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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Poor man's Bronson

    Just an FYI. After riding my 2009 Blur LT for several years, I converted it to 650B and really liked it, but I was tempted to replace it with the Bronson when it was released. I just couldn't pull the trigger on a $4K bike (for carbon) that was so similar to what I had.

    Long story short, I got a 2012 BLTc frame on closeout from Competitive Cyclist and put a Cane Creek adjustable headset on it to match the Bronson's head tube angle. There are still differences in the seat tube and other angles, but holy SHITE does this bike rip. I love it, and it cost a fraction of what a new Bronson, or even a Bronson frame would cost.

    I spent a lot of time debating whether I was building a great bike or scabbing together a sorry substitute for a Bronson, but I love the results.

    I probably won't get a chance to test ride a Bronson to see how much difference there is between my bike and it, but I couldn't be happier with how how the BLTc in 650B rides.

    If you're in the same boat, keep your eyes peeled for a used or close out BLTc frame. I can't say if it's equal to the Bronson, but it's a big improvement over my aluminum frame, and honestly I liked it a lot. I just like the carbon version much better.

  2. #2
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    VERY wise decision!!! some may even argue that you possibly have a better bike if the BB is any higher depending the type of trails they ride and their geo-preferences...

  3. #3
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    I like the higher BB. It's 13.8 on the BLT vs. 13.6 on the Bronson. I know a lower one is supposed to help in cornering, but I can start pedaling a little sooner coming out of a corner, and I get better pedal clearance. Not saying a lower BB is bad, and some may prefer it, but I like where it's at.

  4. #4
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    well, that's just the point, it's really personal preference.

    Meanwhile, the marketers for team A want you to believe the lower BB is the best, and the marketers for team B want you to believe you must have a 650b specific frame. When the reality is there is no hard and fast rule that says a lower BB absolutely helps in cornering when you can pedal earlier and harder out of a corner with a higher BB, or that you must have a frame specifically designed for 650b when it's been proven that the wheelsize works with many existing frames and actually compliments most of them that it does fit...

    all this is besides another big point that a higher BB is also more conducive to manualing/lofting/wheelying the front wheel (which is one of my main problems with 29ers being that for me they are pretty hard to manual/wheelie)

    Me, I could run a 650b on the front and rear of my bike ('11 reign) but I have found 650bfr/26rr suits my riding style best after playing around with all combinations (650/26, 650/650, 29/650, 29/26) since the 2.3 neomoto became widely available around 2008

  5. #5
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    You raise a really good point. I got to where I am by experimenting and seeing what works for me, and taking a few risks along the way. More than once I was told "that won't work," or "that's a bad idea." Some were. But in the end, I got a bike that works for my size and riding style, and it sounds like you did the same.

    You can wait until some bike company builds your perfect bike, or build it yourself.

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