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  1. #1
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    Lennard Zinn replies to 650b question

    Apologies if this has been posted in a recent long-thread: Tech FAQ: Whatís the big deal with 650b?

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    That was an excellent and informative response from Lennard.

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    More fascinating history to fill in the gaps.

    That ti bike he built 4 years ago is sweet. Anyone know who the pioneer female racer who rode/ rides it is?

    Gotta agree with him that seeing tiny pro female WC x-c racers perched on 29'ers is cringe-worthy.

    I'm still baffled that no pro woman has decided to follow Nino's lead on 650b. And he's not all really all that short. Plenty riders his height happy on 29" , but 5'2" is another story.
    Last edited by dwt; 06-26-2012 at 07:33 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Awesome article by Leonard. Thank you for the pointer. Some great historical background. Am sharing that link w/my friends here locally.

    And it doesn't hurt that the author says something I've long said myself: "I think that it makes a lot more sense for wheels to be proportional to rider height (as they tend to be on kidsí bikes) than to simply jump on whatever happens to be the popular size of the moment."

    But to know that he and Tom Ritchey and Gary Fisher were involved in building 650b way back in the day, that's just very cool to be able to hear that story from someone who was there. Living history. Gotta love it.

  6. #6
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    It's good to hear first person experience on the earlier efforts to bring 650b to trail riding in 1981.

    Without internet and specifically the MTBR rider forum to spread the word about the advantages of the slightly bigger 650b wheel size, the first emergence of 650b trail bike wheels was "still-born".

    MTBR and the many smaller rider forums following, have spread the word about the decade long 29'er frame and wheel size experiment from a very small group of riders of custom bikes to a major commercial trend.

    Kirk Pacenti revived 650b for trail use by producing very high quality trail tires and rims with the help and expertize of Panaracer and Velocity. And Kirk's effort was rapidly accepted by many experienced 26 inch wheel riders, uncomfortable with the larger 29'er frames. 650b is growing many times more quickly than any prior trail wheel size, for the most part due to MTBR exposure plus the ability to fit the Pacenti compact in height but wide grippy tires into many high quality affordable production 26 inch frames.

    Thank you Kirk for your repeated reinvestment in negotiating and commissioning 650b rims and tires, long enough to generate the critical-mass of trail rider demand. Ritchey the custom frame builder, and Fisher the concept designer of custom frames, and any other earliest pioneers of 650b for trail use were struggling month to month to pay rent back in 1981, and unable to commission the production runs of tires and rims to launch the improved trail wheel size.

    The time is ripe now for 650b trail wheels, finally!

    Thank you to all at MTBR, particularly Francis for persevering to establish and grow this high quality rider review forum. And thank you again Kirk, for not giving up on 650b!

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    Emily Batty rides 29 inch

    Nino Schutter rides 650 B.

    Kulhavey rides 29 inch

    Pendrel rides 26 inch

    Absolon rides 26 inch...

    Seems to me the tire size is not has important has everyone makes out.

  8. #8
    dwt
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    Thank you too Derby. Obviously I post here a lot ( especially recently, serious illness keeping me on my ass; sorry)but I'm really a one year old newbie. I thank Derby and the other "old timers"in this forum who were so helpful guiding thru building a conversion (You all know who you are ) before I went all in abd sold most of my 26" parts and buying a Jamis.

    Also thanking Francois and MTBR where I kearned in a few years more about mtb than in the previus 15 combined. What a great resource.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Emily Batty rides 29 inch

    Nino Schutter rides 650 B.

    Kulhavey rides 29 inch

    Pendrel rides 26 inch

    Absolon rides 26 inch...

    Seems to me the tire size is not has important has everyone makes out.
    yes, obviously the name before the wheel size determines the results, as it always has...

    though, prior to this year, there was no 650b in the mix, and interestingly enough, that person has won the most world cups...just sayin'.

  10. #10
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Emily Batty rides 29 inch

    Nino Schutter rides 650 B.

    Kulhavey rides 29 inch

    Pendrel rides 26 inch

    Absolon rides 26 inch...

    Seems to me the tire size is not has important has everyone makes out.
    Wheel size is important mainly to the extent It fits and complements the rider's size and ability. The rider wins the race, not the wheel.
    Last edited by dwt; 06-27-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    yes, obviously the name before the wheel size determines the results, as it always has...

    though, prior to this year, there was no 650b in the mix, and interestingly enough, that person has won the most world cups...just sayin'.
    I think Absolon has more wins and world cups than Schutter....

    GRita Dahl has more wins then most....I think she is still on 26 inch....

    Anyway it is certainly all about the ride...not the bike.

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    FWIW. Dahle has added 29er to her arsenal. Her World Cup win at La Bresse earlier this season was her 29th win, not sure what she rode though. Don't forget Absalon's Olympic wins.

    Back to the OP, a while back I was kidding that Gary Fisher invented 650b, not realizing that he did have a hand in the Ritchey collaboration. Joke's on me.

  14. #14
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    The article seems to have a bit of an anti 26" slant to it, and he completely fails to mention that a 26x2.1 tire mounted and inflated measures 26.5" - a mere 25mm smaller than a similar 650b setup.

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    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    The article seems to have a bit of an anti 26" slant to it, and he completely fails to mention that a 26x2.1 tire mounted and inflated measures 26.5" - a mere 25mm smaller than a similar 650b setup.
    Clearlyb you have never ridden the wheel size or you would not have used the adjective "mere. " One inch makes more difference in reality than it does on your calculator. Recall that the SAE denomination of the wheel size is 27.5" which isvthe exact diameter of al four 650b wheels I own (three 2.1's and one 2.3).

    Zinn was specifically asked about 650b wheels andv he answered accordingly. Then his answer was posted to the 650b forum. Not exactly a mystery why 26"'doesnt come up, eh?

    Try again
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  16. #16
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    One thing not quite right with the article (or really with the question): Pacenti didn't come up with the "modern name" (or whatever you want to call it) "650b." He didn't try to call it 650b, either. He tried to call it 27FIVE (or twenty-seven5 ??? no, probably the first one). I presume this was because the accepted term for a 29er was/is 29er and not 700C. MTBR and/or whomever else on teh interweb didn't really like this term and decided 650b was the way to go.

    I'm actually on an airplane right now with a redonkulously slow connection, so I won't attempt to search for the above threads right now.

    I mention this not to be nitpicky, but rather because I think it's an interesting bit of trivia.

  17. #17
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldybikes View Post
    One thing not quite right with the article (or really with the question): Pacenti didn't come up with the "modern name" (or whatever you want to call it) "650b." He didn't try to call it 650b, either. He tried to call it 27FIVE (or twenty-seven5 ??? no, probably the first one). I presume this was because the accepted term for a 29er was/is 29er and not 700C. MTBR and/or whomever else on teh interweb didn't really like this term and decided 650b was the way to go.

    I'm actually on an airplane right now with a redonkulously slow connection, so I won't attempt to search for the above threads right now.

    I mention this not to be nitpicky, but rather because I think it's an interesting bit of trivia.
    It was a little more complicated. See Kirk's post no 32 in this thread

    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b/did-650b-just-explode-783426-2.html
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  18. #18
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    One inch makes more difference in reality.....
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.
    Dude you're posting in a forum where most people share that reality. Yours is the one that is different , the one that is disconnected from the empirical experience of riding a bike with 27.5" diameter wheels.

    Your reality consists of guesswork and theory and is completely irrelevant and useless. As was David Copperfield's when he was the biggest troll here. I don't believe anyone wants another .






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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.
    It's a lot less than an inch with big 26" tires but makes a big difference in stability and traction. Stuff all that I can notice on my terrain in rollover.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    It was a little more complicated. See Kirk's post no 32 in this thread

    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b/did-650b...-783426-2.html
    Word. Thanks for finding that.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    It's a lot less than an inch with big 26" tires but makes a big difference in stability and traction. Stuff all that I can notice on my terrain in rollover.
    What he said! ^^^^^^^^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    I don't doubt you honestly believe that. Your reality might be different than than others.
    If you have actually spent a bit of time on a 650b bike and came to the conclusion that 1" more is not significant, then you are entitled to your opinion. If, however, you are just an armchair critic who likes to bring up numbers on a piece of paper rather than real world application then I would suggest you spend more time riding 650b before you criticize them. I regularly ride both 26" and 650b, I like both very much, but the way they ride is completely different.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Dude you're posting in a forum where most people share that reality. Yours is the one that is different , the one that is disconnected from the empirical experience of riding a bike with 27.5" diameter wheels.

    Your reality consists of guesswork and theory and is completely irrelevant and useless. As was David Copperfield's when he was the biggest troll here. I don't believe anyone wants another .
    His reality is that he is insecure about himself and needs to come make everyone agree with his opinion so he can feel better about himself. Personally I don't care what size wheels he rides, or what he thinks about whats on my bike. I personally don't like 29ers, but I feel no need to go into the 29er forum and argue with everyone. If they like 29ers then thats great for them. I actually think people should enjoy biking, and that they should ride whatever type of bike helps them enjoy it. The Zanettis and the DCs of the world want everyone to agree with them, they can't stand that there is anyone that would think differently than they do. They want to act like they have some scientific or mathematical formula that proves their wheel size is best. The reality is racers are winning races on all 3 wheel sizes and regular joes are having a ton of fun on the local trails on all 3 wheel sizes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    ... fails to mention that a 26x2.1 tire mounted and inflated measures 26.5" - a mere 25mm smaller than a similar 650b setup.
    That's a bit like saying that a 2.3" tire is a mere 0.2" bigger than a 2.1" tire, therefore they will ride the same. I think that most people can tell a difference.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    Apologies if this has been posted in a recent long-thread: Tech FAQ: Whatís the big deal with 650b?
    Nice article. Thanks for posting!
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  27. #27
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    I'm tired of the 650b v 29 v 26 thing. Just do what I did. Get a side job and buy all three. I have a 650b, 29er, 26er and a couple of 96er's. Its like arguing about foods you never ate before. And yes, a 650b
    does make a difference, I mean visually as well as performance. Only thing I don't like is the tires are so damn close to the wheels wells Peace

    PS--I also have a 97.5er (29er front/650b rear)

  28. #28
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    His reality is that he is insecure about himself and needs to come make everyone agree with his opinion so he can feel better about himself.
    ...and here comes the personal attacks.


    All I did was state the facts about the actual outside diameter measurements. Do facts make you uncomfortable?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    All I did was state the facts about the actual outside diameter measurements. Do facts make you uncomfortable?
    As a total troll with nothing serious or substantial to contribute, you should be used to personal attacks. If you can dish it out, you should be able to take it.

    That theOD of a 650b wheel is "only" an inch greater than a 26' may be a fact but how is it relevant? In this thread you are minimising the difference between 26" and 659b In another thread you suggested that the bigger wheel is a crutch to get over obstacles

    So what excactlybis your point? You cant have it both ways.
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  30. #30
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    Ah, the difference in effective edge between a 185 ski and a 190 ski is only a few mm ( or none, actually), so they should pretty much ski the same, right? And 100mm underfoot is only 5mm different than 105, I guess the edge to edge should be so close as to be irrelevant, right?
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  31. #31
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    Yeah and a bike with a 12.5'' tall BB handles exactly as one with a 13.5'' BB. I mean, its only 1'' right ?
    Face it, there IS a difference between 26 and 27.5 inch wheels ... if that difference is worth to you or not is a whole another story but spreading FUD just because you don't like the size is pretty stupid.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    ..

    All I did was state the facts about the actual outside diameter measurements.
    And what's your point?

    Perhaps you could tell us what the bike handling difference is with a 1" larger diameter wheel.

    If not. Once again. What's your point.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti View Post
    ...and here comes the personal attacks.


    All I did was state the facts about the actual outside diameter measurements. Do facts make you uncomfortable?
    I was simply stating the facts. Do facts make YOU uncomfortable? Anyone who cares so much about what I am doing with my bike is insecure with himself, I think any therapist would agree. Why do you even feel the need to come in this forum? Insecurity. It bothers you that there are people who don't think like you and you need to "correct" them. That reeks of insecurity.
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  34. #34
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Friendly suggestion, pudding, quit with the spam. You will get banned, and it is not relevant to this thread. The same people are reading this as your other spam threads, so just stop. It also is annoying, and is making people not want to consider your frames as a result.
    In other words,
    STFU!
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  35. #35
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    What I find interesting that 26" standard seems to have come by due to tire size import restrictions. So we may all be riding 27.5 wheels if the supply had not dried up in early 80's.

    In truth I am interested in how 650B evolves. The 29er guys have done a great job to bust the established 26" standard. So this opens the door to alternate wheel sizes and it remains to be see how the in between size will stack up. Is there a new golden standard? or will wheel size be determined by rider size. Or will we be able to pick and choose wheel size to match the bike and or terrain. I found it also interesting to hear about 1 bike and 3 wheel sizes being used for different conditions.

    At least until this shakes out more I will stay on my 26" hardtail with old fashioned V-brakes.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  36. #36
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    I'm gonna retrofit my F150 with drum brakes.
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  37. #37
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post

    In truth I am interested in how 650B evolves. The 29er guys have done a great job to bust the established 26" standard. So this opens the door to alternate wheel sizes and it remains to be see how the in between size will stack up. Is there a new golden standard? or will wheel size be determined by rider size. Or will we be able to pick and choose wheel size to match the bike and or terrain.
    I wouldn't lable 650b as a new "standard" now by any means, nor do I envision it ever becoming so.

    The reason is contained in your second two points. Rider size and fitment must always be taken into account, as well as the bikes intended use. There is no one size fits all. Each wheel size excels on certain terrain.

    29" will always have superior rollover than the other two, but will always be heavier and the wheels less stiff

    26" will always be lightest and have most nimble handling. But has worst rollover.

    650b Is in between on both counts.

    Those of us who ride 650b think it is. Mama Bear : " just right"

    Others Disagree. Which is why a bike should be demoed on the trails before buying.


    I found it also interesting to hear about 1 bike and 3 wheel sizes being used for different conditions.
    Since frame geometry is specific to wheel size, that is not possible. It is possible to install 650b wheels on some 26" frames ( see sticky on this
    ) though geometry will be compromised somewhat, such as bottom bracket height will go up. Not sure about 650b wheels on 29" frame. Sure to be geometry issues, I would think.




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    Last edited by dwt; 06-30-2012 at 12:51 PM.
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  38. #38
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    Gary Fisher originally got his Nokia Hakkapeliitta 650x54B tires from English off-road cycling pioneer Geoff Apps in 1980. The 1980s the US frame builders that built bikes using these tires include: Tom Ritchey, Lennard Zinn, Ross Schafer, and Jim Merz.

    Lennard Zinn replies to 650b question-letterfromckandgf001a.jpg

    History | Cleland Cycles

    Apps says that he also sent some 700x47C Hakkapeliitta tires. This is the tire that inspired Bruce Gordon to produce his first 'Rock n' Road' tire in 1988

  39. #39
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    Anyone trying a 650b out back on a 29er frame?

    I have two 29er frames with short stays, and could handle a fatter tire out back if I went with a rear 650b wheel. The slacker HTA and STA would be fine for me, as would the slightly lower BB. Kind of like back in the day with putting a 24" rear wheel on the DH bike to get a fatter tire to fit.

    BTW, what is the fattest 650b rear?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    BTW, what is the fattest 650b rear?
    That would be a 2.4 Nobby Nic or the Mega-Moto for now.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    That's a bit like saying that a 2.3" tire is a mere 0.2" bigger than a 2.1" tire, therefore they will ride the same. I think that most people can tell a difference.
    Wellll....maybe not quite like that. But you did say "a bit" sooo...

    I am just thinking a 2.3 typically gains volume and width, not just height and that contributes to the difference.

    Just saying.

    I still think one should ride the biggest wheel that works for them, regardless.

    carry on.
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