26" wheels in 700c frame

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Oct 19, 2014
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I know it's been discussed in many places on the internet, from 96er' to 69er's and the rest, but I'm wondering if anyone here has tried 26" wheels on a 29" frame, in particular with tyres that bring those wheels up to something close to 700c? For some background, I've been eyeing off a Marin Muirwoods steel frame commuter for a few years now, but I'm hesitant to add a 29" bike to my collection as I really like having the ability to interchange parts wherever possible. Also, I'll be using a rear hub so larger wheels are only going put more strain on the whole system further.

Has anyone tried this and found 26" tyres that are tall enough to get close to a 29" wheel?

Schwalbe Big Apples and Fat Franks in a 26 are both noticeably taller than previous mountain bike tyres I've owned, possibly closing in on smaller 27.5" tyres, but I suspect they would still look silly on a 29 inch frame and result in BB being a good inch lower than intended.

Any thoughts welcome!
 
I know it's been discussed in many places on the internet, from 96er' to 69er's and the rest, but I'm wondering if anyone here has tried 26" wheels on a 29" frame, in particular with tyres that bring those wheels up to something close to 700c? For some background, I've been eyeing off a Marin Muirwoods steel frame commuter for a few years now, but I'm hesitant to add a 29" bike to my collection as I really like having the ability to interchange parts wherever possible. Also, I'll be using a rear hub so larger wheels are only going put more strain on the whole system further.

Has anyone tried this and found 26" tyres that are tall enough to get close to a 29" wheel?

Schwalbe Big Apples and Fat Franks in a 26 are both noticeably taller than previous mountain bike tyres I've owned, possibly closing in on smaller 27.5" tyres, but I suspect they would still look silly on a 29 inch frame and result in BB being a good inch lower than intended.

Any thoughts welcome!

26 inch rims are 63mm smaller than 700c/29" rims, or about 2-1/2" smaller. So any tire that's 1-1/4" taller gets you to the same place as the 700c or 29" wheel. 26x2.7" is functionally the same size wheel as 700x35. (Bike tire casings are essentially circular in cross-section, and deviations between tire width and height come from tread design and rim width.)

MTB bottom bracket heights are higher than optimum for street riding. Traditionally, touring bikes have about 10.5" bottom brackets, road racing bikes about 11", and MTBs about 11.5". So dropping an MTB one inch with smaller wheels and fatter tires would only put it into touring bike territory (but with wider cranks that are a little easier to strike if you pedal through turns).

The shop where I work sells a Surly bike model called Bridge Club, that uses the same frame and fork for a 700x41 version and a 27.5x2.4" version. It has clearance for 26x3.0", which I think would be the tastiest variation of all.
 
As Chalo notes, it shouldn't be a problem given the right tires.

Not as much of one as this project would be ;) :

 
I mix it up all the time, 700 rear and 27.5 front, mixed it up with 26's as well.
It has clearance for 26x3.0", which I think would be the tastiest variation of all.
I like that option as well, with my 27.5 frame I can do 29x2.40 with a fat index finger nail width (side to side) of space on each side.
Pogo fork is just fine for me, decent air fork is next. I wouldnt go the route of a fat fork, just a plus tire sized fork in 29 and have all my tire and wheel size open to mix and match. I found used and free Maxxis 27.5 in 4 different sizes to test out, dumped beside a bin on heavily travelled path and the treads are good. Fats are to much as I dont ride river rock, sand, mud, snow much but occasionally I do and I just deal with it for a few then deal with fat crap all day long.
 
26 inch rims are 63mm smaller than 700c/29" rims, or about 2-1/2" smaller. So any tire that's 1-1/4" taller gets you to the same place as the 700c or 29" wheel. 26x2.7" is functionally the same size wheel as 700x35. (Bike tire casings are essentially circular in cross-section, and deviations between tire width and height come from tread design and rim width.)
Thanks for putting it into perspective, maybe not as unreasonable as I'd thought.

Yes the 26x3.0 sounds good, I wish there was a high quality commuter stye tyre in this size - sadly nothing that seems on par with Big Apples or other Schwalbe offerings. I'm tending towards Kenda Flame's 26x3 but have never used them before.
 
Yes the 26x3.0 sounds good, I wish there was a high quality commuter stye tyre in this size - sadly nothing that seems on par with Big Apples or other Schwalbe offerings. I'm tending towards Kenda Flame's 26x3 but have never used them before.
Well, make sure you have enough room at the right radius before you commit to anything as fat as 3". Kenda Kraze is a better riding, more streetworthy sibling of the Kenda Flame, if you can find one. It's the same casing either way, but the flame tread rides kinda squiggly, and leaves a lot more thin spots to catch punctures.

Here's one of my bikes back when it had 26" wheels and 26x3" Kenda Kraze tires mounted on 45mm wide Snow Cat rims:
fattybohm~2.JPG

I only know how to find those tires for sale in Europe at the moment.
 
Does the larger size Kraze have soft-compound tread, such as the Shinko SR714 moped/MC does? I ask because I'm still looking for any good large-diameter alternative tires for the future SB Cruiser replacement, and the tire has to be soft for good grip as traction and braking. (and the 20 x 3 version does not have sticky soft compound rubber)

And does it ever have sidewall deterioration like almost all the other Kenda tires I've ever used? (including the Flame, and the 20 x 3 version of the Kraze)

This image shows one of the worst examples, but they nearly all fail in the same way for me, even on regular bicycle usages (in previous decades where I was still able to use motorless bikes), regardless of pressures used. No other brand has failed for me like this, though some have had sidewall problems it was usually under extreme conditions, old age, or low pressure for a long time. Some of them the deterioration is slower and some of them I can keep using even then, but some are like the image below, where I wouldn't trust the tire much.
20220928_163209.jpg
 
Does the larger size Kraze have soft-compound tread, such as the Shinko SR714 moped/MC does? I ask because I'm still looking for any good large-diameter alternative tires for the future SB Cruiser replacement, and the tire has to be soft for good grip as traction and braking. (and the 20 x 3 version does not have sticky soft compound rubber)

And does it ever have sidewall deterioration like almost all the other Kenda tires I've ever used? (including the Flame, and the 20 x 3 version of the Kraze)

Kenda Kraze is not a heavy duty tire. It worked fine for me for years, on a pedals only bike that got modest use, when I weighed between 350 and 400 pounds. One of the things I liked about it was the supple, road bike like sidewall. For a powered application and a higher gross weight than that, I don't think it's the right tool for the job.

The tread rubber is comparatively soft and grippy, but if all the remaining examples are aged, that might not be true anymore.
 
Well, my application as used on that specific tire above was probably less than 300lbs per tire (I don't know the actual weight distribution of the trike as it is right now so I don't know what proportion of <600lbs total is front-tire). But there's the power, too.


The front I wish I could get is the CST General, but that hasnt been available in years. It was perfect for my needs, but of course that means they stopped making it. (probably because it wears out quickly due to the very soft compound). Since then and presently I use the CST City 26", but that's now wearing thru the tread area so I need a replacement.
1698704105936.png
and the version I used seems unavailable now (except maybe "NOS" somewhere?), and don't see any direct CST equivalent, They have a "beach cruiser" version of it but it does not have the same center tread and I can't tell if it's compound is soft or not (my guess is no, since a BC has no need of that).
1698704395155.png


So I may try out their "CST Premium Sensamo Control Tire, 26x1.75, Black, Sc/APL"
1698703840006.png


or "Cst Premium Sensamo Master Tire, 26x1.75, Black, Sc/Db"
1698703813964.png
as some of the reviews state the Control is a very grippy tire.


CST makes some others that might've worked, if they were sticky in the center (but aren't) like the Roamer
1698704761848.png
which has Aramid (Kevlar) but says it has a *harder* compound in the center and sticker on the edges, while I don't care about the edges but must have softer / stickier in the center for traction, control, and especially during braking.


and the Receptor (similar)
1698704790967.png
 
I too, prefer soft compound tires for my riding scenarios. Schwalbe Crazy Bob. Don't know if the size is appropriate for you (26x2.35), but I have yet to slide out on them. Good quality, smooth quiet ride. Nearing 4,000 miles and they are still in decent condition. Pretty decent puncture resistance. A metal thorn-shaped shard did make its way thru. Yes I know they are a "stunt" tire.

schwalbe-schwalbe-crazy-bob-tire-24x235-wire-clinc.jpg
 
Thanks--I'll look into the CB: it could be different, my experience so far with tires that last that long is they are too hard a compound for non-skid braking on aging asphalt (often worn smooth where I most need to brake hard and/or suddenly, near and at intersections, etc). (The CST City is still too hard, too, but it's the stickiest thing I found after the CST The General was discontinued).


Ideally I'd like to find something that has continuous tread in the center with no cuts into it for the smoothest rolling and the most actual contact surface area, but this type is rare in non-hard compounds.


The next best tire between those two that I ever found was a long time before that, and never found them for sale anywhere, they just came on a bike I got used. It was also a CST, but I don't recall the name of the model. It had a true water-shedding tread with a double-bump center cross-section leaving a channel in the center to help guide water into the tread channels. It actually worked pretty well in up to medium rain--in flash floods and heavy rain it still "floated" on the water like every other tire and made handling scary. But on dry pavement it had good grip, too. You can see from the worn-off paint**** where actual road contact happens. ;)


**** (yeah, I spraypainted the whole tire white and then dayglo to make the bike more visible; back then on regular bikes like this I had a hard time with people "seeing" me, even with the entire bike *and* me covered in dayglo and in full daylight--not exactly much of a problem on my non-bicycle-looking CrazyBike2 and especially the SB Cruiser trike. The paint of course affected traction until it wore off that area, which didn't take long, but I wouldn't paint the tread of a tire again).

1698809379590.png
1698810052239.png
 
Thanks--I'll look into the CB: it could be different, my experience so far with tires that last that long is they are too hard a compound for non-skid braking...
Part of their long life for me is my total weight is probably on the low end of the range. Full up, including rider, tools, locks, water, etc. is in the neighborhood of 200-210 lbs.
 
That's more like *my* weight these days. :oops: (I'm still under 200, but not by much). (a decade ago or more I was closer to 130-140, don't think that will ever happen again)

The trike itself probably weighs almost twice that with all the tools/etc and work stuff I carry.
 
I'm looking at doing a variation of this thread's concept. I have a Ride1Up ST700 with 27.5" wheels. I want to replace the drive wheel with a Golden Motor hub, probably the External (controller) 1000 watt. I have to choose between using a 26" unit and a 700C version. I like Schwalbe tires and want to use, if possible, a Super Moto like I have on my Magnum Metro with MP-5 hub. Which is the better way to go? Will a Super Moto (something like 26x2.3") be tall enough? I had planned on going to the 700C, but looking at the rear wheel, the OEM 27.5" SuperMoto is pretty close to hitting the fender. I'd prefer, for obvious reasons, not to downsize the rear tire more than a tiny bit.
 
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