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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Opinions on running 650B as a HT?

    I put this in the 650B and 29er forums but just thought I'd ask the opinion here since I am looking at the Yeti ARC Carbon. I currently own a Ventana EL Padrino HT 29er and a Ventana El Bastardo FS 650B. So I have both wheel sizes. Honestly I love both bikes. The Padrino is faster but the Bastardo is more comfortable and a tad more fun. So I don't really need a new bike but have been lusting after the Yeti ARC Carbon which in my size would be a 650B HT. A few people I have talked to have said to me that if I love my 29er HT why mess with 650B. The people I have talked to have said that 29er is meant as a great XC platform in HT and that there is no need to go 650B when looking at a HT. What say you guys? I am also lusting after a Pivot 429 Carbon FS bike but I think I am going to wait and see if in the next year or two they release a bike similar to the 429 but in 650B.

    I love my Bastardo and just traded a guy my 5.5" rockers for his 4" rockers because I don't need 5.5" travel here in Michigan. So I am turning my Bastardo into a 4" travel bike. My fork is 130mm but I also want a slacker HA and doing the swap will accomplish that as well. I really want a carbon bike and like the 650B wheel size so the Yeti ARC makes sense but just wondering how the 650B HT would be.



  2. #2
    26 for life.
    Reputation: KiwiJohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Still haven't found a problem with 26ers, but that just me & the crew I ride with.
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  3. #3
    Reputation: snigs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    I personally have not had any experience with 650b, but know a few people that have. For my part, I ride a Big Top for XC/Trail and a 66 for AM out here in CO. Switching between the two wheel sizes, I can't help but think that a blend of the 26er geo and 29er-like wheels would be even better. That is basically the same opinion that those who ride 650b have, too. A riding buddy converted his 26er steely ht to 650b and loves it. I see that bike appear on rides more often than not. So, if you are considering a 650b ARCc I would go for it...I bet it rips.
    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live. ~Mark Twain, "Taming the Bicycle"

  4. #4
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    If you want opinions, here's mine. I believe 29er wheels, for HTs, are ideal if you want to ride trails for the adventures, with mileage being a significant stat. 26" wheels for HTs on the trails that are densely populated with "features", with lots of rollers, jumps, etc, not requiring a lot of distance (pump tracks, DJ rhythm sections, slalom, flow trails, etc.). 650b sounds like it would shine in short track XC races. Something that's long and rough enough to make use of big wheels, but where you still need acceleration to pass people.

    If you're just riding casually, I don't know why it really needs to be a big deal. Just get what fits and pleases you. Don't need to worry about others' opinions when it's for your personal pleasure. Not really sure if being able to do stuff with less effort and/or trouble (less challenge) is actually a good thing or not. To say the least on the subject of challenge, I know I crash more on my smaller wheeled bikes than I do on my 29ers, and that I'm not particularly fond of crashing. I wear a ton of protection on my 26, cause I actually feel I need it, while it's just worn out of habit on my 29ers.

    Speaking from another perspective, I'm kind of blessed to have so many different bikes, in various wheel sizes, to make the same trails fresh. I think I'm fine with 29er and 26" though, with no need for 650b, having demo'd a Rocky Altitude 790 MSL and Carbine 27.5. If you had to have one bike that does it all, rather than a quiver, maybe 650b might be the sweet spot. Who knows for sure? Considering that I have a quiver and don't plan on thinning it out, if I were invited to a new trail 1.5 hrs drive from my house, I might take my 29er FS first, to become familiar with the trail, then take a smaller bike the next time visiting it, to maybe add a bit of challenge and fun to it. Basically, I'd just choose the bike based what kind of challenge I want out of the ride.

    I dunno why quivers are so out of style. To me, there are no quiver killers. I can't imagine any bike being one. Even if I had only 1 trail nearby to ride regularly, and there was only 1 format of racing, and the trail was homogenized as far as features go, I dunno if 1 bike would really be enough. I really enjoy how each of my bikes rides differently. Though, I will say that I enjoy my 29ers more.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 05-03-2013 at 10:43 AM.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I am interested in trying the 650 b arc-c. I am 5'6" and currently ride a 29er (Gary Fisher Paragon). I like the big wheels, but I have never felt like the bike fit me properly. I am interested in how the 650 b bike rides. I race xc and the occasional xterra triathlon, so I am interested in having a light, fast bike. The trails here (West Tennessee) are up and down, tight and twisty, with no extended climbs or descents. I think the "tweener" wheel size might suit me better here. I do think the 29er is a better fit for fire road rides or any time you have long climbs. I am interested to see if Yeti will make a new ASR-C with the same sizes as the ARC-C (650b for small sizes, 29er for larger sizes).

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by mark43 View Post
    . I do think the 29er is a better fit for fire road rides or any time you have long climbs. (650b for small sizes, 29er for larger sizes).
    This statement is exactly what I think when I am riding my29er. Your terrain sounds very much like the terrain I ride. I am going to put my Padrino up for sale and if someone buys it will be ordering an ARC-C when they become available.

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