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650b Commuter Bike ?

Old 01-20-17, 01:11 PM
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650b Commuter Bike ?

Any advantage in riding 650b over 700c for commuting in hilly terrain ?
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Old 01-20-17, 01:35 PM
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I'd say there'd be at least one disadvantage. 650b tires are generally more expensive than 700C, so you're spending more money for replacements.
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Old 01-20-17, 01:37 PM
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The advantage of 650b over 700c is mainly one of comfort. It doesn't really have anything to do with hills or gearing. You can now get much fatter 700c tires than previously, and bikes that fit them, so that does away with much of the advantage of 700c.

Yesterday I started commuting on a newly built up bike, which is a 45 year old Bottecchia frame now with 650b wheels. This is a good way to make an old racing bike much more comfortable.
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Old 01-20-17, 01:40 PM
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I often consider putting 650b on my commuter just to reduce the step-over; but I already strike my pedals when I am being inattentive, 650b would just make that worse.
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Old 01-20-17, 02:47 PM
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I totally read that as "650 lb Commuter Bike".
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Old 01-20-17, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
I totally read that as "650 lb Commuter Bike".
Sometimes you need that extra stuff in your panniers....
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Old 01-21-17, 09:23 AM
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You could probably think up some advantages but they won't be as important as overall weight of you+bike, your fitness, and general local unavailability of 650b spares.
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Old 01-21-17, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
Sometimes you need that extra stuff in your panniers....
but make sure you're well balanced side to side.
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Old 01-21-17, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
The advantage of 650b over 700c is mainly one of comfort. It doesn't really have anything to do with hills or gearing. You can now get much fatter 700c tires than previously, and bikes that fit them, so that does away with much of the advantage of 700c.

Yesterday I started commuting on a newly built up bike, which is a 45 year old Bottecchia frame now with 650b wheels. This is a good way to make an old racing bike much more comfortable.
Cool bike.
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Old 01-22-17, 01:24 PM
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There is no advantage it comes down to personal preference. I commuted on 650b for years. When using Grand Bois tires that ride was sublime but the amount of flats just wasn't worth it. With my Schwalbe Marathons less flats but the ride was forgettable.
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Old 01-22-17, 02:57 PM
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Academically, I like the idea of 650b for commuting, gravel, etc.

It's still such a misfit size though that I'm not willing to make the jump.

It makes a lot of sense to design a frame around the size for shorter riders.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Robert C
I often consider putting 650b on my commuter just to reduce the step-over; but I already strike my pedals when I am being inattentive, 650b would just make that worse.
But not necessarily. It depends on the tire size. The overall diameter of a 650 x 42b wheel is about the same as a 700 x 23c wheel.
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Old 02-02-17, 12:14 PM
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650b is a nice size but so are 26" mtb and 700c. The problem is that bike shops dont have the capacity to stock a complete inventory of bike types, sizes and tyre size. With the popularity of 650b in the mtb world, 26" has been abandoned, yet you cannot buy a 650b commuter tyre off the shelf. 650c has been abandoned as a wheel for small riders in most lineups. It had made a recent comeback buy it is now back to small frames with big wheels.
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Old 02-02-17, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm
The advantage of 650b over 700c is mainly one of comfort. It doesn't really have anything to do with hills or gearing. You can now get much fatter 700c tires than previously, and bikes that fit them, so that does away with much of the advantage of 700c.

Yesterday I started commuting on a newly built up bike, which is a 45 year old Bottecchia frame now with 650b wheels. This is a good way to make an old racing bike much more comfortable.

650b 38c tires deliver a ride experience akin to riding on clouds. Its like the rough imperfections of the road surface and potholes literally disappear when you float over them. With 650b, you can turn a skinny-tired road bike into a comfort cruiser.
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Old 02-02-17, 10:59 PM
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And if that makes you commute more, it's worth the money.
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Old 02-05-17, 12:42 AM
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The only advantages really come down to fit. You can run tires and still maintain a reasonable wheel diameter.

If you're 5'10" or taller then a 700c will always be just as good, and more readily available.
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Old 02-05-17, 05:48 AM
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I really like how some modern steel frames will clear larger tires in 700c. My current ride has 700x35 and could go to 38 under the fenders. Its nice to have a little extra air.
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Old 02-05-17, 08:15 AM
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A rigid 27.5 MTB would also make a good commuter bike - Raleigh already has the Redux and 27.5 happens to be the same standard as 650b.
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Old 02-05-17, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott
I totally read that as "650 lb Commuter Bike".

German man has built a bicycle weighing nearly a TONNE | Daily Mail Online
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Old 02-05-17, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by NormanF
650b 38c tires deliver a ride experience akin to riding on clouds. Its like the rough imperfections of the road surface and potholes literally disappear when you float over them. With 650b, you can turn a skinny-tired road bike into a comfort cruiser.
Can't you do that w/ 700x35 though? I noticed immediately when I busted out the roadbike w/ 28mm tires at 80 psi vs the cross bike w 35mm tires at 65psi. Now 26" 50mm tires at 40psi, there is some cushioning!
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Old 02-05-17, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
I really like how some modern steel frames will clear larger tires in 700c. My current ride has 700x35 and could go to 38 under the fenders. Its nice to have a little extra air.
Is this your new touring rig? Really good looking bike. I agree that fatter tires are an advantage of some modern steel bikes.
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Old 02-05-17, 11:22 AM
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Agree with the others that given the price of tires/tubes etc., there is a lot to be said for 700c or 26 inch for a commuter bike. If looking to save money, a vintage MTB is both inexpensive and a great platform for stout urban tires.

Insofar as a hilly commute is concerned (the OP's question), there's no appreciable advantage that 650b has over 700c. That is really a question of gearing.
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Old 02-05-17, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
Is this your new touring rig? Really good looking bike. I agree that fatter tires are an advantage of some modern steel bikes.
Yeah it is. In fact I am thinking of downsizing to 1 bike. I like it better than anything else I have. If I sell the miyata and masi framesets I,can keep the wheels and change out wheelsets to get a new rig every other day.

I know 1 bike sounds crazy.....
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Old 02-05-17, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster
Yeah it is. In fact I am thinking of downsizing to 1 bike. I like it better than anything else I have. If I sell the miyata and masi framesets I,can keep the wheels and change out wheelsets to get a new rig every other day.

I know 1 bike sounds crazy.....
1 bike is crazy plus the space horse will get lonely . . . .
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Old 02-05-17, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig
1 bike is crazy plus the space horse will get lonely . . . .
am sure I would eventually drag something home. There seems to be a pattern .

I want to get rid of 3 step thru frames, the masi frame and the miyata frame. If you know a good home.....

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