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  1. #1
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    650B Marketing is working

    Has anyone else noticed the 650 push is finally gaining meaningful ground? By that I mean many less experienced riders are being pushed to the middle wheel size (as the best option). I know this topic has been covered ad naseum but it kills me to hear guys say they are ready to buy but haven't ridden a 26 or a 29... I guess marketing $ work #Nike.

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    besides marketing there are factual pros and cons to the sizes. the industry appears to want 26 dead on all but the low end or serious downhill rigs. 29ers aren't really practical for a 5'2 woman who weighs 115lbs so the 650b is a natural stand in. for all my life we were married to 26" personally i'm happy to see 2 choices appear to become the new standard. we also know parts are purposely changed to obsolete old bikes and push people into newer gear. have an old XTR hardtail from 1999? absolutely nothing made today will be compatible besides the seatposts and tires. you won't find hubs that high end in non disc and you won't find ultralight 8spd parts new. with 27.5 and 29er the real benefit is obsoleting the old 26" wheel and pushing a lot of holdouts into a new bike. while you could always milk along an old 8spd high end HT if you wanted to with used parts, the lack of high end rims and tires being made in the future may finally obsolete those completely.

    my main bike is a superfly 100 29er. love it, also have a 1996 or 1997 stumpjumper pro on 9spd. anyway my local bike shop sold me a pair of mavic crossrides for it at cost $125 for the pair. they just have no interest in non disc 26" wheels. i bought them simply because i know where things are heading. in a few more years there may not be new mid level wheelsets in v brake for me to even purchase if i need one.

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    My concern is primarily regarding new riders and 26" guys uniting... 27.5 is better for true downhill... But the average guy will enjoy a 29 inch wheel over the other 2 sizes.

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    Yes, I think many have noticed this and posted on it like crazy. S just released their 27.5", so I'd say that's symbolic of 26" being dead.

    For all of the bemoaning, if people buy 26" it will be built. New riders don't drive the industry so much, most don't ride what they buy or quit as soon as they get a flat, so the wheel size doesn't matter much.

    There is a ton of 26" inventory out there so it isn't dead in that sense. If people love 26" so much the used stuff will be there and niche builders will respond, that is until it be omes the next latest trend in the industry.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    Has anyone else noticed the 650 push is finally gaining meaningful ground? By that I mean many less experienced riders are being pushed to the middle wheel size (as the best option). I know this topic has been covered ad naseum but it kills me to hear guys say they are ready to buy but haven't ridden a 26 or a 29... I guess marketing $ work #Nike.
    At a staggering 3.7% bigger than 26" with same size tires - it is the "best of both worlds" wheels size, right?

    3.7%.

    Locally I see people wanting and riding 650b for bigger trail/enduro bikes but for everything else the 29er is still king.

    My local dealer says the bike market is flat to declining the last few years so what 650b is doing is breathing some new life and selling bikes but primarily taking away 26" wheels sales.

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    650B Marketing is working

    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    Has anyone else noticed the 650 push is finally gaining meaningful ground? By that I mean many less experienced riders are being pushed to the middle wheel size (as the best option). I know this topic has been covered ad naseum but it kills me to hear guys say they are ready to buy but haven't ridden a 26 or a 29... I guess marketing $ work #Nike.
    Seems like they'd buy not caring about other sizes if the marketing was so good.

    It's great to see the less experienced you mention have a choice between small and large. A bonus if the economic activity creates or maintains a job for someone.

    It's not like the cops have knocked on the door to take away my 26 and 29 wheel bikes.

    Wheel size as tribe or religion is silly. Ride what you like. I like all of them.

  7. #7
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    650b marketing is working because that is currently the only marketing currently going on. Giant really started it last year with their stupid #ridewithoutlimits and ever since people have been flocking over to the tweener wheel.
    One of my friends has two 29ers and he said that he might get a 27" next. That is probably a lot of people's mentality after all these bikes were released in a short period of time.
    All I hope is that the longer travel 29ers stay in production and that the new trend dies down as fast as it was born.

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    Re: 650B Marketing is working

    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    All I hope is that the longer travel 29ers stay in production and that the new trend dies down as fast as it was born.
    Have you ridden a 650 yet? How do you know you won't like it more than a 29"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    My concern is primarily regarding new riders and 26" guys uniting... 27.5 is better for true downhill... But the average guy will enjoy a 29 inch wheel over the other 2 sizes.
    Whose to say he/she will enjoy a 29er more as an average rider. Lets be honest here we are in a sport were 1 degree of headangle makes a big change to a bike. The wheel size may be small but its still changing something that effects the feel.

    It makes perfect sense that people are told to buy 27.5, it does sit in the middle of both sizes and its more than likely going to out grow the 26er in the future as the standard size, making it a more viable option for future proofing parts wise but also performance wise. many parts come in 650/26. Less parts come in 29/650b.

    For a new rider its a nice compromise to go with 650B because it is in between sizes. each rider is different, its really not up to anyone to say what wheel size is more enjoyable that's up to the rider to choose.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    Have you ridden a 650 yet? How do you know you won't like it more than a 29"?
    I have ridden a 650b on a parking lot (so it doesn't really count) but I have ridden 26ers on the trail and I know that I prefer 29ers to the 26ers. Because 650b is only a tiny bit bigger than a 26er I believe that the benefits won't be enough for me to want a 650b instead of a 26 and definitely not instead of a 29er.
    But for the kind of riding I do there is only one spot on the trail that I am not comfortable on: tight switchbacks, and on tight switchbacks I can still ride my 29er around them, but I wouldn't buy a 27" just for a tiny margin of my ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sodinishu View Post
    That is probably a lot of people's mentality after all these bikes were released in a short period of time.
    Wow you really had to do that? You copied me word for word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    My concern is primarily regarding new riders and 26" guys uniting... 27.5 is better for true downhill... But the average guy will enjoy a 29 inch wheel over the other 2 sizes.
    I was sucked in by the 29er 'marketing' several years ago, I enjoyed rolling fast in a straight line but that is where the enjoyment of the wagon wheel stopped for me. Sure they are marketing the crap out of the tweener size but the fact is the size is a good compromise and simply works. The marketing would have died pretty quickly if the market wasn't responding. I guess I am not your "average guy"!

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    Re: 650B Marketing is working

    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    I have ridden a 650b on a parking lot (so it doesn't really count) but I have ridden 26ers on the trail and I know that I prefer 29ers to the 26ers. Because 650b is only a tiny bit bigger than a 26er I believe that the benefits won't be enough for me to want a 650b instead of a 26 and definitely not instead of a 29er.
    But for the kind of riding I do there is only one spot on the trail that I am not comfortable on: tight switchbacks, and on tight switchbacks I can still ride my 29er around them, but I wouldn't buy a 27" just for a tiny margin of my ride.
    Did your old 26" have the same geo? Same frame material? Same fork? Same tires? If it did, you can make an apples to apples comparison. If not, you can't.

    I like my current 29" bike more than my old 26", but I attribute that to the fact that it cost about 4x as much...not necessarily the big wheels

    I think people put WAY too much stock in wheel size. The biggest thing that affects a bikes handling is the geo, not wheel size. Some of y'all need to go out and ride your bike rather than worry about 26 vs 27.5 vs 29 vs penny farthings

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    Did your old 26" have the same geo? Same frame material? Same fork? Same tires? If it did, you can make an apples to apples comparison. If not, you can't.

    I like my current 29" bike more than my old 26", but I attribute that to the fact that it cost about 4x as much...not necessarily the big wheels

    I think people put WAY too much stock in wheel size. The biggest thing that affects a bikes handling is the geo, not wheel size. Some of y'all need to go out and ride your bike rather than worry about 26 vs 27.5 vs 29 vs penny farthings
    My 29er is higher spec, but I am not saying my 26er is bad. Sure it has bad components, but I still ride it around my yard and I use it when I don't feel like using my 29er.
    I like both wheel sizes, just my 29er is my preference.

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    I like my 26er and have no plans on changing anytime soon - and it's a 5 inch travel semi-race machine, not a downhill or enduro ride. I rode plenty of 650b and 29ers at Outerbike last year and generally liked the 650b's a little better - I just don't think that 29ers are for me. I think in some terrain they are likely the perfect ride. I think for some people they are the perfect ride.

    I also think that if someone changed to 29er because they though it was much better than 26 and has now decided that 650b is the perfect ride, then that is evidence of marketing at work.

    The industry wants to sell bikes, and more people will buy new bikes if there is a real tangible difference - like a different wheel size. However, it is expensive for the industry to have too many wheel sizes, thus the general phasing out of 26ers in favor of the, very similar but more marketable, 650b wheel size.

    Yes, the marketing is working. At least if the marketing works on some people who want the newest wheel size then there are more used 26ers and 29ers available for people who don't care about the marketing.

    There is no perfect bike.....just the one that's best for you.

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    650B Marketing is working

    I'd like to demo some full suspension 650b bikes over the next couple of years. If I like it the trek fuel ex8 650b could be my next bike.

    I have a hunch that 29ers will rule the HT scene for a long time.

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    in all honesty I did a 24 hour endurance race and had the chance to demo a Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. a 27.5 wheel bike for a lap. Normally I ride a 29er and I honestly could not tell the the difference betweent the two sizes. They felt similiar. When I get on my 26 hardtail, then I notice a difference...it is so much more fun! I don't know why we are dumping the 26er. It is such a breath of fresh air after being on the big size. I wish they would continue to make and develop the size. Choice is good. Oh well...I'll just keep riding, what do I know?

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    I am interested to see what happens when most bikes are 1x11 and there is no need for a front derailler. Chainstay lengths on 29ers will get much shorter and they won't be so clumsy in the corners. My 29er can go down to a 16.25 wheelbase and at that length I don't have any issues with the common complaints with the big wheel size. Will that change be another marketing ploy. I rode a 650b recently and really liked it!! I think a lot of it had to do with headtube and seat angle and how far technology has taken us. The bike looks like it should not climb well but that was not the case.
    If I was to buy a squishy bike and I wanted 5 inches of travel or more I would go 650b and under I would go 29.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsb View Post
    For all of the bemoaning, if people buy 26" it will be built.
    Trouble is a lot of brands have just killed their 26ers immediately without stopping to look.

    Taken to a hilarious extreme by Canyon, who killed off the Strive Al despite it consistently selling out, sell two complete runs of the 2014 models, but nope, nobody wants a 26er anymore so now it's off the catalogue entirely. It's been bizarre.

    It's also become a circular argument, 'nobody' is buying 26ers, but nobody is offering 26ers to buy because 'nobody' is buying them. It's not such a big deal though, my experimenting with 26 wheels in 650b frames (Nukeproof Mega, SC Bronson and Saracen Zen so far) has lead me to conclude that a 650 frame with 26 wheels rides just the same as it did before, becoming even more just the same the faster you're going.

  20. #20
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    Re: 650B Marketing is working

    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    Trouble is a lot of brands have just killed their 26ers immediately without stopping to look.

    Taken to a hilarious extreme by Canyon, who killed off the Strive Al despite it consistently selling out, sell two complete runs of the 2014 models, but nope, nobody wants a 26er anymore so now it's off the catalogue entirely. It's been bizarre.

    It's also become a circular argument, 'nobody' is buying 26ers, but nobody is offering 26ers to buy because 'nobody' is buying them. It's not such a big deal though, my experimenting with 26 wheels in 650b frames (Nukeproof Mega, SC Bronson and Saracen Zen so far) has lead me to conclude that a 650 frame with 26 wheels rides just the same as it did before, becoming even more just the same the faster you're going.
    UK seems to be a little different.
    26" have been selling in very low numbers in USA in the last 2 years.
    Yeti, Turner and Santa Cruz are on record saying they could not get enough orders to keep making 26" or the customers interest in 650b was so huge they had to go 650b.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    Trouble is a lot of brands have just killed their 26ers immediately without stopping to look.

    Taken to a hilarious extreme by Canyon, who killed off the Strive Al despite it consistently selling out, sell two complete runs of the 2014 models, but nope, nobody wants a 26er anymore so now it's off the catalogue entirely. It's been bizarre.

    It's also become a circular argument, 'nobody' is buying 26ers, but nobody is offering 26ers to buy because 'nobody' is buying them. It's not such a big deal though, my experimenting with 26 wheels in 650b frames (Nukeproof Mega, SC Bronson and Saracen Zen so far) has lead me to conclude that a 650 frame with 26 wheels rides just the same as it did before, becoming even more just the same the faster you're going.
    I agree with you that there are some companies that have knee-jerk reactions, but many companies have not. Santa Cruz, for example, responded to what they perceived was customer demand. Specialized waited and waited and now they are jumping in. After so many larger companies sat back an lost sales to smaller companies selling 29ers and kept saying it was a fad, you can bet there will be many more knee-jerk reactions to 27.5"

    And itCustomers have had the choices of 26, 27.5, and 29 and moreover they have had nothing but 26" for many years. If I am Specialized and 26" selling then I won't switch, I'll beat the competition--and that aint happening apparently.

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    Different horses for different courses.

    If you haven't figured that out you are too skilled on a bike for it to matter, or... too simple to tell the difference.

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    26ers and 650b are not well differentiated. 650b only exists, after all, because it could drop into existing 26er frames. Likewise, if you really wanted a 26er you could buy a 650b bike and downgrade the wheels. There's just not that much difference.

    Furthermore, manufacturers pushed 650b bikes to market because they could claim new lineups without doing much to support a wheel that's virtually the same as what it replaced. They gain the latest buzz with little investment.

    As a manufacturer, why would you maintain a 26er lineup when you have a 650b one? 650b is new, has surging interest, and is the same as 26er functionally. 26ers are alive and well, they are just called 650b now. Anyone who's ridden a 26er has ridden a 650b, no need to pretend it's any different.

    On the bright side, 650b sucks a little less than 26", so the industry improves a little bit, though at a cost not worth the benefit. 26er will die in all markets eventually. DH will just happen later.

  24. #24
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    I really like my 27.5. I just like my 29er a little more. Many shorter riders that like to ride tech have made the switch. I put a SuperMax on my 429 and it just crushes it.

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    Hey, at least it solved the astronomical amounts of posts about "should I get a 26" or 29" wheel.".
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    All I hope is that the longer travel 29ers stay in production and that the new trend dies down as fast as it was born.
    Agreed, it might have stuck a bit better before the trail and HT angles started to be dialed across the board on 29ers, but at this point the long travel 29" units are so good, I'd only recommend the 27.5 option for somebody speccing a 17" or smaller frame, or who wants a more above-the-bike feel out of a long travel setup.
    On women's bikes, in the median size range 650B is a real improvement, because the wheel center isn't as high up as the seat tube is tall anymore, so bottom bracket drop can be in the right spot, but we're not describing a very large or lucrative part of the market discussing really discerning ladies who ride aggressive bikes.

    Out where I ride, the 29 shines just about everywhere, and unless I want to spend huge cash on a really light carbon bike with slick and supple suspension, I'm not going to have that same ability to clear chunky stuff the mid-priced 29" units specced with more reasonable parts (SLX, FoxCTD) that difference is even more pronounced.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    26ers and 650b are not well differentiated. 650b only exists, after all, because it could drop into existing 26er frames. Likewise, if you really wanted a 26er you could buy a 650b bike and downgrade the wheels. There's just not that much difference.

    Furthermore, manufacturers pushed 650b bikes to market because they could claim new lineups without doing much to support a wheel that's virtually the same as what it replaced. They gain the latest buzz with little investment.

    As a manufacturer, why would you maintain a 26er lineup when you have a 650b one? 650b is new, has surging interest, and is the same as 26er functionally. 26ers are alive and well, they are just called 650b now. Anyone who's ridden a 26er has ridden a 650b, no need to pretend it's any different.

    On the bright side, 650b sucks a little less than 26", so the industry improves a little bit, though at a cost not worth the benefit. 26er will die in all markets eventually. DH will just happen later.
    Makes a lot of sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehllama View Post
    I'd only recommend the 27.5 option for somebody speccing a 17" or smaller frame, or who wants a more above-the-bike feel out of a long travel setup.
    On women's bikes, in the median size range 650B is a real improvement, because the wheel center isn't as high up as the seat tube is tall anymore, so bottom bracket drop can be in the right spot, but we're not describing a very large or lucrative part of the market discussing really discerning ladies who ride aggressive bikes.
    Sure fit is better, but a 26" fits even better.

    As a 5'4" female who owns both 26er and 29ers, the problem with 650b/27.5 is that the wheels size is negligible from what I am already riding. If you want sheer roll over, screw the 650b, it is not even worth discussing.

  29. #29
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    I wonder if people like the geometry of the newer 650b bikes over the wheel size? I know it's anecdotal, but from talking to people on the trail, and riding partners, with 650b bikes, most weren't sure if they could tell the difference between 26" and 650b wheels, but all did say they loved the bikes.

    I'd like to throw a leg over a 650b bike, a lot of them look fun.
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    650B Marketing is working

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I wonder if people like the geometry of the newer 650b bikes over the wheel size? I know it's anecdotal, but from talking to people on the trail, and riding partners, with 650b bikes, most weren't sure if they could tell the difference between 26" and 650b wheels, but all did say they loved the bikes.

    I'd like to throw a leg over a 650b bike, a lot of them look fun.
    Very good point that I've considered because my DJ/Park bike and 29r have slack front, short stays, long tt, short stems. I disliked 29rs prior to that bike. The 650Bs I liked most are that style and 650B I liked least is shorter.

    I could tell a difference between wheel sizes when I rode my 26 in Covert back to back with mid and big wheel bikes on trails and features I know well.

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    For me the 650B rides more like a 26er than a 29er. My new 650B is the
    best trail bike I've ever had, but I think it has more to do with having DW
    Link suspension.

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    Re: 650B Marketing is working

    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I wonder if people like the geometry of the newer 650b bikes over the wheel size? I know it's anecdotal, but from talking to people on the trail, and riding partners, with 650b bikes, most weren't sure if they could tell the difference between 26" and 650b wheels, but all did say they loved the bikes.

    I'd like to throw a leg over a 650b bike, a lot of them look fun.
    I got a 650b because no lbs around me was selling slack 6 inch vs 26ers. Demoing bikes made it fairly clear that my stumpy legs and long torso favored the tweener size over most the 29ers. Exceptions were the prices 111 and stump jumper. But dollar for dollar I could get a better bike in 650b.

    Love the bike (Troy) it has a shorter wheel base than the stump jumper. But with the Hans dampf only slightly smaller wheels at 28.25. Can't compare to a 26 or even an fs 2929er but coming off a ht 2929er I don't miss the roll over.

    Though really the geometry makes a much larger difference than nominal wheel size.
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  33. #33
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    Frankly, I think the 27.5 is stupid. But the 28.25...now that's a wheel size I could fully support.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcmxa View Post
    But with the Hans dampf only slightly smaller wheels at 28.25.
    The difference between 29 and 650b is 38mm always. Choice of tire doesn't change that. "Nominal wheel size" is irrelevant, it's just a name.

  35. #35
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    Re: 650B Marketing is working

    Quote Originally Posted by craigsj View Post
    The difference between 29 and 650b is 38mm always. Choice of tire doesn't change that. "Nominal wheel size" is irrelevant, it's just a name.
    Sure, that is true. My point is one can run differing volume weight of tires and alter the characteristics of the wheel fairly drastically and that other elements of the bike, such as geometry probably are more important than wheel size.

    Most of the time people seem to focus on just size in these debates, as if that was the only difference between bikes. They are these discussions that occur in all other elements being equal fictional universes. Nothing is ever held equal in the real world.

    Some 26er wheels are heavier than some 29er wheels but will be stiffer and wider. Just think off all the variables possible in wheels alone. Now throw in all the variables fit frames and components. And add cost as a major factor.

    I don't know how other people buy bikes do can't really comment on the marketing issue and how well it is working. I don't read bike magazines. I come on this forum using tapatalk mostly do don't see the ads. There are no bike billboards where I live. I dint go to races and I don't watch biking in tv. I read reviews which are influenced by marketing.

    When I got my new bike a few weeks ago, I had been liking for months, testing and dwelling bikes. I didn't look for a wheel size. I tried 29 and 27.5. I would have tried 26 but there were none in my area that meet my other qualifications for shock quality and travel and geometry.

    A subset of people on these forums get hung up on when size as if that is all people consider as if that is the only variation between bikes our all other options are equal when that is not true.

    Everything is a compromise. I got the fork and frame I wanted and components I could tolerate since not compromising would have meant waiting much longer to get a bike better suited to how I ride.

    Maybe everyone else just looks at the pictures in magazines and reads giant's expansion of wheel size and decides that 27.5 bike is for them and that is what they go get.

    Our maybe 27.5 cane about because some riders were wanting a slightly larger wheel and after years a couple of smaller manufacturers, like Jamis, started producing them and me riders liked them and bought them so more manufactures produced them and the market segment got to be big enough that it was worth manufacturers advertising based on that size as it would cause a shift in buying and perhaps spoke bike sales and it has caught on to the point where 26 is disappearing so people like me buy in because that is just what there is.

    I don't really know.

    I like to ride my bike though.
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  36. #36
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    I think it's less the marketing of 27.5, and more the absence of new 26" models.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I think it's less the marketing of 27.5, and more the absence of new 26" models.
    The absence of new 26" models due to the marketing of 27.5. The companies WANT us to buy them so they FORCE us to buy them.

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    Interesting note from a parent who just bought bikes for his 11 and 9-year olds. Both kids (a daughter and a son) were moving up from 24" wheel bikes. Both are tall for their age, and we purchased adult frames for them. My daughter is on a 17" frame, while my son is on a 13".

    We had both kids ride a number of test bikes.

    My 9 year-old son couldn't reliably handle a 650B wheeled bike, but he did quite well on the 26". My 11 year-old daughter would handle either, but she looked more comfortable with the 26", so we went with that bike.

    It could be that 26" will become a kids' wheel size.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    I wonder if people like the geometry of the newer 650b bikes over the wheel size? I know it's anecdotal, but from talking to people on the trail, and riding partners, with 650b bikes, most weren't sure if they could tell the difference between 26" and 650b wheels, but all did say they loved the bikes.

    I'd like to throw a leg over a 650b bike, a lot of them look fun.
    As GSJ1973 pointed out back on page 1, 27.5 is less than a 4% increase in diameter. I can't get myself to believe this will make any discernable performance differences. The thing is, I agree with you here too OldHouseMan: while the new wheel size alone doesn't make a difference, the demand influenced (and enabled) the industry to redesign bikes, and things like geometry, materials and other features have improved a bit faster as a result. For this reason, I think the 27.5 surge is a good thing. Some awesome new bikes out. It's just my opinion that many of these bikes would be just as awesome if they had 26" wheels.

    I was recently shopping for a trail bike and found a bike with the geo and other characteristics I wanted and it happened to have 26" wheels: a Knolly Endorphin. Saved me some cash too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmovies.org View Post
    It could be that 26" will become a kids' wheel size.
    Thought they always were.
























    kidding....kidding....please, no death threats from the 26" fans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badmovies.org View Post
    Interesting note from a parent who just bought bikes for his 11 and 9-year olds. Both kids (a daughter and a son) were moving up from 24" wheel bikes. Both are tall for their age, and we purchased adult frames for them. My daughter is on a 17" frame, while my son is on a 13".

    We had both kids ride a number of test bikes.

    My 9 year-old son couldn't reliably handle a 650B wheeled bike, but he did quite well on the 26". My 11 year-old daughter would handle either, but she looked more comfortable with the 26", so we went with that bike.

    It could be that 26" will become a kids' wheel size.
    The first determining factor when choosing a wheel size IS rider height. There are other factors but in MOST cases.... taller the rider = bigger wheel size.

    At one point I had 12',16',20',24', 26' and 29" wheeled bikes in my garage. Now that my boys are older (9,13,17) we have 20" (BMX) 26" and 29".

    I have been riding 29'ers since 2005 and love them. If 27.5 wheeled bikes would have come out first I would have given them a try. I am 6'2" and ride mostly XC so 29" wheeled bikes work great. If I was to get more into aggressive trail riding I would consider a 27.5" wheeled bike....at least demo one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    The absence of new 26" models due to the marketing of 27.5. The companies WANT us to buy them so they FORCE us to buy them.
    I don't think they're forcing anyone. There are still many vendors out there with 26" wheel models, and many of them quite good. BUT, due to previous marketing (and people with 26" frames putting 27.5 wheels on them), it's just the "next thing". MTB business is all about what's new, and sometimes about what's better.

    That being said, I did just buy a Remedy 8 27.5! I really haven't noticed much of a difference between the Remedy and my 2012 Blur LTc aside from the suspension design. That's a good thing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Sure fit is better, but a 26" fits even better.

    As a 5'4" female who owns both 26er and 29ers, the problem with 650b/27.5 is that the wheels size is negligible from what I am already riding. If you want sheer roll over, screw the 650b, it is not even worth discussing.
    Very true - I guess I was trying to figure out what an ideal quiver bike would be, since most buyers are looking for a bike that fits well enough to do what they'll charge through on the hard side, but still roll well enough to handle most of what they're actually riding (XC-CX stuff by mileage). It's more of a case where a bike with decent rollover can have a lower standover while still keeping a bit of BB drop - it doesn't sound like much because it isn't much, but I can appreciate why the smaller frame setups on trail bikes can be better in a lot of the geometry minutiae like chainstay length, standover, and trail with slightly smaller wheels.

    I still defer to your practical judgement on that, because at my size if I care about anything other than descending then I'm on a 29er all day every day. I'm Deezee's size, so that's just the size of bike that feels right, and comes with all the benefits of physics now that the hardware has gotten so well sorted.

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    I have weird proportions - 5'11" with a 35in inseam. I feel like I sit on top of the 27.5 bikes and because I weigh a lot it is hard to keep the front end down when climbing a steep hill. I like the roll over ability of the 29er and the snappy feel of my short travel 29er. I have a SuperMax fork and carbon rims and those combined with a stiff frame creates an east coast machine. Ironically I can run RaRa and RoRo tires without getting flats. I have to run a heavier rear tire on my 27.5 but to be fair with that bike I get lazy about choosing lines with a 150mm Pike and a 900+gm tire on the front. It's a hoot going down hill and popping over stuff, but the 29er is like a locomotive - its fast and all business and only front travel and impending doom limits its speed. The bad thing about a 29er is running aggressive tires. On my 29er they are slow, slow, and slow. Great traction however. The TK on the rear of my 27.5 feels like it spins up more quickly. All being said, the 29er, even with shorter travel, gets me through the chunk more quickly than my longer travel 27.5 and kills it on the flats and climbs. Would the decision be different if my inseam was shorter? Quite possibly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcmxa View Post
    Sure, that is true. My point is one can run differing volume weight of tires and alter the characteristics of the wheel fairly drastically and that other elements of the bike, such as geometry probably are more important than wheel size.

    Most of the time people seem to focus on just size in these debates, as if that was the only difference between bikes. They are these discussions that occur in all other elements being equal fictional universes. Nothing is ever held equal in the real world.
    I agree but you were guilty of this yourself. You changed the entire bike, including wheel size and tires, then proclaimed "coming off a ht 29er I don't miss the roll over." How would you know? You focused on wheel size while changing things you acknowledge are more important. Perhaps your 27.5 bike with 29er wheels would be even better. You may be missing the rollover and don't know it and you can't mitigate the disadvantage of the smaller wheel by using as large a tire as you can find then pretend that tire doesn't exist for 29" too!

    Ultimately we ride bikes, not wheels. It's true that larger wheels work better, if you have the room, but that's no guarantee that a given 29er rides well. I'm confident that many 650b bikes ride well, often better than some 29ers...but that's in spite of the wheel size, not because of it. MTB performance progresses and much of that doesn't involve the wheel itself.

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    This is one of those weird internet discussions where logic and reason seems to have prevailed - there so much other than just wheel size on the bikes that changes the character of the ride, we're finding most of the angles that come back to that same inescapable conclusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I don't think they're forcing anyone.
    Well, if you are a bike shop selling Giant for instance and boom the marketing comes out virtually eliminating two wheel sizes it sure seems like it. My local lbs for instance struggled and had to pick up a few new lines to be able to sell 29ers for instance last year. Giant all but wants to eliminate 2 wheel sizes when you read the below.

    650B For Giant's 2014 Elite-Level Mountain Bikes - Pinkbike

    "The off-road world now has three wheel sizes from which to choose. Through extensive research and ride testing, Giant has
    thoroughly analyzed how each size performs under different riding styles and in varying conditions. Our findings show that
    mountain bikes with 27.5-inch wheels deliver superior performance without the compromises of 26 or 29-inch-wheel bikes.
    So to create the best off-road riding experience, Giant has fully committed its 2014 lineup to this superior technology."


    27.5 TECHNOLOGY: Three reasons to believe

    <img src="http://ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb9891192/p4pb9891192.jpg">


    <img src="http://ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb9891191/p4pb9891191.jpg">


    <img src="http://ep1.pinkbike.org/p5pb9891194/p5pb9891194.jpg">



    I do think Craig summed it nicely in another post about the 3.7% difference, I always thought it was about 3.5%. Anyway, hardly "new technology" and the above marketing is very misleading when you ride the bikes back to back, IMHO.

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    I LOVE those infographics.

    FWIW, it ain't working at my LBS. And the local Giant shop got sold this spring. Go figure...

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    Heh, that's funny! The local Giant shop in my town also just sold. Probably coincidence, but perhaps not. If you can afford it, I think it makes more sense to offer a wide range of products and let the consumer decide what they like best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    ... and the above marketing is very misleading when you ride the bikes back to back, IMHO.
    Downright fraudulent is what I'd call it. It's as though Pacenti wrote himself.

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