Friday, July 16, 2010

1. Today is the last day to submit your entry for the Name Game, if you haven't already. Email entries to bpytri @ by midnight Eastern. A $25 Panera gift card is at stake!

2. Has watching the Tour got you dreaming of a new bike? If so, two local bike stores are having a "Dream Bigger" sale. Check out our Classified Section (third column) for more details.

And now a quick Q&A from the Bike Geek:

I am buying a bike and conflicted regarding 700 and 650 wheels. I am 5’1” (on a good day). Seems like most frames that fit me have 650 wheels, but most people seem to think if I can find a frame that fits that has 700 wheels that it would be better. I think I may have done that, but I am still wondering if it is not best to go with 650 wheels anyway on a frame that fits. Do you know?

Ah, a really good question. First, why to get a bike with 700 wheels. They are bigger and ride over bumps, pot holes, curbs, etc., smoother. They are more standard so it's easier to find replacements and more varieties of tubes, tires, and after-market wheels. Also, you can bum a tube from your friends easier when you get a flat because chances are they're riding on 700 wheels too.

Ok, so given all that, why 650s? They allow the bike to be proportioned better for a small person so you will get a ride and fit that is more standard for you. There is LESS chance of a "toe overlap" with 650's, i.e., where the toe of your shoe touches the front wheel when it might be turned, say, starting off from a stop (not so much an issue when riding as you will nearly always lean your bike to make a turn rather than turn your wheel) making it a safer ride. The down sides to 650s is that you should always carry two tubes with you in case you get a flat as chances are you won't be able to borrow a tube to fix your flat. It'll be harder to find 650 tubes/tires and to upgrade your wheels (but not impossible, just some places might not have them or much of a selection and good deals on them may be few). Also, if there is someone else in your household who rides with 700 wheels, you will have to take extra care to make sure you've both got the right size tubes as they cannot be interchanged but look similar when rolled up.

In my opinion, if you are buying an off-the-shelf bike (as opposed to a custom bike that is being built specifically for you), I think you should go for the 650 wheels. I think you will get a better fit and enjoy the ride more. Not only that, bike with a little bike, it's hard to draft off you but real easy to draft off somebody else. Right Shirley?

Ride safe, ride hard -- Dave


Good luck to all who are racing this weekend!


Anonymous said...

hahaha I love this article. Very informative :-) We all miss both of you but know you are enjoying your time in Hawaii.

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