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  1. #1
    Senior Member fettsvenska's Avatar
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    650B w/ 42mm tires vs 26" w/ Maxxis Hookworms

    I'm no cycling expert. I would consider myself to be in the intermediate+ range. Anyway...I got to reading and thinking about 650B conversions and was going through some of the comparisons in my head and was wondering if some of the same benefits of riding 650B wheels could also be had by riding 26" wheels w/ Maxxis Hookworms. I'm a statistician by education and by trade so I just had to go through some of the math. Here is my comparison of 622mm/584mm/559mm wheels.

    622mm wheels w/ 32mm wide tires (very common):
    311mm wheel radius + 32mm tire = 343mm total wheel radius

    584mm wheels w/ 42mm wide tires (very common):
    292mm wheel radius + 38mm tire = 334mm total wheel radius

    559mm wheels w/ 63.5mm wide tires (Maxxis Hookworms are 2.5" wide = 63.5mm)
    279.5mm wheel radius + 63.5mm tire = 343mm total wheel radius

    I was just wondering if people had some thoughts about this. Would the 559mm/Hookworm combo make a good touring combo and have some of the same benefits as a 650B setup? One of the obvious disadvantages to using Hookworms is that it might be difficult to find fenders that provide adequate tire coverage/protection.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Touring? pragmatically, 559/26" you will find another tire in places that would never have a 650b tire.

  3. #3
    Senior Member chi-james's Avatar
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    Having ridden 2.35" fat franks for a while, I don't think the 62+mm + 559mm combo would impart the benefit of "good enough" speed claimed by the 650B + 42mm combo. Very plush and bouncy (depending on how much air-pressure you use) is how I would describe the ride.

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    The reason that 650b with 42mm tires is so talked about is because of the Grand Bois Hetre tires that come in that size. They have very supple casings like higher end racing tires. The closest you will get to that sort of speed/comfort with 26" wheels is the Compass 26" x 44mm tires. They use the same casing materials and are made by the same manufacturer (Panaracer I believe). They just have a different tread pattern.

  5. #5
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    totally different tires.

    hookworms are heavy as hell, while the 650B tires are very lightweight. This is a big difference.

    I ride the 650B tires mentioned, and used to have hookworms on a street freestyle bike.

    look at the schwalbe kojaks in 26 inch for a more similar tire. Still nowhere as fast and light as the 650B hetre....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcmkk3 View Post
    The reason that 650b with 42mm tires is so talked about is because of the Grand Bois Hetre tires that come in that size. They have very supple casings like higher end racing tires. The closest you will get to that sort of speed/comfort with 26" wheels is the Compass 26" x 44mm tires. They use the same casing materials and are made by the same manufacturer (Panaracer I believe). They just have a different tread pattern.
    I feel front end geometry and tire qualities are much more important to me than tire diameter. I have found plenty of tires I donít care for in 26Ē and not too many I like. I have found plenty of tires in 700c I like and not too many I donít. I like Conti Sport Contact, 26x1.6Ē and 700x37c. The cross section is very close and they ride nearly identically, very well. The 650b is making a comeback and the availability of good tires makes it potentially interesting, but those beautifully riding 650b tires appear to me to be a little light for serious, fully loaded touring, but I weight over 250 lbs, so I may not see thing the same as you. I have found tires that work for me, and I have found front end geometry that works for me. I like about 46-47mm of trail, and I have had the forks of several of my frames bent to increase rake and decrease trail to get it. Riding unloaded it doesnít seem to make much difference, but riding with a full load, it make a world of difference to me. Food for thought.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    I run 26"x1.75" Schwalbe Racer tires on my Rodriguez touring bike. Besides speed, these tires are quite light and offer good puncture protection (2100 Km and no flats on Mexican roads.) Inflated at 40F/50R psi, they feel nice and plush on bumpy paved roads which I feel helps immensely in feeling less tired after a long day on the saddle. BTW, I use this bike a lot on long group rides without any significant detriment in speed. Even though the bike is pretty heavy (MTB rims, steel fenders, Brooks B17, front rack/bag, small saddle bag, front/rear lights), I still keep up fine with guys running 20 lb 700c road bikes. Last but not least, I've used this tire on dirt and it also performs well. I hope I can find them again - they seem to be sold out in North America!

    I'd like to try the Compass 26" tires, but the lack of puncture protection makes me think twice about trying them.

  8. #8
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that unless you've got a very unusual touring bike - that 26" x 2.5" tires are very unlikely to fit. Normally its better to start with a tire you like to ride in a width that'll clear your frame, and modify the drivetrain as required to give the gear-inches you think you'll need.

    My own choice would be a Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700 x 50 or 700 x 40 if travelling in NA

  9. #9
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    If you could explain a bit further on what kind of touring you are bending on... we could give you a more nuanced response. So far, I will offer that I agree with you 100% that most all wheels are round (at least at the start of a tour)!

    //Kerry

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Touring? pragmatically, 559/26" you will find another tire in places that would never have a 650b tire.
    +10 voting with fietsbob regarding availability of 26" and I have a lot of bikes in 26". But I will add that well planned/selected spares as part of the touring kit and an integrated plan for logistics support can make even rather odd setups viable.
    /Kerry

  11. #11
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by positron View Post
    totally different tires.

    hookworms are heavy as hell, while the 650B tires are very lightweight. This is a big difference.
    ^^ this.

    I've ridden Hookworms, they're bulletproof and fun in an urban environment where you can beat the tar out of them, but I wouldn't want to put serious miles on them. They weigh over 2 lbs per tire, and they simply don't compare to any of the 650B tires on the market. There are plenty of decent ISO 559 tires out there that would serve you better than the Hookworms.

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