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

    Itís 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 / 27.5Ē 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 11:42 AM.
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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
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    Indeed it has and I, for one, could not be happier.

  4. #4
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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
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  8. #8
    The MTB Lab
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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.

  11. #11
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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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    Guess where I got my custom user title from?
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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
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  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 07:21 AM.
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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.

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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
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  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!

  26. #26
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    I was one of those who about 8 months ago said that 650B was a waste of time, and was going to peter out. Who needs another freaking wheel size I said!!

    Meanwhile I went back and forth between 26ers and 29ers. Motolite, Rip-9, Endorphin, Behemoth, Firebird, and 2nd gen Rip-9. Ended up having a Firebird and Rip-9. Every ride on either one had parts of the trail I wished I was on the other.

    Recently decided that since my Pivot would fit 650B, I would give it a try, since I could not make up my mind between the 2 "actual" wheel sizes. And all I needed was the wheels and tires to try it.

    I was totally, and completely wrong! The 650B feels perfect to me. It made the Firebird feel so much more stable and easy to steer, at all speeds. I was always over-correcting on the Firebird. Now it is perfectly neutral. And yet it is not awkward feeling like the Rip-9 is in places. It has that relaxed feeling I like about 29ers, like you can relax more, and cruise along without it being so hyper. But unlike the 29er, when charging into tight corners I can throw it right down into the turn. It simply feels balanced everywhere, and at no point of the ride am I wishing I was on one of the other wheel sizes. I like my Firebird more than ever now, and it is the other 2 wheel sizes I have no need for now. Congratulations to Kirk Pacenti, and I must say, that I really like the 2.3 Neo Moto tires as well. I'm a convert for sure.

  27. #27
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Pacenti View Post
    Thanks guys.

    Here's another from the way back machine.


    Bicycle Newswire

    Cheers,
    KP
    Gee Mr Peabody!That sure was interesting and a good look into the past of the 650!
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  28. #28
    My Brain Hurts!
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelsdown2002 View Post
    I was one of those who about 8 months ago said that 650B was a waste of time, and was going to peter out. Who needs another freaking wheel size I said!!

    Meanwhile I went back and forth between 26ers and 29ers. Motolite, Rip-9, Endorphin, Behemoth, Firebird, and 2nd gen Rip-9. Ended up having a Firebird and Rip-9. Every ride on either one had parts of the trail I wished I was on the other.

    Recently decided that since my Pivot would fit 650B, I would give it a try, since I could not make up my mind between the 2 "actual" wheel sizes. And all I needed was the wheels and tires to try it.

    I was totally, and completely wrong! The 650B feels perfect to me. It made the Firebird feel so much more stable and easy to steer, at all speeds. I was always over-correcting on the Firebird. Now it is perfectly neutral. And yet it is not awkward feeling like the Rip-9 is in places. It has that relaxed feeling I like about 29ers, like you can relax more, and cruise along without it being so hyper. But unlike the 29er, when charging into tight corners I can throw it right down into the turn. It simply feels balanced everywhere, and at no point of the ride am I wishing I was on one of the other wheel sizes. I like my Firebird more than ever now, and it is the other 2 wheel sizes I have no need for now. Congratulations to Kirk Pacenti, and I must say, that I really like the 2.3 Neo Moto tires as well. I'm a convert for sure.
    You are in an ever growing crowd with the same report....almost like Alien sitings, except with proof!
    Remember when we were kids and our Mom's said we could not play in the mud? I'm making up for it now!!

  29. #29
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    I laughed when I first read an article years ago by Grant P extolling the virtues of 650b

    Now all I ride is 650b MTB and am happy with it. Had 29'ers, gone. Had 26'ers, gone.

    annnnnd, one of my LBS'es which is almost exclusively Specialized finally, FINALLY...(gasp!) has one pair of 27.5 meats on the wall for purchase....and I asked and they choked up and said...we'll be getting more...[but I did not get out of there before hearing a story about how they invited some Specialized engineers for a big ride at one of our famous places to ride and Specialized ragged on 27.5's the whole time...]

    as much as this is true [if it rides like a bike it's a bike no matter the wheelsize] and [36 inch is truly an ideal size it will roll over anything] I am a big believer that 27.5 is actually perfect for a good time hammerfest on anything. they turn quick and roll better than a 26'er, they look like a 29'er from the cockpit view, and accelerate nicely


    ready or not 27.5 is taking over believe it. on my first shakedown cruise on my 27.5 I was not even trying and set PR's all over the place no lies...27.5 does not slow you down that is for sure

  30. #30
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Thank a bunch OP,

    From a rookies point of view,
    I had two seasons on my 29er hard tail, learned a lot, rode a lot.

    Because of this forum I just got a 27.5 and have logged only 35 miles......

    Thank You Thank You !

    It picks up speed way way faster than my 29'er.
    Climbs like a Billy Goat,
    NO traction loss,
    Much faster handling, cornering, fast and slow speed turning accuracy is vastly better,
    I can do tight switchbacks now at a crawl when needed,
    Plows through sugar sand just as well as the 29er,

    And for the first time I can make line choices at the last second and That is a real big deal.....

    SWAMP Mountain Bike Club Trails in Florida

  31. #31
    dwt
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    Some 650b History

    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    I laughed when I first read an article years ago by Grant P extolling the virtues of 650b

    Now all I ride is 650b MTB and am happy with it. Had 29'ers, gone. Had 26'ers, gone.

    annnnnd, one of my LBS'es which is almost exclusively Specialized finally, FINALLY...(gasp!) has one pair of 27.5 meats on the wall for purchase....and I asked and they choked up and said...we'll be getting more...[but I did not get out of there before hearing a story about how they invited some Specialized engineers for a big ride at one of our famous places to ride and Specialized ragged on 27.5's the whole time...]

    as much as this is true [if it rides like a bike it's a bike no matter the wheelsize] and [36 inch is truly an ideal size it will roll over anything] I am a big believer that 27.5 is actually perfect for a good time hammerfest on anything. they turn quick and roll better than a 26'er, they look like a 29'er from the cockpit view, and accelerate nicely


    ready or not 27.5 is taking over believe it. on my first shakedown cruise on my 27.5 I was not even trying and set PR's all over the place no lies...27.5 does not slow you down that is for sure
    "Taking over" is tad exaggerated, actually greatly exaggerated. Even if 26" gets pushed aside, 29" is going nowhere but up.

    I WOULD say however that it's time for the "marketing ploy" asswipes to suck it up, STFU , and admit defeat. Marketing ploys that don't perform as advertised fade away. 27.5" did not fade away, but in the past 3 years surged beyond everybody's,even Kirk Pacenti 's, expectations. I'd say that's pretty good evidence they are in fact good.


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