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  1. #1
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    Making the jump from a 29er to a 650b bike...

    Guys,

    i have been riding a transition bandit29er (130mm rear travel, 140mm front travel) for the past year. I live in Belgium, and 80% of my riding is sadly enough XC-oriented. I do plan some trips sometimes to france and germany and luxemburg in search of some nice enduro-style trails.
    I am actually quit happy with the bandit, but i am looking to upgrade to a carbon bike.
    Since i really enjoy the enduro-style trails, i was looking at a 650b bike like the rocky moutain altitude Rally edition. However, I have not chance of testriding one, so I have no clue how it the jump will be from the bandit steam-train to the more nimble altitude.
    On top of that, since most of my riding is XC-oriented (although i always try to find the most challenging lines), i fear i might really miss the momentum of a 29er. Therefore I am also considering a Rocky Mountain Instinct, and using all my beloved parts to build up such a carbon frame...
    Anyone had to make a similar decision? And how did it turn out for you?! Would be glad to get some feedback.

    Thanx,

    Phil

  2. #2
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    With 27.5(650b), your not going miss anything from your existing bike except the bus like handling. I know this is a beaten up expression on this forum, but the 27.5 is truly the best of both worlds, since I've made the switch over 5 years ago, I'll never go back to a 26ers or a 29er.

  3. #3
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    this is the 650b forum so people tend to be biased towards 650b.

    i'll offer another opinion... No disrespect to Hurricane Jeff but, he says he switched from a 29er 5 years ago,,, his comment is typical from people who rode 29er a few years back...a lot has changed since and the newer crop of enduro/AM 29er dont have that bus handling that he describe. they can be as nimble and as fast handing as a 26/650b bike.

    I have both a 29er(canfield yelli sceramy) and a 26" all mountain(canfield ONE) bike and both performe excellently and dont feel like a bus, in fact if i would be picky, i'd say my 26er feels slightly more like a bus that my 29er since the chainstays are longer.

    i've also tested extensively this summer, both the altitude 650b and the instinct(not bc edition) as i'm having similar debate for my next bike. both are excellent bikes and are fun to ride...the intinct was my favorite, super playfull a very capable bike. The altitude was also a nice ride but it felt like my 26" AM bike, nothing to make me go "wow".
    on both bikes the forward geometry works really well.

    I would says both bikes would serve you well, both are equaly capable, both fun to ride, but from what you are saying, you like the momentum of your 29er, the instinct would serve you better then.
    expensive cars are a waste of money. Expensive bikes...not so much!

  4. #4
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    Frame geometry trumps wheel size when it comes to handling - if you fit well on a long travel 29er, and you're going to do at least some XC riding on the bike, I'd stick with the bigger hoops. But only test riding will really tell you for sure. For more of a dedicated gravity sled it'll depend on your suspension travel and fit requirements but for *most* folks 27.5 will get the nod.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Having ridden 26er's and 29er's and never being on a 27.5er I'll add my 2cents. I feel like 29ers are made for Cross Country XC 100-120mm travel. 26er's take to the air a little better and can handle longer travel better but a ***** to ride up hills. I think if you're looking for the best of both worlds a 27.5 would probably fit the bill. For most of my riding I would say a 29er 100mm FS would fit the bill. For the occasions I hit the DH park I take my 26er 150mm travel. I'm 6' so I don't know how a 27.5 would really fit into the picture. If I were a shorter rider where a 29er would be too big for me I might opt for a 27.5 but that is not the case.

  6. #6
    orthonormal
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    Both the Altitude and Instinct have the Ride9 feature so you have a good range of geometry and suspension rate tuning available for both. I haven't tried the Instinct but the Altitude is very XC-capable in the neutral setting. I have mine in the slackest/most progressive setting to bias it toward the descents but it's still a decent climber. I've never tried it in the steepest/most linear setting.

    Regarding wheel size, I agree with what Walt and tartosuc have to say.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  7. #7
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    You're happy with your 29er--why not knuckle down and get a new bike? Then you'll be able to grab whichever steed suits your mood and riding that day.

  8. #8
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    trigger has been pulled; i ordered the altitude rally edition. I am sure there will be days i miss the bigger wheelsize, i am also sure i'll have plenty of days wondering why i didnt swith to 650b earlier...Only time will tell if I made the best decision regarding all-around fun
    thx for the input anyways!

  9. #9
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    And no disrespect to you all also...I hear where you are coming from in respect to 5 years ago, when I switched, to now, there have been changes in 29er geometry that have certainly made them better, and I have kept up with that, something being in the bike industry I'm forced to do, but still putting time on some of the newer 29ers, Turner Czar, Sultan, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Specialized Epic, I still feel that the 27.5 is the size for me.
    I'm totally all in with Giant, although I have not ridden their new 27.5 bikes yet, I like their philosophy in their comparisons between the two sizes. I do however, disagree with some posters that 27. 5 is a marketing ploy to sell more bikes, if something works, and works very well, then why not market it as such.

  10. #10
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    Phil, I'd be interested in hearing about your experience with the new wheel size (or from other 29er to 27.5 converts. Seems to me that most folks are moving UP from 26" to 27.5".) I, too, am riding a 2012 Bandit 29er with the same travel. I like the roll-ability and momentum of the large wheels and, honestly, it feels a bit odd jumping on a bike with smaller wheels on the few occasions I've done so. However, I recently put on some burly rubber to handle Moab terrain and I'm not sure how much I like it - kind of slow and sluggish feeling. I suppose the smaller wheel size would be less impacted by the bigger tires. I guess I'll have to try and get some quality time on the smaller wheel size.

  11. #11
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    Congrats on your new bike. 650b Altitude is the best climbing bike I have ever ridden. The Instinct didn't climb as well but had nice ramp up and liked to get airborne. The Altitude soaked up everything I threw out. The wheel size disappeared as I rode, and I simply didn't notice what size I was riding, they simply just worked. Excellent GEO. Enjoy!

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