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Old 02-15-12, 04:04 PM   #1
Heatherbikes
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best 650b rims? best and most affordable 650b rims?

Hi, I am planning at least one 650b build of a vintage trek frame that is a bit too big with 700 wheels, and maybe switching to 650b on my surly lht with 26inch mountain bike sized rims which I curse daily. The velo orange rims look nice, velocity expensive... What are the options? I want something silver and a bit shiny. The rims for the lht would have to be extra strong for an intended internal geared hub. the trek build could use lighter rims.
Thanks-any forum section this question might be better suited?
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Old 02-15-12, 04:28 PM   #2
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The most expensive is the Gran Bois rims at almost $100 each. Velocity look like a bargain in comparison. I have a set of 700c VO rims and am not impressed. They were one of the worst rims I have ever built a wheel with. My vote would be Velocitys: Synergy, Dyad, or the upcoming A23. For the LHT build the Dyad would be the perfect choice as the Dyad is usually a touring/tandem rim. I built a set of 650B Dyads to Tiagra hubs for a conversion and they have been great.You can sometimes find the Weinmann Zac19, but they seem to be in short supply now. The Sun CR18 use to be made in a 650b size so that could be an option if you can find them. The Zac 19 and CR18 if you could find them should be the cheapest option.
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Old 02-15-12, 04:38 PM   #3
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^ They're going to make the A23 in 584? Cool.

I don't think you can go from 26" (559) to 650B (584) on your LHT unless you use some fugly brake solution.

I think the Synergy is the best thing going in 650B at the time of this post. I recommend the OC for the rear.
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Old 02-15-12, 04:42 PM   #4
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I don't think you can go from 26" (559) to 650B (584) on your LHT unless you use some fugly brake solution.
Would work great with V-brakes. I've been thinking about doing it on mine when it's time to replace the rims.
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Old 02-15-12, 05:09 PM   #5
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Why are you cursing the LHT for being 26"?

There's a member with a new set of ZAC19s for sale... I'm in danger of buying them if someone else doesn't!

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Old 02-15-12, 05:24 PM   #6
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^ They're going to make the A23 in 584? Cool.

I don't think you can go from 26" (559) to 650B (584) on your LHT unless you use some fugly brake solution.

I think the Synergy is the best thing going in 650B at the time of this post. I recommend the OC for the rear.
The A-23s would be very cool in a 650B size. I am contemplating lacing some 700c A-23s to daytona hubs for my Gunnar. My other choice to A-23s would be kinlins, but I am not very concerned about weight and can get them for $5 more than the kinlins.

I just bought 650B synergies at cost. QBP didn't have the OC version, but I definitely would have bought that for the rear if they did. I think the synergies are the best deal in terms of price vs quality.
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Old 02-15-12, 05:25 PM   #7
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Velocity Twin Hollow are the most affordable new rims on the market at the moment. A single walled rim. I've been happy with my VO diagonale rims, but I wish Sun would make a batch of Rynolites or CR-18's in that size. Apparently CR-18 650b rims have a reputation of being slightly too large.
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Old 02-15-12, 05:51 PM   #8
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The most expensive is the Gran Bois rims at almost $100 each. Velocity look like a bargain in comparison. I have a set of 700c VO rims and am not impressed. They were one of the worst rims I have ever built a wheel with. My vote would be Velocitys: Synergy, Dyad, or the upcoming A23. For the LHT build the Dyad would be the perfect choice as the Dyad is usually a touring/tandem rim. I built a set of 650B Dyads to Tiagra hubs for a conversion and they have been great.You can sometimes find the Weinmann Zac19, but they seem to be in short supply now. The Sun CR18 use to be made in a 650b size so that could be an option if you can find them. The Zac 19 and CR18 if you could find them should be the cheapest option.
Re: VO Rims, can you state why they were the worst rims you have built with? Thanks.

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Old 02-15-12, 09:47 PM   #9
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26 inch lht's can be switched to 650b very easily with the right canti brakes. I just do not like mountain bike wheels on a bike that is on the road. I can understand the purpose of going somewhere remote that might only have 26" tires and tubes, but that is not likely. If I can find a bike I prefer and sell the lht, then that will be better. There is so much room as well. I have 700c fenders on the bike with no pedal strike. Interesting that someone hated the VO rims as the seem so shiny and am considering the diagonales. I saw the grand bois online recently...tears!
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Old 02-15-12, 10:04 PM   #10
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Speaking of 650b, have you all seen how the MTB'ers are going nuts over that size? But it's mostly disc rims, unfortunately.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:09 PM   #11
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The most expensive is the Gran Bois rims at almost $100 each. Velocity look like a bargain in comparison. I have a set of 700c VO rims and am not impressed. They were one of the worst rims I have ever built a wheel with. My vote would be Velocitys: Synergy, Dyad, or the upcoming A23. For the LHT build the Dyad would be the perfect choice as the Dyad is usually a touring/tandem rim. I built a set of 650B Dyads to Tiagra hubs for a conversion and they have been great.You can sometimes find the Weinmann Zac19, but they seem to be in short supply now. The Sun CR18 use to be made in a 650b size so that could be an option if you can find them. The Zac 19 and CR18 if you could find them should be the cheapest option.
Last week, google shopping showed 650b CR18s at Tree Fort for $30 or less.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:19 PM   #12
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... Interesting that someone hated the VO rims as the seem so shiny and am considering the diagonales.
Well, to be fair, he was comparing VO 700c rims. They appear to be a different profile. I'm also a subscriber to the google group 650b list, and I get the impression that the early VO rims had some complaints, but now they've gotten better. I've built up 2 pairs of VO diagonales in 650b and I don't feel they built up any different than the 590iso CR-18s I've also built up. I think the only real complaint people have with the VO 650b rim is the weight. I'm no weight weenie, so I'm not complaining. I do wish that some other manufactures would make some rims in 584 (650b) to widen the market.
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Old 02-15-12, 10:50 PM   #13
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I built a pair of V-O Diagonales this last summer for a customer. One built very easily, trued up no problem. The other had a hop at the seam I couldn't quite work out no matter what I did. So there's that.

I might buy a pair for myself, just because they have such a classic profile. They look just like the old Rigida red-labels, which I'm sure is no accident. The Velocity rims are all quite nice for what they are, but for a French rando bike, they'd kind of clash.
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Old 02-16-12, 06:38 AM   #14
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Wouldn't you want a wider rim for Hetres? If we go back to Sheldon's guideline, rim should be about 10 mm narrower than the tire, meaning a 32 mm rim (yes, he recommended a fairly wide range, but that was in the middle of the range). I also think that meant inner bead to bead width, not the width across the braking surfaces. And if we get a rim like that, what brake mates up well with such a wide rim?
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Old 02-16-12, 06:41 AM   #15
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Well, to be fair, he was comparing VO 700c rims. They appear to be a different profile. I'm also a subscriber to the google group 650b list, and I get the impression that the early VO rims had some complaints, but now they've gotten better. I've built up 2 pairs of VO diagonales in 650b and I don't feel they built up any different than the 590iso CR-18s I've also built up. I think the only real complaint people have with the VO 650b rim is the weight. I'm no weight weenie, so I'm not complaining. I do wish that some other manufactures would make some rims in 584 (650b) to widen the market.
With the latest Google "refinements," it's getting hard to search for anything older than several months.
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Old 02-16-12, 08:37 AM   #16
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I have a couple of sets of wheels built up with ZAC19's. It is a decent, but basic rim; I think I paid $20 or so per rim for the bare rims that I bought, and less than $100 for the complete wheels I bought with Deore LX hubs (I think seller "uglyrm" was selling the wheels on ebay). However, there is a difference between the two sets of rims; the ones that came with the built sheels have eyelets and machined sidewalls, the silver ones I bought online don't have eyelets and have plain sidewalls. With that said, I do wish they had better availability, as that would be my go-to rim (I'm a wheelbuilder and rebuilding a set of wheels every couple of years isn't a big deal) for basic 650b wheels.

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Old 02-16-12, 08:54 AM   #17
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The "Handspun" complete wheels are decent for the money.
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Old 02-16-12, 06:07 PM   #18
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I've only used the Gran Bois rim. I wanted the very classic profile to go on my 1950s French Portuer bike. They seem very nice. I haven't ridden the bike much yet and I didn't build the wheel up as I didn't have time, at the time.
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Old 02-16-12, 09:57 PM   #19
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I have two sets of 650B rims, and they're all I can pass judgment on. I have a set of VO Diagonales and a set of Velocity Synergies, both 36h and both shod with Grand Bois 41mm Hetres. The VO wheelset was machine-built with straight-gauge spokes, while the Synergies were hand built with double-butted spokes. The VOs were slightly out of true straight out of the box, but were easily trued by hand before being put to use. The synergies were so straight they appeared stationary when spinning. Both the VOs and the Synergies have since remained true. The Synergies have seen mostly dirt roads and bumpy fire trails, about 700-800 miles total, while the VOs have only seen about 300 miles, mostly typical pavement and a few excessively pothole-ridden urban streets. Point being, both have been exposed to at least some abuse. The VOs exhibit slight brake hop at the seam, which the Synergies don't. Overall, both the VO and the Synergies seem like good rims, but neither is a "bargain" IMHO. I'm curious about the CR18s... for the money and quality they seem like possibly the best deal around.
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Old 02-18-12, 05:32 AM   #20
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Anybody had a chance to look at the original rims on a vintage French randonneuse or porteur? Many of those used the same tire size as the Hetre. What's the width?
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Old 02-18-12, 05:38 AM   #21
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I'm curious about the CR18s... for the money and quality they seem like possibly the best deal around.
I had a set of light touring wheels built with 700c CR-18s, the ones from my Woodrup that was able to carry 32 Paselas. They've been pretty robust, with about 1500 miles on them. I have had to tweak the truing a few times. I can't really compare them to anything else, save that they replaced a set of MA-40s that were more robust, but not good for 28s or 32s.

I need to build up a set of 650b's. I don't want to spend $200/set for GB's, but I'm willing to go upmarket from the CR18s if there's a good reason for it. So far the A23 should be nice and light, if they are wide enough. Hence the reason for my question in this thread.
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Old 02-20-12, 01:34 PM   #22
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I'm in Canada, so some of the online deals can't be had once I factor in shipping, taxes etc. I would like to find 650b cr18s and also need to buy 650a cr18s. We recently did a small order with Velo Orange and it cost so much in taxes and shipping considering the small amount of goods. I will have to make the bike shop VO dealer rounds next time I am in Vancouver to find out who has a selection of 650b rims or can bring them in.
Oh, the VO diagonales rims are super polished. Are they anodized? My husband just got the $$$ grand cru crankset based on specialities ta cranks and they are so super polished they are not anodized. He fretted all weekend about this and now has to wax the thing.
I would like to try Hetres, but wish Grand Bois would offer the cypres in red and white too.
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Old 02-20-12, 01:37 PM   #23
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Are they anodized?
No. They're not anodized by choice.

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I <snip> wish Grand Bois would offer the cypres in red and white too.
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Old 02-20-12, 02:02 PM   #24
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Looks like those A23s will come out sometime in March. I should've held off on my order for the synergies.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...og/fpnRhGzm4s4
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Old 02-21-12, 01:04 PM   #25
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Are the A23's a Velocity rim? The VO diagonale rims not being anodized is a problem. I know they look beautiful, but with all the salt and magnesium chloride sloshed on my roads for a good part of the year....yikes. Anyone have experience with the diagonales in mucky wet weather with a good dose of salt?
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