Touring - Salsa Casseroll 51 cm: keep the 700c's or convert to 650b?
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03-25-11, 01:56 PM
I'm not even 100% sure this can be done, but I suspect it's possible. I'm thinking of getting a Salsa Casseroll 51 cm I'm very short - like falling off the bottom of the fit chart for this (their smallest) size - and have another bike (for actual touring) with 650b's that I love, so I'm nervous about 700c's. Then again, this bike will be mainly for longer-distance commuting and less actual touring.
Anyone have deep thoughts on whether this is a good idea? Or if it could be done at all?
03-26-11, 01:19 AM
I'm pretty sure that the Casseroll already has long reach brakes, meaning it would be very difficult to find brakes that would have the rather large reach needed to swap to 650b. Quick math shows you need about 75mm of reach, there aren't many calipers in that area. You have the Rivendell Silver (http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/silver-sidepull-brakes/15-026), which is really a fancy Tektro 556 (http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/tektro-r556/15-152), or the Dia Compe center-pull, (http://www.rivbike.com/products/show/dia-compe-mod-750/15-111) which has a sort of vintage classiness to it.
That is just a ballpark guess, you could need even more reach, in which case you would be out of luck.
Also remember, the overall diameter of a 650b wheel with a fat tire (like most 650b tires are) isn't much smaller than a 700c wheel with a skinny tire.
03-26-11, 10:12 AM
Here's a link to an article about how to do a 650B conversion.
03-26-11, 10:55 AM
... Or if it could be done at all?
Converting the Casseroll has been done before. Look here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hiawathacyclery/2301536248/)
The Casseroll can take wide tires, so where's the point for 650B on this bike? Toe overlap? Even wider tires with fenders?
03-26-11, 11:50 AM
Woops, I did my maths based on the older style Casseroll. The new one has cantilever brakes, making it just about impossible, unless you want to have new bosses brazed on.
03-26-11, 09:35 PM
In addition to the brakes being an issue, the bottom bracket on the casseroll is very low. I have a habit of pedaling through turns and I've had pedal strike issues with it. I don't think I'd care much for the casseroll if it were converted, I think I'd be hitting my pedals on everything. The frame is designed around big beefy 700c tires, running anything smaller than 700x32's makes it seem 'off' to me.
650b makes sense when you're taking an older bike with limited clearance and want to run something cushier, but what you're suggesting seems like too much of a compromise too me. Standover and wheel size have nothing to do with fit. If the frame fits you, ride it as it is. If it doesn't fit, find something that does.
Maybe look for an older casseroll (size 45 cm) with the sloping top tube if standover is what you're concerned about? Anyway, I think you're worried for nothing, the casseroll has tons of stand over clearance (thanks to that super low bottom bracket and Salsa's mtb style sloping top tubes)
03-27-11, 09:05 PM
Thanks all - the helpful people at Bikeman let me know that it is the canti brakes that makes this conversion no longer possible (or at least reasonable, I suppose anything is possible) for the Casseroll and got me comfortable with the 700c's. It's actually a relief to know I don't have to reinvent this particular wheel. ;)
03-27-11, 09:37 PM
Ignore what I said about getting an older model, it seems that the new 51cm has a shorter reach and lower standover than the old 45cm.
And I don't know how much stock I'd put into being at the lower end of Salsa's fit chart- they show the new 51 fitting female riders from 5'0" to 5'4", but the effectively larger old 45cm fitting 5'0 to 5'3".
03-28-11, 08:00 AM
The new Casseroll has room for tires up to 38 mm with fenders, so I don't see the advantage of converting to 650B wheels. Also, the entire top tube has been "dropped down" so it has plenty of stand-over clearance. Plus, you have would have many more options for tire choices with 700c wheels.
03-28-11, 08:23 PM
The new Casseroll has room for tires up to 38 mm with fenders, so I don't see the advantage of converting to 650B wheels.
This isn't the first time I've heard of a shorter person thinking about converting a 700c bike to 650b/c, to lower the standover. It really sounds like a terrible idea to me, but then I'm 5'6" and I've never had the experience of feeling overwhelmed by wheelsize or lack of standover.
I think small wheel bikes (like terrys, an mtb with slicks, the 26" lht or even old 650c tri bikes) are a great idea for shorter people. Taking a 700c bike with the Casseroll's geo and converting it- not so much.
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