• Top tips, thank you.
    Love your Raleigh. Total inspiration right there!

    I know what you mean about not making sense; I definitely feel that way about this project. I just want a ratty, thief-proof bike with big baloony tyres and mudguards, and short reach... and am resigned to the idea that I'm gonna have to make it happen myself.

  • In other news, I keep looking at this on ebay... not 650b, and a fancier finishing kit than I would want, but excellent all the same. Seller wants a grand for it so buying it is totally out of the question... but it's pretty close to what I'm aiming for:


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  • Okay.... so... what rims should I get?

    • 650b
    • silver
    • rim brake
    • 36h
    • for heavily loaded touring

    Basically, what's the 650b equivalent of a Mavic A319?

  • And what tyres should I get?

    • 650b... at least 38mm.
    • best weight-to-puncture protection (ie fast but tough)
    • for heavily loaded touring

    Don't care about colour or anything like that.

  • Great thread btw, makes me want to do something similar although I have no need for a bike like this....

  • Would I be thrown out the room for suggesting hub brakes? That would solve the brake mount issues and means for example you could get hold of an old frame designed for 27” wheels and have plenty of clearance for big tyres on 650b rims. This is something I plan to do at some point.

    Before I’m laughed at all the way to the door… Back in the day in the late 70s/early 80s the first British efforts at mountain bikes had hub brakes (i forget the name of the guy but there’s a v interesting video on YouTube somewhere about it all).

    Ok they weigh a bit more but they’re super reliable and won’t get clogged with mud etc., and you never have to worry about brake reach again.

    At £49 what’s not to like? (Apart from one pissy review from ten years ago…)
    https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/hubs-interna­l-hub-gear-brake/sturmey-archer-xrdc-alu­minium-drum-brake-hub-for-cassette-freew­heel-36-hole/

  • I was looking into this as well. Velo Orange Voyager fits the bill, nice but pricy.

    If you don't mind a black rim go for Ryde Andra 40. Lace them up with some DT Alpine III spokes and they'll be impossible to break.

  • Ryde Zac421 will be a little lighter.

  • Nice one, cheers : )
    They look ULTIMATE!
    Hard to find in 36h but will keep looking a while longer... fingers crossed.

    Keen to avoid VO and Pacenti prices on The Pub Tourer™ but they look decent and Pacenti has silver 36h in stock for now (and might even keep making them in the future if I assure them that there are still idiots like me who are consistently 10 years behind on every cycling fad).

    Only budget option I can find (after literally minutes of searching) in silver / 36h atm are these:

    Exal MX19
    Never heard of Exal before but Spa Cycles stocks loads of their stuff so that's good enough for me.
    Similar dimensions to the A319s I was running on the Galaxy.

    If I can't find the Rydes, I might just pull the trigger on these, as there's only 2 left in the whole Coranaverse.


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  • Yeah I've been keeping a beedy eye on that.... if it stays cheap / doesn't sell I might make an offer.

    Would have to buy new brakes, levers and hubs, so it might work out too spendy / shiny / nice.... seems a shame to rat it up straight away but I've committed worse sins, and, let's face it, it has everything I want.

    What are bikes like that like to ride?
    Are they still... errr.... nippy?!

  • Cheers, Bike24 still has two in stock, but idk how if that's still feasible with Brexit nowadays

  • Nah, bike24 has stopped serving the UK completely now.
    Fucking Brexshit.

    EDIT: just tried to pull the trigger on the Exal rims but the webshop is based in Germany and aren't sending things to the UK anymore. More brexshit ballaches, hurrah.

  • That's shite. Some esoteric wheel builders in the uk might still stock something. If you want I could order them and post 'em on.

  • you have pm : )

  • If you don't care for tubeless you could have a look sjs. They used to have Thorn branded reasonably priced rims but lots of options are out of stock (https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/rims-tape/32­-thorn-275-650b-584-rim-w-cnc-sidewall-b­lack/).

    Winston was hesitant to put dents in the chainstays that were on my Raleigh. He thought they might crack. Since they were quite rusty anyways he replaced them with new ones and did his magic to clear 650 x 47 tyres. The tricky part seemed to be the lugged bottom bracket shell because it doesn't allow for a big change in the angle the chainstays are brazed on. Without lugs, he would have used mtb chainstays.

    As for tyre size, I personally wouldn't bother with anything below 42mm.
    I have a pair of WTB Resolutes in 650x42 with little use to pass on or a used Teravail Cannonball in 650x47 to test clearances.
    I also still have the original forks from my Raleigh in case they are useful to you.

  • Yeah SJS seems weirdly good for 650b / rim brake options.
    Annoyingly, they only have Ryde Zacs in 36h option.... dirt cheap, but not sure how much I trust them. One or two bad reviews somewhere online put me off; I need these wheels to be as reliable as possible.

    I also decided not to put @Heldring through the hassle of ordering and posting rims that may or may not be all that good, from a shop that may or may not be easy to deal with if anything went wrong....

    So in the end I called Pacenti to ask what their turn-around time is atm, and they said they could post a pair of silver 36h Brevets to me this afternoon.... so I took them up on it and ordered some. I've never tried tubeless before so I might give it a go.

  • haha classic pub bike rim.

    It is going to look fab

  • I know right? Oh well.
    It's definitely not ideal having to do all this as fast as possible... and ten years after the fad has ended.

  • So... onto tyres:

    Not sure how to play this.... do I get tyres first, then the frame.... or frame first, then get tyres when I know more about the clearances?

    Either way it would be good to get an idea of what tyres might work best.

    It'll be used mainly for commuting (often with heavy loads), the occasional gravel adventure (think South Downs Way kind of thing), and for much more infrequent proper touring, with all the camping stuff, etc.

    I'm hoping to get at least 42mm tyres and mudguards into the frame, hopefully bigger.... no idea how reasonable an expectation that is though.

    What springs to mind? I'm totally new to this, so I'm all ears.

  • Borrow worn out tyres from someone and a wheels to try. Or just chance it and choose a framebuilder up for the task

  • Probably a good idea...

    Anyone on here have an old 40-45mm 650b tyre I could borrow?

    In other news, I've also bought replacement bars and a new (exciting drum roll) KMC quick link.

    I didn't mention it before, but the day before the Dawes got squished, I got the chain stuck behind the cassette, had to take a cab home cos the rear wheel was completely seized, and buy a new chain. All in time to make it out to Holland Park the next day so it could get squished. So that chain made one journey before having to be removed. Good innings!

    On the plus side - if I hadn't bothered fixing it, I would have taken the Varonha to Holland Park, and would now be a lot more depressed about all the bike-squishing that goes on there.

  • We have progress!
    Found an old FW Evans touring for £260.
    The frame is great: 531st tubing, 53 seat tube with only 55 top tube / all the braze-ons / decent clearances, etc. And some relatively nice parts to sell from it: mainly Deore / STX. Hit me up if that's your thing.

    Only 'problem' so far is that the paint is in AMAZING condition.
    It's a cute puppy to have to kill.

    Anyway... Put on new saddle / post / pedals / cages to get it rolling while the wheels get built.
    As you can see, the rims also arrived yesterday.

    They look like rims.


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  • ooo good find

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Varonha Frameworks winter bike / FW Evans 650b conversion rat bike fun

Posted by Avatar for .gaz. @.gaz.

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