If you’re in the market for a new bike or looking to upgrade your current ride, you may have come across the terms 29 inch and 700c. At first glance, these terms may seem interchangeable, but are they really the same thing? In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into the differences (or similarities) between 29 inch wheels and 700c wheels.
So, is a 29 inch wheel the same as a 700c wheel?
In terms of diameter, yes, a 29 inch wheel and a 700c wheel are the same size. However, they are typically used for different types of bikes and riding styles. A 29 inch wheel is typically used on mountain bikes and is designed for off-road riding, while a 700c wheel is typically used on road bikes and is designed for smooth, paved surfaces.
|Aspect||29 Inch Wheels||700c Wheels|
|Commonly used for||Mountain Bikes||Road Bikes|
|Diameter||29 inches||700 millimeters|
|Width||1.9-2.5 inches||23-28 millimeters|
|Stability and Control||Excellent||Good|
Keep in mind that this is a general comparison and there may be variations depending on the specific type and model of wheel or bike. It’s important to consider your individual needs and riding style when choosing a wheel size.
What is a 29 inch wheel?
A 29 inch wheel, also known as a 29er, is a mountain bike wheel size that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It was first introduced in the late 1990s and has since gained a following among riders who appreciate its larger size and ability to roll over obstacles more easily.
- Dimensions: A typical 29er wheel has a diameter of 29 inches (736.6 mm) and a width of 2-3 inches (50-76 mm). The larger diameter provides a larger contact patch with the ground, which can help to improve traction and stability on rough terrain.
- Advantages: Compared to smaller wheel sizes, 29ers have several advantages for mountain biking, including improved rolling efficiency, better obstacle rollover, and a smoother ride over rough terrain. They also tend to have a longer wheelbase, which can provide a more stable ride at higher speeds.
- Disadvantages: One potential drawback of 29ers is that they can be heavier and more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces than smaller wheel sizes. They also may not be the best choice for riders with shorter inseams or for technical riding where agility is important.
- Compatibility: 29er wheels are not compatible with all mountain bikes, as they require a frame and fork designed to accommodate the larger size. If you’re interested in upgrading to 29-inch wheels, be sure to check that your bike is compatible before making the switch.
What is a 700c wheel?
A 700c wheel is a size designation for a type of wheel commonly used on road bikes, hybrid bikes, and some touring bikes. It refers to the approximate diameter of the wheel, which is about 700 millimeters (27.5 inches). The “c” in 700c refers to the width of the tire that is designed to fit on the wheel. The “c” stands for “clincher,” which is the most common type of tire used on these wheels.
700c wheels are typically lightweight and designed for speed, making them a popular choice for road cyclists and racers. They are often narrower than other types of bike wheels, which can help reduce rolling resistance and increase speed. However, they may not be as well-suited for off-road riding or heavy loads as wider wheels.
Are 29 inch wheels faster than 700c wheels?
The speed of a bike depends on many factors, including the rider’s skill level, the type of bike, and the terrain. In general, a road bike with 700c wheels is designed for speed and efficiency on paved roads, while a mountain bike with 29 inch wheels is designed for stability and control on rough terrain.
However, it’s worth noting that wider tires can offer some benefits in terms of speed and efficiency, as they provide more contact with the ground and can absorb bumps and vibrations more effectively. So, if you’re comparing a road bike with narrow 700c tires to a mountain bike with wider 29 inch tires, the mountain bike may actually be faster in certain situations.
Can you use 29 inch wheels on a road bike?
While it’s technically possible to install 29 inch wheels on a road bike, it’s generally not recommended. Road bikes are designed to be lightweight and efficient, and the added weight and width of 29 inch wheels can compromise their performance.
Additionally, 29 inch tires are typically wider than road bike tires, which can create clearance issues with the frame and brakes. If you’re looking to upgrade your road bike, it’s best to stick with 700c wheels or consider a different type of bike altogether.
Tips for choosing the right wheel size
If you’re in the market for a new bike, the type of riding you plan to do should be the biggest factor in determining the right wheel size for you. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- If you primarily ride on paved roads and want a bike that’s designed for speed and efficiency, look for a bike with 700c wheels.
- If you plan to do a mix of road and off-road riding, consider a hybrid bike with 700c wheels and wider tires.
- If you primarily ride off-road and want a bike that’s designed for stability and control on rough terrain, look for a mountain bike with 29 inch wheels.
- Consider the width of the tires. Wider tires can provide more stability and control on rough terrain, but they may also slow you down on smooth roads. Narrower tires are faster on paved roads, but may not be as comfortable or stable on rough terrain.
- Keep in mind that different types of bikes may have different wheel sizes. For example, road bikes typically have 700c wheels, while mountain bikes typically have 29 inch wheels. If you’re unsure which size is right for you, consult with a bike shop or do some research online to learn more about the different types of bikes and their intended uses.
It’s possible, but it’s not recommended. 29 inch wheels are designed specifically for mountain bikes and swapping them out for 700c wheels could compromise the bike’s handling and performance.
It depends on the type of riding you’re doing. Wider tires, such as those found on 29 inch wheels, can provide more comfort and stability on rough terrain. However, they may also be slower on smooth roads.
It’s not recommended. 700c wheels are designed for road bikes and are not suitable for the demands of off-road riding.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The size of the bike and the rider’s individual preferences and needs are the most important factors to consider when choosing a wheel size.
In conclusion, while 29 inch wheels and 700c wheels may have the same diameter, they are typically used for different types of bikes and riding styles. If you’re in the market for a new bike, consider the type of riding you plan to do and choose a wheel size that is appropriate for your needs. If you’re unsure which size is right for you, consult with a bike shop or do some research online to learn more about the different types of bikes and their intended uses.