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Any fans of 590 BSD / 650A / 26x1-3/8 wheel size?

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Any fans of 590 BSD / 650A / 26x1-3/8 wheel size?

Old 07-24-20, 12:14 AM
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1987cp
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Any fans of 590 BSD / 650A / 26x1-3/8 wheel size?

I was thinking recently about a situation where long reach sidepulls won't reach 650b wheels on an old 27" frame, but are at about minimum adjustment with 700c wheels, and suddenly thought ... what about that screwy 590mm wheel size? And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make at least some sense.

My only experience with 590s to date is *cutting* off a 590 tire that appeared to have been forced with screwdrivers onto a 597mm rim. That was one of my odder bicycle experiences, for sure!

A search on 590s turned up predictably little, but I did find this nice Rivendell Saluki with 590mm Sun CR18 rims laced to Phil hubs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emptyb...n/photostream/ ... and also this blog entry about trying 590s on a 700c Soma San Marcos: https://somafab.blogspot.com/2013/03...an-marcos.html


So at least I'm not completely crazy to have thought of it - or rather, I'm not the only crazy one? Choices for parts availability are limited (Panaracer Col de la Vie and Sun CR18 rims seem especially to be unobtanium at the moment), but I found some eBay sellers offering 590/650a complete wheels (albeit with nutted axles) for very cheap, and also a NOS lot of six name brand Japanese 650a rims for sale. Current 650a tire choices on Amazon include Schwalbe Marathons and Delta Cruisers. (Come to think of it, it was the size lists at the Schwalbe website that probably got my brain started thinking this way!)


Anyone here running 590s, possibly even on a 27" or 700c frame? I'd imagine it's more common to take a 26x1-3/8 bike and swap to a more popular wheel size, but still.
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Old 07-24-20, 02:44 AM
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I ran into this size on the Gazelle Tandem. Apparently it used to be a common size on British and Dutch bikes.

The size is close enough to 650B at 584mm that I made the switch. My main motivation was the lack of tyre choice. 650B has lots of different options nowadays ranging from your standard heavy-duty to ultralight skinwalls.
Schwalbe for comparison offers a total of 4 models in ETRTO 37-590 and just one in 42-590. But outside of the places where these used to be sold they are probably hard to come by.

Now I mostly run into this size on drum brake and coaster brake bikes so YMMV. Not sure if there were even rims made in aluminum or if it was all stainless steel and chromed steel?

Last edited by JaccoW; 07-24-20 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 07-24-20, 03:53 AM
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Hey 1987, have you tried obtaining the ancient WEINMANN L.S. 2.8 (complete side pull assembly) from a SCHWINN COLLEGIATE from the seventies, actually I think the 1969 models are marked L.S. 2.8-------------------------the Sixties era COLLEGIATE has the same exact WEINMANN side pulls except that for year model 1968 and earlier the calipers will be stamped WEINMANN model 810 because the Schwinn internal coded size marking didn't begin until 1969 but they are the same exact items.

THE REASON THAT I ASK THIS, IS BECAUSE THE 26 x 1 3/8 (597mm) wheeled COLLEGIATE and the VARSITY 27 x 1 1/4 (630mm) have essentially the same electroforged frames.........................THE 27 inch wheeled VARSITY & SUBURBAN have Weinmann L.S. 2.4 side pulls and the COLLEGIATE and other schwinns like Breeze with handbrakes do have the 597mm 26 inch......................the frames are about the same between the 27 inch (630mm) and 26 inch(597) bikes such that swapping these WEINMANN assemblies gives one the REACH that one would need when building something from say an old bare electroforged frame.
Sorry, but I can't remember what the Weinmann model number for the 27" Varsity brakes(in 1968 and earlier) before they began the L.S. 2.4 designation in 1969........again they are exactly the same. (the L.S. 2.4 or whatever model number Weinmann it was on 1968 & earlier WON'T HELP YOU BECAUSE YOU NEED LONGER REACH, THAT IS WHY I RECOMMEND LOOKING FOR A $6 pair of excellent condition L.S. 2.8 Weinmann sidepulls from the COLLEGIATE etc)
Getting the entire assembly for both front and rear, should not cost you more than about $6 on ebay and the flatrate priority small box might be around another six bucks if the seller doesn't want to box or bag and use regular first class postage which likely be nominally less.

Here is something that might surprise you and might help:
On that SCHWINN coding: THE FIRST NUMBER in example (L.S. 2.8) the first number is TWO as you see and that FIRST NUMBER is the DISTANCE IN INCHES from Center of Mounting Bolt to The Center of The Brake PAD Mounting SLOT.......................but WAIT that isn't all BECAUSE you need to CONSIDER THAT SECOND NUMBER as the "Tenths" -------------------------and each "Tenths" = 3/32 inch-------------------------------------Okay what the heck does that mean? well you see your "Tenths" number is eight........( 8 )................................So Eight times 3/32 equals 24/32. ...........................8 x 3/32 = 24/32...................well you know that 24/32 is actually 3/4.........................you remember your 4th grade elementary school math, right.....................................WELL YOU TAKE THAT AS THE TOTAL DISTANCE from the Center of Mounting Bolt to The Center of the Brake Pad Mounting Slot of this WEINMANN side pull caliper brake assembly of the SCHWINN COLLEGIATE is TWO INCHES and 24/32 inches -or- TWO INCHES and 3/4 inches -or- more simply written 2 3/4 " --------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't know if using the old alloy L.S. 2.8 will solve your situation but it might. (or Weinmann model 810.........I am fairly certain that Weinmann 810 is the same exact item as I had a 1968 Collegiate that I gave to my neighbor...)
Like I mentioned the L.S. 2.8 and model 810 are identical.................and applicable to the COLLEGIATE and the 597mm 26 inch tire Schwinns.

Millions of bikes, Schwinns and other brands did have these alloy side pull caliper assemblies made by WEINMANN.

Oh, well if you are wondering what the L and S stands for.....................L indicates to be fitted to "LIGHTWEIGHTS" ........Collegiate/Breeze/Varsity/Suburban...etc
S stands for SIDEPULL
So the L.S. 2.8 example..........the first letter tells you L for "LIGHTWEIGHTS (-----if the first letter was M that would be "MIDDLEWEIGHTS and if the first letter was B that would mean "BALLOON TIRE BICYCLES"
The second letter in the example indicates the type of Caliper Brake..................S means SIDEPULLS and if that second letter was C that would mean CENTERPULL

I CAN'T REMEMBER ALL OF THE different size calipers from WEINMANN that Schwinn employed but I think that L.S. 2.8 or model 810 is the one that you should look at.

You're trying to get something with enough slot reach to accomodate your 584mm bead seat diameter tires...............................I am know that these old Weinmanns are employed on non-Schwinns with the 590mm "common" 26 x 1 3/8 and also on SCHWINNS with the 597mm schwinn 26 x 1 3/8.

I don't know if you consider the ancient Weinmann sidepulls to be decent enough for your bike. In my opinion, they are better quality than many of the steel sidepulls seen on ancient Raleighs and other ancient bikes from Italy and France but we are talking about really ancient bikes from say fifty to seventy years ago, so I'm really not sure you'd even consider using such ancient Weinmans, even if they would solve your reach problem.
Perhaps get a photo posted of the necessary reach needed using say a clear ruller with millimeter readings, and ask the folks here on the forum to measure particular caliper assemblies to see if perhaps you can find something more modern than the old WEINMANNS that would work in your situation.
I don't have any L.S. 2.8 or model 810 WEINMANNS in my parts stash, otherwise if I did, I would offer to give them to you and mail it free to you. I do have a collection of Collegiates at the lake house and here at the house and I think two others at Hilton Head, so wherever I'm at, there are Collegiates and Suburbans that are ready to ride, and fully serviced and really nice examples in various colors. What can I say, I'm just an old fool that likes early to mid seventies 5 speed COLLEGIATES and 5 speed SUBURBANS..........
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Old 07-24-20, 05:13 AM
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Built this one up with Sun CR-18 EA3 rims and Col de la vie tires:



As others have pointed out, there are far more tire and rim choices these days in 650b/584mm, and most bikes that can be converted to 590mm wheels can likely be converted to 584. However, Grand Bois in Japan shows a couple of intriguing options: https://cyclesgrandbois.com/SHOP/279...5974/list.html

I’ve ordered other things from them, particularly when the dollar buys lots of yen, and service was good, shipping prompt and fairly reasonably priced.
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Old 07-24-20, 07:00 AM
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I'll start by saying there are very few instances where using a 650A rim will help with brake reach vs. 650B. There's only a 3mm difference in radius between the two.

650A was very popular in Japan and East Asia for many decades on both utility bikes and the lightweight randonneur and camping bikes inspired by the French constructeurs that were popular in Japan in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Japanese industry offered lightweight 650A rims and tires during this time period for cyclotourists, and still do. While 650B is taking over as the dominant size in this category in Japan, you will find that many touring bikes of the last 50 years were built for 650A.
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Old 07-24-20, 07:49 AM
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Yes, I built my wife's Panasonic Mixte with them. I think the size works well since I was starting with 630 (27"). I wanted something wider, softer and shorter than the 27" x 1-1/4" tires. This worked well. As you can see, it has CR-18 rims and Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tires in creme. I need to get a better picture sometime.



Someone on Bike Forums had said that with 26" x 1-3/8" wheels that you are limited to only CR-18 rims. That may be true or mostly true,however, they are good rims. These are polished with eyelets. These are VO fenders and chainguard.
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Old 07-24-20, 08:26 AM
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I run 650A/590mm tires on my Raleigh 3-speed. The main disadvantage is a dearth of high-quality tires in that size. The Panaracer "Col de la Vie" is probably the best, and that's largely because the other offerings are quite mediocre. The Col de la Vie has a fairly supple sidewall, like the Pasela, but the tread is thicker than the Pasela. They're wider thasan most other 650A tires, and take a bit of care to ensure mudguard clearance.
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Old 07-24-20, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Now I mostly run into this size on drum brake and coaster brake bikes so YMMV. Not sure if there were even rims made in aluminum or if it was all stainless steel and chromed steel?

I do get about switching to 584. And Dia Compe 750 brakes are excellent, and got 584s successfully onto our mixte frame that had this problem.

My info so far is that at minimum, Sun, Araya, and Ukai made alloy 650a rims. Plus whatever (probably) cheaper rim is on the better new offerings I found on eBay.

I seem to recall Harris Cyclery sells (or did sell?) a 650a CR18 laced to an internally geared hub in 130mm OLD - though apparently not a front wheel.




Interesting info about the old Schwinn parts .... lots of that stuff still floating around, if only one knows where to look!
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Old 07-24-20, 09:42 AM
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ThermionicScott built up a randonneur with this wheel size.

Alloy 650A rims are a good way to soup up an old British 3 speed like JohnDThompson did.

I actually have 2 sets of these rims: a good looking weinmann set with eyelets and an ambrosio set that is hookless which would look good on an old Italian city bike.

I like the OP's idea that this rim size might make sense for getting a fatter tire on a road bike when you are uncertain about the reach if inistalling 650b. We're only talking about 3 mm at the rim but that can make a difference. The Dia compe centerpulls top out at 78 mm. There are some sidepulls out there that have more reach as well as Vintage Schwinn points out.

Tires as others have pointed out is a limiting factor.

I love what nlerner did with his peugeot px 10 with a 3 speed hub, 26 x 1 and 3/8 rims, and flat bars. That is a neat idea for a lightweight city cruiser. Hmm, I have a 70s PR 10 frame sitting around, I have 26 x 1 and 3/8 rims, and a pair of continental city ride 26 x 1 and 3/8 tires . . . . I may have just stumbled into a new project, a 1 x 6 peugeot PR 10 city cruiser with fenders and a flat bar.

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Old 07-24-20, 11:59 AM
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Iím a big fan of 650a having accidentally built up a cheap 10 speed with this wheel size. It was a city beater and I didnít know any better at the time. I was planning to build up my next commuter with this size so itís nice to see how good the Peugeot looks.

In my perfect world, the 650a size would have been chosen to revive, considering that it was an already well established old standard, so tires can still be found in a pinch at the Walmartís of the world. Itís still used in Japan on touring bikes, and also happens to be the standard size for wheelchair tires. A 3mm reach difference vs 650b doesnít sound like much but can make the difference between using long reach brakes or having to resort to much more serious modifications.
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Old 07-24-20, 10:00 PM
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I'd forgotten about this picture from the Rivendell blog a few years ago (https://www.rivbike.com/blogs/peeking-through-the-knothole/new-blahg-tues-nov-29-tire-size-that-neer-was-carbon-shellac):

Grant mentions cutting and stitching a 700c tire for a one-off rim made by Velocity in a size "between 700c and 650b". Presumably it was not 590 or 597 or he would have mentioned just what it was? Anywhoo.


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Old 07-25-20, 05:33 AM
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Probably not what Grant was referring to, but there was the very short lived 700D size found on some GT bikes. According to Sheldon Brown they were labeled 587mm but were actually 583: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/tires/587.html

Very weird.
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Old 07-25-20, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Probably not what Grant was referring to, but there was the very short lived 700D size found on some GT bikes. According to Sheldon Brown they were labeled 587mm but were actually 583: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/tires/587.html

Very weird.
Yeah I've seen these before. GT made a tandem with these as well

Jan 23 1991 GT Quatrefoil Tandem | Retrobike

This is a good article discussing the 700D

https://www.bikehugger.com/posts/the...at-wasnt-700d/
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Old 07-25-20, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Iniezione View Post
Iím a big fan of 650a having accidentally built up a cheap 10 speed with this wheel size. It was a city beater and I didnít know any better at the time. I was planning to build up my next commuter with this size so itís nice to see how good the Peugeot looks.

In my perfect world, the 650a size would have been chosen to revive, considering that it was an already well established old standard, so tires can still be found in a pinch at the Walmartís of the world. Itís still used in Japan on touring bikes, and also happens to be the standard size for wheelchair tires. A 3mm reach difference vs 650b doesnít sound like much but can make the difference between using long reach brakes or having to resort to much more serious modifications.
I converted an 80-ish Schwinn to 650A a few years back when folks on the BOB mailing list were doing 650B conversions.
I used a Weinmann 750 centerpull in front and a Sturmey Archer AWC in back which was a coaster brake 3 speed.

Mine was done on the dirt cheap, the only new things I used were tires and tubes.
But it was a fun ride.

Pete
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Old 07-25-20, 04:08 PM
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I converted my mid-70s Schwinn Speedster from steel ISO 597 rims to aluminum ISO 590 (CR-18). I've been through a couple sets of Col de la Vie tires and went looking for another set. I'm finding little stock, and none stateside. I presume that's caused mostly by COVID-19-related stock issues. Still, you might find nothing but Kenda (which are just TSOs in my opinion). Clearly, if you can make them fit, 650b will give you many more tire choices.
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Old 07-25-20, 07:58 PM
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"Hello, is this the 590 club? I'm a lifetime member."








-Kurt
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Old 07-25-20, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 1987cp View Post
My info so far is that at minimum, Sun, Araya, and Ukai made alloy 650a rims. Plus whatever (probably) cheaper rim is on the better new offerings I found on eBay.
Also Weinmann. Seems the alloy rims on the cheap eBay wheels are Weinmann, and 650a Weinmanns are also available separately.


Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
Still, you might find nothing but Kenda (which are just TSOs in my opinion).
Originally Posted by 1987cp View Post
Current 650a tire choices on Amazon include Schwalbe Marathons and Delta Cruisers.

Did sort through lots of old-school Kendas, one or two nicer Kendas, and also CRT and .... Wanda, I think?

What's a TSO, by the way?

Last edited by 1987cp; 07-25-20 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 07-25-20, 08:32 PM
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I was almost forced to go with the size a few years back when I was putting this Clubman on the road. I built the wheels with CR-18's and put Col de la Vies on it. It rides pretty nicely




I've since built another set of wheels for a 1962-ish Lenton Sports that's a slightly longer BB away from being put back on the road.





With some assistance from Cudak888, I am building up a few sets of wheels using rims he scavenged from those Spin bikes. They are alloy and will serve as upgrades for a few bikes that I have that originally came with that size.

None of this really counts as converting wheel size from something that the bike was designed for to 650A, but it is definitely a viable option, and I can imagine circumstances where it would be "just the thing".

Hey Kurt, are those white tires SOMAs?
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Old 07-25-20, 08:32 PM
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TSO Tire Shaped Object? same as BSO
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Old 07-26-20, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
Hey Kurt, are those white tires SOMAs?
Schwalbe Delta Cruisers. Very noticeably cream colored, not white - though there are budget-level Wanda EA3 tires out there which are available in pure white.

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Old 07-26-20, 07:02 PM
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Sounds like a good build, any pictures?

Originally Posted by 64Pete View Post
I converted an 80-ish Schwinn to 650A a few years back when folks on the BOB mailing list were doing 650B conversions.
I used a Weinmann 750 centerpull in front and a Sturmey Archer AWC in back which was a coaster brake 3 speed.

Mine was done on the dirt cheap, the only new things I used were tires and tubes.
But it was a fun ride.

Pete
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Old 07-26-20, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Iniezione View Post
Sounds like a good build, any pictures?
Sorry, no pics.
After I sold it I must have deleted the pics I had.
I don't think I can post pics yet anyway.

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Old 07-27-20, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 64Pete View Post
I don't think I can post pics yet anyway.
Join date: 2015
5 posts


That's a good average of 1 post per year.
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Old 07-27-20, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
Join date: 2015
5 posts


That's a good average of 1 post per year.
Yeah, Isn't that something.
I suppose I was getting what info I needed from the Classic Rendezvous and the BOB lists (Bridgestone Owners Bunch)
But I would lurk on this site and some others from time to time.

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Old 07-27-20, 09:03 AM
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brianinc-ville
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Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
Still, you might find nothing but Kenda (which are just TSOs in my opinion). Clearly, if you can make them fit, 650b will give you many more tire choices.
You should have no problem finding Schwalbes (either Marathon Plus or Delta Cruiser).
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