Does Size Matter for Trike Wheels?

Does Size Matter for Trike Wheels?

Video Transcript

Laid-Back Mickey here, going over does size matters in wheels? 20-inch wheels, 24-inch wheels, 26-inch wheels, what does it matter and why would you want to get one over the other? In this video we will have a special guest, Master Tech James, go over the technical side of the wheel choosing process. So, let’s check it out and here we go!

People ask me all the time, “What’s the difference between a 20-inch wheel, a 24-inch wheel, and a 26-inch wheel” and “Why would I want one over the other?” I have a lot of people go “I want the fastest wheel possible.” So, I say, maybe we’re going into a 26-inch fast wheel that right when you push the pedal it’s doing a full rotation and it’s pushing off further. Some people will say that they need to climb hills a lot better and a 20-inch wheel, with the small size and the gear ratio, allows you to climb the hills a little better. And the 24-inch wheel is right in the middle. It’s that simple, but the gearing can be compensated for any of the wheels. So, one of my favorite trikes was a Green Speed GT and that one had 16-inch wheels. It was fast, but it had the right gearing to go with it. When it comes down to it, it’s about the looks. You figure out if you like the look of a 26-inch or 20-inch. Do you like the fact that a 20-inch has a 20-inch on the front and the back, which that allows you to carry one tube compared to a 20-24 or 20-26 inch which makes you have to carry two tubes when you are out on the road in case you get a flat tire? Which, hey, get thorn resistant tires if you don’t want a flat tire. And the cool thing is that some people ask “which one fits easier in my car?” Well, the 20-inch is going to be the shorter one so that’ll be easier to fit in the car. With the 26-inch you’ll have to either have a small SUV or maybe you get one that folds in order to fit it inside. Now let’s go ahead and talk to Master Tech James and see what the technical side of it is.

Hi, I’m James the Master Technician of Laid-Back Cycles. So, the wheel size from a technical aspect does have little consequences on how they work. But in the big picture it doesn’t matter because the manufacturers compensate by gearing and it really has more to do with the trike design rather than just the wheel size. The wheel size makes some difference, but it is not everything. And that’s why the vast majority of us don’t really feel a whole lot of difference just by changing out the wheel. However, the wheel does affect how the designers make the frames. Like this race trike over here, longer wheelbase things track straighter at the expense of handling. Which is why the GTS has a slightly shorter wheelbase. They still use a larger wheel and that has more to do with options of gearing. With a standard gearing and with a 20-inch wheel we find 18 to 20 miles an hour is as fast as you’re going. Most of us don’t go that fast so it’s not a problem. But for the real speedsters it can make a real difference, especially on a downhill. So, it is easy to go into a rabbit hole on wheel sizes, but the truth is most of the manufacturers pick specific wheel sizes for what they are doing with the trikes. The number one reason that people get larger wheels in our experience is it looks good.

Thanks James for the technical side of dust size matter and wheels. So, 20-inch wheels will help you go up the hill easier and 26-inch wheels will help you get going faster from the get-go. But you know, what if you don’t have the strength to go up the hill, what if you don’t have the strength to go faster, and you want to keep up with your friends? Check out this next video and I’ll show you how you can go up hills faster, keep up with your friends better, and we will see you on the next video.

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