Re: [CR]Photos of World Voyageur 650B Conversion

(Example: Framebuilding:Technology)

Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 14:14:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Photos of World Voyageur 650B Conversion
To: Ed Braley <>, classic rendezvous <>
In-Reply-To: <007301c86c2d$42ecc340$>

Well, I thought I was the first CR member to convert a World Voyageur to 650B, but obviously I was wrong. From your comments, it seems that this model was a particularly good candidate for such a conversion. Handling seems fine, but I can't say improved, since I rode it very little before changing the wheels.

BTW, there is something about this bike I had forgotten from In The Day. That is, there is almost no mention of Schwinn on the frame. The headbadge says "World". The seattube has the familiar white cross decal of the era, but the words in the cross are "World" not "Schwinn" as usually seen. The only mention of Schwinn is in the small print below the cross, where it says the bike was built in Japan for the Schwinn Bicycle Co., Chicago. The most prominant display of the Schwinn name on the whole bike is the "Schwinn Approved" SunTour barcons, (Shimano Crane GS) RD and the original DiaCompe CP's. It seems this bike was a bit of a marketing experiment for Schwinn, and perhaps they didn't want the bike too closely associated with the Schwinn name, in case it didn't work out.


Jerry Moos Big Spring, Texas

Ed Braley <> wrote: Hi Jerry,

Cool bike! Now I know why you were looking for those Shimano high flange hubs ;-)

I converted a 21inch version of that same bike - in orange, too!

I seem to recall trying a pair of Shimano Tourney centerpull brakes on my machine, and finding that they didn't have the necessary reach to contact the 650B rim. So I installed an unusual BMX roller cam brake from Odyssey called the Pitbull II. Now, seeing yours, I'm tempted to go back and try some Dia-Compe centerpull calipers just to see if those will reach...hmmm...

I think that the handling of my bike on 650B is much improved over the original 27 inch wheel format. These bikes have low-trail front ends and high bottom brackets. So a wider yet smaller diameter tire run at low pressure reduces the bottom bracket height, and creates enough pneumatic trail to bring this frameset into the sweetspot. The 650B converted World Voyager would probably be a good 650B converted bike on which to use a front bar bag.

I've done quite a few 650B conversions on older On-Topic sport touring bikes. With a careful selection of components, it's possible to retain the classic look and presentation, and yet create a machine that has more utility owing to the fat tires, fenders, and superior comfort provided by the 650x38B tires. The nice part about this is that there are no permanent modifications required to the bike, so it's quick and easy to return the machine back to its original/stock condition.

Enjoy your new 650B machine, and welcome to the "650B club".

Ed Braley
Falmouth, Maine

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerome & Elizabeth Moos"
To: "classic rendezvous"
Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2008 3:47 PM
Subject: [CR]Photos of World Voyageur 650B Conversion

> Just returned from this morning's shakedown cruise of the Schwinn World Voyageur 650B conversion, and took a few photos:
> I had mentioned this bike here a couple of times previously. I had long been looking for a clean original one, preferably in orange. The nostalgia factor is that Arnie Nashbar, who was still selling bike parts out of his gargage at the time, got several of these, in orange, for my fellow members of the OutSpokin' Wheelmen (LAW) of Youngstown, OH in the early 70's.
> Bought one between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was a nominal 23" but I hoped that actual size and BB height might be such that standover height would be manageable. When it arrived, it was very clean, but standover was very close to 33", whereas 32" is about all I can handle comfortably. What to do? Discussed trading it for a 21", but as it was very clean and original and the orange I remembered from In The Day, I decided to keep it, but convert to 650B wheels, which reduces the standover 0.9" versus the original 27" wheels.
> As I had never built 650B wheels before, this was a bit of a learning experience, and as usual, I had help from lots of CR folks. I preserved the original 27" wheels (except I've borrowed the original skewers for the 650B's), and obtained a pair of correct hubs (Shimano large flange, just below DA) from Doug Smith in UK. Got out the Sutherlands spoke charts and ordered a range of spoke sizes to cover those most common for 650B wheels. Got a pair of the Rivendell-designed Panaracer "Nifty Swifty" 650B x 33 tires and a pair of modern Weinmann 650B rims ( as well a a pair of Velocity) from Harris Cyclery. Built the wheels using the Weinmanns as at least the marque existed when the bike was built. Anyone know if the current Weinmann rims are still built by the same Swiss/Belgian/German company as In The Day?
> I had worried if I would be able to find a classic brake with enough reach to handle the 650B wheels. The ones in the photos are DiaCompe CP's, which seem to be the modern version of the same DiaCompe model original to the bike. I got them from Rocky Mountain Cyclery. They advertise these as being the same as the DiaCompe "760" that Rivendell sells. However, in response to my question, the seller measured these at 82 mm max reach, which turned out to be pretty accurate. Rivendell said theirs were 76 mm, or maybe 78 mm at most. I don't know if Rivendell mismeasured, or if the ones I bought are actually longer, but I'd recommend these to anyone looking for an extra long reach classic brakeset.
> Except for the wheels, which do have correct hubs and original skewers, everything is original except the aforementioned brakes, the cables and brake housing (stainless housings for SunTour barends are original) the water bottle, the pedals and the toe clips and straps. The original pedals were rather cludgy KKT's with a lip that hung down to hold reflectors. The lips didn't help the reduced ground clearance and had already been bent even with 27" wheels. Replaced with MKS Sylvan track with stainless Japanese L (European M) Minoura clips replacing the original Janpanese LL (European L) clips.
> Also, I removed to original brake suicide levers. This leaves the Diacompe lever extra length pivot pins protruding. A couple of different CR members generously supplied regular length pivot pins cheap or free, so I have replaced the pins plus have spares for future projects. Also, removing the suicide levers and replacing the pins allows adding brake hoods, which the bike did not originally have. These I got from CR member Dave Abraham.
> Overall, I'm quite happy with the outcome. Others might consider this approach for adapting that great bike that is just a couple of cm too tall. I think the 0.9" reduction in height going from 27" to 650B is just enough to be useful, while still not resulting in a dangerously low ground clearance. Wouldn't recommend this for a criterium frame with 180mm cranks, but for a sports/touring bike with 170 mm cranks, it seems to work just fine.


> Regards,


> Jerry Moos

> Big Spring, Texas