On a whim today, I fitted the 700c/35 front wheel from my Trek 7300 on the old Schwinn Le Tour, just to see what would happen. The Schwinn has 27/1.25 heavy chrome rims. It's a pain to move the Schwinn's brake pads around so that I can remove the wheel, so someday I'll want to quick-release brakes there.
Surprise! The 700c wheel fit just fine! You old-timers probably could have told me that, but it was fun to learn that on my own. It looks like the existing brakes would work just fine, as well.
I didn't try the rear wheel. I'm not sure what the ramifications of fitting a different rear wheel with seven, eight, or nine cogs in the place of one with a five cog cassette would be.
According to Sheldon Brown's tire sizing chart, a 27 inch rim (or is is that the tire?) is really 630mm, and a 700c is really 622mm. This means that the 700c wheel is actually a little smaller than the 27. Also, for reference the 650b is 584mm.
I'm excited about this because it could give me some easy options on refitting wheels. I'm assuming that 700c wheels and components are easy to find, since they seem to be so prevalent. The existing chrome wheels, while pretty, are heavy, not entirely true, and have bent axles that no amount of truing will fix.
I still haven't ruled out the idea of doing a 650b conversion on the Schwinn.
Erik J: If you are reading this, please send me a note at "scottredd", the AT thingie, then YAHOO with a DOT and a COM appended. I'd like to talk with you about this idea.
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