- If big wheels are better, why don't motorbikes or scramblers have huge wheels?
Because they aren’t better. 26 inch is the perfect size for general trail riding imho. 29 seems to be the racing choice and i really can’t see how 650 is so much better than 26. It is purely about the big manufacturer’s trying to sell more bikes.
motorcycle manufacturers do the same by changing colours or spec every few years rather than wheel size!Posted 4 years agob rMember
Motorcycles, especially racing ones are contuinually looking for the best wheel size, along with anything else that will give an advantage:
and GP bikes went through many sizes before settling (currently) on 16.5″Posted 4 years agofivespotMember
Honda did produce some trail bikes with 23″ front wheels back in the 80’s, they didn’t catch on. Probably not helped by crap tyre choice.
The other problem with big dia. wheels on motorbikes, is the gyroscopic effect. Not a problem on a lightweight cycle wheel at low speeds, but at speed on a motorcycle, a large dia. heavy wheel would have quite an effect on steering .Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
Engineering design is full of engineering compromises as you want properties from a product that are in contradiction to each other. You want something that is light, but strong, powerful yet economical, aerodynamic yet roomy. There is no such thing as a perfect design. If you could invent a wheel that changes diameter then that would be perfect, but you can’t so you select the wheel size that best suits what you want to do with it – if you’re a downhiller and want long travel suspension, then 26″ is what you want, if you’re a wheels on the ground cross country mile muncher, then 29er is what you want, if you’re indecisive and just want to try to cover all bases then 650B is for you 😉
The extra inertia of a 29 inch wheel though calculable is irrelevant in the real world. especially when you factor in that you don’t have to accelerate the wheel as much to get the same forward acceleration and you don’t have to accelerate the wheel as long to get the speed you want. It cancels itself out. So forget inertia in the 26 vs 29 inch debate – its irrelevant.Posted 4 years ago
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