650C vs. 700C wheels - Need advice

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by trekker1500, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Fitmiss

    Fitmiss New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Although I was looking strongly at the Specialized Dolce Comp I concluded that I wanted a carbon frame so went back to the shop that deals with Trek. I decided that I would deal with thr 650c wheels in exchange for the carbon frame. However, Trek came out with the Pilot and it has 700c wheels. My LBS feels this is the "perfect" bike for me. The components are very similar to the 5000.

    I'm probably a tad under 5"2 with a 75.5 cm inseam. The Pilot is a 50cm frame. I tried my friend's 47cm 5200 for size and it was too small. On a road bike, you need the clearance standing over the top tube but you are only supposed to touch the ground with your tippy toes sitting on the seat as I am told.

    My bike is ready for me but I left it at the shop due to heavy rain. It's been too cold and rainy to ride it this weekend anyway. I'm crossing my fingers for better weather next weekend! I'm really excited to ride.[​IMG]
     


  2. kaian

    kaian New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ended up getting a 43cm WSD Trek 1000 with 650 wheels. I love it! It may not be a "high end" bike, but I'm not racing, so who cares! This bike is really light and fast and it's the right size for me! At first I thought about swapping out the Sora components for 105, but I think I am going to just wait until I wear them out. The shop I bought it from has everything set up really well and the shifting is very smooth.

    I haven't noticed much change with the 650 wheels. I actually felt a little faster because the wheels are lighter and can move quicker. I love that the handlebars are the right width, too (38). It just makes the bike so much more comfortable. :)
     
  3. Fitmiss

    Fitmiss New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the time of year for us all to buy and enjoy our new bikes!
     
  4. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Indeed indeed, I got to pick up my new bike today too! I got a woman's model Fuji Provence. I was expecting it to have 650 wheels because I orderd a 44cm, but lo and behold it has 700c's. I was quite surprised, but its all cool with me. the tires do not appear to interfere with my feet at all.
    In any case I really needed a smaller bike, my old one has been destroying my right shoulder (too long on the top tube, causing me to stretch too far and hold the handlebars waaay to tight I now realize), but I really did not expect it to feel soooooo good and fast too. I rode it home from the shop and I wish I had my computer installed so that I could see if it was just my imagination. Maybe it was just the new bike glow (or maybe it is the 5 fewer pounds the new bike weighs?), but it felt zippy, I felt zippy and it hasn't even really been all adjusted properly yet.
    I debated with myself about getting a new bike for a long time, now I say don't wait!!! If your bike doesn't fit you well get one that does!
     
  5. Fitmiss

    Fitmiss New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually picked up my bike from the shop last night! :) I did not ride it home as I also bought a car rack and it was dark. I rode it for 2 minutes but I just know it's gonna be a great ride! I had to go to work today but couldn't help staring at my new beautiful bike before I left. Sunday will be my first group ride with the bike club.

    My bike is silver with Zebra handlebar tape. Now I'm looking for a Zebra helmet and whatever else I can find. Specialized had an 04 Zebra Team helmet but they are out of stock. I'm going to keep my eyes open for one. It would be cool to find a Zebra saddle as well.
     
  6. Txcyn

    Txcyn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey,
    Hows that new bike working out??
     
  7. Eden

    Eden New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Which one, a bunch of us seem to have gotten new ones recently -I've been on my new Fuji for about 2 weeks and I LOVE IT. 5lbs lighter than my old one and a much better fit. I couldn't be more thrilled and should have done it a long time ago. I'm still having shoulder problems on longer rides, but I've gained about 2mph at least.
     
  8. Fitmiss

    Fitmiss New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well my Trek Pilot 50 is great!! It has been a little cold here on the East Coast so I haven't gotten in that much riding time. She's just aching to fly -- I can tell. It is going to be a great summer of riding.:)
     
  9. CindyK

    CindyK New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought a Cannondale R400 w/650 wheels last summer. I planned to take do triathlons and word was, 650s are the way to go. Now I've become more interested in ATTEMPTING crits and road races.
    I've had some difficulties riding in a pack tho...I seem to accelerate faster and slow down slower, with the end result that I'm always close to overlapping wheels and tapping the brakes. Granted it could be lousy group riding skills, but has anyone else experienced this? (I'm the only rider with 650s usually).
     
  10. kaian

    kaian New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since I've had my Trek 1000 WSD w/650 wheels, I've noticed that I have to pedal at a higher cadence to keep up with people with 700 wheels. I don't think it's my fitness level because I'm in pretty good shape. I ride with a friend who has 700 wheels and longer cranks and I've compared her cadence to mine. We'll be going the same speed, but I'll have to pedal faster to maintain that speed, thus working a little harder. I can certainly take off quicker than her and climb better, but on a long, flat course, she is usually ahead of me. She also has a lighter bike with 105 components as well.

    It's hard to say, but I do feel like I have to pedal at a higher cadence in general to keep up with others - even on large group rides. I can keep up, but it seems like it takes more effort. I also slow down very quickly and fall behind a bit on turns - moreso than the others with larger wheels.

    I've been thinking about getting a better bike since I am riding more, but because I am so small, my choices seem limited! I was hoping to get something more comfortable for longer rides and test rode a Bianchi. It was such a smooth ride, but I think the top tube is going to be way too long. :mad: Not sure if I should stay with 650s or try to find something that will fit with 700s!
     
  11. Fitmiss

    Fitmiss New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are "small" you most likely will need a WSD bike. There are several on the market. Some have 650s and other 700s. The Specialized Dolce and Trek Pilot bikes both have 700s. Check Cannondale and Bianchi's WSD bikes. Giant has an X-small frame. The size frame you need depends on how tall you are and the size of your inseam in addition to the specific bike's specs.

    The problem is that there are not always a lot of WSD bikes to test ride at the LBS. It is easier to climb hills with 650 wheels but they decelerate quicker on a flat road. There are pros and cons for everything. The most important factor with any bike is that there is a proper fit. I prefered the 700C wheel and was lucky enough to find the Trek Pilot in a 50CM size that fits me perfectly. I am a "tad" under 5'2" but I think proportionately my legs are a little longer than my torso.

    Regarding cadence and speed, are you and your friend in the same gear? I believe I've seen discussions about this issue (650 vs. 700 wheels) on different threads in this Women's section. Try doing a search. If it wasn't on this forum, try bikeforum.net and do a search on this issue.

    Good luck.
     
  12. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,522
    Likes Received:
    3
    I am currently helping a friend find a bike, she is 4'11", and rides a MTB with slicks and 160 cranks with road gearing.

    We found the Felt SR81-101 47cm 650c as Ideal for her as a first road bike, however thay are not available this year.

    We have since looked at Trek 1000 WSD 650c, Felt F90-100 650c, Avanti Prima 650c as alternatives to the SR 101. The Avanti is by far the cheapest option.

    If you find your bike is lower in top speed with 650 wheels, consider a change in rear cassette, say 11-23 instead of the 12-25 that most bikes come with. Or a front chainring choice of (30)/42/53 teeth and not (30)/39/52.
     
  13. kaian

    kaian New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually just bought another bike (Trek 1500 WSD 47cm) because I was too crouched on the 1000 43cm I had and was having all kinds of problems - neck, shoulder and elbow pain. Apparently, I have a long torso and needed a longer top tube and a taller bike. I just got it today. I considered the Dolce Elite and also the Sequoia Elite (both by Specialized), but ultimately decided to stick with Trek and the 650 wheels. The fitter at the LBS made a good point. He said that as far as controlling the bike, that smaller people were better off with the smaller wheels. I used to have an Allez with 700 wheels and I have to admit, it was a little harder to handle - especially when cruising at faster speeds. There was also the toe/tire overlap problem with small frames and 700 wheels. It sucks to be making a sharp turn and having your foot rub the tire! The Sequoia was also going to be a bit long a heavy in my opinion. I kept thinking about the bike possibly weighing 1/4 of my body weight and how that would be bad going up hills!

    Yeah, I may slow down quicker and I may have to work a little harder to keep up, but I pass people uphill! And that's pretty cool. :D I like feeling like my bike is proportionate to my body size and feeling like I control and steer the bike and not the other way around!
     
  14. esnort

    esnort New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this thread but if you are I have a question. It seems that most of you who are singing the praises of 650 wheels are shorter than I am. I'm considering a WSD frame because after years of riding my boyfriends bikes I've decided that the reach is too long. I, however, am 5' 10" and have an inseam of 34". I'm looking at a Terry Symmetry and in the size that is right for me it still has 650c wheels. I didn't expect to find this at my height. Is there any one out there who can give advice about 650c vs 700 c for a taller woman?
     
  15. cmeb

    cmeb New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have the Trek Pilot WSD with 700 wheels, and I absolutely love it. I did turn the stem over, to lower the handle bars, and it tooks a few months of fine tuning to get comfortable.
    The seat it came with had to go. I have a lot of hills where I ride, and this bike handles them great. Compared to my old bike, this one seems alot quicker, when taking off from a stop.
     
  16. mikesbytes

    mikesbytes New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,717
    Likes Received:
    2
    They say that bigger wheels have an advantage over smaller wheels. The reason that there are no bigger wheels is due to regulation, otherwise the wheels would be so big that they would only suit basket ball players. Considering you height, why would you bother with 650c ?

    However, a male bike is entirely unsuitable for a female as the frame is too long and more specifically the handle bars are entirely unsuitable. For most females you will not be able to reach the brakes when down on the drops and after having to put a friend of mine in an ambulance due to her not braking quick enough while doing a paceline and running into the back of another rider then hitting the ground, I highly recommend that females make sure that they can reach all of the controls from the drops, before buying.
     
  17. Little Jackie

    Little Jackie New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can't say for sure as I am only short (5') but I have a 24" wheeled mountain bike as well as my 650c road bike. The wheels on the mountain bike do spin up more quickly and although it is not a performance bike, it goes! I have upped the gearing to 12- 28 I think it is (it is 7 speed). Could be a similar scenario.
     
  18. 60ish

    60ish New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm a little taller than you are, but have the similar long leg - short arm torso. The biggest advantage, as you know, to women specific bikes is the relatively shorter top tube some have and the longer head tube some have. Defying all logic some women specific bikes have shorter seat tubes; so be careful while you're looking; those sales people are trying to sell bikes.

    Ah yes, your question, 650 wheels absolutely take more energy to go AN EQUAL distance; the distance you go with one crank spin (one wheel spin) will be less so you'll need more spins to cover the distance. However, the energy spent for one spin will be less because you went less distance. Tires will be harder to find. The re-sale will be less if you ever decide to sell it. But in the final analysis, if the bike fits you better than any before, and you feel a little better closer to the ground; it may be right for you. But if you have to make the same adjustments as your other bike, high seat post, short stem, and 50mm. of spacers on the steerer, why bother.

    What are you planning to buy if I might ask. I got a Lemond set up very nicely, 90mm stem and 40mm spacers. :D

    HOW DID A 2 YEAR OLD THREAD GET TO THE TOP OF THE LIST???:eek:
     
  19. roguedog

    roguedog New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not sure how a 2 yr old thread got up to the top.. but all I can say is that it was perfect timing. :)

    I am looking at some bikes and test rode the Trek Pilot 1.2 and noticed it was 650 wheels. I've since test rode the Specialized Dolce and Ruby.

    I was just wondering about the 650 vs 700 question and lo and behold .. there's a thread on it.

    I didn't/haven't noticed the toe rubbing thing yet that so many people have talked about but then I"ve only gone on some "look and see" rides.. nothing really longer than like 10-15 min.

    Tks all for the info.. and I love that this forum has a women's specifc area.
     
  20. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,522
    Likes Received:
    3
    I just has afternoon tea with the GF, she is 4'10" on a bad hair day. One of the topics we discussed, at last, Giant will be importing OCRs into Australia in 2XS and 3XS sizes with 650c wheels, just like the USA!!! She is stoked!! :D

    This means many of her friends will now be able to have an affordable Road Bike that Fits and the Wheels, bars, cranks will all be in proportion to the frame and rider!!! :cool:
    http://www.giant-bicycle.com/us/030.000.000/030.000.006.asp?model=11332

    If you have any questions about road speed and small wheels, feed your bike's details into this: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gears/ :) The GF's Mountain Bike with city slicks does 45kph @ 90rpm with 152mm cranks on 24" wheels!!! :eek:
     
Loading...
Loading...