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Old 2019-03-07, 11:38 AM   #1
xurbjim
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26er Frame Arrives Today

I'm a little sad that 26 seems to be going away, but I'm glad I'm not too late to the scene to get one. I'm a new learner, can just make it a couple times around a gym.

I have a small stack of 26" Rabbit hole rims in new condition, and from what I've read from other readers, it's a nice alternative size I should probably have around for a unicycle. So I'm starting out with a Surly ExtraTerrestrial 26 on it, as I think it will be an easy first offroad tire to ride. But with availability of Dirt Wizards and Knards on 26, I should have enough options in the next year or two, just using a local brand.

I'm assuming I'll want to move up to a bigger Muni once I get comfortable on this one, then I'll probably get a disc compatible KH27.5 or 29, or a hatchet.

I'm sure at that point, someone else will be starting and will want to use the 26.
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Old 2019-03-07, 07:25 PM   #2
LargeEddie
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ETRTO 559 4EVER! No doubt the time will come when the latest and coolest tires aren't made in that size any more, and maybe that time is even here now. But the installed base is so enormous. It's hard to imagine a time when there won't still be a lot of good tire choices.

It's fun to remember the first time I pumped up the tire on my 26" muni and stood next to it after only riding my little 20" learner and barely even that, and thought, "I'm gonna ride this?" There are only so many of those "What the hell have I gotten myself into?" moments. Enjoy it. Soon enough you won't give it a second thought.
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Old 2019-03-08, 06:10 AM   #3
OneTrackMind
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In some ways the 26 is a Goldilocks uni. As both the largest of the small and the smallest of the large it can be ridden just about anywhere.

I mostly ride mine on suburban streets and footpaths (sidewalks). The 29 and especially the 36 are a bit big among pedestrians and getting under overhanging vegetation. I once did a 50 km ride on the 26 in one afternoon.

The road wheel is a Dominator2 with a Maxxis DTH 26 x 2.15 foldable bead tyre. It has 114 Venture cranks and the whole uni weighs only 5 kg with the KH frame and Freeride saddle. It is fast and very responsive and I can comfortably take on the descents on my routes without a brake.

The muni wheel is a KH 48 mm with an Ardent 26 x 2.5 and 125/150 Moment cranks.

It takes only a couple of minutes to swap the wheels. If I could only have one uni it would be my 26 but i would argue to keep both wheels.
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Old 2019-03-08, 06:51 AM   #4
johnfoss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeEddie View Post
...But the installed base is so enormous. It's hard to imagine a time when there won't still be a lot of good tire choices.
We thought the same thing about the Schwinn S7 tires (20 x 1 3/4" and 24 x 1 3/4"). Schwinn was so ubiquitous. Nexe thing you knew, they were nowhere to be found, except on eBay!

Even "regular" 24" tires are really hard to find these days, and there are few choices. By "regular" I mean sizes around 1.75" which used to be the default width for almost all unicycles.

But I imagine this will happen more slowly with 26" tires. It's still a very common size on millions and millions of bikes all over the world.
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Old 2019-03-09, 04:14 AM   #5
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Worry not! 26" tires have a bright and solid future. Unicycling is a specialized sport but bicycles use 26" tires too and bike manufacturers very commonly build casual and recreational bikes with 26" tires to fit just about everybody. True, 26" is where MTB bikes got started and then along came 27.5" and 29" tires for them but that too is a specialty market, as the trend goes, but casual and recreational bikes will be around for a long, long time.
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Old 2019-03-09, 08:36 AM   #6
LargeEddie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
We thought the same thing about the Schwinn S7 tires (20 x 1 3/4" and 24 x 1 3/4"). Schwinn was so ubiquitous. Nexe thing you knew, they were nowhere to be found, except on eBay!
Yeah, tires are weird in that they don't actually forget how to make anything, but someone has to pony up a minimum order to actually get them to make a new batch and that's a big pill to swallow when demand is low.

Quote:
Even "regular" 24" tires are really hard to find these days, and there are few choices. By "regular" I mean sizes around 1.75" which used to be the default width for almost all unicycles.
I just checked out of curiosity and now seems to be a good time for them. Lotsa folks have Diamondback-branded K905 "Crazy Train" (ie, Kenda K-Rad I assume) tires in ETRTO 50-507 pretty cheap, and there lots of other choices--about as good as I remember seeing it. Is 24" BMX enjoying a renaissance?

Maybe we should be stocking up. But I've been happy with the CST Cyclops and I don't remember them not being easy to find. Plenty of 24x4"-ish fat bike tires out there too right now.

Quote:
But I imagine this will happen more slowly with 26" tires. It's still a very common size on millions and millions of bikes all over the world.
For sure, hundred of millions easily. 559 has been incredibly popular! And it seems to help a lot when new bikes are still being made that use a size and replacements are actively stocked, as you point out about the demise of Schwinn and especially the disappearance of franchised Schwinn retail stores.

Prestige tires ($100+ Surly and Schwalbe etc models) are mostly going to be sold in sizes that appeal to riders who are ready to pay that much, which excludes 507 and more and more also 559. Depending on one's tastes, that might be a "can't find any good tires for it" scenario; but jeepers, just with the stock sitting in warehouses right now, I have to think it'll be a while before there's really nothing left to put on the rim.
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Old 2019-03-09, 02:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
But I imagine this will happen more slowly with 26" tires. It's still a very common size on millions and millions of bikes all over the world.
It comes down to the average size of a majority of humans wherever they are in the world and what size of bicycle can fit and work for that majority, and it turns out that bikes with 26" tires can pretty much do all of that. 26" bikes are commonly made to fit humans from about 5'2" to 6'3", which is a common height range around the world, indeed, manufacturers often make only one frame size for 26" bikes, which fits the shortest with no modification and the tallest might need only a longer seat post.
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