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  1. #1
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    Has anyone actually gone from being a 29" diehard to 27.5/650b?

    The reason I ask is after riding my 29er solely for so long, I can't see myself ever going back to the small wheels BUT I am interested in giving the Intense Tracer 275 a go and will be test riding the snot out of one in the next few weeks.

    Just interested to see what the 29ers think, personally I'm going to reserve judgement but I'm not expecting to jump the 29er ship anytime soon, although I am quite open to stand corrected.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    The reason I ask is after riding my 29er solely for so long, I can't see myself ever going back to the small wheels BUT I am interested in giving the Intense Tracer 275 a go and will be test riding the snot out of one in the next few weeks.

    Just interested to see what the 29ers think, personally I'm going to reserve judgement but I'm not expecting to jump the 29er ship anytime soon, although I am quite open to stand corrected.

    The way I see it...29ers haven't been around in their present form long enough to call anyone "diehard 29ers".
    The enjoyment might be missed if you resign yourself to one type of bike. There's still fun to be had on 26er bikes...I ride whatever to have fun.
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  3. #3
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    I ride both. I use the 29er as my XC bike and the 650b as my trail bike. That is where I have the most fun.
    Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.

  4. #4
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    I love my 29er and wanted to switch from the moment I first rode one and that has not changed. However, sometimes I miss the zippity quick handling of my old Racer X; it would be fun to try 650B to see if is the best of both. Hence, lurking around on this forum.

  5. #5
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    29ers have been around long enough. I've been on mine for about 8 years. Probably 10 plus on 26" bike before that. Since going 29 I've not owned a 26 so, I'd say that counts as die hard.

    With that said I always felt drivetrains were not 29er friendly. Rear triangles and rear wheels on 29ers have always felt a bit flimsy to me, and just a bit too heavy and long to flip the back end around how I'd like. So, while I was a die hard, I also recognized their limitations. Still, the 29" wheel rolls so much better than a 26 with overall less strain on the rider I couldn't go back. (By roll I mean both "roll over", as in roll over chunk, and lower rolling resistance.)

    The 275, on paper, seems like a good compromise with the issues I mentioned about - stiffer, lighter, more drive train friendly than a big hoop, but still retain some of the "roll over" and lower RR, and stability of a 29er.

    My Stumpy 29er, my trail/AM bike, seemed like a good bike to experiment with. I was having issues with trying to run a fatter tire out back. It has short stays and with the inherently flimsier big hoop out back I was getting rub. Also, when pushed hard, I felt too much rear wheel flex. A big limiter on AM 29er setups is wheel weight. For AM you need a burly tire and rim, regardless of hoop size. Running big rubber on a thick rim gets heavy on a 29er - no way around it. So, I wanted to try a 275 out back on the Stumpy.

    A rear 275 with a Flow Ex was built up on a King rear for the test. Mounting a Nevegal 2.35 made the most sense at the time. Yes, an expensive experiment I know. But, I knew if it did not work out with the Stumpy I could run it on my KM. As a side note, I was having similar clearance issues on the KM and knew I could make use of the 275 on that bike.

    With the rear 275 mounted on the Stumpy 29er, and keeping the 29er up font, the bike feels great. Much better than a dedicated 29er for what I'm using it for. In many facets of handling, performance, and feel, this set up is superior for trail/AM riding. If anyone is interested reply and I could go into all that.

    A dedicated longer travel 275 is too be my next bike for trail/AM. The Stumpy will return to full 29er mode but get faster, lighter wheels and it will be more of a xc bike. I'm convinced that is where mountain biking is going. AM 275. XC 29er. The in between all purpose "trail-bike" category could go either way.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedraceratl View Post
    I ride both. I use the 29er as my XC bike and the 650b as my trail bike. That is where I have the most fun.
    idem ditto,

    had a sizes: 26er, 29er, 27,5er and a fatbike,
    will "change the garage" now in to:
    27,5 enduro
    27,5 any weather Ti hardtail (read mud&training bike)
    29er race fully
    26er light trail-bike (for the holidays: plane + new carbon bike = no go for me)

    why:
    although the capacities of a 29er to roll over fallen trees/rockgardens/..., it
    is to "lame" to play the front wheel around/over obstacles
    and the rear to grippy for the switchbacks
    therefor the smaller wheels on my trail-bikes

  7. #7
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    There's certainly some really good thoughts here thanks guys.

    My 29er is an XC/trail bike set up nice and aggressively, I'm amazed at how it rolls (over square edges and with less resistance) and the difference in steering speed against my last 26" bike(SC Nickel) is pretty undetectable to be honest but I'm still looking forward to trying out the Intense and seeing what the different wheel size has to offer me.

    I like trying these things out for myself, it took me ages to find a 29er I was happy with but when I did I've not looked back since!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    29ers have been around long enough. I've been on mine for about 8 years. Probably 10 plus on 26" bike before that. Since going 29 I've not owned a 26 so, I'd say that counts as die hard.

    With that said I always felt drivetrains were not 29er friendly. Rear triangles and rear wheels on 29ers have always felt a bit flimsy to me, and just a bit too heavy and long to flip the back end around how I'd like. So, while I was a die hard, I also recognized their limitations. Still, the 29" wheel rolls so much better than a 26 with overall less strain on the rider I couldn't go back. (By roll I mean both "roll over", as in roll over chunk, and lower rolling resistance.)

    The 275, on paper, seems like a good compromise with the issues I mentioned about - stiffer, lighter, more drive train friendly than a big hoop, but still retain some of the "roll over" and lower RR, and stability of a 29er.

    My Stumpy 29er, my trail/AM bike, seemed like a good bike to experiment with. I was having issues with trying to run a fatter tire out back. It has short stays and with the inherently flimsier big hoop out back I was getting rub. Also, when pushed hard, I felt too much rear wheel flex. A big limiter on AM 29er setups is wheel weight. For AM you need a burly tire and rim, regardless of hoop size. Running big rubber on a thick rim gets heavy on a 29er - no way around it. So, I wanted to try a 275 out back on the Stumpy.

    A rear 275 with a Flow Ex was built up on a King rear for the test. Mounting a Nevegal 2.35 made the most sense at the time. Yes, an expensive experiment I know. But, I knew if it did not work out with the Stumpy I could run it on my KM. As a side note, I was having similar clearance issues on the KM and knew I could make use of the 275 on that bike.

    With the rear 275 mounted on the Stumpy 29er, and keeping the 29er up font, the bike feels great. Much better than a dedicated 29er for what I'm using it for. In many facets of handling, performance, and feel, this set up is superior for trail/AM riding. If anyone is interested reply and I could go into all that.

    A dedicated longer travel 275 is too be my next bike for trail/AM. The Stumpy will return to full 29er mode but get faster, lighter wheels and it will be more of a xc bike. I'm convinced that is where mountain biking is going. AM 275. XC 29er. The in between all purpose "trail-bike" category could go either way.
    Ask yourself a simple question. Can I live without spandex. If the answer is no, than a 5 inch or greater 27.5 or 26" isn't for you.

  9. #9
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    I've been on 29ers for many years, and gave 650B a reasonable try this year. For me, for a hardtail, a 29er offers so many advantages that it's not worth downsizing. Full suspension, on the other hand, may be worth a go. I've never found a 29er FS that I really enjoyed--they just seem to get too long. But even as a 29er lover, I'm enjoying my time on my current Stumpjumper FSR 26er to complement my rigid SS 29er.

  10. #10
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    I'm not a diehard, I just ride bikes. My XC bikes have been 29er for the last 7 years, rigid, HT, SS, FS. But I just put together a Burner so I'm looking forward to trying it out, when the weather decides to cooperate.
    Rolling on 29", 650b, 8.3" and 23mm

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy View Post
    But even as a 29er lover, I'm enjoying my time on my current Stumpjumper FSR 26er to complement my rigid SS 29er.
    Really? No probs switching? I went 29er for SS and never looked back. Going back, switching back and forth with my geared 26er didn't work for me.

    I'm in the process of rebuilding my 26er now, a custom Carl Strong steel hardtail, into 650b. I'm hoping the difference won't be too much this time and I can have my favorite custom bike back again. I loved that Strong, more than the S-works Epic it replaced.

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    I only recently converted to 29ers (a Inbred rigid and Trance X0) and love them. I am really excited to try 27.5 though, as guys have mentioned I reckon the 29ers will become the xc standard and 27.5 the trail, AM standard. In my head that makes sense...now I just need to get my hands on one!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nev View Post
    Really? No probs switching? I went 29er for SS and never looked back. Going back, switching back and forth with my geared 26er didn't work for me.

    I'm in the process of rebuilding my 26er now, a custom Carl Strong steel hardtail, into 650b. I'm hoping the difference won't be too much this time and I can have my favorite custom bike back again. I loved that Strong, more than the S-works Epic it replaced.
    I've never had any issue switching back and forth between 26 and 29. I'd say the wheel-size is about the least relevant thing to adapt to. Suspension travel/feel and cockpit setup are a much bigger factor for me. But even still, once I'm used to a bike, I'm used to it, and I can go back and forth with zero issues switching back and forth. I could switch mid-ride and not miss a beat.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  14. #14
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    Im a die hard. I had 4 29ers in 5 years and will never own another. My 650 accelerates WAYYYY better rolls over most stuff nearly as well. Is more nimble,has a shorter wheelbase,wheelies over stuff better has an inch shorter chainstays. It doesnt hold momentum the same but its close....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I've never had any issue switching back and forth between 26 and 29. I'd say the wheel-size is about the least relevant thing to adapt to. Suspension travel/feel and cockpit setup are a much bigger factor for me. But even still, once I'm used to a bike, I'm used to it, and I can go back and forth with zero issues switching back and forth. I could switch mid-ride and not miss a beat.
    ^ this! I think it's a good idea ( and fun also) to be able to ride different types of bikes.
    It helps to expand your riding knowledge base and skill sets.
    I'm currently trying a 27.5 on the rear of the Rip9 and liking the slacker HA and quicker acceleration.
    Maybe the best of both worlds.
    Last edited by blcman; 01-14-2013 at 08:58 PM.
    Ibis HD3
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  16. #16
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    Convert

    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    There's certainly some really good thoughts here thanks guys.

    26" bike(SC Nickel) is pretty undetectable
    If you liked the Nickle, you can pick up a clearence frame on SC site and build one up 650.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  17. #17
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    No good

    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    If you liked the Nickle, you can pick up a clearence frame on SC site and build one up 650.
    I briefly considered converting mine before I sold it last year.

  18. #18
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    And I don't know where the thumbs down came from up there but it wasn't intentional!?!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by smellurfingers View Post
    ask yourself a simple question. Can i live without spandex. If the answer is no, than a 5 inch or greater 27.5 or 26" isn't for you.
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    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by flupke73 View Post
    (for the holidays: plane + new carbon bike = no go for me)
    I have a great success with this case:
    Evoc USA
    Trip to Europe and around USA with no problems, just don't forget to remove the rotors, they will most likely get punished...

  21. #21
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    What he says... 29er for XC and 27.5 for trail/AM

  22. #22
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    if you like your 29ers, then keep them.

    For me, I found fault with the way mine handled. When I investigated why, I realized that I could never get one to handle like a 26" bike, and I believe it's centered around the chainstay. I couldn't afford a devinici atlas, and no other FS 29er had chainstays that came close to being acceptable, in my book.

    I picked up a rush 650b and I love it. It's snappy and fast, and it doesn't lose a whole lot to the 29er. If I bled cash, I'd want a 17.2" chainstayed hardtail as an addition to my quiver.

  23. #23
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    Good job! No worries

    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    And I don't know where the thumbs down came from up there but it wasn't intentional!?!
    Just figured it as a no go gesture.....
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Just figured it as a no go gesture.....
    No no just a random iPhone key tap I think!

  25. #25
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    im not a die hard but i like my fs 29er for the trails i ride. interested in trying a 650b though.

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    Good post.

  27. #27
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    I ride a 29er right now, but I'm looking at getting a 650b.

  28. #28
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    This seems like a really good comparisons, there are a few appearing in the mags and on the blogs at the moment:

    Opinion: 26 vs 27.5 vs 29-inch Wheels - Pinkbike

  29. #29
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    I was pretty sold on 29ers for the past few years, and I really like my Tallboy FS 29er and SIR9 hardtail 29er. But then I got a 2006 Epic frame and fork for free and built it up with some parts I had. I had a lot of fun on that 26er, and thought that with a little more travel and a bit slacker geometry it could be a great trail bike. So I bought a TRc frame on sale and swapped the parts onto that bike. Compared to the Tallboy it isn't as good through rock gardens but is better going downhill. I also like the TRc's shorter chainstays and smaller feel, which makes it feel more playful.

    I will be doing a 650b conversion on the TRc soon, and I'm hoping that this will improve its rock garden abilities while still maintaining the playful feel. I don't think it will replace the Tallboy, but I might prefer it for certain terrain.

  30. #30
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    i did exectly the same thing. I have had a Tallboy for over a year and a Trc 650b since Christmas. Love them both.

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    I did the same thing with my 29er Stumpy FSR except I went with the AC 650BXC. When it comes to sustained, steep climbs, it was a huge improvement over the stock setup. Unfortunately, the already too low BB is slightly lower now, which has caused some pretty spectacular pedal-strike assisted dismounts Awesomeness would be a 26" Stumpy FSR that would accept 2.35" 650B's front and back. The extra BB height would make it an all mtn monster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by warmonkey View Post
    I did the same thing with my 29er Stumpy FSR except I went with the AC 650BXC. When it comes to sustained, steep climbs, it was a huge improvement over the stock setup. Unfortunately, the already too low BB is slightly lower now, which has caused some pretty spectacular pedal-strike assisted dismounts Awesomeness would be a 26" Stumpy FSR that would accept 2.35" 650B's front and back. The extra BB height would make it an all mtn monster.
    Raising the BB height is another reason why I think the 650b conversion will improve the TRc.

  33. #33
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    I have had 2 C'dale F29's, 3 Fisher 29ers, 2 Salsa El Mars, a Jamis and a custom 29er, so I would say I'm a 29er fan. I also have the Nemesis 650b which I really like, but on the flatter, less technical trails we have here, it does not really gain me anything (hence trying to sell it). When it sells, I will go back to a 29er. I invested lots of money to get it as racey as possible, but it still lacks the "roll-over-ness" of a 29er.

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    I'm lucky to have quite a solid fleet that includes a 26 inch HT and duallie, 1 x 650B ti customs, 1 x ti 26 inch convertible to 650B and a 29er Onone Scandal. I moved to 650B following purchasing the 29er and finding it really wasn't that much fun. Makes it harder to flick the front end up and rail corners in my experience. My 650B bikes just seem so right. I have an obstacle course around my house that id o with the kids. It's quite interesting as there is a speedy curved turn in the front garden - 29er requires brakes, 650B can just burn through it. 26 inch requires a bot more work to get to speed. it's a true scientific test.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarf1 View Post
    I'm lucky to have quite a solid fleet that includes a 26 inch HT and duallie, 1 x 650B ti customs, 1 x ti 26 inch convertible to 650B and a 29er Onone Scandal. I moved to 650B following purchasing the 29er and finding it really wasn't that much fun. Makes it harder to flick the front end up and rail corners in my experience. My 650B bikes just seem so right. I have an obstacle course around my house that id o with the kids. It's quite interesting as there is a speedy curved turn in the front garden - 29er requires brakes, 650B can just burn through it. 26 inch requires a bot more work to get to speed. it's a true scientific test.
    Would love to see some pics of your course, it sounds great being able to set up your bikes just riding around your house!

  36. #36
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    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by smellurfingers View Post
    Ask yourself a simple question. Can I live without spandex. If the answer is no, than a 5 inch or greater 27.5 or 26" isn't for you.
    Don't see why you'd suggest wearing spandex and bike travel have much to do with each other. Unless you shy away from spandex 'cause maybe you're a bit short on "travel".



    Anyone whose been riding more than ten years will likely tell you you are wrong.

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    After many seasons on different wheels sizes I won't go back to a 26er. As much as I liked 650b & 29er's both had issues. The 29" rear wheel was just too much - hurt acceleration, rigidity & frame geometry changes. The 650b front wheel was too small when compared to a 29er - 29er just rolls over obstacles. So I ended up w/ my favorite 29 / 650b combo :

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Don't see why you'd suggest wearing spandex and bike travel have much to do with each other. Unless you shy away from spandex 'cause maybe you're a bit short on "travel".



    Anyone whose been riding more than ten years will likely tell you you are wrong.
    Not IME after 20. Spandex gets caught on the saddle; baggies do not. The more you stay in one place on the saddle riding, say a HT 29'er XC, the more you can use spandex. Bigger travel is associated with moving around and coming off the saddle due to terrain. Nothing more annoying than your shorts getting caught on the nose of the saddle. I have recently been using a dropper post with my 5" travel 650b, so I could probably could get away with riding my spandex roadie kit off road, but it would be lame. I'm used to wearing a mtb costume off road anyway: baggies, T shirt, camelbak. When in Rome...
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Not IME after 20. Spandex gets caught on the saddle; baggies do not. The more you stay in one place on the saddle riding, say a HT 29'er XC, the more you can use spandex. Bigger travel is associated with moving around and coming off the saddle due to terrain. Nothing more annoying than your shorts getting caught on the nose of the saddle. I have recently been using a dropper post with my 5" travel 650b, so I could probably could get away with riding my spandex roadie kit off road, but it would be lame. I'm used to wearing a mtb costume off road anyway: baggies, T shirt, camelbak. When in Rome...
    I don't get this? Nothing to get caught on Spandex. When I ride baggies they get caught a lot.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshF View Post
    I don't get this? Nothing to get caught on Spandex. When I ride baggies they get caught a lot.
    It's just a fashion statement. Some mtb'ers seem to have a pathological fear of being mistaken for cyclists. They're made for riding, folks, and nothing works better on the bike. The most you can say about the best baggies on the market is that they work almost as well as lycra, I wear baggies once in a while but when I know I'm going to be in the saddle for a long time, I break out the bibshorts, no second thoughts.

  41. #41
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    I've been riding for over 20 years now (wow I feel old thinking about that!) I've not once worn Lycra other than on my inner shorts, I've just always rocked the baggy look or jeans back in the day!

    Anyway back on topic, there are some great (non-lycra) comments on here, I can't wait to try the tracer 272, I just hope I don't like it more than my 29er!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    It's just a fashion statement. Some mtb'ers seem to have a pathological fear of being mistaken for cyclists. They're made for riding, folks, and nothing works better on the bike. The most you can say about the best baggies on the market is that they work almost as well as lycra, I wear baggies once in a while but when I know I'm going to be in the saddle for a long time, I break out the bibshorts, no second thoughts.
    Wrong. I Hate riding Lycra off road; it is the wrong tool. I ride full lycra kit on road, no problem.

    But we all have to admit (I will) the fashion statement part of the deal. Way worse on road than off. Even if your legs did the talking and you dropped the pack, arrogant egotistical roadies would shun you if you showed up on a road ride with baggies and a camelbak .

    Meanwhile if you showed up in lime green lycra off road, but ripped on your bike, you would get funny looks but prop respect.

    Roadies are way more superficial than mtb. I hang out in both subcultures and know first hand. PS. My riding mates are all both road and off road riders. 3 out of 5 always wear Lycra. The other 2 switch between baggies and Lycra.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  43. #43
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    What?

    I find this completely baffling. Baggy stuff has material everywhere and can (to be fair this never bothers me) get caught on all sorts of things. Spandex can also get caught on stuff, I guess, but it occupies less space and doesn't have as many snaggable (if you want to use my new word, you have to pay me $1) bits.

    I mean, neither one is really going to cause you any problems in most cases but I have no idea how you could end up catching your spandex on stuff (at least stuff you wouldn't *also* catch your baggies on) when you're on a mountain bike.

    DH pros used to wear skin suits because it was (at least in their minds - and in some cases objectively *kamikaze*) faster and better, but people threw a fit because it didn't look moto enough so now they're required BY THE UCI to wear baggie gear. The UCI does a lot of dumb stuff but that one has always been my favorite.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Not IME after 20. Spandex gets caught on the saddle; baggies do not. The more you stay in one place on the saddle riding, say a HT 29'er XC, the more you can use spandex. Bigger travel is associated with moving around and coming off the saddle due to terrain. Nothing more annoying than your shorts getting caught on the nose of the saddle. I have recently been using a dropper post with my 5" travel 650b, so I could probably could get away with riding my spandex roadie kit off road, but it would be lame. I'm used to wearing a mtb costume off road anyway: baggies, T shirt, camelbak. When in Rome...
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
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  44. #44
    mtbr member
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    I myself are baffled at how this thread turns into one where we feel the need to discuss baggies vs Lycra?!

    Any chance of getting back on topic?

  45. #45
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    ^^ This

  46. #46
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    My spandex gets caught on the saddle. Very annoying. i may experiment with my expensive multi paneled shorts I use for road.

  47. #47
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    I test rode a SB95 and it felt too big. If I needed longer travel 650b would be the ticket.

  48. #48
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    I'm pretty much a 29er guy. All my bikes are 29" -- FS, HT, rigid SS. Considering the medium size wheels for a longer travel, more AM type bike but I can't decide between the 650B and the 27.5
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  49. #49
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    Ditch those other choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    Considering the medium size wheels for a longer travel, more AM type bike but I can't decide between the 650B and the 27.5
    Get the Tweener wheels and get on with it!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  50. #50
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by malibu412 View Post
    i'm pretty much a 29er guy. All my bikes are 29" -- fs, ht, rigid ss. Considering the medium size wheels for a longer travel, more am type bike but i can't decide between the 650b and the 27.5
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Has anyone actually gone from being a 29" diehard to 27.5/650b?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1358817222.501216.jpg  

    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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