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  1. #1
    dwt
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    Summer of changes

    Started this mtb biking season with two 26'ers: a Chinese carbon 1X9 hardtail and an Intense Spider XVP. Ended with the 1X9 converted to 650b and the Spider frame forks and wheels sold on eBay and replaced with 2010 Jamis B2. I'm a total 100% happy camper.

    In my group of riders this year, 2 stayed with their 26'ers, 2 went to 29'ers, and only me 650b.

    You've got to be a tad on the adventurous side to opt for 650b due to the general lack of industry enthusiasm for the size. You've got to be comfy with and know how to do tubeless conversions. My buds are not "risk takers" but that is their problem.

    Another revelation in my switch to 650b might sound naive. My group are all old ex-racer weight weenies on 4" x-c bikes. At the start of the season three Blurs and two Spiders. Seriously none of us had ever ridden a bike with more than 100mm of travel!

    The two who switched to 29 are on low travel Niners, 100 mm front 80mm rear. My Jamis with 130mm trail bike travel weighs less than or equal to the Niners, and guess who has more fun in technical terrain?

    The two who are on 26'ers have trouble keeping up even on the climbs with their lighter bikes. But they will probably going to 29 when they upgrade.

    Mass psychology at work.


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  2. #2
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    No kidding on the resistance to 650B. My local KHS dealer says" I am staying away from stocking 650B as long as I can".

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    No kidding on the resistance to 650B. My local KHS dealer says" I am staying away from stocking 650B as long as I can".


    That is sad that a dealer would worry about being able to sell the bikes rather than educating himself on the merits of the wheelsize so that he can in turn educate the buyers so that he can sell the bikes. Maybe if he actually took the time to go ride one he would feel differently.
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    I finally got to test ride a 11 B1 and I will say I'm sold on bigger wheels.
    My daily trail is rolling and I could tell in one ride how much momentum the large wheel kept. I'm not a good climber, but again on my slow climbs I noticed it didn't get as hung up on roots etc..

    I will say before I decide, I'm taking out a 29er demo bike just to see
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  5. #5
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred Smedley View Post
    No kidding on the resistance to 650B. My local KHS dealer says" I am staying away from stocking 650B as long as I can".
    Our local Jamis dealer told me that "650b is for women and children who can't fit on 29'ers. "

    Then was offended when I bought my 2010 B2 on eBay for $550.




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  6. #6
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    I've been riding a 2011 Jamis Dakar XCT 650B1 this summer I'm quite pleased with the performance of bike and I'm liking the 27.5" wheel a lot.

    Also have a 29"er which I'm on the fence as to how I feel. When asked by other cyclist what they should purchase next 26" or 29"er I found myself saying things well I like one for some reasons and the other for other reasons. It really splits to the thought well if you can have two bikes why not. Other cyclist who own both wheel sizes say the same thing. Depends are where you are riding.

    With the 27.5" it's clear the bike handles very much like a 26"er but have the roll of a 29"er over roots and rocks.

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    I own a shop and that sucks when some shops pull that kind of crap.

    Enjoy your new bike.

  8. #8
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    Yep 130mm plus 650B is were the numbers stack up for trail bikes. Similar cornering stabilty for less weight and more travel than a long travel 29er. A 120mm 29er is good for ploughing through rough terrain but a 140 or 150mm 650B[ even just 650B front] is much more of a do everything bike. The suspension and slightly bigger wheel plough through the rough stuff but it's agile on the ground and in the air like a 26" bike. And it can carve corners like a 29er.

    They will keep developing the long travel 29er . Carbon fibre is their saviour. And I would say one of the reasons why they will keep developing the 29er. Carbon tech is inticing to the designer and very profitable to the mfg. You have a design, at entry level, that is heavy and sluggish but with the huge potential to upgrade to lighter bits and frames just to get it to a reasonable weight. So the $$$ signs ring for bike and component makers.

    On the other hand 26" market is mature. The 650B design is virtually the same weight as a 26" at entry level. So there is not as much potential in the upgrade market.

    The advantage I see,buying in to the 650B market, is the suspension market for 26" is mature. They know what they want , what works, and as importantl,y what works for each market segment. That is, a xc bike , trail bike etc.

    The 29er market is still developing with technology. So it knows what a xc bike is but everything else is fluid. Is a 120mm 29er fork a trail fork? Next year 130mm?
    Been there and done that over many years with 26" bikes. Not interested any more with 29er development phase.
    I've previously tried one mfg's 29er 120mm fork and it was clearly tuned on the firm side like 2007/ 2008 26" AM 140mm forks . The big wheels are supposed to make up the difference. Yet a 26" 120mm fork from the same mfg is smooth and plush. Now the 29er 140mm fork is AM and the 120mm fork tune will change as it slides down the scale to more xc/ trail crossover.

    No thanks, I know what works. 650B, or at least, 650B on the front of a 26" bike.
    Being a cynic that's probably why it will never take hold.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 11-12-2011 at 10:48 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevelei View Post
    With the 27.5" it's clear the bike handles very much like a 26"er but have the roll of a 29"er over roots and rocks.
    A widesweeping balloney. End this nonsense, there is no magic in 584mm rim changing its size. Get over it man! It's dying and it's time to rearrange some precious resources to the 29ers side. No need for 27,5 tyres cannibalizing 29er ones!
    Guitar Ted Productions: Fringe: A Look at 650B And Death Of The 69er

    super short women are on 29ers and Mike Curiak shreds the Whistler in 2011
    http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/wh...-a-748671.html - very good video.
    No place in mainstream for a size that is not that much different from 26".
    It's better to develope 36ers.

  10. #10
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    Most riders here in the North East are split between 26" and 29". We all say the same it all depends on where you are riding. We have varying terrain but mostly tight technical single-track in a dense forest. Our climbs aren't too long mostly short or short and steep.

    Was there anything wrong with the 26" wheel mountain bike no. The 26" mountain bike is more nimble than a 29"er. You can manual puddles, water crossing etc easier. Ripping through a twisty forest you can dance around obstacles(trees) then quickly accelerate back up to speed. Steeper grinder climbs the 26" wheel at the crest where momentum is losing the 26" feels less burdened to get over the hump.
    When cruising along on a 26" you can hop, jump, weave, and accelerate. It flows.

    29'ers are cool a neat concept. We have to give credit to those who dare to think outside the box. Early hybrids looked some what like the 29"ers of 10 years ago. 24"ers were once thought to be the next wheels size. When semi-slicks were introduced they were all the rage. The magazines were giving these tires praises. You had to have them a year later. The magazines these were a stupid idea.
    As for the Pro's they're paid by these companies to ride and promote their concepts. Each manufacturer will jump on the band wagon no one wants to lose sales. 29"ers might be fine for most of the Pro-level race courses.
    The bicycle industry needs to keep coming up with ideas and concepts to keep me and you buying.

    Everyone is going to have there preferences for the style of riding riding and where they ride. Here in the East not everyone is feeling the 29" thing. So not perfect. We can still nit-pick at a few things and would like to see some attributes that are found on 26".

    Whether or not the 27.5" wheel takes off or not I like it for me. It have the attributes I like from my 26"er but the roll over rocks and roots like 29"er. Yeah the big wheel feel over rocks and roots are nice.
    I don't think anyone should be discouraged entertaining a 27.5". It's a wheel size worth looking into. There's enough quality parts out there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    A widesweeping balloney. End this nonsense, there is no magic in 584mm rim changing its size. Get over it man! It's dying and it's time to rearrange some precious resources to the 29ers side. No need for 27,5 tyres cannibalizing 29er ones!
    Guitar Ted Productions: Fringe: A Look at 650B And Death Of The 69er

    super short women are on 29ers and Mike Curiak shreds the Whistler in 2011
    http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/wh...-a-748671.html - very good video.
    No place in mainstream for a size that is not that much different from 26".
    It's better to develope 36ers.
    GO away moron. You haven't even ridden a 650B.
    OG Ripley v2

  12. #12
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    This message is hidden because Davidcopperfield is on your ignore list.

  13. #13
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    "Seriously none of us had ever ridden a bike with more than 100mm of travel!"

    Sounds like a good summer!

    I've ridden 650b for several years, raced xc for many years and have never owned a FS or a fork over 80mm. I'm thinking it's time for a change as I'm over 60 and racing days are behind me though many fun riding days are ahead. That 650b Lenz looks nice and I wonder what Ventana has up it's sleeve for 650b. Perhaps look into the Jamis as well. Thanks for the riding reports!

  14. #14
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelbike View Post
    I'm thinking it's time for a change as I'm over 60 and racing days are behind me though many fun riding days are ahead. That 650b Lenz looks nice and I wonder what Ventana has up it's sleeve for 650b. Perhaps look into the Jamis as well. Thanks for the riding reports!
    I'll be 61 in January. I am stoked to be on a trailbike after all these years of "weight-weenie-dom." Read the post above by gvs_nz how the 650b wheel size @ 130mm travel is an ideal mix. I totally agree.

    What I'm thinking now is that I actually rode Moab on a 100mm x-c bike. Good grief, what a waste. Though I'm clearly never going to be able to handle an AM bike, I am definitely going to get my ass back to the Whole Enchilada and Amasa Back on this bike before I become senile. I can almost taste it.

    I highly recommend you try the Jamis B2 (or a KHS sixfifty606) before you settle on a Lenz x-c bike (I believe Ventana is no longer selling the El Bastardo 650b, but the rear triangles can be found on many customs if you search).

    Your/my racing days are over. Ditch the light bike, get some plush travel and know that your racing legs can push a 29 lb. trail bike up a hill just fine. Trust me. And wait till you see how the 650b trail bike handles the other side. And carves single track. You will get bugs in your teeth smiling.
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  16. #16
    dwt
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    Note to Davidcopperfield: many thanks for your obsessive, repetitive, and generally useless posts, reminding everyone that Americans are not necessarily the dumbest and most annoying people on the planet.
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    You'll have to excuse him. I think he comes from Greece.

  18. #18
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    Same here

    Quote Originally Posted by stevelei View Post
    I've been riding a 2011 Jamis Dakar XCT 650B1 this summer I'm quite pleased with the performance of bike and I'm liking the 27.5" wheel a lot.

    Also have a 29"er which I'm on the fence as to how I feel. When asked by other cyclist what they should purchase next 26" or 29"er I found myself saying things well I like one for some reasons and the other for other reasons. It really splits to the thought well if you can have two bikes why not. Other cyclist who own both wheel sizes say the same thing. Depends are where you are riding.

    With the 27.5" it's clear the bike handles very much like a 26"er but have the roll of a 29"er over roots and rocks.
    Similar to you (and DWT as I have been on a converted 26" 1x9 ht and 130m travel fs trail bike for awhile now) I find myself on the fence with my 29r's. The Spearfish has been the go to one of late but took the 1x9 steel ht out of the garage for a dust off spin around a regular trail system I ride today and really felt the most comfortable on it. Not planning to cull the quiver just yet as there are plenty of other areas I ride that the 29" excells.Part of the problem is I'm running the same riser bars as on the other bikes. Thinking I may need to go to a flat bar or reverse drop on the stem. That may change things up alot. Besides with the possibility of having 5 running bikes (4 are now), I could have a specific tool for almost any given trail though

    I think my next move to be able to figure it all out will be to drop the trail bike back to 26" wheels and fatter tires for chunkier rides and see how I like it.

    And as for DC, just why does he feel the need to fire his 29r cannon comments on these otherwise civil wheel size debates?
    Last edited by JMac47; 11-13-2011 at 10:24 PM. Reason: typo
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    That is sad that a dealer would worry about being able to sell the bikes rather than educating himself on the merits of the wheelsize so that he can in turn educate the buyers so that he can sell the bikes. Maybe if he actually took the time to go ride one he would feel differently.
    While I agree that 650b is a wheel size that makes sense and will continue to grow in sales, I can understand the bike shop's point of view.

    A shop makes money by selling items. It loses money (or at least ties up money) by storing inventory that does not sell quickly. With three popular wheels sizes (26, 27.5, and 29) instead of one (26) shops are now required to carry triple the inventory: tires, frames and forks in three wheel sizes. And again, the larger the inventory a shop carries the more money that the owner puts at risk. If the inventory turns over quickly that's great. But if the inventory sits on a shelf the owner is losing money.

    Some shops will see the growing 650b market as a niche that will differentiate them from other shops and allow them to grow. Other shops will see 650b as a trend that in the near-term will take money out of the owner's pocket and put it into "risky" inventory. If a shop doesn't have extra money (which given the economy can very well be the case) the addition of a new wheel size is not a way to make money, but a way to lose money.

    Hopefully in larger markets some shops will see an advantage to supporting 650b bikes. Currently I don't think that the market is large enough for all shops to support it, but in time hopefully the market will grow to that point.

    On the other hand, if a shop refuses to order 650b frames, wheels, tires, etc. then that makes little sense: don't turn away customers. But deciding not to stock 650b-specific items is a business decision that is being made that may allow a shop to survive.
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  20. #20
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    Yeah, seems like if a shop had a customer that wanted a 650 bike/frame/wheels/tires whatever etc and pre-paid for order like most any other "not in stock part", it may stir the curiosity/interest of 650 with other customers seeing the items without the shop having to stock said inventory on their nickle. Seems small minded not to see the "buisness" possibilities to me. Personally I've eased up on doing buisness with some local shops that gave me this attitude when approaching them with my 650 b uild projects. Have to admit some money that would have usually been spread around at the lbs were sent to online stores for what I wanted. No "personal" comments given by them.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  21. #21
    dwt
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    Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    While I agree that 650b is a wheel size that makes sense and will continue to grow in sales, I can understand the bike shop's point of view. Currently I don't think that the market is large enough for all shops to support it, but in time hopefully the market will grow to that point..
    You are correct, Sir.

    Yesterday I rode with a group consisting of a local shop owner and a bunch of folks on 29'ers. None of them were impressed with my shiny new B2 Then again, the shop owner was on his personal Tall Boy, totally tricked out down to carbon wheels, so he sort of upstaged the whole group.

    Suffice it to say that 650b is not on his radar with EVERYBODY buying 29'ers. I totally sympathise: he started his shop way back in the day when mountain bikes ruled. When the Lance Armstrong craze hit in the 00's, he added road bikes to his inventory and stayed in business. Now that 29'ers are the thing - and over the tipping point - he would be nuts to compete with himself and introduce 650b into the mix. At this point, 27.5" is nothing but a distraction.

    Maybe after the craze is over and people start thinking through what exactly they like and don't like, the Goldilocks size will become fashionable. Hopefully the 650b crowd now are visionaries and not dinosaurs. Time will tell.

    One thing for sure. There was one guy in this group still on a 26'er. As late as last season, that bike would have looked normal to me and the 29'ers stupid. In one year my whole perspective has changed. Now the 29'ers look normal and the 26'er looks dinky and unrideable.
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  22. #22
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    Most of my local bike shops can not afford to stock anything besides entry level bikes of any size. Top end bikes of any size are what soaks up the money. They already cover sizes up from child's 16" to 700c. The distributor holds the expensive stuff and some expensive sample bikes on display.The bike shop will order anything you like. In many cases the small bike shops have gone bust and the distributors have purchased the shops and stock them themselves.
    To any that haven't already gone bust a major swing in bike trend like a wholesale move to 29ers is the straw that breaks the camels back. A gradual change or modification like a 650B front wheel is far less drastic and would have been absorbed by the bike shops easier than the 29er movement. Sad thing is many will swing back to 26".

  23. #23
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    It would be all more interesting to drop 584mm rim, which never was popular anyway and move all the market share onto 36ers making them lighter. 36ers evoke much more curiosity right from the start than 27,5" 584mm rim does. The goldilocks zone outside of FR type of flying is something between 29er and 36er.
    By the way Sauser while testing 29er epic found it to be much faster than a 26er one, how on earth would just a 25mm bigger rim than 559 be faster than both? Rolling resistance on small wheels sux.
    Wheel cultism is lame

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    Wheel cultism is lame
    This is a strange statement coming from you, the ultimate wheel cultist. I love the way all your posts list your (and others) personal opinions as fact. Did it ever occur to you that just because you, or someone else, think something that it isn't neccesarily true? Maybe this is a hard concept for you. But the funniest thing about you is that you are not liked by anyone here, 26er, 29er or 36er riders. You must wear your ever increasing negative rep as some strange badge of honor. Which makes your insistence that any of your opinions are relevant at all, when everyone here has labeled you as basically knowing nothing, all the more amusing. I would love to meet you in person, you must really be a strange dude to enjoy just being an annoying obnoxious jerk to everyone you talk to.
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  25. #25
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    Interesting snippets regarding the future of long travel 29ers from Specialized here.

    Specialized Camber Carbon Expert 29 - First Ride Review - BikeRadar

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvs_nz View Post
    Interesting snippets regarding the future of long travel 29ers from Specialized here.

    Specialized Camber Carbon Expert 29 - First Ride Review - BikeRadar
    Well I have to admit, I just rode an Ellsworth Evolution 120mm 29er and liked it a lot.
    Now just trying to figure out how to afford it.
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  27. #27
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    Wheel cultism is lame
    Here in the US of A we have an aphorism: "If the shoe fits, wear it." Look it up.

    Meanwhile, come clean - what are you smoking, crystal meth or crack?
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  28. #28
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Well I have to admit, I just rode an Ellsworth Evolution 120mm 29er and liked it a lot.
    Now just trying to figure out how to afford it.
    It's like buying a freaking iPhone. The tech and engineering wizards keep upping the ante, and we're all hooked. We like the one we have, but we can't stand the idea that there might be a better one, and that we're missing out somehow.

    OTOH, the 4s has a crap battery and the talking chick is full of bugs. Most important, it's NOT an iPhone 5. So until they come out with the 5, I'm sticking with the 4. And then figure out how to afford the 5.
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