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  1. #1
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    650b--What's the truth?

    There are many of us looking at the 650b market but still havenít been able to test ride one. Iím in the market for a new All-mountain bike and trying to decide between a Giant Reign or a Rocky Mountain Altitude 750. I can get a MUCH better price on a Reign due to bike shop relationship. Iím posting this here and not the 29er or 650b forum, for obvious reasons. For those of you that have ridden 26er, 650b and 29ers, which of the following statements would you say is more accurate:

    1. 650b bikes roll better than 26ers and are more agile and fun than 29ers

    or

    2. 650b bikes donít roll as well as 29ers and arenít as agile & fun as 26ers

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    That depends on what's more important to you. If you really enjoy throwing the bike around and maximizing the fun on a downhill, you can't beat the 26er. If you would rather bomb down stuff and don't mind losing just a bit of the playfulness, then the 650b is awesome. If you just want to cover ground and don't play around too much, then get a 29er. Personally, if I could only have one bike I'd stick with my 26er. My second bike is a 650b, which is a great 2nd bike. 29ers aren't for me, although my road bike is close...

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    I was reading about the 650b and would love to test ride one as well. But would highly recommend the Giant Reign. A couple buddies own some and they are great bikes for all mountain riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmertan View Post
    There are many of us looking at the 650b market but still havenít been able to test ride one. Iím in the market for a new All-mountain bike and trying to decide between a Giant Reign or a Rocky Mountain Altitude 750. I can get a MUCH better price on a Reign due to bike shop relationship. Iím posting this here and not the 29er or 650b forum, for obvious reasons. For those of you that have ridden 26er, 650b and 29ers, which of the following statements would you say is more accurate:

    1. 650b bikes roll better than 26ers and are more agile and fun than 29ers

    or

    2. 650b bikes donít roll as well as 29ers and arenít as agile & fun as 26ers
    Dude, both statements are probably true. It is a middle size so you don't have to compromise too much on either end. It rolls better than a 26er but not as well as a 29. It is more playful than a 29 but not as agile as a 26. That combines both of your statements. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
    I like 650b but I still prefer a 26er. I think it is a great choice if you really can't decide between 26 and 29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobraj View Post
    I was reading about the 650b and would love to test ride one as well. But would highly recommend the Giant Reign. A couple buddies own some and they are great bikes for all mountain riding.
    I rode my buddies reign just yesterday and sure I was impressed. Definitely recommended...
    Last edited by Max24; 03-09-2015 at 11:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    The reason ~everyone who tries 650b is stoked on them is because the 26" wheel is great.
    The reason is because the 29" wheel is pretty darn good.
    The reason 650b is also good is because it is barely different from, and situated in between, two good wheel sizes. There is no magic here. No Goldilocks perfect in between. No optimization. Because "compromise" and "best of both worlds" are not synonymous.

    The truth is that while the cycling industry and riding consumer public have seemed to jump at 29" and 27.5" -- rims, tires, forks, frames, and completes -- some things did not change, and people should pay attention to them.

    Standard hub over-locknut distances did not change. A 26", 650b, or 29", with few exceptions, are going to have a front hub that is 100 mm (QR, 15QR) or 110 mm (20 thru) wide. Rear hubs are going to be (DH bikes 150/157 aside) 135 mm or 142 mm, and note that 142 usually has the same exact distance between the hub flanges as 135. Same hub shell. Only the end caps are wider. If you have built of just studied wheels, then you know that the wider the hub gets, the stronger a wheel you can build. We have wheels w/ bigger diameters, but the industry chose not to make the wheels any wider.

    It's a simple fact that the bigger (diameter) a wheel is, the weaker it is for a given weight or construction style. The bigger a wheel is, the heavier it is at a given strength. Tire too. You can't get something (roll-over, angle of impact, whatever) for nothing. Wheel strength should matter to AM riders. But if you don't weigh a lot, or ride really smooth, then you can get away w/ less. Use experience to gauge.

    Another important consequence of changing wheel sizes is on suspension design, especially in the rear. Bigger diameter tire, longer chain- and seatstays. That isn't automatically bad, but it's something to think about. There have always been shorter or longer stayed designs in the 26ers, and if you like long, then you could probably find a 650b design that wedged that baby in with no change from what you like. But some of the shorter distances just aren't going to be available in the bigger wheels.

    It's about knowing what you want from the complete bike, not from the wheels in some hypothetical vacuum.
    26 is good. 29 is good. 650b is good. Whatever. It's about the individual rider, especially his or her weight and style. Don't buy the hype. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    650b--What's the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    The reason ~everyone who tries 650b is stoked on them is because the 26" wheel is great.
    The reason is because the 29" wheel is pretty darn good.
    The reason 650b is also good is because it is barely different from, and situated in between, two good wheel sizes. There is no magic here. No Goldilocks perfect in between. No optimization. Because "compromise" and "best of both worlds" are not synonymous.

    The truth is that while the cycling industry and riding consumer public have seemed to jump at 29" and 27.5" -- rims, tires, forks, frames, and completes -- some things did not change, and people should pay attention to them.

    Standard hub over-locknut distances did not change. A 26", 650b, or 29", with few exceptions, are going to have a front hub that is 100 mm (QR, 15QR) or 110 mm (20 thru) wide. Rear hubs are going to be (DH bikes 150/157 aside) 135 mm or 142 mm, and note that 142 usually has the same exact distance between the hub flanges as 135. Same hub shell. Only the end caps are wider. If you have built of just studied wheels, then you know that the wider the hub gets, the stronger a wheel you can build. We have wheels w/ bigger diameters, but the industry chose not to make the wheels any wider.

    It's a simple fact that the bigger (diameter) a wheel is, the weaker it is for a given weight or construction style. The bigger a wheel is, the heavier it is at a given strength. Tire too. You can't get something (roll-over, angle of impact, whatever) for nothing. Wheel strength should matter to AM riders. But if you don't weigh a lot, or ride really smooth, then you can get away w/ less. Use experience to gauge.

    Another important consequence of changing wheel sizes is on suspension design, especially in the rear. Bigger diameter tire, longer chain- and seatstays. That isn't automatically bad, but it's something to think about. There have always been shorter or longer stayed designs in the 26ers, and if you like long, then you could probably find a 650b design that wedged that baby in with no change from what you like. But some of the shorter distances just aren't going to be available in the bigger wheels.

    It's about knowing what you want from the complete bike, not from the wheels in some hypothetical vacuum.
    26 is good. 29 is good. 650b is good. Whatever. It's about the individual rider, especially his or her weight and style. Don't buy the hype. Good luck!
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    650b--What's the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmertan View Post
    There are many of us looking at the 650b market but still havenít been able to test ride one. Iím in the market for a new All-mountain bike and trying to decide between a Giant Reign or a Rocky Mountain Altitude 750. I can get a MUCH better price on a Reign due to bike shop relationship. Iím posting this here and not the 29er or 650b forum, for obvious reasons. For those of you that have ridden 26er, 650b and 29ers, which of the following statements would you say is more accurate:

    1.650b bikes roll better than 26ers and are more agile and fun than 29ers

    or

    2.650b bikes donít roll as well as 29ers and arenít as agile & fun as 26ers
    The truth?
    It is still just a bike, and you need to test ride to see if it suits your riding style.

    There is more difference between an XC 26er and FR 26er than between three similar design trail bikes with 26", 650B, and 29" wheels.

    I like all three wheels sizes and have bikes that suit me. Have ridden 26" and 29" bikes you could not give me.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    That depends on what's more important to you. If you really enjoy throwing the bike around and maximizing the fun on a downhill, you can't beat the 26er. If you would rather bomb down stuff and don't mind losing just a bit of the playfulness, then the 650b is awesome. If you just want to cover ground and don't play around too much, then get a 29er. Personally, if I could only have one bike I'd stick with my 26er. My second bike is a 650b, which is a great 2nd bike. 29ers aren't for me, although my road bike is close...
    I have 2 29ers (a single speed and a FS) so the All mountain bike is a pure play bike. I want it to be as fun as possible on the descents so I'm really leaning toward the Reign. So your post is in line with the way I'm thinking.

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    7Someone posted compelling pinkbike article in the above or below thread named .....is 26er dead....and article compring the 3 wheel sizes. It really came down to personal preferance. The writer actually prefered the 26, then 29er, and 27.5 the least. He flipped the logic upside down, stating instead of it being the perfect mix of both, rather it didnt do what 29's do best, and it didnt do what 26 does best. The 29 just mows over everything, and the 26 is nimble and playful. 27.5 is kinda caught in the middle. Hmmmmmm? Compelling rational. Maybe for some its the perfext balance. ? Im thinking im more like the writer, for fun and carving 26. For all day sustained pedaling(keeping up with my xc buddies) to just motor the trail, its 29.

  11. #11
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    650b in front 26" in back. That's what I like. Short chainstays and flickability out back and a little more stability and resistance to catching on bumps and holes in front but not such a drastic difference that it feels like a bigger wheel (ala 29er). I know MTBers are resistant to different size wheels on a bike but it just works better. That's why motos do it. In this case you can even carry a single 26" tube that fits both wheels. I just don't feel enough benefit to a larger rear wheel to justify the extra weight and chainstay.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by akiracornell View Post
    7Someone posted compelling pinkbike article in the above or below thread named .....is 26er dead....and article compring the 3 wheel sizes. It really came down to personal preferance. The writer actually prefered the 26, then 29er, and 27.5 the least. He flipped the logic upside down, stating instead of it being the perfect mix of both, rather it didnt do what 29's do best, and it didnt do what 26 does best. The 29 just mows over everything, and the 26 is nimble and playful. 27.5 is kinda caught in the middle. Hmmmmmm? Compelling rational. Maybe for some its the perfext balance. ? Im thinking im more like the writer, for fun and carving 26. For all day sustained pedaling(keeping up with my xc buddies) to just motor the trail, its 29.


    There are two extremes of opinion in the press, to take with a grain of salt until you decide for yourself: Worst of both worlds, as in pinkbike article; and best of both worlds, as summed up by Nino Schurter's coach, Thomas Frischknecht a year ago:

    "We had some tests here in South Africa in December when we had the 26, the 27.5, and the 29er all built up exactly the same with the same wheels and everything," Frischknecht told Cyclingnews just prior to the start of the race. "We tested them in a group of three pretty intensely over fourteen days and we came to the conclusion that in a lot of ways, the 27.5 feels like 26 in tight stuff in tight, technical, and slower stuff but it rides more like a 29er on faster singletrail and just basically gives you almost the same safe feel, almost like you get on a 29-inch wheel. Our conclusion after those tests was that it's not a compromise Ė it combines the best of both worlds and we're totally convinced this is the way to go
    Nino Schurter wins World Cup #1 on 650b wheels | Cycling News

    It really DOES come down to personal preference. You can read what other people say, but bottom line, you've simply gotta ride and decide for yourself. Whether you hate them or love them, you will have company.
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    Last year I had a 2011 S-Works Enduro and a Kona Satori. The Enduro was the best 26" bike I've ever ridden, the Kona was the best 29" bike I've ridden. This year I'm on a 650b Ventana Zeus. I have about 400 miles on it so far and don't miss the kona or the enduro. Sure, there are certain parts of a ride where the 26" is a little better and there are spots where the 29" is a little better, but unfortunately I have yet to figure out how to bring two bikes on a ride. The 650b just flat works, it's most like riding a 26" bike, just corners faster and rolls a little better. 29ers are definitely faster but not quite as much fun to ride and keeping wheels together is a PITA for me. With that being said, if Specialized releases a 160mm travel s-works enduro 29er with carbon wheels, my statement may change, 29ers still have some room to improve. I've never had a bike in the AM category that can't be ridden extremely fast, wheel size doesn't really matter, it's the rider.

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    As a tall person (6'5") riding 29ers is like trying to drive a limousine on the Rubicon trail. The wheel base on my HT 29er is as long as my downhill bike. I imagine a 650b to be very similar. I really don't see the point to it either. Also A larger wheel diameter does not compensate for suspension travel. Ultimately, as long as i can buy 26" 160mm+ travel bikes i dont care. The larger wheel sizes make the bikes look less cool too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    why build a wider hub and uppend an entire industry. when you can just add a spoke or two?

  16. #16
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    I'm going with statement #1.

    650b feels more like 26" than 29", and in fact is closer in size to 26". I've ridden all three and will admit that I don't care for 29'ers. That is, not if you're interesting in having the most fun. If you want to do the Tour Divide, the 29'er is your best bet. But if you want to ride singletrack, the smaller wheel sizes are much more fun. I don't feel much difference between 26" and 650b, but due to the undeniable physics involved, I would opt for 650b for the small advantages it has to offer. That said, if you can get a killer deal on the 26" bike, I'd be hard pressed to say you should spend the additional coin.

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    I view such questions as being equaled by the Flavor Of The Week Club ... Eat what YOU like, and ignore that nasty tasting stuff others are trying to shove down your throat.

    A good test ride is the only way to determine what you like, and what gives you a nasty tasting ride experience.

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    Truth is you really need to ride one to know if it is for you,being a die hard 26er I like the characteristics of this wheel size for the type of riding I mostly do,tech,jumps,doubles,high speed berms.have owned 29ers and still have a hard tail and enjoy it for straight out CC.and having demoed a Ventana zeus for a week am now converting my Intense Carbine and Ibis Mojo.I took it through it's paces and found no loss of the 26er attributes I admire and in some of the more gnarly rock gardens we have here have found the 650b size to roll through with less effort,less fatigue and more control.knowing that skills play a huge factor and prefer to improve them less then having a bike that acts like a cheat sheet for skills,that being said it stands to my reasoning that in some situations a little help can be a boon without sacrificing the joys and effort of years of development.

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    I've spent a lot of time on 27.5 and really tried to like it, but it wasn't for me. It does't have the pop of the 26, nor can you toss it as well as a 26. Just as well, you can't deny that there would be some increased roll over ability of the 27.5, but I don't ever recall saying to myself that I wish a specific trail was smoother and to be honest the difference wasn't that significant. Climbing, I didn't notice anything wheel size specific to say that there is an advantage or disadvantage of either. In the end my conclusion was if I rode a lot of smooth to marginally rutty singletrack the 27.5 would be great. Would it be better than a 29er? Probably not, but those tall wheels aren't for everyone. If you ride a lot of technical trails at moderate to high speeds, which allow for using rocks, lips, and trail features as ramps, or need to make quick directional changes, the 26 can't be beat.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snfoilhat View Post
    The reason ~everyone who tries 650b is stoked on them is because the 26" wheel is great.
    The reason is because the 29" wheel is pretty darn good.
    The reason 650b is also good is because it is barely different from, and situated in between, two good wheel sizes. There is no magic here. No Goldilocks perfect in between. No optimization. Because "compromise" and "best of both worlds" are not synonymous.

    The truth is that while the cycling industry and riding consumer public have seemed to jump at 29" and 27.5" -- rims, tires, forks, frames, and completes -- some things did not change, and people should pay attention to them.

    Standard hub over-locknut distances did not change. A 26", 650b, or 29", with few exceptions, are going to have a front hub that is 100 mm (QR, 15QR) or 110 mm (20 thru) wide. Rear hubs are going to be (DH bikes 150/157 aside) 135 mm or 142 mm, and note that 142 usually has the same exact distance between the hub flanges as 135. Same hub shell. Only the end caps are wider. If you have built of just studied wheels, then you know that the wider the hub gets, the stronger a wheel you can build. We have wheels w/ bigger diameters, but the industry chose not to make the wheels any wider.

    It's a simple fact that the bigger (diameter) a wheel is, the weaker it is for a given weight or construction style. The bigger a wheel is, the heavier it is at a given strength. Tire too. You can't get something (roll-over, angle of impact, whatever) for nothing. Wheel strength should matter to AM riders. But if you don't weigh a lot, or ride really smooth, then you can get away w/ less. Use experience to gauge.

    Another important consequence of changing wheel sizes is on suspension design, especially in the rear. Bigger diameter tire, longer chain- and seatstays. That isn't automatically bad, but it's something to think about. There have always been shorter or longer stayed designs in the 26ers, and if you like long, then you could probably find a 650b design that wedged that baby in with no change from what you like. But some of the shorter distances just aren't going to be available in the bigger wheels.

    It's about knowing what you want from the complete bike, not from the wheels in some hypothetical vacuum.
    26 is good. 29 is good. 650b is good. Whatever. It's about the individual rider, especially his or her weight and style. Don't buy the hype. Good luck!
    Well, thanks for clearing that up! Yep, clear as mud there. ;o)
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  21. #21
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    650b--What's the truth?

    I love this quote from Walt of Waltworks bikes:

    For XC: Ride the biggest wheels you can fit on without making geometry sacrifices. If you have to pick between wheel size and suspension travel, pick the big wheels (4" 29er beats 5" 650).
    For AM/FR: Ride the biggest wheels you can fit on. If you have to pick between wheels/suspension, pick suspension (6" 650b beats 5" 29er).
    For DH: Ride 26" wheels because right now there's not much for 650 and nothing for 29 (and for 29, there probably never will be).
    My $.02 supplement: for XC and trail riding, if you are stuck between choosing 27.5"and 29" using Walt's advice, pick the one which is lighter.






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    Quote Originally Posted by PhaseSpace168 View Post
    As a tall person (6'5") riding 29ers is like trying to drive a limousine on the Rubicon trail. The wheel base on my HT 29er is as long as my downhill bike. I imagine a 650b to be very similar. I really don't see the point to it either. Also A larger wheel diameter does not compensate for suspension travel. Ultimately, as long as i can buy 26" 160mm+ travel bikes i dont care. The larger wheel sizes make the bikes look less cool too.
    Your mention of the wheelbase made me curious because my last three bikes seemed to have a very similar feel to them, so had to check it out. All the bikes were mediums and I suppose the results come down to the CS getting progressively longer with whell size and the HA getting progressively steeper with wheel size. All of these bikes have longish top tubes, slack head tubes and fairly steep seat angles, because that's what I like. Now if you look at a bike with a slack seat angle and steep head tube angle such as the Blur LT in comparison..... The XL blur LT is shorter wheelbase than all of these mediums.
    M Enduro 45.4"
    M Kona Satori 45.3"
    M Ventana Zeus 45.5"
    XL Santa Cruz Blur LT 44.8"

  23. #23
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    I can see why people are wanting to get a 27.5 specific bike so they can run 27.5 big ger wheels and 2.3 tires in 27.5. I have always wondered how much of a difference is it between a converted bike with a 2.1 tire and 26" bike with a super tall 2.4 like the advantage or the trailking (ruberqueen)? I posted that in the 27.5 fan boy forum and got a bunch of its lighter XC answers. For some reason 27.5 is a like a epinephrine shot to the bike industry. Look at this new wave and new standard, go buy new forks, and frames and wheels and tires. I demoed one and I took the pinkbike side of things can do everything "ok". Jack of all trades master of none. I will stick with my 26" AM bike and a 29" XC hardtail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I can see why people are wanting to get a 27.5 specific bike so they can run 27.5 big ger wheels and 2.3 tires in 27.5. I have always wondered how much of a difference is it between a converted bike with a 2.1 tire and 26" bike with a super tall 2.4
    I compared a set of 2.5" DHF Minions on 26" Easton Haven rims to my new 2.2" WTB Wolverines on 650B Stans Arch EX rims, and there was a significant difference- a lot more than you'd think.

    My quick thoughts: I used to own a Trek HiFi Pro 29er and a Santa Cruz NomadC 26" bike, and I always thought I wanted two bikes to ride depending on the trail. However, I quickly realized that I'd rather have a single bike that I can get dialed in and ride ALL the time. So I bought a Blur LT2 frame and built it up with 650B wheels this winter.

    I'm happy. It doesn't climb and roll as well as the HiFi, and it doesn't descend as well as the Nomad- but it takes the good traits of each and combines them into one bike. I hated the HiFi on the fun downhills, and I hated taking my NomadC on 25+ mile rides... but now I have a bike that performs great on both of those. Like hitechredneck said, it's the "Jack of all trades" wheel size, which is exactly what I wanted based on my riding style and location.

    By the way OP- the two statements you posted are exactly the same, one is just stated in a negative way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I can see why people are wanting to get a 27.5 specific bike so they can run 27.5 big ger wheels and 2.3 tires in 27.5. I have always wondered how much of a difference is it between a converted bike with a 2.1 tire and 26" bike with a super tall 2.4 like the advantage or the trailking (ruberqueen)? I posted that in the 27.5 fan boy forum and got a bunch of its lighter XC answers. For some reason 27.5 is a like a epinephrine shot to the bike industry. Look at this new wave and new standard, go buy new forks, and frames and wheels and tires. I demoed one and I took the pinkbike side of things can do everything "ok". Jack of all trades master of none. I will stick with my 26" AM bike and a 29" XC hardtail.
    Its about 1/2"-3/4" between my Schwalbe HD 2.35 and the 26" Rubber queen 2.4". Very close, but the rubber queens are roughly 300gram heavier for the pair. I ran them on my endo, one of my favorite tires, but a little heavy and slow for where I ride.
    You are absolutely right about the cost difference, it only makes a little bit of sense if you're looking at getting a new bike anyway. Training and dedication to becoming a better rider are going to give you better results than wheel size. The wheel size argument cracks me up! The 27.5 wheel size is fun to tinker with, but what makes the most difference is the days I spend riding all winter while the other guys drink hot coco, watch TV and eat donuts, that's what makes the most difference when the clock stops! lol Why is there no debate on the time ratio one should spend talking about bikes compared to getting out and riding, that's a much more relevant question???? Haha

  26. #26
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing! View Post
    why build a wider hub and uppend an entire industry. when you can just add a spoke or two?
    I'm dying to see what lacing pattern you choose for that 33 or 34 hole rim

    Seriously, I think the 36h rims and hubs should have made a big resurgeance w/ the growing popularity of 29ers, but the wheel industry has been pushing a "less spokes = fancier" campaign for decades, and have only doubled-down on that. Also, I'm going to make an educated guess and say that good bracing angle and even tension driveside/non-driveside is more important than small changes in the number of spokes.

    Also to your point: When the 29er was introduced, it required all new forks, all new frames, all new spokes, all new rims, all new tires. Zero compatibility w/ 26er. With all that change and new investment, adding wider hubs and axles would have been minor.

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    The difference in feel & handling between a Giant and its Rocky Mountain equivalent is going to swamp the wheel size differences. Take Giant's XC bikes and put them up against Rocky's XC bikes. Big difference. Same thing with their trail bikes, AM bikes, and DH bikes. Different suspension tuning, different geometry, and so on & so forth. Pretty much every bike company builds a common "feel" into all of the bikes in its lineup, so you need to account for that as well as the difference from the wheel sizes.

    If you like Giant's feel and want to stick with it then forget wheel sizes and go with the Reign. If you're willing to try something different which you may or may not like, then go with the Rocky. My personal preference is for Rocky Mountain since that's what I'm comfortable with and Giants just feel awkward to me. Nice bikes, but me & Giants just can't get on the same page.

  29. #29
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    Am I the only person who likes a bigger front/ smaller rear wheelset? Have many other riders tried it (on a full suspension bike)? Is there any hope this will be a somewhat common solution to the "what size is best" argument? Are people turned off because they'd have to own seperate front and rear tires? I can't figure out the resistance cuz it works so much better than stuffing a big rear wheel in a suspension frame and it's hard to argue that a bigger front wheel doesn't hang up less and have a smoother, more stable ride.
    Keep the Country country.

  30. #30
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    I just built a Ventana Zeus, I had the geometry matched to my Yeti 575. Other than the chain stay's being 1/8th of an inch longer everything is the same, WB, HT angle, TT, BB height, all of it. The wheels work I roll away on straights, roll over bumps better climbing and descending. Cornering in any scenario feels exactly the same but more traction. Jumping honestly has even improved. I did this blind, I knew I wanted a new bike, I knew I wanted to maintain the handling of the 26 but I wanted an improvement in the wheels without a sacrifice in handling. After riding the heck out of the bike on my favorite trails many times I am fully sold and impressed with the the 275 wheel size.

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    I had the opportunity to ride an Intense Tracer 275. I really liked the feel. It still felt nimble like a 26 but could roll over more obstacles. My last bike was an 02 Ellsworth Truth. I really loved that bike. It was time to move to something new. I'm going with a 650b. I'm sure that it will be the future of trail riding.

  32. #32
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by PhaseSpace168 View Post
    As a tall person (6'5") riding 29ers is like trying to drive a limousine on the Rubicon trail. The wheel base on my HT 29er is as long as my downhill bike. I imagine a 650b to be very similar. I really don't see the point to it either. Also A larger wheel diameter does not compensate for suspension travel. Ultimately, as long as i can buy 26" 160mm+ travel bikes i dont care. The larger wheel sizes make the bikes look less cool too.
    Well its 2014 and im late to the party.Have blur ltc 26 and a stumpjumper evo 29 fsr..The blur now sits in cob webs. I have got to the point where , once adapted, the 29 does it all . Including table top airs on the shore. These beasts are truly AM now with a set of wide profile wheels 30mm plus and can do it all..Its all about adaptability..I dont even notice differences any more and cant participate in the debates, because for me its over..Also the new breed of 29ers look way cooler than 26 in my subjective view...Just Sayin!!!

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    Test rode spec enduro 29 full carbon with carbon wheels 35mm wide.. Climbed better than older stumpys and destroyed the trails..Also felt very nimble do to its full carbon constitution and short chainstays..Flickability and playfulness Now gives me blatant disregard to all 26 or 650 platform..To me, that is the future..Especially for us taller folks...Justtttt Sickeninggggg!!

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    Im still on 26 so personally cant say. But my buddy went from a rumblefish 29 to a tracer 2 650b and started pr' ing more climbs. Smaller wheel, slacker bike, go figure. Not to mention better in the switchbacks and more playful. But i have heard that as they play with the wheelbase and geo of some 29ers they are becoming more playful.

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    Ya the new enduro chain stay shortness with 29 wheel size is an engineering marvel.. Manualing and quick turns and jumps are pretty dialed..But again I've only ridden 29 lately and have really adapted to the platform..Spec is really nailing it lately..I'm coming of a blur ltc as well which was great but it sits now in purgatory....I'm 6'2" so for me 29 just makes sense..Long travel versions are a lot better now..

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  36. #36
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    Good luck finding unbiased info about wheel size discrepancies. It's been a while since i've read anything objective. Here's a few articles you may enjoy reading.

    Opinion: 26 vs 27.5 vs 29-inch Wheels - Pinkbike

    Educating the Debate ? Part I - NSMB.com

    Since we have seen no discussion on the benefits 26" offers in the media this year, I'll do my part to level the playing field. 26" wheels will always be lighter, more agile, stiffer, accelerate faster and jump better than bigger wheels just as bigger will always roll faster, roll over better, and offer a larger contact patch.

    The big difference is the disadvantages of 26" can be addressed easier than the disadvantages of larger wheels. Example: more travel addresses rollover, wider tires address contact patch.

    Bigger wheels are less agile and less rigid. You can address that with geo, fork offset, and beefing up the wheels. The negatives are more weight to match a comparable 26" not just because of size, but because more material is needed to achieve the same rigidity. Geo and fork offset can only do so much to regain the lost agility, though this is what has made 29'ers viable options for far more than just xc. An argument could be made that 29" geo and fork offset has come so far as to make 27.5 unnecessary.

    You need to ask yourself what's of most importance to you and how you want to set up your bike up to address the shortcomings of which ever wheel size you choose.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmertan View Post
    There are many of us looking at the 650b market but still havenít been able to test ride one. Iím in the market for a new All-mountain bike and trying to decide between a Giant Reign or a Rocky Mountain Altitude 750. I can get a MUCH better price on a Reign due to bike shop relationship. Iím posting this here and not the 29er or 650b forum, for obvious reasons. For those of you that have ridden 26er, 650b and 29ers, which of the following statements would you say is more accurate:

    1. 650b bikes roll better than 26ers and are more agile and fun than 29ers

    or

    2. 650b bikes donít roll as well as 29ers and arenít as agile & fun as 26ers
    As a short person, I'm biased. BUT...if I could only have one, I'd have a 26er. I love a playful, nimble, agile bike. Ideally, I'd have a AM 26er for play time and a 29er for long, XC rides. 27.5 feels like a compromise. And while it does do it all, it doesn't roll as well as a 29er or is as playful as a 26er.

    Though, the new Ibis HDR does look mighty sexy...I think it all comes down to personal preference. I don't think there's a bad bike that you could buy these days - just great bikes made to do very specific things for very specific riders. It's awesome that there are so many choices out there.

  38. #38
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    Its pretty much at a point now where you choose your weapon and ride...I've personally addressed 29 rigidity on wheels by a simple upgrade to the syntace w35 35mm wheelset. At just over 1800g on 35 mm width along with tubless set up, more negatives have been diminished at least for me..Also the newer quicker engaging hubs have minimized lack of any accleration potential issues one may have had...Its just getting better and better all the time..Tight switchbacks are still apparent in maneuverability but its a minor negative in my books..We will look back in the not so distant future and laugh at these debates..The lines will become more blurred..Choose and enjoy your ride!

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  39. #39
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    650b--What's the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    Good luck finding unbiased info about wheel size discrepancies. It's been a while since i've read anything objective. Here's a few articles you may enjoy reading.

    Opinion: 26 vs 27.5 vs 29-inch Wheels - Pinkbike

    Educating the Debate ? Part I - NSMB.com

    Since we have seen no discussion on the benefits 26" offers in the media this year, I'll do my part to level the playing field. 26" wheels will always be lighter, more agile, stiffer, accelerate faster and jump better than bigger wheels just as bigger will always roll faster, roll over better, and offer a larger contact patch.

    The big difference is the disadvantages of 26" can be addressed easier than the disadvantages of larger wheels. Example: more travel addresses rollover, wider tires address contact patch.

    Bigger wheels are less agile and less rigid. You can address that with geo, fork offset, and beefing up the wheels. The negatives are more weight to match a comparable 26" not just because of size, but because more material is needed to achieve the same rigidity. Geo and fork offset can only do so much to regain the lost agility, though this is what has made 29'ers viable options for far more than just xc. An argument could be made that 29" geo and fork offset has come so far as to make 27.5 unnecessary
    Good summary The last point is
    a valid argument and was heavily pushed & marketed by Specialized for about 3 years till they caved to making 650b this year. The 650b isn't necessary argument didn't resonate with the public, either because of marketing or actual performance or both of 650b over 29 (and 26). Specialized (and Cannondale) had little choice but to join the 650b party at long last this year.

    The 650b fanbois ( full disclosure I
    am and was early in before it was cool; actually, when it was cool and used by only a handful of riders who post on MTBR, but before the popular tsunami) can make a valid argument that early on it was about performance and riders pushing the industry to make the bikes and components. Now of course it's largely marketing to push consumers to buy, buy, buy the latest gimmick or be left behind

    You need to ask yourself what's of most importance to you and how you want to set up your bike up to address the shortcomings of which ever wheel size you choose.
    Another good point. Too bad it
    Is difficult to demo bikes back to back unless a demo van comes to your town or you have a good lbs in your town, located within riding distance of good trails. Then you can try to isolate variables and actually compare wheel sizes. I own all 3 sizes in different configurations , but usually take out the 27 lbs 650b 130 mm
    trail bike set up 1x10. Overall, FOR ME, it's the most fun of the 3.( the 26 is an old school steel rigid SS, weighing 20 lbs, and the 29 is a 25 lbs TB carbon, 120mm)
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  40. #40
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    Debating wheel size is so 2013.

  41. #41
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    Haha here here Dougie's!!

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  42. #42
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    Get all three, problem solved..

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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I compared a set of 2.5" DHF Minions on 26" Easton Haven rims to my new 2.2" WTB Wolverines on 650B Stans Arch EX rims, and there was a significant difference- a lot more than you'd think.
    I was running a set of maxxis 2.5 minion DHFs, wore them out and switched to a pair of ITS Edge 2.5"s a month ago. I couldn't believe how much skinnier the maxxis were. I measured them and they are more like 2.3s. I have also read in other posts that maxxis run very skinny.

    The high volume true 2.5" ITS edge tires give over 27" of wheel diameter, just about the same as a 2.2" 650b. However, being 2.5" wide, they have a bigger contact patch than the 2.2" 650b and can run lower psi so the traction is better.

    The weight of the 26" 2.5" tires might be more than the 650b 2.2's, but the 26" wheel weighs less then the 650b so the overall weight is similar. However, the 26" wheel is stiffer than a 650b so better performance for the 26er there, especially if your a clyde like me or a very aggressive rider.

    Sure you can get up to 2.4" 650b tires, but the selection is a quarter of whats out their for 26" wheel and half that of 29ers. Plus, while 650b 2.4" tires will give about 1/2" more diameter than a 26er running high volume 2.5s, that only translates to about a 1/4" of increased rollover since the increase in tire diameter only lifts the tire a 1/4" higher off the ground. You need to cut the increase in diameter in half to get the increase in rollover.

    650b wheels are only 1" bigger than 26" wheels not 1.5" bigger so it's really not that big of a difference, especially when you consider that's only a .5" increase in rollover with the same width tires. I think the industry is pushing 650b because they have improved the 26" bike as much as they can. There is not much else to change to make it better so if they want to keep selling bikes for thousands of dollars, they need a new marketing gimmick.

    I have tried a few 650bs now and I did not notice a difference in wheel size or rollover compared to my 26er even before I switched to the true 2.5" tires. And if you got to run skinnier tires, I don't think a .5" increase in rollover is much of an advantage. Definitely not enough to switch wheel sizes to 650b if you already have a 26er.

    Now switching to a 29er makes a noticeable difference.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  44. #44
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    That's exactly why I'll keep my 26" ltc and continue upgrading the stumpy fsr 29er...I'm good on the 650..

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    Believe it or not some people actually climb on there bikes. A two pound tire isn't good for climbing. I 'm not talking about climbing roads.

  46. #46
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    ummm I love tech climbing.. Like I said earlier.. Tossed on the new syntace w35 wheels tubless with high engagement hubs and climbing is top drawer..Also helps if ur pounding out squats and doing wall sits twice a week..Most rider issues have to do with the engine performance I'm afraid...

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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridezum View Post
    Believe it or not some people actually climb on there bikes. A two pound tire isn't good for climbing. I 'm not talking about climbing roads.
    Not sure what your point is unless you ride 650b and your referring to the fact that the selection of 650b tires is very limited and your pretty much stuck with a 2lb tire if you want a wide 650b tire. Luckily, for those that ride 26" our tire selection is just about limitless and 29ers have plenty of options as well.

    Regardless, if your doing a lot of intense climbing, why would you run +2lb tires (unless you had to due to the need for more traction and no tire options)? I need to climb anywhere from 1.5k to 2.5k from where I live in order to go back down again. I am starting the climb at 6.5k and it's up to the top on tech black diamond singletracks.

    Because of this climb, altitude and loose trail conditions, I run single ply knobby 2.5" tires. They weigh about 100g to 150g more than knobby 650b 2.2s, but my 26" wheels weight 100g to 150g less than comparable 650b wheels.

    I can fit 650b with 2.2" tires on my bike, but doing so doesn't make any sense since my current set up gives me just about the same rollover at similar weight, but with a larger contact patch and lower PSI for more traction with stiffer wheels.

    There are a few 650b 2.4" options if you need more traction, but that comes with similar or more weight than the non DH 26" 2.5" tires which is then added to the extra weight of the heavier wheels 650b wheels.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  48. #48
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    650b--What's the truth?

    Just want to add my opinion (in case our opinions on here are ever taken into account by the industry).... which supports the 26" & 29" only line of thinking... I'm not interested in an in-between size, I will only ever consider a 26" wheel bike or a 29" wheel bike... unless the bike industry forces me to ride a 27.5" by killing 26" altogether. Everyone is welcome to their own opinions... This one is my own opinion and my money spent will reflect this!


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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmertan View Post
    There are many of us looking at the 650b market but still havenít been able to test ride one. Iím in the market for a new All-mountain bike and trying to decide between a Giant Reign or a Rocky Mountain Altitude 750. I can get a MUCH better price on a Reign due to bike shop relationship. Iím posting this here and not the 29er or 650b forum, for obvious reasons. For those of you that have ridden 26er, 650b and 29ers, which of the following statements would you say is more accurate:

    1. 650b bikes roll better than 26ers and are more agile and fun than 29ers

    or

    2. 650b bikes donít roll as well as 29ers and arenít as agile & fun as 26ers
    I've owned all wheel sizes. #1 is the closest to being true.

    The trouble is you can buy a 26er that handles like a truck and a 29er that is really agile so generalizing too much is a problem.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridezum View Post
    Believe it or not some people actually climb on there bikes. A two pound tire isn't good for climbing. I 'm not talking about climbing roads.
    I climb much better on my bigger heavier 26er tire [2.4" Trail King] than the 500g lighter 2.2" version of the same tire on techy terrain. The smaller tire gets hung up more and you lose your momentum more easily.

    I've done the experiment back and forth a few times and although on paper the big 1200g tire should be a hindrance to my climbing I am faster an less tired on it when I get to the top.

    I wanted the lighter tire to be better and spent a bunch of $$ on them so having them not work out was fighting against my natural bias.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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