wanted a strong wheel which can handle pounding. So far, there is only one candidate which is the KHS Urban X. Complete with fender, rack ,rigid fork and slick tire. Kona smoke is also a candidate but in terms of accessories, Urban X wins hand down.

    For household brand like Jamis, Back Diamond, Giant,Trek, GT, Raleigh. I can hardly find something similiar to Urban X. In their mind, 700c is the choice for commuting which I totally not agree.
    That's why you build your own!!
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  2. #27
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    For a different view of wheel sizes,
    http://www.moultonbicycles.co.uk/heritage.html
    Yeah, they`re trying to sell their product, but it`s still pretty interresting. Cool pics, too.
    Recalculating....

  3. #28
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    Folks make much too big a deal of the rolling resistance and inertia of 700c vs 26' wheels. The real differences are very small in comparison to the other forces at play when riding a bicycle. It's like wondering how many pennies are in the jar when you're struggling to make the mortgage payment.

    There's also a slight improvement for 700c over 26" in the impact angle when climbing over bumps. On larger bumps it means less energy is lost because a greater percentage of the impact energy is directed upward vs backward. This becomes more meaningful if the height of the bump is beyond 10% of the radius of the wheel. A 2" bump is much more significant to a 20" wheel vs a 700c or 26" wheel.

    All other things being equal, larger wheels with narrower tires will roll slightly better, but wider tires and stouter rims are more forgiving. You decide what's better for you based on how you actually ride, and road conditions.

    My main reason for preferring 26" wheels over 700c for my commuter is based on the better selection of high pressure wider section slick tires, coupled with the clearance to use them. (and the fact that I had a nice 26" bike that I wasn't riding otherwise. Free still ranks high in my book) Too many of today's 700c bikes won't clear wide tires, and those that do often have crappy caliper brakes. Maybe the perfect mix is a 700c cyclocross or touring bike with either disc or canti brakes, if you can find nice 32-40mm tires.

    Pick the bike that's best suited for your needs with either wheel size, change to tires that make sense, and let technogeeks debate the dynes and newtons your saving or wasting.
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY
    . Maybe the perfect mix is a 700c cyclocross or touring bike with either disc or canti brakes, if you can find nice 32-40mm tires.
    Quoted for truth. 'Cross bike, Discs, and 700x35's on 36 spoke 29er rims here.
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  5. #30
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    26"x1.25 fatboy slick or 26x 42mm marathon up front, 700x40mm marathon xr out back.

    both wheels give me pothole bombing abilities, rear's way taller for more distance per revolution, front handles quicker and is stupid-easy to get up and over curbs/etc.
    I call it "urban pursuit".
    oh, and I'm running a 2" zocchi fork from the early 90's on it too.

    *shrug*
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  6. #31
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    I still think y'all sound crazy! Didn't everyone ride a bmx when they were younger? They can have the same gear ratio as my commuter bike and would be able to keep up for a while, but the amount of energy needed to sustain the spin of those 20" wheels will quickly drain the rider. The same is true with a 700c vs a 26" wheel though less dramatic. I have both and to me there is just no comparison! As for the claim that a 26" can run larger slicks, my touring/commuter can fit 700x44 tires with fenders!

  7. #32
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    ^^ This brings up the gear ratio argument that was made earlier. Wheel size is just another factor in the gearing of a bike. A 20" bmx bike will accelerate like mad, but with the same gear ratio as your commuter, you'd spin out the gear on the BMX bike waaaaaaay before you would on your commuter. I'm totally with you here. Based on these variables though, you can assume that you could just change the gearing on the BMX bike and maintian the same speed as your commuter, no problem. It would just be harder to get going from a stop. We're back to the fact that it totally depends on if the motor has enough torque to turn over the higher gears at low rpms...if it's struggling to accelerate or pull a hill, the gearing advantage of the taller wheels is pointless. There's an ideal combo of gearing/wheel size for your commute at your speed at your level of fitness. A huge set of wheels and a tiny rear sprocket and a huge front sprocket would give you incredible speed, if you had the torque to keep turning those cranks over with a headwind or a hill coming at you. It's all about finding the right compromise. For me, with the gearing on my bike right now, I bet I could commute faster on a 31er than a 29er, but if I was on a 45er, I'd be walking up a few hills. I'd have to drop the gearing, which would make me slow down, which would take away the advantage of the bigger wheels.

    Maybe some foldie guys with 20" wheels could chime in on their gear ratios... I'd assume anyone running 20" wheels over any significant distance has a crazy gear ratio compared to me and my 700c wheels.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  8. #33
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    It sounds like we're in agreement, a 700c will be more efficient at higher speeds but a 26 will be better suited for hilly or stop/go riding, so the matter has mostly to do with an individuals commute than a track where all variables have been removed except wheel size, because some people might be doing more quick climbs or stops than another. I suppose that's why in general, road bikes use 700c and mountain bikes use 26".

  9. #34
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    Quoted for truth. 'Cross bike, Discs, and 700x35's on 36 spoke 29er rims here.
    No way- 700c with 23mm (25mm can be acceptable) and everything fixed. Don't care about spoke count as long as they don't bend.

  10. #35
    weirdo
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    [QUOTE=CommuterBoyMaybe some foldie guys with 20" wheels could chime in on their gear ratios... I'd assume anyone running 20" wheels over any significant distance has a crazy gear ratio compared to me and my 700c wheels.[/QUOTE]

    Since I hope to be a folder guy sometime next year, I`ve been checking into this. Ideally, you could have the same gear ratios as your 700s, but that requires somewhat crazy steps to get there. By going off the deep end, people can mount chainrings up into the 60s. More conservatively, Dahon specs some of theirs with 55-44 doubles. In the back, Shimano has a hub and cassette designed especially for taller gears to turn small wheels. Only one cassette available at this time- it`s a 9-26 nine speed. A lot of mfgs also use SRAM Dual Drives to up the top end and some custom jobs use geared BBs. Then again, not all folders provide that kind of gearing. With a lot of them (even multi geared ones), you just have to accept that you`re going to spin out around 15mph or so. BTW, one side effect of having small wheels that didn`t occur to me until I started looking was RD clearance, which indirectly affects gearing choices (long cages are generally avoided if possible).
    Recalculating....

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by shimano4
    In terms of gearing , both hybrid and mtb are running on same gearing 48/38/28 x 11/34.
    I even have cyclometer install on both bikes to gauge the top speed and average speed.

    In fact, my MTB accelerate faster(better average speed) but it all due to installing a top end wheelset.

    But even without the top end MTB wheelset, using entry lvl wheelset. I find virtually no different except climbing(my new commuting route does not consist of many climb). But of cos, there may be many factor like tires and weight.

    But somehow or rather, I am not convince to go 700c for my next commuter in terms of average and top speed on flat.
    Actually a MTB drivetrain seems to allow for a better acceleration. I ride with a road race team and am able to out accelerate them from a stop light and most of the time leave them in the dust and im running a 559x23c @ 120psi and my bike weight twice what their bikes weight.

  12. #37
    Which way? Uphill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    For whatever sized tires you have you can adjust your gearing so that its`s the same as whatever other bike. Even little folders can be set up with 9-26 cassette and/or 56t chainring. WIth the gearing to match the tire size, it`s the same crank RPM for any given speed.

    There are countless threads on the touring forums I hang out at discussing wheel size. What it usually comes down to is that a physicist can prove a microscopic advantage to this or that, but everybodys results vary according to condition and perception and there aren`t any clear winners. If you can ride 2.06 mph faster with your 23mm tires over the smooth parts of the road, but you have to slow down to 4.81 mph under your 26 x 1.5 tire speed for the bumpy parts, you get to the bar in the same amount of time no matter which bike you`re on.

    What did make a noticeable difference in my speed, as well as my comfort, was discovering drop bars.

    My old method of selecting bikes by wheelsize was very simple- I kept with 26 inchers because that was what I already had and there`s dang near a warehouse worth of extra tires and wheels at home- skinny ones and fat ones and in between ones. Since road bikes don`t often turn up with 26" wheels (they easilly could, though), I had to throw a wrench in the works in order to get a bike for my roadie fix. Bummer. If I ever build myself a frame, the first one is going to be a sport geometry roadbike designed around 26 x 1.25 Paselas.
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    This year they offer all size frames the option of 26" wheels, it used to be just the smaller sizes.

    I'll weigh in on the original topic too:
    I find no huge difference between 26" and 700c wheels on pavement. I use 26" because the wheel is stronger, it's easier to get fatter tires, and I already had some 26" studded tires around. Also, it seems as though you can easily find dirt cheap 26" rim-brake wheels; 700c wheels seem to be 2-3 times as much.

    I call BS on anybody that says going to 700c will make them easily cruise at 20 mph while 26ers at the same effort results in 15 mph. Either the comparison is terribly flawed with too many variables changed or the tester is full of crap. Not many people "easily cruise" at 20 mph on a road bike without a downhill or tailwind. Easy cruise on a flat for most people is 17-18.5 mph. 20 mph will take some effort to maintain for any appreciable amount of time, thus a lot of roadies aspire to be sub-5 hour for a century ride.
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  13. #38
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    ....AND THERE YOU HAVE IT.....I THINK YOU PUT IT SIMPLE AND TO THE POINT SIZZLER.

    Me, I'm an idiot.....I'm converting my Monocog to my commuter with slicks and nothing more- oh and it's a 26er.....15miles each direction to work- I need to improve my engine.

    44t/15t gear ratio I'll give it a try.

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