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Show Us Your 650B Conversions

Old 05-16-17, 10:43 PM
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This is an older frame and I can't be sure of the original wheel size. It may have come with tubulars, but the early frames had a lot of tire clearance. Thanks for the Info. I will measure 2 or 3 times to get the brake reach right.
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Old 05-17-17, 05:09 AM
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Sometimes those older frames were 27" and converting to 700c was enough to give clearance for 38mm tires. I've done a handful of such conversions and at most all they needed was a little judicious filing at the bottom of the slot that holds the brake shoe.
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Old 05-17-17, 10:00 AM
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I'm thinking my 1971 Raleigh Super Course might be a great candidate for a 650b conversion. If I remember right, it has 43cm chainstays, measured from BB center to axle center. Getting brakes to fit could be tricky, though, as the rear was originally a long reach centerpull to reach the 27" wheel.
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Old 05-17-17, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I'm thinking my 1971 Raleigh Super Course might be a great candidate for a 650b conversion. If I remember right, it has 43cm chainstays, measured from BB center to axle center. Getting brakes to fit could be tricky, though, as the rear was originally a long reach centerpull to reach the 27" wheel.
If the rear wheel brake reach is anything like Grand Prix of the era, I doubt you'd be able to find many brakes which could reach a 650B rim. My '74 GP needed a DC/Weinmann 750 centerpull with the pads located fairly far down in the slot just for a 27" wheel....
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Old 05-17-17, 12:32 PM
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@bear_a_bug, if I end up doing a conversion, I'd like to avoid modifying the frame (as in putting on canti bosses), but it's not out of the question. The cheap way to put brakes on would be to use drop bolts or something like that.

There are some very big dual pivot calipers. I put a pair on a project bike, and they worked just fine, and they were no-names. I don't know if they would be big enough for this project, though.
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Old 05-17-17, 01:59 PM
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Given the SuperCourses were spec'd for 27" wheels, you can usually fit quite a wide 700c tire on them. I don't quite see the point of going 650B (and I'd also worry about BB height issues).
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Old 05-17-17, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Given the SuperCourses were spec'd for 27" wheels, you can usually fit quite a wide 700c tire on them. I don't quite see the point of going 650B (and I'd also worry about BB height issues).
Ooh, good point! I'm very close to switching to 700c wheels. I have most of the components ready.
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Old 05-17-17, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
Given the SuperCourses were spec'd for 27" wheels, you can usually fit quite a wide 700c tire on them. I don't quite see the point of going 650B (and I'd also worry about BB height issues).
Hey! Talk of sticking with 700c wheels is not allowed in this thread!
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Old 05-17-17, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rgechols
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
Again, sweet build.

What low rider rack are you using?

Does it work well?
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Old 05-17-17, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by gomango
Again, sweet build.

What low rider rack are you using?

Does it work well?
It's a Jannd lowrider rack, aluminum. It was all scratched up so I had it powdercoated with the rest. So far so good; no extended tours but some 20-30 mile rides with laptop, etc. in front panniers. I swapped the old carbon forks with the co-op find steel touring forks, so I think they may have reduced the trail just a hair. Handles very nimbly, and probably behaves better with the front load as a result.
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Old 05-18-17, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rgechols
It's a Jannd lowrider rack, aluminum. It was all scratched up so I had it powdercoated with the rest. So far so good; no extended tours but some 20-30 mile rides with laptop, etc. in front panniers. I swapped the old carbon forks with the co-op find steel touring forks, so I think they may have reduced the trail just a hair. Handles very nimbly, and probably behaves better with the front load as a result.
Thanks!

I'll look into them at their site.
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Old 05-18-17, 10:41 AM
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I had my first taste of the Kool Aid today. This is a 1986 Centurion LeMans RS I picked up as a bare frame recently.



There's not quite as much room for fenders as I'd like (about 12mm between tire and caliper), but it would probably work. Plenty of reach on the brakes though.



The real tight spot, of course, is at the chainstays. I don't think I'll be moving on to 42s on this bike.




I finished building these wheels about two weeks ago and then test fit them on just about every bike in my garage. The R559s didn't quite reach the rims on the Sequoia or the 614, though a set of BDop offset pad holders would probably fix that. The tires wouldn't fit between the chainstays on the Lemon D or the Pinarello Gran Turismo. The Voyageur had the brake reach and massive tire clearance, but I didn't want to use a frame with borked geometry for my first 650B experience. So the Centurion got the call.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:17 AM
  #413  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
I had my first taste of the Kool Aid today. This is a 1986 Centurion LeMans RS I picked up as a bare frame recently.



There's not quite as much room for fenders as I'd like (about 12mm between tire and caliper), but it would probably work. Plenty of reach on the brakes though.



The real tight spot, of course, is at the chainstays. I don't think I'll be moving on to 42s on this bike.




I finished building these wheels about two weeks ago and then test fit them on just about every bike in my garage. The R559s didn't quite reach the rims on the Sequoia or the 614, though a set of BDop offset pad holders would probably fix that. The tires wouldn't fit between the chainstays on the Lemon D or the Pinarello Gran Turismo. The Voyageur had the brake reach and massive tire clearance, but I didn't want to use a frame with borked geometry for my first 650B experience. So the Centurion got the call.

Welcome to the 650B club! Your Centurion looks just right as a 650B machine.


Regarding the tight chainstay clearance, the clearance on my 650B Bianchi with 38mm tires is also about that tight, and it also has A23 rims (with offset rear). I've probably put around 8 or 9 thousand miles on my Bianchi with no issues, including plenty of rides on dirt and gravel.


So if your wheelbuild is done well I think you'll be ok. In addition, it looks like you could buy just a bit more chainstay clearance by pushing the rear wheel back further in the dropouts.
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Old 05-18-17, 11:46 AM
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Soma posted this on their FB feed the other day. On some frames, if they have removable canti studs, you can use the promax brake extenders upside down in order to use cantis on a 700 to 650b conversion. Pictures in this thread: https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!...ob/kivrQD1KCLo


Last edited by ksryder; 05-18-17 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 05-18-17, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rowebr
In addition, it looks like you could buy just a bit more chainstay clearance by pushing the rear wheel back further in the dropouts.
I'm not sure about that. The chainstays are crimped and I think sliding the wheel back might just take me past the crimped part. I do think it's fine as it is though. I've got a couple of bikes with clearance this tight on 700x28s. At least these tires have the excuse of being wide. I built the wheels myself, so if they don't stay true I know who to talk to about it.
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Old 05-18-17, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
Hey! Talk of sticking with 700c wheels is not allowed in this thread!
+ 1. Talk of not spending more money on old bikes is not allowed on any C&V thread,
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Old 05-18-17, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
I'm not sure about that. The chainstays are crimped and I think sliding the wheel back might just take me past the crimped part. I do think it's fine as it is though. I've got a couple of bikes with clearance this tight on 700x28s. At least these tires have the excuse of being wide. I built the wheels myself, so if they don't stay true I know who to talk to about it.


Just looked at your photo again...you're right of course, sorry for the bad suggestion!


Do you have enough miles on the Centurion for a ride report? I just saw a sweet black and yellow LeMans outside my office so this has got me thinking...
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Old 05-18-17, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rowebr
Do you have enough miles on the Centurion for a ride report? I just saw a sweet black and yellow LeMans outside my office so this has got me thinking...
Only 10 miles so far, and I never rode it with other wheels/tires so I'm kind of getting a feel for the fit, frame, wheels and tires all together. Today I was mostly thinking about the feel of the tires. The 650B experience seems pretty much as advertised -- fast rolling with some nice squish. The real test will be when I take it out on chip seal, but it didn't pretty well over cracked pavement and various bike lane debris. I was running about 45 psi in front and a bit over 50 in back. I could probably drop that a bit, but it seemed OK for decent pavement.

I'm very pleased with the tires. All the reviews I read said that the Compass tires are better than the Pari Motos, but I was able to check the Pari Motos out locally and I have to say I have socks that aren't as supple as these tires so for half the cost of LLPs I decided to give them a try. My first impression is that they roll about as well as my Conti GP 4 Seasons, which is very good.
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Old 05-18-17, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
I'm very pleased with the tires. All the reviews I read said that the Compass tires are better than the Pari Motos, but I was able to check the Pari Motos out locally and I have to say I have socks that aren't as supple as these tires so for half the cost of LLPs I decided to give them a try. My first impression is that they roll about as well as my Conti GP 4 Seasons, which is very good.
Pari Motos are great tires. In my experience their only drawback is that they have a very thin tread so they tend to only last about half as long as Compass tires. Per mile, they cost about the same.

That's a really fun looking bike! You've started down a slippery slope.
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Old 05-18-17, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by lonesomesteve
Pari Motos are great tires. In my experience their only drawback is that they have a very thin tread so they tend to only last about half as long as Compass tires. Per mile, they cost about the same.
Thanks. I had it in my mind as being the opposite, but going back and looking at this very helpful discussion, I see that you are right. I was apparently remembering the stuff about the gravel casing version of the Pari Motos (which I don't have) offering better puncture protection but forgetting the part about the thinner tread. Anyway, since I was just dipping my toe in to test the waters the price point made them an easier choice. It sounds like performance-wise they might be somewhere between the standard LLP and the extra light LLP.
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Old 05-18-17, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder
Soma posted this on their FB feed the other day. On some frames, if they have removable canti studs, you can use the promax brake extenders upside down in order to use cantis on a 700 to 650b conversion. Pictures in this thread: https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!...ob/kivrQD1KCLo

That's a pretty nifty trick. What problem are they intended to solve, if not this?
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Old 05-22-17, 09:22 PM
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About 350 happy miles so far on this conversion (not that the 700C version was anything but fabulous). My 1987 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer:



And here it is in 700C (28's in this shot) form for comparison:



There were good clearances for 42mm tires in back, but only 45mm between the fork tangs, which didn't seem enough. And the combination of dual QR on the Tektro 556 calipers and Ergo levers just clears the 38m Loup Loup Pass tires (on Pacenti 23mm Brevet rims), which are plenty of plush. The crappy Seattle pavement with lots of cracks between concrete slabs is now a non-issue. It was tremendous on the 5-mile gravel stretch of the Port Angeles Metric Century a few weeks ago. We did a 32-mile ride yesterday on lovely and quiet, but heavily chip-sealed roads. I almost didn't notice the pavement quality, which had been less fun in years past.

Steering and handling seem very similar to the 700C setup. It was very good ("confident" is how I've described this bike with 700x32 Compass tires) before and at least as good, if not better, now. I'd asked about differences in these qualities earlier in this thread, and now understand why they're not mentioned specifically.



To gain a smidgen of pedal clearance with the lowered BB, which was not high to start with, buddy @RiddleOfSteel was willing to part with these lovely 170mm Sugino AT cranks, replacing my favorite 175mm Ritchey Logics in the whole bike shots above. Weights and Q-Factor were identical between the two cranks, although the 126mm BB for the AT's was a tiny bit heavier.



The slightly lower gearing with smaller and no heavier wheel+tires, with the shorter crank, combine to make this already fun bike even quicker getting up to speed. And I now have clearance for fenders plus fat tires. Some 50mm Berthouds will get fitted in the next few weeks, using the clever fender mounts incorporated in the frame.

I'm not selling the 700C wheels (yet?), but the conversion makes this bike so much versatile. It almost seems like M. Marinoni designed it for this purpose 30 years ago.

Last edited by Dfrost; 05-22-17 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 05-22-17, 11:10 PM
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Wonderful conversion, @Dfrost, that's a sweet build. Is that a Sachs drivetrain on there? I love the AT cranks but, dang, they take a long BB axle! I had to use a similar BB plus a spacer on my Trek 710!
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Old 05-22-17, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost
Nice bike, really rocks those 650s
What Rack is that?
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Old 05-22-17, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost
About 350 happy miles so far on this conversion (not that the 700C version was anything but fabulous). My 1987 Marinoni SLX Sports Tourer:

It's a gorgeous bike in either configuration. I really like the Sugino crank too.
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