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Show Us Your 650B Conversions

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Show Us Your 650B Conversions

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Old 09-09-07, 10:04 PM
  #26  
mikepoole
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Anyone able to make a subjective ride comparison between 650B and 28x1-1/2 ("roadster" aka 40-635)? I have a feeling I'd love the 650B but can't find anything locally to try out...
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Old 09-09-07, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mikepoole View Post
Anyone able to make a subjective ride comparison between 650B and 28x1-1/2 ("roadster" aka 40-635)? I have a feeling I'd love the 650B but can't find anything locally to try out...
Clarification- not on the same frame, obviously.
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Old 09-12-07, 04:26 PM
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So what rims are you putting these 650B tires on. 650B? Or are you squeezing them onto mtn bike rims?(you'd really have to pry those babies on!) So the 650B is becoming popular? Where do you get the tires?
The reason I ask is I have a 1950 Peugeot Mixte that has that tire size and I need to get some. I haven't found too many supplier up here in Canada the carry them.
Here's a pic.......
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Old 09-12-07, 04:58 PM
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Most mtn. bike rims are smaller than 650B (559mm ERD vs. 584 ERD), so 650B tires wouldn't work. In terms of rims, I bought a pair of Sun CR-18s from Harris, and as many others have noted, they're an annoyingly tight squeeze for mounting tires (i.e., they've been made a bit too large). I don't believe Harris is carrying them any longer until Sun improves on that design. In terms of tires, Panaracer Col de la Vie are ones lots of folks like and can be had pretty inexpensively. Cycles Valhalla is also selling basic 650B tires at a very reasonable price: http://www.cyclesvalhalla.com/650btires.html

Neal
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Old 09-12-07, 06:28 PM
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If you notice on the first post my Le Tour 650B has the CR18 rims and the tires were almost impossible to mount. I have since acquired the Col de la Vie tires since these pics were taken and they were still harder than heck to mount (I ruined a few tubes with the metal tire levers getting them on).

Unfortunately my Le Tour is just a commuter/townie ride since I wouldn't trust it on a tour where I'm far away from home (or the bus!). I would be screwed if I got a flat!
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Old 02-13-08, 12:35 PM
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bump! I'm interested in seeing more! I read on the Sheldon Brown site that early Raleigh and Schwinn mtn bikes had 650B wheels - are they hard to find? Are interested folk just better off buying rims and spokes and building the wheels up?
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Old 02-29-08, 03:35 PM
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When performing the 650b conversion, does it typically require a new fork?

I was coincidentally thinking about using 650b's on my new (to me) Falcon frame.
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Old 02-29-08, 06:04 PM
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Going from a regular road fork (700c or 27 inch wheels, no canti's) to 650B shouldn't require a new fork but you will probably need to get some really long reach brakes.
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Old 02-29-08, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kogswell View Post
The same reason that Schwinn decided to use 597 (S-6) instead of 590 (650A).

tires = money

It's S-6 all over again.

For the record, Kogswell is pro 650A.

Do a lot of people buying the P/R opt for 650A wheels?
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Old 02-29-08, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Most mtn. bike rims are smaller than 650B (559mm ERD vs. 584 ERD), so 650B tires wouldn't work. In terms of rims, I bought a pair of Sun CR-18s from Harris, and as many others have noted, they're an annoyingly tight squeeze for mounting tires (i.e., they've been made a bit too large). I don't believe Harris is carrying them any longer until Sun improves on that design. In terms of tires, Panaracer Col de la Vie are ones lots of folks like and can be had pretty inexpensively. Cycles Valhalla is also selling basic 650B tires at a very reasonable price: http://www.cyclesvalhalla.com/650btires.html

Neal
Velocity also sells 650B rims. They say Bead seat diameter 584
Weight 472f ERD = 567

http://www.velocityusa.com/default.asp?contentID=634
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Old 03-22-08, 03:45 PM
  #36  
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Here are some pics of my latest 650B conversion. The starting point is a St. Etienne early 70s road bike w/ Reynolds 531 straight gauge main triangle. I had it powdercoated gloss black and for the original fork, I substituted a Reynolds 531 fork that was probably from a Raleigh International (a fairly cheap eBay purchase, probably due to the trashed paint and chrome on the fork). The replacement fork gave me much more rake (for a lower-trail geometry), plus English threading and steerer tube size. Rims are Mavic, hubs are Campy NR, tires are Panaracer Nifty Swiftys, crankset is Stronglight mod. 93 w/ 42t ring, brakes are Weinmann sidepulls with lots of reach, fenders are 49-year old Bluemels Airweight alloy, saddle is ADGA, bars are Luxe, stem is Nitto, brake levers are Weinmann, grips are home-made leather strips with a few coats of shellac, chainguard is no-name from a Belgian eBay seller as is the headbadge, rear rack is English chromed steel. Right now it's set up as a single speed, but I have the parts to turn it into a 5-speed. Right now it's great fun as a single speed. Total weight is 23 lbs on my hanging scale.

Neal







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Old 03-22-08, 04:07 PM
  #37  
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Wow! That bike is really great looking. Love the chainguard. I just picked up a NOS set of those fenders at my LBS but I have some crazy good looking French fenders to use instead.

Love it!
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Old 03-22-08, 04:23 PM
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Thanks! I thought about hammered Honjo fenders for this bike, but just can't convince myself to pay that kind of money. Then, I considered Velo Orange, but wasn't sure about the fit. I was going to use these fenders on another project, but they're a better fit here with the relatively wide cushy tires. The chainguard was fairly cheap, probably because it's a kind of brushed alloy, not very shine-able, but I like the look.

Neal
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Old 03-22-08, 04:58 PM
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Just for giggles and an excuse to post pics I'll go ahead and post some pics of the fenders I bought.




They are really something else in person. I've also got a sweet little chrome front rack with integrated dual headlights I'll use and I have a couple of dyno hubs to choose from to power them. All I really need to do is decide on a frame. I've got a few hanging around but I think I want something with some curly Nervex lugs. I have been thinking about going with a 3 speed SA hub as well. Geez everytime I get to thinking about this build the list gets longer!
Decisions! I've got some more collecting to do.........
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Old 03-23-08, 07:47 AM
  #40  
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I became a 650B fan without even knowing it ! I got a pre-war Royal Enfield off EBay for 1, it was in a real mess with everything covered in black or silver paint. After a long search while the restoration was under way I finally found a couple of 26x1,1/2 rims which I laced onto some period hubs, it wasn't until I got the Michelin world tour tyres for the wheels that I realised that 26x1,1/2 and 650B are the same animal. I think they give a really relaxed ride with plenty of cushion effect.
Incidently the tyres that came with the bike were both "war grade" Dunlops, both totally shot but one innertube was in good condition so I re-used it for "originality". This size of tyre was popular on the old Royal Mail Post Office bikes.
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Old 03-23-08, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
650A - the old 590mm size used on old Raleigh 3 speeds? I would think the ride quality wouldn't be noticeably different from a 650B but in practice the selection of rims and tires for the former size is pretty scanty these days.
Yeah, about the only 650A (ISO590mm) tires available today are:

Bell Sports Streetster (folding, at many Walmarts)
Continental City Ride
Innova Cloud Nine
IRC British pattern
Kenda utility
Kenda knobby
Michelin Dynamic
Michelin Transworld City
Michelin World Tour
Nokian Rollspeed TS
Panaracer Col de Vie
Panaracer Passhunter (light knobby)
Primo V-Trac
Pyramid utility
Schwalbe Marathon
Schwalbe Marathon Plus
Schwalbe Reflex
Schwalbe Evolution
Schwable Speedair
Specialized TriSport
Tufo MS3 (tubular clincher)
Tufo WS3 (tubular clincher)
Vittoria Randonneur
Vredestein Girando

I can't imagine why Kogswell is pro 650A.

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Old 03-23-08, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Yeah, about the only 650A (ISO590mm) tires available today are:

[snip]

I can't imagine why Kogswell is pro 650A.

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Well, the Kogswell P/R is actually a 650B bike (and available in a 700c wheeled version). I'm all for 590mm wheels/tires, but of the list you offer, I've yet to see more than a couple readily available in this country. I tried ordering the Panaracer Col de la Vies from Harris, but they were sold out. They thought they could get more, but ETA was unclear.

Neal
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Old 03-23-08, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Well, the Kogswell P/R is actually a 650B bike
I'm sure the list would love the benefit of your insights on why the P/R frame is suitable for 650B but not 650A. Perhaps you could explain the major geometrical parameters of the P/R that were optimized for the 650B rim size, standing, as it does, 3mm shorter than 650A.

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Old 03-23-08, 09:10 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I'm sure the list would love the benefit of your insights on why the P/R frame is suitable for 650B but not 650A. Perhaps you could explain the major geometrical parameters of the P/R that were optimized for the 650B rim size, standing, as it does, 3mm shorter than 650A.

Best,
tcs
I think I remember MG talking about being able to use either, but the nicer tires were available in the US in 650B size.

Now, as a practical matter, it may well be that the connoisseurs of fine things bicycle have decided that 590 is too pedestrian and not sufficiently French, so the other 650 it must "B" but that's just a guess, and probably obstructively cynical.
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Old 03-23-08, 09:20 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I'm sure the list would love the benefit of your insights on why the P/R frame is suitable for 650B but not 650A. Perhaps you could explain the major geometrical parameters of the P/R that were optimized for the 650B rim size, standing, as it does, 3mm shorter than 650A.

Best,
tcs
Geez, did the Easter Bunny not bring you enough chocolate today?

Well, the whole point of the P/R is that it's created in the tradition of French 650B bikes and is intended to take advantage of that wheel size and tire choice. Could you run 650A wheels? Given the grumblings on the KOG list about canti posts being a shade too high, perhaps that might be a good solution. I happen to have one, and am very happy with 650B wheels on mine.

Neal
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Old 03-24-08, 11:15 AM
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An intermediate size between 700C and mountain bike 26" makes a lot of sense from a frame geometry standpoint in the real world. Now, the traditional sizes of 650A and 650B are in fact just a few millimeters different - close enough that it's almost impossible to design a bike that couldn't use either, but just far enough apart that each requires their own unique bead seat diameter rims.

Like Mr. Kogswell alluded to above, the point of the recent 650B movement was the fact that it was so obscure. You pay for molds to build 650B tires, you "reintroduce" and promote the size and - voila - you are one of the very few sources of tires the owners must have. This is eactly what Rivendell and Bicycle Quarterly have both done, and what some other builders are now doing with the 650B mountain bike knobbies.

From a marketing standpoint, one could write just as much gilded prose about the grand popular cycling in England on 650As as has been written about the elite cycling in France on 650Bs. But there is no genius behind promoting the readily available 650A - any little botique shop (or Nashbar!) could import some of the many tires in current production in that size with no more effort than adding another line on their next invoice. Shoot, your customers could even go down to Walmart and buy a serviceable 650A.

Now, the dirty little secret of 650B: 650A is a very common tire size for wheelchairs. If the promoters of a modern implimentation of an intermediate bicycle wheel size had gotten behind 650A instead, wheelchair users could have benefited from a greater selection of good tires and lower prices. Post snippy little personal attacks if you want, but I'm sorry that benefitting the larger society wasn't important to the able bodied, highly mobile bike folks that made the 650B decision.

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tcs

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Old 03-24-08, 09:42 PM
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I'm hoping someone can offer me some advice. I'm building my lady-friend a step-through. It's an Aussie Super Elliott from the 50s and, from the flick test, seems to be excellent lightweight steel such as 531.

Anyway, she likes fat tires for comfort so I thought I'd build 650 (B or A, I have no aesthetic preference). Brake reach is not an issue as I will be using hub brakes. So my question is:

What sorts of tire widths/heights do you think will fit? Do 650A come in the wider sizes (42-50mm). Fenders will be fitted, and I'd like to have it looking quite flush (no large gaps), so the bigger tire the better. The frame appears to have originally been made for 27x1 1/4 (630mm).

LBS's around here have little knowledge of 650 stuff so I may have to commit to purchase without being able to try them out first, hence my asking online.

Neal and Smurfy, bikes are looking fantastic!!! What width tires are you both using? On conversions, as the tires get bigger do they start to rub on the chainstays or the fenders first?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-25-08, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Wotan View Post
What sorts of tire widths/heights do you think will fit? Do 650A come in the wider sizes (42-50mm). Fenders will be fitted, and I'd like to have it looking quite flush (no large gaps), so the bigger tire the better. The frame appears to have originally been made for 27x1 1/4 (630mm).
Going from 630mm to 584mm or 590mm, you should be able to put very wide tires on the bike, but I think your choice will come down to what you can get a hold of. The Nifty Swiftys on the bike I show measure about 33mm wide. Given that most 27 1 1/4 tires are 32mm wide, you should be able to go a fair amount wider than that.

Neal
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Old 03-25-08, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
An intermediate size between 700C and mountain bike 26" makes a lot of sense from a frame geometry standpoint in the real world. Now, the traditional sizes of 650A and 650B are in fact just a few millimeters different - close enough that it's almost impossible to design a bike that couldn't use either, but just far enough apart that each requires their own unique bead seat diameter rims.
.... <snip> .....
Best,
tcs

tcs,

Thanks for the 650A education. Looking at Sheldon Brown's site, he has a lot of info on tire sizes and wheels, and Harris Cycles sells tires and rims in the 650A size.

I was going to convert a road bike to 650B to put larger, softer tires on it but now I'm rethinking this project. I may be better off with 650A rims and the more easily available 26 1 3/8" tires available for $10 at any Walmart! I'm not interested in '650B' to be snooty or cool (or French), but to build a commuter/gravel road bike that can take fenders using an old road frame.

One question: 650B is smaller than 650A by 3mm and may allow a wider tire to fit into an old 700C sport bike frame. How wide are these 650A Bell tires, and what radius is the widest part of the tire from the axle? Then I can measure the frame I'm looking at to see if these 650A wheels/tires will fit. For now I'm assuming that the widest point on the tires is about 323mm from the axle, as I have read that the widest point on a 650B tire is at 320mm. I don't have any 650A or B wheels to trial fit, so I'm taking measurments and then ordering rims and spokes through a local bike shop.
(IMHO it also looks like 650A might look better under fenders, as I think many 650B conversions with fenders look to have the fenders riding way too high.)
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Old 03-30-08, 11:46 AM
  #50  
Noah Scape
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After this thread popped back up, it inspired me to take a couple of decent pics of a 650B conversion I did for my 11 year-old daughter. It's a 1985 Schwinn World Sport. One of her friends got some kind of a new comfort bike that she really liked and this was my compromise.

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