ilike29er
I have a 2013 Salsa Colossal Ti which came stock with Clement 700x28 tires on HED Belgium wheels.  Just recently I saw pictures of someone who fit a pair of 650b wheels with 27.5x38 tires in their 2015 Salsa Colossal steel bike.

My question is, has anyone else tried this?  Was there any adverse affects with geometry, handling, ride feel with the bike?

I tried contacting the guy about his Colossal, but couldn't get a response.  I like the idea that I could use my Colossal as a dual purpose road/gravel bike by interchanging wheelsets.

Thoughts?
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ronnierbryant
I have done this on several bikes designed for 700c wheels.  My wife is running 27 1/2 on a new Ti Vaya and i am doing the same on a Habenero Frame both designed for 700c wheels.  We have not noticed any adverse affect on the handling.  Where are you located?  I am in the DFW, Texas area and would be happy to loan you a set of 27 1/2 wheels to try it out.

Ronnie
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ilike29er
Ronnie, thanks for the offer to borrow your wheels. Unfortunately, I live in the Denver area.

Which Habanero frame do you have? Is it CX or road specific? I ask because my concern is not having enough chainstay clearance with my bike. I think the Vaya has more clearance than the Colossal and so Im curious how much clearence you have with the Habanero.
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ronnierbryant
My Habenero is a CX with tons of clearance with 27.5 - I can run 52s!  I can take my wifes 27.5s with 38 into my LBS and try them on their Ti Colossal.
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drwelby
Usually these conversions will drop the bottom bracket a little. They will also reduce the trail a bit but a heavier off-road tire might cancel that out. giving you a bike that works better off road without giving up too much pep. Overall I've found the differences to be well within the changes you get between similar bikes between different manufacturers. 

You should be able to measure the frame to see if it's close to fitting. A 650 rim has a 584mm bead seat distance, so the tire bead will be 292mm away from the axle. Then add about half of the tire width (19 for 38's), and you have 311mm. Figure 3mm per side for minimum clearance and you need 44mm of distance at 311 mm from the rear axle.
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ilike29er

Ronnie, thanks for your willingness to take your wheel in to you LBS to see if it would fit on a Colossal.  Drwelby, thanks for the measurements and explanation...very helpful.

I bit the bullet and purchased a 650b wheelset and 27.5x1.5 tires.  I'll throw it on my Colossal and see how it turns out.  I'll follow up as soon as everything arrives, which should be sometime next week.

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ronnierbryant
I tried my wheels at the LBS.  Front wheel worked fine, rear wheel I could not test 100% as the rear on last years Colossal was thru axle and mine is not.  Getting as close as I could it was pretty tight fit and was suspect of rubbing.  I believe these tires measure 39 plus your frame is Lynskey made ( probably ) and your fit maybe different.  The rim size will also come in to play as mine were mounted on Velocity Blunt SL rims.   Let us know how it works out for you.

Ronnie 
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ilike29er
It works!!  Just barely, though.  Front wheel/tire combo fits inside the stock Enve RD fork.  The rear wheel/tire combo fits, but it's awfully tight.  Clearance at the rear chainstay is somewhere between 2mm and 3mm.  I would not want to ride this bike if there was any mud present on the road...the fit is just too tight without enough clearance.  Other than that, I would personally feel comfortable riding this on smooth/hard gravel roads. 

Bike: 2013 Salsa Colossal Ti (came stock with 700x28 wheel/tires)
Wheels: Mavic X319 650b rims laced to Sram X7 hubs
Tires: Panaracer Pari-Moto 27.5x1.5 or 650bx38.

As for the ride feel, I've only ridden it for a few miles on pavement so I can only give my initial comments.  It definitely feels comfortable with the bigger voluminous tires.  The only negative that I noticed right away was an odd, twitchy like feeling whenever I turned the handlebars while riding.  I'm not sure if it's my imagination, or better grip with wider tires on the ground, or what, but the handling does feel slightly twitchy whenever I turn the handlebars left and right.  I don't think this really matters for my situation since I'm not riding cyclocross with this bike but rather straight gravel roads.
 
In summary, I am happy with the initial few miles on the bike.  As I mentioned earlier, I do like the idea of being able to interchange between my road wheels and gravel wheels, and the setup was fairly inexpensive.

20160114_134608.jpg 20160114_134712.jpg 20160114_134634.jpg 20160114_134740.jpg     
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Ausgravelrider
just wondering if anyone has done 650b on salsa warbird ? I'm also looking to up my tyre size and curious if the handling will be affected ? thanks 
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PMC

Regarding a Warbird 650b conversion (at least on my Ti WB)
The chainstays are actually narrower where a 650b tire would be than where the 700c tire sits.

My wife has a 650B straggler and her 42mm soma tires are tight on the stays when the wheel is set in the dropouts.
So for the Ti verison - no go, not even close.


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Ausgravelrider
Ok well I can confirm Iv taken my enve cx (from my warbird) fork and put it on my wife's colossal to run some 31c cyclo tyres , and so far it's pretty awesome ! Yet to do any actual gravel or off road but around the neighbourhood it's quite fun to ride ! Just a bit of a tourer feel to it (high in the front end) more to come . .
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