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Thread: Ibis and 650B?

  1. #1
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    Ibis and 650B?

    So I hate to say it but its apparent that 26" is on its way out. In the next few years if you want the latest technology you will not be buying a 26" bike. I'm not a fan of the bigger wheels but this is the truth unfortunately.

    So saying that, has Ibis missed the 650B train this year? Or are they possibly taking cues from the SL-R and then the Ripley Releases and keeping tight mouth until the new bike is ready to ship if there is one? I know the HD is 650B convertible but thats not nearly the same as a 650 specific bike.

    I'm not looking forward to having to deal with the bigger wheel size but bikes like the new Santa Cruz Bronson have started to sway my feelings on it. That is a bad machine. I still love my HD and ever since owning it since late 2010 I have not had other bike envy, but I'm hoping Ibis gives me a reason to start saving my pennies for something new. And if you guys do, please make it 36MM stanchion compatible
    Last edited by Yody; 04-28-2013 at 09:58 AM.

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    The SC Bronson is a big deal--two guys from the shop I bought my SL-R from both went down to Santa Cruz and rode the Bronson around a couple of weekends back. One has a Mojo HD, the other an SC Nomad. They both ordered up new Bronsons.

    I re-watched the Ripley video interviewing Hans and Colin about the Ripley, and I think that the fact that they had originally spec'ed the Ripley as a 26" bike for small and medium and a 29" bike for large and extra-large might be a clue to a 650b version of it being fairly easy to accommodate. However, that probably won't make an enduro-style bike. A response to the Bronson would probably come from the Mojo HD side then. How much would it take to actually make the HD a real 650b bike? A slightly modified rear triangle (and one for the SL-R too?) for more clearance and dropping the BB a bit. The problem I see them having is that this option would slack out the HA a bit and Ibis seems resistant to doing that in general. I don't know how they could do that w/o redoing the mainframe to lower the head tube or by limiting the fork to 160mm.

    Hmmm.

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    I'm no expert but I'd assume they would need a whole new bike. People are already converting normal HD's. A specific 650b bike with new technologies would be where its at. I know the molds cost a lot of money, a lot of R+D, and they just released the Ripley finally. But Ibis seems like a successful business. I'm sure there is a way to justify the costs and make money after its all said n done. If the market truly is switching to 27.5" on everything and no longer updating anything 26" (which is what i've been told by more than one) a new HD is inevitable. Its just a matter of when and what

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    Good news Yody. I was driving thru the alley of my LBS and saw a Ibis mule being loaded into Brians van. It had 27's, a coil over and a duel crown. If that can be tested under Lopes and brought to the public soon, I will buy one!!! I miss my DW bikes and an all mountain 27 to use at Snow Summit would be killer.
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    Dual crown??

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    Yeah sorry mi inglish es nu tu gud!
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    New triangle and aheadset to gain back a degree or two and that would work well in my book

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    No i meant the bike had a dual crown dh fork on it? Was it a dh bike? Wasnt tryin to correct ur spelling. Lol

  9. #9
    MountainGoat aka OldGoat
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    I know Yody. We're good. Yes it looked ready for DH use. Again I only got a quick look and it was being loaded into a van. But the good news is that Ibis is testing a 27!!!!
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    If 650b is really promising or maybe all marketing hyp. do you think all 26er bikers will just ditch their bikes and get a new one? I mean bikes are not like shoes that you can just change whenever you want unless money is not an issue for you... and besides is 1.5 difference big of a change?

  11. #11
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    Sorry to say it but thats the stupiest statement yet! i thought Ibiesians were more intelligent than this!

    Yes 29ers are selling more @ the LBS, big wheels for basically muppet riders, yes theyre are still good 29er riders, but majority of bike purchases whether you like it or not dont spend 10k on a bike, 3k is allot for at least 80% of the mtb market.

    27.5/650b is the next big thing and people esspecially in the US will buy them, honestly look at the trails most of those people ride! Not that they're aren't great trails in the US but majority might as well be riding roads.

    26er will become niche but not lost or outdated for a number of reasons.

    GEO is pretty dialled on 26ers, its taken years! 29ers and 27,5 have growing pains yet!

    Allot of manafactures have allot invested, forks shocks, frames wheels tires.

    26 will still dominate at minimum the 160-200mm arena!
    Maybe even 140-150mm theyre will be options.
    The wheels are stronger

    26ers generate speed over all terrain better by better riders.

    Theyre will be areas in racing where 26ers Enduro and DH esspecially will always have an advantage esspecially for riders that have good skill levels, racers what am I saying course they can ride hello.

    15mm axles dd not get rid of 9mm axles, carbon has not got rid of Alloy as Alloy did not get rid of Steel frames.

    Bike manafactures as I see it will become more and more Specialised esspecially big guys like Giant.

    Up to 120 / 130 - 29er
    130 /-150 - 27.5
    150 / 200 90% atleast will still be 26er

    Some like KHS will look to differeniate themselves in the market by going full 650b but this will be the exception not the norm the market is too small to lock into one wheel option.

    Basically big wheels help beginners, bigger riders, poor riders ride easier, the beginner rider is not developing skills fundamental in mtb for intermeadiate to advanced, some will but they are the few, I see it more and more every day people lacking fundamental skills like pumping a trail, good line choices, using ground features for grip or speed. I constantly here roll over speed especially here on forums that spells to me lack of skill to use terrain.

    This not just because of big wheels this phenonem started with dual suspenion but has accelerated with big wheels. Its a dumbing down syndrome so common in modern society and mtb is also consumed with it.

    I find these threads discussions just totally useless basically because people should just ride what they enjoy and stop dicking around because they have a self confindence issue about what wheel size they ride, mountain biking will be better for it and so would your riding!

    I remember when the same was said of the 2 stroke, it would die and be consigned to the history books, Honda, Yamaha, Kawa! Suzuki used to dominate this market, they went all in on the four strokes, KTM is the biggest dirt bike manufacturer in the world, why, they sell more 2 strokes than they do four strokes all because the big four Japanese manufactures ignored the key market, not just racers buy bikes. Funny now some like Yamaha while not developing them still sell brand new 2007 models and they still stand up suspension wise on those bikes on the 2stroke is still one of the best, KTM have reportedly got direction injection dialled but not to market yet, only 20 years behind outboard motors but hey!

    But 26ers are here to stay like it or not, and perish at your lack of vision if you give someone else that opportunity. Chromag 26ers in hardtails are some of the most desired bikes around just another example!

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    Here's the rub about the 650B:

    At the amateur rider level they are going to be a very hard sell.
    Want a bike that is like your 26" but heavier?
    Want a bike that will improve your ability to descend thru chunk, but not as well as a 29" can?

    It seems that they are a great way to sell a bike. In the 150mm range.

    As for the Bronson, well Santa Cruz has a long history of making good bikes. Why would this one be any different?

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    Wow, Maverick, that's quite a manifesto.

    While I agree with you that a lot of people spend way too much time and money agonizing over equipment choices instead of just getting on their bike and building some skills, it's pretty ironic that you're laying that rant on Yody who is clearly not a wheel size fashionista, rather is getting dragged reluctantly into the big wheel era. And while I've never ridden with Yody, I'm willing to bet $100 based on all the discussions we've both joined in, pictures he's posted, and advice that I've heard him give, that he is NOT one of these hacks that needs to shut his computer off and go learn some basic skills.
    So, dual suspension is bad because it makes riding a given trail easier? Big wheels are bad because it makes harder terrain more accessible to beginners? So what innovation is acceptable? I've been around long enough to remember grey haired dudes in wool knickers bashing on index shifting because young riders wouldn't have to learn proper shifting technique. If I follow that argument to it's logical conclusion, then all innovation is bad. I guess the French guy that made the first bone shaker in the mid 1800's with wood & iron wagon wheels and no pedals or drivetrain had it right and we should all stop being a bunch of whiny pnssies wanting gears, and pedals, and pneumatic tires, and seats with padding.
    I ride 26 & 650b. I've ridden a bunch of nice 29ers but I don't own one. My friend at the LBS tells me 29ers are 90% of their mtb sales now. Many of our local trails are uninterrupted crumbling limestone cluster focks. (which I love, btw!) When you're grinding up a long steep section of that stuff, skill and fitness still make the biggest difference, but big wheels help too. And if big wheels help new riders get into what can be an intimidating and even dangerous sport, that's great as far as I'm concerned. I've known a lot of people over the years (my wife included) who were turned off to mtb before they every really got started, because the terrain was too difficult for the bikes of the day unless you were willing to make it practically a life calling (I was), and pay the blood-n-skin tax on a regular basis (I did). A beginners is a beginner, regardless of wheel size, and a beginner on a high dollar big wheel fullsusser will still learn those skills if he keeps riding enough... that's the key, just keep riding and you'll gain skill regardless.
    I grimace too sometimes when I see an obviously rookie rider on a big dollar bike, and I think "man, what a punk....doesn't know how easy he's got it." But then I follow my own advice ( and yours ) and just shut up and ride the awesome bike I already have...no hate. Trying to force the technology that was state of the art when you started riding on new riders today is a bogus proposition...that's not the way our world works.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    Wow, Maverick, that's quite a manifesto.

    While I agree with you that a lot of people spend way too much time and money agonizing over equipment choices instead of just getting on their bike and building some skills, it's pretty ironic that you're laying that rant on Yody who is clearly not a wheel size fashionista, rather is getting dragged reluctantly into the big wheel era. And while I've never ridden with Yody, I'm willing to bet $100 based on all the discussions we've both joined in, pictures he's posted, and advice that I've heard him give, that he is NOT one of these hacks that needs to shut his computer off and go learn some basic skills.
    So, dual suspension is bad because it makes riding a given trail easier? Big wheels are bad because it makes harder terrain more accessible to beginners? So what innovation is acceptable? I've been around long enough to remember grey haired dudes in wool knickers bashing on index shifting because young riders wouldn't have to learn proper shifting technique. If I follow that argument to it's logical conclusion, then all innovation is bad. I guess the French guy that made the first bone shaker in the mid 1800's with wood & iron wagon wheels and no pedals or drivetrain had it right and we should all stop being a bunch of whiny pnssies wanting gears, and pedals, and pneumatic tires, and seats with padding.
    I ride 26 & 650b. I've ridden a bunch of nice 29ers but I don't own one. My friend at the LBS tells me 29ers are 90% of their mtb sales now. Many of our local trails are uninterrupted crumbling limestone cluster focks. (which I love, btw!) When you're grinding up a long steep section of that stuff, skill and fitness still make the biggest difference, but big wheels help too. And if big wheels help new riders get into what can be an intimidating and even dangerous sport, that's great as far as I'm concerned. I've known a lot of people over the years (my wife included) who were turned off to mtb before they every really got started, because the terrain was too difficult for the bikes of the day unless you were willing to make it practically a life calling (I was), and pay the blood-n-skin tax on a regular basis (I did). A beginners is a beginner, regardless of wheel size, and a beginner on a high dollar big wheel fullsusser will still learn those skills if he keeps riding enough... that's the key, just keep riding and you'll gain skill regardless.
    I grimace too sometimes when I see an obviously rookie rider on a big dollar bike, and I think "man, what a punk....doesn't know how easy he's got it." But then I follow my own advice ( and yours ) and just shut up and ride the awesome bike I already have...no hate. Trying to force the technology that was state of the art when you started riding on new riders today is a bogus proposition...that's not the way our world works.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick005 View Post
    Sorry to say it but thats the stupiest statement yet! i thought Ibiesians were more intelligent than this!
    When calling others out for their stupidity, it's generally a good idea to avoid incoherent ramblings riddled with spelling & grammatical errors.

    I like 650B. I like 26". I like pumping terrain, but pumping terrain is hard, hard work. Big wheels make pumping less important to carry equivalent speed, leaving more gas in the tank, allowing for longer rides, and therefore more time riding. Win. Nothing to do with skill or experience whatsoever. These are different tools for different jobs.

    To respond to Yody's original post, I think 650B for Ibis is a no-brainer. As I've argued in other threads, the tweener wheel size really plays to the dw-link's strengths, and Ibis' version of it in particular. In addition, the HD could be timed well for an update, to incorporate everything Ibis must have learned with the SL-R and Ripley for layup, etc. With the 27.5 market in 2013-2014, the industry focus with tires, forks, and other manufacturers seems to be capable trail/AM bikes in the 150-160mm range. So both of those factors point to the HD being the obvious place to incorporate 27.5. Where the dilemma is -- and I don't envy Ibis this decision at all -- is whether to update the existing HD (new layup, tweaked rear triangle, which is so, so close already) or go with an entirely new platform, perhaps based on the 2xc design. Personally I'd be stoked on either, but given the HD's current status as industry-leader in terms of versatility, I'd go with the update. With one rear mold covering all frame sizes, you can address the entire 26 & 27.5" AM market. Offer it as an option, exactly the same idea as the 140/160 limbo chip choice. This would mean getting it to market much, much faster than a completely new frame, and presumably require far less investment. In either case, it'd give the Bronson a real run for its money. 140 or 160. 26 or 27.5. No compromises, no concessions, no drama, no manifesto, no obsolescence.
    Last edited by budgie; 04-29-2013 at 12:33 PM.
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    Ive been told fox is no longer going to put any new technology into any of their 26" forks....

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    Ibis and 650B?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Ive been told fox is no longer going to put any new technology into any of their 26" forks....
    I don't believe this for a second. First off, 26" is not dead and never will be. There are still a ton of 26" bikes sold and will continue to be sold. Second, a damper is a damper and doesn't matter what wheel size it is made for. If they make some new damper or super blingy diamond Kashima butter coating they will put it on every wheel size fork they make. And if I'm wrong...fox forks blow anyways and people may start realizing that there are better options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    I guess my even-longer manifesto left nothing for you to say....

    Did I just jip myself out of witnessing another Yody tongue lashing? bummer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Ive been told fox is no longer going to put any new technology into any of their 26" forks....
    I don't like it, but I believe it, WTB also said no new 26" tread patterns....only 27.5 and 29.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Ive been told fox is no longer going to put any new technology into any of their 26" forks....
    I have read this quote elsewhere.
    I asked for a source there and am still waiting.

    I won't believe this until I see Fox actually say this.

    Secondly, Fox is not impressing me right now.

    I saw there new FloAt X shock, you can not adjust the rebound without a tool.

    Their new CTD has been reviewed so harshly that they issued a new updated version on the compression damper less than a year after release.

    And they discontinued my favorite fork ever right before I bought my bike: Vanilla 36,160mm

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    I guess my even-longer manifesto left nothing for you to say....

    Did I just jip myself out of witnessing another Yody tongue lashing? bummer
    LOL! I dunno I didn't quite understand that dudes long winded rant to be honest. Sounded kinda angry with no direction, really didn't push any buttons. And thanks for the comments, appreciate it! I'm always learning new things and always trying to pass along knowledge to others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    I have read this quote elsewhere.
    I asked for a source there and am still waiting.

    I won't believe this until I see Fox actually say this.

    Secondly, Fox is not impressing me right now.

    I saw there new FloAt X shock, you can not adjust the rebound without a tool.

    Their new CTD has been reviewed so harshly that they issued a new updated version on the compression damper less than a year after release.

    And they discontinued my favorite fork ever right before I bought my bike: Vanilla 36,160mm
    Just hearsay, someone who I trust told me that, but who knows if its true. Wouldn't be surprised.

    I like Fox products, so what if FloatX needs a tool, The DBair does and I don't see people bashing that. I mean tooless is way better but I'm not going to overlook a good shock just based on that. I like Rockshox as well, both make good stuff.

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    Back on topic.....yes, I think we'll see something 650b from Ibis this year, and the HD is the likely guess.

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    Hmm nobody from Ibis Chiming in. That must mean something, but what it means? Who knows, lol

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    I imagine Hans might be looking to preserve a bit of sanity at the office. If they even allude to a 650B frame I can only imagine how his inbox would look. I really wonder how many Ripley emails those guys received in the past two years alone. A lot of people were calling for the "Apple" product development model where it's announced when it's ready so I don't expect anything soon.

    My best guess would be any news would be released at just before dealer camp in July. I expect the Tranny 29 to be the next model announced (a few threads have pointed out a mystery T9 model on Ibis boxes). With Fox and Rockshox jumping on board with 650B last year I'm wondering if it might be a year early in the Ibis development cycle. Should be interesting to see what shakes out.

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    Look, there already is an Ibis 27.5er: Sea Otter Quick Test: 27.5ers from Focus, Santa Cruz and Ibis Conversion | Mountain Bike Review | Page 3

    Funny that the reviewer likes the Ibis better than the purpose-built 27.5ers.

    Everyone seems to love or hate the new wheel sizes. I personally like more choices than fewer, but it sure does complicate decision-making.

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    I'm riding a SC Nomad with the biggest tires I can fit into the frame/fork. I'm not in a rush to dump my bike, but it's 5yrs old so in the next couple years I'll get a new bike and it's going to be 650B.

    Having ridden various sizes of 26er tires and owning a couple 29ers I'm sold on bigger wheels for our local rocky/rooty terrain. I think 650B will be a great compromise between handling, roll over and wheelbase.

    I'm hoping Ibis, SC and Knolly come out with 160mm travel FS 650B bikes by then so I have a few options to pick from.

    I don't see any reason to dump a 26er you love, but at the same time if you are in the market for a new bike and plan to keep your bike a while I'd hesitate to buy a 26er until the 650B options shake out and you can see what's what.
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    Build the 650b Ibis, I will buy it. I promise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Ive been told fox is no longer going to put any new technology into any of their 26" forks....
    Hey Yody, i texted my girl"friend" at Fox and she said that's not at all true as far as she knows. its a big company and what the big wigs say won't trickle down to her area that fast. She said all their technology comes from the 26 and trickles down, but they are putting out some 27.5 out first in some production models. But she said that didnt mean anything as far as what sizes are being favorited. The 26 is by far their best seller especially in the lower grade models.
    Last edited by mazspeed; 05-02-2013 at 02:33 AM.

  30. #30
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    When calling others out for their stupidity, it's generally a good idea to avoid incoherent ramblings riddled with spelling & grammatical errors.

    I like 650B. I like 26". I like pumping terrain, but pumping terrain is hard, hard work. Big wheels make pumping less important to carry equivalent speed, leaving more gas in the tank, allowing for longer rides, and therefore more time riding.


    Sorry to be picky, but are you suggesting the only limit to our riding experience is our lack of ability to keep riding and 26 wheels contribute to that? And a bigger wheel will extend our riding time and joy, rather than making us run out of trail faster, becoming disappointed and disheartened by the local riding experience? All due to the enhanced magnificence of having a larger......rim?

    In fact, are you suggesting that MTB has been limited by the failure to produce bigger wheels and that Ibis is contributing to this failure to provide satisfaction and enjoyment to it's customers and that Ibis does not love us?

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    Wow. Not at all what i was saying; not even close. (????) I'm just responding to mav's post above where he/she seems to suggest that experienced riders ride 26" (b/c of the ability to pump), and 27.5 & 29 are designed for newbs (b/c of their ability to smooth out difficult terrain). I was just pointing out that there are other reasons to choose larger wheel sizes -- like on long & technical rides where pumping for hours on end is just impractical for mere mortals -- that have nothing to do with skill or experience. As I said, these are different tools for different jobs, not universal truths of one size being inherently superior.

    I have two wheelsets for my HD, one 26", one 27.5". For rides longer than 2 hours, I almost always go with the 27.5". Nice to have the option.

    Something about the new MTBR format makes it hard to see who is responding to what context. Read Mav's post above & I think you'll get where I'm coming from.
    Last edited by budgie; 05-02-2013 at 07:02 AM.
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    FWIW, here's where I'm heading.
    For better or worse, I think it's pretty clear 650B is the future for 140-160mm trail bikes, which I ride.
    I'd be very happy riding 26 inch wheels for the rest of my days, but ultimately I think they will fade away, and we'll be left with 650B and 29.
    I'm currently on a Yeti ASR 5C and want to get a new frame.
    I've looked at the HD, Nomad C, SB 66C, and Mach 5.7C.
    To be honest, the HD would be my first choice anyway, but the ability to convert it to a 650B (and a pretty decent one from what I've read) makes it the slam-dunk winner.
    So in the next few weeks I'll be picking up an HD frame and swapping over my components.
    Then, in a year or two, or whenever, when the 650B revolution is well underway and I want to convert my bike, I only need a new fork and wheelset.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon123 View Post
    Then, in a year or two, or whenever, when the 650B revolution is well underway and I want to convert my bike, I only need a new fork and wheelset.
    Sounds like a plan....but a year or two? more like a month or two, or week or two. But hey, it's easy for me to spend your money, right? haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon123 View Post
    Then, in a year or two, or whenever, when the 650B revolution is well underway and I want to convert my bike, I only need a new fork and wheelset.
    I would highly recommend the X-Fusion Vengeance for your HD build - awesome fork and you'd be future-proofing yourself because it can take meaty 650b tires no problem. I've lowered mine to 150mm travel (actual measured is 155) and it matches well with my shimmed Vector Air shock for a very balanced ride. HA is 67, BB ~14" with 2.35 Nevegals front & back. Love this thing.
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    Good job! Nice setup, please post pics!

    Quote Originally Posted by tdotrider View Post
    I've lowered mine to 150mm travel (actual measured is 155) and it matches well with my shimmed Vector Air shock for a very balanced ride. HA is 67, BB ~14" with 2.35 Nevegals front & back.
    That sounds like a pretty dialed setup. Can you please post pics of the Nevegal tire clearance at the stays? That's my biggest concern about going 650b on my HD. If I lived in a really dry climate I wouldn't care as much, but in OR we ride in muck some of the year.

    I'm still in the early, early HD 650b planning phase like jon123, though I'm in no rush right now as my HD is riding better then any bike I've ever owned. Whenever I think about making major updates I remind myself that I'm a jackass for thinking about messing with what's essentially a Perfect Bike.

    "Need" vs "Want". First world problems.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja55 View Post
    Can you please post pics of the Nevegal tire clearance at the stays?
    Here you go - ideally I'd like a bit more clearance but 2.35 Nevs are enough rear tire for me and I don't ride much in mud. For the sake of comparison I put my spare 26" wheelset back into the bike for a trail ride last week (same loop I rode the previous week with 650b). The only advantages I could feel with the smaller wheels was that it was a bit easier to accelerate on steep punchy climbs, and it was a little easier to throw the bike around - JUST a little. Going back to 650b, I can feel better traction, increased stability at speed, better rollover of small chop and that they carry momentum better. For me, the 650b setup offers a better all-around ride. If I came from a BMX or DH background I might prefer the slightly more flickable feel of the bike with 26" wheels but for my riding (aggressive XC with some AM days, lots of tight rocky/rooty trails) i'm sticking with the tweener wheels.Ibis and 650B?-hd_650b_1.jpgIbis and 650B?-hd_650b_2.jpg
    ride, eat, sleep, repeat

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdotrider View Post
    Here you go - ideally I'd like a bit more clearance but 2.35 Nevs are enough rear tire for me and I don't ride much in mud. ATTACH=CONFIG]795559[/ATTACH]Click image for larger version. 

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    Any idea how that would compare to the Schwalbe Hans Dampf 27.5?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Hey Yody, i texted my girl"friend" at Fox and she said that's not at all true as far as she knows. its a big company and what the big wigs say won't trickle down to her area that fast. She said all their technology comes from the 26 and trickles down, but they are putting out some 27.5 out first in some production models. But she said that didnt mean anything as far as what sizes are being favorited. The 26 is by far their best seller especially in the lower grade models.
    Interesting. Time will tell I suppose

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    Quote Originally Posted by jon123 View Post
    Any idea how that would compare to the Schwalbe Hans Dampf 27.5?
    The Hans Dampf is substantially bigger than the Nevegal, I read a review of the 2.35 Nobby Nics in 27.5 form and the reviewer BARELY fit the tire into the rear triangle of a Mojo HD...
    ride, eat, sleep, repeat

  40. #40
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    The post was tongue in cheek - a joke. To me the concept of pumping all day means tires with tubes, not riding a 26er.

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    We have some 2.4 Vee rubber tyres here that won't fit=touching the frame when installed, leaving the HD not the greatest sled for converting, especially if you want to run big tyres.

    Ibis would do great with a dedicated 650 either HD or rear, or replaceable dropouts on their HD rear ends
    Defcon Cycles - Brisbane Australia

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    Last evening my friend and I took out a carbon Bronson XT build demo for the evening. The bike had the stock SC Fox 34 CTD fork and float CTD shock "velocity tune". I brought along my 2012 HD 160 with a 2.35 Hans Dampf up front and a 2.25 Nobby Nic in back, stock ibis float CTD shock and 34 CTD fork. We set up same sag, tire pressure and approximate rebound. One difference, the Bronson had alu WTB wheels and the HD has carbon Havens. I have never ridden a big wheeled bike before. We were both surprised how different the two bikes were. After riding and reriding the same rocky trail we came to the same conclusions:
    -The HD climbed steep hills easily and felt lively, the Bronson felt slow and sluggish with definite bob.
    -On choppy downhill the Bronson felt plush compared to the HD.
    -Up or down, the HD allowed us to fine tune our line, while the Bronson was less responsive, but it didnt seem to matter - you just role through it.
    -Bronson- less need to pay attention on fast flowing downhill narrow single track.
    -HD much more lively on twisty downhill.
    I can definitely see why a less experienced rider would gravitate to bigger wheels. When pushing my limits on a given section of technical terrain, the Bronson felt "safer".

    In conclusion, when riding my usual trails where I know the features, I would pick my HD hands down. New ride on technical terrain, I would lean to the Bronson.

    So one conclusion and one question for you guys:
    - Bigger wheels on Bronson mellows the technical terrain. This can be good or bad.
    - Why is the ride on the Bronson so much more plush? It seems this is more of a suspension/tune issue as well as wheel difference. What are the differences between the "Velocity tune" and the "Boost tune"? I would like to get a little of that plushness!
    Last edited by Geeze6700; 05-03-2013 at 10:30 PM.

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    I tend to agree with the OP, and thought the same after seeing the new slew of 650b bikes coming out. After 3 years, most things in the bike world get a major update. I would be surprised, if we don't see a dedicated 650b option for the HD next year. Having not invested in an expensive pair of carbon wheels, I don't feel too bad experimenting with a new wheel size. Having the option to swap out the rear triangle, would be a nice transition move.

    Thanks for posting the Bronson comparison Geeze6700.

  44. #44
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    Ibis and 650B?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geeze6700 View Post
    - Why is the ride on the Bronson so much more plush? It seems this is more of a suspension/tune issue as well as wheel difference. What are the differences between the "Velocity tune" and the "Boost tune"? I would like to get a little of that plushness!
    It's amazing how much the tune of a shock can change the way a bike rides.

    I LOVED my HD 160 but found the original tune on the stock RP23 was a bit dead, not quite as plush as I wanted but not really that lively either, but it was OK. Getting it PUSH'ed turned the bike from one that I loved to what has to stand as my all-time favorite bike.

    I do think its easier to get the more plush feel with generic tunes on VPP rear suss. I rode a Nomad for years and it was stupid plush without my touching a damn thing.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by benja55 View Post
    I do think its easier to get the more plush feel with generic tunes on VPP rear suss. I rode a Nomad for years and it was stupid plush without my touching a damn thing.
    +1 - I actually got a custom tune from Avalanche for my Nomad to firm up the mid-stroke of my rear shock for better climbing.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeze6700 View Post
    Last evening my friend and I took out a carbon Bronson XT build demo for the evening. The bike had the stock SC Fox 34 CTD fork and float CTD shock "velocity tune". I brought along my 2012 HD 160 with a 2.35 Hans Dampf up front and a 2.25 Nobby Nic in back, stock ibis float CTD shock and 34 CTD fork. We set up same sag, tire pressure and approximate rebound. One difference, the Bronson had alu WTB wheels and the HD has carbon Havens. I have never ridden a big wheeled bike before. We were both surprised how different the two bikes were. After riding and reriding the same rocky trail we came to the same conclusions:
    -The HD climbed steep hills easily and felt lively, the Bronson felt slow and sluggish with definite bob.
    -On choppy downhill the Bronson felt plush compared to the HD.
    -Up or down, the HD allowed us to fine tune our line, while the Bronson was less responsive, but it didnt seem to matter - you just role through it.
    -Bronson- less need to pay attention on fast flowing downhill narrow single track.
    -HD much more lively on twisty downhill.
    I can definitely see why a less experienced rider would gravitate to bigger wheels. When pushing my limits on a given section of technical terrain, the Bronson felt "safer".

    In conclusion, when riding my usual trails where I know the features, I would pick my HD hands down. New ride on technical terrain, I would lean to the Bronson.

    So one conclusion and one question for you guys:
    - Bigger wheels on Bronson mellows the technical terrain. This can be good or bad.
    - Why is the ride on the Bronson so much more plush? It seems this is more of a suspension/tune issue as well as wheel difference. What are the differences between the "Velocity tune" and the "Boost tune"? I would like to get a little of that plushness!
    The Bronson is more plush out of the box, but a Push tune will blow your mind. The new Fox piggyback is a similar setup to the RS Monarch Plus (dual circuit damping and three position compression setup) and I sure that Push will have a tune for that very soon. When I changed from the RP23 to the Monarch Plus it was like I bought a new bike.

  47. #47
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    I don't see why the bike industry can't offer all 3. That said, 650b is lost on me. I'm 6-1 and the difference between 26 and 650b is why bother? Whereas 29 does feel like a different bike, for different applications. Most of the 650b riders I've talked to are in the 5-8 to 5-10 range and love their bikes. And what they say is they tried 29 and it just felt too big. So there's the key...
    All bike, all the time

  48. #48
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    As for the Bronson, well Santa Cruz has a long history of making good bikes. Why would this one be any different?
    I agree with everything you say if you delete the words "long" and "good."

    Maybe it's just me but VPP just doesn't feel right and SC cockpit doesn't fit. To each his own, I'll stick with Ibis and Pivot...
    All bike, all the time

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeIntelligencer View Post
    I agree with everything you say if you delete the words "long" and "good."

    Maybe it's just me but VPP just doesn't feel right and SC cockpit doesn't fit. To each his own, I'll stick with Ibis and Pivot...
    Santa Cruz does make good bikes. This is not in debate. What is, is the vpp design. It does some things well, and does some things poorly. The DW is a better design. It does everything very well and can be tuned even further. If you want your HD to be plush, you can, if you like it more direct you can do that too something you can't do as well on vpp. I have not ridden the Bronson as of yet, so I cannot give my 2 cents, but from what I understand is that it rides like a vpp bike which i dislike immensely. To people that like it, the bike looks really nice and should do just fine. Personally i wont give up my HD.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeIntelligencer View Post
    I agree with everything you say if you delete the words "long" and "good."

    Maybe it's just me but VPP just doesn't feel right and SC cockpit doesn't fit. To each his own, I'll stick with Ibis and Pivot...
    So first things first: I ride an HD that I chose over the Nomad Carbon.

    However I have demo'd a couple of their Bikes and they performed really well.
    The reason I did not buy them is because they never really seemed to flow with the way I ride. They did everything well, but never felt quite right.

    They are still a good company making good bikes. From the Blur , to the Nomad, to the TallBoy, they have a clear history of making quality bikes.

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