650b mountain bike history...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    650b mountain bike history...

    anyone have any pictures of the late '70s, early '80s 650b "mountain bikes"?

    Ritchey and Jim Merz made them, don't know about any others...

    Anybody, anybody?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    anyone have any pictures of the late '70s, early '80s 650b "mountain bikes"?

    Ritchey and Jim Merz made them, don't know about any others...

    Anybody, anybody?
    I could also use some 650b Nokian Hakkapelitta tires for some old builds. I need 3 tires (I have 1 already) if anyone's got some they'd like to get rid of.

  3. #3
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    I could also use some 650b Nokian Hakkapelitta tires for some old builds. I need 3 tires (I have 1 already) if anyone's got some they'd like to get rid of.

    Lennard Zinn could probably give you the 411 on 650B MTB history. I only learned about 650B wheels being used in early MTB development after I had my tires made. It was nice to learn there was some historical precedent for the wheel size in MTB applications.

    From the sound of it, had 650B tires not become unavailable in the early 80's, they would have likely become the standard wheel size for MTB use. One has to wonder; if they had become the standard would we even be discussing other wheel sizes today?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Pacenti
    Lennard Zinn could probably give you the 411 on 650B MTB history. I only learned about 650B wheels being used in early MTB development after I had my tires made. It was nice to learn there was some historical precedent for the wheel size in MTB applications.

    From the sound of it, had 650B tires not become unavailable in the early 80's, they would have likely become the standard wheel size for MTB use. One has to wonder; if they had become the standard would we even be discussing other wheel sizes today?

    Lennard Zinn huh? Did he make some then or are you just saying he might know due to his broad base of cycling knowledge?

    here's an old post of mine that might fit well here (this was I think in response to someone asking why hasnt this been done before):

    "27"/650b has already been done. Tom Ritchey made 12 bikes with this size wheel right at the point when purpose-built mountain bikes started to be built. Tom had heard about the Marin thing going on over the bridge on 26" wheels and he thoght 650b would do the trick and built a few up. Rumor has it GF got one too. Tom said he really liked that size and since at that point there were no aluminum 26" rims available it was a huge improvement.

    The only problem was the tires were a little hard to get and only about 1.75" wide or so. They imported Nokian Hakkapalita (sp?) tires from Finland, but sometime soon after this mtb thing started happening, Russia ordered Nokian's entire production of the tire and that was the end of it. Then aluminum 26" rims happened with Ukiah and Araya and that was that."


    I do agree, that perhaps the 29er wouldn't have come to be if 650b had "made it" as the wheel size then. Although I don't think the 650b wheels then had much appeal then to the majority of the original mtb gang as they were mostly DHers and they wanted the tough rims and fat tires.

    I am glad though that the 700c rim gained acceptance for the mtb as I think the 29" wheel's characteristics have some good attributes for a nice riding bike.

  5. #5
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Lennard built a few 650B bikes back in the day.

  6. #6
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    They came from England

    The 650B and 700c tires originally came from England... The photo shows 650B x 54mm and 700C x 47mm tired Cleland bikes side by side. The 700c bike was made in 1981 whilst the earliest 650B Clelands were made in 1979.650b mountain bike history...-670b-700c-cleland-cross-county-bicycles.jpg650b mountain bike history...-letterfromckandgf001c.jpghttp://http://clelandcycles.wordpres...kes-1978-2010/

  7. #7
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    The Zinn column/article referenced in this thread is relevant...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b/lennard-...on-797764.html

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