Availability of Better Wheel and Tire Sizes



In the 'Low Cost SWB Comments?' topic, Buck wrote:

> Be aware that 451 rims mean being restricted to
> Schwalbe [Stelvio] or Primo Comets.

I'm pretty sure that Kenda introduced a 451 Kwest late
last year, but they no longer sell direct to dealers,
and my distributor doesn't carry that size. There are
a few other tires from other makers, but they all seem
to be 28mm wide or so. I guess that's in keeping with
the original concept of the 451mm rim, which is called
a 20" although it's two inches larger than the (now) much
more common 406mm (BMX) rim. The reason for that oddity
is of course that US tire sizing is based on the rolling
diameter, which for a 20"X1-1/8" (28X451mm) tire should
be about the same as a 20"X2.25" (57X406mm). There is
also a problem with availability of wide (18mm), eyeleted
double-walled rims in the 451 size, which would (IMHO) be
the best choice for rims for mounting wider tires.

It would REALLY be nice if we recumbent riders had better
options for wheels and tires between the 406 and 559
sizes. With reasonably standard (i.e., cost effective)
gearing, the high gear of a bike or trike with a 406 drive
wheel is typically less than 90 inches - 52T chainring X
18.5" to 19" actual tire diameter / 11T cog. With a 35 to
40 mm wide tire on a 451 rim and a 56T big ring, that
could fairly easily be bumped to 105 inches. That's an
important jump, since a lot of folks we ride with 'spin
out' with an 85" top gear (80 RPM at 20 MPH).

The availability of tires for the 507mm (wide 24") rim
size is probably a little worse than for 451s, but that
seems to me to be almost the ideal for a 'bent drive
wheel. A common road triple (30-42-53) crankset with a
23" tire would give us a gear range of 20 to 110 inches.
Yet, the wheel would be stiffer than a 559 (much less a
700C!), and for a tadpole rear tire size would not be
the limiting item for rolling it into a small station
wagon, for example.

Anyway... two cents worth (or less) from my soapbox;
thanks for your patience.

Hey team -

Sorry for the extra message to you newreader types. I'm
just bumping this thread back up in web-based archive
ahead of the latest round of SPAM from the anonymous
jerk, who will hopefully now consider his duty done till
March at least. Please be patient and hang in there
with us.


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