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Thread: 650b/27.5

  1. #1
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    650b/27.5

    the lack of imagination in the mtb world never ceases to amaze me. im all for different wheel sizes but no idea why the industry feels the need to drag out some new archaic standard rather than just make a new one suitable for the job.

    they did it with 29" which i can kind of understand as it was a movement started a long time ago based around the 700c road wheel size and it evolved from there.

    however 650b seems to have been a far more calculated assault on the market. So why pick an old standard like 650b? why not make a new standard from scratch. eg a true 27.5 to sit between 26 and 29 or even 29 front, 27.5 rear(for more travel/shorter stays)?

    650b is a meaningless term to most so we're now calling it 27.5 but its no where near 27.5! i think i read somewhere that its only 0.8 of an inch(so 0.4" on the radius) bigger than 26. as a big wheel fan im sure it will be better than 26 but its not half misleading and doesnt go far enough in capturing the benifits of both wheel sizes IMO!

    im not expecting any answers. just having a rant!
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    Ah but more important, to me at least, are they likely to do a major reverse where we will see this middle tyre being dumped in the future!

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    who knows, although i cant see it as it's the next big bandwagon. where the 29er was driven by riders and small builders it appears its the big boys that want 650b to succeed.
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    Re: 650b/27.5

    I do not think it is lack of imagination. 26 was picked rather randomly, and 29 is not very suitable as a universal standard. 27.5 seems to be the largest wheel size that can accommodate adult bikes in all common frame sizes and long suspension travel. Makes sense.

    And 650 was driven by small boys. Not by Gary Fisher.

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    29 may not be suitable as a universal standard but then who fits any universal standard? mtber's range from less than 5' to over 6'5". to try to narrow it back to one wheel size when we've just gained 2 extra wheel sizes that suit the wide range of body sizes better seems like a backward step.

    my issue with 27.5/650b is that it hasnt been chosen for performance reasons but because it suits more people and was an existing 'standard'. its not much bigger than 26. a bit more imagination and we could have had a proper inbetweener size. an actual 27.5. keep 26, keep 29 and gain 27.5.

    giant are the biggest of the big boys and it appears their plan is to ditch the 2 extremes and push 650b. not good for the sport IMO
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    Quote Originally Posted by dipper View Post
    my issue with 27.5/650b is not that it hasnt been chosen for performance reasons but because it suits more people and was an existing 'standard'. its not much bigger than 26. a bit more imagination and we could have had a proper inbetweener size. an actual 27.5.
    You mean 650a? Yeah, maybe it would have been better. But then, this is a business, and having one size is more efficient. Bikes are expensive as they are.

    More people will benefit from properly sizing their cranks, I would think, than wheels. How many tall people actually bother to get some 180 or 185mm?

    650b came along for performance reasons. It as large as you can get and still fit a lot of suspension travel, or make a smaller frame, without some silly tricks.

    What I know this size fits me the best. Never grew fond of 29r.

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    agreed there are other things that can be done that help fit better. although beyond 175mm cranks, modern bikes with low bb's can be an issue

    also agree that its a business and efficiency is important. however as a consumer i like choice. IMO, pushing 27.5 to the detriment of 26 and 29 is a business decision although it will be marketed as purely a performance decision.

    bottom line is that we now have choice and i can see that being eroded. i can see why, as it will be a nightmare to try and stock not only a range of models but also stock them in 3 wheel sizes!

    just dont let the marketing and hype kid you that its because 27.5 is better. for some it will be, for others it wont be
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    Dont forget that a 26" wheel with a decent sized tyre usually comes up around 26.5" and with a 27.5" actually being closer to 27" you're only gaining 1" at most... well technically half an inch either side... call me pessimistic but i don't see the massive gain?
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    650b/27.5

    Although.... Having said that will my next bike be 650b.. Yes, NOT because I feel that I will be able to ride faster, get more grip.. Etc etc but sadly because due to the industry jumping so hard on the bandwagon that's where the product development is going to be.
    With Enduro now being the new All Mountain which was the old trail riding, which inturn was the.... whatever industry name they gave to riding your bike same as we have always done. We are going to see more products pushed and designed for the 'enduro' style bike which sadly is going to be 650b. Tyre companies will put their focus on 650b (shwable already with hans damf).. Fork manufactures.. Until I think it will get to the point that you are forced over to 650b like it or not.
    So to sum up 650b do I think it's any ground brakingly better than 26 (or 29) sadly not, do I think it's an easier way to sell the same frames with the same suspension design just a little bit bigger.. Hmmmnn maybe. Do I think we are going to have a choice in the long run about swapping to it.. Nah.
    But if new wheel sizes does meant that manufacturers will spend a little bit longer looking at geometry of new frames rather than a tweek here a tweek there I reckon it might just be worth it.
    "When the gate drops the ******** stops"

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakeyakey View Post
    Dont forget that a 26" wheel with a decent sized tyre usually comes up around 26.5" and with a 27.5" actually being closer to 27" you're only gaining 1" at most...
    27.5 is actually closer to 27.5. Most good tires come in exact same sized casings, and 650b versions are exactly as larger as the BSD difference between rims implies. Larger ones, like Hans Dampf, are closer to 28", AFAIK.

    Quote Originally Posted by dipper View Post
    bottom line is that we now have choice and i can see that being eroded. i can see why, as it will be a nightmare to try and stock not only a range of models but also stock them in 3 wheel sizes!
    Well, I am all for choice, but Nicolai apparently does not want to make TB in 650b size M, only S.

    650b or 650a should have been the mountain bike standard from the beginning. Simple reasoning of average adult human body size. Just before the 29" movement there was no good chance to revisit that.

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