Topic: Bicycle Touring [change]
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Forum: General Touring

Discussions on touring which do not fit into any of the more specific forums

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#1: Help! Recomendations on 700c vs 26" wheels/tires (thread)
By John Freecycle on Thu 24 Jul 2008 18:07 (US/Pacific) Edit Delete   Reply (2)   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
My wife and I are planning an extended trip through Mexico, Central America and South America on our tandem which has 700c wheels. In reading I have learned that 700c tires and tubes may be difficult to purchase in some of the areas we will be going through. Does anyone know of any shops in cities that may have 700c tires available? Any ideas on shipping to drop points prior to our departure?

#2: Re: Help! Recomendations on 700c vs 26" wheels/tires (thread)
By Jeff Kruys on Fri 25 Jul 2008 15:15 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Yeah, I'm in South America now, and 700C stuff is pretty much unheard of, except for skinny racing bike sizes. I haven't hit Buenos Aires or Santiago yet, and I hate riding in big cities so I'm hoping to avoid both, but I'll be looking into the possibility of buying 700C touring tires if I end up in either.

Besides carrying everything down with me (I carried six spare tires starting in Mexico), shipping stuff from home is my only solution to this. It's really expensive, and a hassle to find somebody's home address to use (I really don't trust the "poste restante" hold-for-pickup-at-the-post-office system for big packages with important expensive items inside). Fast couriers like DHL will tell you they can get a box down here in 3 to 4 days, but two to three weeks is more realistic (I've tried it twice). Some countries are better than others in terms of customs and duty charges, eg. Ecuador is utterly horrendous, Argentina is pretty bad, Bolivia not too bad, and apparently Chile is great. No experiences yet with other countries.

So, I'd recommend getting a new bike built with 26" wheels and riding that down here, although you'd still have trouble finding high-quality tires here (Schwalbes, pretty much forget it). You can ride here with 700C, you just need extra money for shipping stuff and extra time to wait for it. Good luck and check out my journal if you haven't already.

#3: Re: Help! Recomendations on 700c vs 26" wheels/tires (thread)
By Ronald Wikstrom on Fri 25 Jul 2008 22:04 Edit Delete in reply to #1     Reply   Printable Relation | Link | Bookmark | Report
Yeah, if you already got 700c thing, get lots of spare tyres/tubes along. But if you're going to purchase a bike, go for 26" if you're ever gonna be outside of the US or Canada.
Because 700c wheel thing is a part of American culture and these types of wheels are NOT readily available everywhere, not only talking about third world countries (like everyone says) but also Europe (except probably for the southern bits with strong racing culture). I currently live in Europe and everyone rides with 26", 700c is only road racer pro thing so even in bigger cities it's sometimes very hard to gun down a good set of 700c tyres without even talking about smaller towns or back country. As far as I've travelled through countries, I've rarely ever seen 700c in here.
Not even speaking about towns in South America.
Just get lots of spares, ain't those Schwalbe Marathons for 700c foldable?

This didn't help but just some view from my side :)

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