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700c vs 650B for a singlespeed

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700c vs 650B for a singlespeed

Old 04-19-20, 07:41 PM
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pbass
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700c vs 650B for a singlespeed

My main geared ride is 650B gravel rig with tubeless 47's, while my ss is 700c with 41's tubed. I have tons of fun on both, in different ways of course. My son has been adopting my ss, so I'm thinking of building up another ss as a quarantine project. I'm just curious, how do folks feel the wheel sizes compare in a singlespeed context?
EDIT: to clarify, the intended use is sort of an "all-rounder"--pavement, some fire roads, a little mellow singletrack. I ride all my bikes that way these days.

Last edited by pbass; 04-20-20 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 04-20-20, 07:42 AM
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I just laced up a 650b wheelset and doh!, the 38mm tires don't fit either frame I wanted to use.
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Old 04-20-20, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
My main geared ride is 650B gravel rig with tubeless 47's, while my ss is 700c with 41's tubed. I have tons of fun on both, in different ways of course. My son has been adopting my ss, so I'm thinking of building up another ss as a quarantine project. I'm just curious, how do folks feel the wheel sizes compare in a singlespeed context?
EDIT: to clarify, the intended use is sort of an "all-rounder"--pavement, some fire roads, a little mellow singletrack. I ride all my bikes that way these days.
I'm not as qualified as most here, but I sure like the 700x42 (aka 42x622) Panaracer Tour tires on my single speed. I ride pavement, dirt road, dirt path, grass, through some slime and mud, water, whatever. Pick your tire pressure and enjoy the ride.

I've thought about getting a bike with 650x47s on many occassions, but my only wide tire experience is with tires in the 26"x2" range. I used to think I'd always stick to that size, but the 42s seem to do anything a wider tire can do with my style of riding.

The trick nowadays is finding those Tours without the reflective stripe on the sidewall.

Last edited by FiftySix; 04-20-20 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 04-20-20, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I'm not as qualified as most here, but I sure like the 700x42 (aka 42x622) Panaracer Tour tires on my single speed. I ride pavement, dirt road, dirt path, grass, through some slime and mud, water, whatever. Pick your tire pressure and enjoy the ride.

I've thought about getting a bike with 650x47s on many occassions, but my only wide tire experience is with tires in the 26"x2" range. I used to think I'd always stick to that size, but the 42s seem to do anything a wider tire can do with my style of riding.

The trick nowadays is finding those Tours without the reflective stripe on the sidewall.
I do like both sizes, and having come from riding a ss 29'r mtb, I always kind of felt that with singlespeed, those big wheels helped with speed and getting going and up and over things. But, I ride small-ish frame sizes, and now that I have a 650B bike I do love the smaller wheel size for handling - I think it fits my proportions better. (I know as an experiment I can simulate singlespeeding by just riding my 650Bx47 in one gear, but y'know....it does feel different doing that, even if it's just mental). Just curious as to others thoughts--it does seem like you see way more 700c singlespeeds out there than 650B....
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Old 04-20-20, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by pbass View Post
I do like both sizes, and having come from riding a ss 29'r mtb, I always kind of felt that with singlespeed, those big wheels helped with speed and getting going and up and over things. But, I ride small-ish frame sizes, and now that I have a 650B bike I do love the smaller wheel size for handling - I think it fits my proportions better. (I know as an experiment I can simulate singlespeeding by just riding my 650Bx47 in one gear, but y'know....it does feel different doing that, even if it's just mental). Just curious as to others thoughts--it does seem like you see way more 700c singlespeeds out there than 650B....
So true. I've done simulated no shift or limited shift riding like that to help me decide on future bike purchases as well. Knowing I have an easy out on a geared bike is like having a parachute and I can bail out from the "single speed" ride anytime.
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Old 04-20-20, 10:55 AM
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Personally, I'm a really big fan of fatter tires on a FG (42-559 in my case.) It softens the ride for all those times you must be in the saddle while pedaling furiously on rough ground.

You hipsters can keep your 700x23C tires.
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Old 04-20-20, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Personally, I'm a really big fan of fatter tires on a FG (42-559 in my case.) It softens the ride for all those times you must be in the saddle while pedaling furiously on rough ground.

You hipsters can keep your 700x23C tires.
I hear ya--I love my tubeless 650Bx47s running crazy low pressure. I guess there's always trade-offs. Maybe 700c will feel faster, but then I'd miss out on the cushy-ness...
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Old 10-26-20, 12:15 PM
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Just curious where you got with this. I want to go 650b on my FG but am having a heck of a time finding any wheels. Wondering if there are any out there before I go custom.
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Old 10-26-20, 09:13 PM
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ofajen
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Sorry that I canít comment on 650B but I do have 700C and 26er, both running SS.

I have 700x32 on the Schwinn. The other bike is a 26er (88 RockHopper). With smooth tires (26x2.0) it is maybe 1/2 mph slower on average than the Schwinn.

Now with 26x2.2 RaceKings and all the trails being perpetually wet and sticky (or worse) from now until spring itís probably at least one mph slower.

OTOH, those big tires are fine with anything I meet on trails or rough gravel these days and a bunch more comfy so itís a fair trade I guess. Plus that MTB as a SS feels like a big version of a kidís bike. Awesome! 👍

Otto
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Old 10-26-20, 11:02 PM
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Even with the same gear inches, smaller wheels accelerate faster and turn quicker. I think a 650B singlespeed would be a blast!

All City specs the smaller sizes of their Nature Boy SSCX with 650B, btw.

Last edited by Rolla; 10-26-20 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 10-27-20, 12:11 AM
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floof

Was definitely skeptical of LBS' suggestion but running steel FG gravel build on 700x32 Roubaix and pretty impressed after first couple hundred miles. Very different experience from Peugeot city fixie on 700x23 and 650x?? stumpy lost to theft many years ago. Can tell I won't be taking drops like the stumpy and the tires seem soggy on pavement relative to the ancient, crusty tires on the Peugeot but holy smokes do they eat up the dusty single track!!
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Old 10-27-20, 10:41 AM
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Building up Pacenti Brevets with prowheelbuilder.com

Will update if anyone is interested.

After riding 650b for a while on my geared bike, I donít think I can ever go back to 700c.
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Old 11-04-20, 06:17 PM
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Iíve been wanting to do this after being disappointed with the ride feel of going full-puffy and doing a fixed 26er and just wanting the feel of my 80s roadie with slightly more tire than it would fit with 700 rims.

Hesitating on building wheels thatíll hasten the destruction of that sweet old frame.

Right now it looks like Iím saving for a Wabi Thunder as its geo is darn close to that old roadie and will fit 700x50 tires.

Hope the 650ís work for you!
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Old 11-06-20, 10:21 AM
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no one is ever going to have a definitive "better" answer. depends on too many variables.

My current gravel bike will work with 650B 47mm tires or 700C 43mm or so tires. I went with 650B and 47mm WTB Ventures because I don't want narrow tires to limit the terrain I ride. 42x17 gearing is working well for that, but that's the topic of a different conversation.
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Old 11-11-20, 03:55 PM
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I think it doesn't make as much of a difference as some claim. 650b gives a little more toe clearance for tight turns, but those of us who ride smaller frames learn to ride around the toe overlap. I choose the right tire for the ride based on width, height mostly doesn't matter. I have 26" regular and fatbike, 27.5 and 700c/29. Some of the bikes have mixed sizes for different reasons.
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Old 11-17-20, 11:22 PM
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Thanks for all the replies! I forgot to check back in on this thread after a while! FWIW, I still haven't built the new ss. I'm riding either my drop bar 1x11 Rove 650B x 47 Ventures, or my flat bar singlespeed (700c) Cross Check. I did however just buy some new tires for the CC--got some Nano 700 x 40s on it now. Actually ended up a teeny bit narrower than the old Knard 41s they replaced, which I was a little concerned with, but once I got used to how they behave in the dirt, I can really tear it up on 'em---they "feel" fast. Makes the bike even more fun.
All that said, next bike will be 650B--pretty sure it's just a better fit for my small size and frame, and how I ride (lots of dirt).
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Old 11-18-20, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
I think it doesn't make as much of a difference as some claim. 650b gives a little more toe clearance for tight turns, but those of us who ride smaller frames learn to ride around the toe overlap. I choose the right tire for the ride based on width, height mostly doesn't matter. I have 26" regular and fatbike, 27.5 and 700c/29. Some of the bikes have mixed sizes for different reasons.
True what you say about overlap - when I'm moving at speed on my 700c bike I never think about it. If I'm going slow enough to get some TO, it's not really impeding my ride or dangerous - I'm crawling through some rock garden or something or other - again, just becomes subconscious--you pedal around it. I do though feel like I'm better/faster in tight switchbacks on my 650B than on a 29r, but that may simply be a technique thing.
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Old 11-18-20, 07:09 PM
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I have a Volpe setup double speed (42/15 or 39/18) with 700x35s. I just built up a Wolverine 42/18 with 650x48s (tubeless). The 650x48s feel just as fast on-road and more capable off-road - at ~30psi they fly over everything.
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Old 11-29-20, 10:32 AM
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Update: finally got my wheels to complete my conversion . Pacenti Brevet rims and All-City hubs. WTB Horizon tires. Clearance is tight, but juuuust enough.

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Old 11-30-20, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
no one is ever going to have a definitive "better" answer. depends on too many variables.

My current gravel bike will work with 650B 47mm tires or 700C 43mm or so tires. I went with 650B and 47mm WTB Ventures because I don't want narrow tires to limit the terrain I ride. 42x17 gearing is working well for that, but that's the topic of a different conversation.
Sweet looking bike, what is it?
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Old 12-01-20, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mornview View Post
Sweet looking bike, what is it?
Twin Six Standard Rando with carbon fork. The frame has a BB30 shell, so I put a Wheels Mfg. eccentric BB in it to tension the chain. This bike is only a month old for me, but I have since put a 18t cog on switched to TRP Spyre brakes with RRL levers from the Hylex set that was on it.
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