Norm’s 650B

Norm’s 650B

I built Norm a road bike a couple of years ago. For his second build we talked about various different projects, before settling on a mountain bike. Norm wanted a fairly ‘old school’ build, of the long, low and quick handling persuasion. We settled on using 650B wheels, which gives plenty of fat tire options, and the ability for the frame to take 700C ‘cross wheels if required without changing the geometry. A single gear is great, but can make riding to the trails a bit spinny – so we have the super low-tech two speed with a White Industries double chainset and two cogs on the back. Both rings and cogs are three teeth apart, so can use the same chain length. Thus the bigger gear can be used across town, then quickly drop the rear wheel out, manually change to the other ratio and be ready for the trails.

In keeping with the old school theme, the fork is a Pace RC31 – Pace stopped making this many years ago when they sold the fork division to DT, but have recently been offering it again, assembled from an old stock of parts they had remaining. We had this one painted black to blend in with the two-tone paint scheme. The Flite 1990 model is from the same era, along with the Thomson seatpost and stem. The brakes are thoroughly modern though, with Shimano XT and IceTech Freeza rotors. Wheels are DT 350 hubs on their lightweight XX331 rims.

Adjustable dropouts handle the chain tensioning duties, and the rear hydraulic hose is run internally through the toptube. The weight comes in at just over 19lbs.


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