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.

Looking for a 650b frame

Old 03-12-15, 12:18 AM
p nut
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Looking for a 650b frame

Hey guys. I'm looking for a 650b frame for "all around" riding, including some singletracks. For what I want, I am thinking I've got to go custom, but thought I'd ask you to see if there is a production frame that comes close to what I want.

Must have:
650b frame
Disc brakes
Road-ish geo
Tall HT to get the bars up
Clearance for 2.25" tires

Nice to have:
Paragon sliders
Level TT

Closest thing I came across was a Surly Disc Trucker.26". It can take something like 650b x 2.1. Only things I don't like is the heft, harsh ride (unloaded), long CS and low BB.

Please post with any suggestions. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-15, 09:28 AM
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If the Disc Trucker has enough headtube, perhaps the new Surly Straggler 650B will work for you?
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Old 03-12-15, 09:47 AM
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Sounds like you would be happiest with a custom build. Most 650 bikes that can take a 2.25" tire are going to have more of a mountain geometry.

I am fairly picky about geometry as well and the custom thing was well worth the expense for me as I plan to keep this bike for many many years. If you have not checked out builders yet, Travis from Thin Air Frameworks has done some amazing work here in town and his prices are pretty reasonable. Thin Air Frameworks
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Old 03-17-15, 02:11 PM
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Rawland is taking orders for their new gravel bike. It looks interesting but it's based on a 26" wheel platform and no disc brakes.

There is the Rodriguez UTB disc which falls more in the custom arena. I built one pretty much with all your specs, except with the more ubiquitous 26" (ISO 559) tires which seems to be the new direction some builders are taking for their "all-road enduro" bikes. My frameset will fit comfortably 2.25" tires w/o fenders. The guys at R+E Cycles in Seattle will gladly tweak everything (e.g., 650b, CS length) to meet your own specs and aesthetics. Disc brakes make it easy to go from 26" to 650b as long as the frame can support the larger wheels/tires. You can read more about my build here.

Sounds like you're looking for a bit of a retro look given the "level top tube" added bonus. If you want a tall headtube, a sloping top tube works best, unless you have very long legs (i.e., inseam) to make everything look right and mainly for TT clearance. Lots of headtube showing above the top tube is not aesthetically pleasing. A sloping top tube takes care of that. Just a suggestion to keep in mind as you work with a builder in designing your frame.

Here is a more recent image of my Rod UTB. The front dynamo wheel was recently built by Chris Murray Wheel Works -- the poster above.

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Last edited by Chris Pringle; 03-17-15 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 03-17-15, 02:28 PM
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+1, Hire one Built Just like You want it.
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Old 03-18-15, 07:22 AM
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Elephant bikes, National Forest Explorer model. STOCK

It fits a 55 mm knobby or a 42 mm slick with fenders.
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Old 03-18-15, 01:57 PM
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Google Fatrob.
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Old 03-19-15, 09:44 AM
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I wanted many of the same things in a frame the OP does, but could not afford custom. I purchased a cyclocross style frame with semi-sloping downtube, and installed a Surly Disc Trucker fork for 26inch wheels. The Disc trucker fork has 376 axle to crown, 45 offset, 60mm width between the legs, and room for 203mm rotor. Lowering A/C from the original 700c spec fork, steepened HT & ST angles, reduced trail, brought the top tube to near horizontal, and lowered BB height. In other words, changed cyclocross geometry to road geometry. Because the steer tube is steel, I can (and do) run a high stack of spacers. I began with 700c wheels, changed to 650b, and will soon go 26inch. The downside for this particular frame is the stay dimples and bends are scheduled for larger diameter wheels, so 60mm wide tires in 650b and 26 inch wheel size would require post-production stay dimples for clearance.

A couple opinions about the OP's does-not-like comments for the Surly. I have moderate length chainstays of 426mm on my cyclocross style frame, and have used a variety of drivetrain components, wheel & tire sizes; I always wish for longer chainstays. I thoroughly enjoy the 23 inch stays of my cruiser bike. One can delay pedaling upon corner exit until near upright to avoid pedal strike with a low bottom bracket. High volume low pressure tires are forgiving of stiff frames.

Specialized's AWOL frame set has a sloping top tube, and does not have clearance for 2.25 inch tires, but it checks most of the other boxes.
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