Boyd Cycling Jocassee 650b Wheelset

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With the growing segment of gravel, a gravel purpose wheel would seem like a no brainer of course. Boyd Cycling did exactly that in 2017 with a 650b wheelset dedicated specifically to gravel riding whether you’re an enthusiast or a racer looking to turn the screws in the growing racing gravel scene.

The Jocassee was built for aero purposes as they believe a majority of the gravel events are being ridden with speeds well above 18mph where aero forces do come into play. With this in mind, the Boyd Cycling crew developed an aero 36mm deep rim profile with a 2.9mm rim offset to help even out spoke tension.

 

The 650b wheel may be looked upon as a size of the past when you add in the gravel category, they may not be a bad size to look consider. With anything gravel, it really depends on which terrain you ride on. Depending on where you live you may only have dry hard packed dirt roads, deep flint rock style which you’ll find in Kanza and even single-track tight style riding similar to what most mountain bikers will ride. After looking at your terrain this may be where you want to decide which wheel size and make you may want to lean towards.

The majority of the riding done on these wheels were on the dry hardpack roads, though filled with many washboards we were able to put the wheels to the test on the fast descents. Once back home off the island, we rode a bit drier California terrain, but this time hopping on the single track to see how they would handle on a more technical surface.

 
The wheels were designed and developed around a 47mm tire width, but for our riding time on them we had an IRC Boken 40mm tire and most of our riding was done with 35 psi. With any gravel type riding the acceleration is going to be more on the sluggish side which is no surprise but once up to speed, the Jocassee held their own especially on the long open roads. Once up to those speeds though you may catch yourself coming up on a section of chatter filled washboards and we’re happy to report that these wheels held up well through the rough terrain.
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The 650b size is a talking point though among many, and some riders hadn’t yet ridden this size. It is a much different feel as you do feel more planted to the ground which did give off a feel of more comfortability to some. Where we really saw the 650b size shine was on the more technical style terrain where we were constantly moving the bike around many tight areas. One part though that stood out was we felt a bit less confident over rockier terrain with the feel of being lower to the ground. At first, we weren’t sure of what we could exactly clear over with knowing our normal clearance of a 700c wheelset.

 
With anything in the wonderful world of gravel riding, it comes down to what type of terrain you are riding and what your goals are with your riding. The Jocassee do track well once up to speed and held their own but the 650b wheel size was liked by some riders and others not so much. A few of the shorter riders did enjoy them more it seemed to other taller riders. It can’t be overlooked though that almost all of the riders did quite enjoy the size of the wheels once the terrain got tight and technical.
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Rider reviews:

 “Love the wheels! Lighter, faster and the acceleration was pretty noticeable over my personal 650b wheelset. Mounting tubeless tires was super easy and very simple. Changing out rotors and cassettes was a breeze with all of the end-caps are included. Two thumbs up from me!”

 “Riding the 650b wheelset was a first for me. I have mixed reviews on this size of the wheel, but for the fire roads which I rode on them, they rode quite well for the amount of chatter involved on the roads. A few downhill breaking bumps gave me the feeling that I could more easily jump through some sections easier than on a 700c wheelset.”

 

  • Gravel Specific Wheelset
  • Size: 650b
  • Wheelset Price: USD $1,650.00
  • Weight: 1510g
  • Rim Depth: 36mm
  • Rim Width: 29.6mm
  • Inner Width: 24mm
  • Material: Carbon

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