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  #1  
Old 08-18-2007, 06:07 AM
Bruce B Bruce B is offline
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Default Kogswell Porteur/Randonneur or similar?

I've seen a couple of these Kogswell bikes riding around town. They look highly practical for carrying stuff and just look fun to ride. The website says they use the not too common 650B tires. ( www.kogswell.com )

Does anyone have any experience with these bikes or similar ones that are locally available? Anyone have a Kogswell they'd be willing to let me test ride? I'd love to get one, but am reluctant to order up a bike I've never ridden...

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Bruce
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2009, 02:19 PM
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Default better late than never...?

Hey Bruce B - I just published a review of my Kogswell on a blog that I contribute to. If you're still interested, you can read it here:

http://bike2work2live2bike.blogspot....gswell-pr.html

--
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2009, 04:20 PM
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lynnef lynnef is offline
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not to mention that you can get 650B tires at two places locally - Universal Cycles (pick it up; they've got very high shipping charges) and Bike Tires Direct, out by the airport.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:36 AM
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the Wumpus the Wumpus is offline
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I like everything about the Kogswell bikes, right up to the 650B part. I don't like relying on arcane wear items for daily transportation.

I'd definitely recommend checking out the local selection of these tires first. The ones I've seen (online, never have met one in person) tend towards nostalgic. I think Schwalbe makes a modern tire for this size... googling... Yep, there's a Marathon. 40mm width only. Universal Cycles and Bike Tires Direct both carry it. BTD also has a Panaracer, but it looks like what you'd find at the hardware store. Rivendell has a few expensive, anachronistic novelty tires as well. That's it for 650B street tires.

Rims are going to be harder to find locally. Universal has two. One is a "tubeless" clincher style specialty rim. The other is a disc brake specific rim. The first requires special parts and may not be roadside patchable, the second requires planning ahead and special ordering the bike with disc brake mounts. Both are 32 spoke rims, not quite what I'd want on a utility bike.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:55 AM
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lynnef lynnef is offline
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You'll have to say what you mean by "arcane".

My current 650B tires are Michelin Axial Raids (unfortunately no longer manufactured); previous to that I used the Riv/Panaracer Nifty Swifties. One flat in 5000 miles of riding. They've got the Kevlar belt thing going for them.

Rims - using Velocity Synergy right now (32 hole, I'm not big enough to thrash the components); got some Velocity Aeroheads in waiting. Did not source either of them locally.
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2009, 04:33 PM
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I guess I've been spoiled. I get to think about if I'd like to try 35 mm wide Marathons rather than my usual 32's, or maybe a pair of those Supremes I've been hearing about. I just walk into a bike shop, and there they are! I can pick them up and compare them to other tires; which one is thicker, or more flexible, or I'll poke the tread with a thumbnail to get an idea of the stickiness or hardness of the tires.

I'd just have a hard time walking away from something as strongly supported as 700C for touring or commute use. I'm spoiled.
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2009, 05:15 PM
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even if you can't get your hands directly on the 650B goods (and Universal does have the Col de la Vie and Nifty Swiftie, right in the rack at the counter), there is a huge community of obsessive 650B cyclists that will answer any question you've got And the ones you didn't ask, too. Which is how I've settled on Michelins for the time being. I'd like the Grand Bois, but they apparently flat too easily. And the Michelins are WAY spiffy, with that red pinstripe.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:00 PM
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Or maybe I'm a Marathon snob! It's good to know that Universal has things that aren't on the internet store. Bumps them a little up the chain from internet retailer who just happens to have a will-call-able location for us locals, towards actual local bike shop.

I guess if you're going to have 650B in stock anywhere, it'll be in Portland. I learned something today! Well, more power to the 650B's. More options to getting bikes to fit their riders is a good thing. I've seen a couple of customs with 26's (one touring bike with 24's!), but it would be nice to have that middle step available and well supported for medium-size folk.
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:34 PM
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My bike prior to my 650B had Marathons - 27". Those were the heaviest, slowest tires ever... Granted, they never had flats, but still...
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2009, 08:03 PM
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Nah, studded tires! OTOH, I only missed two commutes. Both during the snowpocolypse, which I regarded as severe bike abuse after trying it once. But they're a real drag on clean pavement. I caught myself aiming for icy patches to cut down on the drag. Totally worth it for icy days, though!
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