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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:29 am 
retrobike rider
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was8v wrote:
GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
But by 1979 they were making bicycle tyres as wide as 54mm, reportedly for Finnish Army use.


So the Finnish army invented the 650B "off road" push bike in 1979 (?)

Any pics of these bikes?


The history of army push bikes for all-terrain use go back many decades before 1979. They were used in many countries including Finland. Generally speaking they differed little from mainstream bicycles apart from being strongly and reliably constructed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_infantry

From reading about cycling in Finland, I get the impression that their was some kind of tradition of using fat large diameter tyres. This was probably as a consequence of people riding across rough frozen ground in Wintertime. There was also a long tradition if manufacturing specialist aggressively treaded vehicle tyres, for use on snow and ice.

In 1975 these tradditions came together with the introduction of knobbly Hakkapeliitta snow tyres for bicycles.

These tyres were produced for all types of cyclists and in a wide range of sizes. By 1979/80 they had introduced balloon tyre variants including 650b x 54mm and the 700c x 47mm Hakkapeliittas. These probably fitted existing bikes designed for similar sizes of balloon tyres but with road going tread patterns. These may have included army bikes. In the early 1980's Geoff Apps tried to persuade them to make some 700c x 54mm Hakkapeliittas. But unfortunately they were not interested.


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File comment: Finnish Army Bicycles
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File comment: Finnish Army Bicycle
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:55 am 
retrobike rider
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My wife's great-grandad (I believe) was part of the army corps in WW1 - can't imagine there were that many roads left on the western front. And no, I don't know anything about the bike. :)

(Sure this ties in with something I remember Mr Kelly writing on here once (and appologies if I'm incorrect in this and I'm certainly paraphrasing) but essentially all cycling was off road originally as the roads that we know now simply didn't exist when the bicycle was first invented).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:30 pm 
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A bit on the side, but I thought I should add a couple of links to early Military biking units:

http://www.25thlondon.com/index.htm

A British, London based Battalion and

http://www.nrhc.org/history/25thInfantry.html

"5 Infantry regiment out of Missoula. This fellows are complete with framebags etcetera.

I find both sides very interesting. The US fellows was used for experiements with these new founded machines and undertook a rather long journey as a Unit and over terrain. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:42 pm 
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
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interesting information, but who really cares. the guys doing repack made mtb/atb whatever you want to call them, popular! thats why most of us are here now, who cares who "invernted" it. we will never fully know because a guy riding on a field may be classed as inventing cyclocross.........think about it


ive riden for years, thank charlie, pat, gary etc for bringing mtb to the masses, if johny uk rode in there them hills 20 years earlier, bully for them, but dont start whining when someone else says they invented first, as they actually did do something about it.

not nagging but can we please put this to rest.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:59 pm 
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i was riding my kiddy cycle over jumps and pulling wheelies in 1976, did I invent Freestyle ?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Parallel evolution in other parts of the world, and other parts of the US, does not detract from what the Repack crew represent.

It is all part of the patchwork contributing to the whole, and researching the various hotspots of progress seems to be worthy, given that anyone who had passed near enough to smell the brakes on a Repack bike will eventually get their acknowledgement somewhere.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:43 pm 
retrobike rider
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longun wrote:
... who cares who "invernted" it.

not nagging but can we please put this to rest.


I think that you are missing the point. This thread is about the rich history of 650b off-road cycling that did not lead on to modern 650b mountain bikes.

All the bikes mentioned here belong to 650b lineages that effectively died out. I know of no evidence that these earlier bikes link in any way to modern 650b bikes. And that also includes the alleged 1977 650b Ritchie, despite of anything that Tom Ritchie may be attempting to claim.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:21 pm 
98+ BoTM | BoTM | PoTM Winner
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longun wrote:
...ive riden for years, thank charlie, pat, gary etc for bringing mtb to the masses, if johny uk rode in there them hills 20 years earlier, bully for them, but dont start whining when someone else says they invented first, as they actually did do something about it.

not nagging but can we please put this to rest.

But before we do, please tell us "pat" who?

GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
And that also includes the alleged 1977 650b Ritchie, despite of anything that Tom Ritchie may be attempting to claim.

RitchEY (in BOLD just because :wink: )


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:53 am 
National & North West AEC
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Great thread. Lots of really interesting information from GrahamJohnWallace and Klunkerbill especially.

It's interesting how so many ideas in cycling get re-cycled, re-invented and re-appropriated every few years.
It's great to get an insight and a reminder of what has come before.
It'd be nice if the mainstream cycling press and the industry would accurately report on such things rather than claiming all as the 'next big thing'.

But I also understand how sales and marketing work so I can understand why Tom Ritchey has apparently claimed a vague and tenuous link back to his own 650B experiments.
Backing it up with a 'replica' is a pretty good way to substantiate those claims.

Most people probably won't care, but I personally find accuracy and honesty a bit of a bonus.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:45 am 
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Credit where it's due, you cannot argue with the persuasive evidence researched and posted by GJW...

...everything else is just self-opinionated conjecture and plagiarism :wink:


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