26" wheels going out of fashion?

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Slowroad
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26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby Slowroad » 1 Mar 2019, 8:54pm

Was told by a bike shop owner recently that it was starting to get difficult to get 26" wheels, particularly quality ones, as 27.5" wheels are the cycling industry's favoured size now. This would be disasterous for small people like me - and the 1000's of 26" wheel bikes out there! Is it time to start stockpiling?
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thelawnet
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby thelawnet » 1 Mar 2019, 9:00pm

Currently there is a roughly 50/50 split between 27.5 and 29 for MTBs.

Trek no longer make a single 26" mtb for example, it's largely dead on mainstream manufacturers. Still being made for touring bikes etc. but the vast numbers of 26" MTBs no longer are being sold.

I've seen shops no longer selling 26" tyres as well.

Brucey
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby Brucey » 1 Mar 2019, 11:25pm

who gives a monkey's what current MTBs use? I don't.

But FWIW if you want quality (strong not too heavy) 559 rims in 36h you have practically missed the boat.

Tyre manufacturers will keep on making tyres for 'obsolete' rims as long as they are selling enough to be worthwhile.

There are still lots of niche machines that use 559mm rims and tyres so between that and the demand for tyres on extant machines I don't think you are going to be completely stuck for tyres for a long while yet, but the range of choice will certainly diminish.

cheers
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 1 Mar 2019, 11:29pm

Hi,
What ee said ^ :)
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thelawnet
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby thelawnet » 1 Mar 2019, 11:54pm

Brucey wrote:who gives a monkey's what current MTBs use? I don't.


Tyre manufacturers care rather a lot in that they will make tyres to fit whatever bikes are being sold new as well as to meet the demand from older bikes, which presumably is rather less in respect of older bikes the case of the better quality/pricier designs

There's definitely a diminished availability of nice 26" mtb tyres at retail. Also quite a few designs are not available in 26" at all.


https://www.schwalbe.com/en/offroad-rea ... razor.html
https://www.schwalbe.com/en/offroad-rea ... -burt.html
https://www.schwalbe.com/en/offroad-rea ... -bite.html
(And quite a lot of others without 26" options now)
You can certainly find a suitable tyre for your bike but you won't have the same degree of choice.

MarcusT
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby MarcusT » 2 Mar 2019, 6:27am

I agree. Many bike shops do not carry much in the 26" range, but online there is a plethora. They are more geared to road tires as it seems that 26" is being used more for touring.
I wish it were simple as riding a bike

simonhill
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby simonhill » 2 Mar 2019, 7:10am

I had problems getting a 26" Ryde Sputnik rim in black over the Christmas period via my LBS. Their supplier couldn't get them till end of Jan.

I could have got online, eg from Spa, but I wanted from my LBS, because if I buy all components from them, they build for free and this a new wheel is a bit cheaper than Spa.

simonhill
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby simonhill » 2 Mar 2019, 7:19am

Brucey:

Do you think it's worth buying rim or two as spares? I run 2 26" tourers.

Brucey
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby Brucey » 2 Mar 2019, 7:50am

simonhill wrote:Brucey:

Do you think it's worth buying rim or two as spares? I run 2 26" tourers.


if you use 32h rims and/or are not fussy then probably not yet (give it another year or so and things could be different). If you use 36h rims and you are even remotely fussy then 'yes' do get some spares in if you are in for the long haul with these bikes. I think you will be able to get 'something' in the future but it may not be anything like what you really want, and in old sizes good rims tend to disappear before good tyres do.

It is worthwhile looking at how other sizes have fared. For example 26x1-3/8" (590mm) was once the world's most common wheel size. You can still buy bikes with that rim size but they are very much niche items. The weird forces of supply and demand mean that if you want a half-decent aluminium rim in that size right now, the best thing to do is to buy a complete wheel ( :shock: :shock: ) just for the rim. The wholesalers carry the wheels but not the rims.... crazy.

cheers
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Greystoke
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby Greystoke » 2 Mar 2019, 8:07am

26" wheels (new metric not imperial) are, or were, the long distance touring standard.
Is or has this now changed? If so to what? 700c, 650b?

Boring_Username
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby Boring_Username » 2 Mar 2019, 8:57am

If I understand correctly then one of the reasons for 26" being advanced as the standard for expedition touring bikes is that 26" replacement wheels are more widely available in far flung lands. This may become less valid?

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foxyrider
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby foxyrider » 2 Mar 2019, 9:00am

Greystoke wrote:26" wheels (new metric not imperial) are, or were, the long distance touring standard.
Is or has this now changed? If so to what? 700c, 650b?

Really? Did I sleep through that?

Touring 'standard' for as long as I remember has been 27 before being replaced by 700c. 26 has been a niche size for 'expedition' bikes.
Convention? what's that then?
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Brucey
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby Brucey » 2 Mar 2019, 9:03am

'long distance' is important

cheers
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simonhill
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby simonhill » 2 Mar 2019, 11:55am

Cheers Brucey, I think I'll stock up on a couple of my favourites. Something else for my Executor to get rid of.

Quite right, I ride 26 because of the availablity of tyres, tubes, rims, etc. I've had 2 partners caught out on 700s: tubes in India; and rim in Cambodia.

I'm in Thailand at the moment and the leisure riders, who always favoured MTB styles, are definitely on 29ers. However, the availablity issue was more from the ubiquitous cheap Chinese MTBs and these were always 26". I don't think that has changed. It certainly hasn't in places like Sri Lanka and Malaysia.

Just left Myanmar where the country is being flooded with secondhand Japanese commuter bikes. Some are basic, but there a few steel frames, hub gears and brake and hub dynamo, going for a song. Almost wished I hadn't had my bike, as I'd have brought one home. I think these are the other 26" that Brucey talked about, Woods valve an'all.

Maybe we need a name for our 26" tourers (not really serious here). I normally just call it is a heavy duty touring bike. I dislike Expedition bike as it sounds too pretentious. Long haul tourer is OK for me. It matches the bike (LHT), it's how the travel industry describe these destinations and once you start, you know you are in for the long haul.

mercalia
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Re: 26" wheels going out of fashion?

Postby mercalia » 2 Mar 2019, 1:13pm

Brucey wrote:
simonhill wrote:Brucey:

Do you think it's worth buying rim or two as spares? I run 2 26" tourers.


if you use 32h rims and/or are not fussy then probably not yet (give it another year or so and things could be different). If you use 36h rims and you are even remotely fussy then 'yes' do get some spares in if you are in for the long haul with these bikes. I think you will be able to get 'something' in the future but it may not be anything like what you really want, and in old sizes good rims tend to disappear before good tyres do.

It is worthwhile looking at how other sizes have fared. For example 26x1-3/8" (590mm) was once the world's most common wheel size. You can still buy bikes with that rim size but they are very much niche items. The weird forces of supply and demand mean that if you want a half-decent aluminium rim in that size right now, the best thing to do is to buy a complete wheel ( :shock: :shock: ) just for the rim. The wholesalers carry the wheels but not the rims.... crazy.

cheers



can you explain further. Are you saying that 26x36h are on the way out? :shock: 26" Sputniks or Exal SP19s?