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I'm a smaller rider, 5'0", am looking at 43 to 44 cm frames, and notice that some come with the smaller wheels, 650's. I was wondering if someone out there has used both, and has a preference, or has experienced any problems.
My gut tells me that 650's are probably a better fit (or they would not have been developed), but I don't want to feel too much like a kid on a "junior" bike.
 

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Guess I'll go first. My wife has 2 bikes. She likes the 700c wheels because she feels that the ride is smoother. On the flipside, she likes the 650s because she feels that they stop better. She's not a gearhead. These are the only diffs that she's noticed. Now her mechanic (me) prefers the 700c because finding tires is a hellofalot easier. Gearing maybe easier to setup just because most peoples' experience is with 700s. If that matters...
 

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One other thing to consider is how it affects your gearing to speed.

The 700 will give you more distance per pedal stroke, but will require more effort in the same gear. The 650's will require less effort in the same gear but will be proportionally slower then the 700s. The 700s also will have a wider pedal resistance range.

In the same gear and cadence the 700s will be % faster = (700 circumferance)/(650 circumferance). That doesn't mean you will go faster, just that you have the potential to go faster.
Not sure if this helps, it really depends on what your goals are for the bike (recreational, training, etc)
 

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Uh, what?

Trout said:
The 700 will give you more distance per pedal stroke, but will require more effort in the same gear. The 650's will require less effort in the same gear but will be proportionally slower then the 700s.
Normally, your "gear" is calculated by using the wheel diameter and the ratio of the front to rear chainring:cog teeth. So what you say is only correct if "gear" ignores wheel diameter and uses only tooth ratios. Most people don't do it that way.


Trout said:
The 700s also will have a wider pedal resistance range.
What the heck is "pedal resistance range"? This is a totally unfamiliar concept to me, and I cannot imagine what you are talking about.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Normally, your "gear" is calculated by using the wheel diameter and the ratio of the front to rear chainring:cog teeth. So what you say is only correct if "gear" ignores wheel diameter and uses only tooth ratios. Most people don't do it that way.

Whew... I thought it was just me....

You gear a smaller wheeled bike accordingly. I have 20" wheeled Bike Fridays that go just a far per pedal stroke as my 700c wheeled bikes. Gear inches are the same...
 

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little rider said:
I'm a smaller rider, 5'0", am looking at 43 to 44 cm frames, and notice that some come with the smaller wheels, 650's. I was wondering if someone out there has used both, and has a preference, or has experienced any problems.

My gut tells me that 650's are probably a better fit (or they would not have been developed), but I don't want to feel too much like a kid on a "junior" bike.
If you're 5'0", I would get a bike with the 650s (or even 26" wheels).

It's just very hard to design a bike with proper geometry for a rider that small while using the big 700C wheels. Something usually gets compromised in the fit... maybe the top tube is way too long, the seat tube angle is way too steep, you get loads of toeclip/front wheel overlap, etc. etc.


.
 

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normally, i would say 650s, they are a tad lighter and will make a stronger wheel, meaning u can compromise a bit on spokes and make an even lighter wheel again by leaving out a few spokes.... (assuming something like an mavic OP set up, going 28 instead of 32 hole etc)

the biggest issue as someone said tho, is tyre selection... if its no problem, great ! also, i don't think i've ever seen 650 OP hoops....
 
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