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  1. #1
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    Thinking about changing wheel sizes.

    I have a mid 80's Huffy touring bike that I'm considering re-riming to either 700c or 650b from 27". I know that the canti brakes would be a problem with 650b but I don't know if there are any road touring tires in that size. I don't think I could find a 40h rim in 650b either. The only reason I am even considering 650b is to fit wider tires to soak up all the pot holes around here.

    So, are there touring tires in 650b and are there any rims available in 40 hole?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centaurious View Post
    I have a mid 80's Huffy touring bike that I'm considering re-riming to either 700c or 650b from 27". I know that the canti brakes would be a problem with 650b but I don't know if there are any road touring tires in that size. I don't think I could find a 40h rim in 650b either. The only reason I am even considering 650b is to fit wider tires to soak up all the pot holes around here.

    So, are there touring tires in 650b and are there any rims available in 40 hole?
    Peter white cycles will probably have a 40 hole 650b rim, but not cheap.

    Your bigger and first question will be the the ability of cantilever brakes from 27" to work with 650b, I doubt it will work.

    700c will be 4mm smaller in radius than the 27", there are a number of wider tires for 700c now but 650b can be found wider.
    Look at that first would be my suggestion.

    Do the economics after you know about what can work, my guess a different bicycle will be the best route.

  3. #3
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    Peter white cycles will probably have a 40 hole 650b rim, but not cheap.

    Your bigger and first question will be the the ability of cantilever brakes from 27" to work with 650b, I doubt it will work.

    700c will be 4mm smaller in radius than the 27", there are a number of wider tires for 700c now but 650b can be found wider.
    Look at that first would be my suggestion.

    Do the economics after you know about what can work, my guess a different bicycle will be the best route.
    +1 Unless your Huffy has some sentimental value, for the cost and time to do the conversion, you probably can find a chromoly framed bike with alloy wheels, road or mountain, that will that will ride better and have better shifting and braking than your Huffy.
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    My Huffy came stock with double butted tubing, alloy wheels, Deore components, sealed bearings, mounts for racks and bottles and is paid for. It's made in Japan and wasn't sold under the Huffy brand... but it's still a Huffy. You might know it better as a Raleigh Kodiak.

    Are there any road touring tires in 650b? I haven't found any in my searches. I know that the Raleigh Portage was made in 650b so I wonder what the owners do for tires?

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    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Oh, a mid 1980's Huffy era Raleigh. Nice!
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein
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    27" has a bead seat diameter of 630mm, 650b is 584 mm. That is quite a difference. How do you plan to get the brakes to work?

    There are plenty of 650b tires, searching for them should not be a problem.
    There are old forum threads on reccomendations.
    Last edited by repechage; 11-29-14 at 06:01 PM.

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    Senior Member Velocivixen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centaurious View Post
    My Huffy came stock with double butted tubing, alloy wheels, Deore components, sealed bearings, mounts for racks and bottles and is paid for. It's made in Japan and wasn't sold under the Huffy brand... but it's still a Huffy. You might know it better as a Raleigh Kodiak.

    Are there any road touring tires in 650b? I haven't found any in my searches. I know that the Raleigh Portage was made in 650b so I wonder what the owners do for tires?
    My friend had a Portage and used Pasela Col de la Vie or some name similar.

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    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    I have a couple of 650b bikes; each of them is a little different both for ride & build. Both have Panaracer tires- one is fitted with Nifty-Swiftys (34mm road tires), the other is fitted with Col de la Vies (38mm, very cushy). Panaracer Pasela 'Tourguard' tires are also nice (I have a set on my XO-3). Panaracers average around $25 - $30/ tire, and they're actually pretty decent (in fact, I tend to prefer them; Schwalbe as well, but they're a lot more expensive).
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    I recently bought a 40-hole 650b Rigida rim from xxcycle.com in France. Even with shipping to the US, price was very reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    I recently bought a 40-hole 650b Rigida rim from xxcycle.com in France. Even with shipping to the US, price was very reasonable.
    I referenced some images of the Raleigh Kodiak, 650b wheels are not going to work without major braze-on modifications.

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    Quote Originally Posted by repechage View Post
    I referenced some images of the Raleigh Kodiak, 650b wheels are not going to work without major braze-on modifications.
    See the question the OP asked in his initial post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
    See the question the OP asked in his initial post.
    I did, here is how I read it along with his later post:
    He has a paid for Huffy. Which led some off course, but he mentioned cantilevers... So not a Huffman mfg USA machine.
    It has 27" wheels, and cantilever brakes.
    Later the bike is refined as a Raleigh Kodiak, a name used on a number of bikes but essentially from my referencing a Reasonable 27" cantilever braked touring machine. He wants to "re-rim" it to 700c or 650b.
    He did ask about 40 hole 650b rims, my guess his current machine has a 40 hole rear wheel.
    He asked about 650b tires, plenty of information provided on rims and tires.
    This will be moot without a different frame or big modification which the OP indicated he did not want a different machine.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    I agree with Repechage. In addition, I think we've answered the OP's tire question in terms of showing him places to look for decent tires.

    OP may or may not be ignoring the elephant in the room, which is, can the frame handle 650b rims? It would be much easier for him to get 700c rims, but he might need to compromise on tire size. I can't say, myself. I have seen beefy and not-beefy 38 cm tires in 700c with smooth treads.

    Main point is, he may be able to find a canti caliper that enables the brake shoe to slide down 4 mm and properly engage the brake track of a 700c rim. I believe it is not possible to find a canti caliper that enables the brake shoe to slide down 20 mm or so to properly engage the brake track of a 650b rim. Therefore the 650b rim installation isn't feasible unless he has the brake pivots relocated either for canti or CP calipers. If the OP agrees, his 650b tire question is moot with this frame.

    How wide a touring tire can he get in 27"/630? How wide/tall of a tire will his Kodiak accept? He said he wants width, not necessarily less height. Would a not-beefy 630/38 mm be acceptable? Are his rims hooked? He might still benefit from new rims.

    I realize these are not what you asked, Centaurious, but with my experience I think these other avenues might offer more success.

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    Thank you all for your feedback. I know the Huffy thing threw things off but I didn't want it to be a Raleigh, or a Canti Stud discussion. I started this thread mostly as a thought exercise to determine if going to 650b would be in any way reasonable. I know that it would require changing the brakes completely or remounting the studs to go this extreme but I was having no luck finding a 650b 40h rim and it seemed like all the 650b tires were for bmx. Rivendell's site has a good listing of the 650b street/touring tires that I discovered looking for the Pasela tires that were pointed out.

    My existing rims are Araya 27" non hook 36h and 40h, the front is true but the rear is bad. I've trued it as well as can be but the tension is all over the place to do it so it's shot!

    I will be changing over to 700c for the wider tire choices and updated mounting (hooked rims), and the Dia-Comp brakes have the needed 4mm adjustment to make that part easy. I am thinking of going with Sun Rhyno Lite rims when I'm back on my feet again. Don't shatter your Tibia/Tibial Plateau into 6 chunks... the recovery is loooong and slow and the PT is not pleasant.


    Thanks again.

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    Mike J
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centaurious View Post
    Are there any road touring tires in 650b? I haven't found any in my searches. I know that the Raleigh Portage was made in 650b so I wonder what the owners do for tires?
    Yes. I just ordered an inexpensive Kenda in 650b (26 x 1-1/2), for $11.00 from Niagara Cycle Works. I'd have ordered a Panaracer model, but I already had a brand-new Kenda on my tourer, so now I'll have a match. They have a number of choices in 650b, probably 20 or so, from $10 to $80.

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    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    OP may or may not be ignoring the elephant in the room, which is, can the frame handle 650b rims? It would be much easier for him to get 700c rims, but he might need to compromise on tire size. I can't say, myself. I have seen beefy and not-beefy 38 cm tires in 700c with smooth treads.

    Main point is, he may be able to find a canti caliper that enables the brake shoe to slide down 4 mm and properly engage the brake track of a 700c rim. I believe it is not possible to find a canti caliper that enables the brake shoe to slide down 20 mm or so to properly engage the brake track of a 650b rim.
    Actually, I can think of TWO standard-ish cantis that could (maybe, just) handle that reach: the Paul Motolite, and an earlier Avid canti (whose name I've forgotten at the moment) that's very similar to the Paul design.
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    Several more 650B tire choices haven't yet been pointed out:

    Compass

    Soma

    And here's the link to that 40-hole 650B rim.

  18. #18
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIMcyclist View Post
    Actually, I can think of TWO standard-ish cantis that could (maybe, just) handle that reach: the Paul Motolite, and an earlier Avid canti (whose name I've forgotten at the moment) that's very similar to the Paul design.
    I don't think that the existing canti's lack of sufficient pad adjustability is the issue here, rather that with an even slightly smaller (than 650b) wheel, you could almost change to a U-brake or direct-mount centerpull, so far up will the canti posts be relative to the new rim!

    Maybe a 559 rim would allow the use of a U-brake? But then you might need 145mm cranks.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Oh Wait-- you're right, dddd; sorry everybody, I just realized I've been looking at this backwards: low bosses/ larger rims vs. high bosses/ smaller rims.

    In that case, yeah; totally: a 650b rim with canti bosses placed for 27" wheels might *just* allow for the use of a center-pull brake.

    At that point however, I'd be more concerned about the BB drop; 27" frames usually have a BB drop in excess of 74mm (80mm is not uncommon). With the smaller wheels, you might run into problems with pedal & crank clearance. 700c-to-650b conversions aren't bad for this (a +38mm tire will compensate for the differences), but...
    650b rims (erd 584) are 46mm smaller in diameter than 27" rims (erd 630), so you're lowering the frame closer to the ground by about 2" just by switching rims. Also, when you consider that a 27" frame will have 15 - 17mm more BB drop to begin with than a native 650b frame (which is around 60 - 63mm), you'd find the cranks themselves to be lower still by a further 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch beyond optimal clearance.

    I suppose it's do-able, but the only way you could make it work is with really fat tires; like- Hetres, +40mm: so measure twice; cut (pay) once.
    Last edited by DIMcyclist; 11-30-14 at 07:13 PM. Reason: My keyboard stickkkks. sss.
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    I kind of enjoy being a 27" Luddite.

    My touring bikes all have 27x 1 1/4" tires, my sport touring bike I changed TO 27" but my "racing" bike is 700c x 28.

    I like Pasela Tourguards- and chances are, if I went to 700c with these- I'd probably end up going with 32s or 35s if they'd fit.
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  21. #21
    Ride, Wrench, Swap, Race dddd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIMcyclist View Post
    Oh Wait-- you're right, dddd; sorry everybody, I just realized I've been looking at this backwards: low bosses/ larger rims vs. high bosses/ smaller rims.

    In that case, yeah; totally: a 650b rim with canti bosses placed for 27" wheels might *just* allow for the use of a center-pull brake.

    At that point however, I'd be more concerned about the BB drop; 27" frames usually have a BB drop in excess of 74mm (80mm is not uncommon). With the smaller wheels, you might run into problems with pedal & crank clearance. 700c-to-650b conversions aren't bad for this (a +38mm tire will compensate for the differences), but...
    650b rims (erd 584) are 46mm smaller in diameter than 27" rims (erd 630), so you're lowering the frame closer to the ground by about 2" just by switching rims. Also, when you consider that a 27" frame will have 15 - 17mm more BB drop to begin with than a native 650b frame (which is around 60 - 63mm), you'd find the cranks themselves to be lower still by a further 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch beyond optimal clearance.
    I suppose it's do-able, but the only way you could make it work is with really fat tires; like- Hetres, +40mm: so measure twice; cut (pay) once.
    Remember that the difference in rim height (at the brake pads) between two rims is only one-half of the difference in diameter, and note further that canti's and centerpulls have pivot locations typically at least one inch offset vertically, below or above the rim's brake tracks.
    So changing from canti's to any kind of centerpull or U-brake would require something like a 4"-smaller rim diameter, necessitating some version of 24" rims at the very largest!
    But, as well, the change in BB height would only be half of the diameter difference minus the increase in the tire's cross-sectional height, so at the extreme, perhaps still do-able with 24" wheels/tires.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DIMcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dddd View Post
    Remember that the difference in rim height (at the brake pads) between two rims is only one-half of the difference in diameter, and note further that canti's and centerpulls have pivot locations typically at least one inch offset vertically, below or above the rim's brake tracks.
    Ah-- so it is. It's harder to envision without a sketchpad or the frame right in front of me.

    But- even with these measurements corrected, that's still a combined lowering of the frame by about 1 1/2 inches (23mm + 7 - 9mm). That's within the realm of possibility for the wheel/ tire combo; and you might even be able to get away with using 160 - 165mm cranks, but getting around the brake reach- with cantis- will be pretty tough with a 650b.

    To the OP: have you though about trying this with 650A or (better still) just sticking with 700c? I imagine you'd be hard pressed to find a contemporary 40h rim in 650A, but 700c might not be too much of a stretch.
    Last edited by DIMcyclist; 11-30-14 at 11:03 PM. Reason: damn sticky keyboarddddd...
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  23. #23
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    Yes I will eventually be going 700c, (see post #14 above). it's fun watching ideas get kicked around so feel free to continue.

    I hadn't thought about center pull brakes in a 27" to 650b conversion but I agree that the posts would probably be to low for the pads to reach.

    Was the 700c standard around before the 27" standard and we (americans) wanted an inch standard to match the rest of what we had? They are so close I wondered why have both?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centaurious View Post

    Was the 700c standard around before the 27" standard and we (americans) wanted an inch standard to match the rest of what we had? They are so close I wondered why have both?
    It's the Frenchmen. They wanted to throw the proverbial wrench into the works.

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  25. #25
    Senior Member mobilemail's Avatar
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    You might also take a minute to consider how wide a tire the frame will accept, and if there is any real advantage to changing wheels. You always have to maintain enough clearance to avoid mud lockup, and in case your wheel comes out of true a bit. I don't know if they are still available, but Michelin used to make a 27x1-3/8 tire, roughly 35mm.

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