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  1. #1
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    Lennard Zinn replies to 650b question

    Apologies if this has been posted in a recent long-thread: Tech FAQ: What’s the big deal with 650b?

  2. #2
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    That was an excellent and informative response from Lennard.

  3. #3
    dwt
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    More fascinating history to fill in the gaps.

    That ti bike he built 4 years ago is sweet. Anyone know who the pioneer female racer who rode/ rides it is?

    Gotta agree with him that seeing tiny pro female WC x-c racers perched on 29'ers is cringe-worthy.

    I'm still baffled that no pro woman has decided to follow Nino's lead on 650b. And he's not all really all that short. Plenty riders his height happy on 29" , but 5'2" is another story.
    Last edited by dwt; 06-26-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Awesome article by Leonard. Thank you for the pointer. Some great historical background. Am sharing that link w/my friends here locally.

    And it doesn't hurt that the author says something I've long said myself: "I think that it makes a lot more sense for wheels to be proportional to rider height (as they tend to be on kids’ bikes) than to simply jump on whatever happens to be the popular size of the moment."

    But to know that he and Tom Ritchey and Gary Fisher were involved in building 650b way back in the day, that's just very cool to be able to hear that story from someone who was there. Living history. Gotta love it.

  6. #6
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    It's good to hear first person experience on the earlier efforts to bring 650b to trail riding in 1981.

    Without internet and specifically the MTBR rider forum to spread the word about the advantages of the slightly bigger 650b wheel size, the first emergence of 650b trail bike wheels was "still-born".

    MTBR and the many smaller rider forums following, have spread the word about the decade long 29'er frame and wheel size experiment from a very small group of riders of custom bikes to a major commercial trend.

    Kirk Pacenti revived 650b for trail use by producing very high quality trail tires and rims with the help and expertize of Panaracer and Velocity. And Kirk's effort was rapidly accepted by many experienced 26 inch wheel riders, uncomfortable with the larger 29'er frames. 650b is growing many times more quickly than any prior trail wheel size, for the most part due to MTBR exposure plus the ability to fit the Pacenti compact in height but wide grippy tires into many high quality affordable production 26 inch frames.

    Thank you Kirk for your repeated reinvestment in negotiating and commissioning 650b rims and tires, long enough to generate the critical-mass of trail rider demand. Ritchey the custom frame builder, and Fisher the concept designer of custom frames, and any other earliest pioneers of 650b for trail use were struggling month to month to pay rent back in 1981, and unable to commission the production runs of tires and rims to launch the improved trail wheel size.

    The time is ripe now for 650b trail wheels, finally!

    Thank you to all at MTBR, particularly Francis for persevering to establish and grow this high quality rider review forum. And thank you again Kirk, for not giving up on 650b!

  7. #7
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    Emily Batty rides 29 inch

    Nino Schutter rides 650 B.

    Kulhavey rides 29 inch

    Pendrel rides 26 inch

    Absolon rides 26 inch...

    Seems to me the tire size is not has important has everyone makes out.

  8. #8
    dwt
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    Thank you too Derby. Obviously I post here a lot ( especially recently, serious illness keeping me on my ass; sorry)but I'm really a one year old newbie. I thank Derby and the other "old timers"in this forum who were so helpful guiding thru building a conversion (You all know who you are ) before I went all in abd sold most of my 26" parts and buying a Jamis.

    Also thanking Francois and MTBR where I kearned in a few years more about mtb than in the previus 15 combined. What a great resource.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Emily Batty rides 29 inch

    Nino Schutter rides 650 B.

    Kulhavey rides 29 inch

    Pendrel rides 26 inch

    Absolon rides 26 inch...

    Seems to me the tire size is not has important has everyone makes out.
    yes, obviously the name before the wheel size determines the results, as it always has...

    though, prior to this year, there was no 650b in the mix, and interestingly enough, that person has won the most world cups...just sayin'.

  10. #10
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Emily Batty rides 29 inch

    Nino Schutter rides 650 B.

    Kulhavey rides 29 inch

    Pendrel rides 26 inch

    Absolon rides 26 inch...

    Seems to me the tire size is not has important has everyone makes out.
    Wheel size is important mainly to the extent It fits and complements the rider's size and ability. The rider wins the race, not the wheel.
    Last edited by dwt; 06-27-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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  11. #11
    dwt
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    yes, obviously the name before the wheel size determines the results, as it always has...

    though, prior to this year, there was no 650b in the mix, and interestingly enough, that person has won the most world cups...just sayin'.
    I think Absolon has more wins and world cups than Schutter....

    GRita Dahl has more wins then most....I think she is still on 26 inch....

    Anyway it is certainly all about the ride...not the bike.

  13. #13
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    FWIW. Dahle has added 29er to her arsenal. Her World Cup win at La Bresse earlier this season was her 29th win, not sure what she rode though. Don't forget Absalon's Olympic wins.

    Back to the OP, a while back I was kidding that Gary Fisher invented 650b, not realizing that he did have a hand in the Ritchey collaboration. Joke's on me.

  14. #14
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    The article seems to have a bit of an anti 26" slant to it, and he completely fails to mention that a 26x2.1 tire mounted and inflated measures 26.5" - a mere 25mm smaller than a similar 650b setup.

  15. #15
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    The article seems to have a bit of an anti 26" slant to it, and he completely fails to mention that a 26x2.1 tire mounted and inflated measures 26.5" - a mere 25mm smaller than a similar 650b setup.
    Clearlyb you have never ridden the wheel size or you would not have used the adjective "mere. " One inch makes more difference in reality than it does on your calculator. Recall that the SAE denomination of the wheel size is 27.5" which isvthe exact diameter of al four 650b wheels I own (three 2.1's and one 2.3).

    Zinn was specifically asked about 650b wheels andv he answered accordingly. Then his answer was posted to the 650b forum. Not exactly a mystery why 26"'doesnt come up, eh?

    Try again
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  16. #16
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    One thing not quite right with the article (or really with the question): Pacenti didn't come up with the "modern name" (or whatever you want to call it) "650b." He didn't try to call it 650b, either. He tried to call it 27FIVE (or twenty-seven5 ??? no, probably the first one). I presume this was because the accepted term for a 29er was/is 29er and not 700C. MTBR and/or whomever else on teh interweb didn't really like this term and decided 650b was the way to go.

    I'm actually on an airplane right now with a redonkulously slow connection, so I won't attempt to search for the above threads right now.

    I mention this not to be nitpicky, but rather because I think it's an interesting bit of trivia.

  17. #17
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldybikes View Post
    One thing not quite right with the article (or really with the question): Pacenti didn't come up with the "modern name" (or whatever you want to call it) "650b." He didn't try to call it 650b, either. He tried to call it 27FIVE (or twenty-seven5 ??? no, probably the first one). I presume this was because the accepted term for a 29er was/is 29er and not 700C. MTBR and/or whomever else on teh interweb didn't really like this term and decided 650b was the way to go.

    I'm actually on an airplane right now with a redonkulously slow connection, so I won't attempt to search for the above threads right now.

    I mention this not to be nitpicky, but rather because I think it's an interesting bit of trivia.
    It was a little more complicated. See Kirk's post no 32 in this thread

    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b/did-650b-just-explode-783426-2.html
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  18. #18
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    One inch makes more difference in reality.....
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.

  19. #19
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.
    Dude you're posting in a forum where most people share that reality. Yours is the one that is different , the one that is disconnected from the empirical experience of riding a bike with 27.5" diameter wheels.

    Your reality consists of guesswork and theory and is completely irrelevant and useless. As was David Copperfield's when he was the biggest troll here. I don't believe anyone wants another .






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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.
    It's a lot less than an inch with big 26" tires but makes a big difference in stability and traction. Stuff all that I can notice on my terrain in rollover.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    It was a little more complicated. See Kirk's post no 32 in this thread

    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b/did-650b...-783426-2.html
    Word. Thanks for finding that.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    It's a lot less than an inch with big 26" tires but makes a big difference in stability and traction. Stuff all that I can notice on my terrain in rollover.
    What he said! ^^^^^^^^^

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.
    If you have actually spent a bit of time on a 650b bike and came to the conclusion that 1" more is not significant, then you are entitled to your opinion. If, however, you are just an armchair critic who likes to bring up numbers on a piece of paper rather than real world application then I would suggest you spend more time riding 650b before you criticize them. I regularly ride both 26" and 650b, I like both very much, but the way they ride is completely different.
    2012 On One Whippet 650b
    2012 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
    2014 On One Dirty Disco
    2010 Soma Groove
    1987 Haro RS1

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Dude you're posting in a forum where most people share that reality. Yours is the one that is different , the one that is disconnected from the empirical experience of riding a bike with 27.5" diameter wheels.

    Your reality consists of guesswork and theory and is completely irrelevant and useless. As was David Copperfield's when he was the biggest troll here. I don't believe anyone wants another .
    His reality is that he is insecure about himself and needs to come make everyone agree with his opinion so he can feel better about himself. Personally I don't care what size wheels he rides, or what he thinks about whats on my bike. I personally don't like 29ers, but I feel no need to go into the 29er forum and argue with everyone. If they like 29ers then thats great for them. I actually think people should enjoy biking, and that they should ride whatever type of bike helps them enjoy it. The Zanettis and the DCs of the world want everyone to agree with them, they can't stand that there is anyone that would think differently than they do. They want to act like they have some scientific or mathematical formula that proves their wheel size is best. The reality is racers are winning races on all 3 wheel sizes and regular joes are having a ton of fun on the local trails on all 3 wheel sizes.
    2012 On One Whippet 650b
    2012 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
    2014 On One Dirty Disco
    2010 Soma Groove
    1987 Haro RS1

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    ... fails to mention that a 26x2.1 tire mounted and inflated measures 26.5" - a mere 25mm smaller than a similar 650b setup.
    That's a bit like saying that a 2.3" tire is a mere 0.2" bigger than a 2.1" tire, therefore they will ride the same. I think that most people can tell a difference.
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