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  1. #1
    dwt
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    Giant's marketing math

    Lotta controversy in the forums about this. Seems to have lit a new spark in the "27.5" is all about marketing" line of hate.

    Giant has gone all in as far as production, but have they gone over the line as far as marketing?

    I'm no physicist, engineer or mathematician, so have no ability to analyze it.

    So, whether lover or hater, does anybody have any grounded in fact rebuttal, or for that matter, confirmation?

    The Case for 27.5

    * All else being equal, a 27.5-inch wheel is 5 percent heavier than a 26-inch wheel, but 7 percent lighter than a 29er. * A 27.5-inch wheel's angle of attack is 4 percent better than a 26-inch wheel. A 29erís angle of attack is only 2 percent better than a 27.5. * Comparing acceleration rates (or moment of inertia), 27.5 wheels are 1.5 percent slower than 26-inch wheels. Wheels with 29-inch diameters are 2.1 percent slower than 27.5 wheels. * The contact patch on 27.5 wheels is 2cm larger than on 26-inch wheels. The patch is only larger on 29ers than on 27.5 wheels. (Giant is the only company we know of currently saying that bigger wheels have larger contact patches; most companies state larger wheels have longer and narrower contact patches than a smaller wheel, but that the total contact area does not increase with a larger wheel.)

    Giant also studied how wheel size affects other parts of the bike, like geometry and frame stiffness. They found that frames built around 27.5 wheels are two percent less stiff than those for 26-inch wheels, but 3.5 percent stiffer than 29er frames. The research also revealed that compared to 29er wheels, the slightly smaller 27.5 wheels can help reduce stem stack heights, create fewer issues with toe overlap and lead to frame geometry that better fits smaller riders.
    http://m.bicycling.com/mountainbikec...75-inch-wheels
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  2. #2
    Trail Ninja
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    I stopped at "marketing". Marketing in general is...

  3. #3
    AZ
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    I don't ride marketing.

  4. #4
    dwt
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    Giant's marketing math

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty $anchez View Post
    I don't ride marketing.
    How about MTBR buzz? Immune from that too?

    We live in a capitalist society that runs on marketing. We're stuck with it, but free to ignore or listen, or maybe not
    so free depending on subliminal effects

    Giant's marketing almost looks Steve Jobs worthy in audacity and intensity. The question for me is whether it is true or false, or how truthy and how falsy.

    Example: I now own iPhone and iPad. Didn't use to own Apple products, but marketing made or influenced by Jobs musta got me. Glad it did, cuz now I love Apple products; really superior in many ways. The marketing was truer than false, IMO.

    I'd like to know from an independent and reliable source about 27.5". If such a source exists. Doubtful on MTBR where everybody drinks some kind of kool aid, even those who think and say they don't. That's its own flavor.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  5. #5
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    I have not done the math, but I would be surprised if they were fudging the numbers. Too easy to refute them since they are very easy measurements.

  6. #6
    Perpetual n00b
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    Asking a bunch of MTBers on the 650b/27.5 will only get you the answer you want to hear. If you want serious data then you should ask this question on Quora and maybe you'll get a real physicist/engineer to answer these questions.

    For me, it's pretty obvious. It's really up to the rider to decide what is most important to them because after all everything is just a compromise.
    When the chicks at school see how gay we are, they're gonna be all over us.

  7. #7
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    I will just chime in briefly - "angle of attack" WRT wheels just means you need to know how high the axle is, and how high the obstacle is (assuming a round wheel). So it's not a fixed number for ANY wheel size. If you're rolling into a brick wall, the angle of attack is 90 degrees (or zero if you want to think of it that way) on any wheel, and if you're rolling over a grain of dust it's basically zero (or 90).

    I guess what I'm saying is that I don't understand how Giant is using that term, since angle of attack depends not just on the wheel but on the trail obstacle (or lack thereof).

    The contact patch thing is bogus. It's well understood that the patch changes *shape* but not size as you increase diameter (ie bigger wheels make a longer and narrower contact patch). Whether the 27.5 contact patch shape is superior is open to debate of course.

    Weight is noncontroversial and Giant is completely correct.

    Stiffness numbers are probably basically true comparing apples to apples for both wheels and frames (ie bigger wheels and frames are less stiff). But modern frames are crazy stiff so 2% one way or the other probably isn't something that anyone can perceive, nor will it make a difference on the trail. I could go on a long rant about the limits of stiffness, or the absurdity of selectively using absolute and relative figures, or any number of other things here but I'll spare everyone the angst.

    Moment of inertia WRT wheels is again well understood. Bigger wheels accelerate slower - but they are only a small fraction of the mass you need to move to make the bike+you go, so that's also going to end up well below the threshold of detectability outside of a lab.

    I don't know what "research" was necessary to figure out that smaller wheels = lower stack heights, less toe overlap, better fit for smaller riders. It's sort of embarrassing to even use the word "research" in that context if your business is building bikes, IMO.

    I think the bottom line is that it's great marketing but mediocre to laughable "research".

    Also 650b rocks and I just finished building one so I've got no particular axe to grind on this.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
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  8. #8
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    How about MTBR buzz? Immune from that too?



    Yep. I may be the odd man out but I let the demo's decide. You know what I'm talkin about, you ride a bunch of them until you find the one that feels just right. You get to ride bikes too.

  9. #9
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    It's just personal preference...for me, 26" wheels (10 years) never felt right maybe b/c I'm tall or because I ride on the road and fire roads quite a bit...29ers (4 years) felt like I was riding a couch...so for me the inbetween size feels great. (Also I like the versatility as I have one bike but have a 2nd 29er wheelset that I use to ride on the road, gravel grinders, and cyclocross that fits in my 650b frame just great).

    But if you have a bike you already like, why switch? Just ride the bike you have and forget it. My friend has a 26" moots ybb which he loves and he's thinking of selling it. I've been trying to talk him out of it.

  10. #10
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    The problem is that all that math is nice, but math does not make a ride. It is tough to compare gains in angle off attack and counter the weight impact.

    Look 29ers have certain advantages to 26 on paper and well as the opposite. 27.5 is somewhere in between both and all of Giant's math just confirms that. What their math cannot do is determine if the 27.5 side overall better than both 26 and 29 over all conditions combined.

    Clearly they have made the choice to push 27.5 wheels. Some of this certainly due to marketing what they perceive as bringing the company money. However there also must be some level truth in their belief as if the bikes don't ride well wit 27.5 size they will not get the sales either. So far most what I have seen is that 27.5 are considered at least as good as 26" wheels and some consider them better than 29ers. The biggest argument against the 27.5 wheel seems to be that it rides like a 26er which is not that bad consider many people have ridden 26ers with good success. There are however people that have real complaints about 29ers so while some love them others hate them. It remains to be seen what happens with this wheel size. Last summer 27.5 was still limited to a few select frames and early adopters. Now with Giant going this way 27.5 is being pushed mainstream. The question is however will it stay there?
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mforness3000 View Post
    ...so for me the inbetween size feels great.
    Hey! Marketing! It is working if you think it's truly in between!

  12. #12
    LMN
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    I have not really analyzed it or measured it but their marketing math is probably correct. The length of contact patch and angle of attack are not linear relationships with wheel diameter. As a wheel diameter increases the percentage change in those two variables decreases.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  13. #13
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    I just Ridezum.

  14. #14
    JCL
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    650b is the marketing size. I just see it as 26" plus from manufacturers who missed the 29" train. Nothing wrong with it but there was nothing wrong with 26".

  15. #15
    dwt
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    Giant's marketing math

    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Hey! Marketing! It is working if you think it's truly in between!
    Obviously and factually it's in between. That is simple reality and has nothing to do with marketing. The marketing is that it is exactly half way in between. So what's your point?
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  16. #16
    dwt
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    Giant's marketing math

    Quote Originally Posted by Ridezum View Post
    I just Ridezum.
    So should anyone who wants to have an informed and relevant opinion about it.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  17. #17
    dwt
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    Giant's marketing math

    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    Nothing wrong with it but there was nothing wrong with 26".
    27.5" and 29" wheels are to mtb what oversize rackets are to tennis and oversize clubs are to golf.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Obviously and factually it's in between. That is simple reality and has nothing to do with marketing. The marketing is that it is exactly half way in between. So what's your point?

    My point is it isn't exactly half way in between!!!

    26" - 2114 mm
    650 - 2193 mm = 3.5% bigger than 26"
    29" - 2312 mm = 9% bigger than 26"

  19. #19
    dwt
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    Giant's marketing math

    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    My point is it isn't exactly half way in between!!!

    26" - 2114 mm
    650 - 2193 mm = 3.5% bigger than 26"
    29" - 2312 mm = 9% bigger than 26"
    SFW? Who in this thread says it was? Who are you arguing with? Has Giant made the claim? What difference does it make anyway? WFC?
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  20. #20
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    Going to be interesting to see what Specialized, Trek and Cannondale does next year...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    27.5" and 29" wheels are to mtb what oversize rackets are to tennis and oversize clubs are to golf.
    And I for one dont think oversized rackets make tennis any less difficult or fun, nor do oversized heads make golf any less boring.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  22. #22
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    Okay, just a minute let me check my mumbers against Giants, yep they are correct. If only Specialized had the balls to publish stuff like this, I thinks it's pretty awesome for them to share the 'why' they are moving in this direction. I want Specialized to publish the numbers for 'why' they are not onboard.

    Isn't it all marketing, I get this ad on the top of my page for Orbea bikes, it's for an Occam or something, the marketing line is "ride fast on 'any' terrain". I don't know, the bike looks like a 29 xc bike, what does any terrain mean?, any terrain means any terrain doesn't it. I'm not doing a downhill run on it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    27.5" and 29" wheels are to mtb what oversize rackets are to tennis and oversize clubs are to golf.
    That's not really correct. The tennis companies never said we aren't making mid-size or mid plus anymore.
    However they did try to make 27.5" tennis rackets , claiming the leverage gained would increase your ball speed.
    I think Michael Chang was the only pro that used it.

  24. #24
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    The problem I have with the Giants marketing is that it doesn't make sense:
    They claim that bigger wheel size equals better traction?
    That's a function of tires , not wheels.
    They claim that better roll over gives you better cornering?
    I am not sure how that works, since most corners are not full of rocks and roots.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    I am not sure how that works, since most corners are not full of rocks and roots.
    Ever been to Blue Mound State Park, WI?
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