How important do you think the wheel size and Nokia tyres are to the ride?
I notice that Geoff has used 26"/559, 650B/584mm and 29er/622mm over the years.
Clearly, when the Range Rider etc were originally built, there was little or no choice of fat tyre, and the 650B Nokia filled the void.
With the larger choice of 559 and 622 tyres aroung these days, should we still encourage Kenda, Pacenti, Velocity etc and the US 650B revival? It doesn't seem to have got rolling enough yet not to be more than a woolly romaticict revival in the US, but might be useful to the Cleland/Highpath project. http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/p ... ires-11794http://www.freewebs.com/650b/http://www.650bpalace.blogspot.com/http://650b.com/http://twentynineinches.com/cats/rogue-wheels/650b/
It would be sweet if 650B returned as a popular mountainbike size, after that original Kelly/Fisher enquiry was unearthed
The wheel size depends on the use of the bike, with smaller wheels better for technical and trials riding and big wheels for long distance touring or riding on soft terrain.
The original 650B Nokia tyres were heavy but could be run at much lower pressures (-15psi) than other mountain bike tyres and never pinch punctured. We used to think this was because of the thick sidewalls, however recent research has shown this was not the reason. The true reason was related to the size of the inner-tubes relative to the tyre. An uninflated Nokia tube was the same size as its tyre, and all the pressure went instantly into supporting the sidewall. Tubes that are narrower than their tyres can in fact use up 15psi before the tube even touches the sidewall.
With modern tyres you can run low pressure tyre and tube combinations that are half the weight of the old 650b Nokia ones, have more lateral stability, lower rolling resistance and can hold the big air volumes needed for rocky terrain.
I have been running some 650b Schwalbe' Racing Ralph tyres and wide thin tubes on my 1988 Highpath Cleland since July, with no problems. At 7psi front and 15psi rear the lower rolling resistance has given the old bike a new lease of life. I can even keep up with mountain bikes whilst running low pressures on the road. The old Nokia tyres were never great on hard smooth surfaces and the on-road drag was always a problem even when running higher pressures. I recommend puncture sealant which works better in un-streched inner-tubes as any hole will not stretch or split. So far I have had no issues with pinch punctures and will swap to using thicker downhill tubes, if ever I do.