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  1. #1
    Genius
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    650b Fad or not?

    As a business owner I will sell anyone, anything they are willing to buy. I have no problem watching others spend money as they see fit. But I see 650b as a fad. Bikes are like trendy clothes. The manufacturers have to come out with the "next great thing" every few years so they can sell us "something better". Unfortunately, its really not better, its just different. There is no science behind it that says its better, rather its a marketing scheme to get you and me to buy more, by telling us the bike will somehow make us better riders which is a falsehood.

    30 years ago there was really just one "mountain bike". Now there are 15 genres of the mountain bike and the water has become muddied to the point that most people don't really even know what they REALLY need for the type of riding they actually do. Study after study, test after test, shows no measurable improvement from a 26 to a 29. Where one has an advantage/disadvantage the other has an advantage/disadvantage so in the end its a moot point. This is the same with 650b, where it will have a slight advantage against the others, it will have a disadvantage some where else which will be the equalizer.

    I personally would rather see manufacturers continue to improve upon what we already have, rather than introduce a new platform. But alas, most people will still buy into the fad, and then a couple years later not be happy with the 650 and will go onto the the next fad. The 650b size has been around for a long time at least 50 years. It was a popular trekking and tandem size in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, for instance.

    It's history repeating itself, its predictable, and therefore is a fad.

    I welcome your thoughts and look forward to the discussion.
    Last edited by De La Pena; 12-09-2012 at 11:43 AM.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  2. #2
    AZ
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    10 years in and the manufacturers on board and its still a fad?

  3. #3
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    10 years in and the manufacturers on board and its still a fad?
    Yep ^^^ just like 29'ers were thought of as a fad 13 years ago. Same with the 26'er they all have their followers and place in the sport. I don't think any of them will be dropped, at least not in the near future. "Run what ya brung" and stop sweating what the competition is using. Besides they have been around long enough that even if all manufacturing stopped, there is enough parts in the marketplace to satisfy the need for many years to come.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 12-09-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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  4. #4
    Genius
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    10 years in and the manufacturers on board and its still a fad?
    Thats just it. 650 has been available for a good decade but yet many manufacturers still haven't touched it and don't plan to, while others are just now, or in the next year or two planning on releasing such a bike.

    There is also 32" & 36"ers that debuted in actual races in 2007 and are currently being sold by a select few at this very moment. Any traction there?
    Last edited by De La Pena; 12-09-2012 at 11:36 AM.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  5. #5
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    Thats just it. 650 has been available for a good decade but yet many manufacturers still haven't touched it and don't plan to, while others are just now, or in the next year or two planning on releasing such a bike.

    There is also a 33" bike being offered by a rare select few. Any traction there?
    You answered your own question. "While others are just now, or in the next year or two planning on releasing such a bike".
    Right there it should tell you it's not going away anytime soon. The ones that are holding back will soon follow or miss the boat. This same thing happened back in the early 29'er history. Many refused to jump thinking it was a fad but soon realized the huge desire in the marketplace. And before you knew it everyone was on board with it. The 29'er had several years of slow but all of a sudden took off. I suspect the 650b will follow suit. As for the 32"-33" -36 that IMO may or may not stick around but if so will always only have a small diehard select following.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 12-09-2012 at 11:45 AM.
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  6. #6
    Genius
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    BTW. The 650b size has been around for a long time at least 50 years. It was a popular trekking and tandem size in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, for instance. So it's not new. Its just back.
    "I think im gonna go to walmart and look at the mountain bikes and see if i can salvage the rear frame."- Nick_Knipp 3/21/12

  7. #7
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    BTW. The 650b size has been around for a long time at least 50 years. It was a popular trekking and tandem size in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, for instance. So it's not new. Its just back.
    True! But in the MTB world it's only been about 10 years. Most any size will work on the pavement.
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  8. #8
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    me thinks i detect a troll.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    me thinks i detect a troll.
    Now that's going to leave a mark.
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  10. #10
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    BTW. The 650b size has been around for a long time at least 50 years. It was a popular trekking and tandem size in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, for instance. So it's not new. Its just back.



    Nice! So it cant be a fad then.

  11. #11
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    Love mine. I haven't been on my 26" since I got my 650B a year ago. Nino Schurter seems to like his. Logan Binggeli did OK on his at the Red Bull Rampage.I always think it's funny that some people are self-appointed keepers of the approved wheel size flame. I guess since 29ers caught on, they had to find a new holy grail to hate. Like my kids tell me, haters gonna hate.

  12. #12
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    I kinda stand on the same side as the OP. 650 wheels have been around for decades. Road trickles down to mtn biking. Argue it all you want. Whats the percentage of 650's on the road?

    Remember the 24/26? Suppost to make DH bikes spin up faster in the 90"s. How many
    DH bikes are running this today?

    How about 69ers? Whats the percentage of those being ridden today? built? sold?

    What is the percentage of road bikes with 650 wheels being ridden and sold these days? Who's buying/riding them?

    Lets face it. Theres only so many times you can reinvent the wheel.

  13. #13
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Troll View Post
    I kinda stand on the same side as the OP. 650 wheels have been around for decades. Road trickles down to mtn biking. Argue it all you want. Whats the percentage of 650's on the road?

    Remember the 24/26? Suppost to make DH bikes spin up faster in the 90"s. How many
    DH bikes are running this today?

    How about 69ers? Whats the percentage of those being ridden today? built? sold?

    What is the percentage of road bikes with 650 wheels being ridden and sold these days? Who's buying/riding them?

    Lets face it. Theres only so many times you can reinvent the wheel.




    They sell plenty of them in Europe.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS View Post
    They sell plenty of them in Europe.
    And I predict 650b will take off huge in the U.S.A. here shortly.
    I know for myself having been on 26'ers for all of my MTB time. And not being completely sold on 29'ers, if I were in the market for a new ride the 650b would be at the top of my list. A happy medium between the 26'er and 29'er.
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  15. #15
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    Don't think so, I like mine. Unlike the 29er there's not much to adapt and so far it fits many of the bikes I ride. For the most part the experience has been great and it enhances the riding experience, lots of pros and not as much cons I can see when the time comes to replacing the wheel I'd go 650b.

  16. #16
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    I'm thinking 650b rear and 29er front.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    I'm thinking 650b rear and 29er front.
    A 97er

  18. #18
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Mountain bikes are just a fad.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Mountain bikes are just a fad.
    ^ This.

  20. #20
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    Some of the first MT bikes were 650b. 26" wheels were taxed at a lesser rate since they were kid wheels. Seriously! That is why they flourished.

    I converted my Prophet to 650b. It is a better bike. I know a few people who ride 650b as well. Definately not a fad.
    My name is Chris and I ride a Prophet 650b with a Lefty.

  21. #21
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    It seems like a nice in between for some people. Its just more options and better for the industry all around. Having never ridden one I still I think at some point it may take over 29er sales.

  22. #22
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    Each wheel has it's own domain in my opinion. I ride fast XC trails, therefore a wheel size that rolls fast is important to me, so I ride a 29er.
    Something wrong with your bike? Blame it on super human strength and sleep well at night knowing you are more than a man.

  23. #23
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    In the history of bikes, many wheel sizes have been added, and very few 'deleted'.
    Many of us are simply thinking, 'well, it was about time!'

    Progress rolls on....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinewmexico View Post
    Love mine. I haven't been on my 26" since I got my 650B a year ago. Nino Schurter seems to like his. Logan Binggeli did OK on his at the Red Bull Rampage.I always think it's funny that some people are self-appointed keepers of the approved wheel size flame. I guess since 29ers caught on, they had to find a new holy grail to hate. Like my kids tell me, haters gonna hate.
    Perhaps next time you should let your kid's respond.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Troll View Post
    I kinda stand on the same side as the OP. 650 wheels have been around for decades. Road trickles down to mtn biking. Argue it all you want. Whats the percentage of 650's on the road?

    Remember the 24/26? Suppost to make DH bikes spin up faster in the 90"s. How many
    DH bikes are running this today?

    How about 69ers? Whats the percentage of those being ridden today? built? sold?

    What is the percentage of road bikes with 650 wheels being ridden and sold these days? Who's buying/riding them?

    Lets face it. Theres only so many times you can reinvent the wheel.
    Not always. Sometimes it's the other way around. Look at disc brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZXFT View Post
    Each wheel has it's own domain in my opinion. I ride fast XC trails, therefore a wheel size that rolls fast is important to me, so I ride a 29er.
    I agree with this. 650b is going to grow incredibly in the next 2 years. 26" wheels will soon be in the minority as far as new bikes go, but of course, we'll still see tons of them on the trails,

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