Early in bicycle history touring bikes
usually had 27 inch wheels. This
is what Barbra Savage used when she traveled the world in her famous book "Miles
from Nowhere" As 700c bikes became popular the debate was between 27
inch and 700c touring bikes. Eventually
27 inch bikes were almost
fazed out and 700c wheel sets were dominant. When mountain bikes
became popular a new choice became available. Mt. Bikes have a usable geometry and triple gearing
so many people began loading and traveling on them. Lately a few bicycle
manufactures have started building bikes with a touring specific geometry around
a 26 inch wheel set. With the emergence of a 26 inch touring bicycle the
new debate is between these two sizes.
most admit that a 26 inch wheel would be more practical.
If I had to pick a
wheel size to call the "better ride" I would have to go with the 700c
because the bigger wheel "feels" less of the road and is easier to balance
If I were in N america oz nz europe only I would choose a 700c wheels bike.
we have had
to buy tires and rims on my old bike in Guatamala and Argentina====
I have never
because their tires were worn out or became damaged.
I wanted a touring bike with a 26 inch wheel set. That size
can be found in any bike shop because it used on Mountain Bikes. Most grocery stores
carry cheapies that will get you to a bike shop for quality replacements. The same
can be said for finding proper inner tubes.
Once 700c tires wear out or a nail or piece of glass prematurely
ruins a new tire you are in a real jam in finding a replacement 700c bike
touring specific tire.
The more I traveled in developing countries with 700c wheels the more I ran into this problem.
The first solution I thought
of was using a Mountain Bike. The problem was that I have never
liked the way a Mountain Bike feels on the road. Even with slicks.
The frame geometry just feels funny to me and the lack of rack mounts
touring with mt bike
Once I determined that I had to have a
Bicycle touring on a mountain bike at first appears to be an
easy solution. Mt. bikes are sturdy, have strong rims, and has the same
functional gearing as a touring bike.
Because I was ony looking at bikes with 26 inch wheel mountain
bikes kept reappearing in my shopping choices. An actual touring bike that uses
a 26 inch wheel is very rare unless you pay for a custom build.
The first solution I thought of was
touring on a Mountain Bike. The problem is that I have never liked the way a Mountain Bike feels on the
road; even with slicks. The frame geometry just feels funny to me and
the lack of rack mounts doesn't help. I wanted a 26 inch bike that felt
more like the road bikes that I had grown up on. The frame geometry of a
mountain bike is less efficient than a frame designed for long hours on the
road. On a Mt. bike you sit to far behind the pedals and the
often to short for racks and bags.
The main reason I believe I do not like the feel of a mt bike
for road touring high low bottom bracket - mt not made for the road like jeep in indy 500
low to the ground for all day ride. Mountain bikes and
touring bikes are complete opposites when it comes to how low they place the
rider in relation to the ground. Unlike a mountain bike touring bikes are
low to the ground. Mountain bikes, like 4x4 trucks need high clearance to
provide room for riding over logs, rocks, and other obstacles. Touring
bikes are more like a sports car or a motor home. The lower to the ground
the center of gravity the less effort it takes to steer and balance the bike.
These facts become even more important when riding a bike loaded with camping
a mountain bike can jump and hop while a touring bike cruses
All that having been sais we have met and endless of people
out there traveling the world on mt bikes.
I would rather have a mt bike than 700c in thirs world