Ring for the Porteur (Part 1)

This post has moved to Ring for the Porteur (Part 1) – the bicycle wizards

Porters. You may know the word as a category of dark beer, as a railroad sleeping car attendant or as someone hired to schlep baggage. Let’s French-iphy that a wee bit and apply the definition to bicycles. Frenchiphying it is the easy part: just a “u” after the “e”. Porteur. There. Très bien!

But what does this have to do with bikes? Well, take a gander at this peloton:

It’s a fur piece different than, say, this peloton, jah?

You’ll notice that the bikes feature distinctly different handlebars (swept back bars in the B&W photo, drop bars in the color photo) and heavily laden front platform racks in the B&W photo. These bars are referred to as porteur bars and these racks as porteur racks.

Let’s say you want to be like these stouthearted giants and schlep–I mean really schelp–loads and loads of stuff up front where you can see it, touch it, taste it, smell it, then the porteur rack is the way to go.

Coming soon:
This post will be updated with a table of porteur racks including platform size, pannier-ability, material, price, weight and attachment point. Oh boy!
Part 2 (which proves to be more challenging given my limited headspace) will cover commonly available handlebar options.

Photo credit:
1) The super sweet porteur race picture hails across the Internet at, from my reading, the definitive classic porteur almanac, Blackbird, where site author and historian, Joel Metz has assembled a treat for the porteur obsessed reader to pore over. Specifically, this photo comes from a page dedicated to the 1947 Critérium des Porteurs de Journaux.
2) Our second photo is from the 1987 Paris-Roubaix race that I found hosted on Pinterest. Clearly, there’s a better source, but I thought it was a nice shot of the “Hell of the North” back when cycling pros still rode steel frames with quill stems. Specifically, the caption read, “Rudy Dhaenens leads Sean Kelly in the 1987 Paris-Roubaix” but our photographer and original source for this gem is unknown to me.

The State of 650B Rim Brake Compatible Rims

This post has moved to The State of 650B Rim Brake Compatible Rims – the bicycle wizards

What are the rim brake compatible (non-disc) 650B rims these days? Below is a table of options. Most are made by Velocity (including the below offerings from Pacenti and Soma). I hope this is useful for all of the dozens (literally dozens) of readers!

Make Model Inner Width Outer Width Depth Weight Tubeless Compatible ERD Availability Drilling(s) Price Notes
Alex DM18 18.4mm 24.4mm 520g 569.2mm silver/black
Alex X2200 19.0mm 24.4mm 485g 557.1mm black
Ambrosio Keba AKA ‘Confrerie’ 590g 550mm limited 36 4,600 yen double eyeleted, polished
Araya TX-310F 17mm 23.2mm 14.7mm 520g 36 33.33 € double walled, eyeleted
Grand Bois 650B rim 17mm 23mm 466g 568mm 32, 36 $ 98.00 silver
HED Belgium Plus 23mm 25mm 24mm 462g Y 28, 32 $ 150.00
Pacenti Brevet 19mm 23mm 15.0mm 430g Y 574mm 28, 32, 36 $ 98.00 silver
Pacenti PL23 18mm 23mm 15.5mm 454g Y 573mm OOP 28, 32, 36 $ 90.00 black, silver
Pacenti SL23 20.3mm 24.5mm 26mm 420g Y 550mm OOP 28, 32, 36 $ 104.00 black, silver
Ryde ZAC 421 21mm 28mm 22mm 605g 567mm Ryde 32, 26 black, silver
Soma El Nino 24 Rain Rim 19.9mm 24.4mm 16.1mm 540g 565.8mm Soma/Merry Sales 32, 26 $ 89.99 eyeleted, grey hard anodized
Soma Weymouth 19mm 24.4mm 16.1mm 540g 565.8mm 32, 36 $ 59.99 polished
Sun CR18 18mm 22.5mm 15mm 505g 574mm limited 32 $ 33.00 silver
SunXCD Randonneur 17mm 22mm 19.2mm coming soon 32, 36 silver
Velo Orange Diagonale 25mm 550g 570mm 32, 36 $ 69.00 double walled, polished Al with steel eyelets
Velocity A23 18mm 23mm 19.5mm 425g Y 562mm stated / 568mm measured 32, 36 $ 90.99 black, silver, polished
Velocity A23 O/C 18mm 23mm 19.5mm 435g Y 560mm stated / 568mm measured 32, 36 $ 96.99 black, silver, polished
Velocity Atlas 19.8mm 25.4mm 18mm 590g 569mm 32, 36 $ 87.99 silver, polished
Velocity Cliffhanger 25mm 30mm 20mm 625g 558mm 32, 36, 40 $ 90.99 black, polished, reflective
Velocity Dyad 18.6mm 24mm 22mm 495g 560mm 32, 36 $ 78.99 black, silver
Velocity Synergy 23mm 18mm 490g 567mm OOP 28, 32, 36 $ 64.95
Velocity Synergy O/C 23mm 18mm 490g 567mm OOP 28, 32, 36 $ 64.95
Velocity Twin Hollow 22mm 14mm 480g 576mm limited 36 $ 41.99 silver
Weinmann ZAC-19 564mm unknown

Measurements above are given in millimeters and grams. Pricing may vary, prices given above are base prices from the Interwebs. Some of the polished Velocity rims are $30 more. Specs subject to change. I try to get this right, but am held harmless in the event of error. Should an error occur, please notify me.

If I’ve missed anything or if you can fill in the gaps above, please leave a comment and I’ll incorporate it into the table.

I will be updating the table to include Tubeless Compatibility

650B Conversion Tire Clearance Repository

This post has moved to 650B Conversion Tire Clearance Repository – the bicycle wizards

What bike(s) have you converted to 650B? What tires fit?

Make Model Year (or era)/ serial number/ distinguishing feature(s)/ color Frame Size Largest 650B tire that fit (stock) Try anything that didn’t fit? Brakes used to convert Other comments Contributor
Centurion Turbo 1983 58cm Col de la Vie 38mm fenders Tektro R559 Rory!
Katakura Silk Full chrome, ca. 1984 61cm CTC 38mm with fenders none Tektro R559 Easiest conversion I’ve ever done…this bike fit the tires/wheels almost as though it were designed to do so. Fork was medium trail though. Azorch
Nishiki Comp II 1986 56cm 42mm Tektro R559 Bruce
Torelli from Cinelli Corsa factory 1983-4 57cm 38mm Too tight to safely run 42s Tektro R559 Bruce
Trek 420 1989 58cm 42mm fenders Tektro R559 (maxed out in back) Here is a slightly older one that fits Hetres & fenders: http://brazenbicycles.com/Trek-650b-Town-and-Country

Also this looks like a 1986 400: http://brazenbicycles.com/Trek-400-650b-Sport-Touring


Have you converted a bike? Comment below with the following and I will update the table:

  1. Make
  2. Model
  3. Year (or era)/serial number/distinguishing feature(s)/color
  4. Frame size
  5. Largest 650B tire that fit
  6. Any 650B tire(s) that you tried that didn’t fit
  7. Brakes used in conversion
  8. Other comments

Tire Size and Air Volume

This post has moved to Tire Size and Air Volume – the bicycle wizards

Wheel Tire Volume Increase over 700x23C Example Tires
700C 23mm 3.5 L 0% The old standard
700C 19mm 2.4 L -33% Oh, dear!
700C 21mm 2.9 L -17% Eek!
700C 26mm 4.5 L 29% Grand Bois Cerf Blue (222g, 184g), Compass Cayuse Pass (248g)
700C 27mm 4.9 L 39% Challenge Parigi-Roubaix (285g)
700C 28mm 5.3 L 50% Compass Chinook Pass (229g)
700C 30mm 6.1 L 74% Challenge Strada Bianca (355g)
700C 32mm 6.9 L 99% Compass Stampede Pass (291g, 254g)
700C 33.333mm 7.6 L 117% Jack Brown (435g, 295g)
700C 35mm 8.4 L 140% Compass Bon Jon Pass (355g, 303g)
700C 38mm 10 L 185% Compass Barlow Pass (390g, 359g), Soma C Line (400g)
700C 42mm 12.3 L 252% Soma Supple Vitesse (380g, 340g)
700C 44mm 13.6 L 289% Compass Snoqualmie Pass (378g, 329g)
700C 50mm 17.8 L 411% Schwalbe Marathon (1.0T)
700C 55mm 21.9 L 527% Schwalbe Marathon (1.125T)
650B 32mm 6.6 L 88% Hutchinson Confriere (320g), Grand Bois Cypress (285g, 261g)
650B 38mm 9.4 L 170% Compass Loup Loup Pass (354g, 333g), Panaracer Pari Moto (340g, 300g)
650B 42mm 11.6 L 233% Compass Baby Shoe Pass (390g, 362g), Grand Bois Hetre (412g)
650B 48mm 15.5 L 343% Compass Switchback Pass (478g, 413g)
26″ 32mm 6.3 L 81% Compass Elk Pass (178g)
26″ 38mm 9.1 L 159% Compass McClure Pass (366g)
26″ 44mm 12.4 L 254% Compass Naches Pass (350g, 300g), Compass Slumgullion Pass (447g)
26″ 50mm 16.3 L 366% Schwalbe Big Ben (1.5T)
26″ 54mm 19.2 L 450% Compass Rat Trap Pass (454g, 418g)
26″ 55mm 20.0 L 473% Schwalbe Big Ben (2.0T)

Air volume was calculated in MS Excel with the following formula (this example is for 650B/584ISO with 38mm tires):

This will give results in cubic millimeters. Volumes above have been convert to liters (dividing by 1 million), rounded to the nearest tenth.

Some variances may be introduced from rounding, unit conversions, and other factors.

This is all white coat, clean room, armchair nerdery stuff only. Real life measurements of tires can vary based on many factors including miles, rims, tubes, production batch, etc.

Tire weights are manufacturer published weights, except for Schwalbe which were 100% fabricated for my own amusement.