650B Tires…

29 12 2010

Pacenti Pari-Moto 650B 38mm tires...

Having looked at 650B bikes recently the one question that I needed to resolve if I went with the less popular 650B size was what tires to use?  If they stopped making 650B rims I could buy 8 and be set for 20yrs, but tires don’t last that long and don’t have the same shelf-life as a rim.  Having said that the Greenspeed Scorchers have shown me that you really only need one awesome model of tire for a given wheel size to be happy.  So I don’t care about having 15 choices. I just need a couple awesome ones.

Looking at 650B rubber it seems like the two kick ass tires are Grand Bois Hetres [42mm] and Pacenti Pari-Motos [38mm].

Grand Bois Hertres 42mm 650 tire - Photog unknown...

The Pari-Motos are 127TPI & 280g with a true width of 38mm sold by Velo Orange for $59USD.  They are very thin which makes them light and fast, but not very durable.  Jan Heine at Bicycle Quarterly calls them an “event tire” because their thin casing [1.3mm compared to the 2.3mm of the Hetres] will wear out in ~2000kms on the rear.  The Hetres are 412g and 42mm wide sold by Compass Bicycle [aka Bicycle Quarterly] for $68USD.  The more robust Hetres hold 16% more air and should last over ~4000kms on the rear.

That sounds like two great options to me.  Pari-Motos for brevets where speed/efficiency is key and Hetres for training and general use where long life and some extra plushness matter more.


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4 responses

29 12 2010
SteveP

Good choices. Grand Bois also releasedthe Lierre which they say is similar to the Pari Moto in some ways.

In general, I don’t think 650b is going away any time soon; the period of concern on that is past. The selection of 650b items is only gettig better.

29 12 2010
jwp

I have a pair of the Grand Bois Hetre’s. Very nice ride, but they did force me into a much wider fender. I also have some Nifty Swifty’s from Rivendell. I also like the ride of those.

30 12 2010
thelazyrando

I’m fine with a wide fender. They look great when the frame is designed with clearance for them.

2 01 2011
Raymond Parker

I can certainly vouch for the robustness, comfort and performance of the Hetre. In my experience, they wear better even than the Col de la Vie, which have lots of tread (and are much slower, though preferable in muddy conditions).

Though I haven’t tried them, the PariMotos are getting good reviews for performance.

I also wouldn’t worry about availability. I don’t think 650b is going away … especially if we keep talking about this wonderful wheel size!

BTW, I had no problems fitting Hetres under a 50mm Honjo fender on my bleriot

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