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  1. #1
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    650b Wheel Build for Gravel Bike

    Hi all,

    I am considering building up a 650b wheel set for my gravel bike that now has 700c wheels. I will like to run 650b x 47mm tires.

    The bike has 12x100 TA front and 12x142 TA rear, so I will be using Shimano RS770 centerlock hubs.

    My question is on rims. What are some good choices of 650b rims? Right now, I'm leaning toward the DR Swiss XM 421. I am thinking 25mm internal width would be a good choice for 47mm tires?

    Any thoughts or opinions?

    Thanks in advance!
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  2. #2
    Adorable Furry Hombre
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    Many to pick from, sampling:

    Rims - Wheel Products - 650b
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Thanks Marc. I have seen this site. I was looking for anybody here who had experience as to what is good and what to avoid because of problems.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  4. #4
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    I suppose much of it would come down to your weight.

    I'm 61kg and use the XR 331, which is 20mm Inner.
    Does fine for me using Compass 48s to Schwalbe 2.1s.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangerineowl View Post
    I suppose much of it would come down to your weight.

    I'm 61kg and use the XR 331, which is 20mm Inner.
    Does fine for me using Compass 48s to Schwalbe 2.1s.
    I'm around 180lbs. (80kg), so I would want something a little more robust.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I'm around 180lbs. (80kg), so I would want something a little more robust.
    I'm in the middle of building a set of 650b wheels. I chose Kinlin TL23 rims because I was pretty price sensitive for this build and I have read a number of good opinions of them in various places. I'm building them 32/3x with Sapim race spokes and Bitex BX106 centerlock hubs. With nipples and nipple washers and bikehubstore's black Friday discount the set comes in at around $300.

  7. #7
    wheelbuilder
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    Since I'm using a big tire (42m) at low pressure and disc brakes I went with carbon. They are so much lighter and I've really tried to abuse them. They have been really strong (a few D2R2 rides and the like). Using Nox Skyline rims which aren't too crazy expensive. They also have a heavier model.

    Others have reported good results with rims from Light-Bicycle which cost less. I think carbon makes sense in this application.

    For alloy also DT is great and also look into the new rims from Astral (Rolf). They are made here and Rolf quality has been good.
    https://astralcycling.com/

  8. #8
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    DT Swiss XM 421 is a great rim choice.
    I would recommend the Bitex BX106 centerlock hubs instead of Shimano.
    Lighter and easier to maintain.

  9. #9
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    Regardless of what rim you choose, i think the first thing is to determine your own attitude about rims. For me, i think i'll assume rim strikes are going to be rare, so if i smash one it's because of a significant and uncommon mistake and that no rim was going to survive. Those happen sometimes when you ride dirt, so i don't want it to be super expensive. I'd choose a lightweight alloy rim.

    If i felt differently about the frequency/severity/expense of rim strikes i'd reevaluate my rim choices.

    I'm a big fan of WTBs line of rims because they're using a harder aluminum and a UST bead seat. For your application i'd buy a KOM. There are other options that are probably as good/better, but having run a lot of rims that's my inclination. There's definitely more worse options than better.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bubble View Post
    I'm a big fan of WTBs line of rims because they're using a harder aluminum and a UST bead seat. For your application i'd buy a KOM. There are other options that are probably as good/better, but having run a lot of rims that's my inclination. There's definitely more worse options than better.
    Right now, I have WTB i23 STS rims. I have no problems with those, but from what I have read, some of WTB's rims aren't the easiest to build with. I don't know why that would be unless there are inconsistencies of roundness coming out of the factory.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  11. #11
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    THe KOM's I've used were fine, The offset Assym rims have been inconsistent. I had a hard time keeping equally tension and roundness. Seams were horrible.

    FWIW, I'm using a Stans Arch MK in 700c with a 45c tire. In 650 it would be a little stiffer. I usually run about 32lbs on gravel, and no more than 45 on road. Its about as wide of a rim as I would use for gravel type tires.





  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Right now, I have WTB i23 STS rims. I have no problems with those, but from what I have read, some of WTB's rims aren't the easiest to build with. I don't know why that would be unless there are inconsistencies of roundness coming out of the factory.
    I have no idea; i've found the st/kom/frequency/asym to all be easy to work with. If anything the koms are the trickiest.

    It's excessively lightweight or cheaply produced rims that give me trouble, and i avoid those anyway because that's now how you get good wheels.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone! I hadn't thought of the Stan's Arch MK3s, but those are now on my short list. Is this rim welded or sleeved?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  14. #14
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    Arch mk3 is welded. It's an excellent rim.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSnow View Post
    Arch mk3 is welded. It's an excellent rim.
    Thanks Mud! It's now between this one and the DT Swiss XM 421.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



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