Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

650 vs 700 wheels

Old 11-27-00, 12:07 PM
  #1  
darrin
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I perhaps made a mistake when I purchased my first roadbike. It's a cannondale RM600 and came with 650c wheels. Now I'd like to upgrade to better wheels and fork but since 650 isnt a standard size, the upgrades cost much more if you can find them at all! My question is, can a bike built with 650c wheels be upgraded to 700 wheels, assuming I upgrade the fork? I'm guessing the rear brakes would be a problem.

And secondly, why would a manufacturer build a bike with 650 wheels anyhow? I live in a very mountainous area, so possibly it would be worth it to stick with 650 and pay the price to get increased torque. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-27-00, 11:22 PM
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Coverting from 650 to 700 is not likely to work. In addition to the rear brake problem that you mentioned, a 700c wheel may not even fit into the frame.

650c wheels are typically used for smaller riders to lower their center of gravity and to lessen toe overlap. How tall are you? What size is the bike? Just curious, I would like to know why a shop chose to put you on a 650c bike.

If you really want 700c wheels, you're best bet is likely to sell the bike as is and buy a new one. My concern with upgrading your existing setup is that after dropping lots of money into the bike you may still not be satisfied with it's performance.
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Old 11-28-00, 08:29 AM
  #3  
darrin
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650 vs 700 wheels

Thanks for the reply, but the bike is a multisport bike, and it's not made for small riders. I am 6'1" and I fit on the bike well and it's fairly comfortable and I've logged about a dozen 100K rides on it plus training rides in the past 2 years. I guess what it boils down to is I'm outgrowing the capabilities of this bike and wanted to upgrade the wheelset and fork.

Actually, I didnt buy the bike from a store, I bought it used BEFORE I was much into road biking and knew the right questions to ask.

I may be better off selling it and getting a new one, or bolting it to a trainer full time.
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Old 11-28-00, 10:45 AM
  #4  
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Sadly the source whom sould you the bike, didn't care. A 650c wheeled machine should be sold to a rider knowing exactly what he wants. I have a few clients that have 650c wheeled machines and love them and will never go back to 700c. There really is no problem.

Curious to know if the angles on the Cannondale. If it has "traditional" road angles, it should not be a problem too much. The main concern may be the relation of the seat height vs. stem height. If this is to your comfort then I see no problem in going with the 700c.

You can find a good variety of wheels and tyres. Any real bike shop that actually knows can show you many choices.

There are still a few manufacturers offering 650c wheeled machines. Not as popular now days as they are more specific and most shops nation wide really have no idea on the sport thus they may not offer these.

I personally do not see a problem if you like thefeel and your only concern is the availability of parts.

Good points you may read from riders is the weight issue and some claim them to be faster at accelrations and more aerodynamic due to the size. All these are simply opinions. Everyone will have a different one.
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Old 01-29-01, 09:50 PM
  #5  
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I will agree. I was just recently in the market for a nice TT bike and came across the MultiSport line from Cannondale. However after speaking with a friend I was turned away due to the ability to do wheel upgrades. You will find a few stragelers selling 650cc compatiable parts. Your best bet would be to visit http://www.bike-zone.com and see if you can dig something up through a search engine.

Another place to check with is E-Bay (I see 650cc wheelsets at good buys constantly). However once again, that puts you with a product that might not be what you had wanted... again.
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Old 01-30-01, 12:14 AM
  #6  
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650 VS 700 c

Darrin,
650 c wheels were developed, (for the 1980 American Olympic Team?), for team trialing on the track so the riders pacing behind the lead rider could "tuck in" a couple of inches closer behind the next wheel due to their smaller diameter and save energy from a better wind block. These bikes used a 650 on the front only, because that was the only place they were an advantage. A 700 c wheel "rolls" better because it's larger size rides over the bumps more effeciently. Many people think 650 has an advantage because of reduced wind resistance because of the smaller profile, but that advantage is negated by the increased rolling resistance of the smaller wheel. 650 c wheels are great for smaller riders though. 700 c wheels have a smoother ride too, the size was developed for the "safety bike"- the basic design we have now,at or before the turn of the century for just that!

[Edited by pat5319 on Jan 30th at 01:21 AM]
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Old 02-27-01, 10:07 PM
  #7  
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So would I have to be nuts to buy a bike
with 650 sized wheels? (Because I'm
looking at one.) Are there enough of them
out there (anybody still making new ones?)
that I'll be able to find tires in years
to come?

THanks.
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Old 02-28-01, 03:53 AM
  #8  
MichaelW
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A good LBS can build up 650 wheels for any pupose you need.
Check out the Campag and Mavic catalogues for rims. Campy make pre-built wheels in 650c if thats what you want, but hand built spoked wheels are a good choice.
For smller riders there are real advantages to using proportionally sized wheels.
For larger riders the main advantage is the ability to build a lower front end for better aerodynamics in time trialling and triathalon.
There is a trade off between the lower mass and air resistance of 650c, vs the better rolling resistance and lower rotational speed of 700c.

700c is also the standard wheel carried by support vehicles in elite races.
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Old 03-13-01, 09:44 AM
  #9  
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HI MAN ! YOUR 650 BIKE IS NOT FOR ROAD RACING .THAT IS FOR TRIATHLON.OU SAID YOU ARE 6'1
TALL BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN RIDE A 650 BIKE IT DEPEND ON THE FRAME SIZE.BUT NOT THE WHEELS.
I'M SORRY THAT MY ENGILSH IS NOT GOOD COZ' I'M A CHINESE IN HONG KONG
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Old 03-13-01, 11:23 AM
  #10  
Joe Gardner
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HK Biker, welcome to the forums, you have a lot of good points, and im sure you will continue to offer good support in the future, could i just ask you to turn off your caps lock? ALL CAPS = YELLING

Have a good day, and keep on riding.
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Old 03-15-01, 11:58 PM
  #11  
watch
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Can someone explain how triathlon bikes should be different than a road race bike? Aren't they both racing other riders on the road? Isn't drafting (and everything else) just as important for both types of racing?
Thanks!!!!
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Old 04-03-01, 08:05 PM
  #12  
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From my limited knowledge, tryi bikes have a very different geometry from road bikes. Tri bikes allow the rider to be in a very aero position since it's illegal to draft. It also allows the rider to rest his weight on his elbows, hence saving the energy he would expend if he supported his weight with his arms like in a road bike.

well, that's all I know, check out the tri sites, they explain the differences in detail there.
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Old 12-27-04, 08:41 PM
  #13  
53-11 alltheway
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Rivendell is making a general purpose 650c bike called the Saluki.......not exactly sure why, but I think their aim was to improve geometry and have stronger wheels.
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Old 12-27-04, 09:00 PM
  #14  
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3 years, 8 months and 26 days later, finally an update.

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Old 12-27-04, 09:18 PM
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53-11 alltheway
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
3 years, 8 months and 26 days later, finally an update.

55/Rad
Yeah who are these guys (Spinergy77, HK Biker, etc.)?......never heard of them.
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Old 12-27-04, 09:23 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
3 years, 8 months and 26 days later, finally an update.

55/Rad
ok, I'll bite...what does this mean?

I think if you really want to upgrade, sell the 650 bike and start fresh...nothing like shopping for a new ride! This time, take your time and test as many bikes as you can! You currently have a bike, so you should not be in a rush. see what you like...test as many as you can...that's the best way to really see what's out there.
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Old 12-27-04, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fogrider
ok, I'll bite...what does this mean?
Nothing really - just the amount of time this thread stood dormant since the last post.

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Old 12-27-04, 09:30 PM
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53-11 alltheway
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
Nothing really - just the amount of time this thread stood dormant since the last post.

55/Rad
Yep......dug this one out of the archives and dusted it off.

Next week......we are going to read about people *****ing about the new shimano 9speed dura ace and why they only need 8 gears!

"A walk down memory lane" brought to you one weekly by 53-11 ATW.
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Old 12-27-04, 09:34 PM
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Could be fun.....
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Old 12-27-04, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 53-11 alltheway
Rivendell is making a general purpose 650c bike called the Saluki.......not exactly sure why, but I think their aim was to improve geometry and have stronger wheels.
If you're going to bring a thread back from the dead, bring it back with the correct information.

the saluki uses 650B wheels.
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Old 12-28-04, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by baxtefer
If you're going to bring a thread back from the dead, bring it back with the correct information.

the saluki uses 650B wheels.
Oops didn't know there was a difference. My bad.
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Old 07-04-07, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by watch
So would I have to be nuts to buy a bike
with 650 sized wheels? (Because I'm
looking at one.) Are there enough of them
out there (anybody still making new ones?)
that I'll be able to find tires in years
to come?

THanks.
There is a new budget set of 650B wheels out now for about $139
http://www.velo-orange.com/650bwheelset.html Harris Cyclery also them for about the same price. Harris also stocks tires.

I know this post has been revived several times in the last 6 or 7 years but it becomes more relavent as the number of frames available increases.

Tim


Tim
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