Stephen Krcmar just wrote an encouraging piece for the New York Times describing a wide array of tire choices available for folks fixing up older bikes with 27" wheels. The article describes offerings from Vittoria, Specialized, Panaracer, Continental and Michelin at prices from $15.95 to $50 per tire.
Last time I checked, my local Wal-Mart also stocked some 27" tires by Bell Sports for $9.95/each, and Nashbar.com frequently has 27" tires on sale for less than $10 as well. The bottom line is that anyone can walk into a neighborhood bicycle shop these days and buy some very nice tires in this size, although some shops might have to order them from a distributor.
All of this is great news for people fixing up older road bikes, arguably the best bicycle type for someone looking for a real-world bicycle. They are cheap, sturdy and efficient. And most of the road bikes sold in the USA from 1970 through 1987 or so had 27" tires.
So blow the dust off that old Univega, Nishiki, Schwinn, etc., put on a new pair of tires, and leave your car at home!
Full story here.