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About what years did wheels switch over from 27" to 700cc?(10 posts)

About what years did wheels switch over from 27" to 700cc?the bull
Jun 20, 2003 7:33 PM
re: About what years did wheels switch over from 27" to 700cc?desmo
Jun 20, 2003 8:07 PM
Don't think they ever really "switched". As far as I can remember they co-existed for years. High end racing bikes with sew-ups were 700c and low-mid end bikes, and tourers with clinchers had 27". I'm guessing (as I wasn't cycling during the time) that when "good" clinchers starting being produced in the early 90's (?) that there was a general phasing out of 27" ers, as more folks dumped their tubulars. Maybe earlier? I sat out '84-'98.
Thanks!nmthe bull
Jun 20, 2003 9:44 PM
Thanks!nmeddie m
Jun 21, 2003 3:46 AM
Michelin Elans were the first high performance 700c clincher, and I think they were first available in 1979 or 1980. By 1981, tubulars had disappeared from all but high end racing bikes. In 1989, I saw European pros using clinchers in the Tour de Trump.
What year did 700cc wheels first appear in high end racing? nmthe bull
Jun 21, 2003 9:02 AM
Jun 21, 2003 11:15 AM
I remember purchasing Specialized 700 clinchers in the mid 70,s as I was getting rid of my tubulars. I think they had folders also at that time.
My two old bikes...wspokes
Jun 23, 2003 6:02 AM
Both have 700c. One is a 1929 Charlie Gibb with 30s connloy tubular rims. The other is the 1949 Vicini with 700c non tubulars.
Related question ... heritage of the 700c tubular ...Humma Hah
Jun 23, 2003 6:18 AM
... what exactly is the origin of the 700c tubular? Is it just an aluminum version of a particular size of the old wooden rims?
700 has been around for about 100 years.Alexx
Jun 24, 2003 8:12 AM
Now, the recent 700c designation existed back at least 30 years, maybe longer (there is also an rarely seen 700b, but I've never seen a 700a-maybe that is what the 700 tubular is ?).
700 started out as a typical French bike tire size designation, meaning the approximate overall diameter of the WHEEL, tire and all, back in the days when all bikes rode on 'wide' tubulars. The rim diameter of these tires was set at 622mm well before WW2. Early rims were pretty much either wood, or metal-covered wood.
The 27" size (630mm rim)is a distictly post-war invention, first being used in England back in the early 60's, as an in-between size to fit between 26" (597mm rims), and 28" (635mm rims). Later, this size was picked up by American manufacturers copying the styles seen in some of the Raleigh-type bikes being imported. After a while, the British adopted the 700c French standard, leaving the US as the only real market where 27" wheels still existed. I think maybe about 1991 or 1992 was the lat time I saw a new bike with 27" tires.
Often wondered about that ...Humma Hah
Jun 24, 2003 11:55 AM
I remember discussing old bikes with Jim Cunningham at CyclArt. I remember mentioning the 1890 Pierce (mentioned below, at Rusty Spokes), and said I'd like to ride a bike like that in a century some day, just to see if anybody noticed how old it was. I said I'd ride with modern wheels, of course.

"Why?" he asked.

"Well, I figure they'd be hard to find tires for, and they'd be too precious."

He shook his head. "Actually, I ride wooden rims all the time. I've got a big stock of them, in fact."

I didn't ask further, but evidently modern tubulars fit those old rims. I was raised after the tower-of-Babel craziness that hit wheel sizes arose. Evidently, back in the 1890's, the tire situation was much simpler, and we're only getting back to that in the last decade or so.