This Space for Rent

I begin to suspect that 650b isn’t for me.

After a somewhat less than successful test of Riv/Panaracer Nifty Swifty tires (complete with a piece of glass poking through the rear tire and puncturing the tube [to the tune of ~30 minutes to repair]) I was planning to dump the 650b wheels I’ve got in favor of 700c. This plan was stopped when Michael Wolfe pointed out that Nifty Swifties are crap, and I might be able to get better results if I used Panaracer Col de la Vie tires instead. I had a pair of Col de la Vies set aside as 650b spare tires, so I was able to rotate them in without any difficulty, and discovered that they seemed to ride faster and smoother than the higher priced spread.

So far, so good. Except that not more than 250 miles later I was returning from a late afternoon Saturnalia ride when I ran over a nail, which rammed through the tire, tube, and down almost to the other side of the tube.


The advantage of 650b wheels is that they’re big enough so I could pump the tire up to about 10 psi and get home at >12mph. The disadvantage, so far, seems to be that they’re wide enough so that they become massive nail & glass magnets. Two urban flats in under 500 miles (on two different tires) does not fill me with confidence that I’ll be able to take the midlifecrisismobile out on longer rural brevets with any degree of success.

At least I’ve got the old wheelset from the Trek sitting down in the basement. This way I’ll be able to see how the mlcm works with 700c wheels before coming to a decision.