Tire size Q

Jan 31, 2021
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I've been mulling over building a SS klunker from an old frame. I know 26" was the most prevalent size for such bikes, but were there ever any made with larger diameter wheels? I saw on another thread here where someone had installed 27.5" wheels on an old Phantom frame. Will any of the old Schwinns take larger wheels, or only certain models? I have my eye on a couple of different frames, but I want to make sure I can do what I want before I proceed.

Tony
 
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I've been mulling over building a SS klunker from an old frame. I know 26" was the most prevalent size for such bikes, but were there ever any made with larger diameter wheels? I saw on another thread here where someone had installed 27.5" wheels on an old Phantom frame. Will any of the old Schwinns take larger wheels, or only certain models? I have my eye on a couple of different frames, but I want to make sure I can do what I want before I proceed.

Tony
I put 700c x 40 rims and tires on an old Columbia cruiser. Put on a Sugino crank and BMX freewheel. It rides awesome. Probably better not to use a middle weight frame. Full sized would be better but Schwinn middle weights seem to have as much wheel clearance as other brands full size frames.
 
Jan 21, 2009
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Actual rim diameters of mountain bike wheel sizes
  • 26in = 22in
  • 27.5in = 23in
  • 29in = 24.5in
The size we talk about is what the tire measures in height. So they figure about 2 to 2.25 inches in height of your tire added to the rim. I could have brought rims over in my suitcase, but went by 26", too big, but 22" isn't.
So, going from a 26" to 27.5 adds 1.5 inches of diameter, or more importantly; the radius, only 3/4" more from the axle mount to the frame, so they should fit. Same goes for the fork clearance. Width might be an issue with fatter tires. Fenders are probably out of the question. Rim brakes may not line up with the wheel. Your SS would be the way to go with no front brake.
You'll have more pedal clearance to the ground.
 
Jan 31, 2021
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Thanks for the replies. I guess I phrased my question incorrectly; I know the measurement we use is for the tire outer diameter, which actually changes based on the tire width. The 700C by 40 sounds interesting. In both of my current bikes, I ride a large (20" & 20.5") frame. One is a 700C and one is a 27.5. How does one know if a Schwinn frame is middle weight or full size? Is it based on seat tube height, or some other measurement?
 
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Jan 21, 2009
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If you are thinking of a Phantom type frame, the classic cantilever Schwinn, the size is usually 18 inches, fairly small by today's standards. Most guys need the seat stem raised way up to ride comfortably. My 53 Schwinn had a stuck seat post but it was almost the right height so I went with it.
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The two types of Schwinn cantilever frames are middle weight and ballooner. Same frame height only ballooner can take wider tires. Schwinn did have a king size cruiser, offered in the early 60's, with a frame 2" taller at 20". But those are not common. Schwinn diamond frames came in many sizes, but the cruiser style frame was the same size on many different models.
 
Jan 5, 2021
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Might as well keep this one going.
Will 26" S2/balloon's fit on a middleweight frame ? Thinking of putting them on a '62 Typhoon build.
 
Jan 21, 2009
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I've put 26 x 2.125 on a few middleweight frames. Fenders might not fit, but others have made fenders work with the wider tires. The Schwinn middleweights use the S7 rim, which is a tad larger in diameter than a standard 26" rim. So you can't squeeze regular 26" tires on them. The size is listed as a fraction, not a decimal number. 26 x 1 3/4 would be an S7 tire, 26 x 1.75 would be a standard size. Why? You had to buy their tires back then.
But S2 and standard wheels will fit and use standard tires, and give you a tiny bit more room for bigger tires. This is my 1980 middleweight Typhoon with 26 x 2.125 tires, they fit easily but I never tried to put fenders on. The wheels are regular 26" that you would find on beach cruisers.

2zso5g3.jpg
 
Apr 26, 2020
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I have had 26 x 2.3 tires on my Typhoon but front forks are LANDING GEAR. Not sure if a 2.30 will clear standard forks. Rear clears frame fine.
 
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Schwinn did have a king size cruiser, offered in the early 60's, with a frame 2" taller at 20". But those are not common.
In the late 90's/early 2000's the Cruiser Supreme was available in a limited number of 22" frames.

Here is my Y2K 22" Supreme now.

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