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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flat Ark's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    29er frame/fork with 650b wheels?

    I have a Salsa Mamasita 29er that is fun and fast as long as the trail doesn't get too twisty. I know that the big wheels are "supposed" to instill confidence through corners but it is exactly the opposite for me. A lot of the trails I ride have really loose "gravely" corners and I don't like having to lean the bike so much to make the corners and the BB's center of gravity feels too high leaving me feeling like I am about to lose the front. I don't want to go through the process of selling the bike and building a new one up so I am wondering if a set of 650b wheels might do the trick? Anyone tried it and what do you all think?

  2. #2
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    Reputation: MMcG's Avatar
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    Not ideal I'd say.

    1. you'd have a pretty low bottom bracket height - but maybe that's okay where you are located - I'm guessing there aren't a lot of super rocky trails in Arkansas

    2. It wouldn't be an optimal chain stay length in my humble opinion. Don't the Mamasita's have 17.9" chainstays? That would make for a very stable bike, but not a very quick one I wouldn't think.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flat Ark's Avatar
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    We have rocky "sections" on most of the trails that I ride but pass over/through them pretty quick most of the time. I am about to go and demo a Kona Hei Hei "26er" and I think that I am going to put the smaller wheels on my Salsa just to try and get a feel for what it would ride like. Should be interesting. The 26" wheels should give me a really low bottom bracket. I'll report back on this later today.

  4. #4
    Rider and Wrench
    Reputation: knottshore's Avatar
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    While I can understand the not wanting to sell/buy a new bike the idea of putting smaller wheels on the 29er you have is just not a great concept. MMcG was accurate with the chainstays, and BB height. But you will not gain much in terms of being better on twisty trails as the still long chainstays (in relation to a 26" bike anyway) are a big part of that "feel" to oversimplify it alot. On top of that you will have even less tire in contact with the gravel by going to a smaller wheel size. I am just grazing the surface.

    I don't know how long you have had your bike nor the size and your height but the feeling of "loose in the front" may possibly be corrected by a few things, all getting a bit more weight on the front wheel. 1- remove as many spacers from below your stem as you can. 2 possibly get a 10mm or so longer stem. 3 make sure you are running a 0 deg rise or flip your current riser stem over. 4- lose the riser bars if you happen to have them.

    I don't know If you are recently coming from a 26" bike the front end of a 29er can feel really high especially if you have it set up the same way of the 26" bike....

    Good Luck
    I Just wish I could ride more!


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