29"ers history : Ross Schafer ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29"ers history : Ross Schafer ?

    Hi,

    Big shock in last issue of the French "Vélo Vert" mag : 16 pages about 29"ers !!!!
    The lobbying + a trip to the sea otter made this happen.
    Test: Intense spider 26 vs 29, GT and Niner's singlespeed.

    Not many news, except that now i have the name of a Mavic representative that already rides a 29"ers (Kelly). Target locked :P

    What interest me is that the journalist said that the 29"er movement was "pushed by Gary Fisher but issued from Ross Schafer's brain, during the Salsa period".

    This is very different from the stories i have read here (Willits + WTB, etc.).
    I would like to have your opinion on this before i write to the journalist to correct any revisionism !

    thanks,
    V
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  2. #2
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    The pciture I gathered from some insiders of the whole deal is this :
    Ross Schafer's neighbour Bruce Gordon, a touring rack builders, got the point of large wheels (for touring and all things bike) into Don Cook's head in '94 in a long bike fantasizing session in Bruce's workshop. Perhaps Ross had been the source and talked to Bruce about it before that, well possible.
    Don Cook started working on Charlie Cunningham and Mark Slate at WTB to please make a bigger 700c tire, much bigger. Don then also got Gary Fisher hot for the idea, and since he was a big WTB customer at the time, things started "rolling".
    Biggest tire back then was the 42mm Conti Goliath or the tiny 45c Panaracer Smoke.
    Wes Williams, an old friend of Bruce also got involved, and was pushing WTB for a 47mm tire to build the ultimate 28"ers around. Don preferred something at least 52mm as that was what he was riding in 26" then, and to really make something of another scale than the current cyclo-cross offerings.
    Gary was riding Nano 26x2.1's at the time, and perhaps for the sake of giving "big wheelers" a chance, and doing some real life coparisons, it was chosen as the first 29" tire.
    April '99 the first 12 tires arrived at WTB, Gary got a bunch, Wes got a pair, Don got a pair. Some stayed at WTB for their own testing.

    Don took his pair to Kent Eriksen (Moots) in Colorado as he had been asking him to make a big wheeler since '94. When Kent saw the tires, he knew right away what they'd had been talking about for so many years and by May 10th 1999 the first-ever "big wheel mtn bike" was made.

    Wes in the mean time had started work to make his current fleet of 28"ers fit the tire that was bigger than he anticipated, and in August he built his first truly dedicated 29"er. That bike was shown at Interbike of that year.

    Don just started riding the Eriksen and showing locals what it does on the trails, Wes took upon him playing the press. Gary quickly had various prototypes done by old friends, of which pictures are floating around on MTBR. Steel proto's built around converted Look Fournales forks, and converted Manitou's. Gary had a line of 29"ers done halfway 2001.

    I'd love to get to the bottom and learn what Ross had to do with it.

  3. #3
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    I was hoping this article from some time in 2002 would help, but I'm not sure it does.

    http://web.archive.org/web/200212181...egory=features

  4. #4
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    Speaking of early 29er tires, what were they running on the 29er Diamond back and Bianchi lines back in the very late eighties? I seem to recall that they had Cyclepro Motivators that were at least a 1.9", but were are talking about almost twenty years ago...

    On another note, Bruce Gordon's "Rock N Road" model (drop/flat bar convertible, hence mtb/touring bike) ran Nokians back in '90 or so. They were a bit skinny- I think they called out 45c or something like that. The tire model was the Hakkapelita (or something like that).



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  5. #5
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    If I recall,

    The Diamondback Overdrive had Panaracer Smoke 45c tires. Pretty much as wide as could be had back then.

  6. #6
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    If BCD is going to manage to make one 29" tire from two 26" ones as he's intending, our beloved pioneers are going to look really silly for waiting so long to even just have a fat tire to test ride on. Somebody send that homecrafted tire back in time to 1976 please?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by edoz
    The Diamondback Overdrive had Panaracer Smoke 45c tires. Pretty much as wide as could be had back then.
    Yep, both used the 45mm wide 700c Panaracer Smoke.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20.100 FR
    Hi,

    Big shock in last issue of the French "Vélo Vert" mag : 16 pages about 29"ers !!!!
    The lobbying + a trip to the sea otter made this happen.
    Test: Intense spider 26 vs 29, GT and Niner's singlespeed.

    Not many news, except that now i have the name of a Mavic representative that already rides a 29"ers (Kelly). Target locked :P

    What interest me is that the journalist said that the 29"er movement was "pushed by Gary Fisher but issued from Ross Schafer's brain, during the Salsa period".

    This is very different from the stories i have read here (Willits + WTB, etc.).
    I would like to have your opinion on this before i write to the journalist to correct any revisionism !

    thanks,
    V

    Ive been told by the founding fathers of WTB that GF pushed them to do a tire. Then they figured they might as well build a few bikes for themselves since they were making tires. Ive got the first ti 29er that Steve Potts made (only ti 29er made for WTB) along with a couple early modified Marzocchi forks from about 1998 or 99. Ive seen the first 29er steel frame they made also.

    Never heard the Ross Shafer stuff, but it wouldnt surprise me. Bruce Gordon had the Rock and Road in the early 90s I think and that had 700 x 45ish tires on it. They were rebadged Nokian Hakkapellitas I believe.

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    Bianchi Project Smokes

    I used up my stock of 45c Smokes a few years back, decent back tire for climbing.
    The Bianchi ads from 1993 read just like last years Fisher ads. I waited for ten years for a new big wheel bike!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by wvKan29; 05-16-2006 at 01:54 PM. Reason: add image

  10. #10
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    SUCH a shame that Bianchi did not support the "Project" enough to order dedicated tires for it. What a blow that would have been to DiamondBack, or vice versa! Using a tire that the other bike wouldn't fit! Making all the claims about the 28"er true in a 29"er.

    What does the parallel universe look like where Bianchi did have a fat tire made ~1990? Would the 29" deal have died just like 28" did, and even never return afterwards, or would the custom builders have jumped on that tire and taken it from there?

  11. #11
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    can we see a pic of that bike? cheers.
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  12. #12
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    Thanks all for your answers.

    Does someone has a picture of the first 29"er (the moots ?)

    I would be interested in knowing more on this Bianchi stuff too.

    And the final piece would be to have some info from the nishiki side. After all, they made their bikes at the same time as Gary Fisher. But i have Zero info on this story.
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  13. #13
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    I was going to be a smart ass and tell you to search. Proved rather hard to find pics. MTBR Search gives me ALL threads rather than a selection.

    I did google this, the DiamondBack http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=1037659
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  14. #14
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    I spoke extensively with the Nishiki guy on Eurobike 2001. Marvin or Murvin something.

    I think he just got the buzz on the customs 29"ers out there, and got busy to have bikes ready at the same moment as Fisher. He even had to have forks made in Taiwan, later copied by Winwood. Bishiki also had the first production 29" full-suspension, supposedly 125mm of travel.

    I wonder...
    MTB's got to roll in 1976 or so.
    It took until 1989 for Bianchi/DiamondBack to product 28" MTB's, aimed not at touring but the offroads.
    Then in 1994 the itch came with Bruce and Don, and first steps were taken, resulting in a 1999 WTB tire debut.
    The same people that stood at the basis of mountainbiking as we know it, took another 23 years to bring 700c back to off-roading, 25 years for the first production 29"er. People with the vision and willpower to get MTB off the ground, took quite long to see "the light" :-)

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    It ain't my fault!

    One of the active forum gang sent me a link to this discussion and asked me to chip in my 2 cents worth. I deny everything! Those Velo Vert guys were here at my place for a visit to Soulcraft (Sean of Soulcraft has been sharing my shop with me since Soulcraft started in 1999), but I don't know where they got the thing about 29'ers being from my brain....a bunch of hooey for sure. Bruce Gordon (his shop was next to Salsa's at that time in history) is indeed the first person I know of who seriously pursued trying to get fatter tires for 700c rims. I know that Wes and he were pals, but I have no idea how much Wes had to do inspirationally or logistically with those first bigger tires Bruce got ahold of (had made?). I know that before Bruce got his tires going the biggest they could find was indeed the Hakkapelitas (sp?) from Finland. This was back in the days when the bike industry was trying hard to create a new "niche" and tried really hard to push "hybrid" bikes. A hybrid bike being a 700c bike with upright bars and tires that were fatter than your usual 700c fare. Bruce sold quite a few of the "Rock n' Road" bikes that he designed around the bigger tires he got. But the whole hybrid thing became more of a joke in the industry than anything else. Wes' is the man when it comes to really pushing the 29'er mtb thing. Wes was a friend of mine as well and if I recall correctly he first caught the bug by offroading on his fixed gear 700c scorcher bike. Jusat wanted to set the record straight on my 29'er involvment....or lack thereof as the case is. All the best to the myriad of old friends of mine out there in MTBR forum world.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    The pciture I gathered from some insiders of the whole deal is this :
    Ross Schafer's neighbour Bruce Gordon...
    Cloxx-

    What you wrote above is truthful as far as where I snipped it. After that you were so far off the mark that certain people might get upset and or angry reading your supposition.

    I think it'd be a really good idea to go back and delete what you wrote, as it amounts to nothing more than rumor and we all know what happens when you start spreading those around.

    MC

  17. #17
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    Mike, not sure what you're referring to.
    For the history part, I did state that it's just the picture that I had gotten from the people I talked to over the years. I've just been following this since 2001, from where everything was easy to keep track of.
    Please just set me straight rather than suggest me to delete it all. It's a discussion forum. I have been wrong before, and if I'm here, it's vital to establish that.

  18. #18
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    Thanks a lot for the explanation Ross.

    By the way, nice picture of you in the mag, covered with paint ! :P
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20.100 FR
    Thanks all for your answers.

    Does someone has a picture of the first 29"er (the moots ?)
    I have no idea how many came before this one, but this was my 2001 Mooto-X YBB proto. It was perfect, other than being a little lacking in the chainstay tire clearance department.



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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Mike, not sure what you're referring to.
    For the history part, I did state that it's just the picture that I had gotten from the people I talked to over the years. I've just been following this since 2001, from where everything was easy to keep track of.
    Please just set me straight rather than suggest me to delete it all. It's a discussion forum. I have been wrong before, and if I'm here, it's vital to establish that.
    Yep, that would be more constructive !
    I think this forum needs a nice and complete history thread, to get things right.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Mike, not sure what you're referring to.
    For the history part, I did state that it's just the picture that I had gotten from the people I talked to over the years. I've just been following this since 2001, from where everything was easy to keep track of.
    Adding a disclaimer to erroneous statements doesn't absolve you from responsibility for the content therein.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Please just set me straight rather than suggest me to delete it all. It's a discussion forum. I have been wrong before, and if I'm here, it's vital to establish that.

    There's nothing to set straight--everything you wrote is so twisted. You gave credit to people that weren't involved, misapplied names to actions, and your timeline was off to boot.

    MC

  22. #22
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    Seems like the valuable contribution would be to offer a correction. Not merely a statement that someone else is wrong and leave it at that.

    I think we are all interested in an actual valid/accurate accounting.
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    Than I was mis-informed, so tell us your version!

    History seems like a very subjective thing. The age of humanity as well as the existence of the holocaust are still being debated, under influence of ignorance, idiology and religion.

    I disagree, my disclaimer gives me the chance to picture what I gathered from reports. where dates and facts are wrong, just enlighten us rather than to telling we're wrong and walking off.

    20.100 wants to get history straight. Ross was so kind to erase his own name. We were getting somewhere. It's not law writing, where only amendments can be made. Wrote your own, it's hstory!

    Perhaps those in contact with the folks at WTB and any other involved parties could get them to give their input before looking at what others wrote to spoil it all?

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    Where the heck is Bigwheel when we need him?
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    Bye Bye
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncj01
    Seems like the valuable contribution would be to offer a correction. Not merely a statement that someone else is wrong and leave it at that.
    But isn't that your specialty?!

    Quote Originally Posted by ncj01
    I think we are all interested in an actual valid/accurate accounting.
    Fair enough, but like most here I don't know all the answers. I didn't come in until 1999, although I rode with and hung out with the Willits crowd as this all unfolded. I was there the day the first Nano's showed up, although I was a lot less excited about 'em than all of those who'd already seen the light.
    * I know that Wes had a BG Rock and Road that he was riding in '94 (with a modified Mag 21 and the 45mm Smokes).
    * I know that Don Cook was totally against the big wheel idea at first (he told me I'd 'drank the kool aid' when I got my first New Sheriff in '99).
    * Don has close ties with the WTB guys and has for over a decade, but AFAIK he had nothing to do with getting the Nano's off the ground. That was a product of Wes' passion, GF's leverage, and Slate's vision.
    * Wes was a huge fan of the WTB Velociraptors, and those were what he was pushing Mark to make. In his infinite wisdom, Mark realized that the V'raptors would be much heavier and slower than necessary, and that the Nano would be a better choice.
    * The biggest tires available in '98 were the 47mm Conti Goliath's and Town and Country's. Although Wes and Buck Myall could ride those suckers anywhere and up/down anything, I wasn't convinced until I saw the Nano's in action a few months later.
    * To this day Kent Eriksen doesn't own and has barely ridden a big wheeled bike. He makes them because that's what the market demands, but he's not convinced it's the bike for his purposes. Moots (with KE at the helm) made their first for-sale big wheeled bike mid-2000, but ultimately wouldn't sell it (I tried, hard, to buy it) because the top tube ended up way short and it had significant toe overlap. Moots were lukewarm about big wheels well into 2003.
    * Many of Wes' early 28"ers could fit the Nano--only a handful needed to be modified to accept it.

    Bigwheel is out there, lurking. Hopefully he'll chime in with more facts.

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 05-16-2006 at 07:59 PM. Reason: I stand corrected...

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    Ah, finally, thanks.
    Conflicting memories and claims, how exciting :-)

    How do the Bianchi and DiamondBack crews fit in here? I think they were working on 28"er as soon as the late 80's? Selling them actively in the early 90's at least. Was that a total dead end, no scene formed from that?

  28. #28
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    Very cool thread; I like to see the facts and accurate history rise to the top of the crock pot.

    I remember seeing and reading about David Wiens riding/racing a proto Diamondback 700c mountain bike. I think they were calling it 700c and not 28" or 29" at that time. I cannot recall the year (it was a while back, though) or other specific details, but I do remember it creating a small stir among NORBA types, and not lasting long, either.

    Looking forward to reading more and seeing pics, too. Of course, I remember the awesome thread with tons of wonderful pics that Bigwheel created a while back. This is great, too.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGearGuy
    I remember the awesome thread with tons of wonderful pics that Bigwheel created a while back. This is great, too.

    OGG
    Link...

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=105976
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    How do the Bianchi and DiamondBack crews fit in here? I think they were working on 28"er as soon as the late 80's? Selling them actively in the early 90's at least. Was that a total dead end, no scene formed from that?
    Back then there was no 28er or 29er and no concept of the 29er as it pertains to today. Those bikes were essentially...

    DiamondBack - hybrid with the fattest knobby available at the time that was touted as a fire road cruiser.

    Bianchi - cross bike with fattish tires. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Both companies were not necessarily looking at the potential of what eventually became the 29er. Just making bikes they thought were cool for the time and fun to ride on their own terms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    Back then there was no 28er or 29er and no concept of the 29er as it pertains to today. Those bikes were essentially...

    DiamondBack - hybrid with the fattest knobby available at the time that was touted as a fire road cruiser.

    Bianchi - cross bike with fattish tires. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Both companies were not necessarily looking at the potential of what eventually became the 29er. Just making bikes they thought were cool for the time and fun to ride on their own terms.
    I agree with Mike here on all points except for one. The fact that there was no 28"er designation back then. In fact the 28" wheel has been around since the the late 1800's and recognized as such worldwide. It is simply a 700c rim with a 1.5/1.75 tire mounted on it. Check out just about any tire manufacturer and they will have a 28" tire in their catalog and have for as many years as they have been in business.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  32. #32
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    I did read, on the old MTBR forums I think, a 1991/2 review by a proper journalist that regarded the Overdrive as a MTB. He seemed to like it, a lot, but concluded the tires were just too narrow to be considered for trail riding.

    I know someone just mailed Mark slate to ask him for his recollection. I'd love to know who was the first to bug him about make a bigger 700c tire, really bigger, a mountainbike tire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    I agree with Mike here on all points except for one. The fact that there was no 28"er designation back then. In fact the 28" wheel has been around since the the late 1800's and recognized as such worldwide. It is simply a 700c rim with a 1.5/1.75 tire mounted on it. Check out just about any tire manufacturer and they will have a 28" tire in their catalog and have for as many years as they have been in business.
    True. In the states it wasn't that common to call them 28" though. Ironic that in the states where the inch is the common measurement, we called them 700 x 45. All this talk and bickering just makes me want to go ride my BIKE.

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    Was the Nokian that was used back then really a Hakkapeliitta? That would amaze me, since my 700x45 Hakkapeliitta came with 106 studs mounted in it!
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  35. #35
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    Originally Posted by ncj01
    Seems like the valuable contribution would be to offer a correction. Not merely a statement that someone else is wrong and leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    But isn't that your specialty?!
    No Mike, I don't beleive it is.

    My speciality since last fall has been staying out of the way and keeping my mouth shut, despite seeing/reading things that make me grind my teeth and bleed out my eyes.

    Thanks for the personal attack once again though. I had promised myself I wouldnt' respond to any thing you said...ever, and the one time I say anything, despite the same thing being said by Cloxx and others in this same thread, you take the chance to attack me. I should have learned my lesson.

    I'll just go back in my little hole now, with my flexy peice of sh1t, unsafe to ride long enough to finish a test ride Mav fork, especially on my aggressive riding style 230 pound self.
    Last edited by ncj01; 05-16-2006 at 12:24 PM.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    True. In the states it wasn't that common to call them 28" though. Ironic that in the states where the inch is the common measurement, we called them 700 x 45. All this talk and bickering just makes me want to go ride my BIKE.
    Mike, hope you don't think I was bickering with you....just making a point is all and using your post as a springboard. And I am just waiting for my son to get his s--t together here so we can go for a ride! It's a beautiful day here.
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    I agree with Mike here on all points except for one. The fact that there was no 28"er designation back then. In fact the 28" wheel has been around since the the late 1800's and recognized as such worldwide. It is simply a 700c rim with a 1.5/1.75 tire mounted on it. Check out just about any tire manufacturer and they will have a 28" tire in their catalog and have for as many years as they have been in business.
    Not entirely true - for most folks if you said "28 inch tyre" you'd immediately think of a 28x1 1/5" tyre, the old policeman/postman size - 635mm bsd.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    Back then there was no 28er or 29er and no concept of the 29er as it pertains to today. Those bikes were essentially...

    DiamondBack - hybrid with the fattest knobby available at the time that was touted as a fire road cruiser.

    Bianchi - cross bike with fattish tires. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Both companies were not necessarily looking at the potential of what eventually became the 29er. Just making bikes they thought were cool for the time and fun to ride on their own terms.

    I'd have to disagree with you on this one, Mike. At the time, Clairemont Bikes on Clairemont Drive carried the Bianchi line, and they were actively pushing the Project series as mountain bikes. The geometry was pretty much what all the 29ers are running now- 72 head 73 seat angles, around an 18" stay. They had flat bars with off-road components on them
    I rode a project 7 that belonged to the shop manager out at Peñasquitos, and came away impressed, despite the skinny tires. Ultimately what killed them as far as I could tell was weak rims. This was back when the rims we all rode were quite soft- remember Mavic 231s? If they had arrived a few years later, after the 517 was developed, I'd bet they would have caught on. If they had better sales, of course tires would have become available, as well.


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    WTB speaks

    Mo bye bye
    Last edited by Bigwheel; 05-17-2006 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Outa here 2
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles
    I'd have to disagree with you on this one, Mike. At the time, Clairemont Bikes on Clairemont Drive carried the Bianchi line, and they were actively pushing the Project series as mountain bikes. The geometry was pretty much what all the 29ers are running now- 72 head 73 seat angles, around an 18" stay. They had flat bars with off-road components on them
    I rode a project 7 that belonged to the shop manager out at Peñasquitos, and came away impressed, despite the skinny tires. Ultimately what killed them as far as I could tell was weak rims. This was back when the rims we all rode were quite soft- remember Mavic 231s? If they had arrived a few years later, after the 517 was developed, I'd bet they would have caught on. If they had better sales, of course tires would have become available, as well.


    miles
    I just saw a Bianchi Boardwalk(?) yesterday in front of the grocery store. All stock (except for what had fallen off) including the 700x45 Smokes. Low end model with mtb parts and a low stand over mtb style frame.

    You have a good point about rims, Miles. I had forgotten how easy it was to tweak a narrow (<24mm) 26" rim back then.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    Was the Nokian that was used back then really a Hakkapeliitta? That would amaze me, since my 700x45 Hakkapeliitta came with 106 studs mounted in it!
    I do not know what the original model name of Bruce's tire was. It is a 700 x 43 square block tread.

    I just checked his web site and it is still there.

    https://www.bgcycles.com/access.html
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  42. #42
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    Other than some bickering, this has been a great thread and fun to read.

    FWIW, I worked at QBP back in this era and distinctly rememeber talking to Wes about the 28" idea. It intrigued me to no end! He was certainly passionate about it, no doubt about that. In 2003 I was in western CO for an internship and managed to get to CB and met Wes and toured his shop. Great place it was. Even road his personal scorcher on a ride.

    Prior to this though, I worked in Moab at Western Spirit and went for several rides with the owner(whose name I totally forget right now.... ) who was on a Willits 28"er with drop bars. I was on a Bontrager and thought I was hot shitt, but this guy just smoked my ass on this "over built road bike". I think this was about 1996 or so, my first real introduction to the big wheel idea.

    Fast forward a few years to 2000(pics below are dated 2-23-00), and bigwheel has hit the MTBR boards and is talking up this freakish 29" concept. I think 2mellow had just gotten his IF, and I had placed an order with Rick Hunter for my 29"er. There were a few Fishers on the boards, then Brent and I. It's snowballed from there, that's for sure.

    There's two Hunters here. One is mine, the other is a good freinds. We ordered the bikes at the same time. They're identicle in size/dimensions, only his is made of lighter tubing since his was going to be mostly a geared bike, where as mine was made heavier for SS mashing.
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  43. #43
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    Thanks Bigwheel and Mr. Slate!

    Well that was the word from Mark and we should all thank him for taking the time out of his busy day, which could possibly mean that the new bigger tire from WTB will be at least an hour later getting to us than it would have been. Thanks Mark!
    Ha! That's great, now we're gonna hafta wait longer! Oh well, it's been awhile already.

    Very worthwhile read on a bicycle wheel size that I love. Thanks to all involved in bringing us this 29" tire. Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. A little gruff at times, perhaps, but a great thread.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    (whose name I totally forget right now.... ) who was on a Willits 28"er with drop bars. I was on a Bontrager and thought I was hot shitt, but this guy just smoked my ass on this "over built road bike". I think this was about 1996 or so, my first real introduction to the big wheel idea.
    .
    Lou Warner. And I hate to tell you something you already suspect Marty but he could probably kick your ass riding a huffy on a mediocre day. He is a very strong rider.
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  45. #45
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    I need to find the frame drawings I made for a 700x2.0" tired dropbar mtb frame around 1990-91. Used twin downtubes that continued to become the chainstays, like the Maverick trials bikes of the time.

    I wonder if I dated them?
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  46. #46
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    Thanks Bob.

    BTW, I'm the one that fired the link over to Mark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    Mike, hope you don't think I was bickering with you....just making a point is all and using your post as a springboard. And I am just waiting for my son to get his s--t together here so we can go for a ride! It's a beautiful day here.
    Oh no, not at all. Someday I'll make it back there so I can ride with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by miles
    I'd have to disagree with you on this one, Mike. At the time, Clairemont Bikes on Clairemont Drive carried the Bianchi line, and they were actively pushing the Project series as mountain bikes. The geometry was pretty much what all the 29ers are running now- 72 head 73 seat angles, around an 18" stay. They had flat bars with off-road components on them
    I rode a project 7 that belonged to the shop manager out at Peñasquitos, and came away impressed, despite the skinny tires. Ultimately what killed them as far as I could tell was weak rims. This was back when the rims we all rode were quite soft- remember Mavic 231s? If they had arrived a few years later, after the 517 was developed, I'd bet they would have caught on. If they had better sales, of course tires would have become available, as well.


    miles
    I think I was thinking more along the lines of the older Axis model which was a cross/touring bike. We didn't sell Bianchis at the shop so my memory is vague. I did love riding my cross bike in Penasquitos, though.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    I think 2mellow had just gotten his IF, and I had placed an order with Rick Hunter for my 29"er.

    Ahhhh....the memories. Marty i remember when I got my IF, (Just before you at Interbike) and couldn't ride my bike because I couldn't find a fork. I had a buddy at Marzocchi named Russ who gave me all the specs so i could have that IF built around the yet-to-be-released Marathon 29". Russ ended up air-freighting a handful of forks over and I was riding just before Christmas. IF was making me a rigid to match but they were scratching their head because there were no stock legs from Reynolds long enough...so the spacer was welded in. Primitive, but worked. At this time there was the Nano and the Moto had just come out. IRC Notos was right in there too.

    I remember we were preaching to the choir over on that passion board. Poor Bigwheel got beat up a lot, as did we. Look now though....a lot of the "passion board" naysayers are on 29" bikes now!

    I also remember reading Mike Curiaks GDR article on some other website, I think it was a 1999 writeup where he rode the Colorado portion of the GDR. It was the same time my santa cruz superlight was breaking swingarms and I borrowed a buddy's willits and was sold. The rest is history. I keep forgetting that the 29" movement is just a fad though.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigwheel
    Lou Warner. And I hate to tell you something you already suspect Marty but he could probably kick your ass riding a huffy on a mediocre day. He is a very strong rider.
    I was thinking Matt Hebbard? Maybe he's not the owner.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I do not know what the original model name of Bruce's tire was. It is a 700 x 43 square block tread.

    I just checked his web site and it is still there.

    https://www.bgcycles.com/access.html

    Yeah, not quite a Hakkapalitta, but very close in tread design. I had a couple of those in skinwall version just a few months ago. Shoulda kept em.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    I was thinking Matt Hebbard? Maybe he's not the owner.
    Matty owns (still) Rim Cycle Tours based out of Moab. I did a tour with them last spring and it was too much fun!
    A bike by any other name is still a bike.

  53. #53
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    Great stuff. Thanks Mark and Bob for getting that good info posted here.

    I do have a dissertation from Charlie on his 29er thoughts. I'll ask him if I can post it. As Mark said, Charlie has been riding with an approximately 28" front wheel for many years. Ive got some pics of it somewhere. Its his favorite bike he says.

    Im thinking that ti hardtail that went to Interbike must be the one I have. I will post pics, but Im in the middle of putting it back to its original state as it should be. I put drop bars on it and changed soem stuff around. That year at interbike, Steve Potts went up to Bryson M at Marzocchi and said "I need some Bomber stickers for my 29er fork", BM responded with "we dont have a 29er fork", and Steve said, "yes you do, its right here" and showed him the one they lengthened.

    I know where another modified for 29", Look Fournales is. It could possibly be sold if somebody wants it.


    Addendum
    Just got this as I typed:

    "Your Ti bike was the
    first Ti 29er I built for the Interbike show, and the Bomber fork was
    one I remachined to make it 29" compatable, I showed it to Marizocci and
    they loved it. I think it helped them decide to build them along with
    me building Gary Fisher's first 29er, ( I actually built him 2 protos)
    of which one is in the London Museum on Modern Art, restored and donated
    buy Gary. Gary added alot of influence to the 29er because he committed
    to spec our tire and the forks. More later, Steve"

  54. #54
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    Oh, I know he could. With the skill he displayed on those rides.... guys way over my head. I'd be luckky to keep up w/the guy...

    I worked for Matt that same summer too. Super nice guy. Loved his Trailmaster. Beat to shitt, but well ridden.
    Just a regular guy.

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    low end love circa 1993

    Fast and cheep, yes the rims bent, dented and tacoed the brakes were worthless and the clicky shifters did not last 200 miles but the steel luged frame lives on.
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  56. #56
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    Overdrive

    It's all yours Cloxxki and your industry insiders. Have at it.
    Last edited by Bigwheel; 05-17-2006 at 06:48 PM.
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  57. #57
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    Good job! History..

    Love this thread...it has given me some real insight into how this 29'er thing all happened.

    Someone needs to get this all down and make sure that the history is not lost. In many years time, we may want to be able to look back and see how it all came about.

    Thanks for the fine read, I enjoyed it.


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  58. #58
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    Yes, this needs to be saved!

    It would be good to clean this up and archive it somehow so that everytime the question is raised from here on out it can be reffered to
    I whole heartedly agree. This should be archived, this stuff is too valuable to just let it drift to the back pages!
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  59. #59
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    It's a semi-sticky now. any other threads worth posting in the sticky, please let me know per PM or a thread set up to collect good threads.

  60. #60
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    Last edited by Bigwheel; 05-17-2006 at 06:48 PM.
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  61. #61
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    I will most certainly NOT take down my own post. It's up there for discussion, and discussion I got, which is great. It's a post in a thread, not the book to replace all bibles AND korans.

    I'm hoping more 28" riders inspired by the Bianchi's and Diamondbacks will tell us their stories. Those bikes were a full decade ahead of their time, after all? Or perhaps they were what MTB's should have been based on in 1976. :-)

  62. #62
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    Glad to see the true story from WTB to settle this up.

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  63. #63
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    I believe "offroading" with tires bigger than 26" started about 60 years ago somewhere in Europe, so you've all been trumped by someones' granddad and his mates.

    Let's face it, the 'modern' incarnation of bigger wheels offroad probably started in the early 90's with the whole hybrid thing being done by various people attempting to open up a niche, (I too remember the BG Rock'n'Road, a company called 'Off-Road' I think - a precursor to Pro-Flex, the Bianchis etc). after the hybrid thing was laughed off by consumers, the market needed a few years to forget about it before Fisher et al could leverage it into a marketable 'point of difference'. Without volume none of the high ticket items (forks, tires) would exist, so as much as I hate the idea, it matters not one single bit who might've originated the idea, but we need to thank the volume players for actually making the market. That to me means Fisher and Marzocchi and WTB (were they the first mass produced 29er MTB tire?)

    Now as for the FUTURE, I think that's in the hards of the small players and the mod shops. The 29er market is like the 26er market 10 years ago. There's an opportunity for machine shops and the smaller fork manufacturers to really make inroads into expanding the market and bringing real innovation.

    Keep hassling them fellas!
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

  64. #64
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    There's been a lot of interesting talk about the old Bianchi's and Diamond Back's, what about GT's attempt at the hybrid/big wheel concept? I think they used the term 700D, which was somewhere in the middle of 26 and 700c from memory.

    I was only just getting into riding seriously back then, which would be about some 14years ago, circa 1991-92.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWay Ray
    There's been a lot of interesting talk about the old Bianchi's and Diamond Back's, what about GT's attempt at the hybrid/big wheel concept? I think they used the term 700D, which was somewhere in the middle of 26 and 700c from memory.

    I was only just getting into riding seriously back then, which would be about some 14years ago, circa 1991-92.
    Yeah, the GTs were 700D. I actually have a couple of the tires NOS, but I doubt I'll be able to find rims for them. Too bad cause the tread pattern looks really good. They could probably be built into a disc wheel and used on some 26" frames. The diameter is probably no bigger than a 26 x 3.0 tire.

    I seem to remember Giant having a 700C mountain bike in the mid 90s also. Although the Giant might have been more hybrid than the Bianchi or DB, but it did have flat bars and a MTBish frame.
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoWay Ray
    There's been a lot of interesting talk about the old Bianchi's and Diamond Back's, what about GT's attempt at the hybrid/big wheel concept? I think they used the term 700D, which was somewhere in the middle of 26 and 700c from memory.

    I was only just getting into riding seriously back then, which would be about some 14years ago, circa 1991-92.
    700 D 587 mm (GT)
    650 A 590 mm (road 26")

    There were three 700D tires: a road slick ~1.25", a hybrid type with knobby shoulder ~1.50" and the full knobby 2.0" (same tread as the IRC X-1 Racer ST, I think).

    The rims were Araya RM-20s IIRC. That would place the bikes in the late '80s.

    The bead seat diameter was only 3mm smaller than the 650A (road 26") size. This meant you could mount the 650A tire on the 700D but it would blow off the rim. Sometimes while being inflated, sometimes while being ridden.
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  67. #67
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    I think Kronan bikes from Denmark use something big. Huge looking 1.75" grooved city tires. I seem to remember the sidewall said something like 584, but then as a bead seat I think.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    I whole heartedly agree. This should be archived, this stuff is too valuable to just let it drift to the back pages!

    Why did BigWell post were cleared ?
    That's strange.

    I have made a webpage on the history of the 29"ers collected from the info i got here, it's in French but has the pictures
    http://twentyniner.free.fr/spip/arti...3?id_article=6
    Frenchspeaking 29"ers community site http://VingtNeuf.org

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20.100 FR
    Why did BigWell post were cleared ?
    That's strange.
    He did that himself.

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    Ahh - the Tequesta wasn't it? They were some pretty nice little bike IIRC - something kinda like the Bridgestone XO-1.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20.100 FR
    Why did BigWell post were cleared ?
    That's strange.

    I have made a webpage on the history of the 29"ers collected from the info i got here, it's in French but has the pictures
    http://twentyniner.free.fr/spip/arti...3?id_article=6
    I would imagine Bigwheel deleted all of his posts because his request for Clox to delete his post went ignored. I would bet that Bigwheel figured that if he could put the time in to get Mark Slate's story from WTB then Clox should take the time to delete his original post.

    Just a hunch though,

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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy

    The rims were Araya RM-20s IIRC. That would place the bikes in the late '80s.
    RM 17 actually. My parents had one of the tandems in that wheel size. THey sold it before they had to try to find tires.
    Just a regular guy.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssmike
    Back then there was no 28er or 29er and no concept of the 29er as it pertains to today. Those bikes were essentially...

    DiamondBack - hybrid with the fattest knobby available at the time that was touted as a fire road cruiser.

    Bianchi - cross bike with fattish tires. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Both companies were not necessarily looking at the potential of what eventually became the 29er. Just making bikes they thought were cool for the time and fun to ride on their own terms.
    You forgot the Raleigh Metro(?). Cheap, white/purple cromo steel hybrid with 700c wheels. Still capable of serious off-road in the right hands, I saw one finishing the Three Peaks CX* race in '97.

    * running on big wheels across proper terrain since 1961.

    GT principally pushed the 700D idea on their tandem IIRC. I know a couple folk in the UK who had the brake bosses rebrazed so it could be used with 26" wheels.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    I would imagine Bigwheel deleted all of his posts because his request for Clox to delete his post went ignored. I would bet that Bigwheel figured that if he could put the time in to get Mark Slate's story from WTB then Clox should take the time to delete his original post.

    Just a hunch though,

    B
    Hum.
    This is only speculation.
    But if it is true, then he could have writen a reason.

    I don't think Cloxxki post needs to be deleted. May be just have to add before that this is debated, and that people have to read the whole thing to get a better idea (in case a google request gives only it's first answer)

    But it should be obvious for anydobdy that reads the whole thread that there are other people, may be more informed, that proposed another story.

    I think it's a pity that Bigwell removed it's post. Sorry but this is Child behaviour !

    I'm happy that i save this stuff before he got deleted.
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20.100 FR
    Hum.
    This is only speculation.
    But if it is true, then he could have writen a reason.

    I don't think Cloxxki post needs to be deleted. May be just have to add before that this is debated, and that people have to read the whole thing to get a better idea (in case a google request gives only it's first answer)

    But it should be obvious for anydobdy that reads the whole thread that there are other people, may be more informed, that proposed another story.

    I think it's a pity that Bigwell removed it's post. Sorry but this is Child behaviour !

    I'm happy that i save this stuff before he got deleted.

    Is it just me wondering (I very well could have missed a thread) where in the world Cloxxki got that bizarre info about Don Cook and Kent Erickson?

    I think what made BW and Mike mad is the odd nature (ie obscure and innacurate) of Cloxxki's post and the way it was written, as if it was fact... Not sure though.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet-brazed
    Is it just me wondering (I very well could have missed a thread) where in the world Cloxxki got that bizarre info about Don Cook and Kent Erickson?

    I think what made BW and Mike mad is the odd nature (ie obscure and innacurate) of Cloxxki's post and the way it was written, as if it was fact... Not sure though.

    I wasn't mad about anything, I just didn't want to see idle rumor/speculation get passed off as fact. Especially when it's as far off the mark as what J-G wrote. I don't know all the answers here, but to throw out unsubstantiated speculation seems counter productive to the answers we're after--we'll spend years quenching the rumors rather than waiting a few days for the facts.

    MC

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    700 D 587 mm (GT)
    650 A 590 mm (road 26")

    There were three 700D tires: a road slick ~1.25", a hybrid type with knobby shoulder ~1.50" and the full knobby 2.0" (same tread as the IRC X-1 Racer ST, I think).

    The rims were Araya RM-20s IIRC. That would place the bikes in the late '80s.

    The bead seat diameter was only 3mm smaller than the 650A (road 26") size. This meant you could mount the 650A tire on the 700D but it would blow off the rim. Sometimes while being inflated, sometimes while being ridden.
    I have the 2.0 knobbies. I think the tread is similar to an IRC Racer X-1, but not exact. Do you have a picture of the IRC? My memory is a bit fuzzy on what it looks like.

    Would it be possible to mount the GT 700D tires on 650A road rims, or are the rims just too large?
    Wanted: broken Titec 2 bolt seatpost, any size

  78. #78
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    I think I made pretty clear that it was how I had heard about things. Not how I witnessed them. Note how I did not call other people liars, or ask them to take their posts down (hehe, and I have mod powers even).
    I took my info mostly from conversations with Don, which started when I was actually discussion the MTB Hall of Fame, and about the people I wanted to nominate for it. How ironic would it have been had I been nominating Mike, which I just might have...
    Anyway, when someone goes out of his way to answer my questions and offer some more info, I'm not going to call all of Colorado for approval.

    Anyway, they can do the piccing contest between themselves. With so much negativity around it, I hardly care anymore. I wonder how I could have said something unfriendly on purpose to ever deserve such response. I've got maybe 20,000 internet posts behind me, most where I was not a mod myself, and have never been asked to take something down, even with pretty blind fury rants.

    Anybody with due credits, take your share off the pile please, we have to clear this joint asap.

    At least this thread was not unsuccesful, 20.100 got an answer from Ross, he will not take any credits. Sounds like Bruce did a good chunk of the promotion of the idea of truly large 700c tires. Who else did their part of coming up with the same idea, and whom else bugged WTB about it, it doesn't matter anymore.
    WTB had no big order to financially justify making a 29" mold (read : financially a really stupid plan), but did so anyway. Gary had shown interest to do something with it with his brand, Wes was commited to 700c MTB's already, and it must have seemed like a cool thing to do. Well, cool it was, and still is. It's "just" 5 or 10 grand, but it did keep the MTB pioneers from having a bigger tire made for their CX bikes in the mid-70'. One of those thing in the conservative bike industry that are just not tried out. Because that start-up cost for a tire mold, without WTB we might still only have the Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35", designed for people and by people that don't care for the off-road or the US bike scene. without WTB, make someone would have build a custom frame and done a frankentire knobby around the Big Apple.

    Imagine what how different our cycling interest would be now. Not this forum, not our current bike stable. $10k from the pocket of one company or rider can sometimes make huge impact, and this time it did.

    I only heard about 29" because my LBS owner had seen Wes at Interbike ridden the bike, and bought his t-shirt because he's just into crazy things bike. He passed the experience on to me, thought I might want to know. Now I have 4 29"er, and will not likely ever buy a mainstream 26" bike again, where before it was my life.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by grawbass
    I have the 2.0 knobbies. I think the tread is similar to an IRC Racer X-1, but not exact. Do you have a picture of the IRC? My memory is a bit fuzzy on what it looks like.

    Would it be possible to mount the GT 700D tires on 650A road rims, or are the rims just too large?
    No pics but I had the Racer X-1 ST (or maybe it was just a Racer ST) and it was exactly the same tread pattern (there were several different "Racer" designs).

    No-go with 700D tires on a 650A rim. 1.5mm can mean the difference in working and not working. I though this was the biggest flaw in GT's design. It was too close to an existing - and used - BCD size. For me one of the advantages of the 29er size is it does use an existing BCD (622mm/700C).
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    I think I made pretty clear that it was how I had heard about things. Not how I witnessed them. Note how I did not call other people liars, or ask them to take their posts down (hehe, and I have mod powers even).
    I took my info mostly from conversations with Don, which started when I was actually discussion the MTB Hall of Fame, and about the people I wanted to nominate for it. How ironic would it have been had I been nominating Mike, which I just might have...
    Anyway, when someone goes out of his way to answer my questions and offer some more info, I'm not going to call all of Colorado for approval.
    J-G-

    I don't *think* anyone was accusing you of lying or deliberately distorting the truth. I certainly wasn't. I believe that you heard what you did, I just happen to know otherwise on some of the 'facts' you listed. Doesn't mean I'm right either, but it makes it more likely when the things I write can be directly corroborated by those who were there. And for a lot of this, I was there.

    In the same vein, I could easily write something along the lines of "I heard Clox wears women's underwear", and then when you disagreed I could hide behind, "Well, I said "I heard", not that it was fact...". Those who skimmed through might not read your rebuttal, and despite the fact there was no truth to any of it, some damage would be done.

    KnowwhatImean?

    Just trying to clear things up.

    Thanks,

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    No pics but I had the Racer X-1 ST (or maybe it was just a Racer ST) and it was exactly the same tread pattern (there were several different "Racer" designs).

    No-go with 700D tires on a 650A rim. 1.5mm can mean the difference in working and not working. I though this was the biggest flaw in GT's design. It was too close to an existing - and used - BCD size. For me one of the advantages of the 29er size is it does use an existing BCD (622mm/700C).
    Thanks Shiggy. I think the "ST" might be the difference. I was thinking of the plain Racer X-1 (no ST)

    So if you were to attempt to force the GT tire onto a 650A road rim, say with some really strong tire levers, what would happen? Would the bead break or would the tire just not seat properly on the rim?
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    Quote Originally Posted by grawbass
    Thanks Shiggy. I think the "ST" might be the difference. I was thinking of the plain Racer X-1 (no ST)

    So if you were to attempt to force the GT tire onto a 650A road rim, say with some really strong tire levers, what would happen? Would the bead break or would the tire just not seat properly on the rim?
    If the rim has enough center drop you may be able to get the tire on.

    The problem would be in getting the bead to seat properly. It most likely would be uneven at best.
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    Project 7 stuff

    here are a couple pics of a Bianchi P-7 from back in 1990. One is from a sales brochure, and the other is from a press release.
    I've also scanned a letter I received from Bianchi after my P-7 purchase - nothing special, just thought there might be interest.

    I've been riding 700c wheeled 'mountain' bikes exclusively since 1990. For me, bigger tires were always a dream. Later, I wondered what I was missing not having suspension options - but neither issue was enough to get me back on a 26" bike.

    I have to admit, I often laugh at the current complaints about lack of 29er support from manufacturers. With my current ride (KM) I feel all my biking dreams have come true.

    Took the Project-7 out a couple months ago for the first time in years - felt good.

    Mike
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  84. #84
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    Awesome. Simply Awesome. Helps put a lot of things into perspective for me.
    Last edited by ncj01; 05-19-2006 at 01:10 PM.
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    That's awesome Anton!

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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    I would imagine Bigwheel deleted all of his posts because his request for Clox to delete his post went ignored. I would bet that Bigwheel figured that if he could put the time in to get Mark Slate's story from WTB then Clox should take the time to delete his original post.

    Just a hunch though,

    B
    I'm guessing you hit the nail on the head...

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I'm guessing you hit the nail on the head...
    Yes, that's what he told me by mail. He didn't want the interesting info he gave to be mixed up with what cloxxki reported, that he considers very very far from the historical truth.
    There is some hot passion on the subject.

    I still find that this is bad for all of us TwentyNiner's lovers.
    I would have prefer Cloxxki to edit his post to say that this version was debated and to point to BigWhell posts.
    I would prefer BigWhell to not delete his posts so that more people can have access to it, and state clearly that he does not agree with the other version


    I think there is (was?) some old rivality between Don Cook and Wes Williams. Don Cook put together is own story opposing William's and told it to Clooxki, who wrote it here and got flammed.

    So we have to choose our side. Who shall we believe ?

    Being pragmatic and removing passion, i can see that :

    -we got some info directly from Mark slate of WTB, that clearly state that he considers Wes Williams to be the father of the 29"er movement.
    -this info is backuped here by 2 well known forums members BigWhell and MikeSee, who have been implicated in the movement since the early times
    -we have no more info on the Don Cook version than what was reported here by Clooxki

    All this means that i personnaly believe that the Don Cook version is not the truth.

    To make any progress on this subject, i think Clooxki really has to contact Don Cook, to see if:
    - cloxx really understood well what he said
    - if Cook had changed his version, or still claims the same things
    - to see if Cook is able to backup his version by some proof / other people saying the same

    Clooxki, it's up to you. Please help us sort this out !
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    When investigating history, there doesn;t seem to be an "absolute" truth, just a "most plausible" one, and varying from person to person.
    I can't remember Mark Slate's exact words, but I seem to remember he did also make a reference to Gary Fisher who seems to have supported the idea from before the tires were made. He made not have active pushed them like Wes did, but I wonder what would have happened to the project is he had passionately rejected the idea. In other words, what his share was in Mark's decision.
    With his work on Interbike (big booth rent investment) and offering custom bikes, Wes does seem to deserve a good share of the God Fathers of 29" title. Bruce Gordon seems to have spread the idea with whomever would listen from a very early date.
    DiamondBack and Bianchi has the right idea already in the late 80's, and may well have investigated whether tires could be made to complete the 28-inch MTB concept, but obviously didn't make a commitment that lead to a 29" introduction a decade sooner than it ended up happening. Imagine the world today though, had Bianchi or DiamondBack had had the enterprising balls to do what took WTB another 10 years. At least they had bikes to put the tires on, with minor chainsay design that is. I see no reason why the results of that would have been less impressive riding than WTB's, Willit's and other 1999 29" bikes.

    I'm not really too interested in the "absolute" or "most plausible" truth anymore. Too much negativity and ego's. Let's just agree that when we meet on of those that had a part in it, we give them the thumbs up for it. I'm not sure anyway did their part just to be World's Coolest Guy, and the main objective always simply was a Better Bike For All.

    I guess now Mark Slate should be considered Father of 29, with various Godfathers of 29" that did their own valuable part, be it having hour-long conversations on the reasons to go 29", be it bugging WTB about it, being making bikes available to the average riders like you and me.

    All I know, without Gary Fisher, I would have taken much longer to buy my first 29" bike. Or, perhaps I would have waited shorter, just gotten the cheap Nishiki Bigfoot, and have been turned off the concept because the bike didn't handle as well as hoped for my kind of riding. Even the Fisher took me months of getting used to, a time in which I was in some doubt whether it would ever be better than 26" for me... When I got my fix in 2002, Gary was the Godfather for me. For the Nishiki owners I know, it was the Nishiki guy. For those that encountered Wes and Bigwheel on Interbike, it obviously is Wes.
    Nishiki did a very very big part (apres le pneu) but got vrey little for it. It has passionate followers from the early days still riding their 2002 Bigfoots, but it never became a big web community like Bigwheel founded with his www.29incher.com website. Credits are due for Bigwheel, as his website got the word out to many in the bizz that may have been familiar wih the gospel from mentions in magazines and meeting Wes, but just not converted by it yet. Come to think of it, Bigwheel was my sole Godfather of 29" before Fisher started making his bikes available to the big public.

    Now, that's a lot of text for someone who really doesn't care for it anymore :-)
    Last edited by Cloxxki; 06-01-2006 at 03:09 AM.

  89. #89
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    Revisionist History

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    When investigating history, there doesn;t seem to be an "absolute" truth, just a "most plausible" one, and varying from person to person.
    As I read this thread I was looking for what physical or financial barrier that proved to be a tipping point.

    For me it's the Fatty Knobby (low pressure, hi volume, and knobs to stay connected) -

    First I thought it may have been the rim (my Big Single has Titan Tours circa 1991) seems to be a pretty strong rim. So throw that thought out the window.

    At what point in time did 700c rim strength become less of an issue?
    Does'nt a high pressure skinny tire add some strength to a rim?

    What liability issues between tire manufactures and rim manufactures effected the development of the 29er?

    History is filled with people who are garage innovators and people who have deep pockets. In GENERAL the innovator is going to speak up and take credit for their innovation, and the capitalist is quietly counting their money and looking for the next big thing.

    Maybe it would be helpful to acknowledge the designers separately from the capitalist, and of course there are some who do both.

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    I don't think 700c rim strength was an issue EVER. there were certainly times over history when you had a hard time getting any bikes in smaller than that, let alone for transport duty.

    The thing keeping 29" from happening seems to have just been someone to shell out $5k foir a mold. Go further back in time, and that investment goes down, times when the Yenn was weak and the Dollar strong, plus reversed inflation.
    Man, if we could just send $5k back in time to Tom Ritchey, Joe Breeze and Gary Fisher date 1976 so they could have a 700c fatty mold done, what would mountainbiking look like today?
    Weak rims? What was done with 700c when the first Repack races were held? CX racing, loaded touring...

    A well-inflated tubular tire is still very easy to flex, hardly different from uninflated. It may be different for a clincher with a rim/tire interface than could add some friction.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  91. #91
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    Ah 1976, I remember those days like they were yesterday - I stuffed a motorcycle tire in the rear of my bright yellow Schwinn Sting Ray. I had to widen the chain/seat stays a bit to keep the rubbing to a dull roar. The big motto fatty made for softer landings off the home made wooden ramp. I think Evil Knievel influenced a generation of idiots.

    If I had 5k to donate my money would have been on Tom.

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    Sure Tom wouldn't just put the $5k in a road frame building jig? :-)

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    Hell I heard Don McClung in Salida was the first big 29er backer but hey that's local folklore.

    I've heard MANY a time though it was Willits that really pushed it, GF who backed it, and WTB's vision that made it happen. And for all I care, that's what happened. I just like my 29er and ride it a ton. My Ellsworth Truth has been collecting dust since I went 29er....anyone want an Ellsworth Truth, barely used, cheap? Size large.... :-)
    In the immortal words of Socrates..."I drank what?"

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    29 Inches of History?

    Wow. I was just rooting around and doing a little reading and wanted to see what this 29" history thread had to say. I was able to determine that the thread (on my little monitor, at least) is about 91 inches long, but I had a hard time finding anything in the way of valuable and accurate information that one could take to the bank. I don't have all of the answers either, but one (okay two) thing(s) I can tell you for sure is that Diamondback produced the first production MTB with a so-called 29" wheel. Had two of them (wheels) to be exact. Two models were part of the 1992 Diamond Back (two words back then) line and they had Panaracer Smoke tires that were readily available at the time. I wonder if we couldn't try this again and sum up the history of the big-wheeled off roaders in under 29 inches?

    That was only the first thing I wanted to say, believe it or not. The other is that DB has Overdrives today as well. Two models that use the same chassis with 2 different build kits. One retails for less than $750, the other for more ($1,335). Check them out if you'd like here and here. Regardless of who did what first and when, I wanted to be sure that everyone knew we presently have a couple of 29"-wheeled sweet bikes that are also very affordable that are available to purchase today.

    Big wheels are obviously cool in a lot of places, but big mouths aren't cool anywhere. If you find yourself using your keyboard as a weapon, that's probably a good sign that you need to go for a bike ride. Happy trails guys. Have a great week.

    Sincerely, Trevor

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB Trevor
    Wow. I was just rooting around and doing a little reading and wanted to see what this 29" history thread had to say. I was able to determine that the thread (on my little monitor, at least) is about 91 inches long, but I had a hard time finding anything in the way of valuable and accurate information that one could take to the bank. I don't have all of the answers either, but one (okay two) thing(s) I can tell you for sure is that Diamondback produced the first production MTB with a so-called 29" wheel. Had two of them (wheels) to be exact. Two models were part of the 1992 Diamond Back (two words back then) line and they had Panaracer Smoke tires that were readily available at the time. I wonder if we couldn't try this again and sum up the history of the big-wheeled off roaders in under 29 inches?

    That was only the first thing I wanted to say, believe it or not. The other is that DB has Overdrives today as well. Two models that use the same chassis with 2 different build kits. One retails for less than $750, the other for more ($1,335). Check them out if you'd like here and here. Regardless of who did what first and when, I wanted to be sure that everyone knew we presently have a couple of 29"-wheeled sweet bikes that are also very affordable that are available to purchase today.

    Big wheels are obviously cool in a lot of places, but big mouths aren't cool anywhere. If you find yourself using your keyboard as a weapon, that's probably a good sign that you need to go for a bike ride. Happy trails guys. Have a great week.

    Sincerely, Trevor
    win for this weeks epic thread revival.

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    Really? The Diamond Back is mentioned in the fifth reply.

    Lots of us consider the Nanoraptor to be the first true 29" tire, others don't. Lots of people were riding offroad with 28.X" tires for a long time before the Nano, but if that made the bike a "29er" might be up for debate. This has all been done to death on this board but with the popularity of the format in the past couple years, most of us are just happy to be here riding big wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by DB Trevor
    I had a hard time finding anything in the way of valuable and accurate information

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    Thanks man. We're all about reviving things from the dead after a very long pause.

    Hope that paint dries before the baby shows up!

    Congrats and keep up the good work, Trevor

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by DB Trevor
    Thanks man. We're all about reviving things from the dead after a very long pause.

    Hope that paint dries before the baby shows up!

    Congrats and keep up the good work, Trevor
    Hey Trevor! How ya doin?

    The thing you should know about this thread is that one of the major contributors of the history here got miffed at another forum member here and pulled off a ton of relevant material. Too bad, really. But...that's the way it is.

    That Overdrive is a pretty decent little rig, eh?

    See around somewhere soon I hope!
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  101. #101
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    I would agree with mc on this. For any 29er history newbie just entering this thread, Cloxxki’s post is not a good way to start. It’s full of hearsay and starts this whole thread off on the wrong foot. I know it’s a discussion forum but the post could be misinterpreted and spread by those not willing to dive deeper into the story. The videos on page 4 do a much better job of describing what actually took place than all of our comments combined. Perhaps those should be moved to the top.

    Funny you mention Don Cook. I recall him making a few sarcastic comments about my then freakish 29er on the Dyke trail back in 2000. He was riding a Moots 26" with his dog following. After so many people in CB started riding the Willits big wheel, he tried to get Moots to build a 29er, which hit the market some 2-3 years later. I might even have the Moots brochure with their first 29er...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    The pciture I gathered from some insiders of the whole deal is this :
    Ross Schafer's neighbour Bruce Gordon, a touring rack builders, got the point of large wheels (for touring and all things bike) into Don Cook's head in '94 in a long bike fantasizing session in Bruce's workshop. Perhaps Ross had been the source and talked to Bruce about it before that, well possible.
    Don Cook started working on Charlie Cunningham and Mark Slate at WTB to please make a bigger 700c tire, much bigger.
    Last edited by highrustler; 11-17-2008 at 10:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Hey Trevor! How ya doin?

    The thing you should know about this thread is that one of the major contributors of the history here got miffed at another forum member here and pulled off a ton of relevant material. Too bad, really. But...that's the way it is.

    That Overdrive is a pretty decent little rig, eh?

    See around somewhere soon I hope!
    You mean this?

    Via an email from Mark Slate.

    "Well, Ross had his shop next door to Bruce Gordon in Petaluma (29 miles
    north of us). Bruce is a highly opinionated and talkative guy (if he has
    the right audience). He is an ace frame builder himself, so experimenting
    with bike geometry is something he has done plenty. I can believe that Don
    would listen carefully and learn and understand the wisdom of the big wheel.
    I'll speak to Ross soon (as I need to call him anyway regarding a different
    subject) and ask his ideas on 29" tire bikes and what his earliest
    recollections are. No doubt in my mind that Bruce favored the bigger
    wheels.

    The part I do not know anything about is conversations between Don and
    Charlie. Charlie has been riding a 700x35c tire bike since I think about
    1978. I think the first thing Charlie heard of a fat tire for 700c rims
    was when Wes came out here and brought his "Mountie" with 700x47c Goliath tires.
    Wes and I rode together and he left the bike with WTB so others could
    ride and experience the big wheel feel. He pushed hard as you know Wes will
    do when he has an idea of the better way and he certainly was not shy about
    letting others know that the little wheels were inferior. I'm not sure
    of the dates when Wes was here but he might remember.

    I looked through old stuff recently (as I was asked about the 29" tire history) and wrote this to Dain Zaffke (who was doing a "fact check" for
    an article soon to appear in Bike Magazine's July issue):

    The Nano Raptor 26" existed before the 29" was made. My computer crashed
    years back and I lost a lot of historic data. Some old Word docs
    survived somehow. In search of the "smoking gun" I found this (to the mold
    maker):

    September 28, 1998 - Gary Fisher has been after WTB to produce a 622
    bead "2.1" tire. Several top riders I know in Colorado have bikes to fit
    these 28" (+) tires. The Continental Goliath 47mm is now being used. These
    guys are also interested in a full size tire to fit 700c rims. There is
    validity to this size and we may be seeing future production of bigger wheel
    mountainbikes. Mold production for this diameter tire may be a problem. Please
    inform me regarding production of the 2.1 Nano Raptor with a 622mm bead.

    The mold was created and samples were received by WTB in early '99.
    Frames were built to test and WTB showed a complete titanium hardtail at the InterBike show that year."

    So to all of you that don't think the history of the 29" wheel means anything that is mostly because your weren't there to see it happen and are just now getting on the band wagon after years of poo pooing the idea. But some of us that were there remember how it went down and it does have meaning to us. But one thing for sure is that Don Cook had so little to do with the development of 29" wheels that it just took me by surprise that he would even think that he did and I took offense to that. Sorry.

    Diamond Back missed out more than made out with the original Overdrive. Even their own management team and best racer Dave Weins didn't ever give it a chance back then. But the Smokes were so anemic that it was understandable. The first Overdrive 29"er was this one:
    234452DB_OD.jpg

    And this was the first FS 29"er.
    2344521oak.jpg

    And this is the last you will hear from me on this subject which I am sure will make the johnny come lately's happy.

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  103. #103
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    You mean this?
    Yup.


    A humble "thank you"...........
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  104. #104
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    Winter is clearly setting in as we're now back to arguing about who's fart smelled the loudest.
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    29" is ancient history. Or: the new kids bike size.

    36" is where it's at!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    Winter is clearly setting in as we're now back to arguing about who's fart smelled the loudest.
    Definitely yours Poupboy. Hands down.
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  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    29" is ancient history. Or: the new kids bike size.

    36" is where it's at!
    Well perhaps it will be JG, perhaps it will be.
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  108. #108
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    29" is SO 1999 :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MABman
    Definitely yours Poupboy. Hands down.
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  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    29" is ancient history. Or: the new kids bike size.

    36" is where it's at!
    If 29er with 14-15" can exist then make me 18" 36er or 32er with scandium flowes 36h fordesigned for 4 cross pattern make it 100 upto 120mm with dropper bar to keep the front end level with handlebar

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield
    If 29er with 14-15" can exist then make me 18" 36er or 32er with scandium flowes 36h fordesigned for 4 cross pattern make it 100 upto 120mm with dropper bar to keep the front end level with handlebar
    lolz. A custom builder would make that for you. Keener has a rocking 36" with custome wide hubs and non dish wheels. Not full suspension but I bet if money was no object someone would build it for you. What a person would want with a 40lbs 36er is beyond me but someone would be able to do it for you. Email it up.
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  112. #112

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    Kent Erikson showed up at Crested Butte in 1983 with 650B wheeled bikes. He didn't seem to stick with that size, but that's what he had there in '83.

    Chuey

  113. #113
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    Everybody here is off by about 100 years, stating that any of the guys mentioned over and over in this thread is the originator or pioneer of mtb and/or big wheels is comical, just a bunch of posers.

    https://www.adventurecycling.org/res...kLenz_Koss.pdf
    https://www.oldspokeshome.com/victor...hion-tire-1891

    This book in an incredible read:
    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Cyclist-.../dp/0547195575



  114. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by watertight
    Everybody here is off by about 100 years, stating that any of the guys mentioned over and over in this thread is the originator or pioneer of mtb and/or big wheels is comical, just a bunch of posers.
    Nicely dredged, but you missed the point--by about an inch.

  115. #115
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    Usually I get a little peeved when I realize a thread is many years old after reading it, but this was, uh...educational.

  116. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by watertight
    Let's see...
    ...suspension fork, check
    ...thudbuster, check
    ...alt bar, check
    ...singlespeed, check
    He's sooo retro!

    But really, did you see the split down "tube" with the chainring IN-board of the drive side tube/strut/spar?

    How 'bout that seat "tube"?

    ...and could that be early Duct tape near the rear valve stem?

    Awesome pic (may qualify as wallpaper... for awhile). Real mountain biking.

    -F

  117. #117
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    Glad this thread came back up

    I learned a lot and didn't get much done this AM

    the post with all the confused and incorrect history that pizzled some off may have actually gotten more people to chime in, too bad it cost some of the context for johnny come lately's like me.

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  118. #118
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    I just came across Cleland Cycles today.

    http://clelandcycles.wordpress.com/history/

    Extremely interesting, and highly relevant to this thread. I haven't seen Geoff Apps' name mentioned anywhere in here, and it deserves to be.

    Quick synopsis: Moto Trials guy starts developing off-road bike in England in the late 1970s. Big 700c wheels are hard to get, builds for knobby 650b instead. Sends some to GF and Charlie Kelly, who love them. Builds 29er in 1983 (possibly earlier). Company goes down in 1984, is back now.

    When you first look at the bike you'll be thinking it can't possibly work well, and that it rides like crap. Maybe for you, but it very clearly works very well for some folks.

    the Cleland Cycles flickr set is full of gems, especially page 1.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  119. #119
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    Wow, some kooky stuff the Flickr gallery.... love it.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimmythefly
    I just came across Cleland Cycles today.

    http://clelandcycles.wordpress.com/history/

    Extremely interesting, and highly relevant to this thread. I haven't seen Geoff Apps' name mentioned anywhere in here, and it deserves to be.

    Quick synopsis: Moto Trials guy starts developing off-road bike in England in the late 1970s. Big 700c wheels are hard to get, builds for knobby 650b instead. Sends some to GF and Charlie Kelly, who love them. Builds 29er in 1983 (possibly earlier). Company goes down in 1984, is back now.

    When you first look at the bike you'll be thinking it can't possibly work well, and that it rides like crap. Maybe for you, but it very clearly works very well for some folks.

    the Cleland Cycles flickr set is full of gems, especially page 1.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by aosty
    Wow, some kooky stuff the Flickr gallery.... love it.
    The 31" diameter (635mm BSD) trials tire has me intrigued.
    Last edited by shiggy; 12-14-2010 at 03:22 PM.
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  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    The 31" diameter (635mm BCD) trials tire has me intrigued.
    Indeed.

  122. #122
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    Rough Stoughing

    Very interesting references there, not just in relation to 700c use off road but also in regards to the use of bikes in general off road in that time period.

    Some very cool pics for sure and Mr. Apps for sure had/has a fertile imagination and the skills to make his visions come true and then to also ride them. But it has never really been in dispute who made/rode the first bikes with 700c or in any case larger than 26" diameter wheels in an offroad situation, which we generally refer to as Mountain Biking today. Because since the 700c rim became a standard late in the 1800's it has been in use off road. Especially in the earlier days, because there were no roads, but for sure there was way more use across the pond because the 28"er remained popular there throughout as the adult sized wheel.

    There is one picture in that Flickr account that shows a tacoed front wheel that in the caption reads as a "29er" wheel. In fact it looks to me like a 700c rim with a 28" tyre on it which would have been easy enough to source back then because the 28" was at that time the adult bike tire of choice across the pond and there were tires galore available that measured up to that.

    But the fact still remains that it was not until 1999 that WTB took the bait laid out to them to make the Nanoraptor which was the first 700c tire that was made to emulate the higher volume characteristics of the "balloon" 2.1 type tires that launched the 26" wheel in to MTB history. What the "tire", thanks Mark, did was to finally enable the use of lower psi due to the higher volume of air over what a 1.75/28" tire could run at reliably and the larger casing also provided extra flotation. This is the very basis of all mtb's in existence since the beginning. How many mtb's have been popular with 1.75 tires? Well there is cyclocross....

    The funny thing about this is that letter from Charlie and Gary about the 650b Hakka tire that they got through Mr. Apps and so I guess that means that Gary can now be credited with inventing the 650b also which gets him the hat trick Plus Gary and Mr. Apps are very natty dressers.
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  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by MABman
    Very interesting references there, not just in relation to 700c use off road but also in regards to the use of bikes in general off road in that time period.

    Some very cool pics for sure and Mr. Apps for sure had/has a fertile imagination and the skills to make his visions come true and then to also ride them. But it has never really been in dispute who made/rode the first bikes with 700c or in any case larger than 26" diameter wheels in an offroad situation, which we generally refer to as Mountain Biking today. Because since the 700c rim became a standard late in the 1800's it has been in use off road. Especially in the earlier days, because there were no roads, but for sure there was way more use across the pond because the 28"er remained popular there throughout as the adult sized wheel.

    There is one picture in that Flickr account that shows a tacoed front wheel that in the caption reads as a "29er" wheel. In fact it looks to me like a 700c rim with a 28" tyre on it which would have been easy enough to source back then because the 28" was at that time the adult bike tire of choice across the pond and there were tires galore available that measured up to that.

    But the fact still remains that it was not until 1999 that WTB took the bait laid out to them to make the Nanoraptor which was the first 700c tire that was made to emulate the higher volume characteristics of the "balloon" 2.1 type tires that launched the 26" wheel in to MTB history. What the "tire", thanks Mark, did was to finally enable the use of lower psi due to the higher volume of air over what a 1.75/28" tire could run at reliably and the larger casing also provided extra flotation. This is the very basis of all mtb's in existence since the beginning. How many mtb's have been popular with 1.75 tires? Well there is cyclocross....

    The funny thing about this is that letter from Charlie and Gary about the 650b Hakka tire that they got through Mr. Apps and so I guess that means that Gary can now be credited with inventing the 650b also which gets him the hat trick Plus Gary and Mr. Apps are very natty dressers.
    I'm with you on the fact that big wheels have been ridden "off-road" for quite a while now. I think Geoff's story is very interesting because it wasn't just about riding dirt roads, but instead came from a trials motorcycle background, and therefore it could be argued was evolved from a very "mountain" style of riding, vs. evolved from bombing gravel roads.

    I know WTB really set things off with their tire, but I wanted to include this new (to me) info because of the earlier discussion about who's idea it was to use big tires off road. Earlier posts were all about Bruce Gordon, etc. I'm not disputing that, but I think it adds to the discussion to note that others were certainly pursuing big hoops for off-road use, and the letter between Geoff and Charlie Kelly and Gary Fisher is fascinating. I'm not sure how that connection was made, on the Cleland website's history page it says Geoff shipped a pair of 700c Nokians to them, and that they had a frame already built and waiting for the tires. But, the letter talks about 650b tires, so it's unclear if more than one size of tire was sent at different times, or if the sizes are getting mixed up in the re-telling of things that happened 30 years ago.

    I'm pretty sure that taco'd wheel is a genuine 700x47 Nokian Hakkapeliitta(you can see the studs). 47c isn't too far off 1.9" (depending on how you round the math), so pretty close to a "true" mountain sized tire (except for the studs of course). He states elsewhere that these were difficult to obtain a reliable supply of, so that's why he went to 650b instead.

  124. #124
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    Hakkapelllita NanoRaptor links?

    Back in 2006 I saw a 26 x 2" WTB NanoRaptor tire, in the bargain bucket at my local bike store. I bought the tire because its tread pattern reminded me of the Nokia' Hakkapelllita tires that I use on my old Cleland bikes.

    I knew that Geoff Apps had sent some 700c Hakka's to Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly in the early 1980's but did not realize that Gary Fisher had a hand in the creation of the 29er NanoRaptor tire. The similarities in tread design between the Hakkapelllita and the Nanoraptor may be coincidence? Or maybe Gary showed WTB an old Hakkapelllita that then formed as the inspiration of the NanoRaptor tread?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km67fjE8DqE

    BTW.... The Hakkapelllita ice studs can easily be removed and stud less versions called SpeedHakkapelllita's were also available.

  125. #125
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    I have heard Gary Fisher relate something to the effect that "they wanted a bigger tire, but couldn't get it", and explain that this was in reference to 700c size. Of course, Nokia (now Nokian) Hakkapellita was known not only to Geoff Apps, but to several of the NorCal guys. Tom Ritchey made a dozen bikes with the 650B Hakkapellita's as has been mentioned here on mtbr before. The trouble being that the Hakka was something too narrow/low volume for the NorCal guys tastes and was very difficult to get then impossible after a supposed Russian contract bought Nokia stock in the 650B all up.

    The Geoff Apps story is important since it helped fuel the imaginations of Fisher and perhaps others, which then resulted in Fisher, (at the least), being a proponent of the Nanoraptor when WTB showed some interest in doing that project.

    Obviously Wes Williams was also a big proponent of the larger diameter wheels/tires and was coming from his knowledge of what the late 19th Century/Early 20th Century engineers had already figured out. That being that 28-29 inch tires were optimal in size for use on rough roads and unpaved trails. Those bikes back then had rim diameters very close to 700c and were running pretty voluminous tires.

    As far as The Tire goes, it marks a point in history where everything changed for 700c based mtb. There were a lot of influencers and ideas that went into it, but nothing quite like what the Nanoraptor brought to the scene. To my mind, this is where "modern 29"ers" saw their start from.
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  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWallace
    Back in 2006 I saw a 26 x 2" WTB NanoRaptor tire, in the bargain bucket at my local bike store. I bought the tire because its tread pattern reminded me of the Nokia' Hakkapelllita tires that I use on my old Cleland bikes.

    I knew that Geoff Apps had sent some 700c Hakka's to Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly in the early 1980's but did not realize that Gary Fisher had a hand in the creation of the 29er NanoRaptor tire. The similarities in tread design between the Hakkapelllita and the Nanoraptor may be coincidence? Or maybe Gary showed WTB an old Hakkapelllita that then formed as the inspiration of the NanoRaptor tread?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=km67fjE8DqE

    BTW.... The Hakkapelllita ice studs can easily be removed and stud less versions called SpeedHakkapelllita's were also available.
    The Nano had already been on the market as a 26" before the 29" version was produced. I am sure it had many influences including the Nokian and the Hutchinson Python.
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  127. #127
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    This puts a time frame on the Gary Fisher Geoff Apps connection in relation to 650b tires.

    https://clelandcycles.files.wordpres...ckandgf001.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 29&quot;ers history : Ross Schafer ?-letterfromckandgf001a.jpg  


  128. #128
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    Here are some pictures of Geoff Apps'1981, 700c x 47 bike taken in December 2004.

    One photo shows the 700c bike next to my 1988 670b variant and the difference in wheel size can be clearly seen. My bike was not made by Geoff's Cleland company, but a copy made by David Wrath-Sharman at a company called Highpath Engineering. Highpath also made 700c versions from about 1987.
    29&quot;ers history : Ross Schafer ?-1981-700c-cleland-cross-county-bicycle.jpg

    29&quot;ers history : Ross Schafer ?-670b-700c-cleland-cross-county-cycles.jpg
    I know that Geoff Apps produced articles for that were published in the Fat Tire Flyer. I wonder if any of these discussed wheel size?

  129. #129
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    Here's a video of Geoff Apps riding his modern 29er Cleland in the area he developed his early bikes. You can see from the video why big wheels were needed for riding this type of terrain. Especially as conditions, unlike those in the video, were often wet and muddy,

    TrailBlaze - Mountainbiking without following trails - YouTube

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