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Jan 27 / admin

The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard of the Bicycle World

Ever heard of the Dvorak simplified keyboard?’ Most haven’t. It came out a few years after the QWERTY keyboard configuration most of us use every day. It’s widely accepted to be efficient and ergonomically correct, resulting in fewer mistakes and even less incidence of debilitating carpal tunnel syndrome. But we don’t use the Dvorak system. We run QWERTY. The momentum was too great to stop.

A similar “standards” issues exists in the bicycle world, where a whole raft of wheel sizes have competed for prominence. Thing had largely settled into the European 700c standard for road bikes, and the British 26-inch-sized wheel for mountain bikes. Over the last decade or so, and especially in the last few seasons, production of so-called 29ers—mountain bikes based around 29-inch, aka 700c wheels—have really taken over as the must-have product for any mountain bike manufacturer not specializing in downhill bikes.

Recently there’s been a push in the industry to develop yet another mountain bike wheel size: 650b. This would be the third surge of the middling-bastard wheel size since it was first introduced by the French sometime in the 1920s. Kirk Pacenti re-introduced it as an auxiliary mountain bike wheel standard, but it’s been slow to catch on. Until now, it would seem, as several major manufacturers have begun ramping up 650b bike and component production.

Click through to read my recent look into the future of 650b at MountainBike/Bicycling.com.