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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589

    650 wheels on a cross bike?

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    So I'm having a custom cross frame built so I can try out racing (it will become a light around town trail bike and bad weather road bike if I don't like racing)

    Given my (lack of) height I (and my fitter) suspect the builder will come back with a first preference of 650's. My preference is 700's since that's what my road bikes are and I have a suitable set of wheels already.

    So ladies that have some experience in this 'cross area, what say you? How big of an issue would racing 650's be? (I'll never be "good" so these will be lower levels, local races). Can I find GOOD tires in this size or am I stuck with one or two mediocre choices?

    Trying to make an informed decision on what set of compromises I'll be most happy with.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    355
    There's no such thing as a 650c wheel for CX bike. Just no tires. 650c tires come in only slick, and either narrow (23c) and narrower (19-20c)--although Terry offers a medium quality 28c 650c touring tire made by Panaracer.

    There are 26" wheels and some CX tire options (Schwalbe makes a decent one that is 26 x 1.35, good and legal for CX). I wish there were better and more varied options, but there aren't, yet. For my opinion regarding the rest of your question, I'll stick to this:

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=36861

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Ick, really didn't want to think about going 26" mountain wheels.

    Basically destroys all the versatility I'd built into this. I don't want to end up with a basic mountain hardtail with wonky geometry should I not race cross forever; would rather convert to a bad weather commuter/extra roadie/easy trail bike (ie: leave it a cross bike). Building it around 26" really seems like it messes that up.

    Not afraid of the 650's performance wise (was under the impression one was technically supposed to have 700's, at least at the higher levels) 700's are just so much more convenient for many reasons for me right now (have the wheels, tires are easy to get, etc). I guess 26" would be fairly convenient as well, just sort of ruins the "flip it to a road bike" ability which stinks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    How about 650b's?

    There are brake adapters that allow you to put 700c's on a mountain bike... There's a set of paul bmx brakes for that allow you to run 650bs or 700c or 29er rims - they have more adjustment.

    If you get disc brakes, you can swap between 650b & 700c wheels without any problem.

    I was looking up building up a rawland's sogn for a long time because of the amount of versatility in the frame to run whatever size wheel you wanted - but finally decided if I really wanted to do that, I'd get a surly steamroller fork for my surly pacer & use long reach brakes to run 650bs on it & swap to 700c's. Cheaper than building up a new frame.
    Last edited by Cataboo; 03-21-2010 at 07:33 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    I'd be up for 650b's if I can get a reasonably narrow tire (and apparently there is a rumor that there will be a "mini moto" version of the quasi moto tire next year which may due well for cross).

    I think, judging by my fitter/shop owner's reaction to me wanting to add disk tabs that our local racing scene is going to enforce the "no disks" policy.

    So, I'll have a disk option, but gotta use canti's on my racing wheels (whatever size they may be), which shouldn't be a problem.

    Bike clearance is the likely big issue at this point (if it is an issue; I'm doing all this preemptively so I know what I want when the builder gets back to us with options this coming week).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    355
    I've never seen a 650B tire appropriate for CX. That doesn't mean there isn't one, but 650B availability is less than any other size I know of, and I've never seen one with a tread pattern suitable for CX.

    Disc Brakes are not legal for CX racing, last time I checked.

    Martian Destiny:
    Why do you assume 26" equals "mountain wheels?" What does that mean?
    You can easily build a very nice, responsive, and well-fitting CX frame that will accommodate 650c (road) and 26" wheels--I do this all the time. It wouldn't have to resemble a "hardtail" in the slightest. 26" wheels don't need to be "mountain wheels." Go with a light velocity rim and 130mm road hub of your choice, double butted spokes...handbuilt and very sweet. My 26" CX wheels are the sweetest wheels I own, and lightest. There are also excellent, light, kevlar beaded 1 inch slicks (25c) that come in 26". If you are going custom you are welcome and usually invited/encouraged to think outside the box a bit.

    Honestly, possibly the best advice I have: listen to whatever framebuilder you've chosen advises. If you trust the builder and they are experienced and know how to make a bike that really fits, s/he will take care of you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    Rivendell's website & harris cyclery have various 650b options - I have no idea whether or not they're appropriate for cyclocross or not.

    If you look at this sogn build:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2567121...7615670220313/

    That's the paul's motolite bmx brake. You can slide the brakepad up & down those cantilever brakes - so you can swap between 2 sizes of wheels with those. So you could swap on 700c's on a 650b bike.
    Last edited by Cataboo; 03-21-2010 at 08:02 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Lakewood, Co
    Posts
    1,068
    Could you use a set of 650c Mavic Open Pro's? They were handbuilt for my road bike but they were overbuilt for me so I no longer use them. I'd love to find them a good home.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by lunacycles View Post
    Honestly, possibly the best advice I have: listen to whatever framebuilder you've chosen advises. If you trust the builder and they are experienced and know how to make a bike that really fits, s/he will take care of you.

    This is potentially my snag. I trust and highly respect my fitter/shop owner. The builder, while I know they make good bikes, is just simply the builder he uses (so I'm trusting them only by default). So, while I know they'll make me a bike that fits and that I love (because I trust my fitter when he says they will) I honestly don't know how many tiny bikes they typically build. (or how many customs for that matter as this is a production bike company with a small local custom side). And well, I'm kinda used to being my own best advocate and knowing exactly what compromises I'm making and that they are the compromises *I* want (because I'm generally not the typical small rider in build or mindset).

    For instance I had no idea I could design a bike to run 26" "mountain" wheels (with a road hub I suppose) and 650 "road" wheels. The builder (when they get back to us this week) may indeed bring that up, but I like to know these things ahead of time

    I think I'd be ok with running a 26" wheel for cyclocross so long as I could convert to a 650 road wheel relatively easily for road use, which it sounds like I can. (I'll be perfectly honest, I think 26" tires look ridiculous on road bikes even in my size and I'm vain. Plus I don't want to run into the same issue of tire availability trying to find a slick that isn't 2.0 and designed for a commuter).

    I won't be running disks for races, but the bike will have disk mounts (if I have anything to say about it ). I honestly don't know if I'm going to race past this season, so I want to be able to put some reasonable brakes on it for general trail and road use. I like stopping

    Thanks for the input! It's been very helpful and informative. Being the researcher I am, I guess I'm not really letting the builder do his job

    My fitter did say he'd arm-wrestle me over the 700 issue, AFTER he said I had the most developed shoulder/back muscles he's ever seen, LOL. Apparently I'm a freak of nature.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi View Post
    Could you use a set of 650c Mavic Open Pro's? They were handbuilt for my road bike but they were overbuilt for me so I no longer use them. I'd love to find them a good home.
    Maybe. I'll get back to you after the builder, fitter, and me settle on the final specs. Should be getting a call from the builder this week.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by Catriona View Post
    Rivendell's website & harris cyclery have various 650b options - I have no idea whether or not they're appropriate for cyclocross or not.

    If you look at this sogn build:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2567121...7615670220313/

    That's the paul's motolite bmx brake. You can slide the brakepad up & down those cantilever brakes - so you can swap between 2 sizes of wheels with those. So you could swap on 700c's on a 650b bike.
    I've been paroosing the 650b wheel options. Seems most of them are decidedly mountain and thus too wide. Those brakes look cool (and expensive ). I'll have to keep them in mind.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    My custom bike has both 650c wheels and 26" wheels. The 26" wheels are Ultegra road hubs and narrowish mtb rims. I use 26x1.3 slick tires on them, and I love them so much the I rarely switch over to the 650c wheels. The 26x1.3s are perfect for touring and commuting, and road riding over spring potholes. For touring on unpaved trails, I put on 26x1.5 tires. If you're going custom, you want the best fit without compromises, so don't insist on 700c wheels if that alters the optimal design. I'm 5'7" with long legs and short torso, and with my foot size and crank length, I couldn't have used fenders with 700c wheels.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Lakewood, Co
    Posts
    1,068
    Who's you're fitter?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by DebW View Post
    My custom bike has both 650c wheels and 26" wheels. The 26" wheels are Ultegra road hubs and narrowish mtb rims. I use 26x1.3 slick tires on them, and I love them so much the I rarely switch over to the 650c wheels. The 26x1.3s are perfect for touring and commuting, and road riding over spring potholes. For touring on unpaved trails, I put on 26x1.5 tires. If you're going custom, you want the best fit without compromises, so don't insist on 700c wheels if that alters the optimal design. I'm 5'7" with long legs and short torso, and with my foot size and crank length, I couldn't have used fenders with 700c wheels.
    Glad to hear another instance of this being done.

    What was your brake solution? Are you using disks or some sort of modifiable canti?

    It could very well be possible that I'm happy with road modified 26" wheels given tire options, but I'd really like the option of going up to 650c's in case I don't.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by Kathi View Post
    Who's you're fitter?
    Kathi,

    My fitter is Chris Jacobson at Sports Garage in Boulder

    Here's the shop's fitting page:
    http://sportsgarage.net/articles/bic...ices-pg124.htm

    And his (short) bio at Serotta:
    http://www.serottacyclinginstitute.com/staff.html

    It's so nice having the best of the best a bike-ride away from home
    I definitely HIGHLY recommend him (and really anyone else in there) for fitting, service, or bike purchases/advice. It's hands down the best bike shop I've ever set foot in. They're good people. I consider them all good friends.

    (No, I don't get commission But if you stop in and tell them Trinity sent you they'll all get a good laugh. I've sent 4 or 5 people in so far that have walked out with bikes...)

 

 

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