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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

650B Cyclocross tires

Old 12-16-15, 11:26 AM
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jrickards
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650B Cyclocross tires

It appears that most cyclocross bikes are 700C (actually, all of the ones I've seen) but I was thinking of converting an old (and no longer necessary) road bike (1988 Bianci Strada) into a cyclocross but because of the spacing, I can put 25mm tires, maybe some models of 28 (but it would be really tight) so I'm thinking of putting 650B wheels on it (and longer reach calipers) and then I can fit bigger tires such as 37-42.

I'm only interested in fun riding, not racing and not on really technical stuff, just unpaved roads (like the 28km road that leads to our family cottage) but there's nothing through Continental or Schwalbe. Does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 12-16-15, 11:30 AM
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Do you plan on using slicks or knobby tires?
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Old 12-16-15, 11:30 AM
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Panaracer Col De La Vie 650b Tire - Tires, Tubes & Rim Tape - Components
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Old 12-16-15, 11:41 AM
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Surly Knard 650b x 41
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Old 12-16-15, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
Do you plan on using slicks or knobby tires?
Not slicks but I don't think I want heavy knobbies either as the road is generally pretty good.

Last edited by jrickards; 12-17-15 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 12-17-15, 09:13 AM
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In that case I'd second the Knards linked above. That seems to be the only option for mid sized knobbies in 27.5/650b. Everything else seems to be 1.9 and up.

Although I will say I've had good luck using the slick Grand Bois Hetres on dry non-paved roads composed of small to large gravel and/or dirt and even a bit of single track so that's definitely something to think about.
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Old 12-17-15, 10:20 AM
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I had another search on the Schwalbe site and another a couple of other possible tires caught my eye: the Marathon Cross (44-584) and the G-One (40-584). One of these should fit the bill (although the G-One is almost 1/2 the prices of the Cross).
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Old 12-17-15, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
I can put 25mm tires, maybe some models of 28 (but it would be really tight) so I'm thinking of putting 650B wheels on it (and longer reach calipers) and then I can fit bigger tires such as 37-42. Does anyone have any ideas?
You're struggling to fit 25-28 mm tires? If you don't currently have room for 700 x 32 I really have my doubts 584 x 37-42 would fit.
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Old 12-17-15, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
You're struggling to fit 25-28 mm tires? If you don't currently have room for 700 x 32 I really have my doubts 584 x 37-42 would fit.
I'm going to check it to be sure but the limitation of the frame I think is diameter of the wheel+tire, not the width of the tire. In other words, the seatstay bridge limits tires larger than 28.

I've read on another site that many 700C bikes of this era are perfect for 650B conversions, I'm hoping that applies to this one as well.
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Old 12-17-15, 03:32 PM
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I am a little confused - I thought the 1988 Bianchi Strada came with 27" rims, which, if switched with 700c rims would allow an extra 4mm of clearance and probably an easy switch to at least 700X32 tires.
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Old 12-18-15, 07:47 AM
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I installed some 700C 25mm Vitorria Rubinos last year, no problems. Maybe I have the year wrong because the original owner just thought that was the year when he purchased it and it was difficult to find the Bianchi catalog online.

Update: I did find a 1987 catalog on Velobase and I do have the correct model but yes, it does state 27" wheels. I know the owner didn't change them because he bought it for his daughter then and she barely rode it so it got left in the garage for all these years, I bought it about 2 years ago. It is black and the only other lower end model that is black is the Sport but that has components that mine does not have.

Last edited by jrickards; 12-18-15 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 12-18-15, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
You're struggling to fit 25-28 mm tires? If you don't currently have room for 700 x 32 I really have my doubts 584 x 37-42 would fit.
My bike (Rivendell Road Standard) barely fit a 700 x 28 mm tire (less than 1 mm of clearance under the fork and brake bridges). After 650b conversion, I can fit 650 x 38 tires, with plenty of clearance above for fenders.

For my frame, the width of the tire was the limiting factor. A 42 mm tire would rub on both chainstays and/or both fork legs.

With 650b conversions, measure measure measure before you buy parts.
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Old 12-18-15, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
My bike (Rivendell Road Standard) barely fit a 700 x 28 mm tire (less than 1 mm of clearance under the fork and brake bridges). After 650b conversion, I can fit 650 x 38 tires, with plenty of clearance above for fenders.

For my frame, the width of the tire was the limiting factor. A 42 mm tire would rub on both chainstays and/or both fork legs.

With 650b conversions, measure measure measure before you buy parts.
Regarding your 1mm clearance, it could vary depending on the model or make of the tire, they have different profiles for the same designation. I can comfortably fit the 700Cx25 Rubinos but I don't think that there is 3+mm clearance for a 700cx28.

I've been reading the 650B Conversion Guidelines and it goes into a lot of detail including how to make the appropriate measurements.
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Old 12-18-15, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
Regarding your 1mm clearance, it could vary depending on the model or make of the tire, they have different profiles for the same designation. I can comfortably fit the 700Cx25 Rubinos but I don't think that there is 3+mm clearance for a 700cx28.
Yes, never trust the sidewall size marking explicitly, especially on older tires.

The dimensions I provided above were measured myself with calipers. The cheapo plastic calipers from Harbor Freight have worked well for their paltry cost.

Best of luck with the conversion.
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