27 July, 2017

Igor's Country Rambler - 650b Pass Hunter

by Igor

Let me preface this article with a few words of caution. Obviously, using a narrower rim will yield narrower tires, and vice-versa. The front has lots of room, the rear chainstays are pretty tight. Tight enough that I can't recommend anyone do this specific conversion. I could have dimpled the chainstays for extra clearance, but I felt it wasn't necessary for now. Additionally, I wanted to use as many regular hand tools as possible. Narrower tires like the Pari-Motos or other ~42mm tires would make fender installation easier. That said, enjoy!


Ever since the Polyvalent prototypes came in, a 650b itch has developed. I tried calamine lotion, anti-histamines, wearing gloves, and even bathing in tomato juice - nothing worked. So instead, I embraced it. Fueled by inspiration and Clint's OutoftheBasement Brew® coffee, I decided to 650b my Pass Hunter Disc.


Right away, I noticed that the chainstays were potentially going to be an issue. I mounted WTB Horizon 47mm tires on 28mm wide rims and let them age for a few days. They seemed to have hit a stasis of 46.8mm after a few days. The chainstay clearance is tight, but manageable. The overall diameter of this setup is roughly the same as the Fairweather 700x28s I had previously mounted, but with extra confidence to roll over the grates on the bridges we have around here going into and out of town.

I could have called it a day, posted some photos on IG, and been showered in virtual hearts. Instead, the bike screamed for fenders - it is a VO frame, after all. I managed to massage, crimp, and adjust our 700x63mm Fluted Fenders to fit the curvature of the wheel. In the following photos, you can see how things line up and where they needed "encouragement".



Specifically on these fenders, the section that mounts to the chainstay bridge has a sort of "tongue" to allow it to fit into more bikes. Additionally, you'll notice the fender is crimped behind the front derailleur. It isn't a dent. That's how it comes stock to allow a derailleur to travel into the smaller ring without interference.


Finishing touches were put on - a prototype Randonneur Front Rack with the fender mounted. This combination was a cinch to install and makes a really simple and strong connection.



Here I come, #basketlyfe! 

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18 comments:

Theo said...

Ugh, have wanted to do this to replace my Wolverine forever now. Horizons setup tubeless on Velocity Blunt (a 30mm wide rim) at about 50mm. Those photos look tight, do you think there's an extra 2mm on each side to sneak that wheelset in?

VeloOrange said...

50mm tires won't fit short of crimping the chainstays.

Reuben Unkovich said...

Seems a bummer this frame wasn't ready for fat 650s. It's a classic VO feature and the disc brakes make it even easier.

Is there something else the frame gained when the extra clearance was left out?

VeloOrange said...

The Pass Hunter was designed many moons ago around 700x35 with fenders - before the ready availability of 650b tires. Well before WTB released these tires. 42s fit just fine and ride really nicely, too. Using a wider rim would also puff the tires out a bit.

The Polyvalent will have ample clearance for those tires.

-Igor

Casey said...

What bags/ pouches are those?

VeloOrange said...

RoadRunner Fred Bag and Point n' Shooter feedbag.

Stuart Steele said...

Do you have a date the Polyvalent will be ready?

VeloOrange said...

We're looking at a Spring release date.

-Igor

Anonymous said...

That's a nice looking crank there. Is it a prototype?

Justin Pyatt said...

How much clearance is there on the drive side chainstay? It could just be the angle, but it looks like less than on the non-drive side...

Ben Azoulay said...

What crank is that? Overall gorgeous build!

VeloOrange said...

It is! Bit more modern 46/30.

VeloOrange said...

It's basically the same. Within a quarter mm of each side due.

VeloOrange said...

It's a modern 46/30 proto. Thanks for the kind words!

velodan said...

Imagine doing this to the Campeur! I'll let you know if I decide to do it.

Bob Torres said...

Igor, nice build. The whole bike looks natural with the 650B. Very pleasant to the eyes, enjoy the ride.

Beau said...

Those cranks look great! Glad to see another decent 46/30 option o the way. Keep us all posted on when those become available.

Sean Baird said...

When I purchased my pass hunter a year and a few months ago I struggled to choose between the classic and the disc. I chose the classic for the beautiful red paint (which I ogle at regularly and don't regret), but if I'd known 650bx47 would have been a choice the deal would have been done. It's sure a fun bike with 700cx38s but I imagine the extra cushion would be quite nice. Either way, I appreciate the pushing the boundaries blog post...