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650 or 700? Road or tt/tri?(8 posts)

650 or 700? Road or tt/tri?posty
Apr 26, 2001 6:16 AM
Getting back into the sport after a long time off and need advice. Want to do mostly training/fitness rides, very rare centuries, and an occasional triathlon (thinking about 2 this year).

Should I go with a tt/triathlon frame, 650 wheels, or a road setup and 700s (or tt/tri w/700s)? Appreciate your thoughts and recs.
re: 650 or 700? Road or tt/tri?Steve Bailey
Apr 26, 2001 6:52 AM
650C wheeled bikes can be advantageous in tri's, mostly as the geometry - not the wheel size makes for a better position when in the aero bars for the entire race. The fit and geometry of the bike, namely the steeper seat tube, is why the designers use 650c's. There are no real advantages otherwise to 650C. Some will say they are lighter and more aerodynamic, which is true as to the wheels VS. 700's, but any aero advantage is lost in a larger head tube and longer seat and downtubes (heavier) for a given frame size. The 650c's also have significantly fewer tire choices, with a 23mm width being about the widest available.

You can get a very good road bike for less money, with many more choices available then what you would find in TT bikes. Adding the aero bar and maybe a forward positioned seat post for the occasional Tri might be the better choice.

SB
re: 650 or 700? Road or tt/tri?GregJ
Apr 26, 2001 6:56 AM
My vote, standard road race set-up. You can clip on some bars for the occasional Tri event. Buy an extra set of aero wheels if you have the money. You cannot beat a 700c racing bike for a combination of fun, speed, comfort and convenience. I have never understood why folks ride TT bikes as their main machine for training.
re: 650 or 700? Road or tt/tri?Ray Still
Apr 26, 2001 9:10 AM
I thought I would respond to this back in the late 80's 87 Dan Empfield along with my help started Quintana Roo really up to this point 650 wheels were not heard of much at all the reason we wanted 650 was for a womens team we were putting together including liz downing and some other small women if you look at a 49cm or below frame with 700 wheels the geometry is really screwy way long top tube head tube angle off chain stays way to long. Thats where we decided with 650' wheels at first it wasn't so much the forward 78degree seat tube it was more for a correct geometrey we had Robert Stowe of phase 3 cycles make us some of our first frames with tange prestige tubing from there it really took of a couple of things to remember at 650 you really need a 54 chain ring 54 42 or 54 44 and also an 11 in the back. Longer crank arms are also benefical a 650 wheel bike is going to be quicker acceleration and a little more jittery from the shorter chain stays. Even today I still ride a custom Robert stowe 650 road bike with a 74 degree seat tube again I'm short and ride a 49cm. I would never go back to 700 wheels. Well just a little history and my preference of 650 over 700
Go Mainstreamgrz mnky
Apr 26, 2001 9:16 AM
Stick with a conventional road bike setup. Tri bikes are specialized for going fast in a straight line - OK if you live someplace flat. It's gonna suck trying to hang with someone on a twisty descent. With a straight road bike you can still do tri's (Karen Smyers won the Ironman on an OCLV a few years ago) with a set of clip-ons, but the bike will allow you to do all kinds of riding and hone your skills. Getting a Tri bike is like using a stock car for your daily driver - OK if you want to do only one thing well.
re: 650 or 700? Road or tt/tri?pmf
Apr 26, 2001 9:27 AM
Get a standard bike with 700 wheels. Why?

1. A TT bike is a pretty specialized bike. Good for crouching down and jamming out some miles real fast. Not good for anything else you want to do like everyday riding, commuting, doing a century or road racing. Get the regular bike first and then get a TT later if you still feel you need one. Colorado has a cheap Fuji that would work. I kinda doubt that if you had both, you'd really ride the TT bike that much.

2. 650 wheels are not what comes on 95% of the bikes out there. Hence, tires, tubes and wheels aren't that plentiful. If you're a real small person (and wheel over-lap with your foot is common), then 650's make sense. Otherwise you'll just have the continual hassle of finding wheels, tires and tubes. Yeah, every catalogue sells them, but are they in stock? I don't see many 650 tire choices at my LBS.

Be practical and get a standard road bike w/ 700's.
re: 650 or 700? Road or tt/tri?Michelle
Apr 27, 2001 11:32 AM
I agree with PMF's 2nd point. I have 650c wheels on my racing bike and am having a helluva time trying to find a good set of used wheels (new ones are pretty far out of my price range). I havnt noticed any great benefit in having them, and wish now that I would have gone with 700's.

Hope that helps...
Read these articles:Samu
Apr 26, 2001 10:33 PM
Start with article at the bottom and work you way up:

http://www.xtri.com/isection.asp?id=bik