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  1. #51
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    26er is not going anywhere, anytime soon I won't worry about that at all. 650b offers more good traits of the bigger wheel with little down side(the biggest one is buying new wheelset), and if you are a tinkerer you can make the fit to many of the full suspension you have. Mix and match is ok too, I ran 650b in the front for almost 2 years before I built a full 650b FS.

    I think as more and more bikes are 650b compliance, I'd like to see the 26er tire companies would start offering a light weight low knobs 2.7" tires, or some other fun stuff since there's more room.

    Somehow I think "fad" just went to 29er. At least to some groups. I'd say more than 50% of the noobs here would considered buying a 29er HT as the first bike regardless of their height, thanks to Willow Koerber, now even a 4'10" think that it's ok to ride one

    Unlike 650b, 29er is bigger and taller everywhere, a few things that benefit noobs would be more stable on the descends, and a bit easier rolling over things. Sadly some noobs think it's "the Go-to" wheelsize.

    I don't think 650b is the "Disc brake" type of product but more like a dropper posts. Gravity dropper was around years before Maverick Speedball, but after the introduction of Speedball there's rapid growth of dropper posts, now you can have one in just about the way you want it. Similar can be said about platform pedals and FiveTen

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here_and_Gone View Post

    What guys need to understand is that the OP rides a Scott Genius and according to the vid they will be eliminating the 26" lineup.
    expensive to transition into
    Especially of the OP thinks 650b is just a fad. If his Genius is a 700, why does he ride if he doesn't like it? Or is it a 900?

    I would hate to be a newbie coming into his store. Picture a 5'1" woman. She hops onto a size small 29'r. Her toes overlap the front wheel by 3" and she says she feels like she's on a horse. Isn't there something smaller? Yes, but we discontinued the traditional small wheel size you probably rode to class when you were in college. Too bad if you felt comfy on that cuz we no longer sell them. We do have middle size wheel bikes,which should fit you, but they are just a passing fad. So it's your $1500. What do you want, too big and bad fit, or decent fit and passing fad?

    I'm all over this guy's marketing strategy. Pure, uh, genius.
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  3. #53
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    Or if he rides a Knolly at Otero....

  4. #54
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    I saw a 650 on our monthly group ride and it really got my attention. I never bought into the 29er. I found it ungainly and lacked the deftness of the 26. The 650 looked like it might retain some of that deft quality with the improved roll and contact patch. Make that a carbon frame with carbon 650 wheels....
    I don't rattle.

  5. #55
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    And yet, for all the criticism of the cycling industry, I really like the 29 inch wheels. The difference in the ride to me is astounding and I am never going back. 26 inchers now feel like kids bikes. Marketing or not, t29ers are an improvement for me and the way I ride and what I want out of my bikes.

    I think 26ers are on the way out for everything but downhill.

    It's not just hype and marketing. Sometimes bike companies come up with good ideas.

    Seriously, in the cycling market unless you are a hoary old retro-grouch who refuses to give up his vintage Bridgestone MB4, you can easily find whatever you want. It is a buyer's market for most bikes and components and supply always seems to exceed demand. Bike Bling, Cambria, Chain Reaction...I can pretty much find anything I want at any price point from heavily discounted to super-exotic. What's the problem?
    Last edited by Ailuropoda; 12-11-2012 at 02:29 AM.

  6. #56
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    I'm very curious how many of those (OP included) who are spewing out crap on this thread have actually tried a 650B wheeled bike or 29er for that matter? Lots of arm chair scientist who pass judgement on stuff they've never actually had physical experience with. I say 650B is not a fad, it will be here to stick around, I also agree it could make 26" wheeled bikes the minority as the differences between 650B and 26" are not much, but the positives are enough to make it an improvement.

    FYI I ride 29ers, that's it, haven't touched a 26" in 5 years and don't even plan to again, 29ers suit my riding style and their positives far outweigh the small negatives.

    I did do a 650B experiment earlier in the year, I ran 2 different 650B tyres on the front of my old 26er Trance and the feeling would make me build it back up again and ride it like that - it got parked because I don't like how 26" wheels ride and handle once I got on 29ers. I definitely felt a nice, but slight increase in how the front rolled over stuff, the little slacker angles also helped I'd imagine. Now on the contrary, I put both tyres on the back of my 29er and to me there was no improvement (I've never had any issue spinning up a 29er like people complain about), traction wasn't as good with the shorter, narrower contact patch, no improvement in handling speed since stays remained the same, so that wheel was scrapped, but the 650B front remains and will build the Trance back up permanently with it and a 650B specific fork.
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  7. #57
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    Why can't it be both? A lot of it is fad, but it is also well reasoned wheel size for some bikes and people. I also don't understand how it becomes moot point when 26er and 29er (dis)advantages are compared. There are people with different riding terrain, with different riding styles and different body sizes. 27.5 isn't the best thing ever, neither are the other two, they are all viable wheel sizes. In inline skating we have wheels from 70mm or so to 110m. The 70mm (+shorter frame) guys are doing tricks and stuff, 110m (+longer frame) guys are speed skating, the 84mm guys are skating around the town for fun and exercise and their frame length might be bit shorter to emphasize tricks and manerverability or longer to go more stable and faster, as limited examples. Suprisingly analogous to mountain biking. Speedskater probably go to 115 and upward possibly. There's a lot of discussed whether it is reasonable. For larger men it can be, fastest woman I believe used 100m. Biggest wheel for long distance road skating is nicest for the smoothness it brings alone. (my info may be dated, but point stands)
    Last edited by Horros; 12-11-2012 at 05:09 AM.

  8. #58
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    I'll BET that 99% of people who ride 29-ers have never, and will never, learn how to do a PROPER MANUAL.












    (flamebait, J/K!!!)

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    @ 6bobby9, let me guess. The business you own is not a bike shop.
    Correct, my business is in a different genre for sure. Not enough money in bikes, especially in my city where there are currently at least 15 shops in my area. However, I did a few years in my LBS while in school, so I know the industry pretty well and am still good friends with the owner and still return to them regularly for my gear.

    I started riding in the mountains on my BMX as a kid 25 years ago. I live at 6000' and have an 11,000' mountain in my backyard. I have ridden probably every higher-end bike that's come to market in the last 20 years and built a few hundred new ones along the way. I have seen what worked, works, and what doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Especially of the OP thinks 650b is just a fad. If his Genius is a 700, why does he ride if he doesn't like it? Or is it a 900?

    .....blah, blah, blah....

    I'm all over this guy's marketing strategy. Pure, uh, genius.
    Incorrect! One of my bikes is Leftied Genius 40 circa 2010. So a couple years before the 650 which are just now starting to ship. I have ridden a few 650's, which is partly why I started this thread. Hopefully I get to test ride the 650 Genius in a couple weeks.
    Last edited by De La Pena; 12-11-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    I'll BET that 99% of people who ride 29-ers have never, and will never, learn how to do a PROPER MANUAL!)
    Key words in this quote = "learn how". Those who already can do on 20", 24", 26" 27.5" can do on 29". I'm not that guy but I know more than one.

    As far as "learn how" 27.5" not so easy either. Maybe with slack HTA and short chain stays?
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  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horros View Post
    . In inline skating we have wheels from 70mm or so to 110m. The 70mm (+shorter frame) guys are doing tricks and stuff, 110m (+longer frame) guys are speed skating, the 84mm guys are skating around the town for fun and exercise and their frame length might be bit shorter to emphasize tricks and manerverability or longer to go more stable and faster, as limited examples. Suprisingly analogous to mountain biking. Speedskater probably go to 115 and upward possibly. There's a lot of discussed whether it is reasonable. For larger men it can be, fastest woman I believe used 100m. Biggest wheel for long distance road skating is nicest for the smoothness it brings alone. (my info may be dated, but point stands)
    I had to quit inline (and ice) speed skating 2 yrs ago due to bad hips. But totally agree with your analysis. When I quit I was on 4X100mm. 110's were coming out, but I would have needed new boots with the correct bolt pattern plus frames and wheels. Very spendy. 100mm so fast, so smooth compared to 5 x 84mm.
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Key words in this quote = "learn how". Those who already can do on 20", 24", 26" 27.5" can do on 29". I'm not that guy but I know more than one.
    Yeah learn how.
    First question usually what's a manual, after they try it on 29er then it may be skid mark



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  13. #63
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    Bikes are not clothes. The two have comparable points, but strawman arguments stink. Riding 650b is and isn't a fad. It's a matter of the intentions in regard to the means to the end for the customer. For some, it really is better.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    Bikes are not clothes. The two have comparable points, but strawman arguments stink. Riding 650b is and isn't a fad. It's a matter of the intentions in regard to the means to the end for the customer. For some, it really is better.
    I believe they comparable in the regards that they:

    1. Both must fit a human being.
    2. Both must perform a specific function for said human.
    3. There are limited options in which both 1 & 2 can be achieved without re-doing what someone else has already done before you.


    On another note, other than a couple peeps who gave me neg rep and told me to suck their lil c**ks but wouldn't leave a name so I would know who to donkey punch (cowards!!!) , this has been a really good discussion fellow riders.

    Very cool.
    Last edited by De La Pena; 12-11-2012 at 12:14 PM.
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  15. #65
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    Since 650b wheelset would fit many of the current 26er bikes at the very least it brings refreshing riding experience of and old(er) bike

  16. #66
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    Wait'll 650C comes out, it'll make everything else obsolete and set a new standard for mountain bikes.
    You heard it here first!

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Wait'll 650C comes out, it'll make everything else obsolete and set a new standard for mountain bikes.
    You heard it here first!
    Was your sarcasm font supposed to be turned on? You know there is already a 650C, right?

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinewmexico View Post
    Was your sarcasm font supposed to be turned on? You know there is already a 650C, right?
    Plus, many, many prior posters have attempted the same joke in the 650b forum. General reaction: totally lame.

    On a serious historical note, there were (are) four 650 mm rim sizes. According to Sheldon Brown's site:

    In the French sizing system, tires are designated by a three-digit number, which may be followed by a letter. The number is the nominal outside diameter of the tire the rim was originally designed for. The absence of a letter indicated a narrow tire; "A", "B" and "C" indicated increasingly wider tires."A" was originally a tire about 30 mm wide, so the 650A rim is pretty large, 590 mm. If you add the top and bottom 30 mm tire thickness to 590, you wind up with the 650 mm tire diameter.

    The 650C size was originally intended for a quite wide tire, about 40 mm wide. Top and bottom 40 mm tire plus the 571 mm rim size again bring you to a 650 mm outside diameter, even though the rim was smaller.

    With time, however evolutionary processes have led to different widths of tires being applied to the rim, so the nominal 650 mm designation is now more theoretical than practical.

    597 mm, 650, is the same as the British 26 x 1 1/4" size used on club bicycles, and was also adopted by Schwinn for use on 3-speeds with a 1 3/8" wide tire. This size is seen less and less, as the bicycles which use it become rare.
    590 mm, 650A, also called 26 x 1 3/8", is the size used on the classic English 3-speed. There's nothing theoretically wrong with this size (other than confusion with the Schwinn size!), but the selection of tires and rims available for it is pretty scanty these days.
    571 mm, 650C, was originally a wide, balloon tire size, used on many older Schwinn cruisers. These days, however, it is mainly seen on triathlon bikes and time-trial machines. Available tires and rims are mostly very narrow, intended for competition use.
    584 mm, 650B, is the focus of this article. This size, also known as 26 x 1 1/2", is most popular in France, where it was the traditional size for loaded touring bikes and tandems, as well as general utility bikes.
    The 650B size was never common in the U.S., and it went into decline even in France with the advent of the mountain bike. However, there is a dedicated group of fans of this wheel size, who have been diligently working to restore it to its former glory.

    The situation as far as tire and rim availability has lately taken a turn for the better, and the future looks rosy for 650B.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/650b.html

    Kirk Pacenti, the modern 650B pioneer, chose the B rim when re-introducing this size to the mtb market 5 or so years ago, because it was different enough from the current 26'er to affect riding characteristics, but could still fit most 26'er HT frames. Therefore the curious mechanically inclined riders could convert their bikes from 26" to 650B without having to buy a complete new one. Which they did in droves over the past 5 or so years, leading up to where we are now.

    650 and 650A are taller than B, and would therefore roll much better than 26". But both too big for 26" frame conversions. If you could find suitable rims and tires in this size, they would likely fit a bike built for 650B, though. Good luck, no tires.

    650C rim is smaller than B and therefore too close to 26" to make a noticeable difference.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    26 inchers now feel like kids bikes.
    ...and that's a bad thing?

    I would argue that's the best thing about 26" bikes.

    I hope the 650b size wheel comes into the market and stays - even though I will probably never own one.

    We all benefit from innovation, even if it is a recycled idea (like the 650b). The more innovation, the more money gets pumped in, the better the bikes in all categories.

    Look at the MTB technology that has inspired commuter bikes - whereas before commuter bikes were just modified road or mountain bikes. Now, we have 29'er wheels with fat tires, disc brakes and rangy gearing.

    Road bike technology has influenced MTB's in many ways, too.

    So, it doesn't matter if 650b is a fad or not - it's pumping in R&D and positive forward movement into the cycling arena that will affect us all for the good.

  20. #70
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    I can't take anyone seriously when they tell me that the 650b wheels roll over the rough stuff easier than the 26er wheels. What exactly are you comparing there, the wheel size or the tires and air pressure?

    I can barely see any discernible difference between the 26er and the 29er even with the same tires. The biggest difference I notice is the weight difference. The heavier wheels want to keep rolling because of the heavier mass. Doesn't seem like an improvement to me.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    I can't take anyone seriously when they tell me that the 650b wheels roll over the rough stuff easier than the 26er wheels. What exactly are you comparing there, the wheel size or the tires and air pressure?

    I can barely see any discernible difference between the 26er and the 29er even with the same tires. The biggest difference I notice is the weight difference. The heavier wheels want to keep rolling because of the heavier mass. Doesn't seem like an improvement to me.
    It's different dude. Ride more bikes.

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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    ....Which is precisely why some people like it. Maybe it will be a sad statement for you if (when) 26" wheels become the minority, but for others, it will be a triumph of innovation. Just because you don't get it personally doesn't mean it's without its advantages.



    And that's what it's all about. Don't like 650b? Then don't buy one.

    However, the writing is on the wall for shorter travel & hardtail 26" bikes, for the most part. Cross-country racing will continue to be dominated by 29ers. Entry level hard tails will likely move to 29ers in the next couple of years as 29" parts become even more accessible and less expensive. People are starting to see that 29" wheels have real benefits for beginner riders. I think that 26" wheels will stick around in longer travel bikes, but 650b bikes will slowly start to push those out as the technology around that wheel size increases.

    You guys can decry the "trendiness" of 650b all you want. When I hear what these guys, who are certainly "in the know" are saying, it doesn't sound like a fad to me.
    And how much of what you hear is marketing?
    How much of what you want to feel is actual improvement, and how much is placebo?
    What makes a 650b wheel with a 2.0" tire better than a 26er with a 2.3" tire? Especially when the 26er wheel is lighter and stronger?

    I've ridden so many differnt wheel and tire combos, it would make your head spin, and I have yet to see any resonable advantage to the 650b. If I were a tall rider I would be choosing the 29er for a better fitting overall package, but I just can't justify this "not quite either" size.

    I consider myself a techno-geek. I love to embrace new technology, but only if it's an actual improvement.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    I can't take anyone seriously when they tell me that the 650b wheels roll over the rough stuff easier than the 26er wheels. What exactly are you comparing there, the wheel size or the tires and air pressure?

    I can barely see any discernible difference between the 26er and the 29er even with the same tires. The biggest difference I notice is the weight difference. The heavier wheels want to keep rolling because of the heavier mass. Doesn't seem like an improvement to me.
    That's true, just like going from 9qr to 20mm ta or in my case 24mm hub. The difference is not in your face. But going back to 9qr even without the side by side comparison it's pretty noticeable.

    I think the most noticeable difference of the 650b is cornering, you can hold the line better and faster than smaller wheel, but still be able to lean the bike as the same way you do with 26er, same can't be said about 29er

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    I can't take anyone seriously when they tell me that the 650b wheels roll over the rough stuff easier than the 26er wheels. What exactly are you comparing there, the wheel size or the tires and air pressure?

    I can barely see any discernible difference between the 26er and the 29er even with the same tires. The biggest difference I notice is the weight difference. The heavier wheels want to keep rolling because of the heavier mass. Doesn't seem like an improvement to me.
    :lol

    Sounds like someone isn't a very perceptive rider.

    There's a lot more to it than weight. Educate yourself on "angle of attack." It's physics, dude.

  25. #75
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    wheel size differences are a matter of rider preference and terrain ridden.....there are actually physics involved, not just opinions. Clothes are trendy for various reasons.....I don't think they can be related at all. It's good to have choices, especially when there are so many types or riders and terrain that people mountain bike on. I think that all 3 wheel sizes have a place and will stick around

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