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650 vs 700 for time trialing(4 posts)

650 vs 700 for time trialingSherpa
Jun 13, 2001 11:23 AM
I am 5'10" ... medium framed ... and ride a 53cm road bike. I assumed I would shop for a 700 bike.

Why would I want to go smaller (650) ... what are the pros and cons of these two sizes?
re: 650 vs 700 for time trialingclimberted
Jun 13, 2001 2:29 PM
If you go to Zipp's website ( they have a technical Q&A section where you read the pros and cons of both and they explain the difference. You can also go to Cervelo's website ( and I think that they also do a pretty good job of explaining the difference, if not that they have cool bikes to look at and way to much technical information that you can read and pretend to understand
re: 650 vs 700 for time trialingHansolo
Jun 18, 2001 2:14 PM
I'm 5' 10' also and ride a custom frame that's about 52cm. I made both of road bikes fitted for 650 hoping to get more aerodynamics and lighter weight. Here's the impression I got after 4 years on them versus 8 years on 700s:

- slightly better climbing and accelerating
- more responsive in mass start events, like moving through a pack and jockeying for position
- reasonably comfortable if you use wide enough tires (Hutchinson's and Vredesteins)
- stronger and stay truer given the same number of spokes compared to 700s
- you can draft people about an inch closer =)

- smoother rolling and more comfortable over larger bumps
- not really more aero on flats and open roads
- more stable handling
- reaching higher speeds downhill seems a tad bit easier and more secure
- lots more tire options

Since I've got two bikes with 650s my next one will probably use 700s
just so I can have the luxury of being able to choose. =)

Hope this helps,
re: 650 vs 700 for time trialinggreenman
Jun 21, 2001 4:23 AM
650 wheels became popular partly due to triathelte Mike Pigg. Being a small man he suited the 650 wheels and his success lead to many people copying him. You seam to be on the boarder line size. I don't think you would get any advantage from 650 wheels so I would go for 700 as spare tyre, tubs and tubes are easy to get hold of and less problems getting correct gear range from shop.

650 = greater acceleration, stiffer and can have an aero advantage for smaller riders as it means they can get a lower position.

700 = Better rotational speed, more comftable, More aero for taller riders as the bike they ride will have a smaller head/steer tube, can change wheels with road bike, greater choice of wheels, tyres etc.