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What happened to 27" wheels/tires

Old 12-30-20, 10:07 AM
  #26  
MRT2
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Originally Posted by BobRuth View Post
I have let a few years go by and find myself wanting to get my bicycle back in shape for mostly just "sensible exercise". Just to start "moving"!!!!
Mine is (I believe) a late 70's Raleigh Record and it has 27" wheels and uses 27" x 1 1/4" tires. I started looking for new tires and ONE thing that I seem to have discovered concerns me.

Looking at the websites of local bike shops.... they do not have ANYTHING in 27".
Looking at place where one might commonly find bike tires & tubes (Thinking WalMart... places like that).... they do not have ANYTHING in 27"

I can find them in places where I have to order them..... but the real surprise was that local shops don't have them.

Did I miss a memo?
What happened?

Bob
A few years? I would guess it has been at least 30, maybe even 35 years since new bikes were sold with the 27" wheel and tire. I had a Schwin LeTour with 27" wheels from the early 80s which, I suspect may have been among the last bikes to be sold with 27" wheels and tires. As others have said, I think you can still get replacement tires, even replacement wheels for your old bike. I know this for a fact as I helped an old friend get both replacement wheels and tires for his old mid 70s era Panasonic road bike.
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Old 12-30-20, 10:25 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by BobRuth View Post
Looking at place where one might commonly find bike tires & tubes (Thinking WalMart... places like that).... they do not have ANYTHING in 27"
That is because Walmart's internal inventory assignment optimizer (perhaps a map on a dartboard?) has sent all the 27" tubes and tires to the stores nearest to me. Plenty of them on the shelves here.
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Old 12-30-20, 10:47 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
You won't live that long.
That's my guess too.

A friend recently gave me a Schwinn Typhoon made in 1963, that was his bike when he was a kid, and he was clearing out his attic. I decided to do an absolutely minimalist restoration, partly to show my friends that a 50+ year old bike with just basic maintenance will run forever. We did ride it with the original skins, but they were super delicate, so I decided to replace them, and learned that Kenda still makes tires for old Schwinn sizes. They're not racing tires, but this isn't a racing bike, and it doesn't have a racing motor. The only other thing I did was to repack all of the bearings. The bike still had the original lube, all dried out, but the balls and bearing surfaces showed no sign of deterioration.

In addition to the interest of old bike enthusiasts, I think we owe a debt to international trade and the third world for a surprisingly robust market in parts for maintaining old bikes.

I love 26" as well, though I've only got one 26'er in the fleet. All of the MTB'ers who have switched to 700c have a pile of perfectly good -- sometimes very expensive -- tires to give away. People leave piles of them on their curbs.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:19 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by BobRuth View Post
I have let a few years go by and find myself wanting to get my bicycle back in shape for mostly just "sensible exercise". Just to start "moving"!!!!
Mine is (I believe) a late 70's Raleigh Record and it has 27" wheels and uses 27" x 1 1/4" tires. I started looking for new tires and ONE thing that I seem to have discovered concerns me.

Looking at the websites of local bike shops.... they do not have ANYTHING in 27".
Looking at place where one might commonly find bike tires & tubes (Thinking WalMart... places like that).... they do not have ANYTHING in 27"

I can find them in places where I have to order them..... but the real surprise was that local shops don't have them.

Did I miss a memo?
What happened?

Bob
Welcome Bob. Check your area for a bike COOP. I still run 27" wheels and when I need a couple tires and don't feel like ordering something I can walk in my local COOP and they have always had some hanging on the wall.
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Old 12-30-20, 01:44 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Shop online (Amazon, ebay, etc.) for Panaracer Paselas in 27x1 1/4" or 27x1 1/8" if you want 'em a little more narrow.
And if you don't ride much or don't care about quality, buy something uber cheap like Kendas. They're awful, but some folks haven't experience to distinguish quality.
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Old 12-30-20, 01:46 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by big chainring View Post
Say what?
What?

hough yes if it was so popular we would likely still see it and with a lot more options these days. We would not have so many videos and postings about people converting to the more popular 700c size and we would have seen them more popular in competition. It was widely used in the bike boom for sure but has largely fallen by the wayside and we continue having posts like this about finding tires and wheels and what to do with this old size.
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Old 12-30-20, 02:01 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
What?

hough yes if it was so popular we would likely still see it and with a lot more options these days.
The reason there aren't many options is that it hasn't been popular for several decades, not that it was never popular.

It was widely used in the bike boom

It was widely used for the decade following the bike boom as well. For example, the 1983 Miyata catalog lists 14 models of bicycle, and 8 of them used 27" wheels.
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Old 12-30-20, 02:13 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Also there are still 27" tires out there but not in large numbers as it wasn't really ever a popular size.
Originally Posted by veganbikes
It was widely used in the bike boom for sure.
Sort of the BF version of "No one goes there anymore because it's too crowded".
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Old 12-30-20, 02:32 PM
  #34  
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I was a fairly early adopter of 700c clinchers. Before that I had used the 27x1" tires on my racing bike for training. They were a bit slower than tubulars but a lot cheaper. It was nice when 700c x 25mm became available because I didn't have to worry about adjusting the brakes when changing wheels. Otoh, I have a couple of scars on the back of my head because I wasn't too careful about the chain/freewheel matching up.

When I built my touring bike in 1980, I put 27x1 1/4" tires on it because you need good availability of tires while on tour. It's pretty funny how wrong about that I was. I wasn't paying attention to the bike industry when they decided that 27" was passé, but by the mid-'90s it was definitely all over.
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Old 12-30-20, 02:33 PM
  #35  
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The Gatorskins will give long trouble free life. Apparently so will Paselas. BTD usually carries 14 or so types of 27" tires, though right now 5 or 6. Im sure the Covid boom has manufacturers making as many 700c as possible, filling the production line.

As well, the high nimber of people pulling the 27" 10 Speeds out of the garage has them in short supply.

Velomine is a good source of 27" built wheels. Got a pair with Quando sealed bearing hubs and Sun CR18 rims this year. Very happy with them.

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/search/27in-road-tires

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=235_243&zenid=a2ffisgh3qmual2gj7b9mf87p7

Last edited by stevel610; 12-30-20 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 12-30-20, 05:37 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
Imagine spending all this time and energy to be a d*ck to some guy trying to get back into this sport.

Quite the flex
I like his post so I liked his post.
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Old 12-30-20, 05:44 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Al Gore invented the internet.

.

Al Gore never claimed anything like that.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/internet-of-lies/
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Old 12-30-20, 06:15 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
When I built my touring bike in 1980, I put 27x1 1/4" tires on it because you need good availability of tires while on tour. It's pretty funny how wrong about that I was.
If you tour in major cities, of course, mon ami. But to this day if you bumpity-bump on some duct tape into a sleepy little American town in flyover country and try to source a replacement tire at the hardware/dry goods store, you're more likely to find a 27 x 1 1/4 than any width/construction 700 other than maybe a 37mm hybrid bike tire.

Note: Nothing in this post is to be construed as a quixotic argument for building up a new touring bike with 27" wheels. I mean, duh.
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Old 12-30-20, 06:33 PM
  #39  
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Indeed, it's one thing to keep an old bike running under the "ain't broke don't fix it" rule, and another to bring new wheels into the world in an obsolete size. All of my new wheel builds are 700c, even on ancient hubs such as old Sturmey Archer and Bendix.

On the other hand, a possible use of obsolete sizes is if folks are literally giving the stuff away, then you might be able to assemble a perfectly good if not great bike for next to nothing. That seems to be the case with 26", which hung on for a few years longer than 27" did.
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Old 12-30-20, 06:36 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Al Gore never claimed anything like that.
So humble!
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Old 12-30-20, 06:40 PM
  #41  
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My favorite 27” tires are Pasela , Panaracer . They are a few dollars more than Kenda but worth every penny. They are readily available online at various locations , even eBay. Widths like 1”, 1 1/8”, 1 1/4” are usually available. I also have found Michelin Pro Tek tires at REI in stock for $25 each. They tend to run wide after inflated so check for frame clearance. You can run 700c tubes in 27” tires but make sure you get 28-32 wide for the 1 1/4” tires and check valve type. I have bought from Biketiresdirect with good results but there are a few sources.
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Old 12-30-20, 06:45 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
So humble!
So boring.
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Old 12-30-20, 07:35 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
So boring.
Boring has its place. Just look at 27" wheels.

But if you want to use your original side-pulls with a pre-'80s bike, you often need to stick with the original 27" rims or find drop-bolts for your brakes.
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Old 12-30-20, 08:15 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
Boring has its place. Just look at 27" wheels.

But if you want to use your original side-pulls with a pre-'80s bike, you often need to stick with the original 27" rims or find drop-bolts for your brakes.
Many older brakes will reach, maybe need the slots filed lower, or drop pads which are easier to find then drop bolts.
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Old 12-30-20, 11:00 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Maybe need the slots filed lower or drop pads.

yeah, I've filed slots... but haven't seen any drop pads that look appropriate on nice brakes like vintage Record or Superbe.
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Old 12-31-20, 08:22 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
A few years? I would guess it has been at least 30, maybe even 35 years since new bikes were sold with the 27" wheel and tire. I had a Schwin LeTour with 27" wheels from the early 80s which, I suspect may have been among the last bikes to be sold with 27" wheels and tires. As others have said, I think you can still get replacement tires, even replacement wheels for your old bike. I know this for a fact as I helped an old friend get both replacement wheels and tires for his old mid 70s era Panasonic road bike.
I had a 1979 Super LeTour that suffered a cracked seat tube in 1986. Replaced under warranty with a 1985 Super LeTour frame. 27" wheels. (May have been an '84)
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Old 12-31-20, 08:44 PM
  #47  
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Schwinn Voyageur had 27" tires up to at least 1991.
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Old 01-01-21, 11:05 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Schwinn Voyageur had 27" tires up to at least 1991.
Out of curiosity, I just looked at the old Schwinn Catalogs, and sure enough, there were some models up to around 1990 that still came with 27" wheels, but you can see the progression from the early 80s, with fewer models coming in that wheel size every year.
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Old 01-02-21, 07:44 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Het Volk View Post
Have you considered a career in comedy?
Bababooey!
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Old 01-02-21, 09:59 AM
  #50  
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I too, have been noticing that 27” tires seem to be scarce. There is online availability but prices are clearly on the rise. The type and level of my cycling activities does not compel me to seek out the “best of the best”. I want tires that are good enough and relatively inexpensive! I’ve purchased many tires over the years and many have been brands that (at least at one time) were considered “high quality”. Nowadays, the “quality brands” are not what I consider to be reasonably priced. I have a couple of pairs of the Bell “Flat Defender” tires carried by WalMart. Regional prices must vary though since the $8.96 shown in a previous post in this thread is considerably less than the $14.96/tire that I paid. I check the stock levels at my local WalMart and have found that it’s rare to see more than a pair of these tires on the display shelf. I don’t know just where these Bell (Innova) tires fall on the quality spectrum but they seem to perform fine for me. (I may be too unsophisticated to know the difference). Several of the bikes I ride roll with 27” wheel sets so I’m definitely hoping that 27” tires remain available into the foreseeable future.
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