700c vs 26 Inch Bicycle Wheels

by touring-bicycle

Bicycle Touring Professional reader, Thomas Hickenbottom, lately despatched me the next electronic mail:


There’s the talk occurring about whether or not to make use of 26″ wheels/tires or 700c…whats your tackle this …additionally what about clinchers versus disc brakes…thanks to your consideration….I’m going to have a touring bike constructed quickly and would like to have your enter on these two crucial concerns…thanks to your time and be careful for vehicles!!!

Thomas Hickenbottom

Initially, I don’t know if there may be any purpose to debate wheel sizes. In my thoughts at the least, it’s only a private selection you get to make when choosing the bike you intend to take in your journey.

Nonetheless, the selection you make relies upon very a lot on the place precisely you intend to go in your travels.

26 Inch Wheels

Whereas most conventional touring bikes include 700c wheels, these touring to distant areas of the world are normally higher suited with a pair of 26 inch wheels. There are two essential causes for this:

1). 26 inch wheels are the type you see on most mountain bikes. So utilizing these kinds of wheels/tires is normally higher for journey on filth roads, rocky trails, and in areas the place the streets are lower than good.

2). However greater than something, 26 inch wheels are finest to make use of in distant locations of the world as a result of the bike outlets in these areas are not like to hold 700c wheels/tires. The 26 inch wheel is commonplace nearly in every single place on this planet… the place as 700c wheels should not. So in the event you take a motorcycle with 700c wheels on a visit all over the world after which end up in want of a brand new tire in a spot the place they solely carry 26 inch tires, you’re gonna to be caught!

This alone is big. And this, for my part at the least, is the #1 purpose you need to go along with 26 inch wheels in case you are planning to journey to a spot on this planet the place bike outlets are few and much between.

On a private observe, I simply bought completed using my bicycle by means of Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia… and the whole time I used to be in these nations I used to be unable to discover a bike store that carried 700c wheels. There could have been one… someplace… however I couldn’t discover it. 26 inch wheels, then again, have been completely in every single place.

700c Wheels

That stated, most bicycle vacationers don’t journey all over the world or go to particularly distant locations. Most individuals who journey by bike stick with paved roads and plenty of of them cycle in areas the place 700c wheels are simple to search out at native outlets and restore homes.

For cyclists in North America, Western Europe, and some different spots across the globe, discovering 700c wheels/tires received’t be an issue. So, in the event you plan to experience in considered one of these areas, then utilizing a motorcycle with 700c wheels is a wonderful selection.

Disc Brakes vs. Rim Brakes

Right here too, it’s not likely a difficulty of which is best (though disc brakes in all probability are so much higher for fast stops), however a difficulty of availability when you find yourself out on the street.

In a lot the identical method that discovering elements for a 700c wheel is tough in distant areas of the world, discovering the elements/brake pads for disc brakes can be extraordinarily tough.

So that you see, it’s not likely about which is best… however as a substitute, about 1) private selection and a pair of) the place you intend on going.

If you happen to’re going to stay to the roads and cycle in a comparatively fashionable locale, then 700c wheels and disc brakes will probably be nice. However in the event you’re planning to move off-road and/or cycle by means of part of the world the place bike outlets carry just some commonplace elements, then 26 inch wheels and your commonplace rim brakes are the best way to go!

What do you concentrate on my recommendation right here? Is there the rest I ought to add? How did you resolve what sort of wheels/brakes to make use of in your touring bicycle?

Bicycle wheel photograph by Duchamp


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