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JWK1

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have a GT Grade Alloy 2015.  The OEM wheelset is of course cheap, and more importantly for me, the rims are too narrow to handle 38s well on the turns.  I wanted this bike to be my all-day bike for a mixture of pavement (horrible, broken, frost heaved) and gravel roads.  The gravel roads are a pretty wide range of good to really rough, so I really want fat, fast tires.

I found two cheap wheelsets on velomine.  One has WTB SX23 rims with Shimano 475 hubs and the other has SX25 rims with Shimano 575 hubs.

I tried researching the rims and finally found that these were not really available as an aftermarket item, but used on OEM and pre-made inexpensive wheelsets.  Most of you probably know this already.

I measured the fork and chainstay areas of my bike and am certain that 650b 42mm tires will fit.  Uncertain about 47/48 tires.

Are these wheels so cheap and heavy it won't give me an accurate idea of what 650b/27.5 wheels are all about?  Waste of money? Worthwhile experiment?  The 575 hubs are Deore, correct?  Are those with steel axles?

Oh, and if it matters; I have my own truing stand and have always serviced my own Shimano hubs (although it has been awhile).

I'm also seriously thinking of getting one of BMC road+ frames when available or one of the MC disc frames.  So it does come down to 27.5 or 700c.  I don't have any experience with 650b/27.5 bikes.

Thanks for any info or suggestions.
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owly

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Reply with quote  #2 
If you can afford a wheelset and something like a pair of Panaracer Gravel King 650x42 (I'd try the slicks first) as an experiment then I'd go for it.

We're all different, but I have my bike setup solely as a 650b ride. Tyres ranging from ThunderBurt to 650x42. 

On the road, the 42mm is great. If I'm planning on venturing deep into the boonies where there's loose/large rocks then I throw on the ThunderBurt, as they roll fairly well on the sealed roads on the way.
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bzo

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Reply with quote  #3 
The benefit of 650b is to be able to run a wider tire without as much weight/inertia as a 700, and to keep the diameter of the wheel down. If you only run wider tires, 650b can be a good choice. You sure that you're going to gain that much more clearance with 650b though? Depending on tire, the radius will reduce about 15mm, which helps a lot on the vertical clearance, but only slightly on the horizontal clearance.

I'm not sure I'd want to go with those velomine wheels, 2300+ grams is really heavy. I saw a cheap aeffect set on jensonusa for a bit more that is 500g lighter.
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LewisQC

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Reply with quote  #4 
I can't find the exact wheelset on velomine so not sure what's your budget but Mason Hunt at 450us is not a bad choice. They come with all sort of adapter so should be easy to resell without loosing too much if it's not working for you. They're "only" 20mm internal though but 1549g...
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JWK1

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bzo
The benefit of 650b is to be able to run a wider tire without as much weight/inertia as a 700, and to keep the diameter of the wheel down. If you only run wider tires, 650b can be a good choice. You sure that you're going to gain that much more clearance with 650b though? Depending on tire, the radius will reduce about 15mm, which helps a lot on the vertical clearance, but only slightly on the horizontal clearance.

I'm not sure I'd want to go with those velomine wheels, 2300+ grams is really heavy. I saw a cheap aeffect set on jensonusa for a bit more that is 500g lighter.


I've measured for the 650b rims with 42mm tires.  I'm sure they will fit.  Probably not 47/48, but 42 for sure.  And yeah, those wheels are really heavy.  Really cheap at $129, but so heavy it might just be throwing money away.  The GT Grade alloy isn't worth putting too much money into, especially when I'm planning on getting a better gravel bike anyway.  Ah, choices, choices.  Thanks for the info.  I'll check those wheels out on Jenson.
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JWK1

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisQC
I can't find the exact wheelset on velomine so not sure what's your budget but Mason Hunt at 450us is not a bad choice. They come with all sort of adapter so should be easy to resell without loosing too much if it's not working for you. They're "only" 20mm internal though but 1549g...


Actually, I've never thought about hubs that could be used for both QR and thru axle.  Any downside to that?  Any particular make/brand that does it "right"?

If there are hubs that can truly work just as well with both QR and thru, I would up my budget considerably because I will be getting a new frameset with thru axles and I want to have decent wheels.  I would not go with 20mm internal, though.  I'm trying to find what the best balance would be to go between 42 and 47/48 tires, depending on the ride.  I think 20mm internal is just a bit too narrow for the larger tire.

Thanks for your input.
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JWK1

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Reply with quote  #7 
Oh, never mind about the adapters.  What was I thinking?  You can only do that for the front.  So I decide whether to buy the cheap wheelset for the cheap bike or not.  Maybe worth it to find if I like the whole 27.5 thing or not.  If I find it's not that much of an improvement for gravel and broken pavement, I would just stick with another 700c setup for my next bike.  I ride 38s on my 700c bikes now.
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LewisQC

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWK1
Oh, never mind about the adapters.  What was I thinking?  You can only do that for the front.  So I decide whether to buy the cheap wheelset for the cheap bike or not.  Maybe worth it to find if I like the whole 27.5 thing or not.  If I find it's not that much of an improvement for gravel and broken pavement, I would just stick with another 700c setup for my next bike.  I ride 38s on my 700c bikes now.


Some wheelset (dtswiss, hunt for example) are sold with adapter, front and rear, for customization depending on your bike  (15mm, 12mm, qr front/ qr, 12mm rear) sometime even xd driver or adapter for 6bolt brake if hubs are center lock. It easier to move those wheels on a new bike or find a buyer if you sell them. Most hub can be modified with adapters but I like it when every standard are covered...
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JWK1

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewisQC


Some wheelset (dtswiss, hunt for example) are sold with adapter, front and rear, for customization depending on your bike  (15mm, 12mm, qr front/ qr, 12mm rear) sometime even xd driver or adapter for 6bolt brake if hubs are center lock. It easier to move those wheels on a new bike or find a buyer if you sell them. Most hub can be modified with adapters but I like it when every standard are covered...


OK, thanks!  I'll check that out.
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heybrady

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Reply with quote  #10 
The Shimano hubs are super heavy and those are fitted to most of the lower priced wheelsets on velomine, etc.  

If you can, search around for some Stan's Rapid wheelsets on ebay.  It is an OEM Stan's rim but sets up great tubeless and are usually 25 or 28mm inside width.  I put a set of 700c on my gravel bike and really like them.  Was considering another set for my 29er and the last ebay search I did about a week ago showed a bunch of 650b sets in the $200 range.  I would say most of these come in around 1800-1900g in the 700 version.
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GoatRidesBikes

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Reply with quote  #11 
I would suggest American Classic but who knows if/when they'll be producing wheels again. I lucked into a set of Industry Nine Trail 245 27.5 wheels that were 2017 closeouts for $750.
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chas

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWK1
I ride 38s on my 700c bikes now.


I don't know what your stock bottom bracket height is, but its going to be real low if you go to 650b x 42.  A cross bike could get away with it, but most gravel bikes have a 75-80mm drop.  I wouldn't want to go lower than that.
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JWK1

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


I don't know what your stock bottom bracket height is, but its going to be real low if you go to 650b x 42.  A cross bike could get away with it, but most gravel bikes have a 75-80mm drop.  I wouldn't want to go lower than that.


It's fine.  The BB drop is 70mm.  I've ridden it plenty with 28s.  I think 650b/42mm is about the same circumference as 700C/28mm, isn't it?
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owly

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWK1


I think 650b/42mm is about the same circumference as 700C/28mm, isn't it?


That's what I thought until I mounted some 42mm myself. 

On a 22mm-inner rim, my 42 are the same height as my 700x23mm.
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calnaction

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Reply with quote  #15 
I got a set of these to try out the 650b thing on my Giant TCX:

DT Swiss Syncros XR2.0 27.5" Mountain Bike TLR Wheelset // 15x100mm // 12x142mm

I haven't had them long, but they seem decent, especially for the low price. Hubs are cheap DT Swiss, but you can find all the various freehubs and endcaps easily to make it work with your cassette and thru axles. The only knock is that they are just 20mm internal width, but that works fine up to 2.0" tires. I figure if I really like rolling 650b for gravel/off-road, I'll upgrade to a nicer set later.
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squak

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calnaction
I got a set of these to try out the 650b thing on my Giant TCX:

DT Swiss Syncros XR2.0 27.5" Mountain Bike TLR Wheelset // 15x100mm // 12x142mm

I haven't had them long, but they seem decent, especially for the low price. Hubs are cheap DT Swiss, but you can find all the various freehubs and endcaps easily to make it work with your cassette and thru axles. The only knock is that they are just 20mm internal width, but that works fine up to 2.0" tires. I figure if I really like rolling 650b for gravel/off-road, I'll upgrade to a nicer set later.


I was considering that same wheelset for the same reasons (relatively inexpensive option for trying 650b).  I don't suppose you weighed yours?  I'm curious if the listed weight is accurate. 
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LewisQC

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squak


I was considering that same wheelset for the same reasons (relatively inexpensive option for trying 650b).  I don't suppose you weighed yours?  I'm curious if the listed weight is accurate. 


Can't say for this wheelset but I can say from personal experience that Dtswiss are usually pretty accurate with their published weight...
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calnaction

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Reply with quote  #18 
Unfortunately, I didn't think to weigh it before putting tires and cassette on. Can't say it was a huge concern...
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GoatRidesBikes

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Reply with quote  #19 

Here's my Groad Bike setup.

WTB Resolute 42c tires on Industry Nine Trail 245 wheels (24.5mm internal width) measured out to 83 5/16 inches in circumference, 26.58 diameter.

Hutchinson Sector 28c tires on Fulcrum 5db wheels (unkown internal) measured out to 84 3/4 inches in circumference, 26.98 diameter.

I have some maintenance to do on #TerraLaCabra this afternoon. I'll measure the difference in Bottom Bracket Height while I'm at it.

.4 inches difference in height of the wheel or about 10mm.


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chas

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calnaction
I got a set of these to try out the 650b thing on my Giant TCX:

DT Swiss Syncros XR2.0 27.5" Mountain Bike TLR Wheelset // 15x100mm // 12x142mm

I haven't had them long, but they seem decent, especially for the low price. Hubs are cheap DT Swiss, but you can find all the various freehubs and endcaps easily to make it work with your cassette and thru axles. The only knock is that they are just 20mm internal width, but that works fine up to 2.0" tires. I figure if I really like rolling 650b for gravel/off-road, I'll upgrade to a nicer set later.


How would you convert the front to 100x12?
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calnaction

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Reply with quote  #21 
I know DT Swiss is good about having parts for all their wheels. You can look here to find the part:

http://bti-usa.com/public/category/HU/HUSP/DT/?page=1#_DT041

It's probably one of these, most likely the one for the cheapest hubs (DT-0526):
DetailsDT-050912x100mm TA-front (CL): 180 (blk)/17mm OD axleYES
also compatible:2016+ Spline1501, XMC1200, RR21 Dicut Disc and RC Carbon
DetailsDT-051512x100mm TA-front (CL): 240s road discNO
2011+ DT 240 DBCL hubs with 18mm OD axle only,white 180 hubs,Tricon XM wheels & 1501 spline silver/black hub
DetailsDT-052612x100mm TA-front (CL): 350 road discNO
compatible with 15x100mm 350 hubs & R23/R24 wheels with either a 15x100mm or 9x100mm DT Swiss thru bolt front hub

It's probably worth emailing DT Swiss to get a definitive answer.
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Grf

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by calnaction
I got a set of these to try out the 650b thing on my Giant TCX:

DT Swiss Syncros XR2.0 27.5" Mountain Bike TLR Wheelset // 15x100mm // 12x142mm

I haven't had them long, but they seem decent, especially for the low price. Hubs are cheap DT Swiss, but you can find all the various freehubs and endcaps easily to make it work with your cassette and thru axles. The only knock is that they are just 20mm internal width, but that works fine up to 2.0" tires. I figure if I really like rolling 650b for gravel/off-road, I'll upgrade to a nicer set later.


Quick question about this wheelset. Do you run road 11 speed cassette? The weight and design look pretty good for what I want to try next (27.5 for commuter).
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calnaction

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Reply with quote  #23 
I'm running the shimano CS-HG800-11 11-34 cassette. I'm pretty sure the hub only takes shimano mtb 11-speed cassettes
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widerisfaster

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Reply with quote  #24 
I've just bought a set of $200 Giant 27.5 MTB wheels to try out 650B without a big investment. Most MTB riders are upgrading to wider wheels, these are 22C inner, 27mm outer, perfect for gravel!

The front axle is 15mm, so I had to buy a 12mm to 15mm axle sleeve. Also, the outer hub is slightly too big to fit in my fork, as the fork alignment tabs are designed for 12mm hubs. I'm getting the LBS to lathe a little bit off to match the shape of my DT Swiss road disc hubs. 

I hadn't thought about needing a MTB cassette, thanks for the heads up!
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chas

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Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by widerisfaster
I've just bought a set of $200 Giant 27.5 MTB wheels to try out 650B without a big investment. Most MTB riders are upgrading to wider wheels, these are 22C inner, 27mm outer, perfect for gravel!

The front axle is 15mm, so I had to buy a 12mm to 15mm axle sleeve. Also, the outer hub is slightly too big to fit in my fork, as the fork alignment tabs are designed for 12mm hubs. I'm getting the LBS to lathe a little bit off to match the shape of my DT Swiss road disc hubs. 

I hadn't thought about needing a MTB cassette, thanks for the heads up!


I had the same problem.  I put a axle sleeve in, but the end caps didn't match the fork.  Typically, they do pop off, so I bought some 12mm end caps and that worked fine.  
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