Putting 650b/c wheels on a 700c Fuji road bike for short girlfriend
Would this be an adequate solution? She really likes this frame, but it's just a TAD too big for her with 700c wheels, standing over it. We don't have much money to work with, and I thought the most affordable solution is smaller wheels and a long pull brake. She would be a VERY casual rider (putzin' around the city a couple times a month, if that). Would this totally screw up how it rides? She's very short, a bit under 5 ft.
She doesn't like the look of a sloped top tube BTW - so, yeah. Hm.
650b is not the same as 650c of course, but either 650b or 650c should lower the bicycle as a whole. the difference may be minimal though especially if she using narrow tires on the 700c wheelset. I am not sure if the handing will change, although I suspect this might be minimal as well.
But economically speaking, a new wheelset would cost at least $250, right? Is the stand-over height that big of a deal? If she can straddle the top tube with her feet comfortable on the ground, then I would not worry about it. Also, does the frame even fit her in the top tube / seat tube? If not, I'd just flip the frame on CL/Ebay and use the money to be a smaller frame. That would be the best choice for the budget minded. Or just flip the entire bike and buy an IRO Heidi which would fit her perfectly.
I built up a small Fuji for a girl two or three years ago with 700c. She was not happy with the toe overlap -- if it were for me, I wouldnt mind. But if the OP's girlfriend is already complaining about a slightly high stand-over height or a sloping top-tube, then I am willing to bet her next complaint would be her feet hitting the front wheel. Might as well avoid girlfriend/bike trouble all together.