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Kogswell Randonneur/Porteur

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Kogswell Randonneur/Porteur

Old 04-10-06, 07:54 AM
  #1  
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Kogswell Randonneur/Porteur

I'm really digging this thing.

I sure would like to see a full build of it. I almost feel like if I had one of these I could drop 3 bikes from my collection, and replace them with a Porteur set up as my one do it all utility bike.

I'm not really sure about the choice of 650b wheels though. With the vast choices out there in 26" wheels, why would one want to use an almost extinct wheel size with few tires available? That doesn't seem very utilitarian.

I'm also wondering what happened to the rest of the Kogswells. I think there used to be at least 3 different models on the site. now with the addition of the Porteur, there are only 2. Maybe he just can't afford to do the new models and retain the old ones.

Also is it just me or has Matthew dropped lugs? The lugs were the primary attraction for me, but up 'till now he didn't have the geometry I was looking for. Now it looks like he has a trackier fixee as well as the Porteur. Both nice designs, but apparently not lugged.

Anyway, I can't wait to see a few of these get out into the wild, and see what people do with em. they look like great bikes. I'd do one.
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Old 04-10-06, 08:36 AM
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Kogswell is trying to keep one step ahead of the hipsters by resurrecting the 650B. The 650B is 584 mm( ISO BDS) while the 700C is 622mm(ISO BSD).
https://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

My guess is that Kogswell's website is just set up to promote the new frame; you should send them an e-mail about the others. Why wouldn't they build you one if you wanted to buy one?
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Old 04-10-06, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by bbattle
Why wouldn't they build you one if you wanted to buy one?
He orders them in batches from a Taiwan (I think) frame shop. I assume it's a rather large cash outlay to get a batch, so it may be that the old frame styles are out of stock, and he didn't order more so's to spend available cash on the new frame. If that's the case I think it was a good decision, because I'm digging the Porteur.
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Old 04-10-06, 08:50 AM
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I find these kinds of statements to be scary: "We've been looking for a bike that fits everyone and does everything and we think this one might be it."

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Old 04-10-06, 09:06 AM
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Rivendell also make a 650B frame... Maybe Kogswell is trying to pick up those folks who want a Riv but don't drive a BMW?

Still waiting on the Kogswell track frame...
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Old 04-10-06, 09:48 AM
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Looks a lot like my Surly LHT - super easy to ride.
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Old 04-10-06, 09:49 AM
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Still no one can say what is so great about the 650B size that one would put up with such a limited selection of tires and rims?

650B is halfway between 700c, and 26" or 650c. With 3 common sizes to chose from why resurrect a nearly extinct size? the 650B is 13mm larger than 650C. That's like the difference between 700c, and 27" )give or take the thickness of a nickel.

I'm loving the idea of a modern Porteur, but then why not use modern tire sizes? Looks likeit's designed for a 1 1/8" threadless headset which I think makes sense. Maybe there is some great advantage to 650B tire but I don't know what it is
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Old 04-10-06, 09:58 AM
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^^^^ Please dont kill me....*gULp* Redline 925 *c0fF*c0Ff*

The Rivendell page says that 650's are good for get frame
dimensions you cant get with a 700.
I personally wish they mde 750's
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Old 04-10-06, 10:14 AM
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a little off topic.. but does anyone know when the model M is going to be made again?
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Old 04-10-06, 10:19 AM
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Pretty cool (especially the matching fenders). My Bridgestone XO-2 seems like it would be pretty easy to convert if I wanted to do the 650b thing though.
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Old 04-10-06, 10:47 AM
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I really like Kogswell's stuff, but I wish he would come out with the Track frame soon. This is interesting though.
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Old 04-10-06, 11:34 AM
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Grant Petersen at rivendell and lots of folks on the rivendell list could tell you all about the benefits of 650B. I think that it makes frame building a little easier in smaller sizes (no tco) and folks seem to like the ride it gives. Grant and Matthew (from Kogswell) have done quite a bit to resurrect the size, as now QBP (surly) has picked up a Grant-designed bike to be sourced in Taiwan and sold through QBP retailers (this means basically every bike shop in the US.) Velocity (and a couple others) makes rims in 650B now, and there are a few tires still made (and more on the way.) With QBP backing (they're the largest gorilla in the industry, and friendly too), there will always be available rims and tires, so that really shouldn't keep anyone away from the bike...you can also probably run 26" w/ long reach brakes in an emergency.
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Old 04-10-06, 12:08 PM
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From : La Confrérie des 650, a french group that hopes to preserve the 650B tire/rim size:

Advantages:

- Excellent balance between comfort - sturdiness - performance - manoeuvrability - stability

- Stronger and more rigid than 700 wheels and lighter.

- Increase in comfort whilst maintaining the performance, being able to increase tyre size without having to inflate hard.

- More inherent strength due to installation of heavier tyres rather than the use of smaller sections.

- Better control, especially on descents due to the lower centre of gravity and tyre grip.

- Safer handling with direction change due to the gyroscopic effect of the smaller wheel diameter.

- More aesthetic and attractive with small frames.


Sounds a bit like the stuff Moulton riders talk about. That small-wheel biz has always seemed a little nutty to me. "Our tiny wheels, with their harsh, unstable ride, bearings working overtime, annoyingly unavailable parts and goony look, are FAR SUPERIOR to your yankee pigdog 700c boo-shizz..".

They've got a point, though- The 650B rims are quite wide, wider even than most MTB rims, if I remember correctly. The tires are thus able to have a much more relaxed curve in cross section- think a "C" shape rather than "I'm crushing your head! Crush crush!".

This would seem to lead itself to less tire-rolling-off-the-bead spills, a little less side-to-side flexion, and a more comfy ride- the tires would have less inbuilt tension. A whoole lot of air going on in there.

As far as the spares thing goes, as long as you keep yourself a couple of tires ahead of the reaper and are quick on your online reorder finger, I can't imagine scarcity'd be much of a prob.
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Old 04-10-06, 12:09 PM
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Just reading Grants description of the available tires, and loved this little gem: "It's still a full 30mm wide, so it's not like it's a hard skinny dumb tire"

Yeah, because any tire less than 30mm wide is just dumb!

I'm sorry, I'm not really a boy racer, or anything. I've run smooth tires as wide as 2.25 inches, but I keep going narrower, and narrower. I understand the tradeoff of using a 25 instead of a 32, and that may just be why a bike like the Porteur or Saluki may be appealing for the times I want to run a higher volume/lower pressure fatter tire. I can ride 25s on rutted muddy roads. It wouldn't be my preference, but then neither would 32s be on smooth pavement. But doesn't it strike anyone else as hypocritical for someone trying to get folks to be open minded about an oddball tire sizing to go around calling anything narrower than 30mm "stupid".
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Old 04-10-06, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mattface
Just reading Grants description of the available tires, and loved this little gem: "It's still a full 30mm wide, so it's not like it's a hard skinny dumb tire"

Yeah, because any tire less than 30mm wide is just dumb!

I'm sorry, I'm not really a boy racer, or anything. I've run smooth tires as wide as 2.25 inches, but I keep going narrower, and narrower. I understand the tradeoff of using a 25 instead of a 32, and that may just be why a bike like the Porteur or Saluki may be appealing for the times I want to run a higher volume/lower pressure fatter tire. I can ride 25s on rutted muddy roads. It wouldn't be my preference, but then neither would 32s be on smooth pavement. But doesn't it strike anyone else as hypocritical for someone trying to get folks to be open minded about an oddball tire sizing to go around calling anything narrower than 30mm "stupid".
I think it's better to have the frame clearance for bigger tires and not need it than need it and not have it, but yeah. Skinny tires have their place.

I think most of the field in Paris-Roubaix was riding 700x25s. That's nuts to me, but so is that race.
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Old 04-10-06, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by redcurrycelt
As far as the spares thing goes, as long as you keep yourself a couple of tires ahead of the reaper and are quick on your online reorder finger, I can't imagine scarcity'd be much of a prob.
As long as the prices don't put you off. Their "not stupid skinny" 650b x 32 tire costs $55 each their least expensive 650b x 44 is $27 Harris has a Kenda 650x44b for $25. Now I like Kendas just fine, but I've never spent more than $10-15 for one.

I'm not meaning to knock the size, I just wish I could understand why it's better than the standard sizes. The La Confrérie des 650 examples all give a good explanation of why they are better than 700c, but following that logic, 26" MTB standard wheels would be better than 650b. I also get the impression it's some sort of euro-elitist thing. Like 26" wheels are ok for Mountain bikes and old Schwinn Phantoms, but my French inspired Tiawanese (or Japanese) made frame must have a jenyouwine fronch tire zize!
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Old 04-10-06, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mattface
I'm really digging this thing.

I sure would like to see a full build of it. I almost feel like if I had one of these I could drop 3 bikes from my collection, and replace them with a Porteur set up as my one do it all utility bike.

I'm not really sure about the choice of 650b wheels though. With the vast choices out there in 26" wheels, why would one want to use an almost extinct wheel size with few tires available? That doesn't seem very utilitarian.

I'm also wondering what happened to the rest of the Kogswells. I think there used to be at least 3 different models on the site. now with the addition of the Porteur, there are only 2. Maybe he just can't afford to do the new models and retain the old ones.

Also is it just me or has Matthew dropped lugs? The lugs were the primary attraction for me, but up 'till now he didn't have the geometry I was looking for. Now it looks like he has a trackier fixee as well as the Porteur. Both nice designs, but apparently not lugged.

Anyway, I can't wait to see a few of these get out into the wild, and see what people do with em. they look like great bikes. I'd do one.
You can see some pictures of one of the prototypes built up here: https://phred.org/~alex/pictures/bikes/kogswell-porteur/

I just ordered one 2 weeks ago - I'm really excited by it. 650B availability is really not an issue anymore, especially not with Sun making rims and QBP carrying them and tires. If you want to read all the heated debate about 650B you can stomach and then a whole lot more, just go search the iBOB archives.

Yup, the Porteur is TIG'd. Probably there aren't any lugs available to suit the geometry. The fork is crowned though.

It looks like Kogswell's business model seems to be that every frame is basically a one-off - I don't think there's any re-ordering involved. They're all made in Taiwan, so you can't exactly have a single frame made and shipped over.

Anyway, I can't wait for mine. It's being offered with your choice of three different forks with different amounts of trail - I bought 2 of the three forks, and I'm going to set one up for load-carrying and the other for distance riding.
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Old 04-10-06, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mattface
As long as the prices don't put you off. Their "not stupid skinny" 650b x 32 tire costs $55 each their least expensive 650b x 44 is $27 Harris has a Kenda 650x44b for $25. Now I like Kendas just fine, but I've never spent more than $10-15 for one.
Just FYI, Nashbar's carrying a 584x40 Kenda for $15. Just search for 650B.
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Old 04-11-06, 03:41 AM
  #19  
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Our business model is that we get bored easy and want to try new stuff and improve on old stuff. That and the frames we build don't seem to stay in stock long.

We like lugs. We're developing new ones. And we like TIG too. TIG is a big joke to many. But we see the benefits of welded frames and we want to stuff as many of those benefits as we can into each TIG'd frame and bring them to market at a price that is people can afford. Lowering the cost also allows us to make them more attractive to dealers. And it's working. Dealer sales are strong and improving.

Jan Heine of Vintage Bicycle Quarterly designed this frame based on his experience with Golden Age bikes. He chose 650B as the proper size for the wheels and having ridden them, I can see why.

There are some really good reasons to choose 650B. The fat tires roll over uneven surfaces like crumbling urban pavement with a marshmallow smooth ride. Yes, you can do that with 700c and 559s, but my experience is that they're too big and too small and the 650B is JUST RIGHT. The next thing that makes a big difference is Toe Clip Clearance. Even with fenders in place, you just don't get any overlap. So 650B is a 'big wheel with no overlap'.

Velocity, Sun/Ringle and Panaracer are ACTIVELY producing new 650B components and QBP is stocking them.

We're pushing the production of 650B rims and tires in Taiwan. If you need 650B rims, we'll have them soon at typical Kogswell value levels. My guess is about $16 for a rim w/ CNC'd sides and eyelets.

We have some nice DURO tires on order too. Fat 40mm tires with black skinwalls for those who don't like how tan skinwalls look after you use them. They're gonna be about $10/tire. 550g.

The last thing we want to do is make stuff that costs a ton of money. We've been able to keep costs down in the past and we're holding the line. Having to buy a thousand rims at a time is a big investment and a gamble. But I'm optimistic. I'm put'n my money where my mouth is. I've been converted. Other, serious cyclists have too. I think you'll like them, mattface. Ping me when the rims/tires get here and I'll send you a set so that you can try them yourself and report back. This isn't about the money. It's about putting people on bikes that work.

The new fixee program is on hold while we get the P/R (Porteur/Randonneur) rolling. There were/are a million little things to do to get this new model into production. The fenders, for example, are custom turned for this frame. And we did extensive geometry testing in order to get the ride just right. Jan, Mark Vande Kamp and Alex Wetmore ran a 3-bike test and you can read Jan's results here:

https://kogswell.com/testPR.pdf

I think that covers it.

Frame, your choice of fork, cartridge headset, Kalloy seat post, fenders painted to match the frame - under $500.

650B wheels under $150. And we have a new 50x34 110 BCD krankset coming. About $70 w/ BB. Samples of the new krank and the production fenders (which cover more) are due in soon. I'll post photos then. We're trying to make this a frameset that you can build up easily using stuff you have left over in your parts box.

Glad you all like it. Thanks a ton for the positive comments. It isn't the bike for everyone. But the seven testers who got prototypes all seem to be riding them regularly if not daily. These are serious cyclists and for this bike to appeal to them is... significant.

Here's a blueprint of the 59cm frame if you're interested.

https://kogswell.com/PR590.pdf

Oh, I pick up my 650B fixee wheel on Friday. Ask me about it on Saturday.

And if you live in The Twin Cities, a prototype frame is on display at the Jim and Keith's new Hiawatha Cyclery on 54th in South Minne. It's just a little west of Hwy. 55, on 54th. The 4200 block if memory serves me. Turn at the VA hospital. If you haven't been into Hiawatha, it's worth the trip. Jim and Keith are seriously good guys.

And the next edition of Vintage Bicycle Quarterly that was mailed yesterday will feature this bike in an article about geometry. If you don't subscribe to VBQ, give it some thought. I think it's the best English language magazine going. If nothing else, get your local library to subscribe. And get them to buy a copy of Jan's book, The Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles:

https://www.vintagebicyclepress.com/g...timonials.html

The ISBN number is 0976546000. Everyone who has asked a library to get it has been happily surprised to find that, in the Internet Age, library book-buying budgets go largely unused and that librarians are HAPPY to buy a book when asked. Trust me. You want to read this book.


Porteur racing in Paris, 1950 - the roots of alleycatting. Want to know more? Click here.


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Old 04-11-06, 08:12 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by mattface
must have a jenyouwine fronch tire zize!
Haha
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Old 04-11-06, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Kogswell
We're pushing the production of 650B rims and tires in Taiwan. If you need 650B rims, we'll have them soon at typical Kogswell value levels. My guess is about $16 for a rim w/ CNC'd sides and eyelets.
Holy krap - at that price, I'd probably have three wheelsets
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Old 04-11-06, 09:09 AM
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Wow! What an informative post Matthew! Thanks for all that, and I'm glad to see you've apparently got the availability concerns covered. That Porteur racing photo brings to mind another thing I was wondering about. Will you have front racks available for the Porteur fork?
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Old 04-11-06, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mattface
Still no one can say what is so great about the 650B size that one would put up with such a limited selection of tires and rims?

650B is halfway between 700c, and 26" or 650c. With 3 common sizes to chose from why resurrect a nearly extinct size? the 650B is 13mm larger than 650C. That's like the difference between 700c, and 27" )give or take the thickness of a nickel.

I'm loving the idea of a modern Porteur, but then why not use modern tire sizes? Looks likeit's designed for a 1 1/8" threadless headset which I think makes sense. Maybe there is some great advantage to 650B tire but I don't know what it is
Rivendell likes the intermediate size for their mixte's and touring bikes. They like to put fat tires on everything and the 650B allows them to do that.
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Old 04-11-06, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mattface
Wow! What an informative post Matthew! Thanks for all that, and I'm glad to see you've apparently got the availability concerns covered. That Porteur racing photo brings to mind another thing I was wondering about. Will you have front racks available for the Porteur fork?
There will be a large Porteur rack and a smaller Randonneur rack.

If you use the Porteur rack fully loaded, we recommend (read insist) that you use the 30mm fork. It is built more substantially. Jan thinks the 30mm fork is best for randonneuring. We think the lighter 40mm fork works just fine.
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Old 04-11-06, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kogswell
There will be a large Porteur rack and a smaller Randonneur rack.

If you use the Porteur rack fully loaded, we recommend (read insist) that you use the 30mm fork. It is built more substantially. Jan thinks the 30mm fork is best for randonneuring. We think the lighter 40mm fork works just fine.
Cool. I routinely put 30lbs of groceries on the back of my old 10 speed shopping cart bike.(and yes it does handle like crap like that the wire panniers make the thing top heavy even unloaded) I want something I can load heavily front and back, so I'd be looking at the 30mm fork and the big rack for sure.
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