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  1. #1
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    Multiple wheel sizes for Road?

    MTB has seen a confusion of wheel sizes over the last 5 years or so, and savvy riders benefit from the new choices. On the road side, however, we haven't seen a meaningful selection in rim diameter in over 20 years. It's an open secret that anyone under ~5'8 is having their road bike handling/fit dictated to some degree by the 700c standard (and anyone under 5'4 is getting kinda screwed)... do you think the MTB innovations are going to lead to better fitting road bikes in the future?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble View Post
    MTB has seen a confusion of wheel sizes over the last 5 years or so, and savvy riders benefit from the new choices. On the road side, however, we haven't seen a meaningful selection in rim diameter in over 20 years. It's an open secret that anyone under ~5'8 is having their road bike handling/fit dictated to some degree by the 700c standard (and anyone under 5'4 is getting kinda screwed)... do you think the MTB innovations are going to lead to better fitting road bikes in the future?

    LOL those aren't innovations. "27.5" was marketed because Americans are too ignorant of the metric system to understand the 650B. "29er" is 700c for metric dummies too.

    Those labels were just contrived to bump sales on re-discovering decades old standards, that it wasn't wise to get rid of.



    The entire universe on road settled on 700C because riders and racers ran into distribution problems way back when when they were on a ride with their 700D wheels/tires and the LBS only sold 700A-because that was what was popular locally. What now with internet sales, and Quality Bicycle Products owning most of the local LBS universe in the USA, distribution is no longer the problem...it is finding enough of a market to justify the expense of production.
    "‘Photograph me on horseback,’ wrote Teddy Roosevelt in 1908. ‘Tennis, no. And golf is fatal.’ "

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    I have a 29er road bike.

    really.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble View Post
    MTB has seen a confusion of wheel sizes over the last 5 years or so, and savvy riders benefit from the new choices. On the road side, however, we haven't seen a meaningful selection in rim diameter in over 20 years. It's an open secret that anyone under ~5'8 is having their road bike handling/fit dictated to some degree by the 700c standard (and anyone under 5'4 is getting kinda screwed)... do you think the MTB innovations are going to lead to better fitting road bikes in the future?
    get 650c's then.
    Blows your hair back.

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    I predict that some manufacturer will come up with a non-standard wheel size, along with a full line of tires and tubes. It will be slightly bigger or smaller than the 700c standard. They will have all sorts of test data to "prove" that their non-standard wheels will shave 0.xx seconds off of a 10K time trial, or that they handle better, or some such benefit. A pro team will adopt their innovative wheels. And a bunch of you weekend warriors will jump on the bandwagon.
    Insert something clever here:

    Insert list of every bike I own here:

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanE View Post
    I predict that some manufacturer will come up with a non-standard wheel size, along with a full line of tires and tubes. It will be slightly bigger or smaller than the 700c standard. They will have all sorts of test data to "prove" that their non-standard wheels will shave 0.xx seconds off of a 10K time trial, or that they handle better, or some such benefit. A pro team will adopt their innovative wheels. And a bunch of you weekend warriors will jump on the bandwagon.

    The name will start with "A" and end with "MER Sports"
    "‘Photograph me on horseback,’ wrote Teddy Roosevelt in 1908. ‘Tennis, no. And golf is fatal.’ "

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanE View Post
    I predict that some manufacturer will come up with a non-standard wheel size, along with a full line of tires and tubes. It will be slightly bigger or smaller than the 700c standard. They will have all sorts of test data to "prove" that their non-standard wheels will shave 0.xx seconds off of a 10K time trial, or that they handle better, or some such benefit. A pro team will adopt their innovative wheels. And a bunch of you weekend warriors will jump on the bandwagon.
    After they finish inventing a couple of more proprietary bottom bracket "standards" the next logical step would be multiple wheel sizes

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    Yep, the MTB wheel size fiasco we're suffering through is a bunch of bullshit, but here on the road side 700c serves a large minority of riders surprisingly poorly.

    Is it safe to infer that road riders are insulated from MTBers' willingness to experiment with alternative wheel sizes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble View Post
    Yep, the MTB wheel size fiasco we're suffering through is a bunch of bullshit, but here on the road side 700c serves a large minority of riders surprisingly poorly.

    Is it safe to infer that road riders are insulated from MTBers' willingness to experiment with alternative wheel sizes?
    Roadies are a bunch of luddites these days LOL. Of course...it could also be said that the last ~15 years of marginal-gains fake-statistic advertising (25% stiffer! 35% more vertically compliant!) of meaningless percentages have made roadies a bunch of cynics when it comes to anything the bike companies try to sell.


    O'er on BikeForums there's a funny thread going where a tourer was thinking of doing a nice Surly touring build with Di2. Why not, right? It turned into a 100+ comment thread about how great friction shifting is-and how no one "needs" electronic shifting. LOL.

    On RBR the same thing happens whenever you mention disc brakes.



    Wheel sizes...there's a need, that isn't too arguable. Problem is finding tires and rims. Not a whole lot in the way of 650B wheels or rims. Not much in the way of tires either. Even online, and forget about finding local.
    "‘Photograph me on horseback,’ wrote Teddy Roosevelt in 1908. ‘Tennis, no. And golf is fatal.’ "

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    Smaller front wheel = better drafting.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble View Post
    Yep, the MTB wheel size fiasco we're suffering through is a bunch of bullshit, but here on the road side 700c serves a large minority of riders surprisingly poorly.

    Is it safe to infer that road riders are insulated from MTBers' willingness to experiment with alternative wheel sizes?
    wow ignorant remark. The terrain handling benefits of the larger wheel sizes has been a significant improvement in mountain bike capability. UNDISPUTED. Same with Plus and Fat bike tire ideas. However it might have been fine to just go to 29er and not have 27.5 as well. 26er is completely dead now, btw. I finally gave up on mine last year after 32 years of 26ering, and am glad I did it (I was slow to change my gear, due for an update having not purchased a new trail bike in 14 years - went to 27.5Plus)

    For a road bike there is pretty much no need for any improvement in 'terrain handling.' IMHO, 700c is great status quo as roads do NOT demand much in the way of handling whatsoever otherwise we'd have 69 degree head angles and 34mm wide tires on race bikes. We're just not moving like a 600cc superbike. Just watch out for the thru axles and 12 speed coming down the pipe, LOL

    However for gravel bikes, touring and the like, it is a practical popular trend to put 650b wheels and tires on a road bike (ie cyclocross, touring or gravel bike) so achieve much wider tires in the same outer diameter as a 700c 25c wheel. I did this myself on my CX bike I use for gravel and adv riding. The upside is there is no need to change the frame nor to make special rims - the rims are already widely available form the mtb scene and disc brakes means no cable brake bridges/calipers to muck with. Yes I know this is also not a new thing, actually decades old, but rightfully being embraced again.
    Last edited by BCSaltchucker; 07-10-2017 at 07:53 PM.

  12. #12
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    Canyons new ladies road bike line has 27.5" on the smaller framesets...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble View Post
    anyone under 5'8 is having their road bike handling/fit dictated to some degree by the 700c standard, and anyone under 5'4 is getting kinda screwed.
    short people got no reason
    to l i v e ...
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    Canyons new ladies road bike line has 27.5" on the smaller framesets...
    I mocked one of them up in bikecad a while ago, and while it's a big improvement over what's typically available it's still compromised by wheel size and crank length.Multiple wheel sizes for Road?-canyonultimate-wmn-cf.jpg
    It's definitely a step in the right direction.


    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    wow ignorant remark. The terrain handling benefits of the larger wheel sizes has been a significant improvement in mountain bike capability. UNDISPUTED.
    I wouldn't dare to dispute the effectiveness of the marketing, nor the improvement in design/geometry that have been pegged to the wheel size change... but that's not the focus here.
    Last edited by bubble; 07-11-2017 at 06:16 AM.

  15. #15
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    About a decade or so ago there was a big move in the triathlon world towards bikes with 26" wheels. I think that Quintana Roo still makes them, but otherwise they have pretty much been abandoned by the industry.

    Terry used to make women's bikes with a 24" front wheel and 700c rear. I can't recall the last time I saw a new Terry bicycle.

    Trek makes a kid's Emonda with smaller wheels (26"?) that can work for smaller riders of they don't like the 47cm 700c bikes. I (at 5'7") ride a 52cm and have found no handling issues with any of the bikes I have ridden over the years (can't say the same for the motor!).
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