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    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2010 edited
     
    This could have been in the Rando thread, but I thought I'd start one dedicated to 650B.

    Every time I do a Flickr search for 650B, I just think something about this tire size "looks right." Plenty of traditional uses for porteurs/city bikes and rando bikes, but the growth is happening with off-road applications in "27.5"

    I have 3 650B bikes, with one on the way. There is no other tire size with a higher qualtity-to-offerings ratio. Between Hetres, Pacenti Pari-Motos, the forthcoming Grand Bois tires in 38mm, the new Soma B-lines, and the old stand-by Col de la Vies are pretty great. Plus, you've got Schwalbe on board. City and fast country riding on marshmallows should be experienced by all.

    Post your favorite 650Bs and ask questions about conversions here.

    This is one of my favorites because it looks so tough;

    new commuter
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2010
     
    Velo Cult is only days away from debuting our 650b. Pics to come.

    Since I built my Nobilette 650B rando I have no ridden my 700x23c road bike once. Not one single inch.
  1.  
    So what would it take to convert a bike with 700c wheels? The maximum tire size I can fit on my Sekine road bike is 700x28C
    •  
      CommentAuthormarkphilips
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2010 edited
     
    Aesthetics, comfort, and utility combined. I really like these bikes.

    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010 edited
     
    All those bikes in your photos are dedicated 650b bikes. To do a conversion you would need new wheels, tires and brakes. The brakes would need to be longer to reach the now smaller rims. After you install everything you're larger 650b tires will be pretty close to what your 700c tires were in diameter but you'll have a faster rolling and more comfortable bike. You will be able to fit finders in there now too.

    This is a photo of a 700c road bike that has been converted to 650b

    •  
      CommentAuthorbikingbill
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010
     
    650B is ERTO 584. Seems like you could convert some 26" wheel bikes (ERTO 559) to that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010
     
    26" wheeled bikes don't really stand to benefit from going 650b though. Plus they have brazed on brake posts that can't be changed without removing the old one's and welding in new one's. This conversion is best for skinny tired bikes
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010
     
    The best candidates for conversions are steel road bikes. There are little things to look for in a conversion. We're lucky to have Velo Cult, as a lot of shops will roll their eyes at 650B. Mixtes are especially good candidates for conversion.

    My friend Nathan has a Specialized Sequioa that he converted for a great all-rounder;

    the sequoia, recently
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010
     
    Wow, I love Specialized Sequoia's and Expeditions of that generation. I have a Expedition I want to restore actually. That Sequoia is perfect.

    Best bikes to convert are road bikes with lugged forks and one's which have braze-on's for fenders and racks. Most the Japanese frames of the 80's are perfect and they are abundant.
    • CommentAuthorRG3
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010
     
    Velo Cult:
    Best bikes to convert are road bikes with lugged forks and one's which have braze-on's for fenders and racks. Most the Japanese frames of the 80's are perfect and they are abundant.


    makes me want to build my italian extra frame and converted to 650B.
    it does have the braze on for fenders as well.... :face-monkey:
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2010
     
    RG3:
    Velo Cult:
    Best bikes to convert are road bikes with lugged forks and one's which have braze-on's for fenders and racks. Most the Japanese frames of the 80's are perfect and they are abundant.


    makes me want to build my italian extra frame and converted to 650B.
    it does have the braze on for fenders as well.... :face-monkey:


    Perfect!
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2010 edited
     
    Yea - an old italian frame sounds great for a conversion. One of the best things about a conversion is that you take a skinny-tired road bike, and turn it into a very fast-rolling, extremely comfortable road bike that is *completely* dialed in for mixed-surface riding. There's a sublime feeling, while on a road ride, turning off for a gravel or dirt section and just sailing over rough stuff. On the Riv rides, we always incorporate some mixed surface riding - like in this photo of "mountain bikes" on the dirt section of Mullholland Dr. Both of these were custom made for 650B:

    Mountain Bikes

    Go to the custom shows and you'll see that many customers, who put down a lot of money and fidget over every detail, choose 650B designs. A conversion is a relatively inexpensive way to try it out - like Sky said, wheels, tires, and long-reach brakes and you're golden. Throw some fenders on there and misty morning commutes and the occasional rain won't faze you, especially atop your 37mm+ tires. Its also an inherently stronger wheel because of the smaller diameter. But because of the higher volume tires, they'll feel just like 700c in terms of handling.
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2010
     
    Suppose you're getting a frame built and you set it up for 650B, would it be fairly easy to use 26" wheels for a world tour at some point?
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2010
     
    t.e.d:Suppose you're getting a frame built and you set it up for 650B, would it be fairly easy to use 26" wheels for a world tour at some point?


    There always seems to be a fear that one won't be able to find a 650B wheel if one taco's a rim on tour. Given the global reach of Fed Ex, you could probably have a new wheel sent just about anywhere in a day. But I hear you. A "world tour" bike (dedicated to touring around Latin America) is smart to get 26" I've never seen a 650B/26" because it kind of defeats the purpose. I suppose if you had long reach sidepull brakes on a 650B custom, you might be able to stretch it to 26"? My Rawland has canti-studs for 650B and plenty of room for 60mm+ tires, and with adjustable Paul Motolite BMX brakes, I can throw a 700c x38mm wheel in no problem. Here's the Rawland 700c/650B:

    Versatility

    But with 26", I think you're talking two different bikes.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2010
     
    t.e.d:Suppose you're getting a frame built and you set it up for 650B, would it be fairly easy to use 26" wheels for a world tour at some point?


    I'm going to say no for several reasons.

    The conversion from 700c to 650b is easy because the larger 650b tire ends up being the same size as the skinny 700c tire. WIth 650b to 26" they are both big tires so the tire will not fill out in the frame properly. This will leave you with a lower bottom bracket.

    Another issue is that a Randonneur is is not a touring bike. A touring bike is meant for heavy loads and they are meant to be ridden a little more like a semi truck. A randonneur is more like a rally car, a bike that can go anywhere really fast. A randonneur is only meant to hold maybe about 10 lbs of weight up front.

    I would suggest that you just get a 26" world tour. The wheel size is a little smaller and the geometry will slower feeling too. If possible do a budget 650b conversion on an old Japanese bike too. Best of both worlds. One bike to do both can be done but it not do either all that great.
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2010
     
    Cool. Thanks for the info. I suppose I would have it built for 700c but ask that the canti studs be placed low enough that I could use the adjustment area to make up the difference. I ride 70x32 now and like it a lot, so I'm glad that swap would be more doable.
  2.  
    ive loved every bit of 650b ive ridden.
    heres my raleigh sojourn 650b'd before i sold it

    and heres my custom 650b victoria cycles mtb

    p.s.
    im on the lookout for a rim brake 650b wheelset.
    i can trade my 26" wheels for them:
    chris king classic hubs black
    dt swiss spokes silver
    mavic 517 rims
    •  
      CommentAuthorbilld
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010 edited
     
    Being a little out of the loop on these things, I did a little research. The number that actually matters is the bead seat diameter.

    Common size name - bead seat diameter
    700c - 622mm
    650b - 584mm
    26" - 559mm

    So the difference in radius of where your brake pads need to be between 700c and 650b is about 19mm (~3/4") and the analogous difference between 26" and 650b is about 12.5mm (~1/2").

    I would tend to worry a bit about availability/choice of tires. Looking online, I'm seeing a small number of choices. I'm a little worried that VC might be the only local shop that carries 650b tires. Sometimes I need something close to where ever I happen to be.

    VC, were those Grand Bois Hetre's the tires you were telling me about earlier that have as low rolling resistance as 23x700c tires?

    Brian, I see that you have/had disc brakes on both of those bikes. Are they hydraulic or mechanical (cable)? How do you like them for the road? How's the "modulation" on them? Were there any clearance issues between the disc brakes and your racks?
  3.  
    billd:Brian, I see that you have/had disc brakes on both of those bikes. Are they hydraulic or mechanical (cable)? How do you like them for the road? How's the "modulation" on them? Were there any clearance issues between the disc brakes and your racks?

    I used avid bb7's with cane creek drop v lever and loved the how well they worked in any weather. modulation was well, i could ride on the hoods andcomfortably brake with one or two fingers.
    on my mtb i also have avid bb7's. i prefer cable over hydro in most situations.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     
    Bill, At this point the tires aren't in every shop but it's quickly getting to be that it is. It's become very popular in the last year with both road riders and mountain bike riders. I'm OK with everybody coming to me of course though :)

    Yes, it's the Hetre's that I have on my bike. I love them to no end. They are expensive as far as 650b tires go but boy are they light/fast/comfortable. That's what is amazing about the 650b phenomenon, bikes getting more comfortable while also getting faster. That never happens. Pretty crazy.
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     
    billd:

    So the difference in radius of where your brake pads need to be between 700c and 650b is about 19mm (~3/4") and the analogous difference between 26" and 650b is about 12.5mm (~1/2").

    I would tend to worry a bit about availability/choice of tires. Looking online, I'm seeing a small number of choices. I'm a little worried that VC might be the only local shop that carries 650b tires. Sometimes I need something close to where ever I happen to be.


    I wouldn't try to do a 26"/650B do-all-do-nothing-well bike. Get a world tour bike in 26" and build a budget 650B randonneuse and you'll see how much fun it can be. The availability worry is something that a lot of people raised about 5 years ago when 650B had its resurgence. Hasn't ever been an issue from a 650B rider. My touring bike is 650B. The wheels, when built well, are very, very strong.

    Grand Bois Hetres tested as rolling faster than many 700x23c "road" wheels - and I'll be the Pari-Motos come in even faster. Fenders were also shown in BQ tests to add an aerodynamic effect.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbilld
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     
    I'm not looking for a "do-all" bike. I'm looking for a fast commuter. I don't need to carry a lot of stuff but I will want to carry some stuff. I need to carry clothes to/from work and occasionally do a little shopping. I won't want to do any serious off roading with it either.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbikingbill
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010 edited
     
    brian itzaina:ive loved every bit of 650b ive ridden.
    heres my raleigh sojourn 650b'd before i sold it



    What's the low-gear gear-inches on that? Impressive.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010 edited
     
    That's your typical mountain bike gear setup there. The rear cassette is 34t. The front ring might be a 22t. That's the low gearing my touring bike has.

    •  
      CommentAuthorbikingbill
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     
    I need a 34 cassette. 26 front, 28 rear on a recumbent is less than ideal with the hills I ride.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     
    You would need to run a mountain bike rear derailleur to pull it off.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbilld
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     
    22-34? That's only a 17.5" gear (700x32 wheel). Have you ever used that gear? That seems so low that you'd be spinning fast at 3mph. It might be tough to stay upright.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2010
     
    I never have. On a touring bike that would be your bail out gear. The gear you would go to if you were so bonked you couldn't go any further otherwise. Hopefully I never use it. The 34t cassette means I hardly ever need to go to the granny gear. Actually, I don't think I have gone to the granny yet.
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeNov 22nd 2010
     
    I was just having this conversation with Sigurd on our Cuyamaca tour. When I built up my Raleigh, I gave a lot of thought to gearing as I didn't really want to run a triple. I decided to go with a double with 36-48 chainrings and a 34 rear cassette. I really love it. I have the really low gear when I need it, but most of the time, I can simply change from the large ring to the small to get up and over a hill. If I ever do a large tour through the western states and mountains, I'll probably put a triple on there, but then again, I'll probably wait till I have a great bike that fits perfect and will carry a load a little better.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 22nd 2010
     
    t.e.d:I was just having this conversation with Sigurd on our Cuyamaca tour. When I built up my Raleigh, I gave a lot of thought to gearing as I didn't really want to run a triple. I decided to go with a double with 36-48 chainrings and a 34 rear cassette. I really love it. I have the really low gear when I need it, but most of the time, I can simply change from the large ring to the small to get up and over a hill. If I ever do a large tour through the western states and mountains, I'll probably put a triple on there, but then again, I'll probably wait till I have a great bike that fits perfect and will carry a load a little better.


    That's becoming more and more popular of a gearing choice. It go really popular when people started looking for lower Q-factor in their cranks. My Nobilette has 34/46 gearing with a 28 cassette out back.
  4.  
    bikingbill:What's the low-gear gear-inches on that? Impressive.

    22x34 with 650b's gave me 16.8 gear inches
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2010
     
    Looking forward to photos of Velo Cult's 650b debut...
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2010
     
    We took care of the bare frame photos two days ago. Now we need to build it up and photograph it again. Maybe in a week.
  5.  
    heres what i have planned for my moots in the very near future.

    paul word rear hub bolt on in silver
    paul fhub front qr in silver
    dt swiss spokes in silver
    dt swiss nipples in silver
    velocity dyad 650b rims in silver
    quasi moto rear
    neo moto front (best tire combo ever!)
    ill run ditca freewheels untill i figure out what ratio i like best and then ill buy an eno freewheel.
    i'll be swapping the sid for my inde fab rigid fork(better 650b clearance)
    im so excited :face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorWilliam.
    • CommentTimeNov 29th 2010
     
    I saw a 650B Ebisu (spelling?) this weekend in Berkly: pretty nice looking.
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeDec 7th 2010 edited
     
    William - Hiroshi's been designing 650B for his whole career - he knows how to put it together nicely. The Ebisu is semi-custom, in that he has a general blueprint that has some limitations, otherwise he'll design it around what you want. His 650B will only run 35-37mm tires. For 42mm Hetres, he'll design you a bike built by Toei. And you'll pay for it!

    The new Velo Cult will take 42mm Hetres, which is really difficult to build around but is now the gold standard for the size - a few custom builders are turning these out nicely, like Mitch Pryor of MAP, who had a very favorable review in BQ last issue:
    Randonneur Project
  6.  
    om nom nom. got the wheels for the moots done.

    but i cant figure out how to use these.
    How the Fuck
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2010
     
    You bolt them into your canti post on the frame. This is only do-able if you have thread in style canti posts and not brazed in canti posts. Once you unthread the canti post from the frame you bolt those pieces in and then re-thread the canti post on to the adaptors and go from there.
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2010
     
    Velo Cult:Velo Cult is only days away from debuting our 650b. Pics to come.

    Since I built my Nobilette 650B rando I have no ridden my 700x23c road bike once. Not one single inch.


    How much are the VC 650b bikes going to sell for (roughly)?
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2010
     
    Roughly $2000 to $2200. We are selling them below wholesale. Just doing this project to build rad bikes and get the brand out. Even though we have not gone public we have a waiting list already. Built to order on a semi-custom basis. Frames like these typically go for about $3500.
    • CommentAuthort.e.d
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2010
     
    Financing available? :face-devil-grin:
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2010
     
    Usually yes, but not not in this instance. :face-angel:
    • CommentAuthormfutch
    • CommentTimeDec 9th 2010
     
    Looking forward to seeing them!
  7.  
    Velo Cult:You bolt them into your canti post on the frame. This is only do-able if you have thread in style canti posts and not brazed in canti posts. Once you unthread the canti post from the frame you bolt those pieces in and then re-thread the canti post on to the adaptors and go from there.

    crap. i wish i would have known that before i built new wheels.
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2010
     
    My 650B taking the Santa Monica Mountains. Hetres were a gas.

    someone buy that bike a kickstand
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2010
     
    What trails in the Santa Monica's?
    • CommentAuthorProtorio
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2010
     
    Velo Cult:What trails in the Santa Monica's?
    starting at the trailhead at the top of Westview, then meandering up to toward Dirt Mulholland... staying relatively close to SM proper.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeDec 18th 2010
     
    I found an old Keith Lippy custom made frame for myself. It's going to be a 650b conversion. I'm building it up slowly as I find the parts for it. I hope to have it done in a month. I'll share photos when It's done. It will by my lightweight commuter for riding to work.
  8.  
    How do you find such relics? CL, ebay....?
    •  
      CommentAuthorVelo Cult
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2010
     
    That one was on Craigslist in Orange County. Tom at the shop spotted it for me and I sprinted up there to grab it. Lippy makes really cool bikes although the one I picked up is kind of on the plain side. Still, it's cool to find a Lippy and it was certainly not being taken care of so now I'll be breathing new life into it.