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  1. #1
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Some 650b History

    It’s hard to believe it's been 6 years since I first introduced the 650b / 27.5" wheel size at NAHBS (2007). Time really does fly when you're having fun. It's amazing to me how far the 650b / 27.5” wheel size has come in such a short period of time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Some 650b History-first-650b-bike.jpg  

    Some 650b History-275_small.jpg  

    Last edited by Kirk Pacenti; 04-24-2013 at 12:42 PM.
    “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.”

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  2. #2
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    Thanks Kirk. That bike got a lot of people interested. What was the frame that had the Baby Bear tires?

  3. #3
    underachiever
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    Indeed it has and I, for one, could not be happier.

  4. #4
    just some guy
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    That frame should be placed in some velo museum!!

  5. #5
    dwt
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    Some 650b History

    Kirk: IMO you are totally allowed to gloat in this success story, especially after all the hate and ridicule which has been dumped on you and your brilliant idea in online forums here and all over the internets. Or maybe that will that have to wait until Specialized caves - or doesn't cave but Trek and Cannondale do, leaving Spesh all alone holding out.

    Reminds me of snowboarding in the 80's: First, most ski areas banned them, but economic reality and evolving demographics changed minds one by one until eventually only a few stubborn retrogrouch areas remained "no- boards"

    Also, as far as history and disinformation, now that someone has started yet another 'not really 27.5"'; "not actually midway between 26 & 29" thread, maybe you chime in how you picked a specific rim/tire size to put your idea into production, & where it fits (or was conceived to fit) in the mtb manufacturing world.


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  6. #6
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    You know you are doing something right when people love you and hate you.

    Good man. I've been enjoying 275 right along with you. It's my four-year anniversary and I can't go back. I tried!

    Eric Roman brought drag and pink to the industry and you drove 650. I would like to know if you care about 275. I imagine not, but it is interesting how it split.

    I, for one, would be glad to show you around if you ever make it out to MD for some riding.

    mk
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  7. #7
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    @ steelbike: The "Baby Bear" tires were pre-production Neo-Moto's. I might have shown them on my El Bastardo, (another first) but I don't recall now.

    @ talabardio: I have thought about loaning it to First Flight's museum, but it's just too much fun to ride...

    @ dwt: That's a long story, but I'll try to respond soon.

    @ trailbildr: I am of two minds, look closely at the second pic and you'll see the signage says 650b/27.5". I knew 650b would be the way to go in Europe; 650b wheels have a long history there. But I also thought 27.5" would best communicate the wheel size to the North American market which was accustomed to 26" and 29" wheels. In the end I don't much care, as long as people are enjoying their ride (whatever wheel size that may be, or whatever they decide to call it!)

    Cheers,
    KP
    “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.”

    Pacenti Cycle Design

  8. #8
    Grams Light Bikes
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    Thanks Kirk, you rule!

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    www.derbyrims.com
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    Thanks Kirk! Many, many thanks!! You took a great risk, no one before you had ever attempted, to invest in producing the first 650b/27.5"/584BSD trail bike specific rims and tires, for anyone to buy through their bike shops or on-line.

    The first tire you brought to retail in this size, the Neo-moto 2.3 is still rarely matched in versatile all around performance in this bead size. And the first trail bike rim in this size, the fairly light Blunt rim at 28mm outer width is versatile in use from sport XC racing to AM trail riding.

    You sparked and further enabled an epochal advance in trail bike history. The magnitude will be seen in another few years, when this wheel size becomes the majority of new trail bike, and XC and DH race bike sales, and remain the standard off road rim size for many future decades.

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    Finally the whole industry is starting to come around, it looks like the 275 category has just exploded. You have been and are a positive influence and it has paid off. So, Kirk - stand back a moment and enjoy it, you deserve it!

  12. #12
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    Kirk Pacenti = 650b god.

  13. #13
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    Proofs in the pudding! All your 650b dreams are coming true looks like Kirk!
    UGG boots will germinate Paris Hilton like intellect in your soles!

  14. #14
    Baby Bear is in the house
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    Thanks for championing 650B Kirk. I've been on it for almost 5 years now and I ain't looking back!

    From someone who most likely owns the very first 650B conversion in the Philippines.

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  15. #15
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Thanks guys.

    Here's another from the way back machine.


    Bicycle Newswire

    Cheers,
    KP
    “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.”

    Pacenti Cycle Design

  16. #16
    dwt
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    Some 650b History

    When's the "Victory lap" press tour?


    Old enough to know better and old enough not to care. Best age to be.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  17. #17
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    I thank you sir. And look how fast they are taking off compared to 29ers. Just don't ask Chris sugai what he thinks....lol.

  18. #18
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    IT'S ALIVE!

    Hey Kirk!

    I know you are the man when it comes to much of the hype about this wheel size but I wondered if you could expand as it pertains to Jamis.

    When Skippy was doing mtn bikes for Jamis, he was the first one to tell me about 650 in 26" fs bikes (he was riding a Dakar 26 with 650). He's a shorter guy and didn't like 29 for himself and he convinced Jamis to move into 650.

    Did you guys have conversations about that early move?

    I picture some back-alley meeting with both of you in trench coats and the passing of a manila envelope, glowing, full of 650 secrets...

    Craig is global mtb product manager at Cannondale SG now. I'm surprised we haven't seen 650 bikes out of them considering Craig and Bishop (who is not allowed to ride 650).

    Thanks for the update Kirk!

    mk
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  19. #19
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    IT'S ALIVE!

    Hey Kirk!

    I know you are the man when it comes to much of the hype about this wheel size but I wondered if you could expand as it pertains to Jamis.

    When Skippy was doing mtn bikes for Jamis, he was the first one to tell me about 650 in 26" fs bikes (he was riding a Dakar 26 with 650). He's a shorter guy and didn't like 29 for himself and he convinced Jamis to move into 650.

    Did you guys have conversations about that early move?

    I picture some back-alley meeting with both of you in trench coats and the passing of a manila envelope, glowing, full of 650 secrets...

    Craig is global mtb product manager at Cannondale SG now. I'm surprised we haven't seen 650 bikes out of them considering Craig and Bishop (who is not allowed to ride 650).

    Thanks for the update Kirk!

    mk
    It's been so long now, it's hard to recall... but yes we spoke early on. I discussed 650b with Haro, Jamis, KHS, ASI (Fuji) all from day one. I sent wheel sets to Trek, Cannondale, Denk Engineering (Scott) and Santa Cruz, as soon as my tires went into production.

    Ventana was actually the first to build a 650b FS bike, the 130 El Bastardo, but Haro and Jamis followed pretty quickly as did KHS.

    I spoke with Jeremiah a few times about his experience (and several wins) aboard a 650b bike. He say's whenever the engineers ask what they want 650b is always a part of the conversation. As a team sponsor, Mavic put the kibosh on him racing wheels they didn't make. That may change now that Mavic is on board.

    I know Craig developed a 650b for Mongoose, but I'm not sure if it will ever go into production. I know GT is messing around with it too and would assume they'll release something at Eurobike. The fact that Cannondale (or it's parent company) owns both of those brands, I'd think it is safe to assume Cannondale has a 650b bike or three in the wings as well.

    I've heard tell that Trek has a room full of 650b bikes, wheels and tires... I am sure all the major players are feeling pressure now that Giant has outed their new 650b line up.

    Cheers,
    KP
    Last edited by Kirk Pacenti; 05-16-2013 at 08:21 AM.
    “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.”

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  20. #20
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    Why doesn't KHS ever get any positive rep? A lot of times they seem to get ragged on as being a brand that simply buys from a catalog, implying they don't do their own developement work. Yet here they are being leaders and paving the way for others when it came to 650b.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post

    Eric Roman brought drag and pink to the industry
    Good lord that's a name I haven't heard in YEARS....small world! Me and him and Frank, Harry, Jimbo, Asa and Grant all went out with him for his inaugural flogging of his pink IF SS 29er! takes me way back to like 2001-2002ish....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by onespeedpaul View Post
    Good lord that's a name I haven't heard in YEARS....small world! Me and him and Frank, Harry, Jimbo, Asa and Grant all went out with him for his inaugural flogging of his pink IF SS 29er! takes me way back to like 2001-2002ish....
    of course he was rocking a pink SS 26er wayy before that...

  23. #23
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    It's just a splash page right now, but hopefully we'll be making some more history here, very soon.

    Cheers,
    KP
    “Those that say it can’t be done should get out of the way of those doing it.”

    Pacenti Cycle Design

  24. #24
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    OOooohhhh!!!!!!!

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    My wife has had a converted Surly 1x1 for about 4 years now. Started with Quasi-moto/Neo-moto combo on the old Stans 355 rims, now wearing some new generation Racing Ralphs. She's always loved it.

    Now it looks like she will be riding either a Yeti or Eriksen 650B bike for her race machine next season... since mfg's have finally gotten onboard for main stream products. She's quite happy with the proposition of having another viable option than a 29er HT that is right on the cusp of being too big.

    Keep up the good work!

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