HAYWARD, CA (BRAIN) — In 2007, framebuilder Kirk Pacenti hired Panaracer to make him some 650b mountain bike tires on a contract basis. Pacenti was way ahead of the curve in embracing the in-between tire size, but sales grew steadily year after year and now Panaracer has added the Pacenti-designed tires to its own product line-up.
The tires, previously available only through Pacenti, will soon be available to dealers through Panaracer's distributors. Pacenti will consult with Panaracer on new tire models.
Panaracer also just started shipping its first 650b tire of its own, the Driver model. This fall it will introduce several more 650b tires of its own design, plus the Pacenti models.
Panaracer's Jeff Zell called Pacenti "the father of the 650b."
"He's been a proponent since way back. He was talking to us for several years before we made the first tires in 2007. He's been a really strong advocate for the size. At the beginning, people thought he was a little nuts, but he's kind of having the last laugh now. The sales of his tires have grown every year, so he was obviously on to something."
Panaracer is taking over the Pacenti Neo-Moto-, Quasi-Moto-and Pari- Moto 650b tire models. The tires will continue to have Pacenti's name on the sidewall and will continue to be labeled "650b." Panaracer's new models in the size, however, will be labeled as 27.5-inch, Zell said. Zell said bike manufacturers, especially in North America, prefer the 27.5-inch moniker because it fits their marketing plans.