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Most Common Wheel Size Globally?

Old 05-27-11, 09:13 AM
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somegeek
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Most Common Wheel Size Globally?

Is 26" the most common wheel size globally?

https://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker_complete

"The ‘Trucker is available in a 26” wheel size across the size run, with an option for 700c in 56, 58, 60, and 62cm sizes. Some people prefer the larger diameter 700c, and that’s cool. 26" is a more popular size around the world, however, so you’ll more easily be able to find replacement tubes, tires, and rims should the need arise. Smaller wheels are also stronger than their 700c counterparts, so they’ll stand up better to rough roads and heavy loads."

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Old 05-27-11, 09:56 AM
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26" is a little more common.

However, it's not like you're going to get a high-quality touring tire if you're stuck in a rural town in the middle of nowhere.

I don't think it matters.
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Old 05-27-11, 10:23 AM
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Mountain bike has met world wide-popularity,
particularly since mass production from Asia, of them,
in the 70's, and after, kicked in.

Common on children's /bmx bikes, 406 is #2.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-27-11 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 05-27-11, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post

I don't think it matters.
It matters. Trust me. I will never leave the US on 700c again. Here's my story: https://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=1783
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Old 05-27-11, 02:07 PM
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26" is the most sensible size for global touring.
The most common wheel globally is probably British 28" (Westwood rim) as used on the Chinese Flying Pidgeon and old British roadsters and their local variants throughout India and Africa.
Its not a great size to tour on these days but in the past it was the one people used.
The first off-road (ie no roads) crossing of Iceland was done on this type of bike in the 1930s.
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Old 05-29-11, 01:44 PM
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What size 26" tires? I believe there are five different tires and rims marked 26", but they have different bead seat diameters, 559mm, 570mm, 584mm, 590mm, and 597mm. They are not interchangeable.
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Old 05-29-11, 03:01 PM
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I have two bikes with 700c wheels down here in Mexico. Most likely, those will be the last ones. It's pretty difficult to find quality parts (spokes, rims, etc.) I travel a few times a year to the U.S., so that has made it a little easier. For touring worldwide, 26" for sure.
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Old 05-29-11, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood View Post
What size 26" tires?
The OP means ISO559mm, but if one should ever walk into a bike shop in a foreign location, it might be handy to know:

There are eight different, non-interchangeable “26 inch” wheel sizes.

1) 26 x 1.25: bead seat diameter 599mm. Obsolete.
2) 26 x 1 1/4: bead seat diameter 597mm. Also known as Schwinn S6. Obsolete.
3) 26 x 1 3/8: bead seat diameter 590mm. Also known as 650A and EA3. This is also a common wheelchair tire size.
4) 26 x ?: bead seat diameter 587mm. Also known as 700D. Very obscure and obsolete size.
5) 26 x 1 1/2: bead seat diameter 584mm. Also known as 650B.
6) 26 x 1 3/4: bead seat diameter 571mm. Also known as 650C. Obsolete. Tires are still made, but uncommon.
7) 26 x 1: bead seat diameter 571mm. Known as 650C as well. Used today on time trial and triathlon bikes.
8) 26 x 1.0 to 2.35: bead seat diameter 559mm. The ubiquitous mountain bike tire size, descended from the American balloon tires of over a half century ago. Now made in a huge array of widths and tread patterns. In the wheelchair world, this smallest 26-inch size is sometimes referred to as “25-inch”.
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Old 06-05-11, 05:14 PM
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Another vote for 26" Mountain bike wheels for a touring bike. A very common size, any bike shop that carries tires will carry some variation of that size.

That being said, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that if one is stuck with a 700c bike, to make sure that it can fit 28 x 1 1/2 wheels. It will look a bit odd, and most likely force the use of disk brakes, but as mentioned, 28" Westwood wheels was the old size used in most parts of the world, and the shops should have a few tires and tubes lying around.

Note that this is only if they already have a 700c touring bike, judging from the link that OP provided, 28" wheels will fit, but only without fenders. If OP wants fenders on his touring bike, go for 26" wheels.
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Old 01-29-21, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by somegeek View Post
Is 26" the most common wheel size globally?

https://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker_complete

"The ‘Trucker is available in a 26” wheel size across the size run, with an option for 700c in 56, 58, 60, and 62cm sizes. Some people prefer the larger diameter 700c, and that’s cool. 26" is a more popular size around the world, however, so you’ll more easily be able to find replacement tubes, tires, and rims should the need arise. Smaller wheels are also stronger than their 700c counterparts, so they’ll stand up better to rough roads and heavy loads."

somegeek
62 cm is over two feet wide
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Old 01-29-21, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by homelessjoe View Post
62 cm is over two feet wide
If you're going to dredge up a nearly 10-year-old post, you should probably read it twice before posting a "correction."
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Old 01-29-21, 11:41 PM
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Fail.
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Old 01-30-21, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by homelessjoe View Post
62 cm is over two feet wide

26" is over two feet wide also.



lucky for us the diameter of a standard manhole cover is only 600mm.

600mm is less than two feet wide!
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Old 01-30-21, 09:28 AM
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Joe- "The ‘Trucker is available in a 26” wheel size across the size run, with an option for 700c in 56, 58, 60, and 62cm sizes." Those are frame seat tube sizes, not tire widths.

Last edited by BobG; 01-30-21 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 01-30-21, 10:16 AM
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cm

Even smart people make mistakes like that.....who ever heard of ISO in cm any way.........a salesman tried to sell me a 700cm tire a couple months ago........the sun got in my eyes
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Old 01-30-21, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by homelessjoe View Post
......a salesman tried to sell me a 700cm tire a couple months ago.......

monster truck?
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Old 01-30-21, 11:20 AM
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tires

looks like I revived on old post.....maybe we should discuss obsolete bead seat diameters now
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Old 01-30-21, 02:55 PM
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10 years later, has the consensus changed as to what is the most commonly used tire size globally. Back in the day it was a 26 inch tire but I'm not so sure that's the case anymore or is it ?
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Old 01-31-21, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
10 years later, has the consensus changed as to what is the most commonly used tire size globally. Back in the day it was a 26 inch tire but I'm not so sure that's the case anymore or is it ?
26” (ISO 559mm) wheels have been around for decades and parts availability worldwide is not going anywhere. It is becoming exceedingly rare, however, for new bikes to be sold with 26” wheels in developed countries. Given the worldwide shortage of new bikes and components, I bet a lot of people are bringing out those 26” wheeled MTB bikes from their garage/storage and fixing them. Possibly right at this moment there’s a better chance of finding replacement parts for 26” (559) wheels than for 29ers (700c) or 27.5 (650b).

10 years ago, 26” (559mm) was the most sensible wheel choice for worldwide expedition touring. Fast forward to 2021 and I don’t think much has changed.

What has definitely changed in the past 10 years is the worldwide acceptance of 29er mountain bikes and, along with that, the advent of bikepacking. 10 years ago Europeans were still struggling to accept 29ers for mountain biking and many were still on 26” MTB’s. Then there was a big push for 27.5”/650b bikes which now seems to be quickly dying and everyone is settling on 29ers (700c) for everything: road, gravel and MTB. That has made it a lot easier to take a 29er mountain bike from North America to Europe, Australia/NZ and most parts of Asia and South America on bikepacking tours.

Now, for hardcore worldwide expedition touring into the most remote places in the world, I think the name of the game continues to be simplicity. You choose to tour with boost hubs, plus or fat tires, 12-speed drivetrain and other specialized equipment, then you might get stuck for weeks somewhere in Timbuktu if you encounter a major mechanical breakdown.

I think it’s always safe to see what the Europeans (mainly the Germans) are choosing for worldwide expedition touring. I would not be surprised if you find the following on those builds:

1. Steel frame and fork
2. 26” (559mm) wheels with 2” tires
3. Disc (mechanical) brakes with frame bosses ready for V-brakes as back-up, if ever needed.
4. 8 or 9 speed drivetrain

Those touring bikes with 26” wheels and fully ready for expedition touring are increasingly becoming rare due to the lack of demand these days due to the pandemic. Starting in 2020 and most likely all of 2021, many countries have closed their borders to foreigners. I think it’s wise to wait until mid 2022 to restart any of those touring plans. Let’s hope that the most serious expedition touring bikes (with 26” wheels) won’t become available as custom frames only. 29er MTB’s for bikepacking domestically is where the money is right now.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 01-31-21 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 02-01-21, 07:12 AM
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Great post Chris!

If I was going for a middle-of-nowhereistan expedition bike, it would be the Thorn Nomad, 26” derailleur, v-brake model.
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Old 02-01-21, 08:01 AM
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There aren't many new tech 26" tyres coming out now. Nothing over 2.4 except the Surly ET, which actually suck for loaded touring since they are made of cheese curd and wear out quick. Makes me sad, I like touring on tubeless +26 since they can roll over pretty well anything. Closest I've found is a Schwalble Moto-X but they lack a bit of grip for gravel and are even heavier than the ET.
If you have to box your bike 26"makes for a smaller box, can make a huge difference cost wise on some airlines, if it gets you under their large luggage excess size.
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Old 02-01-21, 11:09 AM
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I feel good having 26" wheels on my Surly Trucker, knowing I could literally find wheels in a dumpster or barn or on any wal-mart bike if I needed one to keep going. No matter how remote, I believe there will always be more 26" inch wheels near you than any other size.
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Old 02-01-21, 11:50 AM
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Bad link

Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
It matters. Trust me. I will never leave the US on 700c again. Here's my story: https://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=1783
I can't get the link to open.
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Old 02-01-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
I can't get the link to open.
that link was from 2011.


this one works: https://www.icebike.org/biking-from-...-old-children/

Last edited by saddlesores; 02-01-21 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 02-01-21, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
I can't get the link to open.
That was posted almost 10 years ago. I think Nancy kept her site open for a few years after end of their trip and then dropped it.

As far as expedition in remote corners of the world, there are two additional items I'll mention:
1. There is something to be said for *reliable* tires and not just the first ones that fit. Particularly if you are stressing weight limits or going through areas with a lot of thorns. I've gone across some somewhat remote areas (across Siberia/Russia, around Australia and across South America). I carried a folding Schwalbe or two for these circumstances and don't have much confidence a low quality tire would have lasted for long - let alone half distance of some of these continents.
2. Valve stems also make a difference. I crossed South America with 26" but with Presta. I circled Australia and crossed Russia with 700c. There wasn't much different in finding my *presta* tubes as finding 700c tubes. In both cases, it really was the larger metropolitan cities that I looked for bike shops and picked up things generally sold across internationally.
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