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Old 07-28-08, 02:23 PM   #1
Noah Scape
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Is there a future for 650B?

I noticed that QBP has discontinued distribution of the Rivendell Bleriot. That endeavor was pretty short-lived. Anyone know the story behind this? Is there a future for 650B?
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Old 07-28-08, 03:45 PM   #2
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I remember when 650s were just coming into popularity their need was questioned as the 26" wheel was already a standard and the 650s not a whole lot different. Maybe like Betamax; fine for what it was but something else won out in the end? Seemed to be a solution looking for a problem to me, but then I don't mind 27" wheels.
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Old 07-28-08, 04:13 PM   #3
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According to Grant Peterson, the situation didn't have to do with the future of 650B but with his annoyance about being undersold by online retailers. You can read his statement here.

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Old 07-28-08, 05:26 PM   #4
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According to Grant PetersEn, the situation didn't have to do with the future of 650B but with his annoyance about being undersold...
That's really funny. Ever try and work with Grant? For money?
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Old 07-28-08, 05:27 PM   #5
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I noticed that QBP has discontinued distribution of the Rivendell Bleriot. That endeavor was pretty short-lived. Anyone know the story behind this? Is there a future for 650B?
Oh sorry, I thought you were talking about the tire size, not a frame for them.
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Old 07-28-08, 08:20 PM   #6
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I think there is a future for 650B. There are other sources for purpose built 650B bikes than Rivendell. ONe could even convert a bike.
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Old 07-28-08, 08:30 PM   #7
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Old 07-29-08, 07:01 AM   #8
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Thanks for the link, Neal. I made the assumption that they were dropped by QBP because they weren’t selling well. What exactly is his beef? Are they selling Bleriot out of the Riv catalog and he doesn’t like them undercutting his price? I’m not sure what he was expecting out of this partnership with QBP. Welcome to the free (or perhaps flea) market!
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Old 07-29-08, 08:43 AM   #9
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Are they selling Bleriot out of the Riv catalog and he doesn’t like them undercutting his price?
That's my sense of it, but I can't say I've been paying close attention. GP says that Rivbike will produce several substitute models, but no indication that I've seen whether or not they will be 650B.

As far as the future of 650B, that conversion is a great way to turn a 70s or 80s sport-geometry bike into a sport-tourer with cushier tires and room for fenders. I did that to a 1978 Raleigh Competition GS, and the ride is excellent.

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Old 07-29-08, 08:55 AM   #10
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I'd like a 650B bike, but as far as I know there are no puncture-resistant tires available. I'd be lucky to make it a week without a flat around here.
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Old 07-29-08, 09:02 AM   #11
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What exactly is his beef? Are they selling Bleriot out of the Riv catalog and he doesn’t like them undercutting his price?
I got the impression that his stated issue was that several dealers were using these as loss leaders and that was cheapening the brand. Seems like a pretty drastic thing to then go ahead and completely cancel the model. Plus, if you want your products to become mainstream, and more or less are always preaching that you make bikes that should suit "most" people if they weren't brainwashed by marketing, you can't just remain an elite/connosseurial brand.
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Old 07-29-08, 09:15 AM   #12
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I got the impression that his stated issue was that several dealers were using these as loss leaders and that was cheapening the brand.
Could be, but if they pay the wholesale price to the manufacturer, can't they sell at any price they choose, just like any other retailer?
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Old 07-29-08, 09:29 AM   #13
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I'd like a 650B bike, but as far as I know there are no puncture-resistant tires available. I'd be lucky to make it a week without a flat around here.
The Riv Nifty Swifty has a kevlar belt:

http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=10-082

I've never tried it, so ymwv.

Neal
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Old 07-29-08, 09:31 AM   #14
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Could be, but if they pay the wholesale price to the manufacturer, can't they sell at any price they choose, just like any other retailer?
you'd think so...
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Old 07-29-08, 09:42 AM   #15
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Could be, but if they pay the wholesale price to the manufacturer, can't they sell at any price they choose, just like any other retailer?
That's the idea, but sounds like GP didn't like the outcomes. Looks like all parties exercised their freedoms.
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Old 07-29-08, 10:52 AM   #16
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I like my sport tourer with 700c wheels just fine, thank you.
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Old 07-29-08, 11:46 AM   #17
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650B is still used on Rivendell's smaller A.Homer Hilsens and Quickbeams. Bike builders who use it include Kogswell, Velo Orange, and others.

I have a member of my bike group who requires a small frame and her Trek was designed around 650C size wheels but the tire selection is strickly skinny to super skinny and the ride is harsh. She would appreciate a 650B ride.
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Old 07-29-08, 12:00 PM   #18
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I like my sport tourer with 700c wheels just fine, thank you.
The idea is not to convert a sport-tourer to 650B, but a bike with racier geometry. I've ridden my Competition GS with 700c wheels (as it had originally) and with 650B wheels, and the ride of the latter is a whole heck of a lot different--and better, for me at least.

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Old 07-29-08, 12:16 PM   #19
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with 650B wheels, and the ride of the latter is a whole heck of a lot different--and better, for me at least.

Neal
How so? Can you describe?

Maybe we're all missing something here. I imagine the ride could be more "cushy", with a larger air volume, but I'd expect them to feel a little "slower" and "heavier" too.
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Old 07-29-08, 12:55 PM   #20
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The Riv Nifty Swifty has a kevlar belt:

http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=10-082

I've never tried it, so ymwv.

Neal
Did not know that, although the rainbow sidewall ruins it for me. I also see that Schwalbe now makes the Marathon in 650B with a Kevlar belt, but any bike I'd use 650B would be very traditional in appearance, and the Marathon isn't a skin wall. Rivendell also has a generic Schwalbe in 650B with a skinwall, but the tread looks like their standard, low performance tire which wouldn't cut it (I have a 27" set on my Miyata and they aren't even mediocre) Guess I could use some sort of Kevlar tire liner, though.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:04 PM   #21
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A question for the 650b supporters out there? When GT put out the 700d tire & wheel combo it was shot down as not nessassary, nor usefull. But now that it is more in line with the sceptics thoughts a wheel size between 26 & 700 is a great idea. Just a thought as I was riding the GT Quatrafoil tandem this weekend.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:04 PM   #22
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650B is still used on Rivendell's smaller A.Homer Hilsens and Quickbeams. Bike builders who use it include Kogswell, Velo Orange, and others.

I have a member of my bike group who requires a small frame and her Trek was designed around 650C size wheels but the tire selection is strickly skinny to super skinny and the ride is harsh. She would appreciate a 650B ride.
I was going to mention those two exactly.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:20 PM   #23
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How so? Can you describe?

Maybe we're all missing something here. I imagine the ride could be more "cushy", with a larger air volume, but I'd expect them to feel a little "slower" and "heavier" too.
I have 3 bikes with 650B wheels, two of which are conversions (a 70s St. Etienne, which I run as a single-speed commuter, and the Competition GS) and one designed around that wheel (Kogswell P/R). I'm running three different kinds of tires, so the comparison is a bit complicated, but none feels particularly slow and heavy, and the ride is much smoother than on skinny tires. Have you read the Bike Quarterly tire test articles? Interesting stuff, leading to the conclusion that wider does not have to mean slower/heavier.

Then again, I'm not sure I go particularly fast on any of my bikes!

Neal
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Old 07-29-08, 01:37 PM   #24
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Have you read the Bike Quarterly tire test articles? Interesting stuff, leading to the conclusion that wider does not have to mean slower/heavier.

Neal

No, that's why I asked.

My only experience with bigger tires is balloon tire bikes as a kid (it was ALL fun), and mountain bikes, which I never really cared for after the novelty wore off, especially on the road. I did run some large Avocet slicks on a Raleigh International for a few years that I liked...

I'm certainly not very fast anymore...
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Old 07-29-08, 03:49 PM   #25
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I got the impression that his stated issue was that several dealers were using these as loss leaders and that was cheapening the brand. Seems like a pretty drastic thing to then go ahead and completely cancel the model. Plus, if you want your products to become mainstream, and more or less are always preaching that you make bikes that should suit "most" people if they weren't brainwashed by marketing, you can't just remain an elite/connosseurial brand.
I agree... the logic confounds me.
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