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Old 11-29-07, 02:12 PM   #1
PolishGuy
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650b Or 700c?

On my old Raleigh Trent Sports, aka "Clubman" sytle bike, it has 26 X 1 1/4" tires/wheels. The tires are still available but the wheels are basically history. The ones on the bike are in very good condition and will most likely last for at least another 10 years. But......to get a lighter wheelset, which way would you folks go...650B or 700C? Thx in advance, PG.
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Old 11-29-07, 03:13 PM   #2
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Of the two sizes you’ve suggested, I’d go with the 700C (assuming they fit the bike). 650B is kind of an “out of the pot, into the fire” scenario. There are a certain number of bike enthusiasts that seem to be into 650B these days but tire choices remain pretty limited and mostly wide (34mm and up).

Just to be clear, are your current tires/wheels the EA1, 597mm, 26 x 1 ¼? If so, and fitting 700C proves to be a problem, why not consider 26 x 1 3/8, 590mm? While they are not a current size, with the number of Raleighs and the like scattered around the world, I’d be surprised to see tires of this size disappear real soon.

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Old 11-29-07, 04:03 PM   #3
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Do you plan to use the original hubs and relace to new rims? Or replace the entire wheelset? Have you checked the spacing if using new hubs? Another option might be to use regular 26" MTB rims. This would provide you with the widest selection of tires and the diameter difference of the rims would be hardly noticeable.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replys so far. Yes, the rims are 597mm. I've seen some of the old club bikes converted to 700C and they look pretty good. However I was also thinking of the 26" MTB wheels/tires for the vast selection available. I have a lot of bits and pieces laying around so I'd have my guy at the local vintage bike shop lace-up the wheels to the hubs I've got on hand. PG.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:19 PM   #5
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I used to have a Raleigh that was more or less a similar model (back when these were current bikes). The English Raleigh 26 in wheel size is not the same as the mtn bike 26 inch size, as far as I know. 700c kind of falls right in between the 26 and 27 inch wheel sizes as used on the old Raleighs. It should fit and it should look pretty well-proportioned. Those bikes had tons of tire clearance. It might even help you put more modern brakes on it.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by apw55 View Post
Just to be clear, are your current tires/wheels the EA1, 597mm, 26 x 1 ¼? If so, and fitting 700C proves to be a problem, why not consider 26 x 1 3/8, 590mm?
+1....Harris Cyclery has Sun CR-18 rims in the 26 x 1 3/8" size (590mm bead seat diameter) in stock, and they also carry the tires.

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/rims/590.html

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/tires/590.html

Sheldon's tire sizing page:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

Last edited by well biked; 11-29-07 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:30 PM   #7
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I'd go with 700c. mtb tires are 559mm so brake reach could be an issue (you'd need 19mm more reach). The tire range for 700c is as good as mtb tires IMHO, unless you want really big tires, in which case you would probably be better off with 650b.
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Old 11-29-07, 05:23 PM   #8
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If your goal is to have a wider choice in tires, then 700c is the way to go, but you might have clearance and brake issues going from 597mm ERD to 622mm ERD. Going to 590 is likely to fit, but you're even more limited in tire choice (unless you live in Japan) than you are with 650B/584ERD. Fwiw, I'm running Panaracer Grand Bois 650B tires on my Kogswell; width is about 32mm and the ride is terrific.

Neal
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Old 11-29-07, 05:52 PM   #9
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I bought a set of 650A rims to build up for my Raleigh Sport; the hard part is getting the LBS to build them. Nice rims, light and strong.
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Old 11-29-07, 06:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by PolishGuy View Post
On my old Raleigh Trent Sports, aka "Clubman" sytle bike, it has 26 X 1 1/4" tires/wheels. The tires are still available but the wheels are basically history. The ones on the bike are in very good condition and will most likely last for at least another 10 years. But......to get a lighter wheelset, which way would you folks go...650B or 700C? Thx in advance, PG.
If you're thinking of lightest weight, 700c would be the way to go. You can still get quite wide and comfy tires in this size too. Also, the selection of 650B tires is really somewhat limited, and the nicer (and lighter) ones are definitely rather expensive.

*What rear hub do you currently have on the bike?
*And do you intend to keep this?

If a 3-speed Sturmey-Archer gear hub, you may want to either stick with that hub (which is rather narrow) just to avoid spreading the rear stays. Another simple alternative would be a to use a conventional threaded freewheel hub, but re-built without a wide spacer, and use a narrower old 3-speed freewheel (still available, on eBay)... or even a single speed freewheel (very commonly available)... or possibly a flip-flop fixed-free track hub. Any of these would keep the width requirement to a minimum.

Of course, with a steel framed bike like the Trent it would be very easy to "cold set" the stays to any width you choose. So, your options are really wide open.

* What type chain do you have? 1/8" was common on older 3-speed hubs, but 3/32" cogs were also available for those too.

If you want to retain your current hand brakes, the 650B size would be the closest match and might fit the same brake calipers. Your difference would only be 6.5 mm greater reach with 650B rims.

Anything is possible!
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Old 11-29-07, 07:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
If your goal is to have a wider choice in tires, then 700c is the way to go, but you might have clearance and brake issues going from 597mm ERD to 622mm ERD. Going to 590 is likely to fit, but you're even more limited in tire choice (unless you live in Japan) than you are with 650B/584ERD. Fwiw, I'm running Panaracer Grand Bois 650B tires on my Kogswell; width is about 32mm and the ride is terrific.

Neal
Just a nit to pick, but ERD is the "effective rim diameter", which is the measurment taken at the nipple seats on the rim, to help determine spoke length. The numbers you're quoting (597, 622, 584) are bead seat diameters. The only reason I bring this up is that all 700c rims, for example, will have the same bead seat diameter (622mm), but not all 700c rims will have the same ERD, and the ERD will never be the same as the bead seat diameter-
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Old 11-29-07, 08:07 PM   #12
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Nit well picked, sir.

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Old 11-30-07, 04:05 PM   #13
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The 584 dimension (650B) is gaining more and more support as time passes.

The first wave of tires was hit-and-miss, largely miss, but that was what I call the 'marketing wave'.

The next wave of tires is the product of research and development. A lot of work has gone into tires like the Grand Bois "Hetre" and the results are impressive.

And I expect that trend to continue. It's being powered by folks who know quality and have the finances needed to bring it to market.

The situation with rims is improving as well. The Velocity Synergy is a very good rim. And other top quality rims are coming into the market very soon.

If I were you, I'd hold off for a little while and have a look at what's available now and in the near future.
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