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650B vs 650C which one is perfect for mountain biking
#1
Hi, I am a newbie. I need a suggestion about the bike wheel. I plan to build a custom bike. What is the different between 650B vs 650C? My height is about 5' 6". For road riding which bike wheel is perfect for me? I found a blog on the internet 650B vs 650C bike wheels. But I do not understand that which bike wheel is best for comfortable riding.
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#2
So 650B & 650C have 584mm diameter & 571mm diameter respectively.
As a general rule, bigger is better Smile For road riding it's all about rolling resistance and bigger wheels will gloss over bigger bumps. Bigger is smoother therefore faster & more comfortable.

As for your height, for road the only thing you really need to worry about is toe overlap. If you go to a bike shop & try out a bike your size with normal road wheels and have no toe overlap with the front wheel, you'll be fine with anything smaller as they are 700c which is 622mm diameter. If you do have overlap then the amount of overlap will tell you if the decrease of 6.5mm in radius is worth it (b vs c); note that 700c vs 650b already has decrease of 19mm in radius.

The final thing is, 650b is just more popular! That just means you'll have an easier time finding tyres & other spares. 650c is a niche as there are no real benefits except for sizing.
When I'm not out riding, I'm in dreaming in Solidworks.
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#3
(10-03-2022, 07:02 AM)Cobie Brown Wrote:  Hi, I am a newbie. I need a suggestion about the bike wheel. I plan to build a custom bike. What is the different between 650B vs 650C? My height is about 5' 6". For road riding which bike wheel is perfect for me? I found a blog on the internet 650B vs 650C bike wheels. But I do not understand that which bike wheel is best for comfortable riding.

Hi Cobie,

Just to be clear you are asking about tires for mtb riding and not road? You have mountain biking in your title, but road biking your description. I would go to Sheldon Brown's site for some clarification on tire and rim sizes. Depending on your frame height you may find that using one over the other makes it more or less difficult to mount/dismount the bike.

I just changed tires (only) on a bike I customized for a friend. I used the same rims which had about a 14-15mm inner rim width and went from a 25mm wide tire to a 38mm wide tire. Although the rim size remained the same, the effective diameter of the wheel was increased by an inch (25mm) or more and affected the overall way the bike rode regarding shifting, center of gravity, and of course height. Due to the change I had to inform him that his cyclometer readings were wrong in that he was actually riding a longer distance/faster speed than what was being displayed to him.

I would consult a reputable bike shop and see what they have to say. Comfort is a personal issue, but you need to have a frame size that is comfortable in the first place since the tire size will not affect that except as previously noted. Also, you can adjust tire pressure to help in giving you a more comfortable ride regardless of wheel size. Saddle choice is also a major factor in providing comfort aside from the wheel/rim/tire size.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#4
The designation is kind of a road and mtb separation.

The B wheels are measured, or designed in manner for american standard (inches).

The C wheels are measured or designed in a manner for metric standard (mm).

Thus, the C are narrower, slightly larger circled, and allow you to run thinner tires.
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#5
In more simple terms, 650c is road specific, not suitable for mountain bikes, and is a standard here in the USA that is no longer used. 650b is more common in Europe than the USA. Here it is referred to as the French standard. It gained some traction in this market, but has been falling out of favor once again. Plenty of tire choices in 650b for road and mountain.
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