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Anybody convert a vintage Cannondale to 650B?

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Anybody convert a vintage Cannondale to 650B?

Old 11-10-18, 01:15 AM
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Anybody convert a vintage Cannondale to 650B?

Has anyone here tried it?
I've got my 1985 ST500 kicking around still and I've been pondering giving it the conversation treatment. I know I will need some long reach center bolt brakes (anyone have suggestions? Ive got some old wienmans but they dont work too well), but I'm wondering what else goes into this? It will have to be a 126mm wheel. That I know.
I've also read it lowers the BB. How much on average does it drop? Am I going to be clipping pedals going into corners? Is this a good idea? Is it madness?
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Old 11-10-18, 02:22 AM
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I did a late 90ís C-dale conversion and the limiting factor was not the width of the chainstays, it was the size and position of the dimple in the stays: to short and too far from the dropouts. If the dimples were a little longer and closer to the dropouts, I could have gotten 38ís in there. As it is, I only got 32ís on. Front could handle more, just didnít do it because I wanted it balanced.

So if you have a 650b wheel, test fit and see. Otherwise use the bikeman 650b conversion guide and measure carefully from the dropouts to ensure youíll have the width.
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Old 11-10-18, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Buellster View Post
I've also read it lowers the BB. How much on average does it drop? Am I going to be clipping pedals going into corners? Is this a good idea? Is it madness?
It's generally not worth the money or effort to do a 650b conversion unless you are upping the tire width significantly by doing so. With a large increase in tire size you are looking at an increase in the overall wheel diameter as wider tires are also taller. This increase in tire height should mostly make up for the wheel diameter lost by going to a smaller rim. Which means the BB drop should not be very significant.
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Old 11-10-18, 09:30 AM
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Intriguing question. I had a chance to buy one of the Cannondales with all of the bottle and rack mounts for $200, and If I was thinking about "your" 650B idea I probably would have pulled the trigger.

Its gone now. It looked brand new, Bioipace sticker and everything.
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Old 11-10-18, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
I did a late 90ís C-dale conversion and the limiting factor was not the width of the chainstays, it was the size and position of the dimple in the stays: to short and too far from the dropouts. If the dimples were a little longer and closer to the dropouts, I could have gotten 38ís in there. As it is, I only got 32ís on. Front could handle more, just didnít do it because I wanted it balanced.

So if you have a 650b wheel, test fit and see. Otherwise use the bikeman 650b conversion guide and measure carefully from the dropouts to ensure youíll have the width.
Thanks for that! I checked out what bike man had to say. It may work. He said that the clearance equivalent for 700c is about 23 and I was running 35 on it recently so the clearance wont be an issue I dont think. I also have a shogun and a raliegh super course that would likley work for the conversion too. I'm meeting a guy who has some 650bs hes gettihg rid of for cheap. I'll pick them up and see what they work best on.
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Old 11-10-18, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
Intriguing question. I had a chance to buy one of the Cannondales with all of the bottle and rack mounts for $200, and If I was thinking about "your" 650B idea I probably would have pulled the trigger.

Its gone now. It looked brand new, Bioipace sticker and everything.
Mine does not look brand new. Paint was quite bad when I got it and the rattle can job I've done may be protecting it from oxidizing but it doesnt make look very good haha
I originally just figured it would be a parts bike but it rides so wonderfully I'm giving it some love.
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Old 11-10-18, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by TenGrainBread View Post
It's generally not worth the money or effort to do a 650b conversion unless you are upping the tire width significantly by doing so. With a large increase in tire size you are looking at an increase in the overall wheel diameter as wider tires are also taller. This increase in tire height should mostly make up for the wheel diameter lost by going to a smaller rim. Which means the BB drop should not be very significant.
Thanks!
I'm keeping that in mind as I figure out which bike to convert. This is the bike I want to convert but only if it makes sense.
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