29er or 26er for commuting?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29er or 26er for commuting?

    Which bike would be best for commuting on road. currently i have a 26er with ritchey tom slick pro 1.0 tires. The roads were i bike around are not perfect pot holes here and other dangers on the road. Would a 29er with slicks be more better, faster, and safer for the road vs a 26er? and is it possible to put 29er wheels on a 26 inch frame?

  2. #2
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    If you are using disc brakes, it may be possible to use 29er wheels on your frame. It depends on whether you have the clearance for it. If you're using rim brakes, the brakes won't line up correctly. You may or may not have to change forks for the same reasons. As far as which is 'better', it is ultimately something you'd have experience and answer for yourself. It's much like a debate over which company makes the 'best' bikes. There are a lot of opinions on the subject, but it largely comes down to personal preferences.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    If you are using disc brakes, it may be possible to use 29er wheels on your frame. It depends on whether you have the clearance for it. If you're using rim brakes, the brakes won't line up correctly. You may or may not have to change forks for the same reasons. As far as which is 'better', it is ultimately something you'd have experience and answer for yourself. It's much like a debate over which company makes the 'best' bikes. There are a lot of opinions on the subject, but it largely comes down to personal preferences.

    hey thanks for the reply. yeah i am using disc brakes. i was thinking maybe with the larger diameter wheels it would be safer to go against the road vs pot holes and such since the angle of attack is better vs pot holes and stuff. maybe im juss parniod cause i got into an accident a month ago and broke my neck riding on the road on my mtn bike. i was also thinking it should fit cause sure i will be getting larger wheels but the road tires alot more low pro then knobbies so was thinking it compensates. but ne ways my bike is a motobecane fantom trail size 16 frame.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...om_trail08.htm

  4. #4
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    You are right, the angle of attack of the bigger wheels would come into play IF you were running true 29er tyres, BUT, running slicks a 700c wheel is just about the same circumfrence as a 26" knobbie, so nothing gained.
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  5. #5
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    I currently run 2.3-inch Big Apples on my 29er commuter bike ( a Fargo ). A pothole is still a pothole, and a asphalt patch is still a bump, but I do notice some cushioning from the larger volume tires.

    I believe you can get Big Apples in the 26er size. You might give 'em a shot. They are something you can try on your current bike.

  6. #6
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    This is a classic debate... there are pros and cons, etc.

    here's my 2 cents: When I built my bike (a cyclocross) I didn't have any 700c/29er wheels for it initially (700c and 29er rims are the same diameter for those who didn't know that) so I was running my bike with 26" mtb wheels (disc brakes so it wasn't a big deal other than a low bottom bracket). I take note of how long it takes me to get to work and home...average with 26" wheels was 21 minutes to work, 26 minutes home.

    Then I finally got some 29er wheels. I was running 1.5" slicks on the 26ers, and I put 700x35 slicks on the 29ers. There were no other changes to the bike in terms of gearing, etc. My average time getting to work went to 19 minutes, and my average time getting home went to 24 minutes.

    I'm going to leave it at that and not even throw an opinion out there. Those are the facts.
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  7. #7
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    Putting slicks on my 29er made it faster on the road too, but also going from a ~60psi tire to 100psi changes things too.
    mike

  8. #8
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    i like a 29 inch tire almost not matter what i'm doing, but for a commuter i think they make a ton of sense. you can run big fatties (2.3+) for rougher commutes if you want, or any 700C hybrid slicks for faster/light commutes depending on the rim you can get a 32 if not a 28 width tire on there. i think it's the more versatile wheel size. that said, if you already have a 26in you're doing okay on, i'd stick with that. no sense in buying new for commuting.
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  9. #9
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    In terms of safety, tire width is usually more important than diameter (at least IMHO.) Fatter tires give you better traction (especially in turns) and better cushioning. It also helps to keep your eyes up and scan the road ahead as far as you can. Anticipate obstacles like potholes and pick your lines, like you would on the trail.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  10. #10
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    If you are worried about safety, use fat tires. Big Apples in 26" will be perfect. If you want speed... there is a reason for using 700x23. And you should be able to fit 700x32 in your 26" frame. I guess you can try out both, as long as the 700 keeps a decent tire size.

    If you want to go really fast, by a road bike.

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    thanks everyone for your replys. if i ever do get a 29er wheel set that i can mount my slicks on and use the 26er for my mountain wheels what 29er wheels would u guys reccomend doesnt have to be anything expensive these wheels will only carry my road tires. Also what tires would be best? and if for sure a 29er set will fit on my frame?

  12. #12
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    For sure you should be able to fit an ything under a 37mm wide slick. As for wheels, take a look at Bicycle Wheel Wharehouse who sponsor the wheels forum, they have some great offers.

    Quote Originally Posted by alphaqforever247
    thanks everyone for your replys. if i ever do get a 29er wheel set that i can mount my slicks on and use the 26er for my mountain wheels what 29er wheels would u guys reccomend doesnt have to be anything expensive these wheels will only carry my road tires. Also what tires would be best? and if for sure a 29er set will fit on my frame?
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
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  13. #13
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    700c will almost definitely fit your 26" frame. You probably will not be able to run a true 29er tire, but 700 x 38 isn't exactly small either.

    I went back and forth on this one too... I had a 26" wheelset die on me, so I threw on a 700c wheelset that I had in my garage. The bike did alright, and got me to work okay. In the end, I put the 700c wheels back on my steel road frame where they belong. I've actually not had any problems doing even unpaved urban trails on 28c slicks... it's all in how well you can handle the bike.

    That said, I'm looking to replace the fork on my road frame so I can run 35c with a little tread. That ought to be up to even some mild XC trails.

    In the end, putting 29" wheels on a 26" frame is a big compromise. You have to live with the slightly weird handling (related to the trail measurement: the fork you have is offset for 26" wheel diameter, so putting a 29" on there screws with the trail), and the standover height reduction, and of course be careful with tire clearance (getting a rock or road debris jammed between the tire and the fork crown usually makes for a bad day).

    I'd stick with 26" wheels, and run a decent semi-slick in a 1.5 - 1.75 size.

  14. #14
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    i have ritchey tom slick 1.0 right now would goin to the 1.4 size be more safe? will i lose alot of speed vs the 1.0?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaqforever247
    i have ritchey tom slick 1.0 right now would goin to the 1.4 size be more safe? will i lose alot of speed vs the 1.0?
    Any increase in width means an increase in volume. Just don't pump them up all the way! Yeah may have to experiment with different air pressures to find exactly which is the most comfortable, but affords the least tolerable rolling resistance. And they may very well slow you down, but I'm sure it will be hardly noticeable. Exactly how much, I can't say for sure. It's really more dependent on the tire casing and how quickly it rebounds after being deformed by contact with the road surface. For instance, people who use Big Apples claim that they have very little rolling resistance, despite their enormous size. You'll probably just have to experiment and find out exactly what works for you.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    For instance, people who use Big Apples claim that they have very little rolling resistance, despite their enormous size. You'll probably just have to experiment and find out exactly what works for you.
    BAs and any fat tire usually are fairly comparable to a skinny tire on flats, but they lose momentum bad on uphills. Of course, going downhill, especially with lots of corners, is more fun on BAs than any tire I've had- confidence in the lean angle was outstanding.

    I like fat and skinny tires for commuting, so it might be worthwhile to invest in both to keep the commute fresh.

  17. #17
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    so i decided to get the michelin city tires. what size would be better 35mm or 38mm. i will be commuting alot also road riding 20+ mile rides with some friends.

  18. #18
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    If you are using you 26er frame, you probably should stick with 32's because of clearance issues. If you know you have the clearance and are going to be riding primarily on pavement, the 35's should provide a nice mixture of speed and comfort.
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  19. #19
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    Make sure you have clearance for fenders (if you're using them).
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    If you are using you 26er frame, you probably should stick with 32's because of clearance issues. If you know you have the clearance and are going to be riding primarily on pavement, the 35's should provide a nice mixture of speed and comfort.
    how would i know if i have the clearnce for 35s if there some way to measure or something

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaqforever247
    how would i know if i have the clearnce for 35s if there some way to measure or something
    You can start off by getting the wheels and putting them on your bike. Then you can eyeball the distance between the rim and the bike and guesstimate whether you can fit 35s or not. Or you could visit your local bike shop and see if they will let you take a wheel off of a bike on display to see if it will fit your bike. Just take a look at which wheel has the least amount of clearance now and that would be the only wheel that you need to check at the bike shop.
    Last edited by Solomon76; 09-21-2009 at 08:33 AM.
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  22. #22
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    alphaq, please update this thread when you finally make your decision. I'm interested in knowing what you end up doing. I currently have 2 sets of wheels/tires (26" & 700x35c). With my 700x35s, I have about as much clearance as I do on my road bike which is about a centimeter. It works out fine for me because I stick to pavement and the occasional gravel road when I ride with the 700s. Whenever I get to the point that I need to replace my commuting tires, I'm going to go with 700x32s.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    alphaq, please update this thread when you finally make your decision. I'm interested in knowing what you end up doing. I currently have 2 sets of wheels/tires (26" & 700x35c). With my 700x35s, I have about as much clearance as I do on my road bike which is about a centimeter. It works out fine for me because I stick to pavement and the occasional gravel road when I ride with the 700s. Whenever I get to the point that I need to replace my commuting tires, I'm going to go with 700x32s.
    well at this point i am set on 700x35 but jus hoping it will fit. when i do get the stuff which prolly wont be until a month from now (cause i cant ride till end of october due to my broken neck). but i will keep u updated even if its a month from now.

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