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  1. #1
    Mr. Knowitall
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    76-er (27.5 front) bike for enduro racing?

    I am really trying to wrap my head around where my bike is going to evolve. I really like my bike, but I am also reading all the buzz about 650b and the advantages there - especially regarding traction.

    Status now:
    I have a Liteville 301 which I must use for the rest of the season (local team with ambassador deal). I really like this bike, but I recently had a bike fitting session (thanks to my beautiful girlfriend who got it for me for my b-day). Watching me on the bike, the guy indicated that I could benefit from a longer cockpit. I am 185cm tall, riding a Large 301 (Reach 434.5mm) with 60mm stem and 740 bars with 12 backsweep bars. I have some issues that I feel that I "hang" on the thumbs, resulting in pain. I do not like pain, and I will try with a longer stem (oh the dreaded "long stem"). If that works for my comfort and I do not feel it affects handling too much, I am happy, and will buy myself a new (set of) wheel(s). I am trying with a 70mm stem now, just to see. Then ride and do a follow-up with the fitting guy (who also is a friend of mine).

    But if the comfort is better, but handling worse, I will be in the market for a new ride - and I have laid my eyes on the Spesh Enduro 26"... (Yes, 26 inches wheels, not trail-smoothers). And I know (just by trying to fit my finger between the seat stay bridge and rear tire) that 650b will not be possible on this bike. Then I started thinking: may I benefit from a 650b front wheel and fork only? This will give better traction (good), higher front (not too good), slacker head angle (always welcome) and more futuresque bike (I WANT TEH LATEST).

    Or are there any other bikes with similar geo (long reach, short chainstays) that can run both 650b and 26" by changing dropouts - and without being silly expensive. I really like the idea with a looooong front centre and supershort stem and chainstays (like Mondraker). Frameset only will be a good option, as I have lots of goodiegood parts to bring over.

    The reason for the 650b front only is that the BB height will not rise as much as with 650b f/r, and the tuned enduro bike test in German Bike magazine had a 301 as the winner with 650b front/26" rear. And they said it made sense.

    The reason for having the option for 26" wheels is to be able to have a lightweight wheelset for those rides where the gnar is less, and races that use UCI rules (locally - not necessarily enduro). UCI have this silly rule that you are not allowed to have different size front and rear wheel (I think it was to avoid smaller front wheel time trial bikes - and for some reason they made this rule applicable for all categories). And I have right now 3 26" wheelsets in my shed.

    Viewpoints, laughs, eye-openers, co-frustrations, anything?

  2. #2
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    That is the set-up I had on my Blur XC (older Alu. version) and it made it a much better all around bike. Of course it was steep to begin with, and the BB was quite low for where I am.

    The benefits of traction and roll over are more important up front.
    If you do it, I would suggest lowering your stem, if you have spacers below, and slid your saddle forward, maybe .5 - 1 cm.

    With the way things are going, if you don't care for it, you won't have much trouble selling it.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Mr. Knowitall
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    I just had a bike fitting session, so I will lower the stem maybe go for a flat bar as well if I go down this road with my current bike.

  4. #4
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    In case of a new bike, you might want to check Norco Range Killer-B(or Sight if 140mm is enough travel), quite similar to the new 2013 Spesh enduro, long TT, short-ish chainstay, low BB and very efficient pedaller(especially on middle size front ring, 32-36t), which is a huge bonus on my chart at least. That however might be difficult to find, seems to be sold out everywhere, also 26" wheels don't probably work so well.


    Other option could be Banshee Rune V2, similar geo, interchangeable and adjustable dropouts, should be possible to run both 26" and 650b...

    Orange Alpine or Five could be options too, or Knolly Chilcotin... See below a geometry chart I made when I was choosing new bike, might be helpful here too, only 2013 models on this and all info is not 100% correct, but gives a good overview...


    76-er (27.5 front) bike for enduro racing?-am_geochart01.png

  5. #5
    Your bike sucks
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    Mixed wheel sizes can ride great. I think we'll see more of them in a few years but I'm sort of a 69er aficionado. I'll be riding this (relatively slowly) in the BME Enduro. Great bike & concept; wish there was a modern platform out now - suspension and frame tech has advanced quite a bit since 2007.

    76-er (27.5 front) bike for enduro racing?-trek60erfs2.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 76-er (27.5 front) bike for enduro racing?-trek60erfs.jpg  


  6. #6
    Mr. Knowitall
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    Thanks Vertii. That was helpful. I think I may want to complete that spreadsheet with calculated stack and reach to get the full picture.

  7. #7
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    It's definitely a cool idea and could work. I just worry about messing with the geometry of a 26 inch bike. If you already had a 26 inch bike and needed a new fork getting a fork which could accommodate either wheel size would be good. Then with a new front wheel and tire would be a sweet experiment for minimal outlay. In fact I'm toying with this idea myself.

    If you are buying a new bike then I think being cautious possibly a specifically designed 27.5 might be a safer option. In the future I think companies might start building bikes like this specifically especially if the UCI can change their mind on this. Dirt bikes all have a bigger front wheel, makes sense.

  8. #8
    Mr. Knowitall
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    The thing is: I have 3 26" wheelsets, which I am not particularly keen on selling, as it is such a waste of money (buy new, sell to a ridiculous second hand market here in Norway).

    My Liteville can go both 26", B6/76 and 650b so this idea/thought is a longer term solution, I think. If I need to swap frames due to sizing issues mentioned, I will be going for a frame that is flickable between the sizes (for some reason I have laid my eyes on Banshee Rune V2 or Spitfire V2 - don't know why, as they are heavy for their segment).

    Internet thinking out loud is not necessarily the best idea

  9. #9
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    been toying with this idea as well on my enduro. run an xfusion vengeance that can run 650b. i like the moto-style dynamic it would give. throw the 2.4 hans dampf in the back and run somebody's narrow 2.2 or somethin up front.
    i'm on my Last Herb

  10. #10
    Mr. Knowitall
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verttii View Post
    Other option could be Banshee Rune V2, similar geo, interchangeable and adjustable dropouts, should be possible to run both 26" and 650b...
    Oh, I have been looking at the Rune before this. And it looks good. I am considering the XL with a 35-50mm stem (I am 185/6'1")- but: it weighs a lot more than I care for I may be able to go for one, but then I will have to go carbon wheels on its a$$. And I cannot afford that. But it has the right numbers, and the right price point - as well as it has the DBAir option...

  11. #11
    NedwannaB
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    been toying with this idea as well on my enduro. run an xfusion vengeance that can run 650b. i like the moto-style dynamic it would give. throw the 2.4 hans dampf in the back and run somebody's narrow 2.2 or somethin up front.
    I get the moto inference, but why limit yourself. If it's a compatible fork put a big HD up there too!
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

  12. #12
    Mr. Knowitall
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    Why go for a thinner tire up front? Less grip and rolling resistance...

  13. #13
    NedwannaB
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    Got it. Grip and rr are usually more affected at rear tire than up front though....
    Wait,who did he tell you that?....

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