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Thread: 29er or 650b

  1. #1
    29ers Forever
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    29er or 650b

    I have recently been looking at a 29'er Trek Mamba for my next bike. What are the differences between a 650b and 29er, and which wheel size would you prefer?

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    This has been discussed to excess..use the search function and you will have hours of reading.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    I have recently been looking at a 29'er Trek Mamba for my next bike. What are the differences between a 650b and 29er, and which wheel size would you prefer?
    650b is 2 inches smaller wheel size. 29er excels in all areas but 150mm+ travel or if you are under 5 feet 2 inches tall.

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    I think that generally, as the wheels get bigger they roll over things better, and have a bit more inertia. So the smaller wheels spin up slightly quicker but they also seem to lose speed more easily over roots and rocks. The flipside to this is that the bigger wheels carry speed a bit better.

    That said, I think there are much more important factors than wheel size that make a bike good or different, you need to consider things like geometry, build kit, suspension components etc.

    The best way to decide what is best for you is to get a test ride...

  5. #5
    29ers Forever
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    I think that I would be much better off with a Mamba. I have already rode one and would buy it unless the 650b bike is significantly better. It sounds like it is not better for the type of riding I do.

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    Do both


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    When I got my Potts built I really wanted to do 650b but a couple of years ago I was afraid to take the plunge. I think that now that there are plenty of fork, tire and rim manufactures I would be riding 650 instead of 29. Don't get me wrong, I love my bike but I am seriously considering getting another to add.

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    29 if you are tall, 650b if you are under 1.75

  9. #9
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    This depends entirely on you. Things like height and riding style are going to be huge determinants in choosing wheel size.
    For me, I prefer 29 in almost every situation, except for heavy duty AM and DH type situations. 650b is a bit more flickable than 29 which makes it nice in super tight, techy situations.
    29 holds speed better and is much more stable.
    If you don't know what your riding style is, go 29.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    When I got my Potts built I really wanted to do 650b but a couple of years ago I was afraid to take the plunge. I think that now that there are plenty of fork, tire and rim manufactures I would be riding 650 instead of 29. Don't get me wrong, I love my bike but I am seriously considering getting another to add.
    Does Steve do 650s now? I'm considering a 650 from Ericksen but Potts in Point Reyes is a closer drive to LA then Steamboat. I'd prefer getting measured by the builder in person if possible.

  11. #11
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    Dear 6lb 8oz baby Jesus, please make these threads stop.



    And help the people in the middle east....amen.

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    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    If you are old and forgot how to actually bunny hop on flat pedals and ride a mt. Bike like a road bike, 29-Er.
    If you are a 'gotta have the new thing-Er', 650b.
    If you do drops over 5' , ride goat trails, or like running 2.5 dual ply DH tires, 26-Er.
    If you are old, and listen to Sammy Hagar or Dee Snyder, 24" cruiser.
    If you are young and too dumb to wear gloves or a helmet, 20"
    If you are really talented (or a poseur, but imagine your own mad skillz), 20" trials


    Or, if you are like me, all of the above at different times.
    Except for the Sammy Hagar, of course.

  13. #13
    AZ
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    29ers are a passing fad, go with little wheels.

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    I prefer the roll over capability and wide variety of 29'er bikes. The only 650b bikes that are sold at shops in my area are Jamis and Scott. For hardtails sold, there is only the Nemesis 650b by Jamis.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz Piano Guy View Post
    Does Steve do 650s now? I'm considering a 650 from Ericksen but Potts in Point Reyes is a closer drive to LA then Steamboat. I'd prefer getting measured by the builder in person if possible.
    He would have been happy to build me a 650 but I was a little worried that 650 would never really catch on. I highly recommend Steve, he was great to work with and I really do love my bike.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKamp View Post
    He would have been happy to build me a 650 but I was a little worried that 650 would never really catch on. I highly recommend Steve, he was great to work with and I really do love my bike.

    Thanks. I'm sure whatever he would build, be it a 29, a 650 or even a 26, would be out of this world.

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    If you want the easiest to ride and like very stable....go 29er

    If you want to apply more skills and have decent stability...go 6fitty

    I'm instantly a lot faster DH on a 29er. Climbing is close to mindless, you hardly have to look up trail.

    Always consider your frequented terrain. I ride 650b at the time, but 29 would work real well in my area.
    Which may lead me to diy a B9er(29/650b), if I can find the right 29er with tall BB and short CS's.
    '10 Marin MountVision 650b conversion

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