Well...no....I didn't really shrink them. I simply downsized to 24 inch wheels.
Being a six footer, going to 24 inch wheels is the sort of thing that I might never have thought of. But ever since my first motorized bicycle I've felt that 26 inch wheels were just a bit tall and narrow for this job. I've craved something with more 'footprint' for it's height. So I bought a couple of wheels.
The rear is a single-speed hub with 12 guage spokes and 24 x 2.124 steel rim. My one disappointment is with the hub. The website had the word "shimano" in the description. So I expected a Shimano CB-E110. I got something that I don't recognize.
01 HiStop hub.jpg
Still......the parts feel as though they're decent quality. I guess I won't worry and I'll just see how well it does.
The front wheel is a 24 x 2.125 with 11 guage spokes and a Sturmey-Archer drum brake.
One benefit to this conversion, of course, is that now there's more clearance between the tires and the frame. I've now got plenty of room for one of those fake oil tank/utility boxes right behind the seat tube, for instance. Maybe that'll be my tool kit sometime in the future.
02 Fenders need adjust.jpg
03 Fenders adjusted.jpg
04 Another angle.jpg
At this point I've taken her out for one pretty short test ride. The difference in 'feel' of the bike is subtle. I'll know more when I get it out into the real world. But it did seem to me that it'll feel more solid when I come across that hard-packed snow and ice.
And I doubt if I have to worry about wheel strength anymore as long as I'm not downright abusive with it.