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Cheap 650b wheels

Old 10-14-22, 02:24 AM
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ShannonM
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Cheap 650b wheels

Had anyone respaced the inexpensively-buttocked 650b/27.5 rear wheels, like the Wheel Masters freewheel ones, from 135 down to 126?

I'd think it'd be a matter of removing some spacers and cutting down the axle, but has anyone actually done it?

This would be a cheap-and-temporary way to get my conversion going, until I can afford to build the wheels I want.

--Shannon
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Old 10-14-22, 05:33 AM
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Haven't done it, but I like the way you're thinking
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Old 10-14-22, 07:05 AM
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I did exactly that. It worked fine.
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Old 10-14-22, 07:15 AM
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I'd just relaced the rims to better hubs
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Old 10-14-22, 07:33 AM
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I've done it with a hub I got from the BOC, which I them built into a new wheel. If you are cutting the axle from an assembled wheel, you may need to re-dish the wheel when you are done, unless you are taking an equal amount of spacers out on each side.
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Old 10-14-22, 09:24 AM
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another long shot but fairly inexpensive route : locate a 1991 Schwinn Mirada locally and harvest the wheels. i grabbed one for 45.00 just to see if 650b would work on a few of my existing frames
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Old 10-14-22, 01:41 PM
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I found that some recently-built Huffy bikes (cruisers and MTBs) come with 650b wheels. I was very surprised. The hubs are junk, the axles are nutted 3/8", and the spokes are galvanized, but the rims are aluminum (Weinmann 519 copies) and will work to give you an idea of what 650b is like. They are as good as midrange stuff you'd find on an '80s Univega. I was once given such a bike, because other things (Huffy things ) made it unrideable. I took the wheels. I use them occasionally for 650b mockups before building proper wheels for whatever bike I'm working with.
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Old 10-15-22, 10:34 AM
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I've done this with Mach-1 branded 650b wheels that worked out with 6 speed spacing. If the dishing is too extreme just go to 5 speeds. I have a set of the Wheel Master 650b's that will be adjusted to 126 mm with a single speed freewheel. I think my SWG calculations got me close to dishless.
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Old 10-15-22, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I found that some recently-built Huffy bikes (cruisers and MTBs) come with 650b wheels. I was very surprised. The hubs are junk, the axles are nutted 3/8", and the spokes are galvanized, but the rims are aluminum (Weinmann 519 copies) and will work to give you an idea of what 650b is like. They are as good as midrange stuff you'd find on an '80s Univega. I was once given such a bike, because other things (Huffy things ) made it unrideable. I took the wheels. I use them occasionally for 650b mockups before building proper wheels for whatever bike I'm working with.
Which models? Seems as the only thing around here in terms of Huffy cruisers are the Cranbrook and Santa Fe; both ISO 559 26"-wheeled.

-Kurt
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Old 10-15-22, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
Which models? Seems as the only thing around here in terms of Huffy cruisers are the Cranbrook and Santa Fe; both ISO 559 26"-wheeled.

-Kurt
Casoria. Seems like it's blurring the line between a hybrid and a cruiser. That's what I got the wheels off of, I think, after searching a while.

The one I found, the steel seatpost had seized to the steel seat tube. I'd never seen that before. Or maybe the frame was aluminum?? I remember the seatpost was steel. It had those cross-hatches on it like old Rigida rims. The left crank was drilled off-center so my puller didn't push on the BB axle, so I only got the right crank and pedals as salvage. The fenders were gone too. I sawed up the handlebar (which was marked as CrMo!) and used the straight sections in 22.2 to make a copy of a Jack Taylor stem. All in all a fair parts donor.

Some of their MTBs also have them: Parkside, Rangeline, maybe others!
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Old 10-16-22, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
I found that some recently-built Huffy bikes (cruisers and MTBs) come with 650b wheels. I was very surprised. The hubs are junk, the axles are nutted 3/8", and the spokes are galvanized, but the rims are aluminum (Weinmann 519 copies) and will work to give you an idea of what 650b is like. They are as good as midrange stuff you'd find on an '80s Univega. I was once given such a bike, because other things (Huffy things ) made it unrideable. I took the wheels. I use them occasionally for 650b mockups before building proper wheels for whatever bike I'm working with.
Some not-so-recent Mongeese and Huffies have turned up in K-Mart and WalMart, respectively wearing 27.5" wheels.

On the bike I built some six years ago, I ended up using the nutted, steel-hubbed (and very wide at i51mm) wheels from my $200, 45lb Mongoose Hondo project bike on an Aluminum Huffy, with parts upgrades as needed.
The axle width on the Hondo was the then-new, low-budget 141mm "QR Boost" standard, so had to be narrowed to 135mm to fit in the aluminum Huffy's frame, using a modified Dura-Ace 7s freewheel with HG cogs.
Though tire clearance is truly ninimal with 2.3 and 2.4" tires on the mega-wide rims, the heavy wheels have proved sturdy since I upgraded the rear hub to a larger 10mm solid and still-nutted axle.
I've had no problems with the re-dished wheel, and the tires resist pinch-flatting down to 21psi since I fitted a 2.4" DH rear tire.

If the OP's rim choice is going to be single-walled and/or of narrow dimensions, the wheel may not resist bending well, especially if it has to be more heavily dished (most of the cheap rims are pretty flimsy, especially around their pinned joint).


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Old 10-16-22, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by scarlson View Post
Casoria. Seems like it's blurring the line between a hybrid and a cruiser. That's what I got the wheels off of, I think, after searching a while.

The one I found, the steel seatpost had seized to the steel seat tube. I'd never seen that before. Or maybe the frame was aluminum?? I remember the seatpost was steel. It had those cross-hatches on it like old Rigida rims. The left crank was drilled off-center so my puller didn't push on the BB axle, so I only got the right crank and pedals as salvage. The fenders were gone too. I sawed up the handlebar (which was marked as CrMo!) and used the straight sections in 22.2 to make a copy of a Jack Taylor stem. All in all a fair parts donor.

Some of their MTBs also have them: Parkside, Rangeline, maybe others!
Found them. Searching "27.5" seems to be the way to go. They're probably single-wall rims, but might be an affordable way to get my 650B Raleigh Sports project off the ground.

I've had a few el-cheapos with steel-to-steel stuck posts. Sometimes crosshatched, other times not. Given how poor some of the cheap frames are at the clamp area, I can usually appreciate the crosshatching. It solves a problem that would otherwise make the bike intolerable and difficult to fix - though someone could self-knurl a post by running the JA Stein crown race expander on one.

-Kurt
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Old 10-16-22, 10:34 PM
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This is not a current option (that I know of) but maybe it gives ideas?
Eight years ago I paid $120 for a pair of new wheels on ebay with Pacenti rim-brake rims, the first-gen ones with a rider weight limit and spoke-tension limit on them. Super-cheap Shimano FH-2200 QR hubs, 8-9-10 sp freehub. Free shipping! Total cost was less than a pair of Pacenti rims alone.

I was able to replace that freehub body with an Acera 7-speed. I put 5 wide-spaced cogs on it (old 5-speed spacing), with the extra spacer on the outside (by the frame), and shortened the axle down to 120 mm OLD. The key to making that work was replacing the right side cone with a Dura-Ace cone that was much thinner right-to-left, allowing the freehub to come much closer to the frame.

So I got a proper 120 5-speed for an old C&V frame, and got to convert it to 650b for small money. It might take some luck to replicate this today though, finding the right freehub body and Dura-Ace cone. How good are your parts-bin-diving (or ebay) skills? Flickr album about it here.

Because the reconfigured hub had less dish, I also got a bit more equal spoke tension R&L, so maybe the Pacenti rims will actually last. OK so far, but I don't have those wheels anymore, sold 'em. I think I will hear back if the rims crack though, I know the guy.

Mark B
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Old 10-28-22, 08:21 PM
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A thought that I just had:

Can I just steal the axle from the 126mm Shimano 600ex hub in my current 700c rear wheel... which I won't be using post-conversion, as I only have one bike?

--Shannon

PS: Yes, N=1 is a shameful condition for a bike nerd to be in, but needs must when the Devil pulls.
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