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  1. #1
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    Dear 650B, it's not you, it's me...

    Dear 650B,

    I really thought we might have had something together. You were the new hot little number in town, and I'm always on the prowl for my next relationship. My old 29er was starting to feel a little stale, maybe our relationship was just growing too stable and comfortable, and I needed some excitement.

    When you showed up as an orange steel Voodoo Bizango, I thought you might be The One. Your smaller wheels looked just right on that frame, so proportionally perfect, and you knew I had a thing for Voodoos, didn't you? But the riding wasn't as good as the looking, and we agreed to just blame the possibly too short fork for your nervous ways. An ad on Craigslist personals, and were gone just like that.




    You left me on my own, on the rebound despite the complete lack of rebound in your rigid fork, and you knew it wouldn't be long before I picked up a cheap fling at the swap meet. Sure, the Troll might have been a little small for me, but she looked to swing so many ways, I thought that relationship might last. Sure, those 650B slipped right in there, and things were better than they were with the 26ers. We rolled together better, and you still had the moves when things got slow, but something still wasn't quite right between us. Maybe that Surly was just big boned, but she wasn't quite as refined as my old Soma Juice. I need a little give in our relationship, a little flexibility when things are rough on the pedals. And you, Troll, just didn't have it.




    All right, I admit that little fling on the Sogn was just a one night stand. It was a nice change of pace, like dating that pierced English major back in college, but we both knew you liked things smooth better than rough and dirty.




    I still couldn't get you off my mind. All the cool guys were seeing you. Everyone was talking about you. You knew it, too, playing hard to get. You want my wheels? Build 'em yourself, buddy, and I hope you like $65 tires when you can find them! Did that stop me? No, for I was still like a lovesick little middle schooler, following your exploits here and there. And then I ran into you again, at the demo tents, flirtatious in your purple paint and "jamis dragon" tattoo. I admit, I checked you out up front; with that long, 5" travel fork, I couldn't help but stare. C'mon, you said, you know the real thing is going to ride better than any conversion. We tried my pedals on for size, and just like that we were off, a little speed dating down the trail.

    Things were a bit rough in the grass, but that's always the way it is, isn't it? And we couldn't quite get together in the corners, but I just chalked that up to the rain last night. I should've know something was wrong when we started to hit some ups and downs--that big front of yours didn't help keep us on the straight and narrow, flopping around over each crest. But I kept trying to justify you on the good points--the way you could flick around tight, slow speed corners. That's your attraction, isn't it?

    When I got back to the demo tent, I was feeling pretty good about this bike with the dragon tattoo. I talked to the guy about frame options--because, you know, I always like to start things my own way. Than it was back to the old Soma. No finely indexed gearing, just one painful gear. No 5" of front end enhancement, just a hard riding fork with lots of little warts on it. Still, those slender and tubes and big wheels have their own appeal... Over the grass, hmm, this isn't really so rough after all. Through the wet curves, only the grip seemed so much better, even on our worn out race knobbies. Up the hills, straight and true. Yeah, things were a tick slower in the slowest corners, but everywhere else, the stability and strength of our relationship came through loud and clear. People say 650B moves faster. I say any bike moves only as fast as I turn those pedals. I guess that's what I bring to this relationship.



    I'm sorry, 29er, you know I stray, I can never be a one bike kind of guy, but I had to give the new girl in town a whirl. And that Moonlander I demo'd? I truly am sorry for that. Fat bikes just aren't my thing, but it takes all kinds, I guess...

    650B, I don't think you'll miss me. I hear you're going to be big around these parts next year.

    But not big enough for me.

    Sincerely,

    Seat_Boy

  2. #2
    Sleek Jamis Exile Rider
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    Love is a many splendored thing

  3. #3
    just some guy
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    That's pretty damned good!

  4. #4
    The Bubble Wrap Hysteria
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    Those were my feelings towards 29ers........she was just too much to handle. 29-26-29.....Big Wheeled Bike. I drank the 29er cool aid.....and felt let down. The new girl on the block is meeting all my needs.


    .

  5. #5
    Uncle
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    I have to say, looking at the set ups on each of these bikes, you're probably kind of a tall dude, no? The old saying goes, "If the bike fits..."
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

  6. #6
    JRR
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    26 ,27.5 or 29 wheels are a minor thing compared to geometry and bike fit , it will do more for you than anything.They can all be fun and fast and you don't want to one night stand everything you ride but you will end up with more than you can handle at one time

  7. #7
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRR View Post
    26 ,27.5 or 29 wheels are a minor thing compared to geometry and bike fit , it will do more for you than anything.
    Nope. You have to consider the package as a whole. Bike: Frame size, geometry, gearing, suspension, wheel size. Rider: newbie; experienced, advanced, pro/expert. Terrain: XC ; Trail, AM; FR; DH. They all work together. Looking at one or two variables in isolation is useless.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  8. #8
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    If you're only interested in riding rigid, go with the largest, most voluminous tire you can find. Moonlanders and 36ers were made for people like you.

  9. #9
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    I really, really didn't like the Moonlander. It was sorta fun going down, in a not very controlled sort of way, but on the flat and especially up any hills, it was a ponderous dog. I couldn't even do a full loop on it, I wanted to get off it so bad (and it was so slow).

    There was so much offset between the front brake rotor and the bike's centerline that it would actually torque the front end around when I hit the front brake. And it was quite noisy, my theory being the large volume of the wheels are like an echo chamber.

    Maybe I'll try a Krumpus some day.

    Quote Originally Posted by rice rocket View Post
    If you're only interested in riding rigid, go with the largest, most voluminous tire you can find. Moonlanders and 36ers were made for people like you.

  10. #10
    help with the zip please
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    Props to you seat_boy for giving 650b a go, not liking it, but then not blaming the wheel size as a useless distraction thought up by some manufacturers marketing department to sell more stuff to the "fad" crowd.

    +rep on its way

  11. #11
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    Since you are a fan of the Soma way of doing things I can't help but wonder how a B-Side would of felt to you.

  12. #12
    Witty McWitterson
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    Moonlander too big? Try on a Krampus! Bet that'll be right up your alley.
    Just a regular guy.

  13. #13
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    650b Shades of Grey...

  14. #14
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    650b Days of Summer...

  15. #15
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    With the size of the bike I see there... You look to tall... Stay with 29

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApolloAssault View Post
    With the size of the bike I see there... You look to tall... Stay with 29
    See dwt above.

  17. #17
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    I've looked long and seriously at the B side, but finally, for me, the small advantage I see in 650B (quicker low speed turning) is more than offset by the large loss of stability, confidence, and control when things get hairy compared to my 29ers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Since you are a fan of the Soma way of doing things I can't help but wonder how a B-Side would of felt to you.

  18. #18
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    I fully agree with the preceding poster. If someone went from 26 to 29 and liked, why then taking a step back and stuff greedy manufactures, who fail to produce decent 29ers, wallets?
    The bigger the wheel the lower the centre of gravity, rolling resistance and also a chance of OTB and stalling a wheel.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    and also a chance of OTB and stalling a wheel.
    I have to say both of these have more to do with the rider than the bike. I see plenty of guys on 29ers stall in rock gardens or go OTB.

    DC with 3 green chicklets and a 10 rep power = sign the zombie apocalypse is upon us.

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  20. #20
    just some guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    I fully agree with the preceding poster. If someone went from 26 to 29 and liked, why then taking a step back and stuff greedy manufactures, who fail to produce decent 29ers, wallets?
    The bigger the wheel the lower the centre of gravity, rolling resistance and also a chance of OTB and stalling a wheel.
    Your logic is faulty. Each size brings its own benefits and drawbacks. It is not a "bigger is better" scenario with increased universal benefits as wheel size gets larger and larger.

  21. #21
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    Gad... DC agrees with me. Perhaps it's time to reassess this situation.

  22. #22
    just some guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    Gad... DC agrees with me. Perhaps it's time to reassess this situation.
    Nah, just ride what you like dude. A broken clock has the right time twice a day!

  23. #23
    Pex
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    I'd still like to try one

  24. #24
    Stubby-legged
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    Really, how does Dc have any green Chiks..

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