Cycling Around the World


700c ??? 26in ??? 29in, which one for touring?

Posted by Stephen Peel - Cycling Around the World on October 25, 2016 at 6:10 PM

700c – 26in – 29in, which one for touring?

This I fear will be a never ending debate, as people seem to view things very differently and supply may vary in different parts of the world.

I have searched all sorts of forums, blogs, and articles on this, and I have finally come to the conclusion that its basically a personal choice. Let me explain.

It would appear that a 700c and a 29er (29in), are the same diameter, but the 29er has a wider rim. Both the 26er and 29er have wider rims than the 700c. I’m not going to get all technical, because I’m not very technical, but you can fit a 700 tyre to a 29er but only just, and you can fit a 29er tyre to a 700c, but only if you can fit the tyre within the narrower rim. While neither way is ideal, it could get you out of a scrape. Of course, forget trying to stretch a 26er tyre to a 700c or 29er, or a 700c and 29er to a 26er, but you CAN stretch a 26er tube to either of the others. Again not ideal, but again could get you out of a scrape until you can get the right size. Brakes and other bits may have to be adjusted too.

But just to confuse things even more, here are some real measurements that actually have left me a little confused, even after completing this article:

622mm = 24.31⁄64in 

700mm = 27.9⁄16in

711 = 28in

736 = 29in

Now for which is faster :)

A skinner road tyre on a 700c will be quicker rolling, a 29er will be quicker than a 26er rolling, a 26er will be quicker than both when climbing. That said, none of this really matters much to someone cycling around the world with no records to break, and the difference in speed is so small anyway, the average Joe wouldn’t notice anyway.

New studies have also found that you can find all these sizes throughout the world now, and there are very few places left that might only stock 26er’s. And even if the shit really hits the fan and you needed new tyres and you couldn’t find the size you wanted in the country you were in, the speed of parcel deliveries to anywhere in the world is super fast, and at most you may have to wait a few days to a week or two for your order to come through, but no doubt you will improvise.

Now all that said, if most of the miles you will be doing are on half decent roads, it would be wise to choose road tyres on 700c’s. If you are doing a good mix of half decent roads and some poor roads, then 29er’s might be better. And if you are going to be mostly off the beaten track, then 26er’s would suit you better as they will be much stronger and more responsive in the rough stuff being smaller. And that is all it really boils down to, how each tyre will react to a surface. 

I’m liking the idea of the 29er’s, but also the 26er’s. And if I can stick to good roads... here I go again.


Categories: Bikes and Equipment

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Reply Stephen Peel - Cycling Around the World
4:11 AM on February 14, 2017 
[Mike Davies]
Thanks Mike. As I will be using a Rohloff Hub and belt drive, taking the wheel on and off with every puncture I can't find will be a pain in the arse no doubt, so the best puncture resistant tyres I can get will be the way to go, as will avoiding broken bottles and hawthorn hedges :).

I wouldn't be able to keep up with you on my tank and fitness level, but if you find me cycling through a country or place you have wanted to cycle through yourself, you are welcome to join me. Glad you love the camera Mike. Steve
Reply Mr Mike Davies
6:34 PM on February 13, 2017 
Hey Stephen. That age old argument will never ever be won. However when u did the tour de France rides (not the real ones obviously) I did use the gooey green friend which was "slime" tyre sealant. It won't stop the big stuff but it will keep the small punctures from bothering you.

Ps cheers for the amazing camera. And good luck maybe I can join you for a ride out sometime?