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Show Us Your 650B Conversions

Old 07-25-12, 10:53 AM
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'84 Triumph Gran Course w/ 650x32 Michelins. Velocity Dyad Rims, hub brakes.
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Old 07-25-12, 10:55 AM
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Well it's new and not a conversion but this is my VO Polyvalent:



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Old 07-25-12, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox

'84 Triumph Gran Course w/ 650x32 Michelins. Velocity Dyad Rims, hub brakes.
ZP, I haven't seen you post in a while. Did those wheels come from your other bike or is this another 650B added to the stable?
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Old 07-25-12, 11:12 AM
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I decided to get on my bike again yesterday after a 9 month long break from riding (work hours) and finally conquered my arch-enemy: McEwan Road! I changed the gearing early spring just to be able to tackle this road and now, I can say my Schwinn is finally done!

At the top of Cummins skyway:


After-ride pics in Crockett:



It's transmission:


Veloce compact 50/34
Shimano 9s 11-32
Ultegra 9s long cage dérailleur w/ 10t pulley wheels
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Old 07-25-12, 11:25 AM
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I love this bike every time I see it. Great setup.

Originally Posted by THEJAPINO
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Old 07-25-12, 11:30 AM
  #206  
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Commodus, I have been hoping to see a Poly set up as a rando. Nice work! What frame size is it? I usually ride a 55mm top tube which is smack in the middle of the two Options that Velo offers.. 54mm and 56mm. Thank-you for posting it.
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Old 07-25-12, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by pbmiata
Commodus, I have been hoping to see a Poly set up as a rando. Nice work! What frame size is it? I usually ride a 55mm top tube which is smack in the middle of the two Options that Velo offers.. 54mm and 56mm. Thank-you for posting it.
It has a 53cm top tube. I normally use a 53.5 or 54 on the road, but pair those with compact bars. This bike has Noodles, so it works out okay. So far my longest ride on it has been a 400 I did a few weeks back, and I had no issues with comfort at all, so I guess I must be pretty close on the fit.

It's a nice ride, I'm very happy with it though I suspect it's a bit stiffer than is really ideal for rando use.
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Old 07-25-12, 01:18 PM
  #208  
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ZP, I haven't seen you post in a while. Did those wheels come from your other bike or is this another 650B added to the stable?
ZP, seems the last time I saw those wheels was on the Creamcicle ride sporting those giant marshmallow's...no?

It's pictures like this that keep driving me to try a 650b set up....sweeeeeet!
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Old 07-25-12, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Commodus
Well it's new and not a conversion but this is my VO Polyvalent:



That's got to be one of the nicest Polyvalent builds I've seen including VO's own demo builds. Is this the new MkII frameset? How do you like it?
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Old 07-25-12, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston
That's got to be one of the nicest Polyvalent builds I've seen including VO's own demo builds. Is this the new MkII frameset? How do you like it?
Yes it is the MK2, I really like it a lot. The frameset is very logically designed, big fat tires and fenders go on very easily and it handles a front load invisibly. I also like the slack STA, which makes sufficient setback easy to achieve...although I'm using the Nitto steel super-setback post, but that's just because I already had it and it's pretty.

I do have to settle on a set of pedals though, the black 105s don't match at all.

Here are some more shots:



The Berthoud saddle is excellent.



I used a DA 7400 8 speed groupset. The rear derailleur handles the 11-30T cassette, though just barely. It shifts beautifully otherwise, and frankly makes me wonder why I would ever want to 'modernize'. The hubs also roll really well.





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Old 07-25-12, 02:19 PM
  #211  
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Originally Posted by Commodus
Yes it is the MK2, I really like it a lot. The frameset is very logically designed, big fat tires and fenders go on very easily and it handles a front load invisibly. I also like the slack STA, which makes sufficient setback easy to achieve...although I'm using the Nitto steel super-setback post, but that's just because I already had it and it's pretty.

I do have to settle on a set of pedals though, the black 105s don't match at all.

Here are some more shots:



The Berthoud saddle is excellent.



I used a DA 7400 8 speed groupset. The rear derailleur handles the 11-30T cassette, though just barely. It shifts beautifully otherwise, and frankly makes me wonder why I would ever want to 'modernize'. The hubs also roll really well.




Road pedals? Speedplays are my favorite, except that the Zeroes, X, and LA do not fair well if you're dismounting in dirt. Crank Brothers are my choice of MTB pedals.
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Old 07-25-12, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Commodus
It has a 53cm top tube. I normally use a 53.5 or 54 on the road, but pair those with compact bars. This bike has Noodles, so it works out okay. So far my longest ride on it has been a 400 I did a few weeks back, and I had no issues with comfort at all, so I guess I must be pretty close on the fit.

It's a nice ride, I'm very happy with it though I suspect it's a bit stiffer than is really ideal for rando use.
CENTimeters... Thanks for the response and also for the additonal pics. I saw one built up with more upright bars in shop in Salida CO but didn't think to take any measurements.
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Old 07-25-12, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Velognome
Nice collection pcb! I just aquired a Raleigh Comp GS frame trying to decide if 700x28's are going to be big enough for an "All-Arounder" build or if I should go with 650b's? I'
Thanks, glad you like 'em. We did manage to hit the trail by 3pm, did 3-4mi on paved path and about 10mi on dirt/gravel. I rode the Marinoni, it handled both pavement and dirt nicely. The dirt trail out of Piermont is subtly uphill for a couple of miles, 8-9mph felt fast. After the turnaround you realize how much climbing you did when you're buzzing down at 12-13mph, washing through gravel and bouncing off of rocks. I can ride pretty light despite being a Clydesdale, I only had a couple of hard jolts. My son is close to 90lbs lighter, but he doesn't have a lot of saddle time and found more rocks than I did. My 36mm CdlVs were fine, he got back to the car with two inflated tires, but the rear 30mm Ritchey Cross tire was flat by the time we got home. Don't know if it was a cut or a snakebite yet.

This is a long-winded way to say that I think 28mm is too narrow for you Comp GS if, and only if, you're going to actually ride it in the dirt where there's gravel and rocks and you're going to be pushing it. Fatter is definitely better around these parts, with all the roots and rocks poking out. If you're talking 90% pavement and 10% smooth hardpack paths, and you know how to ride light, should be passable.

But I think it'd be a whole lot funner with fatter rubber...looking at the Hetres on commodus' Polyvalent has my heart all a-flutter..
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Old 07-25-12, 11:05 PM
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This is the beauty of 650b conversions IMHO, repurposing a well-built frame with tight clearances, the much fatter tires allowing more wide-ranging adventures without sacrificing much on-pavement efficiency. I'll bet she handles fine with the new wheels and rubber, no harm is done to the frame by conversion, and an hour or so in the stand brings it back to road racing glory. It's not that this is better than a purpose-built 650b frame like the Polyvalent, it's just that if you're lucky you can do it well with a frame you already have that was originally built for 700c.


Originally Posted by THEJAPINO

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Old 07-25-12, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Puget Pounder
Thanks for the pics. Lovin' the Stout. Are those Maxy or Nifty tires? I have some Maxys that are about to go on a project. How do they ride?
Thanks, there's something "right" about the Stout despite the kinda tall post and tall stem. It's a little less elegant these days, I switched to aero levers so I could use cross levers up top, very handy in the dirt and now in use on almost every one of my riders. I also swapped the crank for a modern outboard-bearing compact double, makes shifting a lot less complex and no more worries about spindle lengths, no more shimming fixed cups for chainring clearance, etc.

The tires are Nifty Swiftys front and rear. I like 'em fine, but the Grand Bois Cypres are supposed to be more supple and better rolling. I'm kinda easy to please, I'm too busy grinnin' when I'm spinnin' to be thinking about whether tire A is suppler than tire B, whether the geometric trail is ideal for the baggage setup, etc. My reptilian brain stem digs the movement and speed, critical comparative thinking gets shortchanged so I can scan the road/trail for potholes, rocks, opening car doors and driftwood. YMMV.
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Old 07-26-12, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Velognome
ZP, seems the last time I saw those wheels was on the Creamcicle ride sporting those giant marshmallow's...no?
Originally Posted by Puget Pounder
ZP, I haven't seen you post in a while. Did those wheels come from your other bike or is this another 650B added to the stable?
Yeah those are the wheels from the Creamcicle. I tried the White Hetres on the Gran Course frame but alas the clearance was too tight in the rear (that's what she said)

Instead its sporting some Michelins that I grabbed from Jan Heine's random old stock sale on ebay a few months back...the tires haven't held up well to the Northern VT roads and they've got some worrisome divets in em already...also I question the awesomeness of running 650x32's as compared to fatty 42's like Hetres...the difference is quite noticeable in the comfort department and the speed/responsiveness tradeoff is imperceptible to me.

That build on the Gran Course was mostly just a test to see if I wanted to build a lighter 650B wheelset sans Drum Brakes specifically for that bike. The idea is that it'll be my big hill climber and backroad bomber (which are all dirt up here). Jury's still out.

All I know is that the World Voyageur frame is crap compared to the Gran Course... mostly I was trying to determine if it was the wheels or the frame that made the bike fatiguing to ride and from what I can tell it was more the Frame or the setup than the wheels.
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Old 07-26-12, 07:35 AM
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the tires haven't held up well to the Northern VT roads and they've got some worrisome divets in em already
So you've you've traded broken glass for sharp rocks eh? I discovered that Sho-goo fills the diviets (and tears) in the tread and wears at about the same rate as the tread. Might be worth a try?
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Old 07-26-12, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Commodus
Yes it is the MK2, I really like it a lot. The frameset is very logically designed, big fat tires and fenders go on very easily and it handles a front load invisibly. I also like the slack STA, which makes sufficient setback easy to achieve...although I'm using the Nitto steel super-setback post, but that's just because I already had it and it's pretty.

I do have to settle on a set of pedals though, the black 105s don't match at all.

Here are some more shots:



The Berthoud saddle is excellent.



I used a DA 7400 8 speed groupset. The rear derailleur handles the 11-30T cassette, though just barely. It shifts beautifully otherwise, and frankly makes me wonder why I would ever want to 'modernize'. The hubs also roll really well.





Commodus, can you comment on the frame quality? I'm seriously considering a Polyvalent as my next all-rounder bike. Currently the Boulder Bike is at the top of my list, but at $1400 for frame only, it's a lot more expensive than the Polyvalent MkII. Is the frame relatively light for a steel frame? How's the flexy in all the right places? VO doesn't publish their tubing specs, do you happen to know the wall thicknesses? How does it ride? Have you had other 650B bikes to compare it with? How nicely are the TIG welds finished? How's the paint? It seems to me that there are no meaningful reviews of this bike yet. Sorry for all the questions, but this frame really has me intrigued.
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Old 07-26-12, 07:44 AM
  #219  
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Originally Posted by THEJAPINO



Veloce compact 50/34
Shimano 9s 11-32
Ultegra 9s long cage dérailleur w/ 10t pulley wheels
Why the 10t pulleys?
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Old 07-26-12, 07:52 AM
  #220  
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois
Why the 10t pulleys?
+1

I'm going to assume it's to gain some extra range for the 32t cog. IIRC, that long cage Ultegra is limited to 27-28t max cog.
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Old 07-26-12, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Velognome
So you've you've traded broken glass for sharp rocks eh? I discovered that Sho-goo fills the diviets (and tears) in the tread and wears at about the same rate as the tread. Might be worth a try?
Thanks man I'll give that a go, I'm generally a fan of Shoo-Goo. These Michelin 650's are nice too, just a little less volume than I was hoping for in a 650....I think the Hetres have spoilt me rotten.


I'm on a quest to find a lightweight frame with a racy geometry that I can fit Hetres on
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Old 07-26-12, 10:18 AM
  #222  
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Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox
I'm on a quest to find a lightweight frame with a racy geometry that I can fit Hetres on
Let us know what you find, I'd like one too.
Something like THEJAPINO's Paramount but in about a 58.
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Old 07-26-12, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by southpawboston
Commodus, can you comment on the frame quality? I'm seriously considering a Polyvalent as my next all-rounder bike. Currently the Boulder Bike is at the top of my list, but at $1400 for frame only, it's a lot more expensive than the Polyvalent MkII. Is the frame relatively light for a steel frame? How's the flexy in all the right places? VO doesn't publish their tubing specs, do you happen to know the wall thicknesses? How does it ride? Have you had other 650B bikes to compare it with? How nicely are the TIG welds finished? How's the paint? It seems to me that there are no meaningful reviews of this bike yet. Sorry for all the questions, but this frame really has me intrigued.
Sure mate,

I don't think the frame is particularly light. Although I didn't weigh it before I built it up, from handling it I would expect a frame weight of around 4.5 to 5 pounds. The bike as you see it, with cages, lights, rack, fenders and bag weighs in at 28 pounds almost exactly. Keep in mind I'm using a steel seatpost and the VO crankset is also quite heavy. The cassette is an inexpensive 8 speed intended for low end mountain bikes primarily and the spokes are unnecessarily heavy gauge, so there is some weight loss to be had fairly easily, but it's never going to be a light bike.

I'm afraid I have no idea what the wall-thicknesses are, but my impression from riding it is that it's really a bit stiffer than is ideal. Not bad - the tubes are small diameter (or classic diameter, I suppose) and surely that helps - but I think that the extra money you pay for a Boulder, well, you might consider it well spent if you were to get off a Poly and hop immediately onto a Boulder.

I've compared it to an All-Road from Boulder and a Rambouillet from Riv. Frankly I thought both those bikes were nicer, but different.

The welds are very nicely finished and paint are excellent - I was very surprised and impressed at this price point. The paint is nicely applied, and has proven to be quite durable. The welds are maybe a little too well finished...I like to see the beads the welder made, myself. Regardless, I don't think anyone would complain about this frame from a construction viewpoint.

It may seem like I'm being a bit harsh on the bike, but it's actually very nice and perfect for its intended use, as a porteur or nice commuter and it's still very good as a rando-type bike. My criticisms come mostly from the comparison to the superb Boulder, which really isn't fair to the $550 Poly. I mean, I have happily ridden my Poly on spirited rides up to 400kms, including more than 4500m of climbing and smiled the whole way, loving the comfort and secure handling provided by the giant Hetres and sensible geometry. That is a test many far more expensive bikes would fail, believe me!

If you can afford the Boulder, and are sure you like the low-trail, 650B thing, buy it. You won't be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you would like to try out the geometry and wheels or if you aren't going to be riding the bike on very long, hard rando-type rides I think you can safely save your money and be very happy with the Poly.

Myself, I will be converting the Poly to a porteur style commuter some time next year, or maybe the year after, and building up a Boulder All-Road for my ultimate Rando bike.

I hope this helps!
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Old 07-26-12, 02:06 PM
  #224  
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Originally Posted by Commodus

Myself, I will be converting the Poly to a porteur style commuter some time next year, or maybe the year after, and building up a Boulder All-Road for my ultimate Rando bike.
Thanks! That sentence pretty much seals it for me, I think my money will be well spent on the Boulder. I already have a 650B Hetre-clad conversion of an 80s touring bike which worked very well insofar as it has allowed me to experience the bliss-o'-the-Hetre, but being of touring frame construction, it's just a little too robust to make it an ideal rando bike, and the medium trail causes some handling issues with a loaded front bag. At 63cm, it clocks in at 31 lb with fenders, dynamo lighting, front rack and bag. I'm hoping to save up enough from a miscellaneous parts sell-off for the deposit on the Boulder... I am hoping to have it to build up over the winter.
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Old 07-26-12, 07:16 PM
  #225  
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois
Why the 10t pulleys?
Yeah, they are so the 11-32 cassette's big cog doesn't interfere with the pulley wheel. I liked the idea of having more range without having to use a MTB derailluer and keeping a compact double up front. I got the idea from here: https://www.cyclingforums.com/t/47714...pact-crank-set

Originally Posted by brockd15
Let us know what you find, I'd like one too.
Something like THEJAPINO's Paramount but in about a 58.
The chainstays on the Paramount can only take a 36 actual width tire max! I only have a few mm clearance. One day I'd like to find something that can fit Hetres.
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