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  1. #1
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    27.5 Singlespeed

    I cannibalized the 27.5 Frankenibis to put this together.
    A 15" Gunnar Ruffian SS with a pair of Neo-Moto/Velocity Synergy wheels.

    Setting the wheel back in the dropouts provided adequate clearance for the 2.3" Neo-Moto as well allowing for the rear v-brake to work. The gearing is 34/18 which works out to about 51.9 gear inches, about the same as 2:1 in 26". The effective chainstay length is about 17". With the 440mm A-C fork in front the BB height is 12.5". Note that this current set-up doesn't allow for changing gearing(except by rule of 4) and the V-brake shoes are set at their limit. A frame with sliding dropouts would work out well.

    The bike rides as if it was made for these wheels. No handling quirks and it was easy moving the bike around in tight singletrack. What I notice the most over the 26 Ruffian is the added momentum. Similar feeling as with the 27.5 Frankenibis but the ride seemed more balanced with the Neo-Motos front and rear instead of just in front. I think that the Ibis would take a 2.0 or 2.1 in the rear so I'll see what turns up by next spring.

    My last two years of riding have been on 29" and road bikes so I spent some time getting used to this one and dialing it in. So I guess I have three sizes of mtb's. The Neo-Moto tires are great all-around(though I haven't had them in sand yet) and IMO they would be just as good in a 26 or 29 tire.

    I think a purpose-built 27.5 would be a great bike for me. Something with Paragon sliding dropouts and S&S couplers. But I'm also thinking about a custom 29 frame and I have more than a passing interest in the Ibis Tranny....

    After riding today, I'm just happy to be out on a bike, doesn't matter what wheel it uses. Say hi to the people I pass and the ones that pass me. Happy riding!

    <img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2167/1796563260_51ef17c540_o.jpg"><br>
    <img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2274/1796563572_0ba3e9bdd6_o.jpg"><br>
    <img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2108/1796564052_1e90737602_o.jpg">

  2. #2
    pedal pusher
    Reputation: f3rg's Avatar
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    It's cool to know people could switch to 650Bs even with rim brakes.

  3. #3
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    That looks great! Nice work. Pretty wild that you were able to get the V-brakes to work okay with it as well. How did this compare to your 29er in terms of how it handled roots and rocks? Was it more "flickable?"

  4. #4
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    Hi Mark,
    Thanks, i just like to take bikes apart and put them back together again in a different configuration without leaving too many bolts and spacers lying on the floor.
    If I can do it, anyone can do it.

    I'm not good at comparisons but here goes.
    Last year I rode only 29 mtb, no road and no 26. The most notable thing was that I never crashed when riding or racing. I rode over stuff that I endo'd on a 26 and I passed guys on 26 in sand who were much better than me(they would pass me after the sand). For me my race times were about the same though.

    This year I went back to road and didn't get back on a mtb until August and started playing around with trying 650b. I like to build wheels anyway. Bikeman had an article on 650b wheels and i called them looking for a tire. So that's how the 27.5 FrankenIbis and the Gunnar got started. I have four different rigid forks lying around and mixed and matched for the best ride along with different stems, bars and also bar ends.

    So how does it ride? For me the 29 rolls over rocks and roots since I know it can. I'm still trying this out with the 27.5. What I notice the most is that the 27.5 has good momentum and it likes to keep rolling. As for the more flickable question, I'll answer yes. YMMV. I'm 5-6 and I ride midwestern singletrack which is a lot smoother than the trails on the east coast, but some of them are tight enough that the handlbars barely fit through.

    IMO 26" frames with sliding droputs like the Kona Unit, Voodoo Wanga, etc along with horizontal dropout SS frames would be easy to adapt to 27.5. Frames(26) that were designed for a 100mm fork would probably take an 80mm fork with a 27.5 wheel without changing the geo much. There are a lot of possibilities. When a 2.0/2.1 27.5 tire comes out it will likely drop in the back of a lot of 26" frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    That looks great! Nice work. Pretty wild that you were able to get the V-brakes to work okay with it as well. How did this compare to your 29er in terms of how it handled roots and rocks? Was it more "flickable?"

  5. #5
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    I didn't think that it would work until I tried it. Keep it mind though that I am on the limit of where my rear wheel is on the dropouts as well as the brake set to its limit. Other people have brought up the ideas of using Paul v-brakes. Their MotoBMX might do the trick.

    One thing to note: the Neo-Moto is so nice and fat that it won't get past my open v-brake without deflating it. Another plus for disc brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    It's cool to know people could switch to 650Bs even with rim brakes.

  6. #6
    Mr.650b - Mr.27-5
    Reputation: Kirk Pacenti's Avatar
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    great job!

    This is a really cool looking bike. It does almost look as if the bike was designed for the wheels, very balanced.

    Please send more pics and ride reports once you've had a chance to really put some hours on this rig.

  7. #7
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    I bet it's a real PITA getting all those leaves stuck between the tires and the brake cables. It's bad enough on a 26" with rim brakes, but with an even smaller gap, it must be a constant nuisance.

    What I'd really like to see are pics of a fork running V's and a rear wheel/V-brake on a standard geared dropout with 27.5s.

  8. #8
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    Pics of a fork running V's

    Here's some shots of Neo-motos with front V's. A Kelly 425mm A-C fork with Avid Ultimate and some chunky Kool-Stop shoes. Kool-Stop Thinlines or Shimano shoes did not not have enough contact with the rim.

    Yeah, leaves. Another benefit of running discs. I'm still working on the std geared dropout with 27.5s.

    This bike is great fun to ride. The Neo-Motos have an excellent ride and traction and I'm looking forward to the new tires that may be showing up next spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    I bet it's a real PITA getting all those leaves stuck between the tires and the brake cables. It's bad enough on a 26" with rim brakes, but with an even smaller gap, it must be a constant nuisance.

    What I'd really like to see are pics of a fork running V's and a rear wheel/V-brake on a standard geared dropout with 27.5s.
    <img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2416/1959928864_36db9545d2_o.jpg">

    <img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2081/1959927712_6c31906b0d_o.jpg">

    <img src="https://farm3.static.flickr.com/2027/1959929832_81c2955d86_o.jpg">

  9. #9
    Spooooon!
    Reputation: Hairllama's Avatar
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    Can the 27.5 really be that much of an improvement when it fits so well in existing frames and can be run with 26er v-brakes? My 26er front with a Weirwolf 2.5 measures 27.25 ish in height. I was thinking about 27.5 until I measured my current set up.

  10. #10
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    How much of an improvement? I don't know. Maybe it depends on what a rider's many different preferences are which can't be explained by a one bike fits all model. Actually there are probably quite a few 26 frames that won't with 27.5. Frames with narrow tire spacing and short chainstays probably won't work. I don't know much about FS but that might be hit or miss too. It just happens that my SS adapted easily and rides well with 27.5. Another bike could turn out to be a mess.

    I've never ridden a Weirwolf 2.5. Perhaps I would like that too. I'm guessing that in a 27.5 version that might be 28 or over in height. I've had a good week riding bikes. Besides my own bikes, I rode a Pugsley and 26" FS. Four different tire sizes and I liked them all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hairllama
    Can the 27.5 really be that much of an improvement when it fits so well in existing frames and can be run with 26er v-brakes? My 26er front with a Weirwolf 2.5 measures 27.25 ish in height. I was thinking about 27.5 until I measured my current set up.

  11. #11
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    ive converted my kona unit to 27.5 to see what it was all about, after trying the 29er thing and not liking it. the 29s were just too big, but did exactly what people say: roll over things great! i then went back the my old stand by, the unit with 2.5 wierwolf front and rear and loved it as i always had, but i couldnt get the the bigger wheel feel out of my head. after switching to 27.5 ive found that it has a lot of the 29 roll over feel, but doesnt have the huge gyro feel. i did need to get a new freewheel one tooth bigger, but all in all, the 27.5 is a nice change. i measured it today and found that it is easily an inch larger in diameter that the 2.5 ww tire, and that if i could change anything, id really like that 2.5 ww in the 650b size. that volume and those corner knobs are the only things i miss.

  12. #12
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    We need photos! I was looking at this frame due to the lower than average BB. Pls share any details you can on the build up!

    - AR



    Quote Originally Posted by peanutbutter
    ive converted my kona unit to 27.5 to see what it was all about, after trying the 29er thing and not liking it. the 29s were just too big, but did exactly what people say: roll over things great! i then went back the my old stand by, the unit with 2.5 wierwolf front and rear and loved it as i always had, but i couldnt get the the bigger wheel feel out of my head. after switching to 27.5 ive found that it has a lot of the 29 roll over feel, but doesnt have the huge gyro feel. i did need to get a new freewheel one tooth bigger, but all in all, the 27.5 is a nice change. i measured it today and found that it is easily an inch larger in diameter that the 2.5 ww tire, and that if i could change anything, id really like that 2.5 ww in the 650b size. that volume and those corner knobs are the only things i miss.

  13. #13
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    i dont want to hijack the thread, but...

    i dont actually have any pictures of the bike other than the fork clearance one i took for another post but ill take some the next time i get on the trails. as for the conversion, it was a simple wheel swap with disc brakes, as the v brakes and cantis dont reach. my frame is the 2005 model which apears to the one year that kona made the bb height 12.4 inches on the 18", while the year before and years since, the bb has been significantly lower. i love the high bb and now its around 12.7", but id expect it to be much lower on the other units.

  14. #14
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    No problem with hijacking

    What fork are you running? A ride report and photos would be great!

    Quote Originally Posted by peanutbutter
    i dont actually have any pictures of the bike other than the fork clearance one i took for another post but ill take some the next time i get on the trails. as for the conversion, it was a simple wheel swap with disc brakes, as the v brakes and cantis dont reach. my frame is the 2005 model which apears to the one year that kona made the bb height 12.4 inches on the 18", while the year before and years since, the bb has been significantly lower. i love the high bb and now its around 12.7", but id expect it to be much lower on the other units.

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