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Show Us Your 650B Conversions

Old 05-18-21, 04:15 PM
  #851  
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A set of the Mach 1 wheels arrived today. The rear wheelmaster 135mm hub feels like its filled with gravel and the spokes are zinc plated, but they were $100 to my door. It looks like they will be easy enough to respace to 126mm.

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Old 05-18-21, 04:36 PM
  #852  
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
A set of the Mach 1 wheels arrived today. The rear wheelmaster 135mm hub feels like its filled with gravel and the spokes are zinc plated, but they where $100 to my door. It looks like they will be easy enough to respace to 126mm.
Where did you order from? I don't see a way to order from JBI.
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Old 05-18-21, 04:46 PM
  #853  
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I got these off ebay. I think they cost more like $150 retail. I'd hazard a guess that the ones I got are "seconds" because the cones are too tight.
I saw them listed a couple different places but they don't "Google well"

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Old 05-19-21, 04:06 PM
  #854  
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Allez 650b Conversion

Well, I did it guys.

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Old 05-19-21, 04:47 PM
  #855  
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Largest 650B tire in the 88 Schwinn Le Tour Conversion?

Originally Posted by smurfy View Post
Any 650B enthusiasts out there?

Here are my pics of my '88 Schwinn Le Tour 650B that is also a three-speed conversion:

Does anyone know what the largest 650B tire one can get on a converted Le Tour would be? I'm thinking of picking up one and giving this a try, but not sure of this point. I'd like something which could give me some wider options.

Thanks!
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Old 05-19-21, 07:31 PM
  #856  
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Originally Posted by hellojoben View Post
Well, I did it guys.

Ooooohhhhh. With a fancy pants Sugino crankset, too!
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Old 05-19-21, 09:54 PM
  #857  
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Originally Posted by hellojoben View Post
Well, I did it guys.

perfect fit for the small frame!! really great looking job
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Old 05-20-21, 05:16 AM
  #858  
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Originally Posted by dschad View Post
Does anyone know what the largest 650B tire one can get on a converted Le Tour would be? I'm thinking of picking up one and giving this a try, but not sure of this point. I'd like something which could give me some wider options.

Thanks!
The Le Tour was a made for decades and frame geometry changed over the years. You’d need to have a frame in your hands to really know. Somewhere in this thread is probably a link to the bikeman website with a detailed how-to-check page. Google bikeman and 650b conversion and you’ll find it.

Even the tightest 80’s steel frames can typically take 38mm tires. Clearance will be close and fenders won’t be an option, but it can be done. It may not seem like much of a gain, but I just don’t ride many places that are fun on 25mm tires pumped to 110psi. Going to 38mm tires gets me way more comfort... and into some serious gravel!
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Old 05-20-21, 05:20 AM
  #859  
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
A set of the Mach 1 wheels arrived today. The rear wheelmaster 135mm hub feels like its filled with gravel and the spokes are zinc plated, but they were $100 to my door. It looks like they will be easy enough to respace to 126mm.
I’ve found that with wheel sets, you get what you pay for. As long as you’re prepared for that, you win. Let us know how the tires mount up.
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Old 05-20-21, 07:27 AM
  #860  
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
The Le Tour was a made for decades and frame geometry changed over the years. You’d need to have a frame in your hands to really know. Somewhere in this thread is probably a link to the bikeman website with a detailed how-to-check page. Google bikeman and 650b conversion and you’ll find it.

Even the tightest 80’s steel frames can typically take 38mm tires. Clearance will be close and fenders won’t be an option, but it can be done. It may not seem like much of a gain, but I just don’t ride many places that are fun on 25mm tires pumped to 110psi. Going to 38mm tires gets me way more comfort... and into some serious gravel!
Thanks for the reply. I should have been more specific - I was referring to the one which started this thread, a 1988 Le Tour. I have looked at the Bikeman stuff, but will reread more closely. Unfortunately shopping for a suitable bike can be a challenge - need to buy to find out it won't do what you want.
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Old 05-20-21, 04:56 PM
  #861  
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Originally Posted by dschad View Post
Thanks for the reply. I should have been more specific - I was referring to the one which started this thread, a 1988 Le Tour. I have looked at the Bikeman stuff, but will reread more closely. Unfortunately shopping for a suitable bike can be a challenge - need to buy to find out it won't do what you want.
I find that 70’s up to early 80’s sport-tourers make the best conversions - they generally came with clearance for 700x32 tires, sometimes even 35mm. I would just stay away from bikes that came with 27” wheels - they’re a bit too much of a stretch to get long-reach brakes to work well.
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Old 05-20-21, 07:44 PM
  #862  
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Originally Posted by mountaindave View Post
I find that 70’s up to early 80’s sport-tourers make the best conversions - they generally came with clearance for 700x32 tires, sometimes even 35mm. I would just stay away from bikes that came with 27” wheels - they’re a bit too much of a stretch to get long-reach brakes to work well.
I think that I have decided on what appears to be a very safe and desirable approach: the Fuji S10-S variants. These seem to support wide tires (42mm) and there are a large number of success stories, and there is a beater version pretty close that I can pick up easily.
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Old 05-20-21, 09:57 PM
  #863  
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Originally Posted by dschad View Post
I think that I have decided on what appears to be a very safe and desirable approach: the Fuji S10-S variants. These seem to support wide tires (42mm) and there are a large number of success stories, and there is a beater version pretty close that I can pick up easily.
That sounds like a solid choice.
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Old 05-23-21, 04:38 PM
  #864  
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@GeoffroyFromLux, beautiful bike. The brake pad on the rear brake is misaligned. You better check that.
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Old 05-24-21, 05:47 PM
  #865  
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Regarding the late 70s-early 80s low trail Trek conversions:

Can a fender fit between the chainstays before dimpling? Does dimpling the chainstays allow the fender to fit between the stays, or is the fender’s position at the seatstay bridge roughly unchanged and the dimpling primarily to accommodate 42s from 38s?
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Old 06-11-21, 09:03 PM
  #866  
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Well, soon after posting I realized I lack a couple fender mounting points so never mind (for the time being).

This is a bit convoluted so bear with me. Right after the most recent round of stimulus checks, I impulse-bought an '80 Trek 710 frame (which I later discovered turned out to be from a forum member) with the plan of slowly acquiring parts to do a 650b conversion. A few weeks later, I saw a Nishiki Cresta listed for $50, and having just seen someone put 700c x 40mm tires on one, I figured I could do that to have a gravel-y bike until the Trek was up and running. It turned out the Nishiki had been saved from the trash but was pretty beat up and would've taken a bit more time and money than I wanted to spend to get running again. I still bought it to sell off the parts to fund the 710. Around the same time, I saw an ad for an '82 Trek 613 which had already been converted to 650b. So, this was the plan: Buy the Nishiki, start parting out the Nishiki, buy the 613, swap the parts from the 613 to the 710, then sell the 613's frame. When all is said and done, I should have a 650b'd 710 for the price of the frame. [Wildly, all three of these were 25" frames]

Anyway, I've got photos.

'82 Trek 613
Nearly as purchased (bag, bottle, and bottle cage were already mine). I swapped the 11-25t 10-speed cassette to an 11-28t 8-speed. The Blue Line rd could shift across 9 of the 10 cogs, but the chain bucked quite a bit unless perfectly trimmed. The 8-speed is plenty of gears for me, coming from the 5 on my Voyageur, and the small jumps between the 10-speed felt unnecessary. It also had a light blue cotton tape.


'80 Trek 710
Largely the same as above. The blue Trek had Nitto B135 Grand Randonneur handlebars and an SR stem. I decided to use the Sakae Road Champion handlebars and Custom stem from the Nishiki, but I'm probably gonna swap the Nitto bars back tonight. I really dislike the Road Champions, which were also on my Voyageur when I bought it. The stems seem the same, except that this one doesn't have a large, garish SR on the side. The Dia-Compe brake levers are also off the Nishiki. I wasn't wild about the Tektro levers and figured I'd get gum hoods and some white cotton bar tape for a classic look. The bar tape should be here any day. I changed the front tire from a 38 to a 42. Still a 38 in the rear... for now. Both Pari-Motos.


I trimmed the cables after the photo and a quick shakedown ride around the neighborhood. This will slowly get updated, probably with a Brooks Professional first, but I'm happy to ride it as is for now. I'm thinking it will eventually be some sort of restomod Shimergo jawn. Having the Nishiki to teardown before starting on the 613 was a good learning experience, and building up the 710 was a fun challenge. This was my first time putting a bike together and most of the hangups were due to finding where I could get the proper tools. It's all worked out in the end, and I'm super pumped to be able to ride this thing! It's SO much lighter than the Voyageur. I can't wait for the rides to come!

And as an unsolicited plug, I had the rear dropouts spread by Keystone Bike Co. in Philly. If anyone's in that area and looking for a shop, check em out. Great people!
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Old 06-12-21, 10:42 PM
  #867  
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Amazing 650B conversions.
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Old 06-13-21, 09:33 PM
  #868  
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Originally Posted by dschad View Post
I think that I have decided on what appears to be a very safe and desirable approach: the Fuji S10-S variants. These seem to support wide tires (42mm) and there are a large number of success stories, and there is a beater version pretty close that I can pick up easily.
Changed my mind. I picked up an early 70s Mercier 200 (I think) at the dump. Seems like a great candidate, and I'm in love with the thing! Lot of room for big tires.
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Old 08-18-21, 07:04 PM
  #869  
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1979 Trek 710

I acquired this bike in its original form from a discerning gentleman from Mass. - turns out he is also a BF member. He got it from the original owner - then did a down-to-the-frame rehab. The 24" frame turned out to be a bit too small for him. For me, the 24" is just right - and a better fit than the 3 other vintage Treks I have which are all 22.5" more or less.

Many of the new parts that I put on the bike are familiar to 650b aficionados. Perhaps the most unusual feature is the modern Sun XCD cranks with TA Pro Vis chain rings in a super-compact format of 40/26. I kept the original FD and RD which work well with the 7 speed cassette installed on the 650b wheels that I built using Pacenti Brevet rims.

....couldn't resist the mud flaps...






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Old 08-19-21, 08:49 AM
  #870  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
A well-chosen "buddy flap" shows consideration for your fellow riders.
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Old 08-19-21, 09:50 AM
  #871  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
First time I saw one of those was on a SF Randonneur ride about 9 years ago. LMAO!
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Old 08-19-21, 01:01 PM
  #872  
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Originally Posted by jlaw View Post
. Perhaps the most unusual feature is the modern Sun XCD cranks with TA Pro Vis chain rings in a super-compact format of 40/26. I kept the original FD and RD which work well with the 7 speed cassette installed on the 650b wheels that I built using Pacenti Brevet rims.
What's the cog spec on your cassette? How does the sub compact set up work out with the terrain your rideing?
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Old 08-19-21, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hellojoben View Post
Well, I did it guys.

You sure did. Nice job. Looks like a brilliant little bike.
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Old 08-19-21, 02:22 PM
  #874  
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Originally Posted by bark_eater View Post
What's the cog spec on your cassette? How does the sub compact set up work out with the terrain your rideing?

It's a standard 12-32 7 speed cassette. Most of my rides are through rolling terrain, 400 to 600 feet of ascent per every 10 miles. 1000 feet + per 10 miles is possible, but that is not the norm.

With a 40-12 combo I can pedal comfortably up to 22+ mph - which I only do when going downhill. This means that I pedal up to 22+ and then coast when descending. Maintaining 20+ mph on the flats is not something I can do so there is no penalty for me having a 'big' combo of 40-12.

On the other end, a 40-32 combo is a very nice ascending gear for me when the terrain gets moderately steep. I can comfortably spin while seated with the 40-32 and the 40-28 combos. This means that for perhaps 95% of my 'rolling terrain' rides I never have to shift the FD. The 7 speed cassette has comfortable jumps between the gear ratios. However, with friction DT shifting and 7 speeds I do 'mash' and stand-up a bit more than I do with my bikes that have brake lever shifting and 10 speeds - but I don't mind this.

The 26T chainring gives me plenty of crawl-gears when things get really steep or I'm whooped.

The Sun XCD 50.4 BCD cranks and TA Pro Viz rings fit together without any significant issues despite being from two different manufacturers. I did need to file one chain ring hole very slightly to get the bolt to sit 'just-so'. They work fine for 6-7-8 speed chain. The shop that sold me these components said that 9 and 10 speed chains will work with this crank/ring combo, but I think some adjustment of the space between the rings might be necessary - even if a relatively narrow 10 speed chain will engage the rings properly.

I installed the crank on the original BB square taper spindle and torqued it to the low end of the Park Tools spec. range - no creaking or any other issues.

I have success shifting the old-school TA rings from small to large by briefly letting-up on the pedals, throwing the FD lever all the way, and then gradually re-applying pedal effort - sort of like a clutch. Shifting the FD upward under full pedal load can lead to grinding. The shifting might be improved if I could lower the FD cage closer to the 40T ring, but if I did this the cage would hit the chain stay when shifting to the 26T ring.



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Old 08-19-21, 04:36 PM
  #875  
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1979 Trek 710 650b - two small issues

The only issues I have with the bike are:

1) The Tange headset is finicky. If I tighten it just barely enough to take the little click out of it (when I apply the front brake and push it forward) then it is so tight that I can't ride no-handed and the steering is way too stiff. If I then barely loosen the headset nut - perhaps 5 degrees - then the click comes back but I can ride no-handed and the steering feels normal. There is no sweet-spot with this headset. I have decided to live with the slight 'click' because the steering feels normal.

2) The fact that I installed a rear fender and the way I did the install makes it necessary that the rear tire be deflated in order to remove the rear wheel. I wanted to nail the fender line so I used a made a rigid connection from the chain stay bridge to the fender using a bolt, several nuts/washers, and a P clamp so I didn't have to drill the stay (photo). This works great for the purpose of adjusting the fender line, but offers little flexibility to be able to push the wheel forward in the horizontal drop outs when removing the wheel. I have used the Velo Orange 'spring thing' for this type of fender connection on another bike, but I prefer a fully rigid connection for making the fender line.

Add to this the fact that the rear hub on this bike is 130 mm while the rear drop out spacing is only 122 mm. On a work stand I can fit the rear wheel into the the drop outs by hand if I remove the skewer and exercise patience, but I anticipate a real struggle some day trying to fix a rear tire flat on the side of the road. I have ridden this bike about 600 miles so far without a flat, but the inevitable is lurking somewhere in the future.

I could re-space the drop-outs using the threaded rods/washers/nuts method shown in many Youtube videos but I am afraid that I would damage this special Reynolds 531 frame by cracking the stay welds or damaging the stays themselves. Some of the Youtube 'experts' are cranking their rear drop outs to a dimension of 170 mm or more in order to gain 5 to 7 mm when they spring back. Yikes!

But, it's this type of idiosyncrasy that makes an modified old bike interesting and I'm going to live with it. I can always call AAA, right?





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