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  1. #1
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    Niner's Chris Sugai on 650b/275

    Video about 1/4-1/3 of the way down.

    Products and People - Sea Otter 2013 - Pinkbike

    He likens 275 to a 'tweener' similar to cable discs (instead of full hydraulic), Girvin (GAH!) Flex Stems instead of front suspension, suspension posts to rear suspension...

    My $0.02? From a company that can't design bikes for everyone who might like one (Enduro29, Mr Sugai?), he seems awfully sure. Kool-Aid at its worst...

    Why can't it just be ok that many people have tried and like 275? Not a good sign for Niner.

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  2. #2
    it's the ride....
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    ..and I am selling my 29-er for 275. No worries.. he only loss one customer..
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  3. #3
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    I don't know who he is and I don't have a dog in this fight. But his comments, purely from a branding/messaging standpoint, are pure idiocy. Building your company around one wheel size trend and refusing to recognize any others is stupid. But to then insult the fastest growing trend by comparing it to a slew of low-end products is just daft.

    Whichever venture or equity group is funding his company needs to tell him to STFU.

  4. #4
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    I have a Niner and I really like the way it rides. I also just built up a Soma B Side and, although I've only ridden it once, it rode great. I have to say that Chris seems like a total ********, though. It makes me not want to buy anything from his company again.

  5. #5
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    Corporate Tunnel Vision at it's best!

    I hope they snap out of it, or at least eat a half a slice of humble pie and be the first people to produce a 29/27.5 5.5" enduro/all mtn bike with 16.75 chain stays.

  6. #6
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    Everything in life, including 650b wheels, is a compromise but those comparisons are ridiculous. That said, so far I'd say his prediction from several years ago that 29ers will dominate the mountain bike market has been *mostly* true. They're 50% of the total market as of last year, from basically zero in 2003 or 2004. So he's got a better track record than many at prognostication.

    If I had to guess, for the entire mountain bike market, stability will eventually come at something like 25/25/50 for 26/650b/29.

    Edit: That's for the US. If Asia gets very into mountain bikes, total game changer - 26 and to a lesser extent 650b will dominate that part of the world just based on demographics and average height, and realistically Asia is most of the world. But that might or might not happen.

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  7. #7
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    I don't know about the USA but here in BC 27.5 will dominate 26 and 29. Whistler may still hang on the 26. Just went to Steed and they sold 7 Santa Cruz Bronson in the last 2 weeks. I predict 26 for DJ/Trials/Street and anything really tech, 29 for XC and 27.5 everything else.

  8. #8
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    -edit- DH is the big mystery. Bikes that are adjustable and could run both 26 and 27.5 depending on the course???

  9. #9
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    Niner wasn't on my radar but now it is even less so. I will stay away from a company whose owner is so closed minded. You can't have progress or even great design ideas when you have tunnel vision. I wish him well however he will never see a cent from me. Too many better and open minded companies I'd rather give my hard earned money too.

  10. #10
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    I bet Yao Ming would ride a 29er!
    When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist.

  11. #11
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    I think making only 29ers is a rather tidy marketing strategy. I've seen quite a few people assume Niner is a top 29er choice simply because that's all they do. The focus implies quality in a lot of minds. I would imagine they can sell more 29ers based on that impression than they could other wheel sizes, were they just another random company in an overly saturated market with broad offerings.

    But not to me...I've a 27.5er on order

  12. #12
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    I was amused. Chris Sugai is very open to share his thoughts and it gets him in trouble, due to people misinterpreting it. I like how pinkbike put his thoughts up against a Norco engineer in a 29 vs 26" earlier, which isn't a fair match-up when speaking of things in a technical manner.

    I think people just like drama and using the wheel size debate as one of their outlet. The whole debate is overblown, with people somehow investing interest in things as if such interest held value. There's not really much money to be made in the biking industry and it would be better if the bike industry would stop shooting themselves in the foot by making people indecisive about buying, with potential customers holding off purchases until they feel that they've properly researched things, as opposed to encouraging sales. Problem is, the lack of truly valuable sources of info that can truly help individual make decisions. You got plenty of opinions and fashionable schools of thought, backed by the "power of numbers" (AKA general consensus), but following such trends tends to get one to spend money on things not really suited to their personal needs.

  13. #13
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    Wouldn't mind if people just simply accepted straight cold hard facts. The basics are, big wheels offer undeniable benefits for mountain biking. There are downsides, but they're being argued and overblown, rather than being weighed against the benefits, seeing if the benefits outweigh the downsides. People are making a big deal about how 650b is only a "tiny bit bigger" than 26", rather than seeing the point about it being about minimizing those downsides from the bigger 29er wheels, and getting as much of the bigger wheel advantages as possible. The market perspective on 650b is that its offers the benefits of bigger wheels without any of the disadvantages, but people just aren't accepting it.

    There really isn't anything to weigh with 650b, other than what wheel size do you choose about the 3 being presented. It's basically what people have been demanding, bigger wheels without compromising the geo the have come to be accept as well-balanced from riding their 26". Hard to deny the results shown from bigger wheels, and 650b is already proving itself in races.

    I think it's just a psychological issue in people. People demand, yet find nothing that pleases them. They may have paid too much attention to the trends and found that they made regrettable buying decisions, and now are more likely to reconsider any major decisions in the future. Switching to a new wheel size seems to be a big investment to people, an investment in a more literal sense. People might have some sort of superiority complex, wanting what's good in comparison to the others, rather than what's good enough for them, and arguing to defend against any claims of inferiority (ex. to what wheel size they ride). People just are not very accepting.

    Sorry for the rant. I'm just tired of the debating and I'm trying to offer a realistic perspective. There's just an excess of trendy perspectives, negativity, and non-serious people trying to stir up drama. It's like a perfect setup for some trolls to have a ball, due to the stupidity going on. Saying things, such as certain wheel sizes or old tech, are going to die should be taboo on these forums, as that just gets people riled up big time.

  14. #14
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    Mr. Sugai has put everything he has into the 'Niner' concept, so he absolutely cannot embrace 650b in any way whatsoever. Wether he truly is as completely close-minded about the new standard as he appears from the interview, you have to understand that he has everything to lose and nothing to gain by 650b, so his interests compel him to completely dismiss it.

  15. #15
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    I love Niner. Their parts work great on my 650b.

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  16. #16
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    Niner - once, the specialization meant something - a company that showcased their expertise on the big wheel, and the big wheel only, meant a lot in a market with few choices. The big bike companies were slow (a bit) to pick up the 29er and thats where Niner made its mark.

    Its thus idiocy for Sugai to foreclose the possibility of an eventual venture into the 650b, in the same way that many other companies foreclosed their venture into the 29er world years back, and are now eating crow for that. He of all people should recognize that a new trend has incredible potential. He just closed himself to a segment with great potential.
    Now he has to make it only on his overpriced stuff in a market with so much better-priced competition.

  17. #17
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    I couldn't disagree with Varaxis any more. Yes you can feel a undeniable benefit from a 26er to a 29ers, as well if 29ers were the norm and you went to a 26ers, the undeniable benefit is it feels different, which may feel better, until you come to the realization of having buyers remorse. I've spent time on all the wheel sizes, settled with a 27.5, believe that the size has all of the attributes of both sizes. I laugh at all of my 29er riding friends, when we ride I love watching them blow through tight corners trying to steer their big wheel beasts in tight and technical single track, all the while. I'm buzzing their rear wheels pushing them along on my converted SC Blur XCc. I have not seen one benefit of the 29er bikes, except maybe on fireroad studder bumps. What's the first thing we learn about making your bike faster and more responsive, reduce your rotational weight, pretty much throws that theory out with a 29ers. This post was about Niner' s Chris Sugai' s comments regarding the optimum wheel size, did anyone really think he would have said anything different?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I laugh at all of my 29er riding friends, when we ride I love watching them blow through tight corners trying to steer their big wheel beasts in tight and technical single track, all the while. I'm buzzing their rear wheels pushing them along on my converted SC Blur XCc.
    I'd be willing to bet that it's got much less to do with the size of wheels you and your friends ride and more to do with the fact that you're simply the better rider.

  19. #19
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    Chris does have a point. Adopting new/different technology may take some time, and if there is an "in-between", some folks go that route. 29ers make better bikes for some types of riding and some riders. It took me at least a year of trying 29ers to come around to the big change. I thought they steered slow. It took a long time for me to learn to handle the bike differently. Now I find they corner better and faster than a 26" bike. A 275 might have eased the transition to big wheels. So for those on a 26",whose style and trails would be best met by a 29er, going to a 275 first could make sense.

    What I don't agree with is that 29ers are best for all riding for all riders. Chris suggesting that the 275 could only be thought of as a transition to a 29er "across the board" is something I disagree with. A 275 may be the best wheel size for certains styles and trails - 29" hoops do have their weaknesses.

    For almost a year now I've been on a 29er, converted to a 275 out back and a 29er up front (a B-9er). Love it.

    BTW, Niner makes a great bike. I have a RIP and almost bought the new carbon RIP - but, since Santa Cruz's TBLTc has been out long enough to bring out potential bugs, and it has a bit more travel I went that route. I'd sure like to see them do a B-Niner, or even a straight 275. Niner is a good compancy and their suspension is great - hate to see it all wasted on one wheel size.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I laugh at all of my 29er riding friends, when we ride I love watching them blow through tight corners trying to steer their big wheel beasts in tight and technical single track, all the while.
    Exactly the reason , I'm going 27.5/650b, my 29er can corner for ____ in a hairpin. I've run out of angle and chopped more berms than I'd care to count. That never happened when I rode a 26"

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I have not seen one benefit of the 29er bikes, except maybe on fireroad studder bumps.
    Fire roads and the ridiculous top end of 3x on big hoops is why I went 29 in the first place.

    Both have will their place for me 650b in the woods, 29er's big hoops out on the levees and for jogging the dogs. I doubt I'll ever have a 26" again, once 29 was affordable for me I got one. Not because it was cool, but because something never felt right when I rode a XL framed 26". Out in the woods there are times I feel the same but opposite about my 29er. Hopefully 27.5 does it for me, if not I'll just feel like I'm never riding the right bike..
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  21. #21
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    Has he been paying attention?

    And how is wheel size "technology"?

    He should be more worried about his frames breaking, and losing sales to superior 29ers, like Tallboys and Stumpjumpers.

  22. #22
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    Interesting couple of comments regarding my post. As far as me being the better rider, I am to some of my friends, others maybe not, my friend Rob, an ex pro rider, could probably ride a Wal-Mart bike and still put the hurt on us, but I see him struggle but he still makes it happen. Using the 29er to walk the dogs...that's awesome. Is 27.5 the ultimate end all wheel size? Who knows,maybe in the future, another wheel size or technology will arrive and deem everything we ever thought about any wheel size invalid. I know from my own experiences that 650b/ 27.5 is the wheel size choice for me but everyone is different and if people really spend time on all of the sizes, don't flame what you haven't tried. I get tired of the way people claim " 29ers are going to rule( or have ruled) in xc, how many of us race the glorified road courses that the pro xc racers race on? The courses I have raced on the last few years are not the type that would suit any wheel size, and that's a good thing in my opinion.

  23. #23
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    It seems that Mr Sugai has missed what we all concede: there is no right answer to wheel size. We wouldn't tell a four year old about the benefits of 24" wheels and try to get her to ride it. Why would we assume that anyone will like or not like a certain wheel size?

    The iterative process that many of us old guys have gone through and ended up happy with 650b/275 (for now) has value. It stings to hear somebody say otherwise. AND it's so shortsighted to ignore something that has caught fire so fast.

    I have to say it's REALLY great to have such attention being paid to the style of riding I do. I felt that the 29r movement had nothing for me. I tried. I REALLY wanted to be turned on by 29. I rode so many 1st gen bikes at demos and Interbike when they first started popping and none of them worked for me. I rode some 2nd and 3rd gen product and still felt something was off. Now that 650b/275 has provided options (I don't have Pacenti or Pacenti tires to choose from), Spec'd drops the Enduro, likely the first 29r bike that I would have happily ridden. I'm still planning on checking one out...

    Mr Sugai: fly us all out to Fort Collins in July and we'll help you start a new company, Fiver. We'll help you get some dialed product together and we won't tell anyone. Professional criticism is what you'll see here and I hope you don't take it personally...

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  24. #24
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    I, for one, respect his comments. He has built a successful business around a very specific market (I'd call it a niche, but 29ers are far too mainstream now). Why would anyone expect him to do anything other than champion his brand? It's counter-intuitive.

    Get over it and go ride your 650b if that's what you're into.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Why would anyone expect him to do anything other than champion his brand? It's counter-intuitive.


    That's exactly what I was thinking. Agree or disagree, its not like it matter to any individual, since we can fortunately ride whatever the h3ll we want...

  26. #26
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    Wheel size is just different flavors of the same Kool-Aid, unfortunately Niner only has one flavor to sell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    ... your idea of technical may be much different than other peoples idea of technical.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Why would anyone expect him to do anything other than champion his brand? It's counter-intuitive.
    I would expect him to do otherwise if he were a smart buisnessman. Its not like he is the only company that can build a good 29er, so for him to try to put all his eggs in one basket is stupid. He could easily lose most of his sales to Specialized or other big name brands. Smart companies embrace change. Is there anyone saying that it was a good idea for companies to hold off building 29ers? I didn't hear anyone making similar arguments to yours about 26ers. Is there anyone saying that companies should have "championed their brand" by only building 26ers? Look what happened to American car companies in the 80s and 90s when they refused to embrace change in the car buying market. They continued to embrace low quality, low fuel economy land yachts and they lost sales. They are still paying for those bad choices today. Unfortunately for bike companies there are no government bailouts. I think Mr. Sugai needs to go back to business school.
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  28. #28
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    Sugai is a millionaire thanks to his business acumen. How many bike companies have you started from scratch and turned into big-time brands? Saying he needs to go back to business school is ludicrous, he is arguably the most successful bike industry businessperson of the last decade!

    I mean, seriously, you don't have to love Niner, or 29ers, to appreciate that the company has been very successful and has a great reputation. They do only one wheel size and that's their thing, so if you want something else - buy something else. They will be just fine selling 29ers.

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  29. #29
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    He's a millionaire?

    Is the old adage for the bike industry true? If so, he's a millionaire because he started with $2m and now he's down to $1m.

    People asked about what Mr Sugai would say about 650b on another thread which is why I posted it. This is like people arguing about Ferrari vs Lamborghini...

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  30. #30
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    The old adage is certainly true, but the start-with-$2mil-end-up-with-$1mil companies go out of business after a year or so. Companies that actually last a while are plenty profitable, and yes, Sugai is a millionaire because of Niner.

    Agreed that we're arguing over nothing here, of course. Is Chris Sugai the Mark Cuban of mountain biking?

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  31. #31
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    Wow, that right there is someone desperately trying to dig himself out of a marketing hole he dug himself into. Keep digging, buddy, you are getting deeper.

    I think the lesson from this is that you better think long and hard before you name your company after just one technology that you use.... especially when it is one that you did not even invent. Heck, it's not even a technology, just a size of something.

    Can you imagine a handlebar company being called "720mm Wide Bar"?

    Or a crank company called "175mm Crank"?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  32. #32
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    I absolutely disagree with this assessment. First, I have nothing for or against the gentleman in question. I do own and occasionally ride a 29er, but it's not a Niner brand.

    That said, he was at the forefront of the 29er "movement" and built his brand from the ground up focusing on one specific market segment at the expense of all others. Period.

    Isn't that the very definition of "success"?

    What you're suggesting, if I read your post properly, is: I'm really, really good at producing widget "A." My company has perfected widget "A" as much as it's possible to do so and my customers really like widget "A." But despite our success with widget "A", we need to produce widgets "B" and "C" in order to truly be considered a success in our industry. Being good at just one thing is not enough.

    I just couldn't disagree more. Total respect for a company that stands true to its beliefs and origins and likely has no interest or need to move outside them.

    And taking shots at him like "needs to go back to business school" is silly and pretty lame in my book. It's possible to disagree courteously without being a d!ck.

    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    I would expect him to do otherwise if he were a smart buisnessman. Its not like he is the only company that can build a good 29er, so for him to try to put all his eggs in one basket is stupid. He could easily lose most of his sales to Specialized or other big name brands. Smart companies embrace change. Is there anyone saying that it was a good idea for companies to hold off building 29ers? I didn't hear anyone making similar arguments to yours about 26ers. Is there anyone saying that companies should have "championed their brand" by only building 26ers? Look what happened to American car companies in the 80s and 90s when they refused to embrace change in the car buying market. They continued to embrace low quality, low fuel economy land yachts and they lost sales. They are still paying for those bad choices today. Unfortunately for bike companies there are no government bailouts. I think Mr. Sugai needs to go back to business school.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Niner is a good compancy and their suspension is great - hate to see it all wasted on one wheel size.
    I've thought this for many years. IMHO I think their CVA suspension is all but wasted on 29ers and could shine on smaller wheels.

    If Niner could lose the ego, they could design some of the best DH sleds around the CVA suspension and 650B wheels and is the process learn how to design better 29ers the future. That's why I don't think their geometry has seen significant change over the years, lack of inovation and outside the box thinking from designing one type of product the entire time.

    By doing a 650B DH rig they would immediately gain cred in a segment they have never been able to sell to and change their perception as a company.

    I understand need for Specialize to push their 29ers at See Otter because the theme was 650B and they were late to the 29er party, but Niner needs to adapted. That needs is personified if Enduro takes off in this country.
    Last edited by Drth Vadr; 04-29-2013 at 01:11 PM.

  34. #34
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    Although I disagree with Sugai, I have no beef with him. We all love to ride and drink beer and that's good enough for me.

  35. #35
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    I like many different flavors of cool aid. I like a good steak, in a certain mood, lobster in another, and sometimes even a burger from one of our local non hormone using ranchers. Where would the fun be if you could only eat one main course for dinner each night?
    So I alternate between 4" travel 29" and 5" travel 27.5" mostly; occasionally fully rigid 26" SS. Just depends on mood and where I'm riding

    P.S. No jokes about wives and g/f's please
    Last edited by dwt; 04-30-2013 at 04:19 AM.
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  36. #36
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    I hope for Chris Sugai's and Niner's sake, that he *acts* to make his words true. Looking forward to that "ultimate Niner". Until then, my options are open to all wheel sizes, choosing whichever complete package I find to be ideal for my intentions. I've little respect for the types that are all talk.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Sugai is a millionaire thanks to his business acumen.

    -Walt
    And how many millionaires with "business acumen" run companies into the ground every day? Guys like you think everything is about money. Just cause you have money doesn't mean you know anything. Plenty of CEOs run companies into the ground with bad business plans every year and get millions of dollars in golden parachutes. It sure doesn't mean they knew what they were doing. The CEOs of American car companies have always been millionaires, do you want to tell me how great their business plans are? You act like the guy is Steve Jobs or something. There is nothing unbelievably innovative about building a mountain bike with 700c wheels, it had already been done. He just jumped on a trendy bandwagon at the right time, no great business skills needed there. Its like saying the guy who drives the ice cream truck in the summer needs some great business plan. The consumers are already there, you just offer them a product. Only this time he is staying off the next trendy bandwagon. Its a calculated gamble that he is hoping will pay off and he is publicly denigrating 650b to try to solidify his market. I call that a lame business plan.
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  38. #38
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    I can totally see where he's coming from. He's talking about the riders who don't like such a big change from 26" wheels to 29" wheels. Those riders are not going to try a 29er, but they will give a 27.5 a go. I have a friend firmly in that camp. Only time will tell if he's right and those who try the 27.5 will then go on to try a 29er and 27.5 will die out. I seriously doubt it.

    That's his main argument and it makes total sense when you compare it to the tweener technologies. But as others have said, this is a size and not really technology.

    I had a Rip9 and loved it. I considered a new Rip9, but decided to go with a Carbine 275 because I'm just under 5ft 9in. The new bike is awesome and lots of fun. I would consider another Niner in the future if it can turn as sharp and is as playful as my Carbine.

    I do believe that Niner is not innovating and got burned by the new Enduro 29er if it's as good as the reviews say it is (but it's all media based and they are bought by Specialized). A company with Niner as their name should lead the way, not be following.

    If Niner came out with a low BB, 145mm+ bike with short chain stays in carbon, I'd definitely consider it. An RDO WFO XTR blah blah blah. They should also consider doing an internal gear transmission - something no serious bike company is doing.

  39. #39
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    The problem with his examples of "tweener" technologies dying out is that the ones he is using are not really "tweener" in the way a size between two others is. When you use things that are tweener SIZES, his point fails.

    Typical trail FS bikes used to be 3-4" travel. Now you have ones with 6+" travel. Have all the ones in between died out?
    No.

    Handlebars used to be 22-23" wide, now some people are running ones over 30" wide. Have the sizes in between gone away?
    No.

    Wide / high volume tires have become much more common in recent years. in the late 90's, 2.1 was considered big, now 2.4 are common trail tires. Have the sizes between 2.1 and 2.4 disappeared?
    No.

    I could keep going.....
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    That said, he was at the forefront of the 29er "movement" and built his brand from the ground up focusing on one specific market segment at the expense of all others. Period.
    I don't think this is true. What Chris did was see an opportunity to make money by latching onto a movement. I think the 29er "movement" was started by Gary Fisher and a few others. I remember seeing Gary Fisher racing a 29er HT at the 2001 W/C in Napa.

    What urks me is when people like Chris blabb this kind of crap:

    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.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    And how many millionaires with "business acumen" run companies into the ground every day? Guys like you think everything is about money. Just cause you have money doesn't mean you know anything. Plenty of CEOs run companies into the ground with bad business plans every year and get millions of dollars in golden parachutes. It sure doesn't mean they knew what they were doing. The CEOs of American car companies have always been millionaires, do you want to tell me how great their business plans are? You act like the guy is Steve Jobs or something. There is nothing unbelievably innovative about building a mountain bike with 700c wheels, it had already been done. He just jumped on a trendy bandwagon at the right time, no great business skills needed there. Its like saying the guy who drives the ice cream truck in the summer needs some great business plan. The consumers are already there, you just offer them a product. Only this time he is staying off the next trendy bandwagon. Its a calculated gamble that he is hoping will pay off and he is publicly denigrating 650b to try to solidify his market. I call that a lame business plan.
    I'm just curious, but how much do you know about Niner's history? The company as a whole, has been lauded for its business model, beyond simply its product, which has been repeatedly referred to as innovative. You are correct that there isn't anything particularly earth shattering or innovative about their product . . . but their delivery of it to market is truly remarkable.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  42. #42
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    Well, Niner *could* go down in flames and he could die broke and alone, stinking of cheap bourbon in a dark corner of Tinpan alley... but as of right now he has created a super-successful company and in less than a decade turned it into a major industry player.

    I agree, that with hindsight, it was "easy" for Niner to do what they did. Lots of things are obvious 10 years later, right? I guarantee it wasn't easy or risk free when they actually had to do it, though, and it's just lame to call Sugai a "bad businessman" when actually all you really want to say is that you like a certain size of wheels and he doesn't. Is he Steve Jobs? No. Did he do a great job with his really excellent and profitable company? Yes.

    -Walt
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  43. #43
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    Here's the thing, though - at least according to the figures from BRAIN, he's right. It's only been 5 years, not 10, and 29ers are ~50% of the total market and much more (they didn't break it down in the article very well so it's hard to say exactly how much) of high end sales. 26ers are largely relegated to DH bikes and cheapos in most bike shops I've been in during the last several years.

    You can read all about it here if you don't believe me:
    Big wheels loom large | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    What urks me is when people like Chris blabb this kind of crap:

    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.
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.com/blog/
    instagram.com/waltworks/

  44. #44
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    Forgetting his business acumen since he may be pretty smart or just lucky, he's a jerk (TO ME) with his elitist comments. I was never able to get an answer from him about his fragile carbon forks to determine whether I should stop riding mine. Fortunately my LBS clued me in on the extent of the breakage.

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    What's the difference between him and the 650b fans that keep proclaiming the death of the 26" bike?

  46. #46
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    Damn it! I'm starting a c company called "Twentysevenpointfiver" and put everyone out of business......just need an investor and a business partner, already have connections in Taiwan.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Here's the thing, though - at least according to the figures from BRAIN, he's right. It's only been 5 years, not 10, and 29ers are ~50% of the total market and much more (they didn't break it down in the article very well so it's hard to say exactly how much) of high end sales. 26ers are largely relegated to DH bikes and cheapos in most bike shops I've been in during the last several years.

    You can read all about it here if you don't believe me:
    Big wheels loom large | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

    -Walt
    Most mountain bikes sold never see dirt... Here in BC, on actual trails you still see way more 26 than 29. I can see 650b taking over here soon. An other thing that's happening here is trails have changed. The ultra tech lines of old are rare now, they still exist but certainly not like before. Stunts aren't very popular with the new school riders and the "do or die" lines all have ride around now, something you never saw on the shore 10-15 years ago. Times are certainly changing.

  48. #48
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    What does any of that have to do with wheel sizes? I agree that lots of people buy bikes of all kinds and don't ride them. I also agree that people are tired of stunts, probably because they're a pain to build and maintain and only fun once or twice. Again, though, not sure how that's relevant to this discussion.

    My point was just that in 2008 Sugai said 29ers would be most of the mountain bike market in 10 years, and 5 years in it looks like so far he's right. Whether that's good or bad is up to your individual interpretation, of course.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
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  49. #49
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    This ***NSFW*** rant has probably been posted here before but seems to be the polar opposite of Sugai's view and definitely closer to the truth. Putting this out there (though I am sure it was well conceived from a marketing standpoint) gave me even me even more respect for SC than I already had! Sorry if OT or overposted but seems kinda relevant.

    Santa Cruz Bronson: Bike Magazine's Exclusive "Blueprint" Story on the New 650b Bike - YouTube

  50. #50
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    Niner's Chris Sugai on 650b/275

    On the 26'er phasing out thing:

    http://m.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/arti...laught--37189/



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

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