Wider tires offer more comfort and grip. But as the tire gets wider, the overall diameter also increases. This in turn means your chainstays get longer, the front-center gets longer, the steering slower, and in smaller sizes the headtube gets too high. In short, the bike feels less and less like a nimble road bike and more and more like a garbage truck.
So what you really want is extra width without much extra diameter and this is what the 650b wheelsize offers. A 650b wheel with a 47mm wide tire has the exact same diameter as a 700c road wheel with a 28mm road tire. So same diameter, but triple the air volume, comfort and grip by going to a 650b wheel with a 47mm tire. And if you go to 54mm as fits on the 3T Exploro bikes, the air volume is almost four times bigger and it still only has the diameter of a 700x40c tire.
Sometimes people say they want to stick with 700c wheels when they ride big tires because they want to "change as little as possible”. But while it may sound like sticking to 700c is changing less, in effect you are changing everything about how the bike fits and feels, while with 650b the rim diameter changes but the way the bike behaves remains the same.
In the quest for more comfort and grip, wider and wider tires are used on gravel bikes. While this offers mostly advantages, one drawback is that the tire flexes more sideways, making your bike less predictable in cornering. That can be solved by widening the rim.
However, a wider rim is also potentially heavier, and the rim width/tire width ratio has to be in balance to ensure proper seating of the tire on the rim. For the 650b tires with 47-60mm width that we use for the toughest terrain (and thus for which 650b wheels are the best choice), the ideal rim width is 28mm internal. Considerably wider than the 19mm more commonly found, but narrow enough that the weight is very low and the tire is perfectly secured on the rim, even without the need for hooks (as one would need for a road tire on a wider rim).
|size||ETRTO 584 x 28c, (27,5”/650b), 33.4mm wide, 30mm deep|
|Rim Spec||Gravel-specific carbon 650b rim, tubeless-ready with angle-specific drilling|
|Rim material||Unidirectional carbon - ultralight layup|
|Spokes||Sapim D-light, Straight pull, stainless steel, black finish, 24 Front/24 Rear|
|Hubs||3T GW Bombproof Hubs, Centerlock type, oversized light alloy hub bodies, spindles & freehub body, adjustable bearings, black satin anodized|
|Nipples||Brass, black finish, Sapim Polyax 14G secure lock|
|Front Hub spec||100x12 Syntace X-12 with 1.0mm thread|
|Rear Hub spec||142x12 Syntace X-12 with 1.0mm thread|
|Rear Hub compatibility||10/11s Shimano freewheel and SRAM XDR Driver body included|
|Wheel weight (+/- 5%)||1508 g|
|Laufzeit in Monaten||Monatliche Rate||Effektiver Jahreszins||Gebundener jährlicher Sollzinssatz||Gesamtbetrag|
|6||6 x 342,44 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.054,62 EUR|
|10||12 x 208,69 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.086,86 EUR|
|12||12 x 175,26 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.103,10 EUR|
|18||18 x 119,57 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.152,32 EUR|
|24||24 x 91,76 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.202,29 EUR|
|30||30 x 75,10 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.253,00 EUR|
|36||36 x 64,01 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.304,46 EUR|
|48||48 x 50,20 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.409,58 EUR|
|60||60 x 41,96 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.517,63 EUR|
|72||72 x 36,51 EUR||9.90 %||9.48 %||2.628,61 EUR|