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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:15 pm 
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
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teribly sorry, mistook fairfaxpat for otis, my bad.

i do get the point but why change the history? of mountain biking?

i admit, accuracy is important but to get too caught up in it takes away the values of everyone and everything else imho, which i am intitled to :wink:

stop looking too deep for 30 odd year "rights" and get out riding :D


love you all, lets not pick fault with everyone :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:28 pm 
retrobike rider
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Google: -"1977 ritchey" 650b - and you get 291 results. This thread is not one of them.

Google - 1977 ritchey 650b - and you get 10,100 results including this thread.

99.9% of these results are reports on the remarkable revelation that Tom Ritchie made his first mountain bike not in 1979 as had previously been reported, but in 1977. They will also say that it had 650b wheels and some say that Tom Ritchey is therefore the Godfather of the new 560b wheel trend.

In a few weeks time there will be magazine articles that tell the remarkable story of the 1977 650b mountain bike that was made the year before the first recorded purpose built 26" wheeled mountain bike, the 1978 Breezer#1.

In a months time Wikipedia will report that the first purpose built mountain bike was a 560b Ritchey dating from 1977.

We could be watching history in the making.

Does this matter?
...Well no, because Nobody dies or gets injured as a consequence.

Is it true?
Well there is probably a grain of truth in the notion that Tom Ritchie made a 650 bike or two in the late 1970's. Maybee even an English Roughstuff bike for John Finley-Scott? But no evidence has been shown. Nor has any evidence emerged that the alleged 1977 bike was a mountain bike.

Using contemporary and primary sources I can prove unequivocally that Tom Ritchey and other NorCal frame-builders were making 650b mountain bikes as early as 1982. But this is a full a five years later than Ritchie's recent claim.

The problem here is that the spin and the hype are likely to overwhelm the true story. A story that is every bit as intriguing, and remains mostly untold.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:05 pm 
retrobike rider
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longun wrote:
i do get the point but why change the history? of mountain biking?


'An old truism is that History is written by the victors.'

In mountain bike history the victors used to have 26" wheels.
But now mainstream bikes also have 670b and 700c wheels.

These old extinct mountain bike wheel sizes of the past, are now evolving into the sizes of the future. And their history is now becoming part of the main stream history of mountain biking.

A new history of mountain biking that includes these bikes and their pioneers will be written. But it may take some work to weed out the fact from the fiction.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:44 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Personally I think it is most important that history, no matter how inconsequential, is recorded accurately...

...I hardly think it necessary, nor appropriate, to list here a few examples of extremist groups denying certain events within living memory ever took place; or Hollywoods' attempts to portray the USA as saviours of the world at events in which they barely participated :?

That may seem somewhat extreme itself in this context, but you cannot simply rewrite history to suit yourself; especially when it overlooks, overwrites or simply ignores the pioneering contribution of others who are more content with their own knowledge and don't feel the need to bask in someone elses limelight...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:01 pm 
Gold Trader / MacRetro rider
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We_are_Stevo wrote:
; especially when it overlooks, overwrites or simply ignores the pioneering contribution of others who are more content with their own knowledge and don't feel the need to bask in someone elses limelight...


....or don't have something to sell!

:roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:08 pm 
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
Lincs, East and South Yorks Deputy AEC
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fair point, well addressed and thank you for a well put response. i admit i had a bad day and prob jumped on the old hang up of "who", not what was invented first, and i apologies if my comments were mistaken.

so, does this mean the mainstream 26"wheel that works perfectly well :roll: lol has now officially become retro in its own right? :D


on a personal level though, as i do appreciate how the bigger wheel theory works and can be used effectively, its a shame that i truly believe now that's its being used as a gimmick to re-brand a style of mtb, regardless of its actual roots.

gimme 26" any-day :D


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:47 am 
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GrahamJohnWallace wrote:
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.


What type of link are you looking for evidence of? When 650B took off again several builders have commented on the use of larger tyres for mountain biking with reference to the earlier bikes around the world using 650B (as quoted in several mags in the last decade). To me that is sufficient link between the old and the new and there are numerous examples in the engineering world where something doesn’t take off until years after it was invented - eg GUIs invented by Xerox in the early 70s and Shimano disc brakes for road bikes also in the 70s. While you may not be able to see evidence of a link I’m of the opinion that at least one of the current new 650B builders looked into their history before going down this route and thus they are obviously linked.

As for the Ritchey being genesis of the species, well in an evolutionary sense it’s difficult to pinpoint where own species ends and the next begins.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:36 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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See despite my earlier tongue in cheek comments it does not really matter to me.
From the invention of two wheeled velocipedes and bicycles I feel Mountain biking was simply inevitable. While I have no proof I’m confident that due to the competitive nature of man as soon as these machines existed two fellas in top hats in England, France, America or wherever, on their boneshaker or penny farthing or safety bicycle knew the pure joy to be had from them, and pointed them down a bumpy muddy hill and said lets race, let’s see who can go fastest. And this they did with big smiles on their faces. The next thought was let’s do it again but how can we do it faster, what can I change fiddle or fettle on the bike?

There are then a million different social, political and technological threads and ideas about bicycles bouncing around, pockets of seemingly unrelated, vague or unrecorded incidents and events, threads that ran parallel or crossed or even overlapped, creating a butterfly effect that culminated in what happened in Marin County. All of these are important and need to be recognised.

See I don’t think it was invented, I think it was just waiting to happen, and them Marin hippies with their ideas and passion and skills provided the final ingredients.

And I love em all for it .


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:55 pm 
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If there was a 650B version of our bikes prior to 1979, I'm pretty sure I would have heard about it.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:17 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: The Home Of Mountain Biking, And All Great Things.
A bunch of cave people practised throwing rocks at a tree to improve their hunting techniques. As time went on they kicked a skull around, then later discovered they could inflate part of an animal they hunted and throw or kick that around.

(I don't know if the first caveman to blow into a piece of empty offal was necessary proud of it.)

When the argument about who invented soccer is engaged, the formalisation of the sport is what is accepted as the origin.

People using bicycles on mountains was an actuality from the moment the bicycle was invented.

Perhaps some even raced each other.

Nothing was formalised until the pioneers we revere did their thing, organising and publicising open races.

Everything before that is just mist.


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