Different wheel size means the creation of various types of aspects, advantages, and disadvantages. The biggest difference between 700c and 650c wheels is size. Apart from that, there are many differences in weight, safety, stability, speed, comfort, and gearing. As a rider, you must choose the right wheel size by gaining proper knowledge of these differences which will make your cycling journey more satisfying.
So, let’s deep dive into today’s topic, I have called the top and most non-neglectable differences between 700c and 650c wheels of the bicycle. Actually, this writing is going to be a mighty mine of knowledge about 700c and 650c wheels. Because I have covered the from the basic info to the highest pick.
700c Bicycle Wheels
700c refers to your bike’s tire size according to the ‘French system’. The number “700” refers to the diameter in millimeters of a bicycle tire. On the other hand “c” relates to the width code of the bicycle tyre.
700c is considered one of the most dominant wheel sizes in the modern bike world. It is the largest among the other three top wheel sizes. 26-inch and the other wheel size is the 650B which is also called 27.5-inches. And the approximate diameters of rims according to the size of such wheels are-
👉 700C = 622 millimeters = 24.5 inches.
It is 650B and is much larger than the 26. FAT 700C tyres are roughly 28 inches but are also called 29-ers.
👉 26-inches = 559 millimeters = 22 inches.
It is always observed to be only 26 inches.
👉 650B = 584 millimeters = 23 inches.
It was a very popular medium size in France in the 1940s. It has come back a lot recently as well and is firmly locked in as well
700c, 29er, 622ISO, and 28″ all refer to the same wheel size. And you will find different variations of 700C wheel tyres. Generally speaking, the wider the bicycle tyre, the thicker it will be.
Advantages Of 700c Bicycle Wheels
1. You can get extra tire options in 700c bicycle wheels:
- 700c wheels are common and popularly manufactured as an alternative to wider tyres.
- From 18mm road slicks to 3+ inch mountain bike tires, you’ll find the 700c version.
- Wider 700c tyres are often marketed as 29er because they are the same diameter.
2. More efficient, due to less rolling resistance:
The 700c wheels can roll easily without losing speed when hitting bumps or obstacles. Although there is some inertia due to mass, it continues to spin by gathering more momentum. When riding on flat roads you need much less energy, it is possible to ride more with the same energy.
3. Smoother riding journey:
- The 700c size can give you a smoother riding journey than other wheel sizes even when using the same-width tyres.
- Despite the larger circumference, the wheels do not get stuck but tend to roll over obstacles.
4. Perfect rollover capability:
The 700c’s larger wheel circumference makes it easier to roll over potholes, branches, roots, bumps, and other obstacles on the road or trail.
- Due to the large diameters of such wheels, it does not fall into various potholes during riding.
- Without falling into potholes, losing speed, and jolting too much, you can roll gracefully over various obstacles and move forward.
5. Additional 700c wheels ingredients are easier to get:
Various useful ingredients for 700c wheels such as spare tires, rims, tubes, etc, can be easily found in nearby markets.
- Even if your bike’s ingredients suddenly go bad in some remote area, you might still be able to find it on all the bikes around.
6. More frame options:
Most modern bicycle frames are designed for 700c size wheels. So you can choose any frame according to your choice. Moreover, there are also frames that you can customize even if you don’t get the 700c wheel size.
7. 700c wheels permit you to cover extra duration in a short time:
You have to apply much less pressure to keep them rolling due to their low rolling resistance.
- With 700c wheels, you can cruise at a high average speed which will undoubtedly be perfect for a long-distance trip. It can take you a long way in a short amount of time.
8. More stable riding:
You may feel a lot of jolts while riding with smaller wheels. But larger wheels will allow you to ride in a completely stable manner without such a jerky feeling even if it is a bit slower.
Disadvantages Of 700c Bicycle Wheels
1. Too big for small or short cyclists:
For some of the riders who are under 5’6”, a bicycle with 700c tires may be perceived as a little vast and tough to ride. Also, most bicycle manufacturing companies don’t want to attach 700c-size wheels to smaller frames.
2. Toe overlap:
When cycling on 700c bikes with smaller frames, the toe may rub against the wheel at the front of the bike during turns. And this incident you may never like while riding.
Manufacturing larger 700c wheels and tires require additional materials. As a result, the weight of your bicycle increases constantly. Due to this, you have to face some problems while cycling.
4. Less maneuverable & traction:
Large wheels move much slower than relatively small wheels. Navigating various tight technical terrains is also more likely to feel difficult.
- 700c wheels don’t get much grip and traction on icy surfaces, slippery surfaces, gravel areas, or dirt roads.
5. 700c wheels are a little weaker:
700c wheels are slightly larger in diameter and use longer spokes so are structurally weaker. And these wheels cannot easily handle heavy loads without cracking or flexing.
- But using Presta valves instead of Schrader valves can increase wheel power slightly.
6. Slower acceleration & less comfortable ride:
700c wheels are much larger and heavier, requiring more power to roll. Also, it is not possible to spin very fast. Moreover, it provides slower acceleration & less comfortable riding in hilly areas due to extra heaviness.
650c Bicycle Wheels
By the 1990s, most triathlon bikes featured 650c wheels. And they are much smaller than the “standard” current 700c wheels. The 650c currently offers a decent selection of racing tires, ranging from 23mm to 28mm, which is much lighter.
- For the 650C, the ISO size is 571.
- This tire size is mostly used for smaller road bikes and triathlon bikes.
- This size is often specified as 26 inches.
Advantages Of 650c Bicycle Wheels
1. Better traction & grip:
650c tires are wider and have a higher volume to create a patch of contact with the ground and add higher traction.
- Stronger brakes with increased traction, are less likely to skid at higher cycling.
- 650c tires can run at lower air pressures.
- And, softening the tire allows for more tread contact with the road for added traction.
2. 650c wheels are stronger:
650c uses smaller spokes due to the smaller wheel diameter. As a result, the wheels become structurally stronger.
- In carrying extra heavy loads, gravel riding, mountain riding, these wheels can move forward without fail.
3. Perfect geometry for short cyclists:
650c wheels are often attached to smaller framed bikes which are for shorter riders.
- With their height, the frame geometry of such bikes perfectly matches. And that results in a comfortable riding experience.
- Many cyclists under about 5’5″ in height will also be able to ride a bicycle with this type of wheel.
4. Easy to pack this size bike for different types of transport or shipping:
Bikes of this size are very easy to pack if you want to fly or transport them by car. Due to its small size, it can be confined to a small space.
5. 650c wheels offer a smoother and more comfortable ride:
You can enjoy a smoother and more comfortable ride even with low tire pressure. Because cycling at low air pressure softens the tire and absorbs shocks and vibrations from the road, making the ride smoother.
6. Lighter bicycle with lower gearing:
The smaller 650c wheels reduce the weight of the bike significantly due to less material used.
- Reduces your gearing greatly as the wheel circumference effectively covers the entire gear range.
- Get extra-low gear when traveling for full-load reception.
7. Faster acceleration and increased maneuverability:
The smaller wheels make the steering quicker and more responsive. Also, they can steer more aerodynamically and faster. And, they provide good output for stop-and-go city riding and downhill coast cycling.
Disadvantages Of 650c Bicycle Wheels
1. Hard to find the spare parts:
As the 650c wheel fell in popularity, it became difficult to find different types of spare parts. Many times it is found that rims, tires, or tubes cannot be found. Even if you live in a developed area, you may not be able to find accessories for this size of fuel in many small shops.
2. Less efficient:
Small wheels lose speed quickly when pedaling is stopped. Because the wheels are smaller, you have to apply more pressure to move forward.
- Longer tours require more time spent in the saddle and also burn more energy.
3. Fewer tire & frame options:
The 650c wheel is slightly less popular when compared to all other wheels. Therefore, manufacturing companies have few tire and frame options for these types of wheels. That’s why many bikers want to use this type of wheel but still can’t because they don’t like tire and frame options.
Major Differences Between 700c And 650c Wheels
700c wheels are relatively larger than 650c wheels and weigh more because of their size. Naturally, the smaller the size of a wheel the less it weighs, so the 650c Wheels weigh less.
- 650C Rim Weighs- 450 To 500 g
- 700C Rim Weighs- 450 To 530 g
The 650c or 26-inch wheel travels 1 mile in 823 revolutions. As a 700c wheel travels 1 mile and must turn 763 times, can roll you much faster than 650c wheels. So it can be said that the larger wheel will have a relatively higher speed and move forward faster.
- But again when you are riding in various hilly areas, smaller size wheels can provide better speed.
For your convenience, I am telling about the difference in gearing range of 650c wheels and 700c wheels in the form of a table or chart-
|Wheel Size||Front Chain Rings||Rear Cogs||Highest Cog||Lowest Gear|
|700c||52/39||12 To 24||116 Inches||43 Inches|
|650c||52/40||11 To 23||117 Inches||43 Inches|
When the wheels are bigger and wider it can provide more safety. This means there is no fear of slipping while riding with the 700c-size wheels. But larger size wheels need to provide more pressure to move them forward.
- Judging from that aspect, smaller size wheels i.e. 650c size are better.
5. Difference Between Comfort, Stability, And The Rider Height:
Comfort and stability mostly depend on the rider’s own choice and height. In this aspect, the 700c wheel size may be perfect for riders who are taller than 5′.5″. Because they will be able to use it very comfortably and with full stability. And larger wheels naturally mean more stability.
On the other hand, if your height is a bit shorter In that case, the 650c size will give you a more comfortable feeling. As the smaller size wheels are a bit less stable than the larger size.
- Yes, rider height makes a huge impact on choosing between 700c And 650c wheels.
Final Words For 700c VS 650c Wheels
Naturally, having a difference in wheel size means a lot of other types of differences. As a rider, you should be aware of these differences. Only then you can choose the maximum correct wheel. Hope the complete article helped you to know about the major & top differences between 700c and 650c wheels. Therefore, I believe now your bicycle journey will more enjoyable with excellence.