bikes with 20 inch wheels- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    bikes with 20 inch wheels

    I'm considering ordering a custom bike made for 20 inch wheels. Something with lax geo, like 70-71deg hta and 72deg sta. I want it to be about the same size as a regular rigid 26 inch wheeled mtb but obviously with downward sloping chainstays and like twice as long headtube. About the same wheelbase as a regular mtb.

    What would something like this cost? Can I buy this off the shelf?
    Is 20 inch wheels a bad idea? If yes explain why, and try to quantify how bad.

    I'm also considering putting an igh on it, or maybe a hammersh1t and igh. Or that other brand "schlumpf". Anyone used an igh on their commuter? How are they in the rain? I would like something like 5-6 gears and service it once a year. I have no use for 14 (I think), or maybe I do.

    Is the Alfine durable? Is there any plastic inside it? What about these sram hubs, are those the same quality as the old sachs hubs that just kept going? I'm considering the 3 and 5 gear sram hubs too, if they are any good that is.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    I think they call those 'recumbents.'

    Why 20"? Just curious
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    Still want a fat bike....
    Reputation: Dalton's Avatar
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    You can buy it off the shelf.

    Maybe not everything you were talking about, but there is one example of something with 20's.

    As for the alfine, I don't think you're going to hear a lot of complaints about them. Everything I've read and heard, they are money.
    I am a man of many words. KCCO!

  4. #4
    psycho cyclo addict
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    I've ridden a 20" wheeled (7-speed) folding mountain bike since the mid 90's- most recently on a ~32 mile ride with a friend who was on his road bike. He was amazed that I kept up with him but it wasn't all that difficult. Nuttin wrong with 20" wheels if you have proper gearing.

  5. #5
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
    Reputation: Shayne's Avatar
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    These are super fun....

    Late 80's F-1 class bmx bikes. Basically full sized bikes built for 20" wheels.
    Schwinn's pictured but a bunch of companies made them.
    You'll need a big chainring and a corncob out back to commute with it. IGH gear range would be pretty useless on 20" wheels.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bikes with 20 inch wheels-hpim1345.jpg  

    bikes with 20 inch wheels-qualifier.jpg  

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  6. #6
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    one of my co-workers has a Cannondale Hooligan. it's a ton of fun. look into it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    Late 80's F-1 class bmx bikes. Basically full sized bikes built for 20" wheels.
    Schwinn's pictured but a bunch of companies made them.
    You'll need a big chainring and a corncob out back to commute with it. IGH gear range would be pretty useless on 20" wheels.
    These looks kinda cool too. I have looked at the hooligan and I don't know really, I like steel and Ti.

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I think they call those 'recumbents.'

    Why 20"? Just curious
    I'd like the smaller size in car and public transport, thats the only reason really.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalton View Post
    You can buy it off the shelf.

    Maybe not everything you were talking about, but there is one example of something with 20's.

    As for the alfine, I don't think you're going to hear a lot of complaints about them. Everything I've read and heard, they are money.
    These are very close to what I want. maybe cut the ht down to 75% elongate the fork a little and put some slope on the top tube, and discs.



    Does anyone remeber a few years ago there was this little bike that used a frame made of thin tubing much like a ducati, like a ladder. There were many tubes connecting the top tube and the down tube sort of. Not cheap is all I remember.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I'd like the smaller size in car and public transport, thats the only reason really.
    What you want is a folding bike then. Lot of companies like Brompton:
    Folding bikes, folding bicycles from Brompton Bicycle
    Dahon:
    Make a change for the better | Dahon Global
    and others make them.

    Never owned one though, cannot comment any more.

  9. #9
    dirtbag
    Reputation: ranier's Avatar
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    If you're looking for something that can fit in a car trunk or take on public transportation then a 20" folder or even a 24" folder is your best bet.

    I have a 20" Dahon folding bike I used when I commuted by train from Stuttgart up to Heidelberg. Easy to roll around at the hauptbahnhof, you don't get hit with a bike ticket fee and you can take it on during commute hours on the bus and train.
    Amolan

  10. #10
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    About folder, I hate folders. And I could never ever trust a folder.
    also the bike needs to be able to withstand a drop to flat on the rear wheel from like 1m.

    I get hit with a childerns ticket no matter what I do when riding public transport, I'm actually buying a special card for the bike (goes ad child appantantly) so I don't have to argue with bus drivers. I take my bike on the bus for like 20km and the remaining 10km I ride, I save about 40minutes/day doing this. There are trains, but then I have to walk for 20 minutes, the last bit. If it was less than 20km I'd ride it. But I have a physically demanding job and I need to be able to perform at work. There is no way I could ride 30km and then work every day. Also I lose time doing it. Time that I don't get paid for.

    I have noticed that a 26inch wheeld bike is just a tiny bit too long to fit comfortably on a regular bus here. About 6 inches too long. And going down to a 20 would give me that 6 inches in wheels alone, and you can probably decrease the wheelbase like 1 inch more without the bike feeling twitchy and nervous.

    rainer how much does a buss/travel pass cost in germany where you are? I mean inner city, and maybe up to 30km from the city centre per month?

    Around here its about 130 euros/month for that distance (its divided in zones) and about 1/3 for a child/bike.

    anyway I found this
    Its badass!

    My vision of the ideal bike for this situation is something sililar to that and mixture of this


    I like a longer fork so it doesnt look retarded, like the cannondale, its missing half the fork!! I want a 1.5 headset/fork for robustness, and some makers wont even make a ti fork in 1.125, ti is only 50-55% as stiff as steel. I would also be running tires about 50-55mm or bigger. And a time trial bar. I have to do some sorcery to get an xtr shifter or whatever to mount on the roadbar. but that no problem. And discs, must have discs.

    Sometimes I ride down some high speed hills and I reckon I could hit about 100km/h in some of them if the bike inspires enough confidence. Its a psychological limit. I mean I could probably hit them with my current ride but it doesn't really inspire that much confidence. I just don't trust the material.

    Motorbikes run 17 inch wheels, it has to be a reason they don't use 26 inch wheels.

    Basically I want **** built up from the ground to my specs. Bombproof, rock solid **** that only by looking at it tells you that this will never break or bend or deflect. It has to be something I can trust my life to. And compact enough of course.

    sorry for the long post.

    This is getting built.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  11. #11
    Teen Wolf
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    20" makes my head hurt.

  12. #12
    I AM I AM
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    I put a 80mm suspension fork with a 20mm bmx wheel attached onto a bmx once, it wasn't as strange feeling to ride as I expected. Of course when I did the standard lift front wheel in the air thing I fell flat on my back because the front end was so easy to lift!

    For me it's a 15km ride into town, on the bmx I attempted it once, about 2km in the valve ripped off and I dumped the bike in the bush and walker / jogged the rest of the way.
    The thing about 20" that bugs me most is that I keep thinking about how much more the wheels rotate and how much faster that's going to wear out the hub bearings etc! It just bugs me.

    My particlular bmx was a bit light on with the gearing at the time (not standard 25/9) so would have been too spinny to ride that far all the time anyway, but hey the car was being repaired and I had to get there somehow!

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