650b Sizing According to YiPsan

As I am in the works of creating my own custom 650b I’ve been searching out those builds and frames that have already gone down the path. Looking at the angles, fitting, what forks people have used and loved or hated. I’m learning a lot from google, blogs, custom builder gallery’s and flickr. Every once in awhile I will cross a little gem. Someone’s genuinely honest opinion of why they like or dislike the 650b wheel.

Earlier this week the blog of a builder by the name of YiPsan had a good amount of good information to be shared. Now, I don’t know much about the builder other than his bikes can be found at a shop near where I am from in Maryland but again the information seemed to be genuine.

I think 650B is best suited for riders of certain body specifics. Height, weight, riding style, and application. In fact, that is why 650B had survived in Europe all these years. During the popular cyclotouring era, 650B was the wheel size of choice. Because of application and road condition at that time, it really is the best. Some riders who carry on the cyclotouring sport have chosen 700c with 30-ish tire size in modern times but I can tell you this size is not optimal for a lot of riders.

As for off-road, 650B has its place too. Kirk Pacenti will tell you one of the main reasons is for long travel full suspension bikes, and I completely agree with that. On top of that, it is also very nice for hard tails. As you might have read that many people have switched to 29ers over the past few years, and most of them will cite the better momentum, how much easier it is to roll over obstacles, etc. These benefits will also appear on a 650B bike, not in the same magnitude, but the characteristics is there. Also, bear in mind why some 26” riders tried 29 and did not change. They will tell you cornering is just not very natural, slow technical handling is cumbersome and that their climbing prowess is not as good. This is where 650B will shine just like a 26” mtb plus some of the benefits of 29er. But these are simply generalization. Like for road bikes, the choice should be rider driven, their body dimension, riding style and application.

I believe riders of 5’4 to 5’9 are major benefactors of this wheel size. You will have a bike that handles properly, no toe overlap, fit properly with correct weight balance. As tire and rim choices expand, we will see more discerning cyclists switching to 650B wheels, and purpose built 650B frames.


No Responses to “650b Sizing According to YiPsan”

  1. tom Says:

    It will be interesting to watch the wheel size discussion develop.

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