700c to 26" wheels ... thoughts?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SSSasky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    618

    New question here. 700c to 26" wheels ... thoughts?

    Hey all,

    I currently run a Cross-Check style frame with 700x32c tires on my SS commuter / city bike. I'm a bit obsessed with the 26" long haul trucker, and I want to build one this spring, but I'm a bit worried that the smaller wheels will feel way slower.

    I plan to run Big Apple (liteskin?) 2.0 on the LHT.

    Rationally, I know it can't be that big a difference. There's plenty of people who swear by Bromptons and Bike Fridays, and the small tires don't seem to hold them back.

    But ... I haven't ridden anything but 700c for the last 7 years, so I'm a bit concerned.

    Thoughts? Experiences?

  2. #2
    jl
    jl is offline
    climb
    Reputation: jl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,293
    get a 700C LHT.
    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    340
    My thoughts are more expounded. But basically, go with which one floats your boat. The logistics are that a fat 26x2.0 and a standard 700x32 are not hugely different. Do a search online for bicycle tire circumference tables and you'll see that for yourself. The bigger difference I'd think would be the weight of the 26 over the 700. So, if you'd like a little more comfort and the very slight cost of speed then go for the 26. In my opinion there are more benefits to the 26 than the 700. Like someone else said kind of... I've never seen a couple on tour with different tire sizes have to wait for each other.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    12,083
    Quote Originally Posted by SSSasky View Post
    Hey all,

    I currently run a Cross-Check style frame with 700x32c tires on my SS commuter / city bike. I'm a bit obsessed with the 26" long haul trucker, and I want to build one this spring, but I'm a bit worried that the smaller wheels will feel way slower.

    I plan to run Big Apple (liteskin?) 2.0 on the LHT.

    Rationally, I know it can't be that big a difference. There's plenty of people who swear by Bromptons and Bike Fridays, and the small tires don't seem to hold them back.

    But ... I haven't ridden anything but 700c for the last 7 years, so I'm a bit concerned.

    Thoughts? Experiences?
    I run 26 x 38mm slicks far faster than a 2 inch fat tire on the road, also rails the corners way better on the road...

    If you are on asphalt or concrete narrow and hard is the answer Narrow (38mm) and hard is surprisingly good and hard packed as well.....pretty scary on gravel though.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    18,453
    I don't have saddle time on the LHT myself, so take this for what it's worth.

    Some of my friends are Surly fanboys. They sometimes complain about the ugliness of the 26" LHT, but have nothing but good things to say about the practicality of that wheel choice.

    I was starting to shoot my mouth off about some size-related stuff, but had a look at the web site because I wanted to know if they monkey with the chainstay length. I hadn't realized the LHT is now available in a huge size run for 26" wheels - last I looked, it had been in small sizes only. Although it looks like the 700C version is only in 56cm and up now. Funky.

    OP - how big a bike do you ride? Do you even have a choice to make here? (That always makes it easy...)

    As far as speed of the bike is concerned - it's not going to be that big a difference, especially with that fat tires you're interested in. Wheel size matters more with a skinny tire - people with small-wheeled road racing and time trial bikes often complain about a harsh ride - or off-road, in the same vein as 26" vs. 29" mountain bikes.

    Sometimes, use of a 26" wheel, slick tire, and MTB/trekking gearing can impose a speed limit on the bike that you'll actually run up against regularly. Use a bigger chainring and cassette with an 11t cog, and you should be fine.

    Is this bike going to be another commuter? If your city is like my city, marginal differences in bike efficiency will make almost no difference...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    My preference is for 26 inch wheels, so while my reasons might not apply to you, I sure wouldn`t try to talk you out of it!

    I doubt gearing is going to make any difference for you. Turtle is right about the diameters being pretty close, eliminating that problem. Holding a 32 x 700 next to a 26 x 1.75 just now, the 700c tire is about an inch bigger in diameter. That`s against a pretty skinny 1.75, so a full 2.0 would probably be very close to a 32. But the cushiness of the fatter tire will probably up your speed over rough surface (even chip seal), while not FEELING as fast due to the same cushiness. And you did ask about it FEELING slower.

    But I say if you have an itch, scratch it. In the case that it ends up so terribly bad that you hate the bike, you`ll take a little hit for depreciation (buying new), but you shouldn`t have any trouble unloading a bike that`s so much in demand.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SSSasky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    618
    Yeah Rodar - I feel you. I have a strange 26" itch, and a probably will scratch it.

    I know empirically that there won't be a big difference - I'm just curious about peoples' experiences.

    Andrw - I'm a big guy. In 26", I'd end up on the 62cm LHT. In the 700c, I'd be torn between the 62 and the 64cm. I'm 6'5" with pretty long legs.

    My current ride is a single speed 700c, with 38x16 gearing (low, but I'm a wicked spinner, not a grinder).

    26" or 700c, it will be a single speed built with the White ENO, which is how my current build is done.

    Today I was riding home in the rain, and realised that I also probably want the disc LHT. I think it's ugly as hell compared to the regular LHT, but the wet weather performance is appealing.

    Here is my current build (more or less):

    SS setup | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Here's a build I kind of want to emulate, but single speed:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/surly/one-bad...er-740602.html

  8. #8
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Quote Originally Posted by SSSasky View Post
    Here's a build I kind of want to emulate, but single speed:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/surly/one-ba...er-740602.html
    It looks a lot like a bike I was eyeballing last year
    Smooth Hound | Dahon Global


  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SSSasky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    618
    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    It looks a lot like a bike I was eyeballing last year
    Smooth Hound | Dahon Global
    Bikes like that make me think I'm just really over-thinking things. If people can be happy with those itty bitty little wheels, surely I can be happy on 26".

    Time to start putting parts together ...

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    340
    With the singlespeed and flat/alternate bar aspect, have you considered the Troll? It sounds more up the ally for the setup that you are describing. The Troll thread in the Surly forum has lots of info about fitting of racks, pannier, etc.

  11. #11
    One Colorful Rider
    Reputation: Normbilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,204
    I have a Buddy with a 26" LHT. I dislike it. It's Slow and Heavy.

    We rode from my house last year to Waterford Wisconsin. About a 60 ride. He was always lagging behind cause of the heft of the bike and the smaller wheels. Going home two days later was even worse.

    You have the capacity to run bigger tires on your Cross Check. Run 700x40 tires on the CC then you'll have taller fatter tires. In the summer I run 700x40 tires on my Bianchi San Jose . It corners well on the Loose Gravel yet rolls nice on Pavement.


    Single Speed Sunday 7/31 by normbilt, on Flickr

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    5
    I've had both a 700c and 26" LHT. Before I went to South America to tour last year I moved all the parts from my 700c trucker to a 26" frame, and bought new wheels. I went from 700c x 32 tires to a 1.5" tire. I like the 26" version better, it seems to accelerate a bit faster, and it's more nimble in traffic. I never noticed any speed loss, everything else being equal, I doubt you would either. Plus the ability to run big rubber is awesome. I'm riding 2" kojaks now, for commuting in NYC they are awesome.

    The cross check is a zippier bike in general, so you may notice a difference there, but that's more the geometry difference between the two frames.

    Get the bike!

  13. #13
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    Please don't do it. That head tube length is unacceptable.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: SSSasky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    618
    The custom frame I'm running right now already has a 22cm headtube, so I'm well into skyscraper headtube territory anyways. :P

  15. #15
    The Brutally Handsome
    Reputation: Sizzler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,257
    I went from 700c to 26" and enjoyed the ride comfort or larger volume tires and easier acceleration from a stop. However, my commute involves long sections of relatively flat, uninterrupted paths so I switched back to 700c to take advantage of the larger diameter and lower rolling resistance. Both wheels have their advantages, so you should base your decision on the type or commuting you will experience.

  16. #16
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    6,223
    Sizzler, is there anything you haven`t gone from and to?

  17. #17
    The Brutally Handsome
    Reputation: Sizzler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1,257
    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Sizzler, is there anything you haven`t gone from and to?
    I'll admit I may have a problem, but I'm seeing a bike therapist to help me through my issues.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: in2theforest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    63
    With 26" tires you will experience more ride comfort, as stated previously. Because the 26" wheel has a diameter that is 11% smaller (559mm vs 622mm bead seat diameter) the resulting contact patch or footprint of a 26" tire is both 11% shorter and 11% fatter.
    The shape of the footprint affects handling. With all other things equal (especially fork rake and bottom bracket heights) the rounder contact patch of a 26" front tire dramatically improves low speed maneuverability. Conversely, high speed stability is enhanced by the longer and narrower footprint of a 700c front tire. While the two tires will feel different in a hairpin curve--the smaller tire corrects quicker and the larger tire holds a smoother line--because cornering speed is a function of area and grip, maximum speed through a sharp turn is the same. Because of its smaller diameter, the 26" tire is forced to deform more to apply its equal-area-yet-fatter contact patch to the ground. When we put the same weight on both bikes it's easy to observe more "bulge" in the sidewall where the 26" tires meet the ground. Greater tire deformation (sidewall flex and tread squirm) equals greater internal tire friction; the leading cause of rolling resistance. For certain events (triathlons, track pursuits and time trials) rolling resistance is less important than the frontal area of the tire--in these no-slipstreaming events a solo bike with 26" wheels has an advantage. But for pack cycling events (criteriums, sprints and road races) the aerodynamic advantage of the smaller wheel is not great enough to offset increased rolling resistance. Even though a 700c wheel is actually slightly heavier than a 26" wheel, the difference in "bash-strength" (the ability to survive impacts) is enough to render a 700c wheel damned near useless for rutted jeep trails and urban curb-hopping. If you want one tire size that does it all, 26" is the only wheel size that makes sense. While a 26" mountain bike can easily be converted into a pavement scorcher that will keep you abreast of the fastest roadies on their solo bikes, a bike with 700c wheels is too fragile for real mountain biking. And even if you never plan to venture off pavement, the "bigger is faster" argument is limited by the size of the riders--bikes built around 700c wheels are inefficiently tall for captains shorter than about 5'7".
    So you need to make a decision based on the surfaces you plan to ride upon and the type of performance you wish to gain from your travels.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    81
    On the OP 700c to 26", isn't it possible to do both and maintain handling? I've only owned a Crosscheck but often hear the CC described as much nippier than the LHT. Yet when I compare the two in my size, the 60cm frame, there's not a lot in it. The trail numbers, based on a 700x35 tyre, come out within a millimeter of each other, 64.6 for the CC and 65.8 for the LHT. The big differences are in chainstay length, 460 for the LHT and 425 for the CC, though the latter will be at the forward most part. Then there's the BB drop at 66mm for the CC and 78mm for the LHT.

    But these seem like very small differences to make such a variation in ride feel. I actually thought that a lower BB would make a bike accelerate faster and assist in seated climbing, but I'm not sure why I think that, must have read it somewhere.

    So what I was coming to is the Disc version of the LHT for 700c wheels. Couldn't you buy that and run it with 700c in general and, if bigger rubber is needed, switch to 26" wheels with 2.2" tyres. It would reduce the trail slightly to about 61.5mm compared to the 700x35s mentioned above. The problem may be that the BB would sit about 9.5mm lower so perhaps pedal strike could occur. But I'm not sure, with the 26" wheels the BB height should still be 257mm. This would be almost identical to what you'd get if you ran the LHT with 700x23 tyres. I'm not aware of any prohibitions against running skinny tyres in the LHT. Looking at the Disc Trucker 700c and 26" they are pretty much identical barring the HTA slackens 0.5 degrees and the BB drop reduces by 31mm for the 26" version.

    Maybe it's worth looking around to see if there's a 700c disc bike similar to the CC, maybe the Salsa Vaya or similar? That has what you want, higher BB, disc brakes, shorter stays, etc. That you could run as 700c to about 40-45mm and 26" from 1.75 to 2.35. Obviously it would mean a second wheelset but it's cheaper than a second bike.

  20. #20
    I keep losing the trail
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    13
    I don't have the experience of many of the previous posters, but I suspect that in real life, the differences between wheel diameters will be miniscule compared to other factors. If the 26" disc trucker has caught your eye, I say go for it. Get it, ride it, love it.

Similar Threads

  1. 700c wheels on a 26" MTB
    By vertigo12369 in forum Commuting
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01-14-2009, 06:55 PM
  2. 700c wheels on a 26" frame?
    By Burpee in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-19-2006, 04:47 PM
  3. Question about big wheels: 27", 700c, 650c
    By SpinWheelz in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-19-2005, 06:30 AM
  4. Sweet 29"/700c SS wheels for sale
    By mikesee in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-04-2005, 11:21 AM
  5. Thoughts on '04 XTR hubs for 700c/29" wheelsets?
    By TommyKnocker in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-28-2004, 06:45 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.