26" wheel version vs 700c version
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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    26" wheel version vs 700c version

    I am looking for purchase a touring bike and I notice that many makes with frames 54cm and smaller come with 26" wheels and 56cm and up with 700c.

    I know 26" are common with mtb and 700c with road bikes.

    I am looking for a touring bike for mainly US and Canada touring which would include a cross country tour which will mainly be on paved road, I dont expect to be going off road at all.

    Will there be a noticeable difference between the two wheel version? Is there a faster rolling wheel not that I looking to go as fast as I can on a 2 month tour but any help to make the trip a little smoother or faster would be nice.

    Appreciate your thoughts

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    If you are riding in a group, it is more likely there will be spare tubes for 700c in the case that you run out
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  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Be careful, 26" is not 26", it can be anything between 559mm and 597mm.

    In any case I would choose the wheel size which is the most common in the area you cycle. It makes getting replacement tubes and tires easyer.

  4. #4
    Steaming piles of opinion
    Reputation: danl1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    The 26" vs 700c debate is a long-standing one in tandem and touring circles. Generally, 700's are faster, 26" are stronger, but the differences between the two in either area are too small to mean anything.

    In the broad generalization sense, 26" tires will be easier to find out in the middle of no-where, as every Wal-Mart and Target will stock them. The downside is that they'll be stocking knobbies or balloon tires, which might keep you going, but certainly aren't what you want. When whatever you can find gets you to the bike shop, the advantage might flip in the other direction.

    Smaller wheels make sense in the smaller sizes, to help with issues of toe overlap - and a touring bike is arguably the only place on the road where that concern legitimately matters.
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