May 25, 2009

James Frames Custom 650B Revisited

Well, I have had more saddle time on the aluminum hardtail fabricated by JP of James Frames in Boulder, CO. For an Introduction to the bike CLICK HERE.
The recently released IRD Fire XC Pro tire in the 27.5" model is quickly becoming a favorite rear tire. It has held tight in most of the common conditions to my Florida trails. We have had some nice downpours so the trails were in choice shape. Originally JP and I spec'd the frame to accept the largest tire I would ever run, which, at the time of conception, was the only offroad tire available: MTBR's Fav Tire Pick- The Pacenti NEO-MOTO in a width of 2.3". The James Frames takes the IRD like a champ with more than ample clearance.
James Frames Tire Clearance 2.1" IRD 650BJames Frames 650B Chain Line
The chain line is killer as well. JP nailed it, but the American Classic single speed hub has a load of adjustment, too. The cassette body is approximately 15mm wide and the cog can be placed anywhere on it. I am using the Endless Kick-ASS cog, which in fact, kicks ass. Ultra light weight, and solid. It is a nice compliment to the American Classic's sensitive aluminum carrier with its wide base.
I have had a few 650B conversions, and this James Frames is my second purpose built 650B, and it totally RAILS. My initial take on the bike was that I was sitting higher than I liked, but that has since changed. It is a very nice longer travel XC bike with the Maverick SC32. Well, since the SC32 has been tuned to a 4" travel, it is closer to a standard XC length travel. In time I will return the X-Fusion Velvet to this bike and run it at a full 130mm, but for now the 10cm is fine, no GREAT.


umarth said...

I think it is a great looking bike. Given that I don't live anywhere close to Florida, I was curious what you meant with the post-downpour conditions. I have lots of mud in the PNW and am certain I need a new tire for when that season comes again...

Cracked Headtube said...

In my part of FL, the Gulf Coast, is mainly sand. Everywhere. Our trails dry out rather quick and become similar to a sandy beach. 29er float though our 'sugar sand' quite nicely, and I appreciated that about the bigger wheel. 650Bs also do. WAY better than 26" with a moderate trail tire.
So to answer your question. Post down pour conditions firm up our trails, as the sand soaks it ALL up very quick. Similar to a BMX track, which need to be watered so it doesn't get too loose with a dusty top coat. Our trails are also very rooted, but I haven't had an issue loosing traction over wet or damp roots using the Racing Ralph, Neo Moto, Kenda Nevegal, or the IRD Fire XC-B. The Quasi would shed muck nice, but came up short in our sand. So with the dryest conditions I shy away from the Quasi. Alas, as I mentioned, the IRD Fire XC-B is proving to be a solid rear tire (for me).

Steve Kinley said...

So in the drier conditions what would you run in the front if you could only choose between the Quasi and the Neo?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.