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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 10:42 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.

  14. #14
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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.
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  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.

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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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    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.
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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.

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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.
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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,

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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by <Steven> View Post
    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
    That's pretty much how I feel about it, but that said I've never ridden anything other than a 26" wheeled bike. I guess getting out there and riding the different wheel sizes will be the only way to really find out which I prefer...

  52. #52
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    Unfortunately the industry push is toward 650 and 29 sizing.. I have ridden all three . Like some have said the difference between 650 and 26 is negligible.. I tend to agree.. I did not notice big enough difference to actually invest.I did however become blown away by the 29 benefits. This made it an easy choice to keep my 26 and just upgrade my 29 fsr stumpy to negate some of the disadvantages of the 29er..IE lighter, wider, better lower rolling resistance wheels. Short stem, wide bars, and high engagement hubs..About the only disadvantage left for me anyways is the maneuverability in super tight switchbacks..But even that is becoming adaptable with time...

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  53. #53
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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
    Kind of a trick question, but i have rode all three sizes and each on different bikes and I would have to say #2 for sure.

    Trick question because 650b is not much different than a 26er. It's only 1" larger in wheel diameter than a 26er which as mentioned earlier, only equals a 1/2" increase in rollover. Therefore the agility is similar to a 26er, but just not a good and the rollover is not much more than a 26er, especially a 26er with big tires.

    The 29er actually has an over 1.5" increase in wheel diameter than a 650b so I would say that it has more rollover than a 650b than a 650b has over a 26er. And since a 650b is not much different than a 26er, the 650b will have better agility than 29er.

    For which is more fun; "Fun" is a relative term. I think having a very agile bike is fun and I think having a lot more rollover is fun.

    However, I also think having just a bit more rollover with just a bit less agility is just a bit less fun than having a lot more of one or the other.
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  54. #54
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    Add me to the list of people that haven't ridden the 650b yet, but feel the need to comment

    So what's the difference in performance, between a 650b that has 150mm front and rear and a 26er running 160mm (or more) with some high volume tires? Does the extra travel on the 26 make up the difference in wheel size?

    I like to ride some pretty chunky terrain, so maybe that extra 1/2 inch WILL make a difference, but with less travel, will it be noticeable?
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    I have to agree that mtb marketing does its job fantastically because instead of enjoying our current bikes we discuss about different wheel sizes and feel bad about our current choices.

    Personally I have a 26er now and had a 29er in the past. The difference between the two is really noticeable and makes sense to choose one over the other based on your preferences but I highly doubt that 0.75 inch of better rollover for a 27.5 will dramatically improve my riding or at least improve it that much to justify buying another bike.

    Don't get me wrong, if I was buying another bike I would consider 27.5 & 29ers but I honestly believe that before looking for 0.75 inch better rollover to improve my riding I need to improve first my riding skills because currently I only get less than 50% of my current bike capabilities.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris Galanis View Post
    I have to agree that mtb marketing does its job fantastically because instead of enjoying our current bikes we discuss about different wheel sizes and feel bad about our current choices.

    Personally I have a 26er now and had a 29er in the past. The difference between the two is really noticeable and makes sense to choose one over the other based on your preferences but I highly doubt that 0.75 inch of better rollover for a 27.5 will dramatically improve my riding or at least improve it that much to justify buying another bike.

    Don't get me wrong, if I was buying another bike I would consider 27.5 & 29ers but I honestly believe that before looking for 0.75 inch better rollover to improve my riding I need to improve first my riding skills because currently I only get less than 50% of my current bike capabilities.
    It's not even .75", that's the marketing doing it's job ;-) it's only .5" (difference in wheel diameter is 25mm, or 1").

  57. #57
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    One thing to consider is that the largest 26" tires, say something like the Surly Dirt Wizard is "almost" 27.5" in diameter. Even some skinny 650b tires are taller, and some like the Hans Dampf are over 28" in diameter.

    A 650bX2.4 will feel different from a 26x2.75, will feel different from a 29x1.9, will feel different from a 26x4.0 and 700x28c.

    Everyone fine tunes their bikes for what they like and feel comfortable on. Will carbon everything and 29" wheels on a hardtail be fast on a World Cup XC track? Will it win races? Probably. Will it be the most fun for the weekend warrior? That's up to us to decide.
    GIS/GPS Pro using ArcFM for Utility Mapping - Always willing to connect with other MTBers in the industry.

  58. #58
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    26" wheel bike fits in back seat of my car with only the front wheel removed.
    650B requires that I remove both wheels to stuff it in the back seat.
    This annoys me greatly and cuts into my riding time.

  59. #59
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    Re: 650b--What's the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    26" wheel bike fits in back seat of my car with only the front wheel removed.
    650B requires that I remove both wheels to stuff it in the back seat.
    This annoys me greatly and cuts into my riding time.
    What about a bike rack ? Hitch style or strap mount.. Then no tires removed...

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  60. #60
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    Wheels I meant...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bohns1 View Post
    What about a bike rack ? Hitch style or strap mount.. Then no tires removed...
    Me and bike racks do not get along...

  62. #62
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    The truth...

    Here's picture of 26" Conti TK 2.4 on mounted up on 26" DTSwiss EX5.1D rim. Measured 27.25".
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 650b--What's the truth?-tk.jpg  

    650b--What's the truth?-photo2.jpg  

    sth

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    And the same casing would result in a 28.2 inch diam on a 275er rim. So what's your point?
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
    I still fail to see how mustaches, fixies, and PBR are ironic.

  64. #64
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    You know the point but let me explain. All I am pointing out is that 26" setup can get in the range of 650B setup in terms of measurement with simple tire swap. Plenty of database out there point out that "true" 650Bsetup measure 27-28".
    sth

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    OK, thanks for confirming that you're making the common error of assuming OD is the main factor that drives how a wheel performs.

    I've been running large volume 26er tires for over a decade. That didn't give me a preview of how a 28 inch OD mich wild grip'r performs, and it didn't give me a preview of how a low volume 27.5 skinny pacenti performs either.

    . Quote Originally Posted by lixxfe View Post
    I posted my measurements about a month ago in another thread, but for the life of me, I can't find it again using the Search function on this site. I must be an idiot... So, I'm re-posting this (sorry if you've seen it before):

    Brand, Model (Nominal Size) Rim: Measured Dia. x Measured Width

    Schwalbe, Hans Dampf SnakeSkin (27.5x2.35) Flow EX: 27.90 x 2.43
    Maxxis, Ardent EXO (27.5x2.25) Flow EX: 27.88 x 2.29
    Kenda, Nevegal (27.5x2.35) Flow EX: 27.75 x 2.43
    Pacenti, NeoMoto (27.5x2.1) Flow EX: 27.63 x 2.21
    Schwalbe, Hans Dampf SnakeSkin (27.5x2.25) Crest: 27.57x2.23
    Pacenti, NeoMoto (27.5x2.3) Flow EX: 27.56 x 2.41
    Kenda, Nevegal DTC (27.5x2.1) Crest: 27.53 x 2.24

    Maxxis, Ardent (26x2.4) Flow: 27.19 x 2.42
    Maxxis, Minion DHF 3C Wire Bead (26x2.7) Flow: 26.88 x 2.51
    Specialized Control, S-Works (26x2.3) Arch EX: 26.81 x 2.26
    Maxxis, Ardent (26x2.25) Flow: 26.81 x 2.23
    Kenda, Nevegal StickE (26x2.1) Arch EX: 26.63 x 2.17

    Tires inflated to 30psi for all measurements. Width measured at the widest point, be it the knobs, or the carcass.

    *Edit 24Aug2013: Added 27.5x2.35 Schwalbe HD
    *Edit 25Aug2013: Corrected 27.5x2.25 Schwalbe HD measurements, and added 26x2.7 Maxxis Minion measurements.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
    I still fail to see how mustaches, fixies, and PBR are ironic.

  66. #66
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    Right, and the Surly Instigator 2.0 uses the 2.75 Dirt Wizard that's even closer to 27.5" in diameter.

    Who cares? It's still a huge, heavy tire. You can get a 650X2.25 that is the same diameter and weighs half as much. And you can get a 29x1.5" tire that weighs half that and is the same diameter.

    You can also get a fat bike that uses tires that are the same OD as a 29er. Does that mean 29ers are pointless because we could all ride fat bikes for XC?

    Should we all ride 20" BMX wheels or 36" wheels?

    The "truth" is that you should ride what you want and like to ride. If you want to save so money and ride a 26x2.4 Trail King on a used 26" bike, go for it. No-ones stopping you. The 29er crowd wants something else and the tweener crew is happy with the new wheel size.
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackHound View Post
    The truth...

    Here's picture of 26" Conti TK 2.4 on mounted up on 26" DTSwiss EX5.1D rim. Measured 27.25".
    yup exactly...........the marketing hype machines got folks with this 650b phenomenon and thats all i have to say about that.

  68. #68
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    What PHeller said.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
    I still fail to see how mustaches, fixies, and PBR are ironic.

  69. #69
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    Marketing hype exactly. Tangible benefit between 26 and 2.75 is so minor that it would be hard to tell for most riders on the trails. But tangible benefit for bike industry is pretty significant and instant...get everyone to buy new 27.5 bike and parts instead of allowing them hang on to them until they break. I will enjoy my 29er and 26er until they break break, no thanks.
    sth

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackHound View Post
    Marketing hype exactly. I will enjoy my 29er and 26er until they break break, no thanks.
    You do realize the same thing was said of 29" wheels when they first hit the MTB market, right?
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    The "truth" is that you should ride what you want and like to ride. If you want to save so money and ride a 26x2.4 Trail King on a used 26" bike, go for it. No-one is stopping you. The 29er crowd wants something else and the tweener crew is happy with the new wheel size.
    It shall set you free. Ride what you like and put your money there. My personal preference is.... well, why do you care, it probably won't work for you. Actually, it's options, yeah my personal preference is to have options. All 3 sizes can work, pick one or all 3 but don't make that decision for others.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  72. #72
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    I like taquitos. That is all.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    I like taquitos. That is all.
    do they come in 650b size?

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    And 29

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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackHound View Post
    The truth...

    Here's picture of 26" Conti TK 2.4 on mounted up on 26" DTSwiss EX5.1D rim. Measured 27.25".

    It is pretty funny how 26" can match 27.5 with the right tire, but all things equal 650b will always be taller. If the conti TK 2.4 doesn't exist in 27.5 now I'm sure it will soon.

    It will be interesting to see if 27.5 tires start coming down in volume so it will basically be the same height just accomplished with rim instead of tire volume. That will be comical, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if that happens if 26 is fazed out. We'll end up with true 26" agility and a placebo 650b affect.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    It will be interesting to see if 27.5 tires start coming down in volume so it will basically be the same height just accomplished with rim instead of tire volume. That will be comical, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if that happens if 26 is fazed out. We'll end up with true 26" agility and a placebo 650b affect.
    Meanwhile back in the land of reality, the trend toward large volume or tall 275 tire options continues to increase. The main reason I avoided the 275 bandwagon early on was the lack of larger tires. Fortunately that situation has improved.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
    I still fail to see how mustaches, fixies, and PBR are ironic.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    Meanwhile back in the land of reality, the trend toward large volume or tall 275 tire options continues to increase. The main reason I avoided the 275 bandwagon early on was the lack of larger tires. Fortunately that situation has improved.
    reality is the kool kids bought into the hysteria of 650b thinking it's somehow vastly diff then a 26'er LOL
    Last edited by nvphatty; 04-23-2014 at 01:00 PM.

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    I'm looking forward to getting a sweet deal on a 26" all mountain frame that's a couple years old........lol.

    I've been running 26x2.5 or larger tires on and off for nearly 15 years, so this whole concept of needing increased "rollover" on a 2.1" seems pretty silly. At one point in 2000 I put a 2.6" gazzalodi on an old single wall wide rim on the front of a Ti hardtail to ride an exceptionally technical rock/boulder trail around a lake.

    Why you would want a beefy 27.5x2.5" either is beyond me, seems like it would be too bulky.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    do they come in 650b size?
    any size you want, with or without guacamole.
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    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    reality is the kool kids bought into the hysteria of 650b thinking it's somehow vastly diff then a 26'er LOL
    actually the endless comparisons to 26ers miss the point. from an industry perspective, the real impact of 650b was it reduced or eliminated the need for 29ers in applications that presented design challenges. e.g. fully correct geo for smaller riders. e.g. combining short CS w/ certain suspension designs (DW, VPP) that have other advantages.

    I'm not saying 29ers will go away ... clearly they won't, esp in XC hardtail or short travel applications ... but in the 130-160 travel versatile bike category 275 will become more and more the standard, and 29ers in that category will become more niche.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
    I still fail to see how mustaches, fixies, and PBR are ironic.

  81. #81
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    Re: 650b--What's the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    actually the endless comparisons to 26ers miss the point. from an industry perspective, the real impact of 650b was it reduced or eliminated the need for 29ers in applications that presented design challenges. e.g. fully correct geo for smaller riders. e.g. combining short CS w/ certain suspension designs (DW, VPP) that have other advantages.

    I'm not saying 29ers will go away ... clearly they won't, esp in XC hardtail or short travel applications ... but in the 130-160 travel versatile bike category 275 will become more and more the standard, and 29ers in that category will become more niche.
    Not to sure about that..Long travel 29 is Here to stay! With the advent of the specialized enduro and the shorter Chaim stays, progression will continue. Ad to that the xx1 craze and shimano coming out with there own version. The industry view of ridding the front derailleur will open up prospects for further frame design progression as well..It will only get better..A lot of the 29 issues have already been negated with stiffer wider wheelsets and higher engaging hubs..Just my 2 cents.

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  82. #82
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    26-650b--29

    29 is far enough away from 26 to offer realistic differences, both remain valid options.
    29 is far enough away from 650b to still offer realistic differences, both remain valid options.
    650b is too close to 26 to offer realistic differences for both to remain valid options.

    So in this situation the only way 650b makes sense is for it to replace 26 which it seems is what the industry is pushing for. It also seems that the only reason 650b was created WAS to replace 26 and produce the resulting surge in bike and components sales over the next few years as 26 is pushed out. This probably came about because the uptake of 29 wasn't as wide spread as was hoped by the industry, so if you want to know why ur beloved 26 is on the choping block it's because you didn't buy a 29....now that's irony for you

  83. #83
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    Ironically, that actually makes sense about 26" being on the chopping block because we didn't buy enough 29"....... Now I have to buy a 29" just to be different. How's that for irony?

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by bohns1 View Post
    Long travel 29 is Here to stay! With the advent of the specialized enduro and the shorter Chaim stays, progression will continue.The industry view of ridding the front derailleur will open up prospects for further frame design progression as well..It will only get better..
    Thats the thing. The BMC Trailfox, Kona Process 111, Lenz Lunchbox, and Enduro 29 are the only bikes that offer sub-17" chainstays. It will be very difficult to get the VPP style frames to similar chainstay lengths, and those styles of bikes are very popular (Santa Cruz, Banshee, Intense).

    You could argue that you don't necessarily need short stays to get a good bike, as the Stumpjumper Evo or Tallboy LTc prove.
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  85. #85
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    Re: 650b--What's the truth?

    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    Thats the thing. The BMC Trailfox, Kona Process 111, Lenz Lunchbox, and Enduro 29 are the only bikes that offer sub-17" chainstays. It will be very difficult to get the VPP style frames to similar chainstay lengths, and those styles of bikes are very popular (Santa Cruz, Banshee, Intense).

    You could argue that you don't necessarily need short stays to get a good bike, as the Stumpjumper Evo or Tallboy LTc prove.
    I have the 2014 evo comp 29 and love it.. You adapt to tight switchbacks and it becomes the norm after time..

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    From a rollover angle perspective the 27.5 is closer to the 29er than the 26er.

    The fact that 27.5" feels so much like the 26" when riding is a testament that although it is a compromise between the 2 other sizes, it's closer than half way to each. It offers say 75% of the rollover advantages of the 29er, and 75% of the playfulness advantages of the 26er. That's a great compromise if like me, you are only going to own 1 bicycle.

    I've only been riding 9 months now and I began on a high quality 26" and everytime I rode another bike w/ different wheel sizes I prefered the other bikes over my own. For ATX conditions (rocky) I am absolutely NOT a fan of 26" wheels.

    I demoed many 29" bikes and noticed right away how they just trucked over everthing, but they felt very large to me.

    I rode one 27.5" and I knew instantly it was the bike for me and I didn't even know another wheel size existed before that day as an alternative.

  87. #87
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    Here's an interesting discussion on a UK board about 650b:

    Toe curling 650b marketing guff. ę Singletrack Forum

    Video:


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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    Here's an interesting discussion on a UK board about 650b:

    Toe curling 650b marketing guff. ę Singletrack Forum

    Video:

    That guy from Giant needs a slap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    From a rollover angle perspective the 27.5 is closer to the 29er than the 26er.
    This is incorrect

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    From a rollover angle perspective the 27.5 is closer to the 29er than the 26er.

    The fact that 27.5" feels so much like the 26" when riding is a testament that although it is a compromise between the 2 other sizes, it's closer than half way to each. It offers say 75% of the rollover advantages of the 29er, and 75% of the playfulness advantages of the 26er.
    While I think 650B is a great option and a good choice for a lot of riding conditions, this is technically incorrect.

    Here are some great articles by on of the designers at Banshee Bikes that lay out the advantages and disadvantages of each wheel size:
    Educating the Debate pt 1
    Educating the Debate pt 2
    Educating the Debate pt 3

    (I think these were posted earlier, but they are worth reading.)

  91. #91
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    The truth is that they are both bikes.

    Each person should buy and ride what they are comfortable with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironbar81 View Post
    This is incorrect
    Thank you for the correction. That's what I get for listening to the guys at the LBS.

  93. #93
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    Lbs guys are terds every now and then..LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Thank you for the correction. That's what I get for listening to the guys at the LBS.
    We all make that mistake, last week my LBS guy insisted that my current alloy roval rims would be stiffer than the carbon ENVE's I'm trying to talk myself into buying.....I was tired....I let it go

  95. #95
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    Ha, ya and mine try to tell me 2013 components are 2014..But I believe that is simply lack of knowledge

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  96. #96
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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
    Sorry, but that's kind of a dumb question. 275 is right between 26 and 29. That should tell you all you need to know.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skelldify View Post
    Sorry, but that's kind of a dumb question. 275 is right between 26 and 29. That should tell you all you need to know.
    No it's not.

    A 26" wheel is 559mm in diameter.
    A 650b (27.5") is 584mm in diameter.
    That is a difference of 25mm or 1 inch.
    A 29er is 622mm in diameter.
    That is a difference of 63mm or 2.5" over a 26".

    Therefore 650b (27.5) is not right between 26" and 29". It is much closer to a 26" than it is to a 29er.

    The MTB industry is now using very deceptive marketing techniques by no longer calling it 650b and instead calling it 27.5" which implies that they are 1.5" larger than 26" wheels. They know that there is not that big of a difference between the 2 sizes with 650b having only a 1/2 inch increase in rollover which equates to about a 2-4% difference and need to do whatever they can to get people to think it's game changing.
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 08-13-2014 at 06:30 PM.
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    The truth is simple, it keeps the squealing mouths of industry players fed by driving sales of new wheels, tires, and forks in addition to frames.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  99. #99
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    I rode two 27.5 demo bikes this last week. I really failed to see the hype. I mean they were nice bikes and one of them I wouldn't not own. They rode grata but no better than a 26 or a 29. In fact coming from a 29. I think I would have preferred a long travel 29er over the 27.5. Or just stick with a 26.

    That's not to say a 27.5 does t have its place but I feel most of the hype is just that and marketing. I will probably stick with a 29er for XC type trails. I'm kind of in the market for a long travel am bike. I'm kind of leaning towards 26 with some volumous conti trail kings.

    Also judging by riders in the UK I'd say 26 isn't going any where soon. Almost everyone I saw riding was on a 26. A few 27.5 no 29ers that I saw. Just observing how caught up most Americans get with consumerism. Which I can be guilty of too.

    In the end I would buy the bike that I feel performs the best for me in the conditions I am planning to ride it in regardless of wheel size. Though I may feel one wheel size feels better to me. It's all subjective.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

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    love my 6er. understand the 9er. i try to be open to ideas that'll make goin fast even more fun so gave 650b a go. ..stumpy, kona, and a scott. 650b was an ok lap dance. but hey if you're drunk enough...

    disclaimer: i cant rock a 650b like gwin. neither can i come close in my dreams on a 6er or 9er.

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