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Am I missing anything not trying 650B wheel set?

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Am I missing anything not trying 650B wheel set?

Old 06-18-21, 09:39 PM
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Am I missing anything not trying 650B wheel set?

I have spent a lot of time on various steel and bonded Al & carbon frames, forks carbon to steels & Al, various geometries, saddles, etc. but never a 650b wheel set. Am I missing anything? Don't mind things like long reach brake changes, etc. I have an 26" MTB and a grocery getter Hard Rock 26".
it is just part of finding what I appreciate in my rides, so worth every penny to me. In my 70s touring is not in the mix.

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Old 06-19-21, 10:52 AM
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Well, think about the widest tires you’ve ridden and ask yourself if you loved the ride? If so, going fatter will likely be even more enjoyable, some people have their limits though.

Also, have you ever thought that the fattest tires you have on a bike were not fat enough to comfortably and safely cross the type of terrain you want to ride? 650b may be for you.

The there are probably lots of other benefits but fitting wider tires four the cushiony ride and hitting the trails is why most people like 650b.

All that being said you have some 26” bikes. I can’t speak to how small large the differences may be there, but I imagine not much.
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Old 06-19-21, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
I have spent a lot of time on various steel and bonded Al & carbon frames, forks carbon to steels & Al, various geometries, saddles, etc. but never a 650b wheel set. Am I missing anything? Don't mind things like long reach brake changes, etc. I have an 26" MTB and a grocery getter Hard Rock 26". it is just part of finding what I appreciate in my rides, so worth every penny to me. In my 70s touring is not in the mix.
There's nothing magical about the 650B wheel spec itself. The big draw that got lots of people converting to 650B was the very comfortable, yet fast, tires available in that size. Nowadays (well, starting about 10 years ago), there are some great options in 26" and fatter 700C tires, too. Put some RH 44mm Naches Pass tires (or Rat Trap Pass, if you can fit them) on one of your 26" bikes, and you will have most of the goodness of a 650B conversion right there.
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Old 06-19-21, 11:42 AM
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cheaper than RH

Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
There's nothing magical about the 650B wheel spec itself. The big draw that got lots of people converting to 650B was the very comfortable, yet fast, tires available in that size. Nowadays (well, starting about 10 years ago), there are some great options in 26" and fatter 700C tires, too. Put some RH 44mm Naches Pass tires (or Rat Trap Pass, if you can fit them) on one of your 26" bikes, and you will have most of the goodness of a 650B conversion right there.
Any recommendations for a 26" tire which is a bit cheaper ?
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Old 06-19-21, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by schwinnderella View Post
Any recommendations for a 26" tire which is a bit cheaper ?
Didn't people usually like the Schwalbe Big Apple tires?

What really separates the Compass/ReneHerse tires (at least between something like the Pasela or Sand Canyon) is that plush-ness.

But lower the pressure in your tire to the point that it feels cushy but not draggy, and you don't feel like you're inviting a pinch flat.
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Old 06-19-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by schwinnderella View Post
Any recommendations for a 26" tire which is a bit cheaper ?
Wouldn't we all like to get the finest things in life a bit cheaper?

I'm not aware of anything on the same level. It's too bad there isn't a Pari-Moto in that size, big fan of those in 650B and they're not expensive. The problem with most 26" tires, including the Panaracer Pasela 26"x1.75" I used to run, is that they're expected to be fairly durable, so they have thicker tread that makes them slower. They often have a lower thread count, too.

I'd love to be wrong; hopefully someone who's more up to date on fancy 26" tires can jump in with some good suggestions!
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Old 06-19-21, 01:12 PM
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30 years ago I was given a pair of slicks for my Ritchey mtb. Was quite surprised at how well it rolled.
younger and faster, a number of the racing set were despondent when they could not drop me on a hill and were dropped by me.
I stopped at a market and they were even more bummed when they pulled up and realized that my bike was 8lbs or more heavier too.
just added insult to injury.
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Old 06-19-21, 01:32 PM
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Some worthwhile reading here:
The 26" Tire and Wheel Thread

and here
26" road tire decisions,please help.

and here
Looking for 26" road tires, 1.75 - 2.0
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Old 06-19-21, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
30 years ago I was given a pair of slicks for my Ritchey mtb. Was quite surprised at how well it rolled.
younger and faster, a number of the racing set were despondent when they could not drop me on a hill and were dropped by me.
I stopped at a market and they were even more bummed when they pulled up and realized that my bike was 8lbs or more heavier too.
just added insult to injury.
Been there, done that, with the same end results. I used to participate in local club road rides using my GT Karakoram equipped with the original SBI Fat Boys tyres, just to try to even things out a little more between myself and the lower category racers .
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Old 06-19-21, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
30 years ago I was given a pair of slicks for my Ritchey mtb.

Same time frame, the big weekend doughnut ride in Toronto had a bunch of top riders and then pack fill like me, waiting to get dropped after a few hours of drafting. Mr messenger dude almost got up to the front on a rigid Stumpy with 1" slicks. They shut him down with some effort but it was impressive how he could spin fast enough to do > 50 kph.
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Old 06-19-21, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
30 years ago I was given a pair of slicks for my Ritchey mtb. Was quite surprised at how well it rolled.
younger and faster, a number of the racing set were despondent when they could not drop me on a hill and were dropped by me.
I stopped at a market and they were even more bummed when they pulled up and realized that my bike was 8lbs or more heavier too.
just added insult to injury.
I have a pair of Ritchey Moby-Bite 26 x 2.1 slicks which I really like but of course they are no longer available. I would love to find something similar.
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Old 06-19-21, 03:22 PM
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There's a lot to be said for riding a fat cushy tire. I especially like them for multi-day events.
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Old 06-19-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by schwinnderella View Post
Any recommendations for a 26" tire which is a bit cheaper ?
Tire selection has gotten spotty with the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. Tire selection for 26 inch tires has gotten worse.

Maxxis DTH tires are available. I like the Panaracer Protite 26 x 1.75 and the Schwalbe Supreme 26 tires but both are hard to find.
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Old 06-19-21, 03:53 PM
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One advantage of a 650B conversion--versus riding a native 26"-wheeled bike that's not a racing MTB--is that you can really improve the ride of an 80s racing-oriented bike. You get the advantage of relatively light weight and likely somewhat steep frame angles, but soften out what is usually a harsh ride on 25mm tires by opting for 38mm x 584mm tires. My best example of that in the fleet is a 2001 Lemond Zurich with 853 tubing. With 38mm tires (the Pacenti version can usually be found for not too much $), it's a lightweight all-rounder.

IMG_1236
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Old 06-21-21, 06:38 AM
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Nlerner, thank you. I am thinking my 70 year old body could use some easier rides. I have a '98 Zurich that has not been touched in years and we summer in the Bighorn Mtn foothills where the roads are not ideal. When I get back South for calipers I can measure but would appreciate and comment you might have on long reach caliper braking with the stock 6500?
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Old 06-21-21, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuckk View Post
Missing anything? You're missing the TRENDY TRAIN!
It's hard times for bike shops and selling you a new set of wheels and tires may just make the numbers for another week.
Get some 46 wide bars and new Biopace rings while you're at it.
I'm almost there. 650b Im doing next will have 45mm bars and a Bio Pace small ring is still on the table. Its a Bridgestone, but from just before they let Mr. Peterson off his chain. Oh well. If I hurry my breakfast pizza bagel will still take the skin off the roof of my mouth. ..
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Old 06-21-21, 07:45 AM
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SOme misunderstanding of the OP's situation, I think. Some folks were talking about fitting bigger and fatter tires with 650B, but I think OP mentioned two 26" wheel bikes, so switching to 650B will result in less clearance for fat tires, not more.
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Old 06-21-21, 08:38 AM
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I tried a couple of 650b options for awhile and it just wasn't my thing. However, I can definitely see why some people would like it. The situation for me is that on most of my vintage bikes 25mm-28mm tires work great and provide the ride that I like. That is what my vintage bikes were designed for and so I stick to it. I tried 650b wheel on 2 different bikes. The first was a mid-80s Shogun 1000. It was OK but not much more than that. The other bike that I converted to 650b was an early-90s Trek 930 mountain bike and it worked out better. I found that with 650b wheels I could use Tektro CR720 cantilevers and get them to reach the rims. I also installed a dirt drop stem with Nitto road handlebars. This actually worked pretty well and I liked this bike. However, I still liked that Trek 930 much better as a mountain bike. That is one of the bikes I deeply regret selling. I should have never gotten rid of that bike. Also, the other reason that the 650b option wasn't for me is because I have a Surly Cross Check. While my Cross Check isn't vintage, anything my 650b bikes could do, my Cross Check can do better.

So are you missing anything? I think this is one of those things that really comes down to personal preference. There are some vintage road bikes that can accommodate 32mm wide tires. I would be inclined to try that first given that a new set of wheels isn't cheap. However, if you're like me and enjoy trying new things just for the sake of trying new things, then go for it.
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Old 06-21-21, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Nlerner, thank you. I am thinking my 70 year old body could use some easier rides. I have a '98 Zurich that has not been touched in years and we summer in the Bighorn Mtn foothills where the roads are not ideal. When I get back South for calipers I can measure but would appreciate and comment you might have on long reach caliper braking with the stock 6500?
I have a 1999 LeMond Buenos Aires, I assume clearances/brake drop are similar since overall geometry was consistent for Trek LeMonds across the years. Came with 5500 group (105 9s). My first conversion step was the same setup with 650b wheels (with standard RH/Compass Loup Loup Pass, 38mm tires) and Tektro R559s, paired with the stock 5500 shifters, everything else stock. Worked great and was a nice setup. Now I've gone too far and swapped a bunch of stuff. Even better in my mind but incremental steps versus that jump into 650b. I initially tried Panaracer Col de la Vie tires on cheap heavy wheels, which were OK and enjoyable, but the RH/Compass tires on a wheelset I laced with Pacenti Brevet rims - a HUGE step up in ride quality.
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Old 06-21-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by schwinnderella View Post
Any recommendations for a 26" tire which is a bit cheaper ?
Yes: avoid them!

Okay, seriously, this depends on how sensitive you are to things like rolling resistance, suppleness, &c, all of which are subtle. I had RTP tires on two road bikes, having chosen 26" wheels over 650B. RTP are nice tires, but spendy. So I have a pair of Panaracer Ribmo tires that I use on one of those bikes. Sometimes I can tell the difference, but sometimes I cannot. Whether you can, I will not speculate. But there are not very many high quality smooth tread fat tires in 26". A lot of the tires made for 'cruiser' bikes are heavy and slow, perhaps to match their riders. The better 26" tires are mostly made for off road use. I've been meaning to try Continental 'town and country' tires but haven't. If you find a cheaper 26" tire that's as good as RTP's, please let us know. And... good luck!
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Old 06-21-21, 04:14 PM
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I put a set of Maxxis DTH 26 x 2.3" tires on my commuter MTB. It turned a heavy bike (since sold off) into a heavy bike with nicer tires.

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Old 06-21-21, 05:06 PM
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There's 650b conversions of old road bikes, new 650b bikes as a randonneuring style, modern disc brake bikes that use 700c or 650b in an attempt to be all rounder bikes, and then there's 27.5. So to answer the OP's question, probably the first in that list is the only thing that would be a miss - if you're missing out improving an old road bike.
For decent, affordable 26" road slicks, Primo Comet 26x1.5, about 38mm, sometimes can be found for $35. 1.5" being either too skinny, too fat, or just right, depending.
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