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  1. #1
    Meat Clever
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    Your Experience Wanted

    So, I had a 29er that I loved dearly: for me, it performed better than my 26ers ever did. This bike is gone and I will have funds to replace the bike with whatever I so choose. I had an interesting conversation with my LBS owner about 2 weeks ago. where he said, essentially, "don't just focus on 29ers. there's a whole bunch of 650b bikes coming out and you should try them" (he is enthusiastic about and rides a HT and FS 29er). My last bike was a very popular 29er, with carbon hoops and a bit of rearward bias. I love(ed) it, but it had some shortcomings. I likely will be able to purchase whatever I want in the next couple of months. So, tell me, should I consider 650b, and if so, what should I try ( if trying is possible)?
    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    A little bit of pee just trickled out of my pipi when I saw that.

  2. #2
    Wrench
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    That's pretty vague.

    What was your last bike, and what's your riding style?

  3. #3
    Meat Clever
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    SC Tallboy carbon Southern California. I ride XC and endurance racing. I think I may want more travel, with the goal of maintaining climbing efficiency (Important to me) and retaining or gaining on descending ability.
    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    A little bit of pee just trickled out of my pipi when I saw that.

  4. #4
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Have you ever owned a downhill bike or dirt jumper?
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  5. #5
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    I still have my 29er and did a SC 650b'd Nickel and love the handling of the 650b over the 29er. I don't notice much of a difference in the climbing or downhill but maneuvering in tighter area's, at least for me, was greatly improved.

  6. #6
    Meat Clever
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    Have you ever owned a downhill bike or dirt jumper?
    Had a dirt jumper way back as a kid. Never have owned a DH bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by VanillaEps View Post
    A little bit of pee just trickled out of my pipi when I saw that.

  7. #7
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    Watch the hack, ride what you like.

  8. #8
    Wrench
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    I own the Tallboy's medium-sized cousin, a Blur XCc with 650b wheels.




    I can't comment on anything with more travel, since I've never owned anything other than an "XC" bike. I ride in race in Texas, which has terrain varying from smooth-n-fast to moonscape-rocky.

    Tell me, was your Tallboy the XC version, or the longer travel version? If you liked the feel of the tallboy, but wanted more travel, a Blur LT with 650b hoops might be right up your alley.

    But again, your LBS is right. There are going to be plenty of 650b bikes to pick from very soon. I'm holding out for a good Carbon hardtail.

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtDummy View Post
    SC Tallboy carbon Southern California. I ride XC and endurance racing. I think I may want more travel, with the goal of maintaining climbing efficiency (Important to me) and retaining or gaining on descending ability.

  9. #9
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    The reason I asked if you've ridden a dirt jump bike or downhill bike is because you'd probably have any idea of what we mean when we say "nimble". I think aside from a short-chainstay hard tail or something like the Enduro 29, you won't get that playfulness in a 29er. That being said, there are quite a few options of short chainstay hard tail 29ers, most of which are pretty good.

    Having just rode a 140mm full suspension 29er back-to-back against a 140mm 650b, I'd go with the 650b, and I think anyone who still wants to occasional hit that jump, drop or trail feature and get some air will probably feel the same way.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  10. #10
    Get to dah choppah
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    I also have a TBc that was initially built with with the SC stock XT kit. I can relate to your rear bias and shortcoming statement, mine was similar out of the box. IME most of that behavior is due to how the bike is initiailly configured and can (could have been in your case) be make much better and more neutral handling with a few zero cost tweaks. Unfortunately, to some extent, the universal praise the TBc receives may tend to make you think that "it's just me and can't be the bike", which isn't useful.

    As to whether there is something "better" out there and what that may be, i've only ridden the Bronson and a Carbine (briefly) but would say that the TBc is better in every way i can think of, at least for my riding, which seems similar to yours. It may be that 650 is in too early a stage to be optimized and it will imporve in the next year or two, but I would at least seriously demo anything that interests you.

    I have found a few rides that i consider superior overall to the TBc. Perhaps PM me if you are interested it that.
    Santa Cruz TBc
    Pivot 429c

  11. #11
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by icsloppl View Post
    I also have a TBc that was initially built with with the SC stock XT kit. I can relate to your rear bias and shortcoming statement, mine was similar out of the box. IME most of that behavior is due to how the bike is initiailly configured and can (could have been in your case) be make much better and more neutral handling with a few zero cost tweaks. Unfortunately, to some extent, the universal praise the TBc receives may tend to make you think that "it's just me and can't be the bike", which isn't useful.

    As to whether there is something "better" out there and what that may be, i've only ridden the Bronson and a Carbine (briefly) but would say that the TBc is better in every way i can think of, at least for my riding, which seems similar to yours. It may be that 650 is in too early a stage to be optimized and it will imporve in the next year or two, but I would at least seriously demo anything that interests you.

    I have found a few rides that i consider superior overall to the TBc. Perhaps PM me if you are interested it that.
    What's with the "rear biased" comments? Looking at the Alum TB and have not heard this phrase being used.

    As for the OP's inquiry, why not an LTc for his needs? Sounds like he's looking for a longer travel XC bike, not an AM or HT. What about the Spec Stumpjumper 29, Ibis Ripley, or SB95? There really isn't any long(er) travel XC 650's out yet.
    Last edited by JMac47; 05-23-2013 at 04:19 PM. Reason: typo
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  12. #12
    Old goat
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    giggity-giggity-giggity... hawwwwt...


    Dirtdummy- my vote is to buy a second hand bike now and wait for next year. The options will exponentiate (or at least multiply). If you can find the right used bike with the components you want you can swap them for the frame of your choice next year and the wheels (also growing in variety "daily"). Prices for 650b will begin to come back into orbit. You'll get more bike for your money, have time to test ride some 650b bikes and not lose a summer. As FNFAL points out you could also convert a bike now if the 650b wheels of choice exist for you now, which would be pre-loading for your eventual swap. There will still be a market for 29'er frames next year as long as you don't beat the tar out of your used 29'er frame. This is my strategy as I am in almost the same boat as your described situation. That's my $.02, now I'm broke again.

  13. #13
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    I started out on 29er hardtails and thought they were great, I was really positive on them and thought that was the only real option for trail riders over 5'-10", then I rode a 26" wheeled short travel bike. I was blown away at how nimble, quick, and easy to wheelie over obstacles than the 29er hardtails. I thought that was what I needed and rode it for a year before wanting to try 650b.

    My first ride on a 650b was similar to the first ride on the 26" full squish bike a year earlier, it felt about the same but it was easier to maintain momentum, rollover capability was slightly better, and handled high speed turns better. It was perfect for me and while I might get another 29er in the future I'll likely NEVER buy another 26" wheeled bike.

    Like allot of the guys on here I ride a converted 26" bike as a 650b, a Santa Cruz Nickel, and I was skeptical about the amount of travel when I got it. Its a 130mm bike that can also run a 140mm fork up front, but with a good fork I don't really pay any penalty for the extra travel when I don't need it.

    Going from the Tallboy to a 140-150mm 650b should be right in your wheelhouse. If you have a fairly open budget than any of the current 650b specific 150mm bikes will be great, try them out.

    If you want to buy a complete bike, ready to go, and can spend over $3k I'd look at the Scott genius 650b's, the SC Bronson, Norco or KHS bikes.

    If you want to buy a complete and need to keep it around $3k or less I'd only look at the Jamis and KHS bikes.

    If you are comfortable building a bike (thats what I do now), you can build a really nice bike for about $3k. I'm into my Nickel for less than $3k with top shelf parts, would have been a $5k bike if it was sold complete like this.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  14. #14
    Moderator Moderator
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    If you are doing endurance racing and XC in SoCal, 29er (assuming you fit on them ok, which it sounds like you do). The last thing you need when you've been on the bike for 6 hours is "nimble".

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

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