when I wrote :
"The 700 c tire size was developed so that a wired-on tire could be interchangeable with a sew-up ."
of course what I MEANT was that a WHEEL using a wire-on tire could be interchangeable with a WHEEL using a sew-up tire .
ooops! - probably should have changed Subject of message - probably just making things worse by doing it now - at least I tried . . .
Once again , I'll write about this whole concept of the history of tire sizes .
I find this COMPLETELY fascinating and amazing .
Pneumatic tires , good old Dr. Dunlop , how grateful we are to you !
And yes , the whole idea of pneumatic tyres ( tires ) was invented for BICYCLES !
There was experimentation way back at the beginning . I have no idea what the size was for the very first pneumatic tires for-retail-sale . But very quickly a "standard-adult-size" was established .
If you buy a brand new , made in the year 2004 , "tubular" or "sew-up" tire today . . .
It STILL has the same inside diameter as those standard adult-size tires from 1890 !!!!!!
They called them "28-inch" based on OUTside diameter . As tires got skinnier , and overall diameter became smaller , they still called them "28-inch" .
The 700 c tire size was developed so that a wired-on tire could be interchangeable with a sew-up .
And all of this explains why , if you read the sidewalls carefully , you can STILL find tires today which are SMALLER than the old 27 x 1 1/4 inch size , but which clearly state on them that they are "28-inch" tires !!!!!!
And , I can go downstairs , grab my 1893 Sterling bicycle ( "Built Like A Watch" ) , with its original 1893 all-wood rims , and pop some brand-new made-in-2004 tubular tires on it !!!!!!
Same inside diameter !!!!!!
I'm kind of sorry that 27 x 1 1/4 inch tires are almost completely gone now . Nostalgia . And I really liked the big-big diameter of the late-1980's 27 x 1 3/8 inch tires !
But , basically , what we now think of as 700 size tires , are the original size , from at least 120 years ago !!!!!!
Marysville Kansas U.S.A.