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  1. #1
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    Firebird 650b/27.5 ???

    Heard this is possible, I know CC and Pivot officially say no, but protecting whatever DW is testing and/or whatever else is in development is probably higher on their list of importance than providing details about retrofitting an older model, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible.

    Has anyone converted the FB to 27.5 wheels and if so, what setup are you running (ie tires, fork). What's the ride like? I've got an FB with a 36 180 upfront, and I'm curious if it's possible to make it work with this fork (considering the whispers of this possibility are, in fact, viable).

    Not holding my breadth, as I can't seem to find any first-person account elsewhere on the web, but with xmas fast approaching, adding a 27.5 wheelset to the short list could be interesting. Please no theoretical musing on how it will ride, really just interested in actual experience in the matter...

  2. #2
    74 & 29 pilot
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    Search my post here and in the 650b forum and you'll see and read about mine fully converted and ridden.

    Look at post #1024 & 1025: http://forums.mtbr.com/650b-27-5/my-...376656-41.html
    Last edited by MTB Pilot; 12-03-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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  3. #3
    Gangreen
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    DoctorMike

    I'm in the same place. I'm about to embark on a similar journey of discovery with my 'Bird, and lamenting the lack of info, I will write about it. I'm guessing you, like me, are trying to refine your ride into a more all-around "one bike".

    Here's what I'm starting with:

    Stage 1a: replace Lyrik 170mm coil with either a Fox 34 160 float, or an X-Fusion Slant should they become available sometime this millenium. Set Lyrik aside and maybe keep for DH/park trips
    Stage 1b: Mount front Stan's arch EX wheel with Hans Dampf 2.35.
    Stage 1c: Ride the above setup and decide if it's worth continuing the effort
    Stage 2: see if a Hans Dampf 2.35 (Arch 650b rim also) fits on the rear - I hope to ascertain this weekend
    Stage 3: If HD is a no go, either stay with 26 rim or run a smaller 650b tire

    EDIT: Hans Dampf 2.35 doesn't fit on rear of Firebird. Just rubs cross-brace on swingarm.

    EDIT: Per X-Fusion, Slant 650B fork won't be available until "later in the year". It will be a dedicated 650b fork - no travel reducing spacer req'd. I'm going with the Fox 34.
    Last edited by nowshon; 12-17-2012 at 05:19 PM.

  4. #4
    74 & 29 pilot
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowshon View Post
    DoctorMike

    I'm in the same place. I'm about to embark on a similar journey of discovery with my 'Bird, and lamenting the lack of info, I will write about it.

    ...
    Well, lament no more. The links above have the info your looking for. I loved my Bird before, but it has been enhanced with the 650b set-up. It didn't lose any playfulness at all and feels better in every aspect that "better roll over" would effect. The extra contact patch helps a lot for climbing and railing the corners. I swear though, this thing has become noticeably faster down hill in the rough rocky stuff. Don't know how big of a tire will fit in the back, cause I only used the NM 2.3. Just like my Intense Carbine, it has only made the FB better in my opinion.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Firebird 650b/27.5 ???-img_2430-copy.jpg  

    Firebird 650b/27.5 ???-img_2383-copy.jpg  

    Firebird 650b/27.5 ???-img_2391-copy.jpg  

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  5. #5
    Gangreen
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    Looks and sounds great. Thanks for the reply. I ordered a Fox 34160mm Float today. Tried one in the LBS parking lot and it feels superbly plush. Doesn't look nearly as substantial as the Lyrik. Time will tell.
    I mounted the Hans Dampf on the back and it's too big - just kisses the upper horizontal cross member on the swingarm. So I'll give the NM a go.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, input much appreciated. MTB Rider - did you use a volume reducer in the rear shock? If so, which one? And if you do, does it affect the efficiency or platform feel of the DW link?

    nowshon - that approach seems spot on to get the best feedback. if I get going on this, I prolly won't have the coin to do a full launch right off the bat, so doing it piecemeal might make the most sense for me. i think it's also within reason to assume what works for your area and riding style may differ from mine (NE, so lots of roots, rocks and quick techie ups and downs), so the little-by-little approach gives me a chance to ride each setup and decide what works best (instead of buying a whole 650 wheel/tire/fork and installing right away).

    any idea if a 26" Fox 36 180 can be converted to 27.5"?

    and nowshon, I have a 34 140 for my Honzo and it's super stiff. not lyric-stiff, but definitely better than a 32. just my two cents. good luck, and I look forward to hearing how it goes...

  7. #7
    74 & 29 pilot
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    Yeah, I tried a medium spacer and it make the shock far too progressive and not very solid for climbing. I'm trying the smallest spacer now, and it seems to be pretty good.

    A Nevegal 2.35 fits in a Fox 36 180.
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  8. #8
    Gangreen
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    Hey MTB Pilot: Is a spacer required for the rear shock to prevent bottom-out rub on the FB (with the NM 2.3) or are you using one for other reasons?

  9. #9
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    also wondering...

    isn't a volume reducer going to make the rear feel more progressive? i like how bottomlesss my fb feels now in 26'' world, so is this gonna miff that up? i guess if you're looking for a long-legged fb, a slightly more progressive rear end isn't the end-all be-all. just hoping to get an update with small reducer installed.

    thanks...

  10. #10
    Gangreen
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    Last weekend I got my first rides in on my converted Firebird 650b - Arch EX rims, Pacenti NM 2.3 in the back and Hans Dampf 2.35 in the front. Fox 34 Float 160mm 650b fork. No change to the rear shock.

    I got to ride on familiar trails, which helps for before/after comparison. I have to say I love the change. There is no night and day 26 vs. 29 difference, but it is noticeably easier to maintain momentum on flats and rock garden/chunk sections are noticeably smoother. This matters as I usually ride with 29'er crews and it's nice working a little less to keep them in sight on the flats.

    The bottom bracket height is about 14.4, up from 13.8, but honestly I can't tell the difference and I hit some nice fast and tight berms. I did drop the bars 20mm by swapping a headset spacer.

    I will say that the wheel/tire combo is noticeably slower/heavier on climbs. I think this is a combo of heavier wheels and the Hans Dampf which is both heavy and knobbly. Coming off of lightweight AM 26" rims probably exaggerated the effect but it is there. I can see the merit of lighter wheels/tires here.

    Traction-wise the HD is fantastic - maybe overkill but who cares. The Neo Moto isn't the best under braking on our dry loose over hardpack, but with the Firebird it's easy to ride it out and use the mini-slide for direction changes.

    The fork is awesome so far. I read a few pro reviews stating it is too linear and subject to bottoming but I didn't experience that at the pressure I started at (70#). Of course seals need to break in, and I will play with air pressure in the coming weeks and see what's what. As far as stiffness, it feels as stiff as the RS Lyrik, at least for a 160# intermediate rider. I've been a RS guy for the last 4 years and swore off Fox but that may have changed.

    Down the road I can also see looking at a dedicated 650b frame to regain the lower BB. Though I don't notice the increase height over stock, that doesn't mean it wouldn't elevate the ride experience even further.

    Nice!

  11. #11
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    You're all just a bunch of Sheep. Prey to the marketing Wolf.


    bet next year the 28.25 will be the greatest thing since sliced bread.
    Bad rep!!! That's right SON!!

  12. #12
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    isn't there a bridge somewhere you should be guarding? seriously though, thanks for the opinion...real insightful.

    btw, the cleaning kit for my tape player's broken. can i borrow yours?

  13. #13
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    geez!!! Dont have to get all "butt hurt" because I have an opinion. It is a public forum for christ sake.

    Tell ya what. When DH racers standardize using the over inflated 26 (aka 27.5) so will I. until then have fun wasting your money and then spewing about it on the intraweb.

    Bahahhahahahahahaa
    Bad rep!!! That's right SON!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorMike View Post
    isn't there a bridge somewhere you should be guarding? seriously though, thanks for the opinion...real insightful.

    btw, the cleaning kit for my tape player's broken. can i borrow yours?
    Just ignore him. Antagonizing folks is his MO, so I don't even bother reading his posts (didn't in this case either - just saw your response and figured he was posting more of the same). Entertaining reply on your part though.

    Back to the thread, interesting impressions by nowshon. Personally, I'm looking forward to demo'ing the wave of new 27.5 bikes coming out this year and have an engineering bias towards bikes specifically designed for the wheel size. That said, getting good performance on a converted FB is low cost and pretty cool. Will be interesting to run a side-by-side comparison between a converted 27.5 rig and design specific rig.

  15. #15
    74 & 29 pilot
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    Quote Originally Posted by nowshon View Post
    Hey MTB Pilot: Is a spacer required for the rear shock to prevent bottom-out rub on the FB (with the NM 2.3) or are you using one for other reasons?
    No, not required. I was just trying to get my RP23 to be a bit more plush on the small bumps. No spacers are needed as the NM 2.3 doesn't hit at full compression.

    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorMike View Post
    isn't a volume reducer going to make the rear feel more progressive? i like how bottomlesss my fb feels now in 26'' world, so is this gonna miff that up? i guess if you're looking for a long-legged fb, a slightly more progressive rear end isn't the end-all be-all. just hoping to get an update with small reducer installed.

    thanks...
    The medium spacer was way too much and the small was just enough to make it a bit more progressive in the beginning of the stroke but not too much at the end. I don't think it is worth it, and it took a little out of the platform that the DW Link provides for climbing. On my '11 FB frame I had a DHX and I would go that way again instead of the volume spacer.

    I was very impressed with the performance of the FB with the 27.5 wheels and I actually felt noticeably faster down hill. I loved the FB as a 26er also. My FB has a new owner and he is absolutely loving it

    Here is a pic of full shock compression with a 27.5 NM 2.3.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Firebird 650b/27.5 ???-img_2040.jpg  

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  16. #16
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    right on, JMW503. im fairly new here, should've figured that's how he got his rocks off. i agree that the conversion is great if you don't have access to a legit 27.5 to demo. our shop's brands don't do any of the mid size wheel yet, and i've got some folks interested in both the 5.7 and FB, and if a conversion was possible, they'd def be more likely to hop on. and of course (at least in my opinion), that can't be argued for or against without first riding it myself.

    i've heard the 5.7 isn't compatible, but I saw something from bicycleco in a google search that showed a fully built one, and when I called, they said they couldn't divulge the info unless I was buying one from them. guess that's what it comes down to in this cutthroat world of bicycle retail, but if you have any info on that matter, it'd be much appreciated. guess i'll know once I build up these 27.5's for the FB...

    can't wait, and thanks again.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorMike View Post
    right on, JMW503. im fairly new here, should've figured that's how he got his rocks off. i agree that the conversion is great if you don't have access to a legit 27.5 to demo. our shop's brands don't do any of the mid size wheel yet, and i've got some folks interested in both the 5.7 and FB, and if a conversion was possible, they'd def be more likely to hop on. and of course (at least in my opinion), that can't be argued for or against without first riding it myself.

    i've heard the 5.7 isn't compatible, but I saw something from bicycleco in a google search that showed a fully built one, and when I called, they said they couldn't divulge the info unless I was buying one from them. guess that's what it comes down to in this cutthroat world of bicycle retail, but if you have any info on that matter, it'd be much appreciated. guess i'll know once I build up these 27.5's for the FB...

    can't wait, and thanks again.
    Here's a link to a posting from the BikeCo: Pivot Carbon 5.7 650b Conversion | MyBikeStand.com. Has all the info you need IMO - looks they just played with different fork and shock combos via trial and error. Looks like the clearance in the rear is about the same as conti TK 2.4 in 26 inch, so it wouldn't be hard to dial in the right 650b rim and tire size. Front fork is easy. You should start another thread if your interested in more feedback re the 5.7 and 650b (would be an interesting thread).

  18. #18
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    I have a firebird that I don't think I want to add more roational mass too at this time, but the idea of just having an extra set of wheels for an quick and easy conversion is a great idea.

    I LOVE the idea of building a 5.7c 650b. Mind blown, projects in planning, money being saved.
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  19. #19
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    I just saw this thread. I'm in the market for a new bike, and this sounds rad. With a 160 650 fork on the front, how would that change the HA?

  20. #20
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    Re: Firebird 650b/27.5 ???

    Take a look at the actual Firebird 27.5 Pivot is selling. It will give you a good idea of the effects. Pivot puts a 1 degree slacker headset in for a 66 head angle with a 160mm fork. BB height only goes up marginally this way also. I love mine. That Mach 6 is a sexy machine though.

    Specialized Epic 29
    Pivot Firebird 27.5
    Last edited by rehammer81; 09-23-2013 at 01:52 PM.

  21. #21
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    Yeah, I suppose putting a 650 specific 160 fork wouldn't affect the head angle, since all you're doing is giving it more of a vertical lift. I like the 67 degree anyway.

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