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    Thread: Why the 700c rage? Who makes 26" bikes anymore?

    1. Member
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      03-24-2012 01:28 PM #1
      I'm a newbie to biking and when I got my bike (2010) it was 26" wheels/tires. My wife is now hooked and I want to get her something new (she has an old beater), but I literally cannot find a road/city/hybrid that isn't 700c.

      We are short stature (5'7" and she is 5'5") and once fitted for our frame size... the 700c units are just dopey/stupid-looking. Not to mention bigger than they need to be... at least for us. I can see why they are good for taller people, but what are shorter folks to choose from?

      I assume we can buy any 700c bike and swap to smaller wheels/tires, but that is going to be far more money than makes sense.

      I've checked all the usual big brands (Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, Scott, Novara, Jamis, Raleigh, etc.) and haven't found any models we like that aren't 700c. :

    2. Member Steveo989's Avatar
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      03-24-2012 01:43 PM #2
      I am sure you can talk to your LBS and they can keep the 700cc wheels that come with your bike and they can give you or upgrade you for a small fee to some 650c wheels around their shop. I think 700c is there just to have a nice industry standard. Plus, it attracts the tire companies so they do not have to make each tire in 30 different sizes, they can catch a lot more consumers with a, more or less, universal road wheel size.

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      03-24-2012 05:25 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by Steveo989 View Post
      I am sure you can talk to your LBS and they can keep the 700cc wheels that come with your bike and they can give you or upgrade you for a small fee to some 650c wheels around their shop. I think 700c is there just to have a nice industry standard. Plus, it attracts the tire companies so they do not have to make each tire in 30 different sizes, they can catch a lot more consumers with a, more or less, universal road wheel size.
      you can't put 650 wheels on a 700 frame, not unless you are running disc brakes. your calipers won't reach or your canti bosses will be in the wrong place.

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      03-24-2012 05:27 PM #4
      i don't know what your price range is, but terry cycles has been making women-specific bicycles using smaller wheels for a long time.

      http://www.terrybicycles.com/Bicycles

    5. 03-26-2012 07:57 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
      i don't know what your price range is, but terry cycles has been making women-specific bicycles using smaller wheels for a long time.

      http://www.terrybicycles.com/Bicycles
      As others have said, you can't put 650c or 26" wheels on a 700c frame - it just won't work.

      Speaking of Terry Bicycles, my wife has several of their bikes (she was sponsored by them), and has a few Fast Woman bikes with 650c wheels. Its geometry is a race geometry, so you should bear that in mind (that and the fact that it's their top-of-the-line semi-custom bike). Their Valkyrie is also an excellent option and comes with 26" wheels as an option for the smaller sizes, but is also moderately expensive.

      On the ready-to-ride side, the Tailwind and the Symmetry have sizes that have 650c wheels as well as a size with a 24"/700c combination (if you really need that size), while the Susan B/BX has an option with 26" wheels.

      That said, 5'5" really isn't that small for a woman - my wife is 4'11", and definitely needs smaller wheels. Someone who is 5'5" quite probably doesn't.

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      03-27-2012 08:30 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by uncleho View Post
      I'm a newbie to biking and when I got my bike (2010) it was 26" wheels/tires. My wife is now hooked and I want to get her something new (she has an old beater), but I literally cannot find a road/city/hybrid that isn't 700c.

      We are short stature (5'7" and she is 5'5") and once fitted for our frame size... the 700c units are just dopey/stupid-looking. Not to mention bigger than they need to be... at least for us. I can see why they are good for taller people, but what are shorter folks to choose from?

      I assume we can buy any 700c bike and swap to smaller wheels/tires, but that is going to be far more money than makes sense.

      I've checked all the usual big brands (Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, Scott, Novara, Jamis, Raleigh, etc.) and haven't found any models we like that aren't 700c. :
      700c tires tend to roll better when you're just cruising the streets. Even with thicker tires, it's still nearly as comfortable and you also have a slightly better choices in tires.

      Does your wife really want to deal with the extra weight & bulk of a bike that is designed around a 26" mountain bike?
      2008 Passat wagon, 2.0T 6MT with mods
      Other Rides:
      - 2013 Cannondale CAADX-6
      - 2010 Specialized Secteur Elite
      - 2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29-er

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      03-30-2012 11:46 PM #7
      Well... we gave up on 26".

      She seems content with 700c after we visited some LBS. We've narrowed it down to:

      Plan A: SPECIALIZED Source


      Plan B: SPECIALIZED Sirrus Comp


      She originally wanted this, but it was too damn hard to find and we didn't want to wait until June to get it.

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      03-31-2012 01:56 PM #8
      I've been shopping around for a hybrid myself. The Sirrus is a nice bike, I checked one out at my LBS. Take a look at the Giant Escape line and the Cannondale Quick lineup.
      You also have the option go for a 26" MTB and slap some 26" slicks on there. That's what I did to my old MTB, makes life easier until I decide on a Hybrid.




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