26" wheel with cluster

I Interested in "upgrading" my external 8 standard wheel for a 26" wheel who amongst you have gone that route? I'd be interested in the pros and cons of doing so.


  • I went with the upgrade some time ago. I couldn't be happier. It gives mre top speed. But, I live on the pllains of Kansas and basically never used the low gears. That is definitely something to keep in mind. If you have lots of hills it will be more work to climb then with a 26". Otherwise I have found no drawbacks with the upgrade. Thanks. Daniel
  • I guess the first question should be why are you interested in a larger rear wheel? The limitations discussed above can for the most part be overcome with the exception of the nose dropping issue. 
  • Thank you all! I live in the flat lands of the coastal plain of South Carolina. I'll admit I like to go fast at times, I use for the most part, 6,7 and 8. I considered going with a 42 or 44 chainring, then I thought I might get more of what I want from the 26" wheel. I wondered about the change to the trike's dynamics, but apparently not enough thought. Eirique64, Jamesr and Jeffacme, all of you are talking above my pay grade. Overall I don't think I'm getting the workout I want nor the speed. No training weights for me nor do I see any plans to live in a hillier local in the near future. But you do having me think the 26" wheel is not the way to go, because of the lower nose profile.
  • edited October 2015
    It should be relatively easy to borrow an 8 speed 26" wheel to try out on your trike either from a bike shop or just a friend with an 8 speed Mountain Bike. The only way to know for sure is to give it a try. Putting 24' wheels up front will work but I would not want to deal with a higher center of gravity and the tipping issues that would result. Short crank arms will also work but again not my preference. I like the 170mm arms. Even so you will still have a lower front end and end up spending more than you would for just a rear wheel alone especially if you can use you old cassette on the new wheel.

    The biggest benefit from a larger wheel is a more comfortable and smoother ride. so if this is important that may be the way to go. I was going to build new wheels for one of my mountain bikes this year but actually found a set of Vuelta wheels from Nashbar and with discounts ended up spending $62 for a decent set of wheels that are plenty good for a bike I only ride a couple hundred miles a year.

    I ended up with a 44t chainring on my internal 8 Rambler and it worked great. I did buy a used Sugino crank for $26 on ebay and scored the 44t chainring for $9. Any bike shop or a friend with bike tools can help you swap out the crank arms. If you buy a double crank you can add a bash ring on the outside to prevent leg gouges from the chainring. This is the route I would go if you are just looking to tweak the gearing as you will have many options in tooth count, can change chainrings easily, and won't be out a ton of cash.

  • You could always add panniers and put weights in them.  More weight on the bicycle would make peddling harder.

    I, too, ride on a flat area and am in 8th gear most of the time.  I'm waiting for delivery and installation of my 24" wheels.  I'm doing the upgrade to make it easier to get on and off the trike.  I will let you know how and if the larger wheels make a difference.
  • Florida_bound we must be of like minds, for I too wondered about going to a 24" wheel instead of the 26" one. I for one would be very interested in the results of your experiment, very interested. Please keep me in the loop.
  • I still hardly get the speed I would like, with stock gearing and a 26" rear wheel. Heel strike, seems to me that it is a bigger problem for some than for others. I have very little problem. I am currently studying how to mount a 29" rear wheel, but redoing the mount point so the rear axle mounts higher, keeping the front lower. I own a metal fabricating shop so... Once I get that mount figured out... I want this totally bolt on, I do not plan to modify the frame ( gotta keep the frame warranty you understand) :)) but I still say the best upgrade so far, for me, was the 26" rear wheel.
  • I have a Zoomer with the 26" rear wheel. These are my experiences as a healthy 70 year old :

    1. You can go faster.

    2. I've tried and cannot get the rear wheel to lift under heavy breaking but the Zoomer seat is lower and rearward.

    3. We have hills, at times I use all 27 gears.

    4.Heal strike isn't as big of a problem with the Zoomer chassis and upward boom.


  • edited October 2015
    "changing rings involves a new crankset, buying an 8 mm allen wrench, wheel puller, pedal wrench, chain-breaker, master links and extra chain and then playing musical rings until you discover what does the job best - interspersed with getting familiar with the fine art of derailleur adjustment. though, if you need a wintertime project, playing with drive sprockets should keep you entertained."

    Not really, once the new crank is mounted all you need is a 5mm allen to swap rings. No derailuer adjustment is necessary at all for an external 8 and yes it MAY require adding a link or two. Easily done by a LBS or pal with bike tools. Like a track bike the horizontal dropouts on the Rover IGH can be adjusted to accommodate different rings. For the Rambler IGH it is just a matter of measuring the seat to crank distance snugging up the boom and adjusting the seat accordingly. 

    When I was playing around with rings on my Rambler I went from stock to 40t and finding that a little small ended up going straight to the 44t You can however easily keep going right up to 53t or more depending on the crank. The range for a 110bcd MTB style crank is I believe 34t-54t. A quick check of ebay finds a couple 44x170 square taper cranks with bash ring new for around $50. So yes the old crank would need to be pulled pedals moved and I did add a link on my Rambler IGH to preserve heel clearance but that is it. The whole operation took less than an hour. If having an LBS do the switch I would just use the ebay price as a negotiating point. This of course is only applicable if swapping rings works for tommytomtom
  • I apologies for my extended period of silence and I thank you all for your advise. I was surprised by the number of people anxious to share their knowledge which was gained through personal experience.

    I've opted for the 44T chainring over the 26" rear wheel. My local bike/trike man was adamantly opposed to the 26" wheel because of the "nose drop" safety issue. He recalled that about a year and a half ago TerraTrike stopped recommending changing out the 20" for the 26" on the Rover for that very same issue, safety. To keep it all nice and simple I asked the shop to put on my new chainring along with putting on the Power Grip pedals which I had purchased earlier, all that work came to $37.00. Now it's just a matter of waiting out the rain to see how all those tweaks feel.

    Well the rain stopped and I loved the ride. I still would like to have the 26" wheel driving me on my tadpole, but it will need to be on a Sportster or Zoomer. And at their prices it well be awhile before that happens. As the Stones have taught us; "you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you find you get what you need." And I was needing a Rover External 8, real bad. Thanks again fellow TerraTrike riders, thanks again.

  • I was recently told by TT that the new external Rover doesn't need to have the whole crank replaced and that you can just replace the chainring... can anyone tell me what type of chainring (aside from 44t etc.)? I want a larger one for more speed 
Sign In or Register to comment.