Wheelsets suitable for gravel riding

650b vs 700c what's the best wheel size for my gravel bike?

By Kenny Stocker

How can you possibly choose between 700c and 650b wheel sizes for your gravel adventure bike? We have the answer.

Gravel riding is a dynamic and exhilarating facet of cycling. It offers a realm where versatility meets rugged adventure. In this landscape, the choice of wheel size becomes a pivotal decision for riders.

The Sonder bike range, with models like the Camino, El Camino, and Sedona, have been designed to exploit the distinct advantages of the two predominant wheel sizes in gravel biking: 700c and 650b.

Having invested heavily into making our own wheels, we can ensure that the quality and efficiency is tip top. Sonder components are little pieces of magic, designed to bring out the best in our bikes. By designing and building our wheelsets in harmony with our frames, we can make our bikes even better, adventure-ready bikes.

The merits of 700c wheels: speed and efficiency on the open trail

700c is a staple in the cycling world. It excels in its ability to cover ground swiftly and efficiently. Pop them on a bike like the Sonder gravel race bike the Sedona and you are going to cover ground fast. These wheels, with their larger diameter, are designed to maintain momentum with ease, making them a top choice for long-distance gravel rides and tours. The rolling efficiency of 700c wheels is unmatched, especially on smoother gravel paths or when transitioning between tarmac and unpaved roads. They offer a ride that is not only fast but also efficient, gliding over open terrains with minimal effort.

Riders who lean towards long, uninterrupted stretches of gravel, or those who find themselves frequently switching between pavement and gravel, will find the 700c wheels particularly beneficial. Additionally, taller cyclists might prefer the proportional fit and feel of these larger wheels, which align well with their stature, providing a comfortable and efficient riding experience.

The strengths of 650b wheels: manoeuvrability and comfort over rugged terrain

On the other hand, the 650b wheel size, offer a different advantages, particularly in maneuverability and comfort. The smaller diameter of these wheels translates into a bike that responds more agilely to the rider's commands, making it ideal for navigating through technical trails, tight corners, and varied terrains. Slot them onto your Sonder Camino frameset and you can accommodate wider tires, which can be run at lower pressures. This setup is key in absorbing the vibrations and shocks from rough and uneven surfaces, providing a significantly more comfortable ride.

For the Sonder rider embarking on adventures across challenging and diverse landscapes, where the terrain can range from rocky paths to muddy tracks, you will appreciate the versatility of 650b wheels. Shorter riders may also find these wheels more suitable, as they offer a better fit and easier handling, enhancing the overall ride experience.

Comparing 700c and 650b wheels: making your choice

In the world of gravel biking, the choice between 700c and 650b wheels isn't about one being universally better than the other; it's about what suits your needs and preferences. The 700c wheels, with their efficiency and speed, are ideal if you value long-distance rides and smooth transitions between different surfaces. In contrast, the 650b wheels, with their focus on comfort and agility, cater to riders who seek adventure in more rugged and variable terrains.

In an ideal world of course you would have both. And why shouldn't you! Both wheel sizes have their unique strengths, and Sonder's range of gravel bikes, including the Camino and Sedona, are designed to optimize these characteristics.

Whether it's the speed and smoothness of the 700c or the agility and comfort of the 650b, Sonder's gravel bikes offer a tailored experience for every gravel biking enthusiast. The choice ultimately rests on the type of journeys you seek - be it the long, sweeping gravel roads or the unpredictable and wild trails that define the spirit of gravel biking.

Sonder Bike Wheels

Boost mountain bike wheelset for agility on tight trails
$219.99 $259.99
29” XC wheelset for long days of singletrack
$219.99 $259.99
Strong and dependable 650b wheels
$219.99 $259.99
650b Performance dynamo wheels for going the distance
$339.99 $389.99
700c purpose built for gravel and road
$219.99 $259.99
700c Dynamo performance wheelset
$187.49 $389.99
Gravel race carbon wheelset with with a ratchet drive 36 point engagement freehub.
$949.00 $1,049.00
Boost mountain bike wheelset for agility on tight trails
$379.99 $429.99
650b performance wheelset
$379.99 $429.99
Performance boost wheels for tough trails
$379.99 $429.99
29” XC wheelset for riding further and faster
$379.99 $429.99

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