Wheel upgrade

I was wondering if I upgrade my rambler to the larger wheels and tires for dirt and gravel if it will be harder to peddle on paved roads?


  • Pedaling on dirt and gravel with bigger tires is harder from the standpoint you now have higher gearing with the bigger wheels but the rolling resistance may be a bit lower. What gearing/drivetrain do you currently have on your Rambler
  • Yes there will be a difference in gearing a nd a additional rolling resistance
  • You might have better handling and a softer ride as well, although theoretically you would have more resistance on the road.
    Also depends upon the tire and it's contact surface on how much resistance you will get while on the road.

    On the Rockhopper I ran Crossroads. Great when off-road and had a higher center for road. Was not too bad on the road though was a tad more resistance, yet had better handling where sand meet cement, rain, gravel, grassy area. Overall they we're better on than off.

    Some hybrid riders had two sets of wheels; one road other for trails. On Rockhopper I swapped tires and tubes, though the road tires were left hanging around more than being used as the Crossroads were more beneficial overall. So it depends upon the tire and the trade-offs you're willing to make.
  • no "theoretically" about it. going from 20-inch to 24-inch rear raises the gear-inch range. the bigger wheels - no matter tire type - require around 25% more effort to do the same hills either road or trail. gearing on the all-terrain model was substantially lowered to compensate for increased wheel size effects.
  • I am a little confused.......Yes the wheels are larger so it will be harder to turn them the same as smaller wheels but your speed will be higher at the same rate of pedaling.
    But if you can drop to a lower gear you should find that you will go the same speed at the effort. With my rambler I often find I do not ever start off at the lowest gear because they are a little to low for me. If I go to the 24" I would expect that the overall range is better for me.... YFMV
  • There are a couple of other factors to consider before changing wheels. All other things being equal, 20" wheels are stronger and structurally superior to larger wheels (just simple physics). Additionally, the center of gravity changes when you put on larger wheels making you less stable compared to trikes with smaller wheels.

    Larger wheel on the rear only, if not designed for a larger wheel, will give you less heel clearance, make it harder to avoid rear wheel hop when stopping (and make flipping your trike more likely), and your tire choices will be greatly reduced.
  • Darn it, I just saw this thread and started a similar one
    This has some questions answered for me. But, is it financially feasible or just get another trike? Would the gearing still be adequate or need a swap out? More things to look into.
    Christy, I am in the same spot you are. Unknown...LolI sure like my Rambler X30. What to do..........

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