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700CC vs. 650CC wheels for woman's road bike(4 posts)

700CC vs. 650CC wheels for woman's road bikeApril
Mar 26, 2001 4:56 PM
I am riding on a 48 cm GT Edge Aero frame with 700CC mavic rim tires. Curious to know if 650CC would give me more control - sometimes my toes hit the edge of the tire on steep turns. Given the small size of frame, would it make more sense to go with the 650. Also, whats the downside to going to a smaller size? Thanks.
re: 700C vs. 650C wheels for woman's road bikeAkirasho
Mar 26, 2001 9:29 PM
Given your frame's size, it's pssible that you'd reap performance benefits using 650C wheels however, it may not be that simple.

Frames are built to accept a specific wheel size. While it's possible to use 650C wheels on a frame originally designed for 700C, it would require a bit of thought.

First concern would be your brake mounts... in order to use your current frame, you'd need some sort of drop bolt arrangement (or frame modification) to allow contemporary road calipers to reach the smaller rim diameter.

You'd also either need a new fork or a similar adaptation up front.

And, you'd be dropping your bottom bracket height and affecting possible pedal clearance while cornering...

Your toe strike is not that unusual... that is, depending the the severity of the turn (and usually only at very slow speeds) many of us would experience some toe strike irregardless of frame size.

Bottom line, 650C wheels do have a benefit for smaller frames built for said wheels... modifying a frame "may" be more trouble than it's worth.

Be the bike.
re: 700CC vs. 650CC wheels for woman's road bikemarkedman
Mar 28, 2001 12:55 PM
My recommendation would be to go for a custom frame if you're really interested. I have a friend whose barely 5' and she had a custom 650cm frame done for $600 I think. She's really happy with it. Downsides are " roadability" ie: different contact patch on the 650's feel a little wierd to her in the beginning and she continues to have never did find the perfect wheel/tire setup, so she's stuck with a " cross" type set. I hear there are some cranks out there that are under 170mm. You definitely shouldn't have anything larger than that now. Would this be why you're hitting the wheel currently?
my experienceFreshwood
Mar 29, 2001 8:52 PM
I used to sell bikes made by Marinoni with 650c wheels. The bikes had 50.5cm top tubes and offered women who rode bikes in the 47/48 size range a really great fit.

Since I ride a 55cm bike, I really can't tell you exactly how the bikes ride, but my opinion has always been that in most cases, 650c is a better wheel size for this size frame and attached rider. Better handlebar reach, no front wheel overlap problems, and a better proportioned bike.

Good Luck