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Anyone done a 650B conversion on a Fuji League / Club?

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Anyone done a 650B conversion on a Fuji League / Club?

Old 05-24-21, 05:40 PM
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ShannonM
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Anyone done a 650B conversion on a Fuji League / Club?

So, I've got a 58 cm '85 League Fuji. Currently running 700x23-or-25, which I can't tell because they're too old and rotted and sad. I live in Humboldt County, CA, and our roads suck. So, I'm wondering about 650B.

Anyone done one on one of these frames? On paper, it looks like an almost ideal geometry... 73 / 73 angles, 43.2 cm chainstays, 50 mm fork, 50 mm trail. But I've never ridden on paper.

So, has anyone done this, and what did you like about it? Maybe more importantly, what didn't you like about it? (I've found that the more I like something, the more its small flaws bug me... sorry, can't help it, I'm a geek.)

--Shannon
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Old 05-24-21, 06:39 PM
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I assume you've had a good stroll around the "Show Your 650B Conversion" thread? There will be a number of similarly-ranked/geometry'd bikes like your League Fuji.

As I ride Seattle city proper roads et al, the switch to 42mm tires (nominal, 38.5-39.5mm wide depending on rim), up from "33mm" (29mm) was a watershed moment. These were/are Soma Supple Vitesse EX tires, which are honestly supple, fast, grippy, and comfortable without breaking the bank (a la Rene Herse). Since a race or sport touring (or sport-sport touring) bike doesn't have clearances for such sizes, dropping to 650B to greatly increase comfort while retaining 700x23/25-spec handling makes a lot of sense.

While I personally know no one who has done the conversion, I would, as a matter of research, measure your lateral clearances 1) between the fork blades 2) at the chainstays. The seat stays/brake bridge will have tons of clearance, so that's nothing to worry about. To get as easily accurate a measurement, so I have been told by someone who has done a 650B conversion on his bike, is to measure the width/clearance at the top/outer rim edge--basically where the rim stops and the tire begins, that's going to be your maximum tire clearance. And by subtracting a few mm's depending on how intrepid or cautious you wish to be, that'll get you the biggest tire you can run if you wish to run something that large. 35-38mm 650B tires should get you to 700x23mm overall diameter (or very close). Somebody with more experience please accurate-ize or correct this!
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Old 05-24-21, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
So, I've got a 58 cm '85 League Fuji. Currently running 700x23-or-25, which I can't tell because they're too old and rotted and sad. I live in Humboldt County, CA, and our roads suck. So, I'm wondering about 650B.

Anyone done one on one of these frames? On paper, it looks like an almost ideal geometry... 73 / 73 angles, 43.2 cm chainstays, 50 mm fork, 50 mm trail. But I've never ridden on paper.

So, has anyone done this, and what did you like about it? Maybe more importantly, what didn't you like about it? (I've found that the more I like something, the more its small flaws bug me... sorry, can't help it, I'm a geek.)

--Shannon
Got pix?
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Old 05-25-21, 09:47 AM
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The only alternative to slapping in a set of 650b wheels is to take a bunch of measurements and look things over carefully. Then slap in a set of wheels to be sure.

The League longer wheelbase will help, but the pinch point is usually at the chainstay. The spec I have from many years ago is to measure width at 320mm from axle center, then subtract however many mm/side you're comfy with for tire clearance. Horizontal dropouts allow fore/aft flexibility if you're riding with gears.

My spidey senses say any '80s road-racer frame that won't fit actual-width 28-622/700c tires is likely to max out at 32-584/650b, which will lower the bb significantly, increasing risk of pedal strikes when cornering. Unless that frame has monster chainstay dimples.

"...max out at 32-584..." is maybe not quite right----maybe you could get 34mm-35mm in there, but there basically aren't any nice tires at that width. You've got 32s, then you jump up to 38s. And I'd be surprised if you could fit 38s in there, without dimpling the chainstays more.

32-584 does give a nicer ride than 23~25/622, if you can deal with the lower bb, or if your frame starts out with a high bb, so the drop isn't as much of an issue.
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Old 05-26-21, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie View Post
Got pix?
Why, yes, I do!



The fenders are Portland Design Works 700x30s.

--Shannon
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Old 05-26-21, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post
Why, yes, I do!



The fenders are Portland Design Works 700x30s.

--Shannon
Looks like you probably have good clearance in the chainstays, if you could share a pic head on to show vertical clearance on the front tire my "trained eye" might be able to give you a good estimate on what tire would fit.

I assume you'll want to have fenders on this after conversion to 650b?
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Old 05-26-21, 10:13 PM
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Best I've got, and the fender's kinda in the way. And, yeah, I'll be wanting fenders on it afterward. Things are prety damp up here on the North Coast. The bummer is, I'll be wanting PDWs again, as they look just right on the bike, but they're 130 bucks a set, which is like half what I paid for the bike.

Oh, well, it's a long-range project anyway, 'cuz I'm poor. If I can have the parts collected by this winter, I'll be stoked.

--Shannon
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Old 05-26-21, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ShannonM View Post



Best I've got, and the fender's kinda in the way. And, yeah, I'll be wanting fenders on it afterward. Things are prety damp up here on the North Coast. The bummer is, I'll be wanting PDWs again, as they look just right on the bike, but they're 130 bucks a set, which is like half what I paid for the bike.

Oh, well, it's a long-range project anyway, 'cuz I'm poor. If I can have the parts collected by this winter, I'll be stoked.

--Shannon
Hard to tell, can't see what the clearance between the tire and fork crown is. Minimum tire width you should go for is 38mm, and ideally you should have 20mm of clearance to the fender, maybe 15 at the minimum as long as you stay away from gravel, otherwise you'll go crazy hearing it rattle around between tire and fender, or worse yet, get caught up and possibly find yourself flying over the handlebars.

All this is from eyeballing your pictures, which isn't the most accurate method of measurement, of course. If you were near Portland, Oregon I'd invite you over to do a test fit with 650b wheels. Not sure if there's anybody near you that could do the same?
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Old 05-26-21, 11:17 PM
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Thanks for all the help... You rule.

--Shannon
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