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  1. #1
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    Durance 69er or 650b

    Longer time lurker, first time poster.

    So I am considering jazzing up my durance by adding a larger wheel up front... I originally got on the 29er wagon when they first came out and I liked them for some trials, but for tight switchbacks I found the bikes to be too cumbersome in the sense it felt like I was driving a boat so I reverted back to 26 inch wheels. However, recently I tried out the new 29ers and I noticed a massive improvement over the first edition 29ers. As a result, I thought it would be fun to bring the benefits of a larger wheel to my Durance. I know this will reduce overall travel, but my main concern is with altering the geometry of the frame and as a consequence the overall feel of the ride. I searched the forum and found some anecdotal post about improved ride quality with a 69er etc… but if anyone with experience could provide me with a comparison between a 69er, 650b wheel up front and a run of the mill 26er that would be great and much appreciated.

    Thanks,
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  2. #2
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    seen this?

    personally, i would rate the 650b conversion or alternatively a flatter steering angle as probably two of the most important mods for the durance - that and a tricked out rear damper so that it is not quite so obstinate when you start leaving the saddle in rough terrain ...

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    Long time heckler, will continue to be.

    I am rebuilding a ML7.5 (aka Matic) with a DUC, for a client with a 650b front wheel.
    The ride quality will change due to the higher ride height. This will make the front center geo change slightly, raise the bottom bracket and have a tad longer wheel base. It is hard to tell if you think the handling will be good or bad, or unnoticeable.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.

  4. #4
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    @Ragetty yep I already saw that post

    I know it is probably dependent on the individual rider, but is the general consensus that a 29 inch wheel up front alters the geometry too much and that a 650b is a nice alternative with out changing the geometry all that much?

  5. #5
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    i can't answer that.

    'my' concensus ist that 29/26 looks daft, but also that too much fork travel (for my type of riding?) has to be sacrificed - but, with the big wheel and the slacker geo, that may not actually matter ... i haven't tried it, so i'm not really qualified to comment.

    i've gone with a modded headset and stayed with 26/26, but i can see that a b6 set-up is a good compromise - many don't perhaps often use/need the last 20mm of travel (130-150mm), whereas the bigger wheel will constantly be in play.

    i 'do' often use the last 20mm of travel, which is why i am reluctant to try 650b (again). that said, i may go this route with my ml8 ...

  6. #6
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    I raced several enduros with a 69er Durance in 2012. 110mm front and 140mm rear travel felt really nice and the bike handled really well with the bigger wheel up front. I ran that 69er setup for a few years and on trail rides nothing felt better.

    For 2013 the enduro courses generally got more DH oriented so I went to a 160mm bike since the Durance felt like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
    99% of the problems and questions posted here would be answered if people actually walked into a bicycle shop and asked

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69erEverything View Post
    For 2013 the enduro courses generally got more DH oriented so I went to a 160mm bike since the Durance felt like bringing a knife to a gun fight.


    but then, i see some seriously fast riders on 140 or 150mm travel 'AM' bikes too ...

  8. #8
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    Durance 69er or 650b

    Yep 140 to 160mm is the sweet spot generally. It isn't the travel that matters, it is the complete build. Stiff, strong, plush, and relatively light. Along with parts that don't fail. Going to dual-ply tires is a game changer
    99% of the problems and questions posted here would be answered if people actually walked into a bicycle shop and asked

  9. #9
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    After ridding my Durance/Duc32 with 650b/stans flow/NN 2.35 front wheel I am having a hard time going back to 26" front. Ragetty you are right about the last 18mm of lost travel but with the changes recommended by Ethan I am finding that I don't miss it at all and I feel that the fork feel has improved especially in mid travel support. I ride steep/tech/slow single track trails where front end stability is crucial and I have not found any negatives. I will be trying it on My ML8 soon and will report back but I think the durance/duc32 is better suited for the 650b conversion. I only tried a friend's 69er for a very short ride and did not like it(ML8). Too cumbersome for my trails.

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