[Yak] re: Randonneuring on a Friday
alex at phred.org
Thu Dec 30 16:27:51 CST 2004
On Thu, 30 Dec 2004, Richard B. Clarke wrote:
> Regarding 406 and 451 wheels: These wheel sizes along with 349 and 305 and
> others have been around for a while. They are used primarily on recumbent
> and Folding bicycles. The 406 wheel is the most popular only because they
> are commonly used on BMX bikes. Therefore there are more tire choices
> available. This is why Bike Friday markets the 406 ideal for a touring
> setup. If you are stuck in the middle of Wyoming, you could use a BMX tire
> from Wal-Mart. You can get high performance tires in both 406 and 451 sizes.
> Bike Friday uses the 451 wheel on their Pocket primarily so that caliper
> brakes can be used.
There are also way more tire choices in 406mm, even for non-BMX use.
You can't get tires in 451mm that are much over 30mm wide, where these
are very common in 406mm.
You can have caliper brakes with 406mm tires, there is nothing special
about the wheel size. There just aren't long enough reach brakes made
anymore to work with most of the 406mm tires made out there. My Bike
Friday is an older model and has 57-75mm reach calipers that fit over
tires up to about 45mm in size (including fenders).
If I were purchasing a new Bike Friday I would have it made to work
with 406mm wheels and would have a cantilever brake in front and
V-brake with Travel Agent in the rear. Why? The cantilever works
more easily with drop bar levers than V-brakes. They don't work very
well on the rear of a Bike Friday due to heal clearance issues, but
they work great in front. The rear brake is not as important as the
front, so I'm comfortable using a V-brake and Travel Agent in the
Travel Agents work okay, but they do accelerate brake cable wear and
make it very difficult to inspect the cable at the point of highest
wear. I would replace brake cables on brakes with Travel Agent on a
regular basis. The interval really depends on what sort of riding you
do, not miles. One could go 10,000 miles and hardly touch the brakes
and do fine with the original cables. Another could ride 1,000 miles
and use the brakes many times a mile (mountain bike and commuting) and
wear through the cable.
I'm not interested in 451mm wheels. I think that there are nicer tire
options in 406mm and tubes and tires are much easier to find. Many
bike shops around here (Seattle) stock at least one decent 406mm road
tire, but almost no one stocks 451mm stuff.
> PS: I believe a rider on a NWT competed in the PBP which is the premier
> Randonneuring event.
Kent Peterson rode PBP at least once on a NWT and has also used them
for a number of other brevets. He is no longer a Bike Friday owner,
but he did well on them.
More information about the Yak