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Why 26" & 29" ?


Caerus
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This may seem like a stupid question, what with the 29" wheels becoming more popular, but how did the get to this size, why not a 30" or 28" :huh: . Then it got me thinking, how & why did they settle on 26"? :unsure:

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29" is a road wheel standard. 26" is the wheel taken of "The Klunker" that was the inspiration for the first mount bikes. No science. Part history, part chance.

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yip quite right, 29ers are just big tyres on 700c rims.......

 

I remember a few years ago in the mountain bike action magazine they were showing off bikes with 25" wheels and are how good they were, lighter, stronger, quicker acceleration etc......I think arrow bikes were the only ones who embraced in for a very fleeting momnet in history.....

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Some DH bikes also had 24" rear wheels for a while, with massive 3" tires that ballooned them to roughly the same circumference as 26" ones. Didn't last long either... Looked really stupid I thought B)

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yip quite right, 29ers are just big tyres on 700c rims.......

 

I remember a few years ago in the mountain bike action magazine they were showing off bikes with 25" wheels and are how good they were, lighter, stronger, quicker acceleration etc......I think arrow bikes were the only ones who embraced in for a very fleeting momnet in history.....

 

It was 24" Wheels - got popular for DH --- then an offshoot of 26 Front, 24 Rear ( ala MX bikes ) --- now 24" is the hot ticket for Street Trials and Jump Bikes. The wheel continues to turn ...

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ok, fair enough answers...but then why 26" in the FIRST place for those klunkers, and why 29"for the road bikes?

We get that it is a standard now because of those old bikes, but I wonder why the originals were that size...?

 

hmmm...maybe time to go Google :D

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ok, fair enough answers...but then why 26" in the FIRST place for those klunkers, and why 29"for the road bikes?

We get that it is a standard now because of those old bikes, but I wonder why the originals were that size...?

 

hmmm...maybe time to go Google :D

 

Thats what I cant understand, they are standard, but how was that standard achieved - Has oe was there actual scientific research in to it, ok the 29" maybe I can understand a bit coming from a road bike & hybrid bikes - But maybe a 28" wheel would achieve all the same things as a 29" wheel, but be obviously lighter and would definatly handle better in technical single track and tight switch backs. :unsure:

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I reckon 26" came about because a 26" inch MTB wheel with tyre is roughly the same diameter as a 700c road wheel with tyre. At least, that's the case on my road bike and mountain bike.

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Still no answers - its like the elusive rocking horse sh!t - No one really knows the anwser. I would hate for it to come up for the million pound question on "Who wants to be a millionaire" :lol:

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Ok, so not sure how accurately or even if I’m able to answer your question. But I did some research (anything to get out of studying for the PE), and this is what I’ve come up with:

 

Waaay waaay back when… When bicycles where evolving, people soon came to realize that brakes would be needed when they came across obstacles and back pedaling wasn’t sufficient to slow/stop them. The first mechanical stopping mechanism used was called a spoon or tire brake. The size of the brake was dependent on the size of the wheel. So I think this is where some standard wheel sizes came about.

 

Apparently before WWI, there were 2 different wheel sizes, 26” and 28”. The 28” was widely used especially in Holland and preferred over the 26” because it ran smoother over the cobbled roads. Then WWI happened and this is where it gets grey again, but my edumacated guess is that the army could acquire the 26” wheels cheaper than the 28” wheels, and since bicycle infantry was very popular in both world wars, this standard wheel size may have stuck around longer than it originally would have.

 

Then when mountain biking became popular in the 80’s, people got their wheels from American manufacturers which where, wait for it, 26”! There were larger diameter wheels available, what sizes I couldn’t figure out though. And I think at this point is where basic physics comes in to play. The smaller diameter wheels weigh less, the decrease occurring in the rim. Hence the smaller diameter wheel will accelerate faster, which is beneficial when you’re travelling through loose dirt. Basically the 26” wheels are more responsive.

 

29ers are similar in size to 700C, and with cyclocross and cross country mountain bikes becoming more popular, the larger diameter wheel which is used on these types of bikes was quite possibly used because even though it’s harder to accelerate, it is easier to maintain speed. And speed is more desirable for these kinds of events as opposed to responsiveness.

 

So hopefully my careful research and BS, I mean dissertation spreads some light on the matter!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_brake_systems

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_wheel

http://www.pedalinghistory.com/PHhistory.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry

http://www.tandem-bicycle-central.com/bicycle-brakes.html

http://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/size_markings

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-208712.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_bike

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Ok, so not sure how accurately or even if I’m able to answer your question. But I did some research (anything to get out of studying for the PE), and this is what I’ve come up with:

 

Waaay waaay back when… When bicycles where evolving, people soon came to realize that brakes would be needed when they came across obstacles and back pedaling wasn’t sufficient to slow/stop them. The first mechanical stopping mechanism used was called a spoon or tire brake. The size of the brake was dependent on the size of the wheel. So I think this is where some standard wheel sizes came about.

 

Apparently before WWI, there were 2 different wheel sizes, 26” and 28”. The 28” was widely used especially in Holland and preferred over the 26” because it ran smoother over the cobbled roads. Then WWI happened and this is where it gets grey again, but my edumacated guess is that the army could acquire the 26” wheels cheaper than the 28” wheels, and since bicycle infantry was very popular in both world wars, this standard wheel size may have stuck around longer than it originally would have.

 

Then when mountain biking became popular in the 80’s, people got their wheels from American manufacturers which where, wait for it, 26”! There were larger diameter wheels available, what sizes I couldn’t figure out though. And I think at this point is where basic physics comes in to play. The smaller diameter wheels weigh less, the decrease occurring in the rim. Hence the smaller diameter wheel will accelerate faster, which is beneficial when you’re travelling through loose dirt. Basically the 26” wheels are more responsive.

 

29ers are similar in size to 700C, and with cyclocross and cross country mountain bikes becoming more popular, the larger diameter wheel which is used on these types of bikes was quite possibly used because even though it’s harder to accelerate, it is easier to maintain speed. And speed is more desirable for these kinds of events as opposed to responsiveness.

 

So hopefully my careful research and BS, I mean dissertation spreads some light on the matter!

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_brake_systems

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_wheel

http://www.pedalinghistory.com/PHhistory.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry

http://www.tandem-bicycle-central.com/bicycle-brakes.html

http://www.schwalbetires.com/tech_info/size_markings

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-208712.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_bike

 

 

Good job , thats the kind of answer that makes sense. Im just wondering if 28" would be better then the whole 29" revolution, the bike manufacuters just got lazy from what I understand. They used what was lieing about as too opposed to rather doing research into it.

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It was 24" Wheels - got popular for DH --- then an offshoot of 26 Front, 24 Rear ( ala MX bikes ) --- now 24" is the hot ticket for Street Trials and Jump Bikes. The wheel continues to turn ...

 

I'm sure there was somthing with 25" - unfortunately nothing online as we're going a bit back in history, before the web got famous......it wasn't for DH just full suss mtbs - mid 90's

 

must really try dig something out of the archives......

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They used 26" wheels because that was available back then together with tyres. There were no tough 29" rims and off-road tyres available. And they basically used cruiser frames like the old styled Raleigh Bombers and they came out with 26" wheels.

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