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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 12:43 PM.
    "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
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    10 years in and the manufacturers on board and its still a fad?

  3. #3
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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 12:21 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  4. #4
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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 12:36 PM.
    "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
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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 12:45 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  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
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  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.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  10. #10
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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.

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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
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  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,

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    Not always. Sometimes it's the other way around. Look at disc brakes.



    ,
    And high performance clinchers, and tubeless tires, and higher cadence/small ratio chainrings, and sloping top tubes/compact geometries, and 1 1/8 (or 1.5) headsets, and tapered steer tubes, and strong rims, and ahead set style (non quill, non threaded) stems, and press fit Bb systems, and dual sided clip less pedal systems, and shoes you can actually walk in, and suspension, and high performance lighting systems, and....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    me thinks i detect a troll.
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE, View Post
    Now that's going to leave a mark.
    ^^ Nah. I do my best to ignore crazy posts (such as b-kul) that erroneously accuse others and stay on topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    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.
    ^^ I have had forum discussions with mimi1885 a few times in the past, a few years ago, and find this rider to be well versed in all things mountain bike. Thanks for your input Mimi.
    Last edited by De La Pena; 12-11-2012 at 01:06 PM.
    "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

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    Not always. Sometimes it's the other way around. Look at disc brakes.

    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,

    I think you are on to something here. May be the next wave would be 650b AM HT, that can be double as a fat 26er do it all HT or snow bike

  29. #29
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    I also like to hear what Mimi has to say. He really
    knows about bikes.

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  31. #31
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    I simply do not get the 650b sizing.
    If you don't like the 29er wheel sizing for any of it's supposed advantages, the 650b should be even less appealing. It's less than a 29er.

    If 26ers become the minority, it will truly be a sad statement of trendy consumers power over the marketplace.

    Why not 32" road bike wheels?

  32. #32
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    Bottom line it's an oppurtunity for "market" growth.
    Having said that a variety of wheels sizes hopefully means greater range of fit options for riders.
    I like a larger wheel size but 29' just seems too big for me. I like my 26' but can't help feeling a 27.5 would be a better fit for me and my ridng style.
    More wheel sizes gives me more choices and I like that.
    Happy Trails
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    I think you are on to something here. May be the next wave would be 650b AM HT, that can be double as a fat 26er do it all HT or snow bike
    Ha! Now you're talkin! I could be into that.

    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    I simply do not get the 650b sizing.
    If you don't like the 29er wheel sizing for any of it's supposed advantages, the 650b should be even less appealing. It's less than a 29er.

    If 26ers become the minority, it will truly be a sad statement of trendy consumers power over the marketplace.

    Why not 32" road bike wheels?
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar View Post
    Bottom line it's an oppurtunity for "market" growth.
    Having said that a variety of wheels sizes hopefully means greater range of fit options for riders.
    I like a larger wheel size but 29' just seems too big for me. I like my 26' but can't help feeling a 27.5 would be a better fit for me and my ridng style.
    More wheel sizes gives me more choices and I like that.
    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.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BO-qMkhmK0Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  34. #34
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    The biggest fad in cycling isn't 650b it's fat bikes. Or as I like to call them fad bikes.

  35. #35
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    I'm not real deep into the industry side of things...I just like riding my bike.

    But, I do listen to some cycling podcast, and on the latest spokesman's roundtable (The Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable Podcast), they talk about this.

    Apparently, the cycling industry is about to get deep into 650b. 650b and 29ers are the way forward, and 26 is getting left behind. I'll have to re-listen, but I think they were talking about frame geometries or something.

    I'm sure some of the smaller builders will keep doing 26, but apparently the big boys are leaving it behind. FWIW...

    but, as I said, I'm just a rider....just passing along what others have said.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here_and_Gone View Post
    Haha...I'm seriously considering getting a 26" cruiser/park DJ bike and converting it to 24"...along with a shorter crank set.

    Yeah, those "old" wheel sizes! LOL!
    ha!

    I've been considering at 24" bmx bike for playing around...until this weekend. I rode a Surly pugsley. I now have a new purchasing target



    I'm a fan of bike fads

  37. #37
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    A lazy market would just design around existing standards.....

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    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.
    You kinda give the answer yourself. People like to blow cash on shiny stuff. You like to give them the opportunity to buy that shiny stuff. Now all you have to do is to guess if enough people think 650b is shiny enough to part with their money and for you to make a shiny profit.

    My personal opinion is that wheel size matters squad, but then again I'm not a "flavor of the month" kinda guy.

    If I was running a business I would tell people to buy a 26'er because you won't feel any difference anyway and with all the hype people stick to 29'ers and 650b's driving prices up, a 26'er will currently give you more value for your money.

  39. #39
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here_and_Gone View Post
    This is a lazy reply.

    You are capable of so much more.

    Is it 'revolutionary?' NO, they basically invented a pill...
    No, it is a retort pared down to the essence of your assertion....

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here_and_Gone View Post
    No, it was/is lazy way of securing more clock parts.

    It's a complete cycle.
    Haha, I figured you were one of us retarts...

  41. #41
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    @ 6bobby9, let me guess. The business you own is not a bike shop.

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    What difference does it make, are you kidding? Our shop is pumped to be buying for ourselves and selling the Rocky Altitude 650b to customers this spring. We see 650b as a shot in the arm of an already healthy mountain bike market. Let the good times roll.

  43. #43
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    It's actually okay for cycling to be growing. Selling bikes and putting more people on bikes is a good thing. If you don't want to buy anything that's okay too.

    If I wasn't excited about mountain bikes I wouldn't bother. People don't work in the cycling industry to get rich.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    The biggest fad in cycling isn't 650b it's fat bikes. Or as I like to call them fad bikes.
    Isn't that the truth! So many of my buddies are lusting after fat bikes. More power to 'em, but they just don't appeal to me. Then again, I avoid snow at all costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Here_and_Gone View Post
    Who gives a crap about what some industry shill is spewing about the latest and greatest in wheel sizes. As others have said, it's not a revolutionary idea or concept. The fact that mountain biking has evolved simply makes them a viable OPTION! It has as much to do with the people behind the scenes than it does all the BS marketing hype. The idea that it will somehow replace existing platforms is ludicrous. It's nothing more that strategic fear mongering in order to sell product.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm glad there are more options. But, we should be careful not to confuse a contemporary wants with traditional needs. My current ride would likely fit the bill for a slight increase in wheel size, but I'll probably wait until more tire options are available...along with wider profile rims. Hopefully, they won't be any heavier. If anything I may just go with a front 27.5, but I certainly won't be buying a brand new bike simply because it's designed around a brand new platform in it's infancy. Most anything can be designed around the existing suspension platforms, anyway. That is where it's at! This whole 27.5 epidemic is quite entertaining on the surface. It speaks to a lazy market! LOL!
    Those people usually have some foresight on what's coming next from their companies, so I think there's some value in listening to what they have to say. I'm not saying anyone should just blindly agree with them or believe what they say, but I wouldn't just write them off completely. They have their finger on the pulse of the sport more than most consumers do. I thought it was an interesting video.

    Isn't fear mongering a little strong here? Isn't selling more product the goal of any business?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here_and_Gone View Post
    Herein lies the rub, donchathink?

    I'll put the video on the cue, just because this has become a somewhat interesting (and civil) discussion.

    Thanks.
    I guess I don't understand what you mean by that.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Here_and_Gone View Post
    Consumers are THE primary stakeholder.

    Not factory racing teams and their sponsors.
    Consumers don't drive innovation, though. Race teams and their sponsors do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    Consumers don't drive innovation, though. Race teams and their sponsors do.
    Yes and no at the same time on both points. Yes, new and proto are somewhat refine by racers/sponsors but once the products come out, consumers vote with their money.

    Remember what shimano did with the XTR 960 series, dual control and no trigger shifter. I'm sure SRAM has the series to thank.

    Many racers love the rapid rise and dc, consumers disagree, in the end consumers win.


    Sent from my iPhone 4s using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post

    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.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/BO-qMkhmK0Q" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Sounds like a bunch of guys who gets paid to talk bikes. You pay me enough and I'll do the same thing.

    Listening to guys who get paid to promote what ever is new isn't the best source of info in my opinion. For me, I could careless what some company man or paid sponsored Pro has to say, it's reading what real mtb enthusiast has to say about a particular part or bike is what counts.

    Anyhow, I wish the 650b success but it's not my cup of tea.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandrenseren View Post


    My personal opinion is that wheel size matters squad, but then again I'm not a "flavor of the month" kinda guy..
    And you don't sound like a well rounded experienced kinda guy either. Either you've ridden all 3 wheels sizes and know the pluses and minuses of and differences between each, or you have not and are talking out of your ass.

    I find it difficult in the extreme to believe that anyone who has ridden all three or even just two out of the three can say with a straight face that wheel size matters squat. You are begging the question how the industry in the last 10 years went from ALL 26'ers to mostly 29'ers. If you think that has to do only with fads and marketing and nothing to do with function then you are in la la land.

    As far as the so called "new" middle size wheel, again you and OP can't knock if you haven't tried it. Your SPECULATION that they are just the flavor of the month has ZERO relevance whether there is a valid performance difference over the other two for a specific rider in specific terrain. The market will decide the question.

    I have been riding mtbs for over 20 years and know from side pull, v, and disc brakes, and tubed vs. tubeless tires, for example. I am a "does it make my ride more fun" kind if guy. So I try the new or different equipment and judge it on its merits. If it is better than what I have now, I take it. If not, I don't. Very simple. I held off trying 29'ers for way too long and seriously regret the wait.

    As to three wheel sizes, having ridden them all, my quiver, so long as my budget allows, will have at least one of each, to be ridden according to what mood and terrain dictate. Such as HT 29'er XC bike, 5" travel 650b trail bike, and 26" fully rigid SS indoor park bike. Those represent a tiny portion of a huge market of possibilities and different bikes for different people and different tasks
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    I would gladly ride a 650...

    ...as well as a 26", a 29'er, 20" BMX, dirt jumper, XC, CX, downhill, all-mountain, hardtail, rigid, 1X 8/9/10, single speed, fat bike, fixed gear, trials, or anything else. Aluminum, steel, carbon, bamboo, titanium, scandium... it doesn't matter.

    I love it all, fad or not.

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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

  52. #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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    Or if he rides a Knolly at Otero....

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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....
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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 03:29 AM.

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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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    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 06:09 AM.

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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.












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  59. #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 12:47 PM.
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  60. #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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  61. #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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    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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    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.

  64. #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 01:14 PM.
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  65. #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

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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!

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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?

  68. #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.
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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.

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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.

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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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    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.

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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

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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.

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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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    It varies by location, but in Michigan, you can hardly sell a 26er anymore. Used, high end builds sit in the Classifieds for peanuts, and still barely move. It has a lot to do with our 'terrain', as most users will benefit from the rolling efficiency of the 29ers and less frequently suffer from the drawbacks. Trails here are mostly devoid of technical challenge, and don't require a high degree of maneuverability.

    There are holdouts. Many in the FR and DH genres. Many more of the type that ride old school, or the budget minded. I fall somewhere in there. For this crowd, the 650 holds more appeal. There are plenty who don't believe in 29er, but are interested in the 650. This is where I see the market. A gradual exodus from 26er to 650b. Dedicated XC riders will stay on 29ers, and 650b will become what the 26er was. Completely replace it? Doubtful. But I'd wager that it's here to stay.

  77. #77
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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.
    Are you serious? If you can't tell the roll over difference between 26" and 29" based on diameter, you clearly haven't ridden a lot and are in a distinct minority. For those if us who have it's obvious and significant. Why do you think 29'ers have gained such a market share? If you say marketing or fad, you are simply wrong. Check out this graphic:

    650b Fad or not?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1355327513.436506.jpg

    There is also a roll over difference between 26" and 27.5", although obviously less distinct than 29". But it's there nonetheless, plus the wheels are stiffer and lighter than 29".

    You have to spend some time riding all the bikes and then you should get an appreciation for the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    Completely replace it? Doubtful. But I'd wager that it's here to stay.
    You can take that to Vegas
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    You know what helps me roll over things better?

    Seat time, riding more, resting, eating well and getting stronger as a rider.

    Whether I ride my 26" or 29'er, rigid or suspension - that is ultimately the single most important factor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    You know what helps me roll over things better?
    . Jr. High Euclidean Geometry proves larger diameter wheel rolls over a given object more efficiently and with less resistance than smaller diameter.

    Can't believe we are posting such 10 year old common knowledge in Dec. 2012

    Seat time, riding more, resting, eating well and getting stronger as a rider. Whether I ride my 26" or 29'er, rigid or suspension - that is ultimately the single most important factor.
    There is no substitute for a strong, skilled experienced pilot - that us a DUH truth that everyone knows. But the machine one rides in specific terrain has a huge if not crucial impact. Also intuitively obvious is the fact that a better pilot will handle the "wrong" bike in the wrong terrain better than a newbie fatty will. But that does not mean that a skilled pilot does not PEFER the right tool for the right job.

    Notice that there are there is many different types of bikes available. - including wheel sizes, frame materials, suspension, geometry, etc etc. There is a reason for that
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    But that does not mean that a skilled pilot does not PEFER the right tool for the right job.
    In the end, your arguments are silly. They are.

    You are assuming that, based on your Microsoft Paint diagrams, that riders should prefer 29'ers over 26'ers due to one - very debatable and benign - aspect of a larger wheel. What about the dozens of other variables the 29'er wheel size presents to the rider, that may or may not hinder their performance?

    Common sense is not so common. Tell the guys that are faster than you on 26" bikes that they're doing it wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    In the end, your arguments are silly. They are.

    You are assuming that, based on your Microsoft Paint diagrams, that riders should prefer 29'ers over 26'ers due to one - very debatable and benign - aspect of a larger wheel. What about the dozens of other variables the 29'er wheel size presents to the rider, that may or may not hinder their performance?

    Common sense is not so common. Tell the guys that are faster than you on 26" bikes that they're doing it wrong.
    Tell the guys on 26ers in front of me that they're not ahead of me, but a full lap behind me and about to get lapped
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZXFT View Post
    Tell the guys on 26ers in front of me that they're not ahead of me, but a full lap behind me and about to get lapped
    YEAH!

    Then tell them, "B!tch... you're there because you're not on a 29'er. No wait... I mean a 650b!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    In the end, your arguments are silly. They are.

    You are assuming that, based on your Microsoft Paint diagrams, that riders should prefer 29'ers over 26'ers due to one - very debatable and benign - aspect of a larger wheel. What about the dozens of other variables the 29'er wheel size presents to the rider, that may or may not hinder their performance?

    Common sense is not so common. Tell the guys that are faster than you on 26" bikes that they're doing it wrong.
    WTF are you talking about? Some guy in this thread claimed not to be able to tell the difference between 26" and 29" wheels which I pointed out was ridiculous. I said nothing about speed, only pointed out the non debatable physical fact that 29" wheels roll over objects better than smaller diameter wheels. This is so obvious and has been discussed to death so many times in these forums it is stupid to be debating it now. Why do you think 29'ers now dominate mtb sales and win more XC races than the other wheel sizes? They roll better and maintain momentum better.

    In this thread we are talking about the 27.5" in between size, which also roll better than 26" but not as well as 29" (Euclidean geometry again). They are not as nimble as 26" but more nimble than 29". Also physical facts relating to size and weight. Some people claim they are just a fad, many without even trying them. Of those who have ridden them, many claim perfect blend between the extremes " best of both"; others have the opposite " worst of both" reaction.

    Bottom line is that they they perform differently and fill a niche, and are here to stay, not a fad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dion View Post
    yeah!

    Then tell them, "b!tch... You're there because you're not on a 29'er. No wait... I mean a 650b!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    WTF are you talking about? Some guy in this thread claimed not to be able to tell the difference between 26" and 29" wheels which I pointed out was ridiculous. I said nothing about speed, only pointed out the non debatable physical fact that 29" wheels roll over objects better than smaller diameter wheels. This is so obvious and has been discussed to death so many times in these forums it is stupid to be debating it now. Why do you think 29'ers now dominate mtb sales and win more XC races than the other wheel sizes? They roll better and maintain momentum better.

    In this thread we are talking about the 27.5" in between size, which also roll better than 26" but not as well as 29" (Euclidean geometry again). They are not as nimble as 26" but more nimble than 29". Also physical facts relating to size and weight. Some people claim they are just a fad, many without even trying them. Of those who have ridden them, many claim perfect blend between the extremes " best of both"; others have the opposite " worst of both" reaction.

    Bottom line is that they they perform differently and fill a niche, and are here to stay, not a fad.
    Well they are heavier, I'll give them that much.
    The biggest problem with your argument, is that its clouded. You can't use an exaggerated example, and emotions as proof of fact. All it does, is prove that if you get the wheels big enough, eventually they will roll over things easier. The reality, is that we don't roll perfectly round tires over obstacles. The tire radius at the contact patch is hardly any different to begin with, and becomes negligable when you consider how much tires deform over obstacles. Yes I have spent a lot of seat time comparing different wheel sizes, and haven't had experiences where the slightly larger diameters have made any effective improvement. My current favorite combo is a 26er wheelset with large volume tires. The wheelset is light, and the tires do an excellent job of conforming to terrain.
    If you love your new bigger, heavier wheels, then I'm happy for you, but there are so many variable involved in riding off road terrain, that the only time you would see any legit difference in obstacle rollover are when the wheel diameters are more than 5" different. I'm not saying you are wrong and I am right, I'm just voicing my opinion, based on my experience.

    The only time I've seen justification for larger wheels is for taller riders. It makes the bike more proportional.

    I would be interested to try a 32" wheeled bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    :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.
    Lol, nope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    Lol, nope.
    Strong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    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.
    Aloha, you bring up some very good points.

    Do we need or really have to have 650b? My answer is no. But then again, why are we out there mountain biking? Do we really need or have to ride? For some, maybe, their jobs depend on it but otherwise it's a outdoor activity that we all can enjoy in different ways.

    Bottom line, maybe a bigger or different wheel might make a difference in physics that would allow us to ride something easier. But then again, there are a lot of different things that marketing people have said does this. In the end, it's all about we (us personally) getting out there and having fun. In the end, we personally have to power this piece of equipment with our own muscles/legs/lungs.......There's no free lunch, there's substitute for conditioning. However, that's OK as we can all have fun no matter how much we're sucking for air trying to get up that next air or down that next section.

    Stepping back a bit, there is some science to say that the bigger wheels help. Rock crawling rigs have found bigger tires can climb up and over obstacles easier. Well, "easier" is a tough one to define because when the rock crawlers needed bigger tires, they had to find bigger, stronger axles and beefier drive lines and more power.....So once again, no free lunch.

    I still go back to the fact that as long as we're out there having fun, that's what it's all about. I started riding back in the mid 80's with full rigid, crappy gears and tires and have had just as much fun as I am having today. The technology just adds to the "I think I can ride that much more".

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    Well they are heavier, I'll give them that much.
    The biggest problem with your argument, is that its clouded. You can't use an exaggerated example, and emotions as proof of fact. All it does, is prove that if you get the wheels big enough, eventually they will roll over things easier. The reality, is that we don't roll perfectly round tires over obstacles.

    The tire radius at the contact patch is hardly any different to begin with, and becomes negligable when you consider how much tires deform over obstacles. Yes I have spent a lot of seat time comparing different wheel sizes, and haven't had experiences where the slightly larger diameters have made any effective improvement. My current favorite combo is a 26er wheelset with large volume tires. The wheelset is light, and the tires do an excellent job of conforming to terrain.

    If you love your new bigger, heavier wheels, then I'm happy for you, but there are so many variable involved in riding off road terrain, that the only time you would see any legit difference in obstacle rollover are when the wheel diameters are more than 5" different. I'm not saying you are wrong and I am right, I'm just voicing my opinion, based on my experience.

    The only time I've seen justification for larger wheels is for taller riders. It makes the bike more proportional.

    I would be interested to try a 32" wheeled bike.
    Like you said there are many variables involved. I do agree about the rollability, this is an advantage of bigger wheel that got exaggerated. Sure 29er roll over stuff better but you'd see the benefit when rolling over small stuffs, not big ones.

    Technical climbs are hit and miss, some yes 29er may be better, but at best it's a washed. Same can be said about descending as well. I still prefer the fun factor my 26er offer, and going to 27.5" it does not reduce the fun factor, so it's a good thing, can't say the same about 29er because many small factor really feel different.

    The most famous misconception of the bigger wheels is how they are equal to the smaller wheels with more travel. I rode my bikes of different travel side by side with my Rip9(4.5") and pretty much it's not the case.

    Big wheels are good at a few things and longer travel bikes are good at a few things, to say that a 4.5" Rip9 is about the same as 6-6.5" travel Nomad or Maverick ML8 is just stupid but that's what many like to believe. Just because some racers replace their XC FS bike for a XC HT29er it does not translate to them being equal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by turbogrover View Post
    Well they are heavier, I'll give them that much.
    The biggest problem with your argument, is that its clouded. You can't use an exaggerated example, and emotions as proof of fact. All it does, is prove that if you get the wheels big enough, eventually they will roll over things easier. The reality, is that we don't roll perfectly round tires over obstacles. The tire radius at the contact patch is hardly any different to begin with, and becomes negligable when you consider how much tires deform over obstacles. Yes I have spent a lot of seat time comparing different wheel sizes, and haven't had experiences where the slightly larger diameters have made any effective improvement. My current favorite combo is a 26er wheelset with large volume tires. The wheelset is light, and the tires do an excellent job of conforming to terrain.
    If you love your new bigger, heavier wheels, then I'm happy for you, but there are so many variable involved in riding off road terrain, that the only time you would see any legit difference in obstacle rollover are when the wheel diameters are more than 5" different. I'm not saying you are wrong and I am right, I'm just voicing my opinion, based on my experience.
    Note to self: do not post stuff in the General Forum that folks who read the 29'er and 650b Forums take for granted, and others do not. You will dig a hole.

    The only time I've seen justification for larger wheels is for taller riders. It makes the bike more proportional.

    I would be interested to try a 32" wheeled bike.
    Reading these two sentences together, there are only two valid conclusions:

    1) you are one tall motherf***er; or

    2)
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Like you said there are many variables involved. I do agree about the rollability, this is an advantage of bigger wheel that got exaggerated. Sure 29er roll over stuff better but you'd see the benefit when rolling over small stuffs, not big ones.

    Technical climbs are hit and miss, some yes 29er may be better, but at best it's a washed. Same can be said about descending as well. I still prefer the fun factor my 26er offer, and going to 27.5" it does not reduce the fun factor, so it's a good thing, can't say the same about 29er because many small factor really feel different.

    The most famous misconception of the bigger wheels is how they are equal to the smaller wheels with more travel. I rode my bikes of different travel side by side with my Rip9(4.5") and pretty much it's not the case.

    Big wheels are good at a few things and longer travel bikes are good at a few things, to say that a 4.5" Rip9 is about the same as 6-6.5" travel Nomad or Maverick ML8 is just stupid but that's what many like to believe. Just because some racers replace their XC FS bike for a XC HT29er it does not translate to them being equal.
    One of the big pro 27.5" wheel arguments is that they will fit frames with 5-6" of travel without geometry and excessive height compromises that would occur using 29" wheels with that much travel. Hence you can have a bike with the same travel as a 26'er, with a bit better better roll, but slightly higher weight and a small handling compromise.

    Look for Enduro racers on 27.5" AM bikes with 5" or 6" travel in 2013. Also Logan Biggneli (3rd Place Red Bull Rampage) racing a KHS 650b DH. Also rumors that Aaron Gwin will be on 27.5" as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
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    Takes one to know one, eh? Mr 12PostsInThisThread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewto View Post
    takes one to know one, eh? Mr 12postsinthisthread. :d
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    One of the big pro 27.5" wheel arguments is that they will fit frames with 5-6" of travel without geometry and excessive height compromises that would occur using 29" wheels with that much travel. Hence you can have a bike with the same travel as a 26'er, with a bit better better roll, but slightly higher weight and a small handling compromise.

    .
    That's spot on with my experience. My Ibis still have the corner-like-it's-on-rail trait but more pedaling clearance. I only wish that Tioga makes the psycho genius or better yet the venture in 650b.



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    Snowboarding was just a fad. Alta skiers think it still is.

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    I don't think 650b is a fad. If all the bike companies start making bikes in that wheel size, we just won't have any choice but to adopt that wheel size.
    I consider 650b as legit as 10 or 11 speed rear cassettes as far as performance.

    Do I need it? No. Will it make me any faster or slower? No. Will I have any choice in the near future? No. A fad is flourescent paint and accessories.

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    Both my brother in law & myself have 26er's & 29er's, both never get ridden since we switched over to 650B over a year ago.
    We both went on & won our NorCal XC championships classes this season on 650b's.
    I had to add in 650's to my 2010 26 Spark, this turned it into a XC monster!
    It's much faster then the new 26 or 29er Sparks (ridden both).
    So Please save the BS about how great your wheel size is compared to the 27.5's,
    Scott won both the World XC championships & World Cup XC on 650b's, a "Size They Did NOT Even Sell!!" Because it Tested better then both 26 or 29 (Sizes they Sold), when run side by side with exactly the same setup!

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    Heeeey I hope not, Didn't get one yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6bobby9 View Post
    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.
    I think I heard all this before in regards to 29ers

    Having both a 26er and 29er for years, the appeal of an in-between size is just obvious to me.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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