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  1. #1
    dwt
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    650b buzz: perfect fit for AM?

    Bicycling, Bike Rumour, Mountain Bike Action all recently have come out with articles about a surge of 650b bikes in 2012 and 2013. Links over in the 650b forum.

    Dirt Rag has also chimed in:

    Consensus among the staff here at Dirt Rag is 650b might be the perfect fit for all-mountain bikes as the travel increases into the 140mm+ range. Only recently have 29ers been venturing into this territory, but no design has been ideal. Could all-mountain be the perfect fit, leaving 26-inch for downhill and 29-inch for cross-country?
    Hmmm...
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  2. #2
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    Less travel for the same weight, fewer to no worth while fork options (32mm is bunk), weaker wheels for the same wheel weight/tech/price, tremendously fewer tire options - sounds like all mountain bliss!

  3. #3
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    No one will give a damn about 650b in 5 years. So you'll be stuck with awkward bike frame with limited wheel and tire choices. Almost every good AM bike out there has 26 inches wheels for a reason. I'm also pretty sure you can put fatter tires on a 26 and get close to a 650b tire size.

    Oh if I could buy Mountain Bike Action in a toilet paper roll I would, that's all its really good for.
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  4. #4
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news View Post
    Less travel for the same weight, fewer to no worth while fork options (32mm is bunk), weaker wheels for the same wheel weight/tech/price, tremendously fewer tire options - sounds like all mountain bliss!
    Market is quickly changing as far as what's available.


    Fox, RockShox, DT-Swiss, Schwalbe and Others Develop 650b gear | The Straight Dirt | MountainBike.com

    Untitled Document
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  5. #5
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    No one will give a damn about 650b in 5 years. .
    That's what I said about 29'ers 5 years ago.

    oops.
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  6. #6
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    could be, but i wish you luck getting an unbiased answer in the holier than thou am forum.

  7. #7
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    I am convinced by now that no engineering will really fit 160+mm of travel that I want with 29" wheels. Yeah, yeah, I know the angle that bigger wheel do not need as much travel, they can do with thinner tires to compensate for weight, whatever. Discussed ad nauseum, everybody can figure things out by know for themselves.

    I will be happy to see what they can do with 650b, especially if some good rubber (Trail King and Big Betty, and Nobby Nic will do) shows up.

  8. #8
    Axe
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    No one will give a damn about 650b in 5 years.
    And replace it with what? Its a wheel size, you got to have wheels on a bike. Are you planning on riding your hoverboard?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    And replace it with what? Its a wheel size, you got to have wheels on a bike. Are you planning on riding your hoverboard?
    Yes my bike does have wheels. Funny how that works.

    My point it is stupid marketing crap. The 650b size is splitting hairs between 2 legitimate wheels size, 26 and 29. So what's next 26.75 inch wheels? 28.25 inch wheels? What wheel size will some company pay MBA to push into bikers next?
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  10. #10
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    could be, but i wish you luck getting an unbiased answer in the holier than thou am forum.
    I suppose some folks think it's better to be holier than thou in the AM Forum than a poseur in the Downhill-Feeride forum, eh?
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  11. #11
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    Yes my bike does have wheels. Funny how that works.

    My point it is stupid marketing crap. The 650b size is splitting hairs between 2 legitimate wheels size, 26 and 29. So what's next 26.75 inch wheels? 28.25 inch wheels? What wheel size will some company pay MBA to push into bikers next?
    Who appointed you the judge of what is "legitimate?" The 650b wheel size is about 80 years old. It rolls better than 26, but small enough to fit on a bike with more travel than a 29'er can take. So what's the problem?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    Yes my bike does have wheels. Funny how that works.

    My point it is stupid marketing crap. The 650b size is splitting hairs between 2 legitimate wheels size, 26 and 29. So what's next 26.75 inch wheels? 28.25 inch wheels? What wheel size will some company pay MBA to push into bikers next?
    No, it is NOT splitting hairs. There is a distinct technical challenge of fitting 29" wheels in a long travel frame, especially for smaller frame sizes. It does make a complete sense to have another option.

    It is not a new size standard. It is 100 years old. It is an accident it was not adopted for mountain biking in the beginning.

  13. #13
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    Has anyone tried a 650 wheel on the front of their
    bike and kept the 26er on the back? I have thought
    about doing this but I'm not sure how good it would
    work. Also could the wheel and tire fit a 26er fork?
    Or is this whole idea not worth it?

    Best, John

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    VTSession's right. Why do we need to consider a wheel size improvement? It's just like these newfangled suspension forks and shocks, hydraulic disc brake thingies, clipless pedals (why are they called clipless anyway?), seatposts that you can raise and lower by wasting time with a handlebar remote, oversized handlebars and stems, tapered headtubes, multi-durometer tires that actually grip on mountain bike trails, fragile carbon fiber that has no place on a mountain, sealed bearings that can't be rebuilt 5 times a month, through-axle hubs that take the excitement out of lofting your front wheel and trying to stick a line, gears (actually, there's a point there...), etc. Heck, why did we ever improve on the original Schwinn's in the first place? Too much hair-splitting. Stupid companies trying to sell their products by improving them. I BLAME MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    I suppose some folks think it's better to be holier than thou in the AM Forum than a poseur in the Downhill-Feeride forum, eh?
    because nothing is funner than arguing about made up physics on the interwebs!

  16. #16
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    both of my 6" bikes are tons of fun on 26" wheels , w/ a 650b conversion f/r they became much faster bikes that are now megatons of fun .

    building a 4" 650b bike now , going for the somewhat light / fairly heavy duty , xc'ish type

    i'm sold on 650 , it may be the perfect size .

    26" is the standard because it was commonplace and easy to adopt/morph into mtn bike useage , 29ers are 700c road wheels adopted because some enlightend few saw the faults in the 26 stuff an wanted to go faster, now people cry about the 29 stuff being too big for other than xc . so the mfg'ers , a couple of cottage shops and a few private induviduals weigh the pros and cons of both , look at whats out there and whip up some 650b stuff in an effort to find perfection . they are the new kids on the block and are getting some ribbing by naysayers and doubters , most of which have zero experience w/ said product . this is to be expected

    my first ever "mtn bike" experience was is the early 80's on my fiends sisters 650 touring rig that had semi knobs on it , she was in the army and brought it back from europe w/ lots of extra tires . smart girl . my second exp was on a c-dale w/ a 26front/24rear (85ish?), more like a bmxer but not fast

    i've always wondered why a $8k trick arse , super wazoo , latest greatest , uberlight 26"xc race winning machine of late was not as fast as that old touring rig , until i converted my bike

    3 more bikes to convert and i'll be done

    yeah , wheel weight , yep they weigh more than a 26" of comparable strength/cost but also less than a 29er of same caliber . if you want to cry about wheel weight go ride a 20"mini .

    so the 650b thing .............don't knock it till you try it kids , if you have no experience on a 650b machine i believe you don't know jack shite about them .

    in reality , what we should all be saying is something along the lines of " wow, cool new stuff out there, something for everybody now , this is good for the sport" .

  17. #17
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    Has anyone tried a 650 wheel on the front of their
    bike and kept the 26er on the back? I have thought
    about doing this but I'm not sure how good it would
    work. Also could the wheel and tire fit a 26er fork?
    Or is this whole idea not worth it?

    Over in the 650b forum this set up is known as "b26" and many folks start out that way. I did. Check that forum for threads on this, and also 650b compatible forks. Briefly, no rockshox and all Foxes can be used with 650b. The Rockshox braces are too low. Fox does not sanction use of their 26" forks with the bigger wheel even though they fit under the brace. Theoreticaly if the fork seals blow and all air is pushed out, the crown can sink below the brace and jam into the tire, thereby launching the rider into space.

    I had a rockshox fork so I bought an X-Fusion Velvet fork from Speedgoat for cheaper than a used Fox sells on eBay. Its a simpler designed fork but light and works fine for my needs You can definitely feel the better roll with the b26, but I found that my rear wheel often was not up to the task of getting over obstacles smoothly when climbing that the front wheel rolled over. So I built a rear 650b wheel and it fit my Chinese carbon hardtail with about 1/4" clearance which works fine even in the mud. Again, check the 650b forum for frames that can be converted. The geometry is a little off and your bb height goes up on a conversion, but otherwise it is ok to get the full experience of the wheel size

    Liking it much, I sold my 26" dualie on eBay and bought a new 2010 Jamis 650 B2 also on eBay for a sick closeout price in September. That's a 5" trail bike and it rocked my world. My riding buds moved from 26" to 29" and thought I was nuts to get a "non standard boutique" bike. I don't think so and things seem to be trending for 650b as the right size for 5-7" of travel.

    We'll see. Good luck
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  18. #18
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    I've got a new set of hubs on the way and am trying to figure out if I want to try the 650b thing or not . . . I know that the rim options for AM are there (Stans Flows), but the one thing thats kinda holding me back right now are the tire selections. I'm sure there are more rubber options than I'm aware of, but right now it seems like there's only a handful of 650b tires readily available.

    I'm also really excited about the Fox 34's coming out . . . I think those are going to be a great trail fork.
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  19. #19
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    650b as it's been said is nothing new. It's been used in europe for years etc.. over there 29er's are like 650's, the complete opposite of the US. For some reason we adopted the ungodly size of 29 and keep trying to push it into bigger an bigger frames etc.. As you go up in suspension, it just makes sense from a design aspect that the wheels would get smaller. It's coming and I think you will see 29ers rule the xc circuit, but 650's get very popular in the longer travel trail bike/all mountain etc...
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    Yay I hope they accelerate the 650b! I want a 5-6" 650b nomad or similar. I ride xc to dh and own 26ers and a 29. I am almost 100% sure 650b is the sweet spot for me for trail/am/light fr. That said, I wont buy into 650b until it is well established. I am quite particular especially given my height and weight.
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  21. #21
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    Oh look, Fedex just dropped of some Stan's Flow 650b rims.....
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    We'll see what the market decides. 29er has probably reached its limit in the market; as 29ers make great xc/trail bikes but start to become more and more niche as you progress into DH. 650b may well be the AM choice 5 years down the road and may even penetrate the DH market; it has a small yet devoted set of followers which may convince others to give it a shot.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post

    Over in the 650b forum this set up is known as "b26" and many folks start out that way. I did. Check that forum for threads on this, and also 650b compatible forks. Briefly, no rockshox and all Foxes can be used with 650b. The Rockshox braces are too low.
    This is not 100 percent accurate.

    there are a few Rockshox models that work such as the Pike, and a few other models (Lyrik I think).

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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG View Post
    This is not 100 percent accurate.

    there are a few Rockshox models that work such as the Pike, and a few other models (Lyrik I think).
    if Pike supports 650bs then they are not bigger than my 26 inch wheels with Conti RQ 2.4 because clearance between knobs and the fork arc is less than 1/4 inch.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex_k View Post
    if Pike supports 650bs then they are not bigger than my 26 inch wheels with Conti RQ 2.4 because clearance between knobs and the fork arc is less than 1/4 inch.
    Right, and fat bikes have the same diameter as 29rs.

    But you can get 550g 2.25" Racing Ralph and it will be bigger the 510 2.25" Racing Ralph on 26".

    I wish they made RQ in 650b. Then I will be very inclined to try it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Right, and fat bikes have the same diameter as 29rs.

    But you can get 550g 2.25" Racing Ralph and it will be bigger the 510 2.25" Racing Ralph on 26".

    I wish they made RQ in 650b. Then I will be very inclined to try it.
    I agree about Racing Ralph but are they for AM?

    I'm curious if there is any 650b tire with real 2.3 size?

    ADDED: yes, googled and found this: Kenda Tomac Nevegal 27.5 x 2.35

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by alex_k View Post
    I agree about Racing Ralph but are they for AM?
    No, but my point was that one can only compare tire for tire. Like Navegal 26x2.3 vs 27.5x2.3. Too bad I absolutely hate Navegals.

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    I think the only reason a lot of this mags are putting stock in 650b being the "next big thing" is the fact that 29ers are now actually accepted as "normal" bikes and not just a fad anymore. IMO EVERY wheel size should be considered, and people should just ride what's right. In reality, the cycling industry is a business, and mags need to sell space to bike companies, and bike companies need to sell bikes. There's always going to be a "next big thing" on the horizon, and for the present time it's all about wheel size.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike14 View Post
    I think the only reason a lot of this mags are putting stock in 650b being the "next big thing" is the fact that 29ers are now actually accepted as "normal" bikes and not just a fad anymore. IMO EVERY wheel size should be considered, and people should just ride what's right. In reality, the cycling industry is a business, and mags need to sell space to bike companies, and bike companies need to sell bikes. There's always going to be a "next big thing" on the horizon, and for the present time it's all about wheel size.
    Next big thing are fat bikes. That's where all the cool kids are.

    650b is just the practicality of fitting a larger wheel, with all of its benefits, into a full suspension frame, with all of its benefits..

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike14 View Post
    I think the only reason a lot of this mags are putting stock in 650b being the "next big thing" is the fact that 29ers are now actually accepted as "normal" bikes and not just a fad anymore. IMO EVERY wheel size should be considered, and people should just ride what's right. In reality, the cycling industry is a business, and mags need to sell space to bike companies, and bike companies need to sell bikes. There's always going to be a "next big thing" on the horizon, and for the present time it's all about wheel size.
    Here's blog from back in December on wheel sizes, and the reasons 650b makes sense for AM, which comes to the conclusion:

    New motto: Ride the biggest wheel that works for you.

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  31. #31
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    Intriguing topic, I'm grad no one posted a picture,so I was able to read every word!
    I just gave my 29er the punt to pursue other builds. Even though I like the ease of the big wheels and loved the way they pedal, they also felt lifeless and made the trail feel lifeless. With having about $1100 in wheels/tires and fork. I'm not ready to give up on 29ers but just need to try one with shorter CS and slack geo like the new crop of 29ers. Will keep my eye on this 650b thing, wish I could ride one.

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    26 provides endless product selection, but it's still 26. Today, 650b trumps that mountain of selection. While a 26 can be made to match one or two aspects of 650b, other aspects will have diminished.
    What will a 650b bike gain if converted to 26? Slightly tighter turning radius, a touch more pop and spool up a bit quicker. All other performance aspects will be suffer.

    Within a couple years my '10 650b conversion will be more sell-able than if it had remained a 26. It will be relevant to what people want, a new format that overall performs the best.

    The only chance my bike has of reverting to 26" is if some AMer living under a rock buys it. D'oh!
    Last edited by socalscott; 02-14-2012 at 12:48 PM.

  33. #33
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    How about 29er with 650B wheels

    No moss...

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    I have a 2011 Anthem X1 with a 650b front Crest and 26er rear. Replaced the 100mm fork with a 120mm. I like it.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    I have a 2011 Anthem X1 with a 650b front Crest and 26er rear. Replaced the 100mm fork with a 120mm. I like it.
    B6 and B9er mimic an MX bike format. That seems to have been working out well. I'm wondering which 29er would work out best for 650b out back. Short CS, steep HA and high BB?
    I did like B6 DH on my ride but it is inherently light up front per steep ascents. When it comes to real tech climbs the 650b out back equals what I previously could only accomplish on a buddies 29er('11 Rumblefish).

  36. #36
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    Who gives a f***.

  37. #37
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkon11 View Post
    Who gives a f***.
    Riders who like bigger than 26" wheels and more than 140mm travel.

    Apparently not you. I don't give a f***.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Riders who like bigger than 26" wheels and more than 140mm travel.

    Apparently not you. I don't give a f***.
    Yo, maybe we should bounce. Next year this place should be all about...mmmm this size is just right...it's comin'.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkon11 View Post
    Who gives a f***.
    What is a "f***" and why do you need it? ...maybe I have a spare or two.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    How about 29er with 650B wheels
    That's an interesting concept.

    So what geo changes would happen to a 29er that's converted to a 650b wheels? Everything the same right? Just lower BB height and chainstay unnecessarily long?
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  41. #41
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    Yup. This was just an experiment. The bike was designed to run up to 120mm fork but I put a 140 mm on it. It rides great like that as a 29er but 650b wheels lowered the bottom bracket to 12" even and dropped a full pound of weight as well as lowering the final gear ratio, making it a little easier to pedal, like there's 1 more click down in the cassette.

    I still prefer it as a 29er but it's fun 650b too
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13 View Post
    Yup. This was just an experiment.
    Any chance of B9er experiment and BB height?

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    Why are we trying to roll over everything easier anyway? Isnt playing in the rocks and maneuvering part of the fun of mountain biking?

    The 29er guys are just going to find bigger rocks and more ruts, and get more suspension.. then the new trend will be even bigger wheels. Its like we're trying to make the trails as easy as possible to just plow over everything.

    I get suspension.. instead of being beaten up at the end of a ride, I can go longer and be less fatigued.. but even with that Ive been thinking about getting a shorter travel bike with stiffer suspension. It wont plow over everything in its way as well.. but good! It'll be fun, more fun even. It just seems like so much of the "technology" coming out is intended to make trails as easy as possible, not necessarily more fun.

    As it stands now, I can walk into any bike shop anywhere and get at least a decent selection of 26 inch tires. Im not sure if ive ever seen a 650b tire in a shop. It would take some hunting to get one today, if i even could.

    I think it *is* a fad, 29ers too. I bet in a few years we're going to see a lot of riders getting burnt out on just plowing over everything, and guys moving back to shorter travel bikes, and hardtails, and even full rigid. The fun factor is going to win, and I think a lot of people are going to start looking to ride just for kicks, not to plow over stuff on a bike that feels like a sofa.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I bet in a few years we're going to see a lot of riders getting burnt out on just plowing over everything, and guys moving back to shorter travel bikes, and hardtails, and even full rigid. The fun factor is going to win, and I think a lot of people are going to start looking to ride just for kicks, not to plow over stuff on a bike that feels like a sofa.
    That has already been happening for a few years, now. There is WAY more buzz about rigid and SS now than there was 5-10 years ago.

    However, at the same time, 29ers, longer travel (in all wheel sizes), and improved suspension (rear and front) is also growing in popularity.

    So I don't think that the market for improvements in ride quality and efficiency is EVER going to lose out to people's desire to be challenged. They will both continue to exist.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by socalscott View Post
    Any chance of B9er experiment and BB height?
    Nah. It would make the front too slack unless I reduced travel in the fork, which I dont wanna do. With the 140mm fork my angle finder is showing me 67* head angle unsagged. Figure around 12.5" bottom bracket height B9
    No moss...

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Why are we trying to roll over everything easier anyway? Isnt playing in the rocks and maneuvering part of the fun of mountain biking?

    The 29er guys are just going to find bigger rocks and more ruts, and get more suspension.. then the new trend will be even bigger wheels. Its like we're trying to make the trails as easy as possible to just plow over everything.

    I get suspension.. instead of being beaten up at the end of a ride, I can go longer and be less fatigued.. but even with that Ive been thinking about getting a shorter travel bike with stiffer suspension. It wont plow over everything in its way as well.. but good! It'll be fun, more fun even. It just seems like so much of the "technology" coming out is intended to make trails as easy as possible, not necessarily more fun.

    As it stands now, I can walk into any bike shop anywhere and get at least a decent selection of 26 inch tires. Im not sure if ive ever seen a 650b tire in a shop. It would take some hunting to get one today, if i even could.

    I think it *is* a fad, 29ers too. I bet in a few years we're going to see a lot of riders getting burnt out on just plowing over everything, and guys moving back to shorter travel bikes, and hardtails, and even full rigid. The fun factor is going to win, and I think a lot of people are going to start looking to ride just for kicks, not to plow over stuff on a bike that feels like a sofa.
    You have a point, but you contradict yourself. It is ALL about fun, and that includes the challenge. But you kid yourself if you can "take" suspension and "reject" bigger hoops.

    If it were ALL about being hard core and pure, you would be riding a fixed gear 20" BMX bike with no brakes. But it's obviously not.

    Every little advance that comes along in the industry that is actually about function and not bling, gets incorporated into the bike you want to ride. In 1990 when I started, I had a fully rigid Bridgestone with side pull brakes and non-index shifters. The brakes wouldn't stop a cruiser bike on a bike path. Which meant if I tried to descend rock ledges, I crashed because my name is not and never will be Brian Lopes. The shifters sucked, and if I tried to shift down under ANY load, nothing happened. Which meant I couldn't clean a sudden incline in the trail being overgreared. Etc. Etc.

    So I now ride a 5" travel 650b with disc brakes and X-9 drive train. I clean more terrain than I did on my 4" 26'er, again because I am not Brian Lopes, who is on record as saying he doesn't have any need for bigger hoops to roll, and they would only mess up his handling on the ground and in the air. What does cleaning more stuff, up an down, mean for me? It means less dismounts and more fun. If I'm not as hard core as you, or the better AM riders or any FR , DH or DJ rider, does that concern me even remotely? Hell no. They are not my peer group.

    Every Woirld Cup XC racer is on a 29'er except the best guy in the world, Julien Absalon.

    But 26'ers wil alway be preferred by the elite best DH and FR to fit big travel and to get big air, Same with DJ's as far as air. I'm not that guy now, then, or ever.

    Bottom line is wheel size is just another variable to choose when you are building the best bike for YOU, your ability and the terrain you want to ride.
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    DWT is sooo right!

    So I enjoy my 26" Turner Flux with a 650B frontwheel as well as my 29" fully and 29"hardtail.
    Each on different occasions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    You have a point, but you contradict yourself. It is ALL about fun, and that includes the challenge. But you kid yourself if you can "take" suspension and "reject" bigger hoops.
    A hardtail is going to rattle you after a while, getting beat up on my old hardtail became unfun.
    If it were ALL about being hard core and pure, you would be riding a fixed gear 20" BMX bike with no brakes. But it's obviously not.
    I had a fully rigid mtb, it was massively fun. I didnt feel confident to ride it everywhere, so its gone. Its not about being pure, I dont think a fixie would be fun at all.

    I agree on being able to clean obstacles.. dismounting is boring. I think theres a middle ground though, where you've got enough bike where you're not killing yourself down the trail, but the bike doesnt nearly ride itself.

    It just seems like the average mountain biker riding the average trails (I believe this encompasses the majority of the sport) already have enough bike to just plow all the trails. The people who want to go bigger and harder and faster take the spotlight, but thats not most of us. These new technologies are being marketed straight to the majority of riders though. Just seems like people are going to burn out on making their trails feel like sofas.

    Kapusta is right, SS and rigid is hugely coming back. Those people probably burnt out on technology making trails easier instead of more fun. Theres two shifts going on, making huge long travel bikes that pedal well and erase obstacles, and making bikes with less and less travel that require the rider to do all the work. Its a distinct opposite split. I think its neat that we have the option.. but one seems more forced and backed by marketing than backed by peoples needs/wants.

    Some peoples idea of fun is going down a trail as fast as humanly possible and erasing every bump with suspension. Its subjective, I cant say thats wrong. It just seems like a trend towards going faster and faster and making rough trails feel like smooth trails.

    Theres so many people saying 29ers are the future and its the best and everyone should be on big wheels.. but the whole argument boils down to how they roll over stuff better, less effort for the same ride.

    Bottom line is wheel size is just another variable to choose when you are building the best bike for YOU, your ability and the terrain you want to ride.
    Thats what im questioning though.. are people trying to build whats best for them, or buying the hype and building bikes that are going to make trails as easy as possible? Theres really no right answer, but im not buying being told that big wheels are the solution to any of my problems.. frankly it would make my current riding issue worse.

    I was shopping for light 6 inch bikes a while ago, but Im totally over it. I could get one, and ride faster and bigger, but my trails arent getting faster or bigger.

    The question was if 650b is the perfect fit for AM, my answer is no way!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Thats what im questioning though.. are people trying to build whats best for them, or buying the hype and building bikes that are going to make trails as easy as possible? Theres really no right answer, but im not buying being told that big wheels are the solution to any of my problems.. frankly it would make my current riding issue worse.
    How would you know by guessing? The bottom line for riding a bike is what's fun for you. Period. After you actually ride the bikes and determine what you like, personally. Not believing hype, not falling for bling, not reading magazines AND not being retrogrouch hardcore. Either extreme is bogus poseur BS.

    The question was if 650b is the perfect fit for AM, my answer is no way!
    If you have never ridden one, HTF would you know? That is so lame.

    I own 3 bikes now:

    Old, old school fully rigid 26'er SS I built in the late 90's before Gary Fisher ever dreamed about a 29'er. No disc tabs on the frame, V-brakes back, disc front. Fun bike in certain moods and terrain. I raced it at the Singlespeedaplooza, and it was one of a few 26'er SS in the field. Why? because 29'er is actually and truly a better platform for a SS. More roll for the stroke You would have to ride both to know and understand.

    1 x 9 hardtail, converted from 26" to 650b this past summer. Fun bike in certain moods and terrain; better as a 650b than it was a 26'er. IMO.

    But my favorite bike and the most fun by far is my 5" 650b trailbike (Jamis B2) I built up this summer. It climbs, it carves, it descends, it rolls, it rocks. It has expanded the terrain I can ride and have fun riding. You would have to ride it to understand.

    Which I recommend you do. I will put my butt on the line and predict that 5 and 6" 650b will be the AM bikes of choice in 2 years. We will see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    The question was if 650b is the perfect fit for AM, my answer is no way!
    Why the heck not?

    Human body size a mass always will put constraints on bicycle design. My son rolls on 14" wheels, my daughter just switched to 24". Why differently sized adults should be any different? Especially as you add suspension there?

    Like with cranks - 170mm a tad short for me, 175mm a tad long and 172.5 I have are just perfect. Yes, you can notice a few mm on a crank, my left knee does.

    I really like how my 160mm bike rides. I have compared it to 120+mm 29rs, and it is not the same, and fit feels a bit awkward for my M sized body (174cm). How is that a slightly smaller wheel to allow more travel and a better fit and lighter weight is a bad thing?

    You do not really need all possible options down to a millimeter, but 27.5 does fill a gap.

  51. #51
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    Ya'll bring some good arguments to this thread which got me thinking. Really the advancement of technology, bigger hoops, more travel doesn't take away the fun out of trails and descents if your measurement of fun is mainly based on the amount of danger that exist on the trail or the avoidance of.

    Think about it, you upgrade your suspension to 160mm (from say... 120mm) and now the same bumps and obstacles that had you barely hanging on to the bike, your bike now eases over it. No fun right? No, that just means you need to let go of the brakes more ... descend faster! ...Now the challenge of those same bumps & obstacles are returned because your new suspension can barely handle those impacts at that faster speed. It's all about find that limit and toying with it. The added side effect is you're going faster overall which brings it's own sense of thrill, the thrill of blistering break-neck speed! And if you're anything like me, you probably have 'the need for speed'.

    Of course it also ups the stakes in the event of a crash. Sort of like F1 cars - they keep getting faster and more and more capable every year which just makes their crashes more catastrophic. which is why they keep forcing the engines smaller and smaller to slow them back down... minor details, don't worry about it lol

    To me the fun "subtractor" if you will, is the added cost and complexity of what your bike becomes. That and the fragility and maintenance of all this expensive technology. Take those long travel forks for example. Having to get serviced annually and one good rock ding to the stanchions and it's all over. For some reason mountain biking hasn't adopted stanchion covers like the motocross world which i think is stupid.

    The greater problem is, if you don't keep up with technology and the element of competition is introduced, then you are at a disadvantage, plain and simple. So yah, if you're not ever planning to race and you don't need to compare your performance to your peers, then go for a fully rigid and even the mildest single track will be challenging (fun). Or choose to join races that class their events, like fully rigid SS race where the playing field is all even.

    Just don't go do this race on your rigid SS:
    POV Bike Race Through City*Video

    did that not look fun?
    Last edited by KVW; 02-15-2012 at 10:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVW View Post
    Think about it, you upgrade your suspension to 160mm (from say... 120mm) and now the same bumps and obstacles that had you barely hanging on to the bike, your bike now eases over it. No fun right? No, that just means you need to let go of the brakes more ... descend faster! ...Now the challenge of those same bumps & obstacles are returned because your new suspension can barely handle those impacts at that faster speed.
    Yup.. definitely. You really just end up going faster, and harder. I used to find that fun, and I built my bike for that. Slacker, tall enough to not strike rocks, enough suspension to back it.. it *was* fun, im just saying its not the end-all. The concept of "fun" changes. Maybe im just getting old Instead of seeing how fast I can get down stuff lately, ive been seeing how many weird bad-line rocks I can hit, sometimes at near-stall angles.
    The greater problem is, if you don't keep up with technology and the element of competition is introduced, then you are at a disadvantage, plain and simple.
    Absolutely. Im not even sort of trying to deny that this new stuff is "better". It is, tangibly. Guys are going faster for sure, and if you're not, you're not keeping up..

    Just offering up a different perspective beyond keeping up and going fast.. I dont think 650b is the "perfect" fit, its just another option for another kind of riding.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    The concept of "fun" changes. Maybe im just getting old ...
    Ha yah I understand that. I think i'm the same way. I tend to like the build-up more than the end-result. Like a good computer RPG, once you've reached the end of the character development, suddenly the game isn't as fun. What's left to do but start over? Maybe that's what it's like making full circle back to a fully rigid SS.
    "Single track is for pansies!
    I blast down a mountain once, and in my wake, lies a new single track for the rest of you."-sm

  54. #54
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    Having spent time on both 26" and 29" wheels, and seeing both the advantage and disadvantage of each, it seems to me like a no-brainer that 650b is a size worth trying.

    Never tried it, but I look forward to doing so.

    I don't understand why some people get their panties in a wad about trying out different things. There was nothing special about the diameter of 26" wheels for mtb use, they just happened to be widely used and available in beefier sizes for the cruisers that were adopted for early mtb use. But there was also nothing special about 29" wheel dimater, they just happen to be what is found on road bikes, and were bigger than 26". Both sizes came out of convenience, not because someone had determined that that was the exact optimum size for all riders and styles.

    You find small, incremental changes in handlebar width, stem length, bike frame geo/sizing, shock travel, gearing, tire size, rim width, the list goes on. Why WOULDN'T you have a wheel size between two others that feel so different from each other?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVW View Post
    Ya'll bring some good arguments to this thread which got me thinking. Really the advancement of technology, bigger hoops, more travel doesn't take away the fun out of trails and descents if your measurement of fun is mainly based on the amount of danger that exist on the trail or the avoidance of.

    Think about it, you upgrade your suspension to 160mm (from say... 120mm) and now the same bumps and obstacles that had you barely hanging on to the bike, your bike now eases over it. No fun right? No, that just means you need to let go of the brakes more ... descend faster! ...Now the challenge of those same bumps & obstacles are returned because your new suspension can barely handle those impacts at that faster speed. It's all about find that limit and toying with it. The added side effect is you're going faster overall which brings it's own sense of thrill, the thrill of blistering break-neck speed! And if you're anything like me, you probably have 'the need for speed'.

    Of course it also ups the stakes in the event of a crash. Sort of like F1 cars - they keep getting faster and more and more capable every year which just makes their crashes more catastrophic. which is why they keep forcing the engines smaller and smaller to slow them back down... minor details, don't worry about it lol

    To me the fun "subtractor" if you will, is the added cost and complexity of what your bike becomes. That and the fragility and maintenance of all this expensive technology. Take those long travel forks for example. Having to get serviced annually and one good rock ding to the stanchions and it's all over. For some reason mountain biking hasn't adopted stanchion covers like the motocross world which i think is stupid.

    The greater problem is, if you don't keep up with technology and the element of competition is introduced, then you are at a disadvantage, plain and simple. So yah, if you're not ever planning to race and you don't need to compare your performance to your peers, then go for a fully rigid and even the mildest single track will be challenging (fun). Or choose to join races that class their events, like fully rigid SS race where the playing field is all even.

    Well put.



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    Last edited by dwt; 02-18-2012 at 08:27 AM.
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    I hope the 650B catches on, the more options the better. I'm not a racer, but my friend is and uses a 29er for racing, but a 6" travel 26er for riding with guys like me. He says his 26" is way more fun to throw around, and for the downhill, but it can't compete uphill. If the 650b narrows the gap, then it seems to me that there is a market for it.

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    Once 650b catches on they need to come out with 26.75" wheels and 28.25" wheels to be perfect balances between 26" and 650b's and 650b's with 29'ers.........jk

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    meh, another wheel size would be good to try. I don't find 26 to be lacking. If it impedes pumping the trail, manuals and other trail maneuvers it's out. But I would still be interested to try it.

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    650b RMB Confirmation

    It seems that 650b is the future, major component providers have started to deliver equipment for this bikes, I recently received confirmation that Rocky Mountain will be showing their new 650b at interbike, and i expect major brands to do the same, I can see the benefits of that tire choice.

    I am the only one in my group that rides a 26" and I do see major advantages on the bigger tire, easier to climb, better braking, etc, so why not get the best of both worlds.

    Personally i think that the 29" frames are to high (im only 5' 8") and makes it difficult on tight corners, which is my everyday ride.

    Can wait until september to see the new bikes.

  61. #61
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    Thought....

    Quote Originally Posted by VTSession View Post
    Yes my bike does have wheels. Funny how that works.

    My point it is stupid marketing crap. The 650b size is splitting hairs between 2 legitimate wheels size, 26 and 29. So what's next 26.75 inch wheels? 28.25 inch wheels? What wheel size will some company pay MBA to push into bikers next?
    You can 650B your Butcher.....
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  62. #62
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    Scott too

    Quote Originally Posted by paredes_fontanals View Post
    It seems that 650b is the future, major component providers have started to deliver equipment for this bikes, I recently received confirmation that Rocky Mountain will be showing their new 650b at interbike, and i expect major brands to do the same, I can see the benefits of that tire choice.

    I am the only one in my group that rides a 26" and I do see major advantages on the bigger tire, easier to climb, better braking, etc, so why not get the best of both worlds.

    Personally i think that the 29" frames are to high (im only 5' 8") and makes it difficult on tight corners, which is my everyday ride.

    Can wait until september to see the new bikes.
    Their new 650 AM rig looks stellar.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Their new 650 AM rig looks stellar.
    yes it looks great, although i find the price a little on the steep side

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    I've owned AM 29ers, HT XC 29ers, SS 29ers, XC FS 26ers, HT 26ers and AM/FR 26ers. I kinda went full circle, HT 26er up to AM 29er and back down to the 160mm AM 26er. These 650B reviews crack me up because they're trying to compare it to hands down the best sized mountain bike wheel, the 26" wheel. It's just like when car magazines review high end exotic sports cars, the benchmark is always a Ferrari. "It's just like the Ferrari but for the same amount of money!" Doesn't it make sense just to buy the Ferrari? Some people might go-nuts over 650b but it won't be getting any of my hard earned $$$. 29er for XC, 26" for everything else nuff said.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    I've owned AM 29ers, HT XC 29ers, SS 29ers, XC FS 26ers, HT 26ers and AM/FR 26ers. I kinda went full circle, HT 26er up to AM 29er and back down to the 160mm AM 26er. These 650B reviews crack me up because they're trying to compare it to hands down the best sized mountain bike wheel, the 26" wheel. It's just like when car magazines review high end exotic sports cars, the benchmark is always a Ferrari. "It's just like the Ferrari but for the same amount of money!" Doesn't it make sense just to buy the Ferrari? Some people might go-nuts over 650b but it won't be getting any of my hard earned $$$. 29er for XC, 26" for everything else nuff said.
    Spend your $$ how you please, but reread the articles and reviews on 650b before you rant, because you haven't got it right. Also you might want to actually ride one yourself rather than pull ideas out of your ass.

    First off , the reviews compare the middle size wheel to BOTH of the other wheel sizes. Your opinion is that 26" is the "best"; many others argue that 29" is the "best" wheel size. 650b is halfway between, so it is different than both. It is more nimble than 29", but not as nimble as 26". It does not roll as well as 29", but it rolls better than 26". It is a compromise between the other two wheel sizes. Some find it to be the best of both. Others do not. A 26" rider might find it sluggish; a 29" rider might think the roll is too close to 26" so why bother?

    Bottom line it's all a matter of opinion and personal choice. But you can't have a valid opinion about something you haven't tried yourself. That is just poseur BS
    Last edited by dwt; 08-28-2012 at 06:34 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    But you can't have a valid opinion about something you haven't tried yourself.
    You are new to da interwebz?

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    You are new to da interwebz?
    Good point. Without total and complete BS, what fun would interweb forums be?


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    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg View Post
    I've owned AM 29ers, HT XC 29ers, SS 29ers, XC FS 26ers, HT 26ers and AM/FR 26ers. I kinda went full circle, HT 26er up to AM 29er and back down to the 160mm AM 26er. These 650B reviews crack me up because they're trying to compare it to hands down the best sized mountain bike wheel, the 26" wheel. It's just like when car magazines review high end exotic sports cars, the benchmark is always a Ferrari. "It's just like the Ferrari but for the same amount of money!" Doesn't it make sense just to buy the Ferrari? Some people might go-nuts over 650b but it won't be getting any of my hard earned $$$. 29er for XC, 26" for everything else nuff said.
    Funny how people get so worked up over things that have no effect on them.
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  69. #69
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    IMO more aggressive 650b tires are needed for heavy duty AM

    The currently most aggressive 650b tires are the Pacenti Neo-moto 2.3 and Kenda Nevegal 2.35. Both are great for aggressive Trail and light AM. By "light AM", I mean small 2 - 4 foot jumping drops to a smooth flat surface at most, and lower speed or groomed DH runs.

    More aggressive treads with larger knobs with more sidewall protection would be needed for durable big jumpy and very rocky and fast rough DH runs, heavy duty AM.

  70. #70
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    Derby, what is status of Megamoto?


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    I've been riding a 2011 Jamis Dakar and the bike is an absolute blast. I've got the b2 with the White Bros fork and WTB wolverines ghetto tubeless. I put on a drop post and the bike is amazing for aggressive Trail and light AM exactly as defined by derby above, which is the worst the bike is gonna see here in southern NE.

    I agree that if 650b is to be "the" AM size, as predicted by many, there is a need for meatier tires.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    I agree that if 650b is to be "the" AM size, as predicted by many, there is a need for meatier tires.
    Absolutely!
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by icecreamjay View Post
    I agree that if 650b is to be "the" AM size, as predicted by many, there is a need for meatier tires.
    Earlier this year, Pacenti had announced an AM, FR, DH tire called the Megamoto, IIRC 2.45

    Wonder what happened to it? Anybody know?
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    Like it or not, 650B is definitely going to be a growing segment. Will it take over? I don't know and don't really care. I've tried it and like. Options are nice. I'm interested in trying all the new 650 trail/am offerings coming out this year.

    In fact, if you look at my Interbike Dirt Demo "dance card" you'll see at least a half dozen 650b bikes from (mid)major players on there. I'm really excited to try them out.

    Turner Burner 650b
    Intense Tracer 275
    Norco Sight
    Norco Range
    Ventana Zeus
    Scott Genius 700 (in fact the article I read said they have abandoned the 26" wheel for the Genius)
    Banshee Rune and Spitfire both are available with 650b converting links as well this year.

    I don't have the Rocky Mountain Altitude/Slayer 650b on my list but will add it.

    As for the tire requests..... I see a Schwalbe Hans Dampf on this Norco 650b. That's a big and meaty, real 2.35" tire there.

    It's coming, you might as well accept that..... You might as well give it a try too. What have you got to lose?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 650b buzz: perfect fit for AM?-norcorange.jpg  

    Last edited by KRob; 08-29-2012 at 12:21 PM.
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  75. #75
    wuss
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    You might as well give it a try too. What have you got to lose?
    Money? A family?

  76. #76
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    Anything that is new or changed brings about a ruckus of debate in the mtb. community. Embracing anything different is sacrilegious. Lets just prove something wrong from the get go. I say let biking evolve into more choices.

  77. #77
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    I was about to plan for my next full suspension all mountain bike to be a 650b
    Until I found the right 29'er for me.
    It took a lot of test rides on different models to find the one right for me.
    But now that I know I can have it all, I'm set.

  78. #78
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    I'd like to get a 650 AM bike....but I'm not until they come out with 650 DHF EXOs.

  79. #79
    74 & 29 pilot
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    I'd like to get a 650 AM bike....but I'm not until they come out with 650 DHF EXOs.
    Maxxis goes 27.5
    The excuse many people keep citing about there being a not enough 27.5" tires to choose from is quickly losing credit. Maxxis is the latest tire giant to join the 27.5" club, with their well-liked Highroller II and Ardent models bridging the gap between 26'' and 29'' sizes. Aggressive riders will be stoked to see that the Highroller II comes in a high volume 2.4" width, complete with Maxxis' ST (Super Tacky) rubber compound. The faster rolling Ardent will be available in a slightly smaller 27.5'' x 2.25'' size, but uses Maxxis' EXO Protection sidewall to greatly limit the chance of cutting the tire's casing on sharp edges.
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  80. #80
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    That high roller looks meaty.

  81. #81
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    Highroller 2s and Ardents don't handle anything like DHFs; I've ridden all three extensively. I stand by my statement - I'll give em a try once DHFs are available.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by schristie11 View Post
    That high roller looks meaty.
    Those side knobs fold on hard pack, not like the originals.

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