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Show Us Your 650B Conversions

Old 03-09-17, 03:12 PM
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^Are those Sugino 75 cranks?
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Old 03-09-17, 03:38 PM
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cranks

SR Signature

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Old 03-11-17, 11:43 AM
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1979 Trek 930 650b Conversion

Hi folks,

just put this together. It's a Columbus SP Trek 930, 24-inch size.
I wanted to try further indenting the stays. That was a challenge. I built a tool using a c-clamp and welding a piece of steel to it that was arched. Anyway, it was a nice idea that I stole from Mark Bulgier (former frame builder for Davidson Cycles in Seattle), but it didn't work for me as the resisting force of the chain stay and the difficulty in getting a straight angle on the crimping forced the C-Clamp's bolt out of alignment. Then I tried a vise, but my bench vise was too small for the job, and larger vises are difficult again to get the force applied in the proper direction. Anyway, long story short: I see why few people actually further indent the stays. Anyway, in likely a rash moment a neighbor and I tried hammering a steel pipe between the chain stays--that seemed to do enough crimping to now fit Hetre tires on Velocity rims. Wouldn't really advise the technique or likely do it again, but in the moment I thought what the hell. Anyway, let's raise a glass to the responsible brazing of Trek's early frame builders!

Bottom bracket drop is an issue with this 930 model, as are the short chain stays. The 910 or 913 or whatever would be a much smarter choice for a conversion frame. That sport touring model also has more fork rake.
Components:
Love the Ahearne + Map bars and paul levers. Newbaums grassy green. 1 coat clear shellac.
ITM record stem 105 mm, polished, and brass shim added for narrower bars
Brakes: Raid in Front, Dural Forge Racer in rear. Kool stop pads. The rear brake stay (?--not the right term, sorry, where the brake bolt attaches to frame) was brazed a little short of spec, so this frame has a rear drop closer to 47 mm than the targeted 50mm. Anyway, that means a Racer works for the conversion. 700c tire size maxed out at about 25mm because of the brake placement issue.
Velo Orange Contructeur Front rack. Lots of time and effort installing this. It ended up looking great but having minimal clearance with 700c x 25mm tire, so that also encouraged the conversion.
Wald Medium basket--rivendell style.
circa 2007(?) TA Alize crank purchased off craigslist. 165 mm to off-set bottom bracket drop.
MKS green anodized pedals.
Cheap single speed freewheel on a surly rear hub. IRO front hub is surprisingly nice.
Red hetre tires (650b x 42mm) on Velocity a23 in front and Velocity Dyad in rear. Bought separately from i-Bob list members.
Older titanium swift purchased at a swap. Little Grant Petersen / swim noodle undercarriage support. Likely not necessary but thought it might give the seat a lil extra life. Also, I'm likely too heavy for a titanium saddle, but whatever, it's a commuter, doing light, short trips at the moment.

The ride is fabulous. I really liked it with the 700c setup, and this is just as fun. More fun, in fact, since it's my first 650b conversion and there's a serious novelty to riding these tires. It sounds fast and feels fast and also feels like I imagine a fat bike would (sort of and short of actually having ridden a fat bike). Strangely, heavy loads in the basket seem to require more effort than previous set up with 700c and drop bars. A few factors like pneumatic trail and such that I haven't looked into, but would likely explain that. A good bit of fork flop was felt on both iterations. I'm finding the front basket idea is not as convenient as it looks. Hard to beat the rear pannier for quick and easy commuting needs.

Hope the photo links work if my [IMG] embedding doesn't.
[IMG]https://www.flickr.com/photos/9015075@N02/33184771526/[IMG]
[IMG]https://www.flickr.com/photos/9015075@N02/32411569883/[IMG]
[IMG]https://www.flickr.com/photos/9015075@N02/32835551140/[IMG]

https://www.flickr.com/photos/901507...posted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/901507...posted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/901507...posted-public/

Last edited by JT1973; 03-11-17 at 11:51 AM. Reason: wanted to try adding photos
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Old 03-11-17, 12:08 PM
  #354  
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Originally Posted by JT1973
Great work on the Trek! What sort of gear inches am I looking at? Nice score on the red Hetres. Shame they seemed to have discontinued the color.

I've also had a rough time in the past with mounting the VO Constructeur racks, mostly due to the brake-mounting bracket getting in the way. Finally got fed up and sawed it off, stabilizing it with the bolt on the top of the fender. Now I want to use it on a bike without fenders, so....

Let's hope for some nicer weather in the coming weeks here in Chicago. That temporary February thaw got me all excited.

Eric
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Old 03-11-17, 12:16 PM
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Thanks, E. I'm not sure on the gear inches. It's definitely tall at 53T x 18, maybe 80 inches? But fine for me in the flatland. I wanted to try this crank to see if the 165 size was necessary; kept the double ring to see how chainline worked out, etc. The build will likely see changes, but what build is ever complete, no?
God, today was brisk. Let's hope we get more 50* days soon.

Originally Posted by bear_a_bug
Great work on the Trek! What sort of gear inches am I looking at? Nice score on the red Hetres. Shame they seemed to have discontinued the color.
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Old 03-11-17, 12:37 PM
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Whole 650B Google forum out there to join to carry on about this..
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Old 03-11-17, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Whole 650B Google forum out there to join to carry on about this..
Yep, right here.

But one of the appeals of 650b is taking an old frame and converting it, so the Venn diagram of C&V with 650b is appropriate.
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Old 03-12-17, 12:22 AM
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There's also the Classic Rendezvous, on google groups, in case anyone would rather not tune in here...

Originally Posted by fietsbob
Whole 650B Google forum out there to join to carry on about this..
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Old 03-24-17, 01:36 AM
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Just finished this one today;


87? Panasonic DX 3000
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Old 03-24-17, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Whole 650B Google forum out there to join to carry on about this..
Originally Posted by gorillagirl
There's also the Classic Rendezvous, on google groups, in case anyone would rather not tune in here...
I post some to the 650b Google forum, rarely to Classic Rendezvous, but come here daily. Why here? The gang's a lot nicer. 650b can contentious from time to time, Classic Rendezvous you have to state your name, city, country, SS#, credit card info, what you ate for breakfast...alright, only about half of that, but sometimes I forget and receive a nasty gram saying I've been rejected. This site's a LOT more active. We get a troll every blue moon or so, but we chase 'em out quickly. I've ridden with a lot of the PNW'er posters, a nice group of people you won't meet anywhere.
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Old 03-24-17, 09:35 AM
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@gugie gives good reasons people come here. C&V is the best of the BF bunch. That's why we come here to discuss things other than old bikes.
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Old 03-24-17, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@gugie gives good reasons people come here. C&V is the best of the BF bunch. That's why we come here to discuss things other than old bikes.
When @nlerner came out to Portland, it was as if I'd known him for years. The Washington gang comes down to Portland every once in awhile (@Wildwood, @northbend, @Lascauxcaveman), always a treat, and others are starting to join. Us Portlanders need to return the favor this year!
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Old 03-24-17, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jmt1
...87? Panasonic DX 3000
Awesome!

I have that frame from the free pile at the local bike swap. Came with brakes and crankset/bb. Neat to see the possibilities for it.
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Old 03-24-17, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
When @nlerner came out to Portland, it was as if I'd known him for years. The Washington gang comes down to Portland every once in awhile (@Wildwood, @northbend, @Lascauxcaveman), always a treat, and others are starting to join. Us Portlanders need to return the favor this year!
Maybe I should organize a C&V metric century here in NYC. I give a really good bike tour of NYC. I love showing people around.
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Old 03-24-17, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Maybe I should organize a C&V metric century here in NYC. I give a really good bike tour of NYC. I love showing people around.
Do it!
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Old 03-24-17, 02:09 PM
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Can't believe I haven't posted in this thread before. Here's my Frek Randonneur, formerly a 1982 Trek 614. These pictures are a little out of date. Since they were taken I've dimpled the chain stays to make room for 42mm tires and made a few other component changes. I really love this bike.







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Old 03-24-17, 02:34 PM
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Recently I built myself another Frek to take over commuting and city utility riding duties (the Frek Randonneur is now reserved for brevets and other recreational riding). The city Frek frame was originally a 1990 Trek 420 and the fork came from a Rawland Stag. The build is still evolving, but the picture is pretty recent so reflects the current build. I intentionally used a Trek with a more stout tube set since I want this bike to feel solid and stable when hauling 30 lbs of groceries on the front rack. That it does. However, for fun fast riding I much prefer the Reynolds 531 built Frek Randonneur posted above.

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Old 03-24-17, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Can't believe I haven't posted in this thread before. Here's my Frek Randonneur, formerly a 1982 Trek 614. These pictures are a little out of date. Since they were taken I've dimpled the chain stays to make room for 42mm tires and made a few other component changes. I really love this bike.
Very nice! Saw the recent write-up in Bicycle Quarterly...
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Old 03-24-17, 02:45 PM
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@lonesomesteve,

Thanks for posting! Love your Freks I have more questions for you:

1) What did you use to dimple the stays?

2) What do you use for the seat tube braze on light mount?

3) Looks like internal wiring for a light. Did you drill a hole and reinforce or leave it as is?

4) Did you re-rake the fork any or leave it as is? How does a front load ride?

I've threatened this recently, but I want to learn brazing and do something like this to a Peugeot bare frame I recently got. You, @gugie and all the C/V BF members are inspiring!
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Old 03-24-17, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Recently I built myself another Frek to take over commuting and city utility riding duties (the Frek Randonneur is now reserved for brevets and other recreational riding). The city Frek frame was originally a 1990 Trek 420 and the fork came from a Rawland Stag. The build is still evolving, but the picture is pretty recent so reflects the current build. I intentionally used a Trek with a more stout tube set since I want this bike to feel solid and stable when hauling 30 lbs of groceries on the front rack. That it does. However, for fun fast riding I much prefer the Reynolds 531 built Frek Randonneur posted above.

You've been freking out lately! Gotta get up there sometime for a ride and compare notes.
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Old 03-24-17, 03:11 PM
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I feel almost guilty posting this, as I personally did none of the conversion. I was at the big swap in Westminster, looking for a project bike and found this, fully built. I added pedals and a waterbottle cage and have some fenders. It was quite cheap, sold by a fellow hobbyist who was about my height (I had to raise the seat slightly). The drivetrain IMO is just about perfect.



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Old 03-24-17, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Poguemahone
The drivetrain IMO is just about perfect.
That's because you're running a half-step plus granny setup with Suntour Barcons mated to a Cyclone RD. Looks like Vx FD. It doesn't get much better than that.
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Old 03-24-17, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave
@lonesomesteve,

Thanks for posting! Love your Freks I have more questions for you:

1) What did you use to dimple the stays?

2) What do you use for the seat tube braze on light mount?

3) Looks like internal wiring for a light. Did you drill a hole and reinforce or leave it as is?

4) Did you re-rake the fork any or leave it as is? How does a front load ride?

I've threatened this recently, but I want to learn brazing and do something like this to a Peugeot bare frame I recently got. You, @gugie and all the C/V BF members are inspiring!
Steve uses MAPP gas, if I'm not mistaken. I limits you to silver brazing (not hot enough for brass), but you can build an entire frame with silver if you use plug type dropouts. 1 oz of silver solder is less than $30, flux for same can be had for about $8. You can get all the fix'ns for all of the brazed bits that the OP mentioned for less than $50. Get an old, broken down, unrideable frame and practice brazing until you've got it down.

What's stopping you?

I'll let Frekmeister Steve answer your questions.
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Old 03-24-17, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
When @nlerner came out to Portland, it was as if I'd known him for years. The Washington gang comes down to Portland every once in awhile (@Wildwood, @northbend, @Lascauxcaveman), always a treat, and others are starting to join. Us Portlanders need to return the favor this year!
Well, @gugie, that's because we *have* known each other for years, starting with our shared Garner Pro shop experiences; we just hadn't met yet!

And you Portlandians (and Washingtonians) are certainly welcome anytime in the Boston area. Yeah, our roads aren't particularly straight or level, but they are usually thick with cyclists, and we could even put together a brew/biking tour in the city, east coast style.
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Old 03-24-17, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mountaindave
@lonesomesteve,

Thanks for posting! Love your Freks I have more questions for you:

1) What did you use to dimple the stays?

2) What do you use for the seat tube braze on light mount?

3) Looks like internal wiring for a light. Did you drill a hole and reinforce or leave it as is?

4) Did you re-rake the fork any or leave it as is? How does a front load ride?

I've threatened this recently, but I want to learn brazing and do something like this to a Peugeot bare frame I recently got. You, @gugie and all the C/V BF members are inspiring!
Thanks, Dave.

I had help with the chainstay dimpling from Mark Bulgier. Mark is a former frame builder who worked for Davidson for many years. He happens to live about a mile or two from me. He has a home-built tool which is really nothing more than a C clamp with a couple bits welded on to it. It's really not rocket science, but it was great to have Mark's guidance when it came to respacing the rear end and making sure it was properly aligned. That will most likely have to be done after dimpling.

The light mount and light on the seat tube is the Compass tail light. It's a really beautifully made piece as you'd expect from Compass. The wiring is mostly internal and has been cleaned up a bit since I took the pictures (it's now routed through the rack rather than zip-tied to the outside). There's a hole on the bottom side of the down tube near the head tube where the wire enters. The hole is reinforce with a water bottle boss with the threads removed and a diamond reinforcement around that.

I left the fork alone. The Trek 614 was built with a fair amount of fork offset (55mm) so with 650b x 42mm trail is about 46mm which is low-ish but not BQ low. I find that to work really well with anything up to about 8 - 10 lbs in the front bag.

Dive in and give it a try, Dave! It's a ton of fun. I'd recommend finding an old junkyard free mountain bike or something to practice on a bit first before you take a torch to a frame you really care about. Then you can do some destructive testing to see how strong your brazing is. But it won't be long at all before you'll have the skill to do the kind of simple stuff I've been doing.
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