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  1. #1
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    Specialized Enduro 29 and The Effect on 650b

    I secretly didn't want Specialized to release an Enduro 29, because I had my heart set on a Norco Range Killer-B and although the Norco is still the best deal in mountain biking today, the big wheeled Enduro will be very tempting.

    Why? Long travel 150mm+ full suspension 29ers were always in the realm of boutique manufactures like Banshee and Lenz, and they still had the problem with chainstay length. Specialized has remedied this by both an economy of scale (cheaper bikes) and the "Taco Blade" derailure mount that allows for a shorter chainstays.

    Now, I still understand that big wheels will naturally have that gyroscopic effect that keeps the bike from being as playful in the air, and that can be one of the best things about a long travel all-mountain bike, but for those in the market for a bike that tackle drops, rock gardens, and other technical features, while still maintain the roll-over and momentum of the big wheel, a 150mm full suspension 29er is certainly something to think about. I really want a fun and playful bike, but garage space is limited and the quiver bike has got to satisfy many needs.

    So, will 650b still be your next bike?
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  2. #2
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    Yes!

    Regardless of the Specialized-Power they can put into the Market and have Influence - it is still up to you what to buy and to Ride. 29ers are going a great Route with the Primes and upcoming Enduros, but I`m going to stick with 26 and 650B, as these Wheelsizes feel somehow more natural to me, with enough Benefits of the 650B-Wheel to work great for my Kind of Riding.

    If you think Longtravel 29ers are the way to go - just go for it.

    My main Concern is simply Specialized, Giant or Trek having the massive Power to force or let die or influence things like Standards, Wheelsizes and such ...

  3. #3
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    I remember reading a quote from Walt that said something like bigger is always better. The knock on 29ers is that the big wheels aren't playful enough and they have trouble in tight situations. Is Specialized gambling that their size and marketing can put a stop to the 27.5, or do they truly feel that if there needs to be an All Mountain/Trail alternative to 26......bigger is better? Could be they were so far down the road of development they couldn't change course? I certainly haven't spent enough time on 29ers to know the limits of the wheel size, but it seems to me a high flange hub and carbon rim would be a requirement for aggressive riding. In my limited time on them, they felt tall and gave me an over the bars feeling on technical descends. Not sure how they could make those giant wheels feel smaller.

  4. #4
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    The Enduro's wheelbase is almost 46" long in a medium - its not that short...

  5. #5
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    If there was a 20mm axle lyrik 29, or 650b tires, this would get even more interesting
    Last edited by J:; 02-27-2013 at 10:40 PM.

  6. #6
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    doesnt change anything for me. 29ers are still to big and slow (laterally) for steep and technical terrain for me... for smooth trails with moderate grades they are great for going fast, but 650b is still a great balance imo.

  7. #7
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    I think I probably said you should ride the biggest wheels you can without making awful tradeoffs in terms of frame geometry/fit. There's not a line in the sand that says "you don't fit on these wheels/this much travel" but for long travel (130mm+) 29ers most riders under 5'9" or so are going to have problems (though everyone is unique, so there's no way to know without trying one).

    Then again, most smaller folks won't fit well on, say, a Karpiel Armageddon either. You can blow past someone's geometry comfort zone lots of ways!

    FWIW, gyroscopic forces have almost zero to do with how a bike works or handles - the weight of the rider and the effects of front and rear wheel trail are way, way too great. The difference in gyroscopic forces between 26" and 650b and 29" is negligible in the grand scheme of bike handling, frame geometry is what you should be looking at.

    -Walt



    Quote Originally Posted by smellurfingers View Post
    I remember reading a quote from Walt that said something like bigger is always better. The knock on 29ers is that the big wheels aren't playful enough and they have trouble in tight situations. Is Specialized gambling that their size and marketing can put a stop to the 27.5, or do they truly feel that if there needs to be an All Mountain/Trail alternative to 26......bigger is better? Could be they were so far down the road of development they couldn't change course? I certainly haven't spent enough time on 29ers to know the limits of the wheel size, but it seems to me a high flange hub and carbon rim would be a requirement for aggressive riding. In my limited time on them, they felt tall and gave me an over the bars feeling on technical descends. Not sure how they could make those giant wheels feel smaller.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    FWIW, gyroscopic forces have almost zero to do with how a bike works or handles - the weight of the rider and the effects of front and rear wheel trail are way, way too great. The difference in gyroscopic forces between 26" and 650b and 29" is negligible in the grand scheme of bike handling, frame geometry is what you should be looking at.
    Walt, why is it then when we see folks like Cedric Garcia ripping on a 29er Tallboy that he doesn't seem to moving the bike much while in the air? That's what I meant by gyroscopic forces, the nature of the wheel to stay on the vertical plane, where guys on 20" bikes can move the bike all over the place while in the air. Is that just a product of the a smaller bike?
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  9. #9
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    Specialized Enduro 29 and The Effect on 650b

    I figured Spesh would do an end run around 27.5" with a long travel 29". Spesh was loud and clear all along that it was not impressed with the tweener platform and together with SC actively trashed it last summer and fall. If Spesh, Trek, Giant and SC continue to push 29" from XC bikes to Trail through AM, 27.5" will have to do something dramatic to stay alive in the general market. Like win a shitload of races in XC, Enduro and DH and get a ton of bike mag and social media good press.

    I've been a long time 650b advocate, but to be honest, if I can get a Spesh Enduro for $500+ less than a comparable 27.5", I'll take the 29", and put the savings in into carbon rims. If the Enduro also weighs less stock than the 27.5", I'm done hook line and sinker.

    I really think the 27.5" companies shot themselves in the foot this year with overly expensive and generally heavy offerings.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    I think I probably said you should ride the biggest wheels you can without making awful tradeoffs in terms of frame geometry/fit. There's not a line in the sand that says "you don't fit on these wheels/this much travel" but for long travel (130mm+) 29ers most riders under 5'9" or so are going to have problems (though everyone is unique, so there's no way to know without trying one).

    Then again, most smaller folks won't fit well on, say, a Karpiel Armageddon either. You can blow past someone's geometry comfort zone lots of ways!

    FWIW, gyroscopic forces have almost zero to do with how a bike works or handles - the weight of the rider and the effects of front and rear wheel trail are way, way too great. The difference in gyroscopic forces between 26" and 650b and 29" is negligible in the grand scheme of bike handling, frame geometry is what you should be looking at.

    -Walt
    Thanks for clearing that up.

    With regards to height and the 29er. Is it stand over height that makes, for instance 150mm 29er, a tough fit for someone 5-9 or less, or would it be just the ratio of height to tire size?

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    I am guessing that (I haven't watched a MTB video in years but I watched him get 2nd in dual slalom at Vail World's...) has to do with the type of bike (Tallboy LTC is really an aggro XC/light trail bike) and the type of trail he happens to be on. In general, the bigger the bike the harder it is to do tabletops/tricks/etc, which is why you see 6'5" BMX pros on 20" wheels with their "saddles" all the way down. The wheels themselves aren't the deciding factor but the overall size of the bike can make it harder (or easier) to do tricks in the air and smaller wheels let you build a smaller frame.

    If you are regularly getting enough air time to do full tabletop type tricks and worry about that sort of stuff, you aren't really doing what *most* people consider "mountain biking" anymore so we've wandered way off topic.

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  12. #12
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    Seems to me the Enduro would be a perfect fit for the 27.5" platform, whether it be for Trail, Enduro or AMtn use.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  13. #13
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    It's mostly a combination of wheelbase and front center (things just get too long on big wheels as the rider size goes down) with some standover problems thrown in.

    Standover doesn't matter much (if you can get on the bike, and off the bike, you're basically good) but some people aren't comfortable mentally if they don't have a decent amount of it, so it's sometimes a factor too.

    The wheelbase and front center getting too long is much worse, because it gets really hard to move your weight around between the wheels effectively, so you have trouble doing things like bunnyhopping and manualing (assuming you can do those things in the first place) and it's also hard to keep enough weight on, say, the front wheel in a hard turn, so you wash out all over the place. So the weight distribution tends to be the bigger problem.

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  14. #14
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    It is all what the rider is used to. I am a 26" fanboy, but if you went purely on gyroscopic effect then motos would not be able to do half of what they do. Not only is there gyro effect in the heavy wheels, it is also in the motor on dirt bikes. Take a look at a moto scrub or whip and you will see it is not the wheel size or weight that holds anyone back from throwing a bike around.

    The Enduro is very cool looking bike and should be very interesting competitively with the Intense Spider Comp.

  15. #15
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    Salespunk,

    Good point about the motocross aspect on gyroscopic forces, those guys are pretty nuts and they certainly have far more weight to work against.
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  16. #16
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    When Aaron Gwin wins the DH World Cup on a 29er, I'll sit up and take notice.

    Till then, I'll stick with 650b.

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    Whatever the cause, its fair to say that 29ers just don't handle the same as 26ers. The same can be said about 26ers v. BMX. Not to say one is better than the other.. they're just different. There will always be preferences amongst riders for how they want their bikes to feel. That's why we have different suspension travel (or none at all), different geo, difference tire tread, tire width, the list goes on. I really don't understand why all the angst and hate about excessive wheel diameter choice. I have skied on skis of 67mm, 75mm, 89mm, 93mm, 95mm, 99mm, 103mm, 107mm, 109mm, 112mm, 116mm and 122mm waists. Different lengths, different shapes. I had fun on lots of them. What's the problem with choice?? I truly hope that Specialized et al don't push choice out from the equation.

  18. #18
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    This Bike isent going to affect 650B, 29ers are for the 29er crowd who enjoy the traits of the big wheels 650b is for the 26er crowd who want the same feeling of a 26er with the added benefits of a bigger tire. I hope this year one of the big 3 come out with a 650b bike and push the new wheel even futher and look at Merida Bikes who owns 49 percent of specialized bikes have 650b bikes and theres more then just the USA driving the mountain Bike Market what about Europe and the rest of the world oh and I might be a bit biased towards 650b.

  19. #19
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    I had a Niner RIP9 then I went to a WFO9. The RIP9 was an excellent all-around bike, but the WFO9 felt a little too hard to manual and was just a little too unwieldy for me. (And that's in a size Large). So based on that experience, I'm leaning towards a 650B with 160mm travel for an AM/FR bike. However, I do have to say that I have no problems getting massive air on my 29ers. I can't understand why people have an issue with the wheel size for jumping. Or for technical terrain. Maybe those people have never actually ridden a 29er? I'm just personally skeptical of 29ers with 140mm or more of travel unless you are a point and shoot kind of rider and don't loft the front end very often.

  20. #20
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    It would be interesting to see what you thought of the Enduro29 - chainstays a full INCH shorter than your WFO might solve that problem.

    I've had a 6" travel 29" setup with 43cm chainstays for a few years now and getting that wheel under you where it needs to be for weight distribution is a big, big deal. I could never understand how average-sized people could stand the 46+cm chainstay FS 29ers that are out there. I would use that sort of length for someone in the 6'6" range and up, but for a dead-average 5'11" guy or 5'8" gal? Awful.

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    Last edited by Walt; 02-27-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Seems to me the Enduro would be a perfect fit for the 27.5" platform, whether it be for Trail, Enduro or AMtn use.
    I saw an article about 6 months ago that claimed to have spied a Spesh Enduro set up with 650B wheels at an Enduro somewhere in Europe. There were a few very good pics and I can't recall the rider whose bike they were photographing, but the sites that ran the story all had it yanked within a day or two.

    The big boys are going to put out 650B rides, and the prices of these bikes that are available today will fall in line.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    When Aaron Gwin wins the DH World Cup on a 29er, I'll sit up and take notice.

    Till then, I'll stick with 650b.
    Really? Did someone win a DH World Cup race on a 650b rig?

    Your logic seems suspect.

  23. #23
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    I think we'll see a huge influx of 650b in the coming year in all shapes and sizes. As their slower product development cycle catches up, Specialized will suddenly "see the light" and dip a few enduro and all-mountain toes into the 650b waters.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPhatrick View Post
    I saw an article about 6 months ago that claimed to have spied a Spesh Enduro set up with 650B wheels at an Enduro somewhere in Europe. There were a few very good pics and I can't recall the rider whose bike they were photographing, but the sites that ran the story all had it yanked within a day or two.
    I probably posted those pictures on this site. They came from an European rumors site, and it was hard to distinguish if they were 650B or 29.

    Now that I see some of the press release photos, I think what we may have seen a few months ago might have been the Enduro 29 being tested.
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  25. #25
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    One of the major faults of larger wheels that nobody has mentioned is the inability to lift the wheel up and over stuff. I've gotten used to it on my 650, but its the one thing that I know a 26 does better.

    Anyway, back to the point. I seem to notice the price of 29ers and parts has fallen through the floor in the last couple of years, while the 2013 650s are fetching very high prices.
    From a financial standpoint, its actually a bad move for the big companies to jump into the 650 market early. Most of their buyers aren't the experimental type and will not buy into 650b until it reaches full mainstream support (read, until magazines and shop employees are telling them that 650b is the better choice). And since the big companies have such a big share of the consumers, why not wait until the fruit is ripe for the picking. But that way they don't have the risk, if it does turn into a failure they haven't made major investments.
    I'd bet any amount of money that each of them have their R&D teams practicing and working out kinks of 650b geometry, and their strategists drawing up a multi-year roll out plan that only sells the high end stuff to begin with but then trickles down to lower end.
    Last edited by rob_co2; 02-27-2013 at 11:29 PM.

  26. #26
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    I truly believe we will still see a 650B Enduro or some form of 650B bike from Specialized. With the tweaks they've done with the 29'r adapted to to 650B would be sweet indeed. Despite how well it might work everyone doesn't want, need, or fit a 29" bike (especially a 150mm one) and 650B is the ideal alternative IMO not 26" although I think at least their Enduro 26" does sell quite well. All Specialized has to do is build the dam thing and riders will buy it and since there is market share to be had my gut tells me yes they will. JMHO!
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    I'm a fan of 29er HTs for xc riding, but wheel stiffness and strength are limiting factors (unless you have carbon rims I guess). 650 should have an advantage there in the long travel trail/AM category.

    I agree with the other post that said it was too bad so many 650b trail bikes are heavy and overpriced. Hope April news changes that situation.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob_co2 View Post
    One of the major faults of larger wheels that nobody has mentioned is the inability to lift the wheel up and over stuff.
    Interesting, that was my thought as well. I have been loving my 29er but I came across some very hairy rock gardens and I too noticed that I had issues trying to lift my front tire over rocks. This is my only complaint on the 29er. I am glad that I am not the only one.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    I secretly didn't want Specialized to release an Enduro 29, because I had my heart set on a Norco Range Killer-B and although the Norco is still the best deal in mountain biking today, the big wheeled Enduro will be very tempting.
    Frame: Specialized has the lighter frame in carbon, alloy's probably the same. I think Norco has the better suspension design and execution. Norco has 10mm more travel.

    Geo: The Norco's chainstays grow with frame size which I think makes sense. If you fit a small or XS obviously the decision's made for you by Spesh not making one and it looks like the Norco fill fit great. If you fit a M or L geo is a wash. If you fit XL the Enduro's slightly longer TT and bigger front wheel will sway you.

    Wheel size: Bigger wheels will always have the negatives of more flex/weight/gyro-effect and the positives of a longer contact patch, better approach angle at bumps, and endo/wheelie resistance due to axle vs BB/handlebar heights. In the rear of a mid-long travel bike I feel the negatives more than the positives so I don't like 29" and would take 650 (I'm actually totally happy with 26" rear wheels). In front the stability of a 29" is appreciated enough to help overlook its downsides and for riders over 6'2" it's highly recommended. Anyone ranging from normal to slightly tall should weight the stability/approach angle vs nimbleness and decide what suits them better. I bet most people would prefer the 650 wheel and its accompanying 1cm more travel.

    Range B vs Enduro 29: Compared to the currently available alloy $3500 Enduro 29 the Norco is similar components/value/weight. At 6'2" I'd take the Norco. They need to offer more gravity oriented shocks and carbon/lighter would be nice but besides that the Range Killer-B ticks all my boxes. The Specialized is 1cm short on travel (but a CCDBa vs Fox Float will make up for that), has a bigger rear wheel than I like, and a bigger front wheel than I need. The final game winners for the Norco are a little more CS growth/anti-squat and a cleaner, lower CG link/shock arrangement.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by millertm View Post
    I had issues trying to lift my front tire over rocks.
    Because of CS length and BB drop. That same larger BB drop that makes a 29er harder to wheelie also makes it more resistant to endoing (also lower handlebar-to-axle height). The longer chainstays make wheelies feel different/harder and also affect weighting and cornering. People have long agreed that a 16.5-17.5" chainstay is what works and bikes that have fallen outside of this have always been quirky riding regardless of wheel size.
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  31. #31
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    Yep, any of my short CS 29er bikes (Canfield YS, Kona Satori) manual just as easily as any of my 26er bikes.

  32. #32
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    Bikes like the Enduro 29 should do a pretty good job of proving whether 29" wheels will work for Enduro racing or not.

    Again, rob_co2, have you ridden a 29er with super short stays? I know I haven't.
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  33. #33
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    Specialized Enduro 29 and The Effect on 650b

    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    I truly believe we will still see a 650B Enduro or some form of 650B bike from Specialized. With the tweaks they've done with the 29'r adapted to to 650B would be sweet indeed. Despite how well it might work everyone doesn't want, need, or fit a 29" bike (especially a 150mm one) and 650B is the ideal alternative IMO not 26" although I think at least their Enduro 26" does sell quite well. All Specialized has to do is build the dam thing and riders will buy it and since there is market share to be had my gut tells me yes they will. JMHO!
    I would buy a Spesh Enduro 27.5" in a heartbeat if it were priced the same as the 29". I prefer 27.5" over 29" but not so much that I will have to go way over budget to get one. I'm not that guy who pays top dollar for anything, when top dollar is not best spent dollar. That eliminates the entire 2013 27.5" line up, except maybe Cube, AFAIC.

    As I said before, pricing heavyish trail bikes at prices only Wall Street derivative traders can afford is a fricken stupid marketing strategy for any product, let alone a risky new one like 27.5". The big boys will CRUSH them with lighter, cheaper proven and popular clown wheel bikes in the big market lines, XC, Trail and AM.

    27.5" has to prove itself on the ground, by substantially outperforming the competition and getting a tsunami of positive press and feedback, then competing head to head in terms of price, frame material, components, bike weight, etc.




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  34. #34
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    Does anybody that lives in mountainous terrain outside of California even want this bike? It's the bike no one was asking for around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Does anybody that lives in mountainous terrain outside of California even want this bike? It's the bike no one was asking for around here.
    It's a good question. Specialized had a point to prove and has now set the new bar. You can bet your wallet every other company will now be attempting to do what the big S has accomplished asked for or not. Most of the comments seem pretty favorable so far and I'm guessing at least the lower model will sell really well. The 3 days I spent on a 130mm Stumpy 29'er were excellent and it's the only 29'er I've really liked so far and this one with more travel and crazy short chain stays certainly makes me think a bit. But alas, a 13.2" BB height is not New England friendly at all. I'm sticking to 650B but what Specialized has done here is pretty dam cool and I would love to give one a spin for kicks and giggles.
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  36. #36
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    I think the OPs point was that the traditional (and valid) criticism of long travel 29" bikes was that they
    A) Weren't really "long travel" (ie 120mm advertised as a freeride bike)
    B) Were really, really long, especially at the chainstays
    C) Couldn't work as well as 650b wheels for trail/enduro bikes

    The Enduro might prove those arguments wrong. As someone who has been riding a long-travel, short chainstay 29er for many years, I can say that while it's a little tricky to fit everything in, once you do the work and actually get the wheels where they need to be, it's awesome. You give up nothing (assuming you're tall enough to mount the bike) and you gain a lot.

    I've lived in CO, NM, and UT all my life and I can tell you that plenty of people want this bike, because I build something very similar to it on a regular basis for people who ride very, very hard. I don't think it will kill off 650b, though.

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  37. #37
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    Some folks have successfully done 650b enduro conversions and been real happy with the results.

  38. #38
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    There is also the possibility of going with a 160 or even 180mm fork and 650b wheels front and rear. And you'd still have shorter chainstays than most 650b bikes on the market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Does anybody that lives in mountainous terrain outside of California even want this bike? It's the bike no one was asking for around here.
    I do. I don't live in California.

    The biggest gripe with longer travel 29ers currently is chainstay length. 17.5-17.9 inches seemed to be the design limitation until now. Specialized has just crushed this perception and proved it can be built. Not only that, but it comes POUNDS lighter than current 650b offerings for a complete bike.

    The new Specialized is beyond my spending ability, but as a tall guy wanting a 140mm bigger trail bike, something more playful with shorter chainstays, and loving the ride of 29" wheels I think (for me) 650B is moving in a backwards direction personally. Obviously this is just my opinion.

  40. #40
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    Specialized Enduro 29 and The Effect on 650b

    Reading this, I see the prices are actually in line with the 27.5" bikes, depending on spec.

    http://www.vitalmtb.com/product/comp...le+Feedfetcher


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    Glad Blatant and others made the point about CS and BB drop -- no question that my yelli screamy manuals / lofts up the front wheel very easily. Of course with so many 29ers with geo not well-suited to that type of manual-happy riding, it's natural for people to conclude it's an inherent 29er issue.

    I've long felt that front der placement has artificially limited the short CS/fat tire clearance issue, and I'm glad that Specialized has taken a novel approach there. And I agree that this short CS / long travel 29er announcement will get a lot of industry discussions going. But ultimately I don't think it really changes the incipient market trend toward 650b, due to the usual reasons:

    a. In long-travel applications, wheel stiffness and durability of 29er wheel is still currently addressed by increasing weight or cost. And for some riders is still deficient.

    b. The world does not revolve around the US bike market and 6 foot tall dudes. Asia, parts of Europe, etc, have significant adult populations for whom a long-travel 29er fork + wheel gets the handlebars up pretty high unless the head tube is uber short or a negative stem is used. 29ers have had limited (or no) penetration in some of those WW markets, from what I've read.

    c. The FSR setup, and the faux bar setups (e.g. Lenz -- let's not forget that Lenz was pioneering short CS / long-travel 29ers years ago, with limited industry impact) are compatible with short CS designs but I'm not convinced that the short-link designs (dw, VP, the various short link designs from Banshee et al.) are well-suited to cramming in short CS and good tire clearance. But for many riders, there are some inherent limitations in the all-round performance of FSR or faux bar bikes, and the market strength of the short link designs means that there are likely many riders out there who will demand the pedalling/braking feel they have today on their 26er (dw, vp, etc etc.) and don't want to be constrained to FSR or faux bar choices.
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  42. #42
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    Great thread. Just watching for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    There is also the possibility of going with a 160 or even 180mm fork and 650b wheels front and rear. And you'd still have shorter chainstays than most 650b bikes on the market.
    Now this is an interesting idea.

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    What about the size "small"? Does Specialized also solve the riddle for us vertically superior folk with their new frame?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ironxcross View Post
    Now this is an interesting idea.
    Except you'd end up with about a 12.7" BB height
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  46. #46
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    Few ideas i've been thinkering.

    My yelli sceamy with short cs manual better than my full sus 26" am.

    Specialized being one of the big comany, just proved its possible to have a good handling am 29er.(not saying its better, but different)..they said for as long as i can remember that they dont beleive in 650b...

    Now Santa cruz is another big company that clearly said they dont beleive in650b...they seem to be about to release the same type of bike..in the last bike mag, theres an add that saiys " for something really differrent , april 1st2013... Then at the bottom corner of the page it says sponser of the world enduro...the pic without being clear, seeem to show a bike with bigger wheels...

    Trek has not release any 650b yet...

    Giant neither...

    All i'm saying, it'weird to see everybody going 650b, except some of the 4 biggest company's... for marketing reason or any other reassons, they have a big chunck of the market and also influence on it.


    Specialized releasing that bike is to me a major setback to 650b, they have a big chunk of the market....
    i'm not saying 650b is out of the equation or that i dont like it...but seeing the big companis not following yet and showing that am bike can be achieved in 29 er is telling me that650b will stay "undergound" at least for a few years.
    Last edited by tartosuc; 02-28-2013 at 06:49 PM.
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    Love this comment above...

    "If you are regularly getting enough air time to do full tabletop type tricks and worry about that sort of stuff, you aren't really doing what *most* people consider "mountain biking" anymore so we've wandered way off topic."

    It hits a core issue driving a lot of thought on mountain bike design and function. Perhaps I'm out of touch, so correct me if I'm wrong, but most riders, even accomplished riders, are not spending much total riding time hitting the well manicured, artificial "stunts" that permeate moutain bike videos and mags. The reality of mountain biking is that most riders are busy pedalling along lengthy, rugged, natural featured trails that may see a rake once or twice a year - give me a bike made for this terrain. For many the least amount of time on a bike is spent downhilling and even less time is spent pulling fancy stunts off tabletops. When I watch the vids posted on this site I'm suprised by two things - the really neat man-made, albeit scary features/stunts, and also, how buff most trails are between the intermittent features. I agree - a 29er would most certainly not shine there. Again, unless I'm out of touch, that seems like niche riding to me.


    Those who say 29ers are not meant for rougher trails don't know what they are saying. Agreed they are not good "big hit" or "stunt" bikes, but 29ers excel at pedalling up, down, and over chunk.

    This Spec Enduro 29er has some really nice stuff going on. The short stays. The low BB - I'm a NE rider most of my life and love a low BB - learn to ratchet the pedals and get a real rear hub. Nothing lets you corner hard like a low BB. Lots of travel.

    It might have some problems too...


    29" wheels are not that laterally stiff. I've gone from a 29" Flow/King on the back of my Stumpy 29er to a 275 Flow EX/King on the same bike. Without even thinking about it I can tell the difference in latteral stiffness. It is a lot. The amount of chainstay buzz I was getting with the big hoop on hard corners was bad. Even with a fatter tire on the 275 I get no buzz and the 275 tire starts off nearer the stay.

    IMO a bike with 29" wheels with this much travel should have a dishless rear with a 150TA. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link - and I think this will be it. For a long time I've considered a Lenz with the 150TA out back (though I don't know if I could handle their very tall BBs). Furthermore, a bigger hit bike is nothing without big rubber and wide rims. On a 29er that is a lot of weight for what will still be a relatively weaker, flimsier wheel.

    The STA is quite steep. Your average 29er rider is taller. This combination perches the rider high up front on the bike. While OK for xc and climbing it's not great for AM riding. The bandaid on many low-to-no anti-squat suspension designs seems to be steeper STAs to help when climbing. Again, for AM riding this is less than ideal.

    Drive trains are still not 29er friendly. Tall gears are ok to push on a xc 29er but not on a bike this big. This is a sit and spin machine.


    No doubt I'd love to ride this bike on the right trail despite its theoretical shortcomings (we are all pontificating at this point, right?). But, as this is posted in the 275 forum I suspect this was thrown out there to stir up a contest between the 2 wheel sizes. After having ridden on all 3 wheel sizes I can say that I wish this was a 275 Enduro. The 275 does get you a lot of the rollover of the 29er while retaining more wheel strength and stays drive-train friendly. It also keeps the weight down just a bit more. What I'd love to see is this 29er Enduro designed with a 275 out back. My guess is that Santa Cruz will be hitting the 275 AM/Enduro-type bike soon. Like another posted suggested, I don't think quad link designs can get that short with 29" wheels.

    What I think we'll see is 26" bikes becoming more niche bikes for the type of highly manicured, stunt-fill trail riding that fills most bike adds. 29ers will settle in the XC to trail end. 275 will be trail to AM.

    With all that said I think this is a nice bike and I still love the big hoops.

  48. #48
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    I ride a 29er stump fsr in New England. As far as abilities go I can hold my own. I have no problems with it's bb height (a bit over 13") ,lofting the front end and manuals , or riding down technical steeps. Not sure the Enduro is for me but I'd love to see sub 17" cs on the stump fsr.
    Comparing the medium 26" and 29" wheelbases, it's 1153 for the 26" and 1159 for the 29". So the argument that the 29er is way too long is pretty weak.

  49. #49
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    not good news for 650b

    The fact that this thread exists suggests that the enduro 29 (and all the imitators sure to follow) will take at least some of the 650B market share. The Achilles heel of 650B is tire selection, which IMO isn't where it needs to be to make the tweener size really viable. So with diminished market share, will that give pause to tire manufacturers, hesitating committing resources to what may remain a fringe segment? If the big S chooses not to enter the 650b segment b/c of the enduro 29 success, that's one big tire mf'r off the list, and one more obstacle to 650b really coming into its own.

  50. #50
    dwt
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    Specialized Enduro 29 and The Effect on 650b

    Bike Radar article:

    http://m.bikeradar.com/mtb/news/arti...aunched-36583/


    Vital Mtb article:

    http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/featu...,0/bturman,109


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