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1936 Model C 650B


In keeping with the latest trend to new wheel sizes I thought I'd see what could be done with the original 26' clunker. Back in 1976/1977 when I shared a house with Gary Fisher and Charley Kelly we would occasionally sit around the living room talking about the bikes, etc. Both of them rode road bikes and were comfortable on the 700c wheel. Gary really didn't like the idea that the clunkers we were riding had 26" wheels. Kids bike wheels. We all thought briefly about 650b wheels but didn't know enough about what tires there were. In 76 that would be a road tire of some sort. We even considered small MC front wheels, like maybe off a Zundapp 100cc trials bike or such. In the end the only knobby tire was the 26X2.125 and that became the MTB size. Gary had to wait.

Now, with much thanks to Mr. Pacenti there are tires available in the 'new' 27.5/650b wheelsize. A borrowed wheelset showed me how easy it would be to fit them on. I already had these WTB cantilevers on the bike. They easily handle the larger rim. A trip to ebay found me a Kinesis fork (aluminum) that is an easy fit. All the new 650b mountainbike rims have no sidewall braking surface and are 32 holes. Usually black. I wanted rim braking and 36 holes for my Suzue hubs.

These Zac19 Weinmanns work okay and aren't much different from what was around back then. So with very little effort this bike is reborn. It is smoother, faster and much lighter than this bike with 26" wheels The feel is all the good stuff we get with a 29er. Even the fork offers better handling on this frame than the Tange 1200 does. The BB is at 12 3/4". I haven't weighed it yet but it feels under 30 lbs. Ridden by a good rider this bike could surprise a few people. Too bad it couldn't have happened back in the day.

To compare this bike to its' old self check the 'gray hybrid' page.

Contact me at: RepackPioneer@aol.com