Good day from Down Under.
Just thought I would drop you a line and let you know that I finally have a 650B in the stable. My wife calls this bike the "chocolate croissant" since it is so small and chocolate colored. I guess it is a bit a scene, I am 5'10" and weigh well into the 200lb zone, and I ride this little 48cm tourer!! I bought it at a local auction for $65AUD, so I am not complaining. It is a Fuji Olympic, lugged Cro-Mo frame, the only major changes are a new set of very wide(450mm) Nitto bars, the long Nitto stem, Campag seatpost with a Brooks saddle perched on top. When I saw this bike at the auction outfitted with full coverage fenders, I knew I would take it home. I have seriously abused this bike, as I use it to pull a trailer loaded with 100lbs+ of tools on a regular basis.
While it is a small ride, I have this bike to thank for learning about the 650 series wheels. I had never heard of a 650A or B until I had to replace the tires on this bike. I fell in love with the 650A which is a 590x35, but was anxious to learn about the 650B, which promised to be everything the 'A was and more'.
Well, to make a long story short, I finally got my shipment of Panaracer Col De La Vie Randonnee 650B tires in from Japan last Thursday (13 Oct) after a 4 month shipping fiasco. So I grabbed a set of 36H rims from my Velocity stock, laced them the hi-flange Sansui hubs that came with the bike with Sapim Laser spokes. While I was at it, I polished the hubs and serviced the bearings. So last night I finally got the wheels back on the bike and re-adjusted the canti's for the 3mm difference in the brake track. I was ready to take the next step.... ride a 650B!!
I grabbed the bike early this morning and headed to the beach. It was unbelievable, the change was dramatic, like the bike was riding on a cushion, weightless and flying!! OK, OK, I will be real, there is a definite improvement in the ride. The tires soak a huge amount of road noise and irregularities. I thought there was a big improvement going from a 700x28 to a 590x35, well the improvement from the 650A to the 650B was even greater. I believe I can tell slight increase in rolling resistance, very slight, maybe I was just a bit tired this morning. At any rate, I am sold, I am a 650B convert. I like this wheel size so well, that I am putting the wheels in motion today to have a full custom 650B built for me, with all the trimmings.
Here is the "Chocolate Croissant" -
So here you have it, the 650B club, "Members Only - New Members Welcome"
Bluebird's sister is next to get a new set of 650B wheels. She is very excited.
P. Lynn Miller
Thursday, October 20, 2005
650 Wheels (or) "Good day from Down Under"
[What's a 650 tire? Much less a 650A and a 650B? Well, don't forget, as you may have, that this blog was started because of 650 wheels. For a refresher course, see Sheldon Brown's discussion.]