The question of 650b or 700C wheels has been around for a while. But if you’re making the choice for yourself we’ve got you covered. We explain the difference between the two and why we chose the 650b wheels for some of our Hybrid bikes.
"What are 650b wheels? How are they different?” we hear you ask.. Well what makes 650b wheels different is their size. With a rim measurement of only 27.5 inches they’re slightly smaller than their traditional 700C wheel counterparts. 650b wheels have been around for a long time, however from 2017 they have experienced a resurgence in popularity.
As they are slightly smaller than their 700C counterparts, 650b wheels are not only nimbler and easier to manoeuvre but also offer faster acceleration. You’ll need to do more pedal revolutions to travel the same distance, however, as the wheels are smaller pedalling will be easier.
As 650b wheels can support a wider width tyre we’ve been able to fit multi-terrain tyres on our Hybrid bikes. They feature hard centre tread for speedy tarmac riding and a rougher edge shoulder to improve off-road traction. So now rather than needing one bike for the commute and one for the weekend you can go one size fits all.
The high volume tyres can run at lower pressures allowing them to depress on uneven ground meaning you’ll feel fewer bumps when riding off-road. Running your tyre at a lower pressure will also improve the grip of your tyres by increasing its contact area with the ground. All of these factors lead to a more comfortable riding experience when taking your bike off the beaten track.
The spoke triangle of a 650b wheel is more stable due to the shortened length of the spokes, making it more durable for light off-roading.