We visited Sean Coffey at the Ritchey booth and he quickly showed us the first 650b mountain bike ever made! In 1977, Tom Ritchey built a bike for a British client to explore the farm roads and trails of England. Back then, Tom believed the 650b wheel was the ideal mountain bike wheel size but he had to stop producing bikes on this wheel size as the tires ceased to be available.
Fast forward 2012 and Ritchey is making 650b bikes again now that the rest of the world has caught up. The new bike is called the P-650b and the steel frame is available for $1100. It has classic Ritchey good looks but it has modern features like a head tube machined to take a drop-in headset. Another cool innovation is the use of a rear brake mount that is mounted on the chainstay instead of the seatstay. This is cleaner and stiffer as the brake is mounted on the already beefy chainstay structure. The seatstay can be lightened and optimized for ride quality.
- Designed for 650b/27.5″ wheels which provide bump-eating smoothness
- Heat treated, triple-butted
- Ritchey Logic II™ CrMo steel tubing throughout
- Race-proven geometry designed for use with a 100mm suspension fork
- Proprietary machined head tube with integrated cups for use with drop-in headsets – lighterand stronger than a standard head tube
- Sizes: 15, 17, 19 & 21″
- MSRP: $1,100 frame only
I asked Sean for his 650b optimized bar which is my joke for this year’s tradeshow since 650b is such a buzzword. But he actually showed me something cool. Riser bars evolved with 26ers and 29ers saw the birth of wide, flat bars. Well 650b is optimized for trail bikes so they need to be wide and low rise is ideal since the wheel is big but not that big. So they created the WCS Carbon Lo Riser bar with 15 or 20 mm of rise. And it is 740mm wide! That is plenty wide and it can be cut down in length on either the alloy or carbon version.
MSRP: WCS Carbon Low Rizer: $169.95
WCS Alloy Low Rizer Trail: $99.95