I first started riding in the early 70's and at the time most quality sporting frames were made for 27X1/4 wheels.
At that time most people had a set of sprints / tubs (700c equivalent) which they used for races and for best, but for most of the time they used their training wheels.
Depending on how far I had to ride to a race I swapped my normal wheels for sprints or took them on a wheel carrier LOL
My paper round paid me 48 pence a week so the cost of sprints and tubs were enormnous.
Real racing bikes destined for road and track use were for sprints and tubs only and the something like the Carlton flyer Madison came with space for sprints/tubs only.
The best compromise today is a nice set of 700c clincher rims with classic looking tyres