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Was 27 inch wheel ever a thing?
#1
I used to be an avid cyclist, but have not cycled for 20 years. Recently, my kids have asked if we could cycle, so I dusted off the old bike. Unfortunately, the tires are rotted, so I went to the bicycle store for tires and notice that they have not heard of any tire for 27 inch tires. They do have 27.5 tires, but I don't think they are the same. Did 27 inch wheels disappear during the 2 decades? The guy I was asking for help look older than I was, so he must have live through the same era as I did. He had apparently never heard of 27 inch wheels. People on Reddit indicated that they are quite rare.

Back when I was riding bikes, road bike came in 27 inch or 700C. Lower end bikes and bikes from the department store usually come in 27 inch wheels. If I needed a tire for example that was 700c, I had to go to a bike store. Department stores only carry 27 inch tires. This at least what I remembered. Nowadays, department store don't even carry bikes. Did I remember wrong or was 27 inch wheel ever a thing?

I could buy 27 tires off the net, but I think I am switching over the a 700c wheel. One of the 2 wheel is already 700c (note the bike had virtually all of its parts replaced, so it's a mix of different parts),
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#2
(08-02-2021, 10:35 AM)Paul Siu Wrote:  I used to be an avid cyclist, but have not cycled for 20 years. Recently, my kids have asked if we could cycle, so I dusted off the old bike. Unfortunately, the tires are rotted, so I went to the bicycle store for tires and notice that they have not heard of any tire for 27 inch tires. They do have 27.5 tires, but I don't think they are the same. Did 27 inch wheels disappear during the 2 decades? The guy I was asking for help look older than I was, so he must have live through the same era as I did. He had apparently never heard of 27 inch wheels. People on Reddit indicated that they are quite rare.

Back when I was riding bikes, road bike came in 27 inch or 700C. Lower end bikes and bikes from the department store usually come in 27 inch wheels. If I needed a tire for example that was 700c, I had to go to a bike store. Department stores only carry 27 inch tires. This at least what I remembered. Nowadays, department store don't even carry bikes. Did I remember wrong or was 27 inch wheel ever a thing?

I could buy 27 tires off the net, but I think I am switching over the a 700c wheel. One of the 2 wheel is already 700c (note the bike had virtually all of its parts replaced, so it's a mix of different parts),

They are not rare, just not as common as they used to be. 27" tires were very common on older and generally less expensive (probably 1980s and earlier) road bikes; surprised the older gent never heard of them, of course he may only have been working on bikes for the last 2 years. You never know.
Look for the standardized ISO or ETRTO number (it is the rim size the tire will fit). 27" = 630 (e.g. 27" x 25mm = 25-630). 700 tires are ISO/ETRTO 622 (700 x 25mm = 25-622).
Just out of curiosity I entered nothing but 27" bike tires for an online search, and immediately got a hit for tires on sale.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#3
(08-02-2021, 08:46 PM)Jesper Wrote:  They are not rare, just not as common as they used to be. 27" tires were very common on older and generally less expensive (probably 1980s and earlier) road bikes; surprised the older gent never heard of them, of course he may only have been working on bikes for the last 2 years. You never know.
Look for the standardized ISO or ETRTO number (it is the rim size the tire will fit). 27" = 630 (e.g. 27" x 25mm = 25-630). 700 tires are ISO/ETRTO 622 (700 x 25mm = 25-622).
Just out of curiosity I entered nothing but 27" bike tires for an online search, and immediately got a hit for tires on sale.

Yes, I tried a few shops and no one had 27 inch. In the old days, I would find them at every store, but may be that was a really long time ago?

I did search for 27 inch tires and got a few hits, but the guy at the bike shop seems to indicate they were really 27.5 tires, which I think is a different animal. I didn't want to mail order the wrong tires.

I am going to switch to 700c. The back wheel is already 700c. The hub is from the original and the bearing were replaced at least once. The wheel is from the 80's, so perhaps it's time for an update. The brakes should be long reach enough to fit.

Thanks again for your help.
  Reply
#4
(08-05-2021, 11:23 AM)Paul Siu Wrote:  
(08-02-2021, 08:46 PM)Jesper Wrote:  They are not rare, just not as common as they used to be. 27" tires were very common on older and generally less expensive (probably 1980s and earlier) road bikes; surprised the older gent never heard of them, of course he may only have been working on bikes for the last 2 years. You never know.
Look for the standardized ISO or ETRTO number (it is the rim size the tire will fit). 27" = 630 (e.g. 27" x 25mm = 25-630). 700 tires are ISO/ETRTO 622 (700 x 25mm = 25-622).
Just out of curiosity I entered nothing but 27" bike tires for an online search, and immediately got a hit for tires on sale.

Yes, I tried a few shops and no one had 27 inch. In the old days, I would find them at every store, but may be that was a really long time ago?

I did search for 27 inch tires and got a few hits, but the guy at the bike shop seems to indicate they were really 27.5 tires, which I think is a different animal. I didn't want to mail order the wrong tires.

I am going to switch to 700c. The back wheel is already 700c. The hub is from the original and the bearing were replaced at least once. The wheel is from the 80's, so perhaps it's time for an update. The brakes should be long reach enough to fit.

Thanks again for your help.

If it states an ISO/ETRTO of 630 it should fit your rim if the tires you have on it now have the same designation (or if your rim has the same ETRTO designation). I believe that 27.5" tires are also designated as ETRTO size 622 (same as 700s), but remember the ETRTO is a rim size so that shows what rim that tire fits; more specifically it is the rim's bead seat diameter (BSD) which you can measure only with the tire removed. I am not a tire expert by any means especially when not dealing with road bike tires which I don't think the 27.5" tires are used for. I believe they are generally used for mountain bike/gravel bike tires and would be about twice as wide (2"-2.5"/50mm-65mm or so, and probably with a fairly "knobby" tread profile; e.g. 50-622). I would not expect too many shops (if any) would have them, but they should be able to order them if you didn't want to deal with the hassle. The online 27" (ETRTO 630) tires I saw ran from about $30-$60.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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