27" Wheels and Tyres - which ?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by lastpubrunner, 30 Oct 2007.

  1. Hi All

    I'd like to get some new 27" lightweight wheels for my Rory O'Brien.

    I'd be grateful if you could give me some ideas; I'm not sure what is available nowadays or where from; or how much they might cost.

    It is ages since I purchased any wheels or tyres and I'm out of touch with what is available for 27" wheels.

    Can anyone suggest any lightweight wheels which are suitable for fairly fast roadwork on a fairly lightweight frame ? I'd also be pleased if I could find out a source(s) for such wheels. Within reason, cost is not really an issue.

    I'd also like to know any recommendations for tyres.


  2. You will have a really hard job finding quality rims in 27 inch and I think its safe to say that sourcing quality 27 inch tyres will be close to impossible. The last bike to be manufactured with this size was a Cannondale Tourer in around 1988 if my memory serves. When I started in the trade in 1984 we were already advising people to abandon this soon to be obselete standard for the European equivalent, the now universal 700c.

    The only problem you might encounter with a switch to 700c is whether your brakes have enough slot in them to drop the blocks, 700c have a slightly smaller outside diameter than 27 so you need to lower the blocks by about 6mm (or 1/4 inch, depending on your point of view....)
  3. Maggot

    Maggot Guest

    I have just had this dilemma. I am converting an old Raleigh in to a fixie. It will be having 700c wheels, because, just as mickle suggests, tyres are a nightmare. Although not as much of a nightmare as getting the damn things built. It was suggested to me that I buy the shops entire stock of 27" tyres if I went down the 27" route, they were willing to sell all 3 for £45!!!!

    Luckily my brake blocks could be lowered.
  4. starseven

    starseven Guest

    Going to 700c wheels is often the best solution but brake reach could be a problem or you may just want to keep the bike original.

    Tyres shouldn't be a problem, Halfords stock 27"(630mm) Conti Dura Gatorskins and nutrak cheapies.

    There are really good priced dutch alloy wheels availible, there not fantastic quality but are cheap and servicable or SJS cycles have a page full of branded rims which you could be as good as any reasonably priced 700c wheels.

    sjs rims
  5. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    A Rory O'Brien deserves decent wheels and tyres, I would go the 700c option and fit deep drop brakes.
  6. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    If the frame takes nut fitting, rather than recessed allen key brakes, I have a pair of Alhonga deep drops that I don't need (the drop is *just* too large for my frame, which is designed for 700C wheels). The drop on the Alhongas is 57mm - 75mm.

    Let me know if you think you might be interested - they're unused (other than having been fitted to the bike once).

    If you'd prefer to buy new, Spa Cycles sell them for £24 delivered, and were the cheapest place I could find when I looked.
  7. rustychisel

    rustychisel Well-Known Member

    Agree with all the above, and am in the process of phasing out my last 27" wheel on a fixed gear bike purely because of the lack of good tyres. Which is a pity 'cause I have some a couple of pairs of wheel with good rims; Mavic GP4 and Ambrosio 19.
    The best I can find is IRC Triathlon tyres and they're not much good - wire beaded and somewhat unreliable. There's also Chen Yip from Thailand and they're cheap nasty shoot.
    Go the 700c route and the world is your oyster.
  8. bianco

    bianco New Member

    SJS sell the alhongas for 19.99
  9. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Bum - I couldn't find them when I looked. Ah well, Spa Cycles seemed to be nice people, so I don't feel too bad about paying a bit more.

    Edit: The only Alhongas I could find on SJS are the Brompton ones - the cable enters at the bottom of the calipers on these, and the fitting can't be changed, as I understand it (I did turn them up looking for the ones I ended up buying from Spa Cycles).
  10. harman_mogul

    harman_mogul New Member

    Inner London
    Looks like you are committing to the 700C option with deep-drop brakes John? Mistake, in my view.

    You can still get 27-inch rims, both at SJS Cycles (rather expensive) and at the eBay store Mario's Cycling Parts Shop. I bought two pairs of new old-stock Weinmanns from Mario recently and they built up just fine into good true wheels.

    You can get modern-technology tyres from Continental (Gatorskin) and Panaracer (Pasela). Both are nominally 32-630 but the Conti actually comes up at 28mm width, and can be inflated hard. It's competitive for all but the hardest training.

    The advantage of staying with the 27-inch rims is braking. The radius of a 630mm wheel is 4mm more than a 622mm. Doesn't sound much, but makes a huge difference to the leverage of the brakes. Tektro do a very decent double-pivot, bolt-on brake that works very well on the Weinmann rim.

    I hope this will persuade some of the doubters not to abandon the old standard where it's clearly the righrt choice for the frame.
  11. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Harman, I bought the Alhongas because my frame has quite deep drop brakes already, (although it does run 700C, and was designed to do so, it has clearance for quite big tyres and mudguards). I figured the Alhonga deep drops would be about right with the blocks set up near the top of the stirrups (sadly, I was wrong).

    Oddly enough, I've now found some Tektro dual pivot brakes that are both nut fitting, and a more standard 49-57 drop, so will probably plump for those.
  12. rustychisel

    rustychisel Well-Known Member

    Tosh and piffle.
  13. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member


    Go for 700c, more choice of wheels and tyres from good quality budget up to seriously bling and expensive.
  14. A huge difference in braking performance??????

    I would love to see the calculations.
  15. Hilldodger

    Hilldodger Über Member

    sunny Leicester
    One of Cyclemagic's suppliers has loads of 27" tyres in stock but I'm not going to tell you where they are coz I'm going to buy them all up and push the price through the roof.;)

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