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  1. #1
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    Niner's impending Frustration??

    So, let's say the 27.5 wheel takes over most of the market as industry analyst's are predicting. what will "niner" do? will they succumb to the market trend to stay in buisiness? If so will they change the company name? Maybe to niner + (plus) or maybe more like, niner - (minus) ? Or what
    RAM speed: UP, UP, and away....!

  2. #2
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    I think the chances of 26" going away are higher than 29" do so. But I suspect all 3 will be around for a good while yet, so long as customers support them and companies believe in them. I think companies that just dabble in one size or another might drop a size, though. Committed companies like niner that build well-designed bikes around a wheelsize they believe in will be fine I think.

  3. #3
    dwt
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    Niner's impending Frustration??

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I think the chances of 26" going away are higher than 29" do so. But I suspect all 3 will be around for a good while yet, so long as customers support them and companies believe in them. I think companies that just dabble in one size or another might drop a size, though. Committed companies like niner that build well-designed bikes around a wheelsize they believe in will be fine I think.
    +1. 26" was standard for too long & 29" too good and popular to lose much market in the near term. All 3 have a viable function, but the most likely to fade, I agree, long term is 26".

    Niner can expand production, or not, to other wheel sizes, and will not get hurt.


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  4. #4
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    How long has Niner been in business? I just read the Sea Otter MTBR blog entry that Niner announced components designed to assist smaller people to fit 29ers. Why did it take this long? It's obviously a response to 650b. I'm sure they are starting to really understand that the market does not believe 29ers are for everyone, the same realization Specialized must be having right now. If you read the posts about the Giant prototype 650bs it seems obvious 26" is dead. The largest bike company in the world shows prototype 650b bikes and in the next breath says they will only support two wheel sizes. Hello is anyone listening?

  5. #5
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    First, they should do something about their frames breaking...

    I don't know if 650b will cause them to go out of business, maybe lose business to smaller riders and All-mountain / Enduro riders.

    Yes the fact that they react now with components to fit smaller riders is telling.
    The 26 v. 29 Stumpjumper EVO test in MBA was also telling. The Big S cannot like the fact they choose the 26" wheeled bike with the way they have pushed 29ers for everything.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    The 26 v. 29 Stumpjumper EVO test in MBA was also telling. The Big S cannot like the fact they choose the 26" wheeled bike with the way they have pushed 29ers for everything.
    I'm not sure if anyone really cares what MBA has to say . . .

  7. #7
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    None of them are going away. I will happily bet large amounts of money that in 10 years you'll still be able to buy nice mountain bikes with any of the "big 3" wheel sizes.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
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  8. #8
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    Ditto.
    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    None of them are going away. I will happily bet large amounts of money that in 10 years you'll still be able to buy nice mountain bikes with any of the "big 3" wheel sizes.

    -Walt

  9. #9
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    I don't think Niner has anything to worry about.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    None of them are going away. I will happily bet large amounts of money that in 10 years you'll still be able to buy nice mountain bikes with any of the "big 3" wheel sizes.

    -Walt
    Agreed. I'm not a fan of Niner's geometry, though. IMO, their top tubes are too long relative to seat tube length and head angles are too steep for a the amount of travel.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  11. #11
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    Niner does stand to loose market share, when you think about it. That should get them looking ahead.

    A B-Niner is a great platform. That is my main ride currently.

    There is no reason just 'cause they are Niner Bikes means they can't touch other wheels.

    The CVA suspension is very good and I'd like to see it on a 650b.

  12. #12
    AOK
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    Niner's impending Frustration??

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGHORN LEW View Post
    So, let's say the 27.5 wheel takes over most of the market as industry analyst's are predicting.
    Which industry analysts are predicting this? Got a link?

    I have read many comments about how the industry has jumped in with both feet on 650b (unlike the slow roll of 29ers), but I don't think I have seen a single prediction that 650b will take over most of the market.

    Fwiw, I think the only wheel size that will disappear any time soon might be 26" and even that seems unlikely.

  13. #13
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    I'm not sure who, if anyone, stands to lose market share but I am guessing Niner will be a very, very healthy company in the long term selling 29" wheel bikes. Not everyone needs to make everything and they have been very successful focusing their attention on the bigger wheels.

    Make a few calls to Taiwan and start 27.5er Bikes!

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

  14. #14
    AZ
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    Yeah, don't forecast the demise of 29ers anytime soon. Pretty sure Niner is sitting in a pretty good position even if 29ers lose market share. 26ers seem to be taking the biggest hits.

  15. #15
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    Niner will go away because they are losing their market placement, their bikes break a lot and their bike designs are not great.

    650b/275 will hurt them for sure but the majority of companies go away in the bike industry due to their own hubris. If you want a Niner, you'll buy a Niner. If you want a 29r, you probably won't.

    All three wheel sizes are here to stay but look for a lot of models of 29r to go away, along with 26. We already have a dozen-ish wheel sizes, from 8" up to 36r and one more won't make a big difference. We've always heard the 'one more standard' from the bike industry but those companies cave and the bike shops usually go out of business. Anybody have a Schwinn shop in their neighborhood anymore?

    The Enduro29 shows that Niner just doesn't have the engineering chops to create desirable bikes across ALL disciplines, which is what they need to survive. If you look around, you'll see they are advertising for a bike designer. I wonder why?

    As we all realize, some people love or hate 29 and some will move to 650. A lot of people love 26 and some will move to 650. 26 makes sense as the only choice in less places now that ever before. 29r still makes a lot of sense but less people will go there if they can baby-step out of 26 into 650.

    And the whole way, industry late-adopters will say it's no good (until they make one) and bike shops will complain about another standard (as they lose sales).

    Money is made in the changes and the trends. If you don't understand that in retail, you either run a bike shop or you will soon disappear...

    I welcome our new 650/275 overlords! Take me to your dealer!

    mk
    trailwerkssuspension.com

  16. #16
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    Niner Lite. Less filling, rides great. I like it, doubt it will happen. As long as there are 29" wheels there will be Niner.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailbildr View Post
    Niner will go away because they are losing their market placement, their bikes break a lot and their bike designs are not great.

    650b/275 will hurt them for sure but the majority of companies go away in the bike industry due to their own hubris. If you want a Niner, you'll buy a Niner. If you want a 29r, you probably won't.

    All three wheel sizes are here to stay but look for a lot of models of 29r to go away, along with 26. We already have a dozen-ish wheel sizes, from 8" up to 36r and one more won't make a big difference. We've always heard the 'one more standard' from the bike industry but those companies cave and the bike shops usually go out of business. Anybody have a Schwinn shop in their neighborhood anymore?

    The Enduro29 shows that Niner just doesn't have the engineering chops to create desirable bikes across ALL disciplines, which is what they need to survive. If you look around, you'll see they are advertising for a bike designer. I wonder why?

    As we all realize, some people love or hate 29 and some will move to 650. A lot of people love 26 and some will move to 650. 26 makes sense as the only choice in less places now that ever before. 29r still makes a lot of sense but less people will go there if they can baby-step out of 26 into 650.

    And the whole way, industry late-adopters will say it's no good (until they make one) and bike shops will complain about another standard (as they lose sales).

    Money is made in the changes and the trends. If you don't understand that in retail, you either run a bike shop or you will soon disappear...

    I welcome our new 650/275 overlords! Take me to your dealer!

    mk
    +1 Everyone will find a bike that meets their needs. I love 650B
    I wonder if Chris Sugai views on 29er world domination has changed?

    Feb 2008 issue of Mountain Bike Action: What are your thoughts about the future of 29-inch, 26-inch and the new 650B wheel sizes?

    Chris Sugai: Twenty-nine -inch wheels will supplant 26-inch wheel bikes by 2017. In ten years, all mountain bikes sold from $1000 to $1500 and above will have 29-inch wheels. There will be holdouts, of course, and 26-inch wheel bikes will be sold at places like Costco and K-Mart, but the 29er will take the place of the 26-inch bike as far as the average mountain bike goes.
    Last edited by mtnbiker4life; 04-21-2013 at 09:36 AM.

  18. #18
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    They are going to feel it a bit I think. They won't go out of business, but they will take a hit.

    I have a RIP-9, and just converted my 26" Pivot Firebird to 650B. I can't think of a single reason now to ride the RIP-9 instead of the Firebird. And I won't be riding my other 26" bike or converting my Firebird back to 26".

    I have been flip-flopping between 26" and 29" bikes. No more, I am done with both.

  19. #19
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    Yeti just released an interesting solution to the small rider problem.

    They released the new ARC Carbon at Sea Otter. It is a lightweight 29er XC racer...but the XS and Small sizes are built for 650b. THAT is how you use all wheel sizes to the best result.
    Last edited by KevinGT; 04-20-2013 at 02:11 PM.
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    I wonder if Chris Sugai views on 29er world domination has changed?
    The irony is that he being of short stature would probably fit better on a 650b bike. Given his past statements, he would be eating a king-sized portion of crow.

  21. #21
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    Im of the same opinion.
    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Agreed. I'm not a fan of Niner's geometry, though. IMO, their top tubes are too long relative to seat tube length and head angles are too steep for a the amount of travel.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_rex View Post
    Niner Lite. Less filling, rides great. I like it, doubt it will happen. As long as there are 29" wheels there will be Niner.
    I agree. Plus I'm not exactly seeing 650b taking over bike shops yet either in any type of way. Right now 29er sales are hot (at least my area) and bike shops will carry models that move. Niner is a very strong brand with great service.

  23. #23
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    Another thing you are seeing is the consumer now being willing to admit that his 29er may not be the great bike he once thought it was. Human nature makes us want to convince ourselves we made good decisions. So when you buy a new bike, you convince yourself that it's a great bike. Look on the message boards and there are hundreds of pages of posts declaring 29ers the greatest thing to happen to cycling since cycling was invented.

    But, over time, when the consumer starts thinking about a new bike, the old bike loses some of it's appeal. Human nature, again, stops trying to convince itself that it made a good decision because it's time to make another decision. With the 29er buying frenzy that happened 3ish years ago, those riders are now looking at new bikes.

    The flaws in 29ers (ESPECIALLY with shorter riders) that the consumer refused to acknowledge are now being openly discussed as those riders come back to 26" or consider 650b. I think it's just a matter of the timing of the sales cycle.
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  24. #24
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    Like KevinGT says, using different wheels size within a certain model range is a good idea and will certainly work. For an XS model you use 26" wheels, for small and medium 27.5" and for the L and XL 29" wheels. This will give the best geometry for all sizes and prevents bikes from looking ridiculous : nothing looks more ridiculous than a 22" trailbike with 26" wheels, it's like a giant BMX with suspension.

    Of course this will not work for all models, but for XC and trail bikes it could work.

  25. #25
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    There are not droves of people abandoning their 29ers to go back to 26. That's hilarious. Go look on Craigslist or your local consignment shop and see what 26" parts and bikes go for. Or don't, I can just tell you: they go for practically free because nobody wants them.

    Or read BRAIN (as of last year, 29ers were HALF of *all* mountain bike sales) if you want numbers.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of 650b since the "beginning" and I build them all the time. I just don't see any evidence that *any* wheel size is going to "dominate" or "win". In fact, I really don't understand the debate - it seems like debating what the right saddle height is, or something. Everyone is different, let people ride what they want, and don't be a jerk who bores everyone by talking non-stop about how some wheelsize is perfect.

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

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