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My 650B conversion.

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My 650B conversion.

Old 03-28-14, 02:31 AM
  #1  
Daveyates
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My 650B conversion.

Here is a bike i bought last week.



I saw an online ad for this bike and even though the photos were bad i could recognize it as being a nice bike.
The handlebars in the photo above were not included in the sale and i added them just to see the bike with drop bars.
The bike originally had a set of non original rusty city bars.

From the photo i had a view from the non drive side and about 1/2 the bike was showing.
I got the impression that the front lever was a Cyclo one but i couldn't see if it had a Cyclo derailleur at the back.
I could see that the frame was lugless but what stood out were the wheels. The profile of them looked like Mephisto A Blocs.

When i went to see the bike the guy had about another 20 bikes for sale but this was the only one that interested me.
I checked the wheels and thought they were the Mephistos. I noticed it had a nice keyhole Brooks as well.
Also the bike did have a Cyclo derailleur and turns out it's a steel 4 speed, which i shall advertise or use on another build.

I have been wanting to do a 650b conversion for a while and thought this would be a good base for one.
It has lots of clearance for fat tyres and having a Cyclo braze-on was a bonus as well.

I removed the original wheels and after checking noticed they weren't aluminium but steel. I found the name on them and they are Rigida Deco C.
They are really nice rims and just look like a steel version of Mephistos. I shall clean them up and use them on another build.

I've added 650B fenders and Mafac Raid brakes with a front TA rack. Randonneur bars and levers. An aluminium 4 speed Cyclo derailleur.
650b wheels in steel, I shall replace them for aluminium rims when i can.

Also added is a TA double crankset and an Huret front hand operated derailleur.

I have added some vintage tyres just for show as the condition isn't great.
I have one Semi-Confort tyre in size 44 and need to just find one more.

I'm going to take it for a test ride today.

Here is a photo of it , but i have removed the bar grips since i took the photo.

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Old 03-28-14, 03:55 AM
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Looks gorgeous - great work! Any idea of the age of the frame?
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Old 03-28-14, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by tjkwood View Post
Looks gorgeous - great work! Any idea of the age of the frame?
Thank you, I would say the date is somewhere in the 1940s perhaps around the middle of that decade.
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Old 03-28-14, 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Daveyates View Post
Thank you, I would say the date is somewhere in the 1940s perhaps around the middle of that decade.
That's brilliant - where on earth do you find such bikes? I'm probably heading over to France for a good while this summer and intend to come back with something special
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Old 03-28-14, 04:22 AM
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Wow, nice job and a good eye for build possibilities on vintage frames.
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Old 03-28-14, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by tjkwood View Post
That's brilliant - where on earth do you find such bikes? I'm probably heading over to France for a good while this summer and intend to come back with something special
Just check Leboncoin.fr and get up early Saturdays and Sundays and go to Brocantes ( car boot sales ).

If you don't mind getting a bike that needs work, like this one, then with a bit of luck you can get something special for around 30 - 100 euros.
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Old 03-28-14, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by OTS View Post
Wow, nice job and a good eye for build possibilities on vintage frames.
Thanks OTS.
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Old 03-28-14, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Daveyates View Post
Just check Leboncoin.fr and get up early Saturdays and Sundays and go to Brocantes ( car boot sales ).

If you don't mind getting a bike that needs work, like this one, then with a bit of luck you can get something special for around 30 - 100 euros.
I wasn't even aware car boot sales were a thing in France, so thanks for the pointers - I'll report back
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Old 03-28-14, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by tjkwood View Post
I wasn't even aware car boot sales were a thing in France, so thanks for the pointers - I'll report back
I expect they were popular here before they were in the UK.
They vary from normal car boot sales in a supermarket carpark to whole villages being taken over for the day.
Its quite common for there to be 400 - 700 sellers if not more.
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Old 03-28-14, 09:04 AM
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Wow, great build, such a unique and interesting bike! The bike really looks like it was designed for 650B. If you had not told us about the conversion, I would never have guessed. I have some questions: Did you paint the fenders to match the frame? Does it handle well with a bag on the front rack? Are the steel 650B rims from the same time period as the frame? Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-28-14, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rowebr View Post
Wow, great build, such a unique and interesting bike! The bike really looks like it was designed for 650B. If you had not told us about the conversion, I would never have guessed. I have some questions: Did you paint the fenders to match the frame? Does it handle well with a bag on the front rack? Are the steel 650B rims from the same time period as the frame? Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, I used the fenders and wheels from a Mixte bike that i have. The fenders already had the red strip of paint on them. On the mixte frame i shall add a set of Lefols.
The wheelset had a 3 speed freewheel which i have changed for a 4 speed one. When i have some aluminium wheels i shall put these ones back on the mixte.
I think these wheels are from around the 1950s.
As for front bags and handling i haven't tried it but to be honest i have ridden with front bags on different bikes and i haven't had any problems with handling yet.
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Old 03-28-14, 06:21 PM
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Beautiful.
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Old 03-29-14, 04:49 AM
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The squeaky clunky test ride.

https://flic.kr/p/mwxxqZ

Last edited by Daveyates; 03-29-14 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 03-29-14, 12:26 PM
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That's pretty.
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Old 03-29-14, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Daveyates View Post
The squeaky clunky test ride.

https://flic.kr/p/mwxxqZ
Sounds good!
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