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Show Us Your 650B Conversions

Old 03-24-17, 05:28 PM
  #376  
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Originally Posted by gugie
You've been freking out lately! Gotta get up there sometime for a ride and compare notes.
Absolutely, Gugie! Let me know if you're ever up Seattle way and we'll go for a ride.

You'll be at the un-meeting again this year I presume?
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Old 03-24-17, 05:35 PM
  #377  
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Originally Posted by gugie
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.
Gugie's right. I've been using a $60 MAPP gas torch from home depot. Its an inexpensive way to get started, but limits you to only silver. A MAPP torch and silver works okay for the kind of modifications I've been doing, but I would definitely take the step up to a full oxy/acetylene rig if I were going to build a full bike or even a full fork.
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Old 03-24-17, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Absolutely, Gugie! Let me know if you're ever up Seattle way and we'll go for a ride.

You'll be at the un-meeting again this year I presume?
That's my plan. But I also would like to get back east for French Fender Day, it may come down to choosing one or the other. SWMBO doesn't plan my activities, but tends to have veto powers ;-)

Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Gugie's right. I've been using a $60 MAPP gas torch from home depot. Its an inexpensive way to get started, but limits you to only silver. A MAPP torch and silver works okay for the kind of modifications I've been doing, but I would definitely take the step up to a full oxy/acetylene rig if I were going to build a full bike or even a full fork.
The one place that one might have problems brazing with MAPP might be the fork crown. I think this guy claims you can do a fork with silver. Having brazed a few steerer tubes, it would probably take a long time to get that area up to temp using MAPP.

Jim G. uses propane and a used oxygenator. For a home setup, it seems like a good way to go. Oxygen is free from the air + electricity, and propane is easy to get. All of the welding shops that have tank exchanges are typically not open on the weekend, so I have to sneak off from work when I get low.
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Old 03-24-17, 06:00 PM
  #379  
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
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.

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.
I seem to recall a post about said C-clamp with welded on piece of shaped metal.

I have precisely what you mentioned to practice on. I've been looking at exactly your MAPP setup to get started. The only thing holding me back is time - crazy busy recently. Once school let's out I'll have the summer off to start learning.

Side note: just scored a sweet set of 7s Dura Ace hubs at a LBS while traveling to lace to my Pacenti SL23 rims for my ultimate 7s half-step setup. Stay tuned this summer for a 650b speed machine!
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Old 04-10-17, 09:50 PM
  #380  
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An older set of 38mm tires finally wore enough to justify a new set of 42s. An appreciable difference for sure, rides great!

Save
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Old 04-11-17, 09:43 AM
  #381  
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Hey folks, I still haven't tasted the 650b beverage. What fraction of the time do you folks ride your 650b bikes?

Anyone in NYC or Ulster County, NY willing to see if your wheels fit in one of my bikes? If they do, I'll consider a pair of my own.
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Old 04-11-17, 09:04 PM
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Converting to 650b is like meth - not even once. If you do, all of your bikes start to become 650b and you can't wait for another hit - I mean project.

To specifically answer your question - I have a lovely 5 speed town bike that I run around on in town, but anything else is likely going to be 650b. I have a Gitane that can fit 700x34c tubulars so that one stays as is. Oh, and a Centurion Ironman with 700c tubulars for when I want to pretend I'm a racer, but everything else tends to go 650b.
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Old 04-11-17, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Gugie's right. I've been using a $60 MAPP gas torch from home depot. Its an inexpensive way to get started, but limits you to only silver. A MAPP torch and silver works okay for the kind of modifications I've been doing, but I would definitely take the step up to a full oxy/acetylene rig if I were going to build a full bike or even a full fork.
lonesomesteve, don't want to derail this thread too much further, but I have been hankerin for a while to try my hand at brazing and I thought racks might be a good place to start. Do you think MAPP + silver would be ok for that sort of thing?
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Old 04-11-17, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
Hey folks, I still haven't tasted the 650b beverage. What fraction of the time do you folks ride your 650b bikes?

Anyone in NYC or Ulster County, NY willing to see if your wheels fit in one of my bikes? If they do, I'll consider a pair of my own.
Ah, the old "free hit" gambit.

Works every time.
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Old 04-20-17, 07:47 AM
  #385  
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Huh, this one never made it here.

It's a 74 Raleigh Super Tourer which was in pretty poor shape when I bought it on the auction site. Knew it would make a nice conversion if I gave it to Gugie and let him take his torch to it. He also made the custom racks on the front. Rear rack is a modified TA-style centerpull rack. I use it for a light saddlebag support/standoff.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-20-17, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by tricky
lonesomesteve, don't want to derail this thread too much further, but I have been hankerin for a while to try my hand at brazing and I thought racks might be a good place to start. Do you think MAPP + silver would be ok for that sort of thing?
Looks like lonesomesteve is busy with his torch, but there's only a few times you need to use brass on a bike, and there are silver options for them as well. A slotted dropout (think Campy 1010 style) needs a large void filled, and brass is the material for that. There are socket type dropouts available as well (Trek used them almost exclusively a few decades ago), and those can be silver brazed.

Almost all of the racks I've built have used stainless steel tubing, and you can't brass braze them. I like stainless since they don't need any finish outside of a bit of filing, sanding, and polishing. Racks are a great place to start. I've got lots of pictures of the process on my flickr site. Outside of MAPP gas, flux and silver, you should have a vise (doesn't have to be a big one for racks), and a small set of files. Make sure you have a round one ("rat tail") that is close to the diameter of tubing you want to use so you can file a miter fit. To start I'd use Harris 50 rather than 56 (the number is the percentage of silver in the alloy), you can make small fillets with it, and it doesn't melt instantly like 56 does.

If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.
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Old 04-20-17, 12:17 PM
  #387  
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Originally Posted by noglider
Hey folks, I still haven't tasted the 650b beverage. What fraction of the time do you folks ride your 650b bikes?

Anyone in NYC or Ulster County, NY willing to see if your wheels fit in one of my bikes? If they do, I'll consider a pair of my own.
I'd say over the past ~2.5 years since I tasted the Kool Aid it's been 90%+ of my riding. That's across two bikes, one* replacing the other. That might change this summer with a few 700c projects nearing completion and my increasing interest in NE MTBing, but I'd guess the 650b Raleigh will still see 75%+ in the the future. Give it a go. Plenty of benefits depending on where you ride.

If you're ever in the New Haven area with a bike I've got a wheelset you could try. 38 & 42mm tires available.

*I kind of take it for granted that the usual suspects here have a catalog memory of the bikes regularly posted, but feel I should mention that the green Raleigh above is another of Gugiestein's Monsters. It's a '71 Int'l that gugie modified a good deal (date-correct decals are waiting for me to get to them...). The fork is re-raked to low trail (can't recall the value, but have it in a spreadsheet), internal wiring for lighting which I hope to utilize soon, rear brake bridge replaced w/ a 'fender mount bridge' a la Weigle, custom stainless front bag support and rear stainless rack (w/ extension), canti posts, braze-on mid-fork rack mounts w/ custom CrMo(?) low rider rack I'll put to use sooner rather than later, seat tube pump mount, custom decaleur in the works. Think that covers it. Oh yeah, respaced to 130, dropouts re-aligned afterward.

It's very maneuverable at low speed on rocky NE single track and is well behaved at high speed (easing her toward 50 mph lately). No speed-wobbles yet... A great, comfortable all day bike with more cargo capacity than usually needed. I'm looking forward to a couple bike-packing trips this summer if all goes to plan. Big kudos to gugie for his transformation of the bike!!

The bones:

Last edited by Sir_Name; 04-20-17 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 04-20-17, 12:36 PM
  #388  
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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.


I can see why you love it. That is a very pretty bike!

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Old 04-20-17, 12:36 PM
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Thanks, @Sir_Name.
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Old 05-07-17, 03:01 PM
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I just wanted to put in another data point for conversions: 1983 Trek 620 (no canti brakes):



Mocked up a 650b wheelset with VO rims and Compass Babyshoe 42s into my Trek. Clearances in the front and rear, and a Dia Compe 750 centerpull works for both (no mods necessary).

Thinking about making a quick swap possible for the Trek (normally uses 700c 35mm tires) for use on rougher trail rides...
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Old 05-08-17, 06:11 AM
  #391  
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Originally Posted by gugie
Looks like lonesomesteve is busy with his torch, but there's only a few times you need to use brass on a bike, and there are silver options for them as well. A slotted dropout (think Campy 1010 style) needs a large void filled, and brass is the material for that. There are socket type dropouts available as well (Trek used them almost exclusively a few decades ago), and those can be silver brazed.

Almost all of the racks I've built have used stainless steel tubing, and you can't brass braze them. I like stainless since they don't need any finish outside of a bit of filing, sanding, and polishing. Racks are a great place to start. I've got lots of pictures of the process on my flickr site. Outside of MAPP gas, flux and silver, you should have a vise (doesn't have to be a big one for racks), and a small set of files. Make sure you have a round one ("rat tail") that is close to the diameter of tubing you want to use so you can file a miter fit. To start I'd use Harris 50 rather than 56 (the number is the percentage of silver in the alloy), you can make small fillets with it, and it doesn't melt instantly like 56 does.

If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.
All good to know, thanks for the links!

What else do you recommend for rack building? Where do you get the stainless steel tubing?
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Old 05-08-17, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm
All good to know, thanks for the links!

What else do you recommend for rack building? Where do you get the stainless steel tubing?
Stainless tubing can be found at several places online. Onlinemetals.com, aircraftspruce, and McMaster Carr are all places to go for tubing. The internet is full of pics for ideas. A tubing bender is very useful. I often cut tubing with a small pipe cutter. Tubing clamps can be made with wood scraps. 5/16 and 3/8 tubing will be all you need. Soak your finished creation in hot wate to dissolve spent flux. Small bits can be found at framebuildersupply.com and other places.
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Old 05-08-17, 06:52 AM
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Yep, CrMo lowriders. Powder coating them would makes for a durable finish.

Originally Posted by Sir_Name
I'd say over the past ~2.5 years since I tasted the Kool Aid it's been 90%+ of my riding. That's across two bikes, one* replacing the other. That might change this summer with a few 700c projects nearing completion and my increasing interest in NE MTBing, but I'd guess the 650b Raleigh will still see 75%+ in the the future. Give it a go. Plenty of benefits depending on where you ride.

If you're ever in the New Haven area with a bike I've got a wheelset you could try. 38 & 42mm tires available.

*I kind of take it for granted that the usual suspects here have a catalog memory of the bikes regularly posted, but feel I should mention that the green Raleigh above is another of Gugiestein's Monsters. It's a '71 Int'l that gugie modified a good deal (date-correct decals are waiting for me to get to them...). The fork is re-raked to low trail (can't recall the value, but have it in a spreadsheet), internal wiring for lighting which I hope to utilize soon, rear brake bridge replaced w/ a 'fender mount bridge' a la Weigle, custom stainless front bag support and rear stainless rack (w/ extension), canti posts, braze-on mid-fork rack mounts w/ custom CrMo(?) low rider rack I'll put to use sooner rather than later, seat tube pump mount, custom decaleur in the works. Think that covers it. Oh yeah, respaced to 130, dropouts re-aligned afterward.

It's very maneuverable at low speed on rocky NE single track and is well behaved at high speed (easing her toward 50 mph lately). No speed-wobbles yet... A great, comfortable all day bike with more cargo capacity than usually needed. I'm looking forward to a couple bike-packing trips this summer if all goes to plan. Big kudos to gugie for his transformation of the bike!!

The bones:
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Old 05-08-17, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Yep, CrMo lowriders. Powder coating them would makes for a durable finish.
Thanks, that's the plan. I need to track down a local PC'er.
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Old 05-08-17, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sir_Name
Thanks, that's the plan. I need to track down a local PC'er.
Simple job, shouldn't cost more than a couple of Jackson's
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Old 05-11-17, 03:28 PM
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Here's my custom Dean road bike from the early 90s, after a p/c and conversion to 650b. Reynolds 853, and a swapped touring fork to accommodate the wider tires.

Custom Dean 650b conversion by Reid Echols, on Flickr
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Old 05-11-17, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rgechols
Here's my custom Dean road bike from the early 90s, after a p/c and conversion to 650b. Reynolds 853, and a swapped touring fork to accommodate the wider tires.

Custom Dean 650b conversion by Reid Echols, on Flickr
Great looking bike.

Any driveside pics handy?
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Old 05-16-17, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango
Great looking bike.

Any driveside pics handy?
Hey thanks! I've admired a number of your projects from afar!

Here's the requisite driveside pic. It seems to like green walls.


Custom Dean 650b conversion by rgechols, on Flickr
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Old 05-16-17, 08:38 PM
  #399  
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@rgechols, what brakes are on your conversion? I have an older Falcon frame that I am considering a 650 conversion for.
thanks
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Old 05-16-17, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by flypaca
@rgechols, what brakes are on your conversion? I have an older Falcon frame that I am considering a 650 conversion for.
thanks
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Good old Tektro 559s. Should work for most conversions; if you're converting from a 27" wheel you might need to run the super long reach Dia Compe center pulls that Rivendell sells.
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