Words: Ryan LaBar
The 650B wheel is finally getting some love. The unconventional wheel size--between a standard 26-inch wheel and the larger 29er--has been hanging around for a few years, but hasn't received much attention. Until now. While at the US-Cup Pro XCT opener in Fontana, California, last weekend, Bikemag snatched some photos of Monavie-Cannondale rider Jeremiah Bishop’s Scalpel with a 650B front wheel and a standard 26-inch rear.
Apparently, team mechanics only needed to add a 10-millimeter spacer to Bishop's Lefty fork to make sure it cleared the larger wheel size. Bishop ran a Stan's front wheel and the setup only weighed 100 grams more than a traditional wheel. Bishop said the performance gains were well worth the extra weight.
Bishop also modified his Kenda Nevegal 650B tire to improve rolling resistance and reduce weight by trimming the center knobs and cutting the far edges off the cornering knobs. Bishop explained his reason for trimming the knobs: “When I’m leaning into corners the tire will roll a little due to the low tire pressure I run. The far outsides of the side knobs don’t touch the ground.”