Author Topic: 26 inch wheels and tires  (Read 11328 times)

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Offline chrisk

26 inch wheels and tires
« on: July 30, 2011, 08:24:49 pm »
I am putting together a Surly LHT and I need 26 inch wheels.

I only plan on doing road trips not much off road unless the road turns into a gravel road, but no mountain biking with it.

I am used to having narrow high pressure tires, my bike now is a very old 27" wheel and I use 1.125 wide tires. I like the narrower tires.

The wheel I am looking at getting has Mavic XM317d rims and Mavic recommends 1.5" - 2.3" wide tires. In the past I have hated wide tires like that, as I feel like I am dragging something.

The ERTRO for the Mavic says 559 x 19. Would that be narrow enough to hold a 28mm tire ?

This assumes I can find a 26" tire that is 1.125. In perusing the web I think I have found one, but other then that it seems I need to go to 1 3/8 or around 33mm. I assume that would be safe if the inner width was 19mm, and it is within 1/8 of th recommended 1.5.

Any comments or experiences to share about trying to get narrower tires in 26" rims ?

The local Bike Shop has to warn me that they could come off. that's a bit discouraging. But, I do understand he has to cover himself.

Has anyone had any experiences with a narrow tire coming off ?

I would have preferred mavic A319's but they don't come in 26". Th mavic A319's ERTRO is 622 x 19 and the recommended tire width is 28mm to 47mm. Note that both have an inner width of 19mm, so I am a little confused why one says it's Ok to go down to 28 and the other one says to only go down to 1.5" (38mm). My mountian trail riding is just rougher and so it's easier for a narrow tire to get pried out of the rim in that terrain as compared to road riding.

Thanks
Chris Kottaridis

Offline whittierider

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 12:51:50 am »
If you haven't already, see Sheldon Brown's tire-size page at http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html .  There's a crazy load of ERTOs that were called 26"; but how narrow do you want to go?  26x1 is 650c (571mm ERTO) and I have a 571x19 tire in the garage for an itty-bitty triathlon bike our sons outgrew which has Velocity Aerohead rims.  Bike shops don't usually stock that size of tire, but they're easy to get by mail-order.  I get them from biketiresdirect.com in Oregon.  There really isn't any point in going below 25mm since smaller ones give a harsh ride and more rolling resistance, and your speed would have to be at least near 30mph without panniers for the wind-resistance benefit of narrower tires to materialize.  Unfortunately the best-performing tires are not made in wider widths.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 12:56:39 am by whittierider »

Offline chrisk

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 01:41:43 am »
I did see the Sheldon Brown site. It was very helpful to understand the ERTRO. It was confusing for a while to know what stat I should be paying attention to. That article helped a lot to sort things out.

The smallest I'd go is 1 1/8 which is more or less 28mm.

It just seems to me that the main thing that would determine if a tire was too narrow or not for a rim would be determined by the inner width which is 19 for both the Mavis XM719 and the Mavis A319. One says no narrower then 38mm the other says it's OK to go down to 28.

I am not exactly sure why that would be unless it's the expected different application. The 28mm may be too narrow for a 19mm inner width rim when on a rough trail, but OK on pavement. At least that's the only thing I can think of that would be different.

Thanks for the pointer to biketiresdirect.com, I'll check it out.

Thanks
Chris Kottaridis

Offline kukula

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 08:07:18 am »
I'm riding on Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 26x2 tires. They roll quite well. Wider tires are not all the same!

But don't we really need some published figures on rolling resistance? Of course it depends on tire pressure, load, road conditions, etc. But any sort of measurement would surely be better than shopping blind!

Offline DaveB

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 10:11:56 am »
I installed a set of 26x1.25" tires (ETRTO 559x32) on an old Trek MTB with Trek's OEM rims that came with 2.125" tires and the narrow tires worked just fine so narrow tires on those rims is not a problem.   

Given the Surly uses cantilever or V-brakes, you are pretty much limited to ETRTO 559 diameter rims to have the brakes align properly so some of the other nominal 26" rims (650B or 650C) are not going to work.   If you could use disc brakes, you might have more wheel choices but the LHT isn't set up for them.  Be aware thar ETRTO 559 tires are very common and the other 26" sizes aren't so there is a big benefit to staying with them.   

Offline rjones35

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2011, 12:39:08 pm »
Just curious, being new to all this, why the narrow 26" and not a wider 700c?  Is it a wheel strength thing?

Offline DaveB

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 12:30:43 pm »
Just curious, being new to all this, why the narrow 26" and not a wider 700c?  Is it a wheel strength thing?
Possibly the frame size.  Surly doesn't offer the LHT with 700c wheels unless the frame is 56cm or larger.

Offline Clem

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2011, 09:55:12 am »
In my experience, 26” tires tend to be inherently slow, but there are exceptions. I have recently discovered Conti Sport Contact tires. They make several sizes in 26” and 700c. The 26” are available in 1.3” and 1.6”, the 700c in 28, 32 and 37. I got some 1.6” and mounted them on my expedition touring bike and put 700x37c Sport Contact on my 700c touring bike. To my pleasant surprise, they are both equally fast, much better than some of the Schwalbe and Conti tires I have tried previously.

Offline charliedid

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2011, 12:24:09 pm »
I am riding a Surly Troll....26" wheeled monster truck. I find Schwalbe Marathon 1.5's to be plenty "fast" @ 90-100 lbs.

It's not a race ;-)

Offline chrisk

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 12:29:08 am »
I like the narrower high pressure tires. They just seem to roll better to me. In the past when I tried wider tires it just felt like I was dragging something behind me. But, I haven't tried wider tires in many years, and maybe they have improved or there are just better quality omes then I previously used.

The frustrating thing is Surly only supplies the trucker deluxe in 26" wheels arguing that the tires are more readily available. However, so far I have not been able to walk into a single bike store and find a 559x28 tire in stock in any of the bike stores in Colorado Springs or any I have been at in Denver, nor any I have stopped in on trips. That's like 0 for 10. They all have 700cx28 and 559x37 (~1.5") but not 559x28.

I should probably try some good 559x37 (~1.5's)  to see if I still feel like I am dragging something behind me compared to the 559x28.

To some extent it's not as big a deal as I originally thought. I can get 559x28 on the net. So long as I plan ahead and keep a spare or two with me I should be fine. I typically don't take longer then a week long trip and so I shouldn't have to worry too much about availability on the road if I start with a spare or two.

It just got a little frustrated that Surly only makes the Trucker deluxe in 26" wheels arguing that tires are more readily available, but then my personal preference in tires aren't widely available at all! Sigh...

Thanks
Chris Kottaridis

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 10:12:56 am »
Jan Heine did some nice work in Bicycle Quarterly (Vol 5 #1 and #3), which indicated that skinny high pressure tires do NOT have the lowest rolling resistance.  Well worth a read, IMHO.

A couple of points came out of his tests, which weren't really brought out in the accompanying article.  It seems many wider tires (think 32 and wider for 700C) have extra rubber and lower thread counts.  Extra rubber is good, it lasts longer before wearing out and keeps you from getting flats.  Extra rubber is bad, you lose energy in the flex/restore cycle, meaning higher rolling resistance.  Lower thread count, well, it's apparently cheaper, but to get the same strength, you have to use fatter threads, which absorb energy quite nicely; higher rolling resistance again.  However, with some searching, it's possible to find high thread count tires, although they cost more than the Perf-bar basement sales tires. 

After you've made your cost/flat resistance/rolling resistance/longevity tradeoff, it's worth trying some sort of baseline ride with 10, 15, and 20 psi lower pressure in your tires.  I know I was surprised to find out that I'm not faster with 100 psi than 90 psi on comparable rides.  Your brain takes some of the high-frequency vibrations from road rides and translates that into a sensation of speed.  But when I ride on slightly lower pressure, even though I don't think I'm going as fast, I'm getting there in the same (or less) time, and feel like I could ride further!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: 26 inch wheels and tires
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 01:45:20 pm »
The frustrating thing is Surly only supplies the trucker deluxe in 26" wheels arguing that the tires are more readily available.

It just got a little frustrated that Surly only makes the Trucker deluxe in 26" wheels arguing that tires are more readily available,

Surly has a little bit of truth in their statement.  26" tires are more readily available all over the world.  Asia, Africa, etc. adopted the 26" tire standard instead of the European 700C standard.  In Europe the mountain bike is big too so 26" tires are readily available.  In North America you can find 26" tires everywhere too.  Check Wal-Mart and you will find 26" tires.  Maybe not 700C.  Now, I am not saying you will find 26" tires in the width or tread you want.  Most likely you will find 26"x2.25" knobby mountain bike tires.  But they are 26" and will fit on your rims, but maybe not your frame due to fork clearance and chainstay clearance issues.  So the key is to make sure your bike has clearance for wide knobby tires.  Then you can fit a tire about anywhere in the world and ride.  Replace with a better tire up the road.