650b: hype?

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Thoglette
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Thoglette » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:31 pm

Virgil Walker wrote:,,,, Which pretty much accords with JH's opinions about wider 650b tyres. Hmmm.


While we're looking at opinons, Breton has a different point of view, favouring 26" over 700C for touring bikes. YMMV!
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Virgil Walker
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Virgil Walker » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:46 pm

Yep. No question 26" for touring, especially in out of the way places (eg, except in some cities, you won't find anything but 26" or the old British 27" in India or Sri Lanka). Stronger, lighter, more available. All those Germans touring South America: 26" tyres. Great on a tandem, too. Hitherto, faster "road" style tyres have been less available, but there are some. Compass (of course!) has 32mm and 54mm versions.

Over to you ronHflyte.

Virgil Walker
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Virgil Walker » Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:51 pm

BTW. AIRNIMAL use 24" and 20"on their suspended road, commuter and touring bikes. 24" would be a nightmare to find off the track, I reckon.

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grantw
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby grantw » Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:28 pm

robHflyte wrote: I've seen another on a Newcastle Overnight ride.


one of my audax mates from Wollongong rode his new 650b on the Newie onighter- it's an Ahearn and rather nice. He said he did not have any problem keeping up with the carbon bikes. So that's 2 650bs in the illawarra :-)
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Espresso_
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650b: hype?

Postby Espresso_ » Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:54 pm

Never used mine for a proper audax - I'm much too fat and slow for that - but I do enjoy riding for days when I get the chance.

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Availability of 650B tyres is not an issue (for me) - Commuter Cycles in Melbourne has Grand Bois and Compass in stock regularly and you can get em easily enough on the web directly too.

E

robHflyte
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby robHflyte » Thu Dec 24, 2015 9:20 pm

that is a good looking bike Espresso

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singlespeedscott
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby singlespeedscott » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:56 am

I think one of the major reasons why Jan likes the fat 650b tyres is that it allows him to ride offroad with mudguards and still use a standard q factor road crank. You could only do this with a 42mm x 700c tyyres under mudguards by making the chainstays super long which may affect the bikes handling.

Now that 650b size has become an established wheel size for mountain bikes finding a spare tyres, although a knobby one, is not a huge issue.

If I was to go a 650b bike I would be investigating running discs and through axles. I know Jan is not a fan of discs on his forks, saying they effect fork performance, but there seems to be plenty of happy 650B disc bike packers on the forums. The advantage to the OP would be if he wrecked a wheel a replacement could be easily obtained at most good bike shops.

12 or so years ago I started ridding 29er mtbs and I have to say in the rough stuff the larger 700c wheel is much better for absorbing irregularities in the trail and once up to speed really maintains momentum. Given that 650b is closer to 26" in overall diametre I dare say on a really rough dirt road covered in corrugations a fat tyred 700c bike will be a lot more comfortable ride.

On paper there are pro's and cons for both wheel sizes.
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singlespeedscott
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:53 pm

I was in Big W yesterday and I noticed that some of the BSO actually have 650b wheels. So there is another source for spare tyres :P :lol:
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Smithstreet
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Smithstreet » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:55 pm

Espresso_ wrote:Never used mine for a proper audax - I'm much too fat and slow for that -
E

Some might argue that you fill two of the criteria for an Audax rider right there! :shock: :wink:
Just kidding.. lol

Sweet looking rig though E.

base
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby base » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:52 am

I've come to this conversation quite late, but I have some quite relevant experience to the original question. I've been riding a Grand Bois 650b randonneur style bike since 2007. It was actually the first bike ever equipped with the Grand Bois Hetre tyres, since I ordered the bike from the Grand Bois shop in Kyoto when the tyres first started production. If you ever go to Kyoto definitely put that shop on your list of things to see. If you like bikes your jaw will drop when you walk in the door.

I'm not a hardcore rando type. I've done a couple of short Audax rides, never more than 200. But I have used 650b on them. Most of my rides are commuting and touring, and I've done significant mileage on this bike (close to 40k km) and on both the Grand Bois and Compass tyres (they are both manufactured by Panaracer).

My observations:
* they roll almost but not quite as fast as a good quality 700c x 25 racing tyre
* they almost never get punctures if you run them at the recommended pressures (low!). I think I've had a total of about 6 punctures in 9 years
* they allow you to ride on insanely rough roads in relative comfort on a non suspended bike - I've toured the country farm tracks of Thailand a few times and ridden on really rocky, rough tracks on my bike no problems
* comfort is impressive, especially on crappy Australian rural roads that are far from smooth
* never had a tyre fail

As for spares and so on, I've bought a decent stockpile of tyres that will last me a number of years. I was concerned when I first got the bike as 650b was still a new thing, but now there are loads of tyres available. If I'm going on a ride somewhere remote, I just bring a spare tyre. They're folding and only weigh about 400g.

I'm in Sydney, happy to show anyone my bike if you're interested.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGIep18MwLt/
Last edited by base on Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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find_bruce
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby find_bruce » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:54 pm

Welcome to the forums base. Nice contribution to kick things off.

Espresso_
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Espresso_ » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:24 pm

base wrote:Most of my rides are commuting and touring, and I've done significant mileage on this bike (close to 40k km) and on both the Grand Bois and Compass tyres (they are both manufactured by Panaracer).


Having you compared Grand Bois and Compass like for like (Hetre vs Babyshoe Pass)?

I run Hetres, tubeless. However, I was planning to switch to the Compass Tyres when these are due for replacement, probably in the larger 48mm width (specifically listed as tubeless compatible).

Interested in your opinion.

E

base
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby base » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:55 pm

Yes I've tried standard and ultralight Hetres and currently have ultralight baby shoe passes on my bike.
The ultralight version of the Hetres and the BSP are very similar. Both very supple and feel great. BSP has significantly less tread though. I've gotten almost 10,000km out of one pair of Hetres!
For all round riding the standard Hetres are great. Very durable, puncture resistant and quite fast.

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kb
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby kb » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:39 am

base wrote:I'm in Sydney, happy to show anyone my bike if you're interested.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGIep18MwLt/

Sweet looking rig! Rather.. er.. jaunty saddle tilt :-) but I understand that's not uncommon with tensioned leather?
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base
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby base » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:54 am

The saddle is adjusted for all day comfort rather than photogenics :)

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Bendo
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Bendo » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:43 pm

@base: that's a lovely bike. I've been to I's Bicycle in Kyoto and I know what you mean about jaw-dropping. I think during the 80s and early 90s when they had the world's biggest economy they bought up a lot of nice bikes (and parts). When I was there, aside from all the Singers, Herses and Routens, the thing that caught my eye was the spectacular fillet brazed, aluminium-framed Barra randonneuse from the 1940s. I think it's price tag was about AUD10,000.

I just shared my new ride on the retro thread, but it probably belongs here. http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=530&start=2700#p1388321

Not ridden Audax but have done lots of country gravel on 650b and commute daily. I concur with @base on his description of the benefits of 650b. Not hype at all IMHO. b

base
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby base » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:11 pm

Bendo wrote:@base: that's a lovely bike. I've been to I's Bicycle in Kyoto and I know what you mean about jaw-dropping. I think during the 80s and early 90s when they had the world's biggest economy they bought up a lot of nice bikes (and parts). When I was there, aside from all the Singers, Herses and Routens, the thing that caught my eye was the spectacular fillet brazed, aluminium-framed Barra randonneuse from the 1940s. I think it's price tag was about AUD10,000.

I just shared my new ride on the retro thread, but it probably belongs here. http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=530&start=2700#p1388321

Not ridden Audax but have done lots of country gravel on 650b and commute daily. I concur with @base on his description of the benefits of 650b. Not hype at all IMHO. b


Bendo, awesome looking bike yourself, but I would say that :)

Are they brazed on Mafac Raids? I'm thinking of going to Toei for a camping bike version of my bike. It would be a copy pretty much but with brazed on centre pulls and a removable front low rider and saddle bag racks.

Enjoy your Toei! Mine has grown on me over the years. I hardly ride any other bike these days.

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Bendo
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Bendo » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:04 pm

They are indeed Raids with dedicated braze-ons, although both Compass and Grand Bois do their own versions now. Raids are easily the most expensive Mafac brake you can hunt for.

I highly recommend getting a Toei. A campeur would probably have heavier weight tubing than a randonneur, depending on what loads you would carry. If you follow Jan Heine's blog, you'll see he has a lovely Alex SInger campeur than also has diagonal down tubes like a mixte in addition to the top tube, and not one but two sets of rear brakes.

How is your Japanese though? Yamada san speaks no English, and you have to visit the factory to order. b

base
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby base » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:15 pm

Bendo wrote:They are indeed Raids with dedicated braze-ons, although both Compass and Grand Bois do their own versions now. Raids are easily the most expensive Mafac brake you can hunt for.

I highly recommend getting a Toei. A campeur would probably have heavier weight tubing than a randonneur, depending on what loads you would carry. If you follow Jan Heine's blog, you'll see he has a lovely Alex SInger campeur than also has diagonal down tubes like a mixte in addition to the top tube, and not one but two sets of rear brakes.

How is your Japanese though? Yamada san speaks no English, and you have to visit the factory to order. b


I've already used my bike as a camper using a Tubus low rider and nitto saddlebag rack clamped on and that frame is Kaisei 019 so I know it's stiff enough for my light weight and usual loads.
Toei made the Grand Bois frame so they already have the frame specs. I've got a couple of friends in Japan who can help with interpreting...
I've met the guys a couple of times before. Very nice folks.

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Bendo
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Bendo » Sat Jan 28, 2017 12:40 am

Ah, I suspected but didn't know for sure that Toei made GB's frames. That's a bit easier then! I see from your Insta that you've had a go at rinko. I suspect it might be a useful thing to do on the trains here too. Mine has a rinko headset. But it looks like bloody bike origami! It also requires a few special bits and bobs doesn't it? Bag, etc. b

base
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby base » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:20 am

If you've got the rinko headset then all you need is a bag. I don't do full rinko removing the rear wheel as my rear mudguard doesn't split.
I also remove the fork when I'm packing the bike in a box for airline travel as it keeps the fork/wheel/mudguard all in one piece with less likelihood of damage.

robHflyte
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby robHflyte » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:18 am

https://www.flickr.com/photos/roberthoehne/32437632651
enjoying my 650b Audax, commute, gravel, road bike.

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Thoglette
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Thoglette » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:36 pm

base wrote:If you've got the rinko headset then all you need is a bag.


Or a rinko headsetspanner.
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Bendo
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby Bendo » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:54 am

robHflyte wrote:https://www.flickr.com/photos/roberthoehne/32437632651
enjoying my 650b Audax, commute, gravel, road bike.


Kumo, lovely! Looks like internal wiring as well. Really nice bike. One thing I've always wanted to ask a Kumo rando owner is does the bike have toe overlap?

You've summed it up IMO: gravel, road, Audax, commute, they do it all well! b

robHflyte
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Re: 650b: hype?

Postby robHflyte » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:10 am

no toe overlap Bendo. Internal wiring, even a contactless dynamo hub, rear brake is internally routed also. Some really neat workmanship on the bike.
I've been out on a group ride with the rando, stuck with the group just fine. Main comment is "jeez you'd be fast on a modern bike", I usually reply with jeez you'd be comfortable on a bike like this. They call it the rolling lounge chair.

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