Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
34,854 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone timeline the significant events in 650b history?


when the first rim, tire was born, fork, production bike,
fox/rockshox announcement, world cup win... the who's and the what's.

fc
 

·
Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
Joined
·
1,630 Posts
Can someone timeline the significant events in 650b history?


when the first rim, tire was born, fork, production bike,
fox/rockshox announcement, world cup win... the who's and the what's.

fc
I can offer a little info on the this front.

I unveiled the first 650b (27.5") mountain bike in February 2007 at the NAHBS show in San Jose. The frame was built for me by Kent Eriksen, the fork was a custom made White Bros. Magic and the wheels were by Cane Creek (Velocity rims). I had hand cut and re-stiched a pair of WTB 29er tires to fit the 650b wheels.


You can see a test of that bike in Dirt Rag: Pacenti 650B | Dirt Rag Magazine

The first 650b (27.5") MTB tire available was the Pacenti Neo-Moto 2.3", produced in mid 2007. I followed it up shortly thereafter with the Quasi-Moto 2.0" and the Neo-Moto 2.1" in 2008. Rims had been widely available on the road / touring side for a long time at that point. But Velocity and Stan's jumped in early with MTB specific rims in late 2008 / early 2009.

Cheers,
Kirk Pacenti
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,169 Posts
The guy who should probably pick up the story from here is cracked headtube, who hosts this blog, and is another early to the party supporter of 650b:

http://www.650bpalace.com/

I could be a little off, but I believe the first production Jamis 650b and White Bros fork was 2008. KHS bike and X-Fusion forks 2010. In this period, WTB, Alex, and Am Classic came out with rims; Kenda and Schwalbe tires.

All the early in companies deserve consumer support for their willingness to stick their necks out. They deserve a pay day if this gamble pays off I'm happy with my 2010 Jamis B2 frame, WB Fluid forks, and will ride them to dust.

If the likes of Spec and Santa Cruz ever eat their words and produce 650b bikes, while I'm sure they will be cutting edge, they won't see my money. Screw them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,598 Posts
The guy who should probably pick up the story from here is cracked headtube, who hosts this blog, and is another early to the party supporter of 650b:

http://www.650bpalace.com

I could be a little off, but I believe the first production Jamis 650b and White Bros fork was 2008. KHS bike and X-Fusion forks 2010. In this period, WTB, Alex, and Am Classic came out with rims; Kenda and Schwalbe tires.

All the early in companies deserve consumer support for their willingness to stick their necks out. They deserve a pay day if this gamble pays off I'm happy with my 2010 Jamis B2 frame, WB Fluid forks, and will ride them to dust.

If the likes of Spec and Santa Cruz ever eat their words and produce 650b bikes, while I'm sure they will be cutting edge, they won't see my money. Screw them.
Haro may have been first before even Jamis - not sure. If not before Jamis - right around the same time as Jamis - I think slightly ahead though. I remember riding a demo Beasley at Interbike East in Providence in 2008 thanks to the help of Jill Hamilton who was working at Haro at the time.

Haro had the two Beasley Models and then briefly after those two hardtails the Sonix 650b FS bike. But then Haro took a hard turn away from higher performing mountain bikes and went back to more of a BMX, urban bike, and Masi (road) focus.

So we shouldn't forget about Haro in this history timeline.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,598 Posts
Another guy who has been behind 650b pretty early on was Davis Carver of Carver Bikes and Cool Bike Parts and Accessories from the Coast of Maine since 1976 acclaim.

Davis was another guy with 650b bikes on display at the Interbike East outdoor demo days in Providence, RI in 2008. I rode one of his Carver 96ers that was set up as a full 650b bike with a Xfusion Velvet fork up front. One helluva fun ride that thing was. I actually ended up buying the frame that was on that demo bike and riding it for a good while having a total blast on it while I owned it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
There's 650b history as in at what point did guys like Kirk P. begin to push hard to bring 650b to our attention.

But then there is another POV: a guy named Geoff Apps was experimenting with 650B and 700c Finnish snow tires 30 years ago; Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly suposedly heard about it and tried to get some rims and tires to experiment with, but it turned out that they couldn't get a secure enough supply and couldn't interest any tire makers in it until they could guarantee higher sales numbers.

IMO, Kirk is a hero for working to make it real, but like the chicken and egg...what was first?
 

·
bonked
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
According to another member (Fillet-Brazed), Tom Ritchey produced a handful of frames for the 650b wheel size back in the late 70's or very early 80's specifically to use the Hakka 650b tires, but supply of tires dried up when the Russian army sucked up the entire production run, and interest in the wheel size fell off as a result. There is an old magazine article that references this

https://www.oldmountainbikes.com/catalogs/ritchey/articles/b_jun-82/82bicycling11.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
I think I remember something here, too, about that, but I don't have good luck searching. I get mad if I don't find what I want in 15 seconds!

I have a Raleigh "mountain tour" that has 26x1-1/2 tires on it; the old American way of sizing 650b. I don't know what it had originally, but it came to me with some french-made randonneur-tread tires on. 15 seconds of research originally suggested that the bike was made about 1983 and DID come with this size standard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
Look in this very 650B forum back to pages 57-62 and you will see the beginnings....in 2007 Shiggy scores first conversion of a 26er, (an A Salsa 'A-La-Carte' with the Velocity blunts and Neo-motos) Ahrens does a hardtail, then Carver does the Bumblebee, then along comes Haro Beasly and then Jamis. The FS 26er conversions start to fly from there and go all ver the map. The best quote from 2007 is 'Davidcopperfield' stating (Quote):"650b- 584mm might be a steady replacement for 559mm-26". He was a prohpet before he became the 650B troll. :D

__________________
29 forks http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=264544
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Shouldn't there be a mention of Grant Petersen here somewhere?
The Fatty Rumpkin? The Saluki?


Sure, the 650b is actually an old size, from European touring bikes and randonneurs, but after Tom R. left the 650b behind, yet before Kirk P. turned it into a 29'er alternative, Grant's role should be noted, how he helped along the 650b to get to where it was able to be turned into what it's doing today, right? No, he didn't design any 2"+ knobby tires, but, he helped make it possible for it to even happen...
 

·
Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
Joined
·
1,630 Posts
Shouldn't there be a mention of Grant Petersen here somewhere?
The Fatty Rumpkin? The Saluki?


Sure, the 650b is actually an old size, from European touring bikes and randonneurs, but after Tom R. left the 650b behind, yet before Kirk P. turned it into a 29'er alternative, Grant's role should be noted, how he helped along the 650b to get to where it was able to be turned into what it's doing today, right? No, he didn't design any 2"+ knobby tires, but, he helped make it possible for it to even happen...

Yes, Grant does deserve much of the credit for popularizing 650b in the US. And I have said, many times before, that it was Grant who introduced me to the 650b wheel size in 2004. (2nd paragraph)

As others here have mentioned, 650b bikes have been produced in some form or another (primarily touring / randonneuring bikes) for nearly a century, including a few MTB's in the late 70's - early 80's. However, unless I misunderstood the intent /context of Francois' initial post, I think this thread concerns what's going on today with 650b wheels in the mountain bike world. None of which has anything to do with bikes made before the one I debuted at NAHBS in February of 2007.

That TR, CK or JB may have made a few 650b wheeled bikes in 79-81 is a historical fact (a fact I discovered only after the 2007 NAHBS show). But the idea that the few bikes they made 30+ years ago [or even the few new touring bikes available today] has had any influence on Nino's WC wins or the products we saw displayed at Sea Otter last month from likes of Fox and Intense, stretches credulity to the breaking point. (imo, ymmv, etc, etc, etc)


Cheers,
KP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Good point, Kirk; I'd not read Francois's original note from a narrow perspective of just the modern MTB, I was seeing it as a more open question on 650b's history, and so I wanted to make sure he knew about the continuum from the old tourers up to when you kicked off the MTB 650b. I know *you* know all about Grant; I was just wanting to make sure that Francois was aware of his involvement in 650b, too. [And, maybe you're right, that may be more history than Francois was wanting, only the post-you stuff... but just in case, I wanted to make sure he had the info if he wanted to include that much of the history to lead up to you and the Neo.]

And I wholly concur, bikes like the Saluki, the Kogswell, etc., those aren't 'related' to suspension forks or competition wins or new knobby tires, I wasn't trying to imply that at all. There is a distinct difference between what GP and Riv do from what most of the people on this board are thinking of when they think of a mountain bike. My Bombadil is, as Grant would say, to actually quote him: "It's a MOUNTAIN bike, and not a frilly-techy one for gram counters who race in their minds but not in the world. It's not for racing, period. It is a modern mountain bike in the spirit of a 1983 model. Maybe '84."

Anyway, Francois, there's a nugget of history for ya, to include as you see fit...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,598 Posts
When did Rawland introduce the cSogn and dSogn frame-sets? Not sure if they really made a big impact on mtb-ing - but they were one of the first affordable 650b "all-rounder" type bikes with the ability to handle road, gravel and singletrack should an owner want to "adventure" a bit.
 

·
noMAD man
Joined
·
12,165 Posts
Well, you know there are some historic points in the timeline of 650B that are pre-Pacenti, because he never claimed to have invented the size. However, IMO there is no 650B as we know it without Kirk. He generated the interest and awareness that allowed the size to truly become a reality for something other than a passing fad. Even if this size somehow disappears in the future, the kind of participation by some significant component and frame manufacturers would not have occurred without Kirk. As far as I'm concerned, he's ground zero for this phenomenon. Without his tire and first production rim, I doubt any interest would have been generated otherwise.

After that point, some shops and individuals carried the torch upon discovering how well Kirk's tire and this wheel size actually performed in real world use. Many of us realized this wasn't just a flash-in-the-pan as DC often tries to claim. We began sticking this new wheel in everything we could get out hands on to see how it worked. Cracked Headtube and MMcG spread the word about as much as any individuals on this forum and elsewhere. The shop I work at may have been the first to stick a set in a Specialized carbon Epic. One of our mechanics got on the podium in a national XC race in Vermont in the "old guys" class riding 650B as soon as Stan's 355 rim became available. I was possibly one of the first guys to stick them in some Big Hit bikes likes the Nomad and Bullit and post stories about riding them in Moab. Some of us grabbed up all the CR18 oddball rim sizes in this venue that we could find, and some of us are still running them...even if they aren't true 650B. Many of us have experimented with the size and discovered the real benefit of this wheel and posted our results long ago. The only reason I don't post as much on the issue anymore is a feeling that 650B is a real, functional, and beneficial option that I'm almost tired of talking about. For me there's nothing "religious" or magical about it. It works for a real and physics based reason.

Still, when you consider the timeline and history issue of 650B use in the real world, it pretty much begins with Kirk Pacenti as far as I'm concerned. And I'm glad it happened.
 

·
www.derbyrims.com
Joined
·
6,766 Posts
A few

The Velocity 650b Blunt rim was the first mountain specific 650b rim available in late 2007. It was already available retail when I ordered my first in November or December 2007. Kirk had commissioned with Velocity to produce this rim for his original 650b mountain tire, the 2.3 Neo-moto.

Sun-Ringle's 650b Equalizer rim was second, available retail by summer of 2008.

Stan's 650b ZTR rim was the third rim that I remember, and came another 6 months to a year after the Sun Equalizer.

The next significant historic milestone :) for my personal interests :) in leading edge suspension for tail bikes, was when Ibis sanctioned 650b wheel use for the Mojo HD140 in January 2012, publicly announced deep in a Bicycling/Mountain Bike magazine blog.... See page 2... Fox, RockShox, DT-Swiss, Schwalbe and Others Develop 650b gear | The Straight Dirt | MountainBike.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,598 Posts
The Velocity 650b Blunt rim was the first mountain specific 650b rim available in late 2007. It was already available retail when I ordered my first in November or December 2007. Kirk had commissioned with Velocity to produce this rim for his original 650b mountain tire, the 2.3 Neo-moto.

Sun-Ringle's 650b Equalizer rim was second, available retail by summer of 2008.

Stan's 650b ZTR rim was the third rim that I remember, and came another 6 months to a year after the Sun Equalizer.

The next significant historic milestone :) for my personal interests :) in leading edge suspension for tail bikes, was when Ibis sanctioned 650b wheel use for the Mojo HD140 in January 2012, publicly announced deep in a Bicycling/Mountain Bike magazine blog.... See page 2... Fox, RockShox, DT-Swiss, Schwalbe and Others Develop 650b gear | The Straight Dirt | MountainBike.com
When did the Alex rim debut? was it after the Stan's rim? Or was it sandwiched between the Equalizer and Stan's rim?

And although super duper rare - don't forget the Vicious Cycles Children of the Revolution rim.

And what about American Classic 650b wheelsets - when did they hit the scene?
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top