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  1. #1
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    Are there any good 650B FS bikes that are more XC and less AM?

    I know the market is getting flooded with new FS 650B, but they all seem to have more travel than I probably need. I've been primarily a rigid rider for a while now. I'm not sure I need/want 140mm of travel. I am interested in slacker and shorter chainstays. But I'm not sure there is a FS bike like I'm looking for yet. Anyone have any suggestions? If there isn't something, Maybe I'll look at the Jet 9 instead.

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    Jamis XCT 650 is a 130 mm bike

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    I see there is a 650b Scott Spark on the horizon, being ridden by the Swisspower team.

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    Are there any good 650B FS bikes that are more XC and less AM?


  5. #5
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    LenzSport Revelation 650B XC/Race oriented.
    "80mm, 100mm, or 120mm fork"

  6. #6
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    Ventana is coming out with a 4" travel model soon, it may already be available. On the more budget end, the Cannondale Rush makes for a nice conversion. One of Jamis's shorter travel models is also designed to run either 26" or 650b, according to a thread I read around here someplace.

  7. #7
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    Don't think what you're looking for is made yet short of converting a 26'er to 650B and adding an angle set type head set.

    KHS makes the 2500/3500 120mm bikes but the CS length is 17.5". The Jamis bikes have 17.7" CS which honestly sounds crazy long but my 2011 B2 was really a nice bike, snappy yet stable and fun.

    I'd be very curious to see if a 100mm Marin Rift Zones (with the Quad Link 2 suspension) would accept 650B wheels. I see those being blown out on ebay for some great prices and could potentially make a cool XC ripper.

    A new Ventana 120mm 650B bike with a custom HA of your choice might be the best bet. Give em a call.
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  8. #8
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    I've been testing a Morewood 100mm race frame (based on the Zula w/ a 120 fork) that I helped develop... so far it's been a fantastic XC race bike. We'll probably import some of these in the very near future if anyone is interested.

    Cheers,
    KP
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Pacenti View Post
    I've been testing a Morewood 100mm race frame (based on the Zula w/ a 120 fork) that I helped develop... so far it's been a fantastic XC race bike. We'll probably import some of these in the very near future if anyone is interested.

    Cheers,
    KP
    This sounds like "the ticket!"

    Pics!!!

  10. #10
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    About to drop the ball on one of these...

    DENGFU NEW FULL SUSPENSION FRAME 27.5ER MTB FRAME

    or this...

    2013 newest design 27.5er full suspension carbon frame, 27.5er carbon frame full specialized, View 27.5er carbon frame full specialized, OEM Product Details from Shenzhen Hongfu Sports Goods Co., Ltd. on Alibaba.com

    BB30, 142 thru axle in the rear... 700 bucks... what can it hurt? A lot cheaper than the Scott coming out, probably couldn't tell the difference.
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  11. #11
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    I'm running my Santa Cruz Nickel 650 at 140mm and it works great, probably a little more travel than I need but I haven't felt compelled to adjust it to 130mm which is totally possible with my current set-up.

    I was looking for something like a 120mm FS frame for my build last fall but couldn't pass up the deal on the SC Nickel but I haven't regretted it. If I raced I guess I would try to get into 120mm bike but I'm fine now.

    At the end of the day I think guys like us would really like an Epic 650b, would be perfect for me and where I ride. If I knew someone that had built one I'd trade my Santa Cruz for it but thats about it.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Pacenti View Post
    I've been testing a Morewood 100mm race frame (based on the Zula w/ a 120 fork) that I helped develop... so far it's been a fantastic XC race bike. We'll probably import some of these in the very near future if anyone is interested.

    Cheers,
    KP
    That look interesting. How short is the CS? Where do these frames come from, and from whom will they be available?

    I also just saw the MTBR sneak peak for a new Giant: Sneak Peak: Giant 650b Enduro Bike | Mountain Bike Review

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  14. #14
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    They are not a not available yet from the Tier 1 manufacturers. The reason is not the bullseye for 650b that Fox targeted when they made their first fork a 4.5 lb 160mm travel fork. That's why all the bikes are heavy and have big travel.

    But the next wave is coming of 24 lbs 140mm travel bike. They'll use this fork among others.

    Sneak Peek: Fox 650b/27.5 140mm Fork | Mountain Bike Review

    The true advantage of 650b over 29er occurs when there is a lot of travel.

    fc
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  15. #15
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    The true advantage of 650b over 29er occurs when there is a lot of travel.

    With all due respect, I think that statement is highly dependent on terrain and rider preference. Though that is the justification that has been used by major manufacturers to market 650b bikes, I don't think it's a very accurate generalization.

    My riding is very cross country but I prefer 650b over 29 or 26. If it hadn't come along, I'd still be riding short travel FS 26" bikes--29 just doesn't do much for me. (though I do enjoy my 29er hardtail singlespeed as a change of pace bike)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    With all due respect, I think that statement is highly dependent on terrain and rider preference. Though that is the justification that has been used by major manufacturers to market 650b bikes, I don't think it's a very accurate generalization.

    My riding is very cross country but I prefer 650b over 29 or 26. If it hadn't come along, I'd still be riding short travel FS 26" bikes--29 just doesn't do much for me. (though I do enjoy my 29er hardtail singlespeed as a change of pace bike)
    I'm with you Steve.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    With all due respect, I think that statement is highly dependent on terrain and rider preference. Though that is the justification that has been used by major manufacturers to market 650b bikes, I don't think it's a very accurate generalization.

    My riding is very cross country but I prefer 650b over 29 or 26. If it hadn't come along, I'd still be riding short travel FS 26" bikes--29 just doesn't do much for me. (though I do enjoy my 29er hardtail singlespeed as a change of pace bike)
    I completely agree.

    That idea is basically saying the only problem with 29ers is that they don't have enough travel. In my opinion that is the least of a 29ers issues. Wheel/tire weight, overall bike length and chainstay length are all much bigger issues to me with 29ers. Its pretty hard to get a 29er through a tight, steep, uphill switchback!
    2013 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    With all due respect, I think that statement is highly dependent on terrain and rider preference. Though that is the justification that has been used by major manufacturers to market 650b bikes, I don't think it's a very accurate generalization.

    My riding is very cross country but I prefer 650b over 29 or 26. If it hadn't come along, I'd still be riding short travel FS 26" bikes--29 just doesn't do much for me. (though I do enjoy my 29er hardtail singlespeed as a change of pace bike)
    Yes! This describes me perfectly too. Obviously, there is demand for short-travel 650b. Bring it already!

  19. #19
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    That look interesting. How short is the CS? Where do these frames come from, and from whom will they be available?
    The CS is 430mm long (16.93"). Since there is no current US distributor, I will likely be importing them. The frames are made in South Africa at the Morewood factory. Short video here: Handmade - Morewood Bikes - Pinkbike

    Cheers,
    KP
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Pacenti View Post
    The CS is 430mm long (16.93"). Since there is no current US distributor, I will likely be importing them. The frames are made in South Africa at the Morewood factory. Short video here: Handmade - Morewood Bikes - Pinkbike

    Cheers,
    KP

    This is good news. There used to be a Morewood USA distributor in North Carolina - did they not continue with their relationship?

    A few guys up here used to ride Shovas and Shova LTs and I was always impressed with how well made the frames were - dare I say - a lot more impressed with their quality for single pivots vs. Santa Cruz when the Heckler and Bullit were all the rage.

    Now I think some of their frames in addition to the XC single pivots feature the DW split pivot suspension design correct?

    Keep us posted on your Morewood Bikes relationship Kirk!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Pacenti View Post
    The CS is 430mm long (16.93"). Since there is no current US distributor, I will likely be importing them. The frames are made in South Africa at the Morewood factory. Short video here: Handmade - Morewood Bikes - Pinkbike

    Cheers,
    KP
    Cool behind the scenes goings on video. Thanks Kirk!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    They are not a not available yet from the Tier 1 manufacturers. The reason is not the bullseye for 650b that Fox targeted when they made their first fork a 4.5 lb 160mm travel fork. That's why all the bikes are heavy and have big travel.

    But the next wave is coming of 24 lbs 140mm travel bike. They'll use this fork among others.

    Sneak Peek: Fox 650b/27.5 140mm Fork | Mountain Bike Review


    The true advantage of 650b over 29er occurs when there is a lot of travel.

    fc
    When did MTBR go from a consumer based information sharing board to just another PinkBike wannabe? Your recent posts on 650B have been full of industry shrill speak. Tier 1? Sorry, but ad budgets aside, Speci/Trek/Giant etal? Are NOT tier 1, Turner (Burner) Ventana (Bastardo, Zeus, Alpino), High QUALITY manufacturers are Tier 1, not Pump out as many units as we cans manufacturers.

    And the "true advantage" you speak of as if fact because you said it? Cannot be further from the truth, as being attested by the multitude of answers here already. It's a an another option/tool, just like no single suspension design (or lack there of) is king, no size wheel is king. There are positive and negatives to each. In my OPINION and experience 650B has the least comprimises but that is just MY experience.
    -Aaron G.

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  23. #23
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    2011 Marin Rift Zone's

    100mm travel 26" bike but just by looking at pics it should convert to 650B easily (lots of Marins with Quad Link 2 do). They are blowing these out on ebay for some decent prices and if you're into a short travel ripper might be worth a look.

    Are there any good 650B FS bikes that are more XC and less AM?-us-mtfrs-rift_zone_xc8-c1.jpg
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  24. #24
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG View Post
    This is good news. There used to be a Morewood USA distributor in North Carolina - did they not continue with their relationship?

    A few guys up here used to ride Shovas and Shova LTs and I was always impressed with how well made the frames were - dare I say - a lot more impressed with their quality for single pivots vs. Santa Cruz when the Heckler and Bullit were all the rage.

    Now I think some of their frames in addition to the XC single pivots feature the DW split pivot suspension design correct?

    Keep us posted on your Morewood Bikes relationship Kirk!
    M,

    I don't really know much about the previous distributor(s), but the quality of Morewood's manufacturing is world class; easily as good as the best work from our favorite USA made brands.

    Yes, there are a couple new Split Pivot bikes coming out; the 150mm Sukuma and 170mm Jabula. Both are 26" wheeled bikes... nothing in 650b / 27.5 as far as I know.

    Cheers,
    KP
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    With all due respect, I think that statement is highly dependent on terrain and rider preference.
    +2. FC, I know you test a bunch more bikes than I will ever get to ride, so no disrespect meant. I'm another 6'er that wants no more than 120mm travel rear, and doesn't want rear suspension at all unless the the wheel is 650b. Glad our current USA brands are starting to dabble in it, but I'm officially a hold out until what the OP described appears.
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

  26. #26
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    Yeah I like the Marin frames. Was looking at one of the Attack models to convert as an early fs conversion.

    Might have been a '12 model, but I remember trying a 650 in back of one of these that a shop sponsored rider had and having fit issues. Can't remember what tire I had on my rim at the time or if it was rr der or seat tube scrub.

    FWIW, word in the back alley's that Marin has a dozen (or more) 650 versions coming down the pike.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  27. #27
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    That would probably be cool, but there are inherent problems with most conversions. (at least in my mind) So that wouldn't work for me. I want a bike that is designed around a given wheel size.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo View Post
    When did MTBR go from a consumer based information sharing board to just another PinkBike wannabe? Your recent posts on 650B have been full of industry shrill speak. Tier 1? Sorry, but ad budgets aside, Speci/Trek/Giant etal? Are NOT tier 1, Turner (Burner) Ventana (Bastardo, Zeus, Alpino), High QUALITY manufacturers are Tier 1, not Pump out as many units as we cans manufacturers.

    And the "true advantage" you speak of as if fact because you said it? Cannot be further from the truth, as being attested by the multitude of answers here already. It's a an another option/tool, just like no single suspension design (or lack there of) is king, no size wheel is king. There are positive and negatives to each. In my OPINION and experience 650B has the least comprimises but that is just MY experience.
    Because of your first paragraph, I didn't give much of a read to your second paragraph. The only thing I got out of it was 'my opinion'. This is a community, not a gladiator pit. Lighten up, and let the man speak his thoughts. With posts like yours, folks won't want to participate at all.

  29. #29
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    Regarding Morewood, there was quite a bit of "industry drama" a couple years back regarding Morewood USA (which was run by an incredibly helpful/nice guy named Richard out of NC if memory serves) having their exclusive distro rights cut out. I also believe Patrick Morewood no longer works at the company.

    There's a bunch of info on Ridemonkey and elsewhere if you're interested.

    All that said, the company makes good bikes; I've owned several. The sizing was a little wonky early on, but I think it's better now. Would love to see some solid US distribution.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciclistagonzo View Post
    When did MTBR go from a consumer based information sharing board to just another PinkBike wannabe? Your recent posts on 650B have been full of industry shrill speak. Tier 1? Sorry, but ad budgets aside, Speci/Trek/Giant etal? Are NOT tier 1, Turner (Burner) Ventana (Bastardo, Zeus, Alpino), High QUALITY manufacturers are Tier 1, not Pump out as many units as we cans manufacturers.

    And the "true advantage" you speak of as if fact because you said it? Cannot be further from the truth, as being attested by the multitude of answers here already. It's a an another option/tool, just like no single suspension design (or lack there of) is king, no size wheel is king. There are positive and negatives to each. In my OPINION and experience 650B has the least comprimises but that is just MY experience.
    Finally someone has the stones to speak the truth that I've been thinking for sometime.......I'm all in for 650B but this wheel size doesn't need Specialized, Trek or Giant to make it valid.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    Finally someone has the stones to speak the truth that I've been thinking for sometime.......I'm all in for 650B but this wheel size doesn't need Specialized, Trek or Giant to make it valid.
    Ah, but grasshopper...for some people sadly it does

    Perhaps with Giant jumping on board in what looks to be a big way (and from what I read the largest bike Co. in the world) perhaps this will get people to STFU about the validity issue.

    Are there any good 650B FS bikes that are more XC and less AM?-p4pb9436831.jpg
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker4life View Post
    Finally someone has the stones to speak the truth that I've been thinking for sometime.......I'm all in for 650B but this wheel size doesn't need Specialized, Trek or Giant to make it valid.
    It may not need Specialized, Trek or Giant to be valid. But it does need the high productions numbers of those manufacturers to bring down the price of forks and tires. 650b stuff rarely goes on sale like 26" or 29" stuff. You usually have to pay MSRP or close.
    2013 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
    2015 Lynskey Cooper CX
    2010 Soma Groove
    1987 Haro RS1

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wish I Were Riding View Post
    I know the market is getting flooded with new FS 650B, but they all seem to have more travel than I probably need. I've been primarily a rigid rider for a while now. I'm not sure I need/want 140mm of travel. I am interested in slacker and shorter chainstays. But I'm not sure there is a FS bike like I'm looking for yet. Anyone have any suggestions? If there isn't something, Maybe I'll look at the Jet 9 instead.
    Slack, short chainstays and 100-120mm travel 650B are exactly what I'm after myself (rigid rider here too). I'm interested to know what's available and what's in the works (the 120-mm Giant looks interesting...).
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  34. #34
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    2011-12 Rocky Mtn Element RSL

    Rocky Mtn unwittingly made a great 650b XC bike, they just came with 26" wheels. These fit 2.25 Racing Ralph 650b tires with mud clearance. It has a low BB so the larger wheels actually raise it up to a more normal BB height. It has 100mm rear travel and I put a 120mm fork on my '12 Element Team RSL frame. These bikes can be had at blowout prices online and with $200-300, you can have the hubs relaced and some tires from my650b.com.

    I briefly had a alu Jet9 when I ran over my Rip9 frame in the garage(expensive mistake) and my Element made it feel like a tugboat. This is from a guy who was 29er only for 9 years. These conversion bikes, also now have a Devinci Dexter as a B6er, are so fun with their short wheelbases and chainstays that I don't ever see myself going back to a 29er, XC or otherwise.

  35. #35
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    Sounds interesting, Flip. Got any photos handy? Haven't seen this one yet.
    Cheers.
    Great prices - some sweet vintage stuff: http://classifieds.mtbr.com/showprod...product=101010

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    I did some google-ing ...and couldn't find where the Team RSLs are getting sold for good deals...could you point us to what you found? thx, matt

  37. #37
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    I just did some google fu also and looks like the team rsl supply has dried up. I bought mine from Jenson six months ago for less than half of msrp. Your best bet is probably BDH bikes on ebay. Looks like they bought up the excess inventory and have been selling a lot of them because they used to have more of a selection then they have now. The difference between the team and regular is the team has ti hardware @ 4.1# and the regular have steel hardware at 4.5 pounds. Also the '11 has external routing and the '12 have internal cable routing. There's a big thread on these in the Rocky Mtn forum and has all the info you need if anyone wants to learn about them. I'm not associated with Rocky but am very pleased with my frame and happy to get it pretty cheap also. Not a lot of info on these compared to others like the SC Blur conversions.

    My wife is a kindergarden teacher and as soon as I can get her to bring back my camera from school, I'll post up some clearance and BB height pictures.

  38. #38
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    Damn wish they were available here in the States
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    WIWR - I'm with you on the xc question, I would like to see more 100mm xc frames from top builders but it seems the industry is not satisfied the 27.5" wheel could compete for sales against 29r's in the shorter travel realm. Eventually a quality small/med builder will roll out a short travel carbon frame with top suspension design then we'll see. If Fox releases a 32mm 100/120 fork for the 27.5's, you'll know its on.

  40. #40
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    Ventana seems poised to roll out a 120mm travel model, FWIW.

    Ventana Alpino....

  41. #41
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    Ummm folks..? KHS makes one.. been looking at it for some time... under 5" Squish (4.5-4.7 depending on which yr)
    69.5 degree head tube so not super steep like 29er 70-71 but not so shallow like the average 68's of most 650B units


    reasonable priced at 2600 fully decked.. not what I'd call the best build but not bad either... and better than most 650b bikes I've seen costing a grand more ..

    really the bike I'm looking at. just need $$$$$$$

    I do agree that I want a XC-ish 650B and there aren't any real choices other than this and having one custom made for a ridiculous price. I love my 29er 4" squish... better than any 26 I've ridden,.. but most 650B's I like better.. just too wollowy with the 5.5 and up suspensions...


    (I don't get why KHS wont let you link back an image from their site.. calling it "stolen" what the h3ll you whining about?)

    Are there any good 650B FS bikes that are more XC and less AM?-screen-shot-2013-04-17-5.09.27-pm.png.


    Last edited by thomllama; 04-17-2013 at 03:12 PM.
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by etanc View Post
    WIWR - I'm with you on the xc question, I would like to see more 100mm xc frames from top builders but it seems the industry is not satisfied the 27.5" wheel could compete for sales against 29r's in the shorter travel realm. Eventually a quality small/med builder will roll out a short travel carbon frame with top suspension design then we'll see. If Fox releases a 32mm 100/120 fork for the 27.5's, you'll know its on.
    They have 10 variations of a 32mm XC fork for 650b... All under 4lbs... Well, except for the TALAS model.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  43. #43
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    Saracen lists this under their "all mountain" lineup, but it is shorter travel than most being released these days:
    Saracen - Kili Flyer

    More here:
    650b just got sexy! Check out the new Saracen Kili Flyer | Bikes | ChopMTB
    Saracen Kili Flyer - First Look - BikeRadar
    Saracen announces new Kili Flyer 650B | wideopen magazine

    I'm not sure, but I think WhatMTB included this in their Trail Bike of the Year showdown. I'm still trying to get a copy of it.
    I love the direction Saracen are going. Their 2013 Zen is at the top of my hardtail wishlist, and now they've released this. I just wish they were more readily available outside the UK.
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    Ventana seems poised to roll out a 120mm travel model, FWIW.

    Ventana Alpino....
    Yep it has been on my radar since I heard about it in January. Just waiting for pictures to come out. I have however been hankering for a Carbon bike so I might pass and just keep riding that beautiful El Bastardo I bought from you. Not sure I told you but I had a killer wheelset built last summer. Chris King hubs with Stan's Crest rims. I think I am going to wait until Pivot, Ibis or Yeti comes out with a 650b in Carbon and 120 mm travel. I think it might take a few years but I think eventually one of those companies will see the market needs one. I love both my Ventana's but really want a carbon bike.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by procos View Post
    Yep it has been on my radar since I heard about it in January. Just waiting for pictures to come out. I have however been hankering for a Carbon bike so I might pass and just keep riding that beautiful El Bastardo I bought from you. Not sure I told you but I had a killer wheelset built last summer. Chris King hubs with Stan's Crest rims. I think I am going to wait until Pivot, Ibis or Yeti comes out with a 650b in Carbon and 120 mm travel. I think it might take a few years but I think eventually one of those companies will see the market needs one. I love both my Ventana's but really want a carbon bike.
    Have you seen the Giant prototype short travel 650b'er?
    Giant Mountain And Cyclocross Prototypes Spotted - BikeRadar

    Looks pretty nice!

    I remember you were going to get new wheels but I didn't know you had. Sound nice! Glad you're still enjoying the bike. My new Turner Burner should arrive this week...

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by procos View Post
    Yep it has been on my radar since I heard about it in January. Just waiting for pictures to come out. I have however been hankering for a Carbon bike so I might pass and just keep riding that beautiful El Bastardo I bought from you. Not sure I told you but I had a killer wheelset built last summer. Chris King hubs with Stan's Crest rims. I think I am going to wait until Pivot, Ibis or Yeti comes out with a 650b in Carbon and 120 mm travel. I think it might take a few years but I think eventually one of those companies will see the market needs one. I love both my Ventana's but really want a carbon bike.
    I like your taste in bike companies: Ventana, Pivot, Ibis and Yeti. All top-quality US companies with a compelling history. My next bike will almost certainly be from one of these.

  47. #47
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    No, sorry, calling you out: if you don't build it yourself, we will all be very angry over in the FB forum!

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

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    No, sorry, calling you out: if you don't build it yourself, we will all be very angry over in the FB forum!

    -Walt
    I don't understand this response. Please elaborate. What is the FB forum?

  49. #49
    Maromero
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    Quote Originally Posted by procos View Post
    I don't understand this response. Please elaborate. What is the FB forum?
    My guess would be Frame Building forum, but I also don't understand the response.
    Last edited by doccoraje; 04-17-2013 at 06:34 PM. Reason: typo

  50. #50
    Maromero
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    Ummm folks..?
    (I don't get why KHS wont let you link back an image from their site.. calling it "stolen" what the h3ll you whining about?)
    They don't like free advertising

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