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Smaller Wheels, More Fun? 650B VS 700C

Smaller Wheels, More Fun? 650B VS 700C


(energetic rock music) – Our mates over at Zipp have just lent us these rather cool bikes, so that we can check out
their new 303 Disc Tubeless Firecrest wheels which are available– – In a smaller size, 650B. Now if you are a road rider, you probably haven’t ever had to think very much about wheel size before, if at all. Because road bikes come
with what are called 700C wheels, and that’s pretty much that. – But increasingly,
there is an alternative, this smaller alternative
that’s called 650B. They’re an interesting proposition. They potentially help
to improve the design of smaller bikes. But then there’s a new crop of bikes that utilise this size
to increase versatility whilst maintaining speed and agility. – By pairing smaller rims with
bigger tyres, the promise is that they can make drop
handlebar bikes more fun. – We can’t wait to try them out properly, on-road, off-road, uphill and down, and see what all the fuss is about. Well, let’s back up a bit before
we start talking about fun. You can be excused for not knowing what on earth we’re talking about. So what is it? Cy? – A 650B wheel has a rim
diameter of 584 millimetres. A 700C wheel has a rim
diameter of 622 millimetres. Now the concept behind
improving bike design for smaller riders is a simple one. You see, we don’t have to make sacrifices to the geometry of the bike in order to squeeze those larger wheels
underneath the rider. But what about the fun thing, then? Fortunately that, too,
is also a simple concept. By using a smaller diameter 650B rim, you can therefore fit a larger tyre and still keep the overall
wheel diameter the same as a standard 700C road wheel. Now that means you can keep the geometry, and therefore the
handling characteristics, the same as a normal road bike. But, the added tyre
volume means that you are not restricted to riding on
the road, not by a long shot. – Or at least that is the theory. Until Zipp lent us their brand-new 650B 303 Firecrest Disc
Tubeless wheel set, we hadn’t had the opportunity to try. So these are tubeless
compatible, disc brake specific, and they’ve got that
super-aero Firecrest shape. Now as you can see from
the fact that I’m still not particularly dirty just
yet, we still haven’t really tried them properly. And so, we have planned
another GCN epic gravel ride. And in the process, we’re
also gonna be taking off something from our bucket list, by riding all the way up there. – Dan, are you serious?
– Yep. – Lord Hereford’s Knob?
– Yes. Not for the faint of heart. – Gonna be quite long. – Hard as well. (energetic rock music) Two bikes, two pairs of wheels. So that we can put them
in context, we’ve got one pair of 650B Zipp 303s,
with 47 millimetre wide tyres, and then one pair of 700C
303s, with 35 millimetre tyres. Same total wheel diameter,
same bikes, same ride? – Or, same bike, different
volume tyre, different ride? – Now, if you wanna go into
the real tech and physics of it all, we’ll have a video
on the tech channel as well. But we can talk all about angles of attack and tyre rollover. But right here, right
now, we are gonna try and get a feel for just how it rides. – Most epic gravel rides
start with at least some riding on tarmac, even
if that’s just to get you from the coffee shop to
where the trail starts. Let’s be honest, if you’re riding a bike with drop handlebars,
you’re probably going to spend a reasonable amount
of time riding on the road, which means that the handling
traits of 650B wheels on the road should be an
important consideration. And it’s weird. It feels just like a road bike, really. We’ve got different-sized
tyres, as you can see, on the different-sized wheels. So continental cyclo-cross
speed on the 700C wheels, they’re 35 millimetres wide. And on the smaller wheels the
tyres are 47 millimetres wide. That gives an overall diameter of 680 and 690 millimetres, respectively. And that similarity means
that the handling traits are almost identical. The only real difference
is that the wider tyres, obviously have a larger
contact patch on the ground. So as you begin to turn,
you can kind of tell. In fact, right under
your eyes shut, you can tell a difference. (energetic rock music) Right, we’ve just done a quick wheel swap so I can get a sense of
how these ride before we leave tarmac for good today. Now, we did want to also get a feel for the speed differential
between the fatter tyres on the smaller rims,
and the skinnier tyres on the larger rims, as well. We know aerodynamically
that there’s gonna be a disadvantage to the wider tyres. Probably now Zipp actually
have never thought to test gravel tyres aerodynamically
in a wind tunnel before. But they very kindly did a bit of maths on the back of a napkin for us, and they’ve worked out
that there’s a rough 20 watt penalty for using the fatter tyres at 40k an hour. – But the Zipp rims are
nice and wide anyway. So 21 millimetres internally
and 29 millimetres externally. That provides great support
for these super-wide tyres. And it could be forgiven, to be honest, for not really caring too
much about all of this when you are riding on
a bike such as this. What then, about the rolling resistance? To be perfectly honest, when
I was on there I didn’t think you could really feel
much of a difference. – Now we have tried to
do a bit of science here, using a gentle gradient
and rolling down it. We did measure a slight
penalty over the wider tyres, but given the aerodynamics
and given the fact that there’s a different tread pattern, I’m not sure it’s going to
stand up statistically, Dan. – No, basically then
monster wide tyres like this will slow you down ever
so slightly when you’re riding on the road. But nevertheless, due to the geometry, it stills feels lively and responsive. As accomplished as they are on the road, you’re not going to want to use these as your go-to wheels,
for that purpose alone. No, you’re going to want
to take them off-road. – Yeah, because here they
really come into their own. Because if you’re using
a normal 700C wheel with a cyclo-cross or
a gravel tyre on there, if the trail gets too rocky and too rough, you lose some of the fun factor. Because the puncture risk goes up, therefore your tyre
pressure needs to go up, and that makes things a
little bit uncomfortable. – Well not to mention sketchy. – Not to mention sketchy. – But, with the 650B
wheels you get to take your nimble, agile road
bike off-road with abandon. And these are running just 30
PSI while Cy has got 45 PSI. That’s 50% more.
– It is. Now, that 650B wheel
and tyre combo therefore makes things an awful lot smoother. You can hit things harder and faster, and you still have way more control. – Or at least you would
do, if they weren’t completely slick down the middle. – No, no, that’s true. Now there is also one
last string to the bow of the 650B wheel, and that
is that they’re lighter. Quite significantly, in fact. So the Zipp 303 650B wheel is
just 1450 grammes for the pair, whereas the larger 700C wheel
is an extra 195 grammes. Now in this case, there
is a significant weight penalty with the tyre, so this
continental cyclo-cross tyre is actually 170 grammes lighter. So although they still
come out slightly lighter, with different tyre choices they could be significantly lighter. Now that may not matter
all that much on the road, but off-road, where your speed is lower and you’re also changing
speed more frequently, that is a big advantage. (energetic rock music) – Well here we are, we have made it. Nice one, mate. – Yeah, check out the view. That is amazing. – I must admit, I’m
not sure I’ve ever seen fog up close quite like this. – Really impressive, isn’t it? Really impressive. Anyway, some of you at home might be there quite disconcerted about
the fact that we’re using these carbon rims off-road. And you might be questioning
whether that’s sensible or not. However, don’t be worried
because Zipp have informed us that these very rims stand up just as well to that kind of terrain as
their mountain bike equivalent. – Yeah, on a personal note,
these very 700C wheels have been through the
mill this season with me. And the only scars I can find on it, Dan, are from the sealant that I haven’t cleaned off properly yet. – Oh well, that’s not too bad, is it? Right, shall we descend
Lord Hereford’s Knob? – Yeah, go steady mate. – I will.
– It’s quite hard. – Well I think it’s going
to be quite exciting. Probably over far too quickly. Always the way. (energetic rock music) Okay, we have descended
Lord Hereford’s Knob now, Cy, haven’t we? We’ve gone from the clouds up there back down into the woods. Now at the start of this
video, we made the suggestion that 650B wheels could make
drop bar bikes more fun. And completely subjectively
I think we can both say we can see the appeal.
– Oh yeah. – However, is there a way of scientifically measuring the fun? – Well, we are going to try,
using some pretty pioneering science involving advanced
facial recognition software. We’re gonna try and quantify smiles. That’s right. Now you can probably
see the difficulty here, particularly because Dan
rarely smiles himself. We’re going to have to use some seriously sensitive equipment. But can we effectively
measure the size of a grin, off this super-cool bit of trail? (energetic rock music) – Processing.
(phone beeping) 42-year old man with a
moustache wearing a hat looking neutral. – 42? This is not right. It’s got my age wrong to start with. – Yes, sorry damn it, the
science appears to have failed us there. Maybe it will work better with Matt. – Hm, well that thing quite
let the fun factor out today, if I’m perfectly honest. 42? – (laughs) Well just tell
us how they feel then. – Well, today is kind of
reminding me of that first GCN epic gravel ride that we
did a couple of years ago, where I was insistent on
using my normal road bike because I’d been successful
on that in the past on gravel. However, it was clear that
you didn’t puncture like I did and that you had a lot
more fun and you were more comfortable off-road. This is like an extension
of that, isn’t it? The 650B wheels, with those wide tyres, are super-comfortable over
roots and rocks off-road. It also reminds me of what
we both started out as as cyclists, mountain
bikers, cross-country. Because at the time,
mountain bikes were kind of race-ready, weren’t they? They were low at the front
end, they only had 1.9 tyres, but on 26 inch wheels which
are very similar indeed. I think it’s very similar to that. – Yeah, you know what? I wonder actually where
the whole 650B phenomenon on drop handlebar bikes,
actually stems from the fact that mountain bikes
have gravitated more towards long travel trail bikes
that don’t really want to be ridden very far, dare I say. So now, people like us that
were on 26 inch of cross-country bikes, back in the day,
are now loving these. And I absolutely do love them, because although you can get
faster bikes off-road, of course you can, you’d
get a 29er hardtail and you will absolutely fly, it’s not necessarily more fun. This, because it’s a little
bit harder when you’re going properly off-road,
you don’t go as fast but it feels faster. It makes it more fun. Then there’s the fact that it still feels like your road bike off-road, which adds another dimension
of fun to me as well. I think they’re great! – Yeah, we should probably
add that these aren’t just for people that are
apparently 42 year olds that are reminiscent of a bygone era. – It’s a lovely moustache as well, though. – What I particularly liked
was the transition between off-road and on-road and vice versa. Because you don’t feel like you’re at a disadvantage either way. When you get there, you’re
confident the bike is going to be able to do
what you want it to do. – Yeah, now there is one
burning issue that we haven’t addressed yet this video. And that is, why on earth it is called 650B in the first place? And why, in fact, are
they called 700C wheels? Let’s put you out of your misery. In France, many moons
ago, total wheel diameter, so rim and tyre together,
was all-important. There were two key sizes, 650 millimetres and 700 millimetres. The letter on the end
then referred to the width of the tyre, A being the thinnest tyre, C being the widest tyre, and
B somewhere in the middle. Now in order to keep that
overall wheel diameter the same, you had to have a different rim diameter for each of A, B, or C. C, giving the smallest rim
because the tyre was widest, and A having the largest
rim because the tyre was the thinnest. Now as you can imagine,
producing six different rim sizes for two different wheels
was pretty complex, and blooming expensive. So in the end, market pressures prevailed, and 700C ended up being
the most common rim choice, with an arbitrary diameter
of 622 millimetres. The same is true of 650B. It has an arbitrary rim
diameter of 584 millimetres, but now with the super-fat tyres on, the overall wheel diameter
measures 684 millimetres. Interestingly, or
perhaps not, if you truly wanted to ride a 700C
wheel, you’d need to run a tyre size of 40 millimetres
on that larger rim. Because that then adds
up to a diameter in total of 700 millimetres. It’s for this reason
that when you’re buying a new tyre, the diameter is shown as 700C, but the width is measured in millimetres, not the common mistake of C, which as we’ve just seen,
isn’t a measurement of anything at all. Nice, mate. – That was good. Well I personally don’t
think we should break with tradition, Cy, like
the last gravel ride. Yeah, pick one. Let’s end it in the pub. – Sounds like a plan. – You still there? Oh good.
– Excellent. 650B wheels then. I think you can probably
tell that we’re really rather taken with them. – We are, but inevitably,
Cy, there is a down side. That is, that currently
there aren’t many frame sets out there that will
accommodate these 650B wheels with the max volume tyres. Reason being that although
you don’t need longer fork blades, or longer chain
stays, or longer seat stays, what you do need is extra tyre clearance. The flip side to that,
though, is that when you’re next wanting to purchase
a bike, you might decide to go for one of these,
because it is a one bike that does it all. – That’s right. So you could have your 700C road wheels on for fast road riding on a bike that feels like a fast road bike. But then you stick your
650B wheels in, with your fat tyres on, for when you
want to venture off-road. And we really mean venture off-road. As you can probably have guessed. – Yeah, that was gnarly trail today, dude. – Oh yeah. – One question you could
inevitably ask yourself now, though, is why
don’t you just put those max volume wider tyres on
the normal 700C wheels? Then, in effect, you’d
be creating some kind of drop handlebar 29er
mountain bike, wouldn’t you? We all know how fast those things go. – That’s right. It’s a tough question to answer, that. I think it kind of comes down to geometry, and then also a little
bit of philosophy, really. The difference in wheel size
will be quite significant, so 680 millimeters-ish for 650B, and then 720 millimetres for a 29er. And that extra size means
they feel a little bit less agile, and the bike
also has to be longer, it has to be tauter. It’s going to make it feel more stable, and of course it will
also roll over anything. – Hm, they sound like some
great characteristics, don’t they?
– Well … – For many people out there they will be. Others might be slightly
less excited about them. You see the way that a road
bike feels and responds, the way it feels when you’re
cold, the way it feels when you sprint or when you climb, is down to the size of
the wheels, but also the angles and numbers
which hang off them. These wheels allow you to maintain those, but giving the extra
versatility to venture off-road. – Yeah, are they more versatile? Oh yeah. Are they more fun? I don’t know, mate. I mean they are super-fun,
but are they more fun? It’s just like different fun, isn’t it? It’s not in any way the same as riding a super-fast aerobike super-fast, but then they are great fun. – Yeah, that was a very
concise and accurate summary right there, Cy. I have to agree to agree right there. – Make sure you let us know what you think in the comment section down below. Really, really interested
to hear your thoughts, actually, on this new
trend, this new phenomenon. Are you tempted? Have you got some already? – Yeah, we look forward
to reading your thoughts. Don’t forget to give this video a like, the thumbs up down below,
if you’ve enjoyed it. If you haven’t subscribed,
you can do so right now by clicking on the globe
and a couple more videos that you might be interested in watching. – That’s right. Back in the early days,
what can a gravel bike do that a road bike can’t? That one is just down there. Or, if you want to make every ride epic, irrespective of whether
you’re off-road and you’re on gravel up in the mountains, we’ve got some great tips just down there.

100 thoughts on “Smaller Wheels, More Fun? 650B VS 700C”

  1. This was a great video! Thank you guys! I enjoyed the honesty and the philosophy. I am so happy to see drop bars make it fully back into the world of off road! The most versatile bicycle yet!!!

  2. And here I am, still hanging to my trusty 27×1⅜" (37-630) KC kendas, chromed steel rims and centre pull brakes, on an ages-old 10 speed AMF… Oh lord, talk about some fun!

  3. 640b for gravel bikes makes sense. My 700c gravel bike takes up to 45mm tires. But even changing from 28mm to 35mm "surprised" me in the higher stand-over top tube height. 40+mm tires would have been "challenging" at the first traffic light. 650b for fatter tires makes sense!

  4. You're confusing WIDTH with the HEIGHT of the tyre. When you look at the bike HEAD ON, you see the WIDTH of the tires, whilst observing the bicycle at right angles, you notice the HEIGHT if the rubber w.r.t. the wheel (rim).

  5. I can see how the technology is creating true hybrids now which perform reasonably all round rather than, with lighter stronger materials and design rather than being a road/offroad hybrid which performs poorly on both surfaces. I was amazed at the performance of the gravel bikes during the off road section of the trans Atlas mountains adventure. This sort of dual philosophy is going to be great for leisure riders like me.

  6. I recently completed a drop bar conversion of an old low end 26" mountain bike I bought from sports authority; it is nothing fancy really (the bartape is worth more than the frame), but it sure is a blast. After spending 4 years on a roadie, its kind of magical to go for a fast spin and eat some dirt in the same ride; like the damned thing eats pot-holes for breakfast, smooth 35 mph descents for lunch, can climb a cobbled 15% grade for a snack, and rail-road ballast for dinner. At the moment, I'm using 2 inch wide Bontranger slicks, which work surprisingly pretty well both on and (assuming its dry) off road. At 45 psi front and 55 rear, the tires don't even slow me down, and while I might not win any pure road races, I can easily keep up with all the other dads during the group ride. If anything, its the limitations of the heavy crap frame, old beat up tourney drive-train, and cantilever breaks which keep this bike from greatness. I'm thinking of replacing the worn out parts but looking at the (both new and used) parts and materials required to do the upgrade, I might as well but a new bike. I'm rambling here, but needless to say, I believe the hype. The Claris Salsa Journeyman in red-orange is calling out to me…

  7. I have a 650b hardtail, 29er trailbike and gravel bike 700c with 42mm tyres not seeing the necessity for 650b for my gravelbike 42 mm is more than enough. And even with 650b I would not attempt to tackle same stuff as on my XC or trailbike…

  8. So hemlines are an inch or two shorter this year? An inch or two longer next year. What will they sell us next? 675b which is the perfect compromise between 650 and 700? Smaller rim, wider tyre, same overall diameter, but a wider tyre needs more frame and fork clearance, and different brake clearance, unless of course they're discs. So, as always, it's a compromise.

  9. Why aren't there 650b, skinny tyred road bikes (with necessary geometry adjustments such as less bottom bracket drop, adjusted rake, etc)?
    Smaller wheels and tyres are lighter and stronger and have less 'windage'. On sealed roads there's no difference in smoothness of ride… So why??

  10. for off road, i will go with 26" 559mm wheels simply because for 30+ years all off road bikes came with them and dumping them for a non standard wheel size makes no sense at all. going with 700c for off road would be ok too if thats your choice but i want nothing to do with 650b wheels. my choice of 26" wheels would only be because they are considerably stronger than 700's and there is a firm history behind them

  11. Sorry to bother you I have a 2018 especialized hybrid crosstrail with 700, ×38 tires and I was wondering if I can switch my tires for mountain bike tires and do you happen to know what size I would need let me know if is possible. Thank you

  12. Ugh. The contact patch only increases if the axle load increases, or the air pressure decreases. Having a larger tire with that larger sidewall allows you to run a lower tire pressure, thus gaining the increased contact patch. This is precisely why heavier riders need more air pressure in their tires than lighter riders do, and a significant reason why vehicles need their air pressure increased in their tires with increased axle loads (the other part has to do with carcass heating through sidewall flex, and the ability to shed that heat).

  13. Could you make a video about "affordable" Gravelbikes on the market right now that fit this wheelsize? Finding options seems difficult to me right now as you have to get an overview of the bikes that are specifically marketed with this wheelsize, ones were the description says it would fit and the ones were you would have to try.

  14. Gents, first of all let me say you guys have done a great job w/ these videos that are fun and educational. Massive kudos. I have been a fan.

    That being said, on this episode, I am still not convinced that the new "gravel" category is a meaningful one. I think a most important element overlooked is the fact that wider MTB bars give you much more control over rough and technical terrain. Granted people can get accustomed as many elite CX riders are able to do, but they are still no match for a proper mountain bike (for simplicity and cost comparison let's talk about hardtails w/ rigid forks for now). In other words, why go for 1.9" semi-knobbies when you are stuck w/ drop bars that are, what, 400mm in width?

    Truth is, a proper XC machine even w/ rigid forks (such as the Orbea Alma rigid) is probably 30%-40% more at home and capable on a rough mountain road than these "gravel" bikes, but on a paved road, w/ similar tires/tread patterns, the hardtail is maybe 10% less effective than the gravel bike. Of course these numbers are inherently arbitrary but you see what I mean. Of course people need to sell more bikes and they fund these videos so it's a tough one.

    BTW, what's up w/ the hunched top tubes? Other than looking weird and reducing standover clearance and adding weight, what purpose do they really serve any way?

    Other than that, awesome video and keep up the good work as always.

  15. Thank you for figuring it out. A road bike can do amazing things in an off-road setting, but I have gotten into trouble with the tires. This seems to be the answer.

  16. These guys are trying to make riding a road bike on the off-road look good. It isn't… big tires aren't going to effectively soften those bumps. If you want to ride on the dirt, get a hardtail. I'm starting to see all sorts of retarded looking shock fork setups and wonky looking seat posts on roaders trying to achieve a supple ride… it's not gonna stick. #gravelbikesareafad

  17. here's a math lesson boys… if you buy an item for one dollar and sell it for two dollars the profit margin is not 100%. it is 50% because the resale price is now $2.00 and you garner $1.00 in profit, ergo 1= 50% 0f 2 ergo the difference in tire pressure is not 50% but 33.33 %

    you are welcome,
    jim

  18. In about a week I'll be buying a 2000 Trek Hilo triathlon/time trial road bike with a 56 cm seamless double butted super light aluminum frame. It is 650b rsther than 700c. I'll be using one racing wheelset that is Spinergy Rev-X rims with Vittoria Juniors Competition 3D compound kevlar tubulars. The training wheelset is Shimano 105 hubs, Mavix CXP21 clincher rims and Continental Grand Prix 3000 tires. I'll use those tires as much as I can until they need to be replaced and then I'll get Continental Grand Prix 4000 S II tires like I have on my Lemond Buenos Aires road bike and really love.

  19. I forgot to mention that the 2000 Trek Hilo bike I'm buying will be bought at a bike shop owned by one of my friends and I'll be paying $100 US for her yellow metal flake framed self.

  20. This is great, but one thing you are missing is the difference in bike geometry. A 35/ 700c tire is taller than a 47mm/ 650b tire. A 35mm/700c tires is the equivalent of a 54mm/650 b tire. By having a smaller diameter tire you decrease trail and thus should have more "nimble' steering handling. It would be interesting to see how that compensates for the heavier tire (when it comes to steering and handling). Pro tip – just like touring bikes have longer rake forks (to make them handle faster to compensate the luggage weight), a 650b set up that has an effective smaller tire diameter might help compensate when bikepacking with heavy gear on the bars. Just a thought. Great video! Always a huge fan of what you all do! Keep it up! Happy 2019!

  21. I like to have my cake & eat it too. IE a 26 incher at the back & a fat 700C on the front (29 incher). Best of both ways is the way to go. Plus it means the seat can be lower. It helps by having 60A x 84V of Cyclone coaxial assistance between the pedals to carve through all the Plebs.

  22. Refreshing review chaps…well done! Myself, I ahve been trying to get the one do-it-all bicycle, and I am planning a drop bar mtbike, carbon hardtail. However, I currently ride a SomaDouble Cross, steel/carbon fork. 700c. It's a real hoot. Not great a uber gnarly off-road, but tetching single track and forest riding, I simply love it. And like you chaps say, my gravel beast is not too slow on road. So yes, I have two bikes into one versatile machine…which I love to bits. And let's be honest, most everyday guys, can't be arsed with 2-3-4 bikes. One bike…that does it all. I am happy the day has arrived. It means I dont have to watch any more velo marketing or go window shopping for bikes….until the next bike comes along that is 🙂 By the way, I was riding in Norway recently and i got to sample these Rondo beasts…simply beaitiful innovation, they are not cheap, but the Alu. a version was equally a star, and a good price. Super Rondo Polish innovation… try one out 🙂

  23. This video kicked ass! Love these guys…excellent production & those sneaky "knob" jokes are the F'ing beez kneez! I want those 650bs now.

  24. I've got a older Colnago Dream road bike,size 54cm, with 650c wheels. I'm way ahead of the curve here. Or,is everything going backwards? ( 23c , maybe 25c tires are all that will fit though)

  25. Q: Would a 650b helped Adam Yates to descend with more confidence on S:16 at the TdF '18? With him being a shorter rider?

  26. I have not watched all of these videos, but just once I would like to see them say that some new trendy bike thing; sucks!

  27. 1956 Terrot touring bike with 650B, with super light 48mm tires – my favourite vintage ride. I love the wide, light tires with file tread. Do this test with the same tires – really good tires, on different rim sizes.  

    I'm a convert. Love wide tires! Between 40mm – 50mm seems ideal. To be fair, I'm not interested in racing, I want a bike that is versatile – good for fun, commuting, recreational riding, occasional fast rides, and occasional touring.  

    Rims diameter? I'd like bigger than 650B, 'cus I'm tall,, but smaller than 700c. How about big tires for 650A?

  28. more fun if riding comfort is an important issue… 650B wheels are stiffer but this is all being lost if using larger tires at lower pressure.

  29. My new build is a Gary Fisher Mamba originally a entry level 29er Mountain bike – now a drop bar, carbon fork citybike. I'm running ThickSlicks at the moment and the bike FLYS!! More importantly, as you never know what you might spontaneously encounter on your commute to work; it is nice to know you can "roll over pretty much anything". Thankfully, no mud between me and the job, just good old American pavement, with the occasional run on concrete…poor me, bike lanes all the way. Love Austin TX!

  30. Could you do a video, comparing 700c to a 20" Java Air, with equivalent gearing?
    ie. 60T crank ring to compensate for the smaller wheel diameter.

    Will the Carbon Java Air weigh less than your Carbon 700c Road Bikes?
    Will the smaller wheels greater rolling resistance matter on city roads?
    Will the smaller wheels, frame & ride position provide aero gains?
    Will the smaller wheels get you up hills faster?
    Will the the bearings limit the smaller wheels from higher speeds?
    Why don't they use Mini Velo's in the Tour De France?

    Thanks Guys 🙂

  31. Riding a bike without full suspension off road is a jarring experience. Riding a full suspension bike on ultra smooth roads will slow the ride.

  32. I just want to thank you for adding in SUBTITLES in your videos! I couldn't make out who provided your bikes ("our mates over at Zipp") (0:16) and replayed it 3 times before turning on the "CC" thinking the bikes can't be Zipp since Zipp are a wheel-manufacturer. Also indispensable for those who did not grow up with English.

  33. Hey GCN, love the video and thorough explanation of 650b vs 700c when it comes to gravel riding. I have a bit more of a specific question and that is how the wheels would compare when gravel racing…not just riding for leisure. In July I'll be doing the Rift Race in Iceland and have planned to pick up a new, lighter set of wheels for my gravel rig. Unfortunately I'm utterly stuck in deciding between 650b or 700c…any and all input you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

  34. One of my favorite vintage build options was to take a decent steel frameset designed for 27" wheels and mount a 700x40c wheelset instead. Now my daily rider is a 650b conversion of a 700c frameset, and I've found that everything they say about preserving road handling characteristics is true. Even if you don't do any offroad riding, you may find them far more comfortable on your road commuter.

  35. I predict a resurgence of 650a tires for road touring bikes, as they are more correctly "in between" 26" MTB and 700c road sizes…

  36. Once riding 700c it's hard to go back to anything smaller. The 700c wheels really do power along and eat up miles with very little effort. I've ridden bikes with all different sized wheels and 700c wheels are without a doubt the best.

  37. Would you guys please mention at the start of the video that I should be taking notes!? I'm just going to bookmark this and watch again a few times. I like bigger tires (sorry, tyres) for comfort and stability. I also want max diameter on max frame size to go for max crank length – I have long legs and like to max out on range of motion. I've only been back into cycling for a month after a nearly 30 year hiatus and I'm already freaking out over how to build the perfect bike for me. Don't even get me started on all the ski hacks I learned getting back into cross country skiing last winter.

  38. and how about going in between with 42mm tires on 700c wheels on all city macho man disc (cx/gravel bike with max actual clearence for ~42mm) ;))

  39. Looks like fun machines! Great job! Those bike lokks dope! Zip rims and all! Very over the top! I like! Why not put a dropper seat on them? If you first want to take the bike out on propper trails 😀

  40. I would love for someone riding these 650beez to answer this question: how does it accelerate on a varing gradient road climb?
    I have heard that if i could fit 32mm road tyres it would accelerate faster and be suited to my midfoot cleating position.

  41. I'm a strong climber but a cautious descender. I wonder if with wider tires I'd feel more confident on descents and corners?

  42. I have a specialized roll sport, 27.5×2.3 I love the size, it's faster and less draggy than a 26, but more nimble than a 29. It's even faster now that I installed a 12t 1200 watt Mac motor on the front. I can do 50kph.

  43. We're sold! But happy to offer our customers the choice of 700C or 650B https://grove.bike/blogs/tech/700c-vs-650b-bigger-is-better

  44. My ancestors are from Wales! So, what brand of bikes are those? I've only seen compatibility with the Salsa Warbird.

  45. What's next? 26" MTB wheels with gasp slick tires? Just like how everyone has bought the hype of 29" wheels on MTB from the old 26" standard? I'm finding the current bicycle "enthusiast" industry to becoming more and more like the fashion industry. Fickle changes for the sake of change, and obviously keep us consumers spending $$ on new crap we may not actually need. And for the record, 650B standard has been around for decades, the fact that it's being sold off as something new should tell you just how much the industry is running out of ideas to shill.

  46. Guys, you are awesome! Hope to be able to do a ride with you someday! I'm a 64 years old Italian grandpa living in Western NY and tempus fugit and I don't seem to be able to catch up…
    But never say never. Thanks for all the great info and entertainment. Ciao a tutti.

  47. Oh look, it's another wheel standard marketologists came up with out of the blue to make you buy new bikes, forks, wheels, tubes and tires. How exciiiiting.

  48. I like my road bike very traditional, that's why I drive a 10-year-old frame with diamond geometry and a straight top tube. I just like the look of big 700C rims.

  49. I still ride a 26" wheel rockhopper with aluminium rigid fork and 1.75" width semi slick tyres for short distance commuting. I switched to using a single speed bike with 700c 25mm tyres for a while but found it less comfortable and less practical. The 26" tyres are easier to inflate, puncture less and at very slow speeds the rockhopper handles better with no toe/front tyre interference. It's not 'aero' but I can ride it reasonably fast and I actually prefer the more upright riding position for my awareness and being visible to other road users. For the mix of tight turns, poor surfaces and obstacles on my route I prefer the agility of the smaller wheeled bike.

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