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Why 650b

Old 03-26-16, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by nazcalines
You can keep an eye out on ebay or CL for a used set. I got a pair of Pacenti PL23 laced to low end shimano hubs a year ago for almost nothing. Best upgrade by far I've done on my bike.

edit: now that I know 650b works for me, I'd have no problem spending $99 /rim on velocity, grand bois, or pacenti rims.
Pacenti had a sale on their SL23 rims that lasted close to a year, they were going for $40 each.
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Old 03-27-16, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by bwilli88
Why do many of the long distance riders use bikes fitted with 650b wheels over 700c or even 27?
What is the history behind this choice?


As a side question; why are there no wide tires for 27" or 630 ERTO.
The 650b thing is almost entirely vanity.

First if we call wheels sizes by what they are, instead of sticking with French naming conventions like 650b and 700c (the entire point of which is meaningless today as different tires in a given size do distinctly produce different circumference rolling wheels, which defeats the ENTIRE purpose of that naming convention) if we actually talk about wheel sizes in the following intelligent manner, ISO:

559 - 26" Mountain bike standard
584 - pretentious Randonneur/tandem/touring size (650b)
622 - road race standard (700c)
630 - slightly larger than 622, marginally rolls smoother & marginally spins "faster" (think larger flywheel) on flat ground

something interesting happens. What happens is that certain wheel sizes STOP having romantic projections of being Euro, and just become a given size. Think about it like this. If you have a bunch of metric sockets its absurd to think about the 10mm socket as being Pro's Pro and Euro, while the 12mm is just a workhorse socket you really don't want to use. You use the damn socket that is appropriate for the bolt. In cycling a bunch on buffoons who rely largely on pretense and sophistry who worship at the alter of French constructeur bikes believe there is something magical about a given wheel size. Taken to the nth degree becoming the actual Emperor's clothes (when he's naked) this narrative is best portrayed by Jan Heine talking about how a given wheel (bike) "planes" which is just complete and utter nonsense.

There is no arbitrarily magical wheel size for tandems/touring/randonneuring. Someone that proportionally fits a 49cm bike and someone who proportionately fits a 63cm bike can both find bikes in those sizes, stock by countless nameplates. However, how bikes in those sizes actually ride, if the frame builder were to build different frames (for a given bicycle size), for different wheel sizes will be…(wait for it) COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from one another.

Which is something any intelligent person realizes. Jan is trying to sell his cult a mythology that often requires a suspension of rational thought. There is nothing magical about the 584 wheel size. Its all about proportionality.

Believe it or not a 630/622 wheel size ends up being "smaller" on large frames (68cm/27" touring sizes) than even 584 wheels would be on a smaller touring bike. There isn't an appropriate and available larger wheel size to even approximate how a 622 or 630 wheel behaves on a smaller bike for larger bikes. Its all about proportionality. How is the wheel size proportional to the frame size and the size of the cyclist.

How a given wheel size fits one cyclist on a given bicycle frame size has NOTHING to do with how another size bicycle will ride and perform wit that same wheel. The more movement in bicycle size one makes towards very small bicycles and very large bicycles, the more absurd any comparison becomes, to the point they almost become nonsensical.

Many cyclists, media members, and cult personalities in the cycling community have trouble separating rational thought from the romantic projections they wish to make and the emotionally loaded connotations they attempt to paint their narrative with. They would have you believe that everything that was old is better, and what once was and lost is always superior to what is and available.

The reality is that different wheel sizes behave differently for different sized people, and different sized bikes.

This is true in both the mountain and road bike world. The false narrative that everybody is best served on 584mm wheels (650b) for mountain bikes has more to do with distributors, shops, and manufacturers NOT wanting to deal with multiple wheel sizes. Just as they want everyone riding 175mm cranks, they pretty much want everyone on the same size wheels. A Mini Cooper car and a Dodge Viper do not share the same rim sizes. A Smart car does not use the same size rim as Jeep Wrangler with big off road tires.

A woman riding a 15" mountain bike frame on 29" wheels will not experience the same geometry, rolling characteristics, and performance as a 6'6" man riding on a 23" 29er. Same size wheels, but different sized people and frames. The small woman's bike will have goofy geometry issues trying to accommodate that large a wheel. The big man bike has no issues whatsoever. Build similar frames on a tiny little 559 (26" wheels) and how they each perform, and behave under each respective cyclists bike is glaringly different.

Only fools, and Jan Heine, try to make sweeping general statements about wheel sizes. Anyone intelligent realizes that wheel size and performance, bike handling, and "planing" are a function of proportionality.

For road bikes I prefer to keep almost every bike we own on 630 wheels. They roll marginally better over road irregularities, and theoretically spin fast easier do to the larger flywheel effect. They also should marginally be slightly more difficult to spin up. You can find wide tires in 27"/630, even in bombproof belted touring tires out to 630-32 sizes. How wide do you need?

Look for Panaracer, Schwalbe and occasionally you can even find stockists with Continentals. I much prefer Panaracer Tourguard to my Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I'm not a fan of super light weight tires like the Panaracer Paselas, but lots of people, even on use them in 630/27" for tandems, touring, and on brevets. There is no sacred cow at 584mm.
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Old 03-27-16, 07:02 AM
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^ Wow, all of that text with no mention of the superiority of Cannondales or attacks on Grant Petersen. Impressive!
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Old 03-27-16, 10:12 AM
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I suspect the market niche that liked the ride this approximate size -- diameter and width -- shrank and is rebounding. I think that of the cycling-enthusiast type that is likely to like this size most is older and seasoned riders, i.e. over about 45 or 50 years old. Thanks to Heine and a few other merchants with good products and good marketing, they could have encouraged or found lightweight rims and tires in either size. It's pretty immaterial whether they should have chosen one over the other. They made a decision, and this is a reasonable result, even though it may have been influenced by a French fetish.
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Old 03-27-16, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by nlerner
^ Wow, all of that text with no mention of the superiority of Cannondales or attacks on Grant Petersen. Impressive!
Ah, the magic of the "ignore" button. Did he happen to mention anything about the missing box?
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Old 03-27-16, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
...it may have been influenced by a French fetish.
I think that's better than an English fetish, no? Too boring...

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Old 03-27-16, 10:58 AM
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When I was learning bike wrenching, 650B was by far the rarest of the five 26" rim sizes. It's not much of a stretch to say the rarity of it (in the US at least) did give it a certain cache of hipness. I rather vividly recall back in the early 90s that there was a handful of SF Bay Area hipsters ooing and awwing over old Singers and Herses and their many quirks. It wasn't that big of a cult, but it wasn't just Grant Petersen either. Anyhow, I don't think it's unreasonable to say perceived coolness played a part.

That said I think there definitely was a need for a road rim standard around that size, especially for smaller road frame sizes, which frankly used to look silly with 700c wheels. What surprises me is that it wasn't ISO 590 AKA the 3 speed size that filled this need. I guess it was too boring? It is bizarre that 650B is now more common than 26 x 1 3/8 (650A), which was for a long time the most popular 26" road tire size. IIRC something like 99% of the 26" sizes that I had to deal with at my LBS in the 80s were either that or the ISO 559 mountain bike size.
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Old 03-27-16, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Ah, the magic of the "ignore" button. Did he happen to mention anything about the missing box?
I don't think that's in the current troll lexicon.
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Old 03-28-16, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbke
The 650b thing is almost entirely vanity.

First if we call wheels sizes by what they are, instead of sticking with French naming conventions like 650b and 700c (the entire point of which is meaningless today as different tires in a given size do distinctly produce different circumference rolling wheels, which defeats the ENTIRE purpose of that naming convention) if we actually talk about wheel sizes in the following intelligent manner, ISO:

559 - 26" Mountain bike standard
584 - pretentious Randonneur/tandem/touring size (650b)
622 - road race standard (700c)
630 - slightly larger than 622, marginally rolls smoother & marginally spins "faster" (think larger flywheel) on flat ground

something interesting happens. What happens is that certain wheel sizes STOP having romantic projections of being Euro, and just become a given size. Think about it like this. If you have a bunch of metric sockets its absurd to think about the 10mm socket as being Pro's Pro and Euro, while the 12mm is just a workhorse socket you really don't want to use. You use the damn socket that is appropriate for the bolt. In cycling a bunch on buffoons who rely largely on pretense and sophistry who worship at the alter of French constructeur bikes believe there is something magical about a given wheel size. Taken to the nth degree becoming the actual Emperor's clothes (when he's naked) this narrative is best portrayed by Jan Heine talking about how a given wheel (bike) "planes" which is just complete and utter nonsense.

There is no arbitrarily magical wheel size for tandems/touring/randonneuring. Someone that proportionally fits a 49cm bike and someone who proportionately fits a 63cm bike can both find bikes in those sizes, stock by countless nameplates. However, how bikes in those sizes actually ride, if the frame builder were to build different frames (for a given bicycle size), for different wheel sizes will be…(wait for it) COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from one another.

Which is something any intelligent person realizes. Jan is trying to sell his cult a mythology that often requires a suspension of rational thought. There is nothing magical about the 584 wheel size. Its all about proportionality.

Believe it or not a 630/622 wheel size ends up being "smaller" on large frames (68cm/27" touring sizes) than even 584 wheels would be on a smaller touring bike. There isn't an appropriate and available larger wheel size to even approximate how a 622 or 630 wheel behaves on a smaller bike for larger bikes. Its all about proportionality. How is the wheel size proportional to the frame size and the size of the cyclist.

How a given wheel size fits one cyclist on a given bicycle frame size has NOTHING to do with how another size bicycle will ride and perform wit that same wheel. The more movement in bicycle size one makes towards very small bicycles and very large bicycles, the more absurd any comparison becomes, to the point they almost become nonsensical.

Many cyclists, media members, and cult personalities in the cycling community have trouble separating rational thought from the romantic projections they wish to make and the emotionally loaded connotations they attempt to paint their narrative with. They would have you believe that everything that was old is better, and what once was and lost is always superior to what is and available.

The reality is that different wheel sizes behave differently for different sized people, and different sized bikes.

This is true in both the mountain and road bike world. The false narrative that everybody is best served on 584mm wheels (650b) for mountain bikes has more to do with distributors, shops, and manufacturers NOT wanting to deal with multiple wheel sizes. Just as they want everyone riding 175mm cranks, they pretty much want everyone on the same size wheels. A Mini Cooper car and a Dodge Viper do not share the same rim sizes. A Smart car does not use the same size rim as Jeep Wrangler with big off road tires.

A woman riding a 15" mountain bike frame on 29" wheels will not experience the same geometry, rolling characteristics, and performance as a 6'6" man riding on a 23" 29er. Same size wheels, but different sized people and frames. The small woman's bike will have goofy geometry issues trying to accommodate that large a wheel. The big man bike has no issues whatsoever. Build similar frames on a tiny little 559 (26" wheels) and how they each perform, and behave under each respective cyclists bike is glaringly different.

Only fools, and Jan Heine, try to make sweeping general statements about wheel sizes. Anyone intelligent realizes that wheel size and performance, bike handling, and "planing" are a function of proportionality.

For road bikes I prefer to keep almost every bike we own on 630 wheels. They roll marginally better over road irregularities, and theoretically spin fast easier do to the larger flywheel effect. They also should marginally be slightly more difficult to spin up. You can find wide tires in 27"/630, even in bombproof belted touring tires out to 630-32 sizes. How wide do you need?

Look for Panaracer, Schwalbe and occasionally you can even find stockists with Continentals. I much prefer Panaracer Tourguard to my Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I'm not a fan of super light weight tires like the Panaracer Paselas, but lots of people, even on use them in 630/27" for tandems, touring, and on brevets. There is no sacred cow at 584mm.
Hey, where is the box jackazz?
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Old 03-28-16, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1
Hey, where is the box jackazz?
Buried under a mountain of ire.
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Old 03-28-16, 12:38 PM
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To reply to mtnbk, I'm a little confused. You start out saying that 650B is about vanity; then halfway down you say wheel size is about proportioality. The first statement might be true for some riders, but the second is probably true, or at least I think so. At 5'7" I ride a 53 cm frame, and 650B is just right for everyday riding and long rides where I might take a dirt road or a road with broken pavement.

You're tall and ride a large frame, and 27" or 630 fits you. There is also a wheel size with 635mm ERTO, which migh teven be better.
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Old 03-28-16, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ironwood
To reply to mtnbk, I'm a little confused. You start out saying that 650B is about vanity; then halfway down you say wheel size is about proportioality. The first statement might be true for some riders, but the second is probably true, or at least I think so. At 5'7" I ride a 53 cm frame, and 650B is just right for everyday riding and long rides where I might take a dirt road or a road with broken pavement.

You're tall and ride a large frame, and 27" or 630 fits you. There is also a wheel size with 635mm ERTO, which migh teven be better.
Please don't interact with him until he explains why he feels it is ok to steal from other forum members, only to return and pontificate as if nothing happened.....
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Old 03-28-16, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fender1
Please don't interact with him until he explains why he feels it is ok to steal from other forum members, only to return and pontificate as if nothing happened.....
I guess I haven't come across him on this forum, and on re-reading his post, he does seem a little excited about the size of a bicycle wheel rim.
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Old 03-28-16, 12:53 PM
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I just checked my I.L. and found I've entered 8 names since I joined BF. AFAIK nobody would say I'm especially mature, certainly not growing more so. However I refuse to read, let alone be bothered, by someone who chooses to be offensive intentionally.
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Old 03-28-16, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pcb
A lot of good points here, but I do want to provide a different perspective on point #5 regarding 650b conversions. I know there are a lot of variables involved, but I've never been able to fit 650bx38mm tires into any frames I had that were maxed out at 700x25mm. My rough rule of thumb is that I'll fit no more than about 8mm wider rubber going from 700c to 650b. rando_couche's "built for 700x25c" might be less restrictive than what I'm talking about, which is the absolute widest tire that will fit w/o rubbing. If 30mm rubs, 25mm gives you 2.5mm max clearance at the tight spot. That's about as tight as I'll go.
Cannondale has 650b wheels on their new front suspension Slate road bike with 42c tires. They say it's because it comes out to the same diameter as 700/23c and they can fit a bigger tire while keeping the race geometry.
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Old 03-28-16, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbke
The 650b thing is almost entirely vanity.

First if we call wheels sizes by what they are, instead of sticking with French naming conventions like 650b and 700c (the entire point of which is meaningless today as different tires in a given size do distinctly produce different circumference rolling wheels, which defeats the ENTIRE purpose of that naming convention) if we actually talk about wheel sizes in the following intelligent manner, ISO:

559 - 26" Mountain bike standard
584 - pretentious Randonneur/tandem/touring size (650b)
622 - road race standard (700c)
630 - slightly larger than 622, marginally rolls smoother & marginally spins "faster" (think larger flywheel) on flat ground

something interesting happens. What happens is that certain wheel sizes STOP having romantic projections of being Euro, and just become a given size. Think about it like this. If you have a bunch of metric sockets its absurd to think about the 10mm socket as being Pro's Pro and Euro, while the 12mm is just a workhorse socket you really don't want to use. You use the damn socket that is appropriate for the bolt. In cycling a bunch on buffoons who rely largely on pretense and sophistry who worship at the alter of French constructeur bikes believe there is something magical about a given wheel size. Taken to the nth degree becoming the actual Emperor's clothes (when he's naked) this narrative is best portrayed by Jan Heine talking about how a given wheel (bike) "planes" which is just complete and utter nonsense.

There is no arbitrarily magical wheel size for tandems/touring/randonneuring. Someone that proportionally fits a 49cm bike and someone who proportionately fits a 63cm bike can both find bikes in those sizes, stock by countless nameplates. However, how bikes in those sizes actually ride, if the frame builder were to build different frames (for a given bicycle size), for different wheel sizes will be…(wait for it) COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from one another.

Which is something any intelligent person realizes. Jan is trying to sell his cult a mythology that often requires a suspension of rational thought. There is nothing magical about the 584 wheel size. Its all about proportionality.

Believe it or not a 630/622 wheel size ends up being "smaller" on large frames (68cm/27" touring sizes) than even 584 wheels would be on a smaller touring bike. There isn't an appropriate and available larger wheel size to even approximate how a 622 or 630 wheel behaves on a smaller bike for larger bikes. Its all about proportionality. How is the wheel size proportional to the frame size and the size of the cyclist.

How a given wheel size fits one cyclist on a given bicycle frame size has NOTHING to do with how another size bicycle will ride and perform wit that same wheel. The more movement in bicycle size one makes towards very small bicycles and very large bicycles, the more absurd any comparison becomes, to the point they almost become nonsensical.

Many cyclists, media members, and cult personalities in the cycling community have trouble separating rational thought from the romantic projections they wish to make and the emotionally loaded connotations they attempt to paint their narrative with. They would have you believe that everything that was old is better, and what once was and lost is always superior to what is and available.

The reality is that different wheel sizes behave differently for different sized people, and different sized bikes.

This is true in both the mountain and road bike world. The false narrative that everybody is best served on 584mm wheels (650b) for mountain bikes has more to do with distributors, shops, and manufacturers NOT wanting to deal with multiple wheel sizes. Just as they want everyone riding 175mm cranks, they pretty much want everyone on the same size wheels. A Mini Cooper car and a Dodge Viper do not share the same rim sizes. A Smart car does not use the same size rim as Jeep Wrangler with big off road tires.

A woman riding a 15" mountain bike frame on 29" wheels will not experience the same geometry, rolling characteristics, and performance as a 6'6" man riding on a 23" 29er. Same size wheels, but different sized people and frames. The small woman's bike will have goofy geometry issues trying to accommodate that large a wheel. The big man bike has no issues whatsoever. Build similar frames on a tiny little 559 (26" wheels) and how they each perform, and behave under each respective cyclists bike is glaringly different.

Only fools, and Jan Heine, try to make sweeping general statements about wheel sizes. Anyone intelligent realizes that wheel size and performance, bike handling, and "planing" are a function of proportionality.

For road bikes I prefer to keep almost every bike we own on 630 wheels. They roll marginally better over road irregularities, and theoretically spin fast easier do to the larger flywheel effect. They also should marginally be slightly more difficult to spin up. You can find wide tires in 27"/630, even in bombproof belted touring tires out to 630-32 sizes. How wide do you need?

Look for Panaracer, Schwalbe and occasionally you can even find stockists with Continentals. I much prefer Panaracer Tourguard to my Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I'm not a fan of super light weight tires like the Panaracer Paselas, but lots of people, even on use them in 630/27" for tandems, touring, and on brevets. There is no sacred cow at 584mm.
Has anybody met this guy in person and liked him? I really want to know. Because wow.

DD
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Old 03-28-16, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I just checked my I.L. and found I've entered 8 names since I joined BF. AFAIK nobody would say I'm especially mature, certainly not growing more so. However I refuse to read, let alone be bothered, by someone who chooses to be offensive intentionally.
+1
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Old 03-28-16, 02:58 PM
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And, finally, the one and only correct answer to the question "Why650b".

Just to piss 'em off.
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Old 03-28-16, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
+1
Hey, gugie, are you saying +1 that I'm not mature or that I' not growing more so?

Of course this has nothing to do with 650B. Well, almost nothing. So far 650B has been on my Ignore List. But I do know someone with a very nice 650B bike.
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Old 03-28-16, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Hey, gugie, are you saying +1 that I'm not mature or that I' not growing more so?

Of course this has nothing to do with 650B. Well, almost nothing. So far 650B has been on my Ignore List. But I do know someone with a very nice 650B bike.
Hey, some of my best friends ride 700c!

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Old 03-28-16, 03:40 PM
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650b for my Tomii, because Nao said so.

Guys like Tomii and Chapman use 650b, good enough for me!
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Old 03-28-16, 03:44 PM
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I ride 650B because that's what came on the bike. It would be really expensive to change them for something else.
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Old 03-28-16, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
Has anybody met this guy in person and liked him? I really want to know. Because wow.

DD
Because no, thanks!
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Old 03-28-16, 05:42 PM
  #74  
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Since you could successfully make a bicycle for any size of person above 7 years old, built around 20" wheels, and it would probably be lighter, the better question might be why are there larger sizes?
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Old 03-28-16, 05:57 PM
  #75  
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I want to be vain and have romantic feelings towards my wheels. Darn.
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