Category Archives: 650B
FOES Shaver 27.5 FXC MTB
FOES_27-5_MTB-COVER

FOES‘ newest revamp to their line actually dropped back at Interbike this year and by dropped, I mean a few pounds. While keeping to their monocoque aluminum construction, Brent engineered a new, lighter tubeset and reshaped the rear swingarm, shaving almost a whole pound off the rear alone.

This 27.5 Shaver FXC is a cross country racer’s dream bike. Coming in around 23lbs complete, laced with SRAM’s XX1 group, Fox Float CTD shock in the rear and the trusty Rock Shox front fork, this 4.5″ to 5″ travel bike has adjustability built in at the rear shock. Sliding the bolt down the gusset at the linkage can change the front end.

I’ve ridden a fair amount of modern mountain bikes and I can say, this is one of the first 27.5 machines I was visibly salivating over. How can you go wrong with that color? Retail will be around $2,400 for the frameset… Expect these to drop later this spring. For now, see more in the Gallery!

Feb 20, 2014 10 comments
I Get a Lot of Rad Guests in Austin

Yesterday Hubert D’Autremont rolled into town, after spending a month in Arizona. As he was unloading his road bike (more on that later), I looked in his truck and saw this singlespeed 27.5 hardtail. The first words out of my mouth were “oh shit! we’re gonna go shreddddddding tomorrow!”.

Shred is exactly what we did and post sess, I shot some photos of this incredibly simple, yet elegant bike.

Expect more soon!

Feb 5, 2014 4 comments
Bishop Bikes: Ryan’s 650b Randonneur
Bishop_650BRando-01

Photos by Shannon Ayres

So… if Chris Bishop isn’t going to NAHBS this year, who’s going to win it? I’m partially joking but Chris’ latest work is mind-boggling. Ryan’s 650b Randonneur frame is absolutely stunning and I still can’t believe how many details are packed into this bike. Head over to the Bishop Flickr to see more!

Jan 30, 2014 13 comments
Benedict’s Trek 970 650b Shred Sled
Bene_Trek_650b-COVER

The 970, one of the last made in the USA, lugged MTB frames ever produced by Trek. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest for these bikes. Especially seeing as how a XO-1 can set you back a pretty penny. They’re Wisconsin-made, rugged and actually pretty lightweight, considering. Frames can be found on eBay for around $200.

These bikes are, one of the best options out there for those looking for to convert a 26″ MTB to a full-bore 650b Shred Sled. Which is exactly what Benedict began doing a few years back. After procuring the frame, he immediately stripped it, then acquired new decals and treated it with shellac.

Next up: the fork. He wanted to keep the frameset Wisconsin-made but needed an upgrade to replace the stock unicrown. Clockwork did the job for around $200 – a Pacenti crown, with a nice, classic bend to the blades. From there, it was pretty straight forward: Suntour Cyclone rear derailleur, XT front, XTR cranks, Suntour power thumb shifters, Nitto post, Brooks saddle, Tektro cantis, Bullmoose bars and some older 650b wheels a friend gave him. Oh and a Campy Record 10 speed chain, drizzled with garlic-infused, extra virgin cold press olive oil, because what else do you lube a Campy chain with?

Benedict’s added numerous personal touches to this bike. The Sackville bag carries his stealth camping gear, pipe and tools. Newbaum’s cloth bartape provides ample grip, protection against chain slap and an additional wrap on the brake lever ensures proper skids.

With all those details, most people would scoff at the thought of riding in Austin on it, with its rocky and technical trails, but little do they know, the captain of this shred sled is a master at roosting. Besides, he’s got a lucky penny on the fork crown!

I don’t really know what else to say about this bike, especially since the photos do the talking! See more in the Gallery!

Jan 24, 2014 46 comments
Prolly is Not Probably’s Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2013
A collage of my favorite details from each bike. Scroll to see the Gallery and read up below!

As I sat down to scroll through all of the Beautiful Bicycles I photographed this year, I quickly realized how diverse PiNP has become. Previous year’s lists never had a MTB, much less two and even though the site has begun to embrace dirt riding more and more, there are still three track bikes in the rankings. Most of these bicycles were made in the USA by small frame builders, but two overseas-manufactured bikes made the cut.

This year for the Top 10 list, I looked at site metrics, social media ‘chatter’ and my own favorites (which were remarkably in-line). All of these bikes got at least 100 Facebook likes and over 20,000 visits within the first week of posting. The latter two requisites were necessary to bring it down to ten bikes, from the dozens of my personal favorites. Also, I omitted my own bikes from this list.

I like to think of PiNP as a showcase for Beautiful Bicycles and how they get put to use. See the full Prolly is Not Probably’s Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2013, in no particular order, in the Gallery!

(more…)

Dec 31, 2013 35 comments
Hahn’s Rossman 650B Dirt Tourer
Beautiful Bicycle: Hahn's Rossman 650B Dirt Tourer

This bike has a long, jaded history, beginning with the early days of the Rapha Continental. I’ll let the story be told by others, because I’ll surely miss some important detail. The short of it is, this frame sat in two separate basements for over 10 years before finally being powder-coated and built up to be ridden on the last Brovet here in Austin (literally, he built it up the day before).

650B, tubeless-ready, Shimano 105, single speed convertible, off-road geometry and a bright orange paint make this Rossman a very unique and strange machine. Is it a “gravel grinder”, a tourer, or a cross bike? Who knows.

Hahn Rossman‘s builds have past the rigorous testings of Bicycle Quarterly and I have to say, this is my favorite bike of Hahn’s to date! Catch it at the Seattle cross races as Hahn thrashes it in the single speed division!

See more in the Gallery!

Nov 25, 2013 34 comments
Map Cycles and Steelman: S&P Randonneur Project
SP_Map_Steelman_Rando

When Mitch from Map Cycles first told me about this project, I was beyond stoked. So many people want to pick up a classy, made in the USA touring bike but can’t completely break the bank. Not saying this project will be cheap by any means, but it’s a pretty good deal. Here’s the deal from Map:

“Collaboration between Steelman Cycles and myself (Steelman & Pryor, hence S&P). Frame, fork, racks and wet paint from $3000. Stock sized, custom fit and finish. We have a 53, 55, and 57 cm left in our first batch and more to come soon.”

Join the email list at mapbicycles.com/ for full details.

Sep 26, 2013 Comments are OFF
Seth and His Rosko 650B MTB
Recent Roll: Seth and His Rosko 650B MTB

Now, I won’t say the following tidbit of information was all that surprising to me. I’m not really a numbers person when it comes to running the site, but I do like to pay attention to what you, the readers, respond to. Not necessarily traffic, per say, or comments, or trackbacks, or whatever but when a bike gets as much love as Seth’s 650B MTB did, I take notice and as I said, I wasn’t surprised. This thing has pizzaz in a world of mediocrity.

While the serenity of a solo bike photo shoot is nice, sometimes I like to get the builder to hold their work of art and pose for a few photos. Case in point: Seth and his Rosko 650B MTB! Check out more in the Gallery!

Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm / expired Kodak Portra 400

Aug 21, 2013 9 comments
Seth Rosko’s 650b Single Speed MTB
Beautiful Bicycle: Seth Rosko's 650b Single Speed MTB

The problem with going to New York City is that I spend more time photographing bikes, then I do actually riding them. Which, in this most recent trip, wasn’t as much as I’d like. Being behind a lens, staring down a unique beaut like this does have its merits. Especially when you’re so familiar with its builder and owner.

Seth Rosko was one of the first builders in Brooklyn that I spent a good amount of time profiling years back. We first met at Brooklyn Machine Works, where he was a designer and fabricator. He and Joe worked extensively on the Gangsta track back in the day, before setting out on his own.

Rosko builds unique, yet utilitarian, yet lightweight bicycles made for racing. Each year, more and more fledgling racers find themselves on a Rosko and that means that Seth has less and less time to work on his own bikes. Case in point: this 650B single speed MTB. It took Seth years to finish this bike but he managed to complete it in time for this year’s season.

Using the ultralight True Temper Supertherm tubing, Black Cat dropouts and Stan’s tubeless wheels, this thing is light. It comes in at 20 lbs with XT pedals.

Aug 6, 2013 15 comments
Brooklyn Machine Works 650B Hardtail
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From a company whose name resonates in the NYC downhill and street scene comes a new bike model, suitable for the modern rider. If steel is real then Brooklyn Machine Works are as authentic as they come. BMW’s history lies heavily in tried and true mountain bikes, so it should be as no surprise that when Joe decided it was time to develop a few new models, one of the first on the agenda would be a 27″ or 650B.

This bike is literally 10 days fresh and it’s already been put through the works. Fresh off the mountain, I was able to not only photograph this beauty, but take it for a spin around the block. I’m a sworn 29′r rider, through and through but even I was impressed at the zippiness and tight, responsiveness of this Made in Brooklyn masterpiece.

Don’t let the mix of parts distract you, Joe wanted to ride it as soon as he could get it built up. With the tapered fork, even with the smaller diameter wheel size, the 650B comes in 9 ounces heavier than the 29′r. It’s still a prototype, so some specs are to be tweaked but I think it’s safe to say “so far so good”… Check out more in the Gallery.

Jul 31, 2013 7 comments