650x32B touring tyres

The Grand Bois Cypres comes in 650x32B and it rolls very well
I’m having my dream touring bike built and decided to go for 650B wheels, as: 1) this is for an S&S coupled bike, so it’ll be slightly easier to fit in the case; and 2) it seems like 26" will be slowly dying, while 650B will be slowly taking its place. I’ve been looking around and 32×650B is almost nonexistent. All I’ve found have been these two: 35-584 Schwalbe Kojak and 32-584 Continental Contact Speed. Those might do okay, but they’re not as tough as the touring tyres I’m used to.

Tbessie, via the CyclingUK forum

650×32B is an interesting tyre size; roughly the same as the old British 26×1 ¼" touring standard, the tyre is narrow enough to be lightweight while offering a fast, comfortable ride. The rubber available in this format tends to be high operformance. For example, the Grand Bois Cyprès weighs just 260g. Hutchinson’s Confrérie des 650 (available online) is a little heavier and impressively tough. Another 100g heavier, the Continental Contact Speed should make a durable touring tyre, but none of these is comparable to, say, Schwalbe’s Marathon range. The good news for anyone with 26" wheels is that this size is going to be around for a long time yet.

Richard Hallett

Technical Editor, Cycle magazine