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  1. #1
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    650B Specific vs Conversion?

    Just wondering if there is a strong trend to move away from conversions towards frame/fork specific equipment. At the end of this season, I plan on converting my current SS to 650B to gain some perspective. Wondering if people are entering 650B in a phased approach vs a dive right in approach.

    Just curious...
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  2. #2
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    Re: 650B Specific vs Conversion?

    Well, if you could use the 650b parts from the conversion on your possible future 650b specific frame go ahead and try the conversion first.
    Of course a 650b specific frame is going to work better, due to the design and fit compromises of a conversion, buy it will still provide the feel for the wheel size.
    I still.ride my converted sc trc and like it, but my next bike is going to be 650b specific.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I am doing the conversion as I need wheels anyway. My frame will accept 650b, and I would like a bit more ground clearance. I will buy/build wheels that have convertible hubs, as I will most likely upgrade my current bike until it's time for a new frame and fork. Then I plan to do a dedicated frame.

  4. #4
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    I think the real beauty of 650b, is in converting a compatible 26er that you already own. Of course, if you're in the market for a new bike, and don't want a 29er, then yeah, buying a 27.5 bike is the way to go. YMMV

  5. #5
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    I have a converted Bianchi MUSS. I loved the frame (still love the monsterMUSS), but wanted to try the wheels after I built a Rawland Sogn for the wife. In my opinion, the horizontal dropouts allow for some give in the wheelbase length already so no big deal. I like the higher BB for clearance and the wheels for better rollover/ traction. I think there exists some amount of give for many 26ers, especially SS and hardtails, to accept the 650b/27.5/584 without a downside in comparison to the 26 wheels. If you already have a frame and don't really want a new one, then convert and save some money. I agree with d365 concerning the beauty of the wheelsize in that it fits without the need for geo changes to accept the wheel. I also remember reading that Pacenti believed in the wheel size for that very reason.
    In addition, the chain stay length on my RM Blizzard is 425, I believe the Rawland is 450. The 650b wheel fits in the Blizzard just fine, but the chainstays narrow near the BB which restricts the tire size. The Rawland is built for 650b, but the description includes a note that it can accept a 700c up to a certain wheel size. So again, I think that frames allow for some adjustments to be made within a certain range to accommodate the rider's preferences. I know bike fit/feel can be a game of small adjustments/measurements and as such I don't see the need to redesign frames if it fits, unlike with 29er wheels which necessitates reworking the frame to fit the wheel in the rear and for smaller riders. This excludes the need to change geo/design for rear travel and I have no experience with that.
    If I had money I might buy a new bike, but the decision will be made on overall fit and feel not just on wheelsize.
    No fuss with the MUSS

  6. #6
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    I think it comes down to bb drop. If you like a high bb, why not?

    Only real downside I can see would be if you hated it because of geometry reasons, not wheel size reasons, and walked away from the concept when you might have liked it in a specific frame.

  7. #7
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    650B Specific vs Conversion?

    I really like my 26'er frames ( I have 2 identical HT's one SS and one geared) I tested my forks Vanillas w/o springs and they seem to clear the arch and crown fine with a cheap wheelset and IRD firexc in it- same for the rear (closest measurement was about ~4mm side to side all the way forward in the dropout). So I am all about the conversion over new. I am thinking this will be a end of season project. Truth be told I have no issue with 26- I just feel like I am a dinosaur!! Falling victim to marketing- but that may pass... ;-)
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  8. #8
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    I think all 650b conversions come with a degree of tradeoffs (bb height, shock shimming, smaller tires, changes to WB and fork trail). These are subtle, but trade offs, none the less. I will be very interested to try a dedicated 650b bike designed from the ground up. The cream of the crop the Santa Cruz SoloC. I run a TRc converted now and am very interesed in getting my hands on a SoloC frame. With correct BB height, longer chainstays and geometry built around a taller 650b specific fork (with the correct 650b trail or offset) will really complete the package.

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