650b Momentum (interested in 29er input)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    650b Momentum (interested in 29er input)

    Sorry for the double post but I listed this on the 650b section but traffic has been really low and I wanted to get some 29er input.

    _______________

    The release of Haro's new 650b bike peaked my interest. Had my Christmas budget been a bit more plush I would have already bought one. However, being unable to pull the trigger I was forced to vicariously enjoy the new ride through all the media buzz the mainstreaming of the "Goldilox" wheel was sure to generate (insert soundtrack of chirping crickets here). Looking at four or five "Interbike" overviews in major rags I was surprised to see no mention. Obviously there is some web presence but nothing noteworthy.

    Being a regular to the 29er MTBR I hopped on over to the 650b section (insert soundtrack of chirping crickets here). Not only is there no Beasley buzz but there is no buzz. The "sub" area for 29ers is posted at a rate of 10 to 1. What's up with the 650b movement, or lack there of? Are they really gaining momentum or is the slight influx of products a result of industry speculation from a few years back now coming to fruition behind the curve.

    I know that Haro has sold a fair number of Beasley's in comparison to the limited run. I know that this is the off season. I also know that the 29er floundered in the early days.
    But there are some worrying signs. 29ers really only had to deal with resistance from the 26er camp, the resistance to 650b, however, seems to be two fold. From other post I have made many of the 29er camp feel that 650 is nothing more than a compromise (also, a big chunk of early adopters has buried a lot of capital in the new size, diminishing the market). And, on the other side, many 26ers seem to have dug in their heels after years of mocking the "novelty" wagon wheels.

    Hopefully this spring will be big for Haro. If the market does not respond and they get burned that could scare off a lot of people.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    The argument that most appealed to me for 650b was that a fatter tire could be run without increasing the overall diameter of the tire. Thus, you could have a plusher, fatter tire without affecting the gearing. It would be an improvement over a skinny tire on a 700c rim.
    But, I think that the problem is overstated. I'm having no problem using the same drivetrain on a 29er that I used on a 26er.
    A larger wheel is going to roll over the bumps better. A 650b is going to better than a 26er and a 29er is going to be better yet.
    That really reduces the rationale for 650b wheels FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoKrpan
    The argument that most appealed to me for 650b was that a fatter tire could be run without increasing the overall diameter of the tire. Thus, you could have a plusher, fatter tire without affecting the gearing. It would be an improvement over a skinny tire on a 700c rim.
    But, I think that the problem is overstated. I'm having no problem using the same drivetrain on a 29er that I used on a 26er.
    A larger wheel is going to roll over the bumps better. A 650b is going to better than a 26er and a 29er is going to be better yet.
    That really reduces the rationale for 650b wheels FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING.
    Here's a big reason for the apathy in 650B, as far as I'm concerned. Put succintly, there isn't enough of a difference from 26"ers to make the move in that direction appealing. The fact that a 2.7 - 3.0" 26"er tire/wheel combo is the same outer diameter as a NeoMoto/650B rimmed wheel is rather telling.

    Then the hardware and tires selection isn't really coming online as was promised two years ago. Of all the manufacturers listed on the original "manifesto" circulated around in the beginning, only Haro has really pulled through, so far. Sure, smaller scale manufacturers like Ventana have been accomodating, but that was expected from the beginning. Smaller manufacturers and custom builders are adept at that sort of thing, or should be.

    It has been said that Kenda was going to produce Nevegals and maybe something else, but nada so far. Panaracer was said to be coming out with a FireCross, but so far.......nuttin! There is a WTB prototype WeirWolf out now, but there hasn't been a release date set for it as of yet.

    Then the lack of an accepted name in front suspension has really hurt. It is rumored that Manitou will be on board by 2010, but it might be too late by then.

    Which brings me to my final point: the point made in the quote above about problems with 29"ers being "overstated". I would say, rather, that the problems and objections have been overcome by manufacturers. Choices in tires and suspension, weight in tires and wheels, gearing is next with a rumored 36T cassette, 20/30/42 T cranksets are possible now, and more selection is happening in gearing all the time. Handling has been addressed, long travel suspension is here, and more full suspension all mountain stuff is here or coming. Stuff that they said just a few years ago was impossible, too much of a compromise, or "too difficult to do" in 700c format.

    Davidcopperfield notwithstanding, 29"ers have made a ton of advancements in the last three years, advancements that are making the argument for an "inbetween wheel size" less attractive.

    I don't have anything against the 650B format, I really don't. I just question the "why" of it more than anything. It is getting harder everyday to justify doing a 650B bike when 29"ers and 26"ers have all of that ground covered.

    That's my view, your mileage may vary.
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  5. #5
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    I've tried and am still trying them all on my Mojo... 26/26, 650B/26, 650B/29.

    I own 2 29'ers and the Mojo, which I run mostly as a 650B setup.
    What attracted me to the 650B wheel size was that it almost has the same accelleration as a 26' and almost the same roll-over objects as a 29". In other words, it retains most of the benefits of both wheel sizes, without most of the penalties of them.
    It's easy to adapt 26" frames to 650B and reap the benefits of that great roll-over and handling, without having to do too much to the frame geometry.
    Having spent several years on 29'ers and LOTS of years on 26" bikes, I can honestly say that the 650B wheel size has a lot going for it. I have been very impressed with this wheel size.
    I think that it is very suitable for slightly shorter riders, whereas 29'ers suit tall riders better... and before anyone starts into me about "short riders can ride 29'ers" ... i'm 5'4" and ride 29'ers, so I know all about that side of the arguement. What i'm saying here, or trying to ... is that 650B definitely has a place in the scheme of things, just like 26" and 29'ers do. All three wheel sizes have good and not so good points, but from what I have experienced with 650B so far, it has more of the good points about it than both the other sizes...
    650B requires less frame geometry 'tweaking' than 29'ers, especially for the small size frames, and has better roll over than 26" frames, yet still retains the accelleration of the smaller wheel.
    In the end, it's up to the rider. As a cheap experiment, if you have an old 26" bike somewhere gathering dust, drop a 650B front wheel onto it and give it a run. I can guarantee that you will love it.
    In my opinion, 650B deserves a place in between the two established sizes of 26" and 29'ers. It has too many advantages to not be considered a viable proposition for a lot of riders.


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  6. #6
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    Knowing that you're testing things, should you not look out to speak in wording of "attracted", and then mix it like you actually felt that way testing it?

    So simple as people like to make bikes, they're trying to over-complicate wheelsizes.
    Bigger rolls better, period.
    Momentum, no such thing. Unless you mean those turning thingies handing from your hubs. Like 10% of THAT weight is going to totally break your ride.
    People just zoom in and in and in, till there's only the difference, and the big picture is lost.

    GT has written about it better than I can, but an in-between wheel size is just not going to bring any magical trade-offs.
    There's one 650B tire now, right, and it only comes in 650B? Fun comparing it to 26" and 29" that way. We can review the difference to be something else than the laws of physics dictate. It will roll like a better wheel, but because it's not quite as big, it will accellerate just like the smaller one. Yeah right.

    Let's all joins hands, sing oooohhhhmm and decide that 2009 will be the year where we once and for all quite whining about rotating weight and its effects on acceleration.
    Don't let me show up to your local race with wheels I added weight to, to quatruple or more the rotational weight, to show how bad it really makes a rider ride! You're not going to tell the difference if it not you on the bike, even if you know how (s)he normally rides.
    10 percent people. And 650B is 4% points of that.
    650B is the very most complicated 26" wheel ever made. It claiming to be big AND small at the same time, but it's BIG when rolling and SMALL when accelerating, the magical wheel size!

    650B makes all kinds of sense if you have destroyed your 26" wheels in you Surly 1x1 bike. It's bigger, thus better. The half inch BB rise may work out for you, it may also bug you. The diff is so small, the wheels will exchange between bikes. Like I said, complicated 26" wheels.

    Soupboy, what is 32" worth it to you? We need a few rich riders to stick together, and I can make it happen. Properly from the get-go. A wheelsize the public actually asked for.
    It will not be marketed, it will not be explained. You'll need to know the magic handshake to be allowed to order one. When asked about it, you will be contracted to declare that 32" is in fact rubbish, way too sluggish, and it won't hold a corner. Worst bike you ever got.

    650B would be sort-of be interesting as a frame size XS option.
    XS-650B
    S-29"
    M-30"
    L-31"
    XL-32"

    32" will need to happen, but we can forget the ones now pushing 650B to be of help (even though technically they have all the good contacts and know-how).

    Rim bead size 698mm, let it be known! A full 3 inches larger than 29", which was only +2.5" over 26". And, people want it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    It has too many advantages to not be considered a viable proposition for a lot of riders.


    Rainman.
    Especially the 5' 4" +/- ones? Everybody has to have a soap box to stand on. Some are happier with smaller ones and others need bigger ones to make themselves happy.

    On this, the dawn of the 10th anniversary of the "tire", I would have hoped by now that people had figured out that there are always going to be many ways to skin a bike. As an early adopter of the 29" wheel it makes me glad to see that it is finally getting to the point where mainstream acceptance is the norm. $400 Dick's bikes make it all worthwhile more than $450 handlebars. But one would not exist without the other. I will never regret making the switch personally but time and technology does tend to create other ideas that incorporate past experience with those just unfolding.
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  8. #8
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    Sorry Jan, i'm having a hard time understanding where you are going with this.. but i'm trying to understand you.

    All I can say for sure is that unless you have actually tried a 650b back to back with 26" and 29'er, then you really can't say too much in this discussion...and that's not aimed at you specifically Jan, even though you and I are on the opposite ends of the size scale.
    Any 26" bike can benefit from the addition of a 650B front wheel. I've tried it, tested it, and I know it works.
    My point is that there is room for the three wheel sizes, and having tested and tried all three separately ... and together, [mix and match etc..] i'm convinced that the 650B is a good thing ...... and so are 26" and 29'ers too. Why limit our choices? No need to, not when there are benefits to be gained for riders everywhere.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    I've tried and am still trying them all on my Mojo... 26/26, 650B/26, 650B/29.

    I own 2 29'ers and the Mojo, which I run mostly as a 650B setup.
    Okay, I respect that you are giving it a solid try. I recognize that.

    What attracted me to the 650B wheel size was that it almost has the same accelleration as a 26' and almost the same roll-over objects as a 29". In other words, it retains most of the benefits of both wheel sizes, without most of the penalties of them.
    Well, here it is, really. The reason that the OP posted was that he was wondering about the momentum, or actually the lack there of, in regards to the 650B format. It's the "almosts" that are the problem. Again, the inbetween of 650B isn't far enough removed from 26"ers, evidenced by the closeness of the overall diameter between a NeoMoto and big 26 inch rubber, and not close to what a 29"er has going on. (And yes, I have ridden 650B back to back with 29"er wheels.) This and the equipment choices are what are holding the format back in my opinion.

    It's easy to adapt 26" frames to 650B and reap the benefits of that great roll-over and handling, without having to do too much to the frame geometry.
    This statement echoes my comment above- that your equipment choices are still lacking, and that the difference between 26"er and 650B is somewhat minimal. As far as the frame geometry issue is concerned, it is a problem with converting a 26"er to 650B, and no longer an issue with 29"ers. (Once a calling card for going to 650B was that 29"ers had goofy geometry)

    Having spent several years on 29'ers and LOTS of years on 26" bikes, I can honestly say that the 650B wheel size has a lot going for it. I have been very impressed with this wheel size.
    I think that it is very suitable for slightly shorter riders, whereas 29'ers suit tall riders better... and before anyone starts into me about "short riders can ride 29'ers" ... i'm 5'4" and ride 29'ers, so I know all about that side of the arguement. What i'm saying here, or trying to ... is that 650B definitely has a place in the scheme of things, just like 26" and 29'ers do. All three wheel sizes have good and not so good points, but from what I have experienced with 650B so far, it has more of the good points about it than both the other sizes...
    And your final comment here is a minority opinion. It would seem that "if" 650B did enjoy the equipment choices and distribution that 29"ers do, and on a greater scale 26"ers, that public opinion, or more correctly, votes of dollars, would actually sort this out. Until then, I admire your passion for 650B, but it doesn't explain why the format is lacking more individuals with the same passion as yourself, which is what the thread is about, I believe.

    650B requires less frame geometry 'tweaking' than 29'ers, especially for the small size frames, and has better roll over than 26" frames, yet still retains the accelleration of the smaller wheel.
    Well, once again, 29"er freaks are not hampered by poor acceleration. I think you will have to agree that if that was a sticking point, the pros wouldn't be toying with the idea at all. And as far as geometry goes, 29"ers really shouldn't "tweak" anything, assuming you mean 26"er geometry is the "base". 29"er companies have figured out that 29"ers require there own specific geometry, and parts designs. I think you must realize this, Rainman. I know you are up on this sort of stuff. This is a meaningless argument for 650B these days, because it doesn't solve any problems. I don't have any problems with the format existing, but it is points like these, that are trying to make a case for 650B, that don't make any sense. As far as any of it goes, I can only find validity in the statement that small sized riders can benefit from 650B.

    In the end, it's up to the rider. As a cheap experiment, if you have an old 26" bike somewhere gathering dust, drop a 650B front wheel onto it and give it a run. I can guarantee that you will love it.
    In my opinion, 650B deserves a place in between the two established sizes of 26" and 29'ers. It has too many advantages to not be considered a viable proposition for a lot of riders.


    Rainman.
    Agreed. Each has to make up their own mind. As I stated above, the "court of public opinion" will ultimately decide the fate of 650B. Right now, the "court" seems mighty apathetic.
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  10. #10
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    Why not ditch 26" and 29" wheels altogether and just run with 650B?

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    I have to agree with GT on this one. I own several 29er's, a couple of 26er's and I was fortunate enough to borrow a 650b equipped bike from a friend for an extended test. As far as I'm concerned it's pretty simple, the benefits (or detriments) of the larger wheels are directly in proportion to their increased size. The improved "roll over ability" of the 29er is significant, the "roll over ability" of the 650b is greater than that of the 26 inch wheel but not nearly as great as a 29er. For me the benefits of the 650b were not nearly as marked as a 29er, and the benefits over the 26er whilst tangible were not significant enough to make me want to convert my 26er bikes. Hypothetically if there was a full range of 650b DH/FR tires and rims available I'd go down that road on my big travel bikes but to be quite honest I'm happy enough with 26 inch wheels for this application. In summary I do like 650b wheels, I have no doubt that for certain applications (longer travel FS frames, smaller riders) the 650b wheel is perfect but I do question wether the niche between the incumbent wheel size (the 26er) and the new contender (the 29er) is sufficiently big to push 650b development forward.

  12. #12
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    Good point from WDS and GT, little less to add.

    Since wheel size seems to be less than fixed to rider size (small riders also love 29"), the advantages of 650B are either smaller or imaginary compared to 29", or still a disadvantage over 26".

    650B IMO is a better wheel size for every adult rider, compared to 26", as long as the selecting of rims and tires gets to at least the level of 29". Just 4% in rim size just does not add up as quickly. Your SO would barely notice if your come home from work 4% taller, broader, etc until you stood right in front of her. It is that little.
    One must eyeball 26" and 650B sitting next to each other, and from the right angle, to fully appreciate that 4%. "Oh yes, I can see it now, that a whole inch right there".

    General (mayority consensus on this forum summarized:
    26" - good kids wheel size
    650B - less bad than that, one cool tire in the size
    29" - ah yes, the all-adults size
    .....where the heck is 32" for even more of where that came from? Riders 5' and up can be fitted to nimble handling 29"er without toe overlap. What do you mean, "big wheels"?
    Proper grown men can even handle a 36"er, albeit a bit cumbersome in the very tightest corners perhaps. Now compare those 10 extra inches to the one that 650B has to offer over 26", and we'll once again see how much we a re messing in the margin. An illness not uncommon to cycling.

  13. #13
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    after 2 solid years on a 4" FS 29er i can say it is an amazing XC+ machine. where does it fall down for me? when the going gets really chunky, all mountainish and tight single track. a short ride on a friends SC nomad in tough stuff showed me it wasn't my technique and that tough stuff doesn't mean you have to struggle so much. still the wheels on the nomad seem too small for my 6'4" body. because really only Lenz is making all mountain 5" to 6" FS bikes in the 29er camp, i 'm assuming it is not technically easy to make a 29er into a real all mountain platform or that i am convinced that it is suitable for tough all mountain riding (not withstanding MCs incredible technique pushing the 29er envelope). this is where i think the 650b platform can make huge strides, in the 5.5" to 6.5" FS all mountain category. cheers and happy new year!
    Last edited by starre; 01-02-2009 at 06:13 AM.

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    Does anyone have a Betamax video cassette player................

  15. #15
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    Some good points here and t some extent I agree with GT on the similarity between 650B abd 26", but stating that you could run a 2.7-3.0" tyre on a 26" bike to achieve the same diameter tyre is just silly. That 2.7"-3.0" tyre would probably weigh in well over 1100 grams, whereas the Neo Moto only weighs, what 700g? Who wants a pound more rubber when they don't need it? Converting a 26" wheeled bike to 650B adds a lot of benefits without giving up maybe an old, trusted frame and making it "new" again, without it becoming a pig weight wise and having to spend a ton of cash.

    Personally I've just decided that when funds allow I will be building up a 650B front wheel for my old Trance frameset and start riding it again. I 69erd it when my RIP9 broke and I realy did enjoy it, but had to lower the REBA to 80mm to keep the front end low enough. With a 650B front wheel I can use my old DUKE fork and have only a marginal front end height increase while gaining much better roll over.

    I know for sure that the Trance is stiffer frame wise than my '08 RIP9, so I think it'll give me another "toy" to play with in this crappy economic market until I can afford and decide which bike to purchase next.
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  16. #16
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    beta synic

    Quote Originally Posted by ShoMyOFace
    Does anyone have a Betamax video cassette player................
    Interesting you should mention beta. Beta is a standing joke for failed technology, but performance wise it was superior to VHS (was the standard for years in professional production). Who cares? No one, but it illustrates a point. In general success of a technology depends more on marketing and support than it's own merit. Upper end mtb buyers are more savy so it will be interesting to see if 650 lives/dies based on it's merits or simply the fickleness of the market.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    Some good points here and t some extent I agree with GT on the similarity between 650B abd 26", but stating that you could run a 2.7-3.0" tyre on a 26" bike to achieve the same diameter tyre is just silly. That 2.7"-3.0" tyre would probably weigh in well over 1100 grams, whereas the Neo Moto only weighs, what 700g? ............
    The point was that the sizes are close together, to the point that you could achieve the same/similar diameter with a 26 inch tire/wheel combination. I didn't say it was a great idea. I didn't say it would be light weight. Just to be clear.

    Then again, all the talk of using 650B on long travel All Mountain rigs is going to be falling on deaf ears when your only legitimate tire choice is the NeoMoto and the Haro Werx Sonix 650B rig isn't scheduled to make an appearance until 2010.

    This to illustrate my point that the equipment choices are lacking and that by the time the Haro bows, there will be the Niner W.F.O.9, another long travel 29"er fork, and possibly a bigger, beefier 29"er tire than we already have, making choices for burly rubber to bash on chunk even wider than we have now. Will it be too late for 650B to make an impact? Who knows.

    The comments about weight in the tires is also telling. A 26"er 2.7"er is about 1000 plus grams eh? Whaddaya figure a true AM/FR 650B tire is going to tip the scales at? People launch into 29"ers for having too much weight at the wheels, well 650B isn't immune to that either. Once again, in a comparison of equal measure, (which obviously doesn't exist yet, and may never), the 650B will be found to be nominally different. Not a big enough of a difference to bother with for most 26"er folks.

    Not to mention the fact that 650B has always been categorized as one of the 26 inch wheel sizes.

    So, to bring this back around to the original point, why isn't there a buzz about 650B?

    Too many "missing pieces" and not enough of a difference to make 650B an exciting proposition, apparently. Judging from what I can see anyway.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by starre
    ..... i 'm assuming it is not technically easy to make a 29er into a real all mountain platform or that i am convinced that it is suitable for tough all mountain riding (not withstanding MCs incredible technique pushing the 29er envelope). this is where i think the 650b platform can make huge strides, in the 5.5" to 6.5" FS all mountain category. cheers and happy new year!
    This is another point that the 650B advocates like to make in an attempt to give reason for the format. That in terms of geometry, too many compromises must be made to get a long travel 29"er, so go 650B!

    Well, once again, we need only look to history for some clues as to why this is a silly notion. In the early to mid 90's, a symposium of the days brightest mtb designers and honches was convened which the results of were printed in a popular rag of the day. Many here will recall this. If I remember correctly, it was stated that the longest travel a 26"er bike would ever achieve would be 4 inches. Four inches! It was said that too many compromises in geometry would have to be made to get more travel. Materials and engineering wasn't capable of overcoming all the dynamics at play to manufacture a reliable, tough, and reasonably lightweight 26 inch wheeled mountain bike with more than 4 inches of travel.

    Sound familiar?

    The "they say it can't be done" argument for 29"ers is lame. Again, Lenz and the Niner guys are showing us that indeed, it can be done with 29"er wheels. So to say that 650B is the answer to getting "big wheeled benefits in long travel" is not really an answer anymore.

    Besides, I happen to know that there is an 8 inch travel 29"er on the drawing board that is only waiting for tires and forks to catch up before it becomes a reality.

    Once again, smaller riders may benefit from a 650B long travel bike, but a 26"er can do most if not all of that in a lighter weight package, (important for small riders).

    The momentum for 650B will be harder to generate the more time goes by, I feel.
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  19. #19
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    I was initially very interested in the 650B and that Ventana El Bastardo was looking really interesting. I decided to give it time to "mature" and bought a Moots 29er and then a RIP9 and a Racerx 29er. Before this, I have had, what I believe to be, some of the best 26ers in the biz from Yeti, Turner, Ventana, and Ibis.

    I have now become very used to the 29ers and am significantly faster on them in practically any terrain....mostly due to the flywheel effect and me feeling much more stable on a 29er. I have suddenly lost all my interest in the 650B wheel. I'm 5'11" and ride here in Colorado.

    If I wanted to get another bike, I'd still consider a FS 650B but will wait for other options besides the Ventana, primarily to get a different suspension design though the Bastardo is always an option.

  20. #20
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    and how much would it weigh?

    please don't misunderstand, i am a 29er enthusiast but at least overseas i still see little or no interest in 29ers. i guess 26ers really do work maybe i'm wrong, but i see a much higher probability of the 29er going extinct when popular standard 26" frames can be used for BOTH 650b and 26 wheels.

    one of the things that has me thinking of the applicability of 650b to 5+" FS bikes is the problem of increased weight of 29er. while it is true you can build up a 4 inch FS 29er bike to 27-28 lbs, using slightly beefier rims (flows) and more rugged tires (rampages) on a solid frame like my FS 29er (sultan) with a decent XT build puts you in the 32 pound range. this is the same weight range of the good 6+" 26" bikes (RFX/nomad). i've been riding quite a lot and feel that 30 to 32 lbs is about the limit for dragging around a bike for full day trail riding. IMHO it will take quite a bit of $$$ to put a 5+" 29er bikes in the below 32 pound category let alone an 8" version, while i think the weight penalty for 650b in this category would be critically less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Besides, I happen to know that there is an 8 inch travel 29"er on the drawing board that is only waiting for tires and forks to catch up before it becomes a reality.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by komekomegaijin
    Why not ditch 26" and 29" wheels altogether and just run with 650B?
    If the market powers are smart they'll ditch the 26" altogether and sell only 650b or 29" as this would require everyone to buy new stuff. If bigger wheels work better in most applications why are we holding on to the smaller 26" format.
    Happy Trails
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  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=Flyer]..... bought a Moots 29er and then a RIP9 and a Racerx 29er. ]

    Must be nice to be able to buy all that hardware.
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

  23. #23
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    Will a 650B wheel and tire fit a 26" fork? What axle to crown measurement is need for a 650B wheel?
    Happy Trails
    Jolly

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    The movement needs a real fork, other than the WB, or X fusion fork for this movement to take off.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jollybeggar
    Will a 650B wheel and tire fit a 26" fork? What axle to crown measurement is need for a 650B wheel?
    Yes if you are OK to void fork warranty.
    And, irrelevant question. Do the math yourself : the rim is 1" bigger than with 26".
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  26. #26
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    The 650B movement needs Richard Cunningham to stick a fork in it.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by starre
    please don't misunderstand, i am a 29er enthusiast but at least overseas i still see little or no interest in 29ers. i guess 26ers really do work maybe i'm wrong, but i see a much higher probability of the 29er going extinct when popular standard 26" frames can be used for BOTH 650b and 26 wheels.

    one of the things that has me thinking of the applicability of 650b to 5+" FS bikes is the problem of increased weight of 29er. while it is true you can build up a 4 inch FS 29er bike to 27-28 lbs, using slightly beefier rims (flows) and more rugged tires (rampages) on a solid frame like my FS 29er (sultan) with a decent XT build puts you in the 32 pound range. this is the same weight range of the good 6+" 26" bikes (RFX/nomad). i've been riding quite a lot and feel that 30 to 32 lbs is about the limit for dragging around a bike for full day trail riding. IMHO it will take quite a bit of $$$ to put a 5+" 29er bikes in the below 32 pound category let alone an 8" version, while i think the weight penalty for 650b in this category would be critically less.
    With all due respect, mikesee and others have shown 6 X 6 29"ers that weigh 30-32lbs with no "stupid" light weight parts on the builds. Several more Behemoths have easily been at or below the 30lb mark.

    Niner expects their W.F.O.9 will fall into the same weight category.

    Weight is a big sticking point with a lot of folks here, but it sure doesn't seem to be holding back a vast majority of mountain bikers that are riding 26 inch wheeed bikes that are averaging 28-34lbs right now.

    And since the difference between 650B and 26"ers is so minimal, we already know how much it would be to purchase a long travel 650B rig. (ahem! Rainman's example given in this very thread, which is pretty spendy.) So, if you take that into account, you example given of a RFX/Nomad bike with 650B wheels would weigh nominally more than the 26"er, and as I have said, the 29"er long travel bikes are already being built in this weight range and below.

    No......weight isn't the answer either.
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  28. #28
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    The difference between 26" and 650b is not "minimal"

    It is enough. IE, it has advantages over 26" wheels, and advantages of 29" wheels.

    Believe it or not, there are legions of devoted mountainbike riders who don't want the attributes of 29" wheels. Better roll-over also means harder to get off the ground. Larger contact patch means harder to intentionally break traction and control in a slide... it goes on from there... The wheels will always be heavier and flexier.

    The ride of 29" wheels is just not what many, many riders want. They don't want change, and don't need change. 650b wheels are a change, and an improvement that people who love the ride of 26" wheels can love. They still have all the postive attributes of 26" wheels, with the added benefit of a slightly smoother ride and just enough more traction...

  29. #29
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    I guess what bugs me about this discussion is I keep hearing that 650Bs have "all of the advantages of 26 with none of the disadvantages of 29". That can't be true. If a 650B is bigger than a 26, then it will be heavier and accelerate slower, all things being kept equal. And it will roll over stuff better than a 26, but not as well as a 29er. It might indeed be "just right" for some applications. But I agree with everyone who has said that the difference isn't enough to justify manufacturing and stocking all of the frames, rims, tires, and forks that would make 650B viable.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    I guess what bugs me about this discussion is I keep hearing that 650Bs have "all of the advantages of 26 with none of the disadvantages of 29". That can't be true. If a 650B is bigger than a 26, then it will be heavier and accelerate slower, all things being kept equal. And it will roll over stuff better than a 26, but not as well as a 29er. It might indeed be "just right" for some applications. But I agree with everyone who has said that the difference isn't enough to justify manufacturing and stocking all of the frames, rims, tires, and forks that would make 650B viable.
    Exactly. It is somewhere in between. As to the validity of it, I am nor sure myself. Allot of proponents of the various sizes don't, however, see people ultimately stocking and manufacturing all three sizes, they see it as just being one.

  31. #31
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    Question for all of you who have posted in this thread;

    Have you ever ridden a 650b bike?

    Have you ever ridden similarly built bikes with the same wheel/tire setups in all 3 sizes?

    There are very few people who have (i'm one of them).

    Of course I have a pretty closed mind (29" wheels aren't any fun for me), but I did make the effort to buy 29" and 26" Rampages, and build a 29'er frame to compare. Hell, I bought 5 or 6 pairs of xc-race oriented 29er tires.

    I rode the bikes, i stuck my team riders on the bikes for relatively blind test rides, etc... I made sure to change the gearing on the various bikes to maintain relatively scaled rollouts.

    I did everything short of Creatine Kinase blood measurements and expired gas analyisis.

    Things like lap times didn't really vary much. But almost everyone had more FUN on the 650b bikes...

    And isn't that the whole point?

  32. #32
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    That's what I'm talking about

    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectDevice
    Question for all of you who have posted in this thread;

    But almost everyone had more FUN on the 650b bikes...

    And isn't that the whole point?
    I am not a racer, never will be. Fun is the soul purpose for me.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectDevice
    Question for all of you who have posted in this thread;

    Have you ever ridden a 650b bike?

    Have you ever ridden similarly built bikes with the same wheel/tire setups in all 3 sizes?

    There are very few people who have (i'm one of them).

    Of course I have a pretty closed mind (29" wheels aren't any fun for me), but I did make the effort to buy 29" and 26" Rampages, and build a 29'er frame to compare. Hell, I bought 5 or 6 pairs of xc-race oriented 29er tires.

    I rode the bikes, i stuck my team riders on the bikes for relatively blind test rides, etc... I made sure to change the gearing on the various bikes to maintain relatively scaled rollouts.

    I did everything short of Creatine Kinase blood measurements and expired gas analyisis.

    Things like lap times didn't really vary much. But almost everyone had more FUN on the 650b bikes...

    And isn't that the whole point?
    To answer your question: Yes, I have. Actually, I owned and rode a 650B bike before it was considered "cool", for what that is worth..........

    As for the rest of your comment: Awesome! You guys love 650B wheels, and you are right, it is "just a bike".

    You are also correct to say that not everyone wants or needs a 29"er.......or a 650B'er.......or even a mountain bike at all for that matter, do I have that right?

    But that isn't the point of this thread, and I know it has been getting drug off topic a bit. So, do you have any insight as to why the 650B format seems to be stalled?

    That's the question at hand................
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  34. #34
    rmb
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    660
    29 softail
    Kona Unit 29 (for two years)
    Surly 1x1 650B
    Two 96ers (rigid to preserve geometry)

    I have 650b wheels in a 1x1 and really like it, and don't consider the resulting 12" bottom bracket height high. It is more manueverable than the Unit 29er and does not feel like the tires hang up at all.

    I like the 96ers, although I can feel the rear wheel hang up a bit.

    I have no intention of geting rid of my 29er, and will get another.

    The 650B wheels are not meant to replace anything, just add an option and a good one.

    No sense arguing with some people; just check out the cat thread where Cloxxki and Bi-polar-field are arguing over animals.

  35. #35
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    Now thats it ... that's hitting the nail right on the head...
    I suspect, like you that there are very few who have actually tested the wheel size against the others back to back and are giving an opinion based only on what they think, not what they have actually experienced or tested themselves.

    I've personally done this testing, riding the three wheel sizes side by side and back to back on the same trails for days. I based my conclusions on this type of testing, not something I heard my mates friends brothers uncle had said three weeks ago in the pub...

    29'er riders have to have open minds to change, look what we went through in the early days of the forum, when we were fighting to get forks and tires so we could establish the "new" wheel size and get more options for the 29'ers back then..
    Now there is the 650B, fighting for survival the same way as the 29'er did some years ago. There is room for all three sizes, keep an open mind and try a 650B front wheel on your old 26" bike. You will be surprised how well it performs without any mods to the 26" frame.

    In closing, let me just say this... I can ride a 650B faster and harder than a 26" or 29'er over the same trails, i've tested this over and over and found it to be so. I'm not knocking 29'ers, I own two of them myself. What i'm asking is that you try a 650B and see if you like it, like I do. There *is* room enough for three...



    Rainman.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectDevice
    Question for all of you who have posted in this thread;

    Have you ever ridden a 650b bike?

    Have you ever ridden similarly built bikes with the same wheel/tire setups in all 3 sizes?

    There are very few people who have (i'm one of them).

    Of course I have a pretty closed mind (29" wheels aren't any fun for me), but I did make the effort to buy 29" and 26" Rampages, and build a 29'er frame to compare. Hell, I bought 5 or 6 pairs of xc-race oriented 29er tires.

    I rode the bikes, i stuck my team riders on the bikes for relatively blind test rides, etc... I made sure to change the gearing on the various bikes to maintain relatively scaled rollouts.

    I did everything short of Creatine Kinase blood measurements and expired gas analyisis.

    Things like lap times didn't really vary much. But almost everyone had more FUN on the 650b bikes...

    And isn't that the whole point?
    It is inevitable ...

  36. #36

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    good advice?

    mdb1974,

    the troll killer can't figure you out? why not try the thing out and decide for yourself rather than seek the approval of interweb geeks and would be experts?
    if you simply must get someones blessing by all means listen to gt and clockskey. the troll killer is certain these guys are wizards!

    if the troll killer weighed 275 lbs and lived in a state that's highest elevation was 1,670 feet, and had snow on the ground for 5 months out of the year... the troll killer would want to the biggest wheels possible too. the big wheels work wonders on all those gently rolling prairie path ways. for all his magnanimous rhetoric, one only has to peruse gt's blog to see his mind was set against, well in advance of ever riding a 650b wheeled bike.

    and the other clueless wonder (clockskey) is 2.5 meters tall and lives in a place that is completely flat... practically underwater even. the troll killer is not surprised this wing nut is leading the charge for manufactures to make even larger tires.

    the troll killer thinks anyone who listens to these clowns with out trying things out for themselves is really missing out.

    bonne chance!

    tk

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted

    But that isn't the point of this thread, and I know it has been getting drug off topic a bit. So, do you have any insight as to why the 650B format seems to be stalled?

    That's the question at hand................
    I don't see what is stalled about it? Fox and Xfusion XC forks fit the tires fine already. Most all-mountain forks fit it. All 29er forks fit them just fine... We have the best tubeless xc rim in the world, Kenda is making the most popular tire in the market in 2 650b sizes, There are the 2 pacentis and the IRD all made by Panaracer. Michelin is back to the drawing board for their entire tire line (so who knows what they are thinking?). One of the largest tire manufacturers in the world (the one that isn't CST or Kenda and makes Michelin, Vittoria, etc.) is bringing their own tire line to market, and they have plans for at least 3 650b tires.

    If anything, the product stream is exceeding the demand for the bikes so far. Just now we are seeing 650b coverage in print media. I think folks online undervalue print media significantly... for a vast majority of consumers, if it isn't in their local shop, or in a media review, they haven't heard of it...

    There is plenty of space for 3 xc wheel sizes, especially when for things like suspension forks, it just takes re-designs and tweaks to existing product to make them work for 650b use.

    Adoption here is far quicker than with 29ers, as the industry realizes that easiest way for us to sell new product is to have product that is differentiated from the product we are already making. We learned that with the growth of 29ers over the last 2 years or so....

  38. #38
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    all this rambling about the benefits of 650b versus 29ers makes me miss my 24" wheels with beefy tires that were virtually identical in size to small tired 26ers, only they handled, braked and accelerated quicker... stiffer wheels as well since the spokes were so short!


  39. #39
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    Thanks troll. If the mdb1974 didn't have a hard time taking people seriously who referenced themselves in the 3rd person the mdb1974 might give a &*#$ about what you just said.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectDevice
    I don't see what is stalled about it? Fox and Xfusion XC forks fit the tires fine already. Most all-mountain forks fit it. All 29er forks fit them just fine... We have the best tubeless xc rim in the world, Kenda is making the most popular tire in the market in 2 650b sizes, There are the 2 pacentis and the IRD all made by Panaracer. Michelin is back to the drawing board for their entire tire line (so who knows what they are thinking?). One of the largest tire manufacturers in the world (the one that isn't CST or Kenda and makes Michelin, Vittoria, etc.) is bringing their own tire line to market, and they have plans for at least 3 650b tires.
    With all due respect, much of what you are writing here is future unobtanium. As of now, what are your tire choices? Are the Nevegals in yet? I have not seen this tire available. And on suspension forks, you know well that Fox has sent out a warning against using a 650B wheel/tire combination with any of their forks. thus, it doesn't bode well for "momentum" for the format, I think you'd have to at least realize that.

    If anything, the product stream is exceeding the demand for the bikes so far. Just now we are seeing 650b coverage in print media. I think folks online undervalue print media significantly... for a vast majority of consumers, if it isn't in their local shop, or in a media review, they haven't heard of it...
    Again, I must point out that Dirt Rag has had extensive print coverage of the 650B movement for at least a couple of years now going back to their Interbike 2007 coverage and have had at least one 650B bike tested and reviewed. Finally, I must disagree with the staement that "the product stream is exceeding the demand". Either that means that there is alot of "under the radar" product out there, or the demand isn't that great. I think I know which one is true.

    There is plenty of space for 3 xc wheel sizes, especially when for things like suspension forks, it just takes re-designs and tweaks to existing product to make them work for 650b use.
    Perhaps there is room for three wheel sizes in our personal stables, but it is the shop owners that will have to be the ones that are convinced in the end, and right now, the economic situation isn't lending itself to getting around that hurdle. Perhaps it will happen, but only time will tell......

    Funny thing, if it "just takes re-designs and tweaks to existing products to make them work for 650B use", then that begs the question: Why isn't that happening?

    Adoption here is far quicker than with 29ers, as the industry realizes that easiest way for us to sell new product is to have product that is differentiated from the product we are already making. We learned that with the growth of 29ers over the last 2 years or so....
    Hmm........no, this is another statement that is not really true. While it would make sense that it would be so, I think that after two to three years of 29"ers, we had more tires, a major manufacturer making bikes, a major fork maker on board, and nearly had one of the most classic 29"er frame and forks of all time, the Karate Monkey, which was shown at the 2002 Interbike. Arguably the frame that launched more 29"er freaks and custom bikes than any other. Not to mention a much livelier online presence. I do recall that much, since I was here back then.
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  41. #41

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    this is the way I do the math....26er x 29er > 650 whatever....or 69er
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  42. #42
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    650B will not be legitimate until Gary Fisher "invents" it.
    Extreme stationary biker.

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by geolover
    650B will not be legitimate until Gary Fisher "invents" it.
    disagreed,until al gore invents it remember he invented the internet

  44. #44
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    oi.

    Mark, you say that you have nothing against the B's, but everything I read here clearly says that you can't wait for this size to fall on its face. Sure, you've ridden one, but waaay BITD when we were all riding bikes that more closely resembled touring bikes [what you were actually using it for!] than today's mountain bikes. Sure you've ridden a modern one, but on a short ride at IB. That can't really count. Remember all the negativity we in the 29" world had to over come from just those short test rides folks'd take on 29"ers at IB a few years ago? Sure the test ride is something, but not everything. I want to see you get one out for a season of good thrashing! THEN come back w/a report.

    I trust Rainman's reporting on this stuff wholeheartedly. The man has obviously gone above and beyond in all the testing he does. And Suspect Device for that matter too. Boy's done his homework.

    As far as shops go. You know how small I am. I've got two guys on B bikes now, and in between ice and snow events, they're both quite happy with what the wheel size has done for 'em. The guy on the Rawland has no intention of giving up on the 29" either. There are plans afoot for more of those in his stable. All it requires for a shop is to simply have the knowledge of whats out there, whats available for their customers. That's my job, and I'm keeping an open mind about it.

    As for the B market, it'll come. In this day and age of instant gratification, its hard for us to remember that there are product design cycles that manufaturers are forced to deal with. Its easy for the little guys[like Ventanna and Spooky] to come out with stuff quick, because they don't have to deal with prototyping and Taiwan! Remember how long it took the 29" market to take off? YEARS to get more than 6 tires. Now we're demanding that the B market have just as many tires as that, in less than half the time. C'mon. Be realistic! Pacenti has two very good tires out now, and two on the drawing board. Kenda's tires are close. IRD is coming out with the Fire XC Pro. WTB's tire will be here next fall. And like SD said, who knows what Michelin will end up donig. Rims are coming. Blunts, Synergys, CR-18's, Equalizers, WTB's Trailmaster, and I'm sure more are coming too.

    Remember, this is the bike industry, and if there's a way for companies to take our money from us, they will find it. The B market is another nitch that needs to be filled. There are riders out there clamoring for something that is just different. 29" wheels are no longer that.

    Do what Rainman suggests, if you have an old 26" gathering dust, scrape parts together, build a wheel, and try it out! I'm going to. I still have an open mind!

    And after the B's saturate the market it'll be mod trials bikes, and we'll all be b!tching about them. You heard it here first!
    Just a regular guy.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    And after the B's saturate the market it'll be mod trials bikes, and we'll all be b!tching about them. You heard it here first!
    No Marty, they'll be beechin about these:
    P1010756.JPG
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  46. #46
    jrm
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    I think possibly finding

    [a happy medium between a 700c and 26" wheel could be cool. It seems like it could provide a nexus between the good and the bad of each ie weight, momentum, acceleration..who knows.,

  47. #47
    Witty McWitterson
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    Sorry, I stand corrected! Howinthehell are you supposed to get that around a switchback?











    Wait, you mean bikes can be used as TOOLS?!



    wtf!










    Love it Bob. srlsy.
    Just a regular guy.

  48. #48

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    Variety is the spice of life

    To quote Specialized.... "Innovate or Die"
    Having another size wheel (650B) just gives everyone another choice.

    I am just building up a 29er now to see what this is all about but I have ridden my Soma 'crosser on some pretty good singletrack rides and had a blast ( albeit a lot slower) so I'm sure as long as I am " in the woods" on two wheels I'll be happy. I keep looking at the Motolite and wondering what could be better.

    Changes are always slow to catch on... I remember how long it took for Mountain Bikes to take off in the 80's and there will always be some naysayers... they will be the biggest proponents in a few years.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    Sorry, I stand corrected! Howinthehell are you supposed to get that around a switchback?











    Wait, you mean bikes can be used as TOOLS?!



    wtf!










    Love it Bob. srlsy.
    Zippy eh?

    Shorter than a tandem. But switchbacks are not where it is at with this. More like Cul de Sacs.

    It is actually about another T word. Transportation. Gettin' with the flow of traffic. Bringing home the dog food etc.

    Wait'll you ride one, coming your way soon!
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  50. #50
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    The problem is as I stated originally. We are in tight economic times and you're asking companies to roll out new product lines exactly at a time when they are least likely to incur risk.

    A lot of companies are just now starting to push 29ers, why do they want to add a new wheel platform to compete with something that they already consider a niche (one with far more momentum).

    Yes, there are a few enthusiasts out there pushing this. The niche for "bigger wheels" has already been filled by the 29er. I don't think 650B will take off anytime soon unless you could convince Giant to adopt it as their answer to the 29er.

  51. #51
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    hard tail - soft tail - full suspension / 26" - 650B - 29"
    just another option.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by MABman

    Wait'll you ride one, coming your way soon!

    'k spill the beans! Coming back to the midwest?


    I've put some serious thought into getting a Big Dummy. Maybe, and I stress maybe I'll find a scratch'n dent one at the QBP show in February. That'd be killer.
    Just a regular guy.

  53. #53
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    I thought this was going to be about how much momentum a 650B wheel has.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    oi.

    Mark, you say that you have nothing against the B's, but everything I read here clearly says that you can't wait for this size to fall on its face. Sure, you've ridden one, but waaay BITD when we were all riding bikes that more closely resembled touring bikes [what you were actually using it for!] than today's mountain bikes. Sure you've ridden a modern one, but on a short ride at IB. That can't really count. Remember all the negativity we in the 29" world had to over come from just those short test rides folks'd take on 29"ers at IB a few years ago? Sure the test ride is something, but not everything. I want to see you get one out for a season of good thrashing! THEN come back w/a report.

    I trust Rainman's reporting on this stuff wholeheartedly. The man has obviously gone above and beyond in all the testing he does. And Suspect Device for that matter too. Boy's done his homework.

    As far as shops go. You know how small I am. I've got two guys on B bikes now, and in between ice and snow events, they're both quite happy with what the wheel size has done for 'em. The guy on the Rawland has no intention of giving up on the 29" either. There are plans afoot for more of those in his stable. All it requires for a shop is to simply have the knowledge of whats out there, whats available for their customers. That's my job, and I'm keeping an open mind about it.

    As for the B market, it'll come. In this day and age of instant gratification, its hard for us to remember that there are product design cycles that manufaturers are forced to deal with. Its easy for the little guys[like Ventanna and Spooky] to come out with stuff quick, because they don't have to deal with prototyping and Taiwan! Remember how long it took the 29" market to take off? YEARS to get more than 6 tires. Now we're demanding that the B market have just as many tires as that, in less than half the time. C'mon. Be realistic! Pacenti has two very good tires out now, and two on the drawing board. Kenda's tires are close. IRD is coming out with the Fire XC Pro. WTB's tire will be here next fall. And like SD said, who knows what Michelin will end up donig. Rims are coming. Blunts, Synergys, CR-18's, Equalizers, WTB's Trailmaster, and I'm sure more are coming too.

    Remember, this is the bike industry, and if there's a way for companies to take our money from us, they will find it. The B market is another nitch that needs to be filled. There are riders out there clamoring for something that is just different. 29" wheels are no longer that.

    Do what Rainman suggests, if you have an old 26" gathering dust, scrape parts together, build a wheel, and try it out! I'm going to. I still have an open mind!

    And after the B's saturate the market it'll be mod trials bikes, and we'll all be b!tching about them. You heard it here first!
    oi x 2!!

    Look Marty, you are missing the point, and you know me better than that. I like bikes. A 650B bike is a bicycle. I get it. Really!

    The thread is about why there seems to be no "momentum" or "buzz" like there was two years ago with this wheel size, right? That's what I'm talking about. The posters here keep dragging up the oft repeated reasons for the format to exist, but still are not really addressing the point. See what I mean?

    And to your pointing out Rawland, well that is one bright spot in the whole genre', but I think you'd have to agree that Rawland is a lot more than just 650B wheels, ya know? Sean gets it. It is about having a cool bike first. That's why he does 29"ers as well as 650B. He isn't making a statement necessarily on the wheel size alone, as you are well aware of.

    Then as far as my rides on 650B vs 29"er, I didn't realize I needed a "season worth of good thrashing" before I am qualified to give an opinion. If that is the case, we can discount 98.5% of what we read on these forums, or anywhere else, for that matter, eh? I will retire now to the shadows............. But good on Rainman and anyone else that gives it a long term testing. That's great.

    Finally, you bring up the potential tires and what not coming down the pipeline. Great. I hope that they come, but I have seen promised tires vaporize, and to be honest, two years ago the same things were being said. Heck, Kirk Pacenti himself proffered a list of at least 20 companies that were going to do a 650B two years ago, and many of those "promised" brands are all but a pipe dream yet today. You say, "give it time", and I am saying, does 650B have the time to give? I mean, will it be too late by the time it all comes through? That to me is the whole point of this discussion.

    Funny thing to note: How much traffic has there been on the 650B forum versus just this thread alone today? That alone is a telling stat in my mind.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted

    And we all know that the fox disclaimer is covering their asses. There is absoultely no issue with using a 584x50-55m tire in an f-series or especially 36 fork. It is a matter of liability, not fact.


    Again, I must point out that Dirt Rag has had extensive print coverage of the 650B movement for at least a couple of years now going back to their Interbike 2007 coverage and have had at least one 650B bike tested and reviewed. Finally, I must disagree with the staement that "the product stream is exceeding the demand". Either that means that there is alot of "under the radar" product out there, or the demand isn't that great. I think I know which one is true.

    Dirtrag isn't exactly the most read publication in cycling. It might be the best written Mtb mag, but circulation wise, the one or two dirtrag articles are pretty much nothing. The recent MBA review of a Lysnkey likely reached 10x more eyes, and more importantly, got exposure in a publication which, love it or hate it, is read by less crusty soul riders and more easily inluenceable consumers... Outside of the internet, and Dirtrag, 650b has had very little penetration. We've had 650b mountainbike tires for about a year... Tires are most certainly coming. Molds are made. Things are even on boats... There is only one mass market 650b bike on the market...


    Your sense of perspective here seems a little skewed toward 29" stuff




    Funny thing, if it "just takes re-designs and tweaks to existing products to make them work for 650B use", then that begs the question: Why isn't that happening?

    I don't know if you and I talk to the same product managers and engineers, but I have a pretty distinct impression that it is.
    Ted,
    Why all the agressive anti-584mm hyperbole? I don't actively inveigle against some of the bigwheel projects that seem so silly to me (like 5"+ bikes, 29ers for people smaller than 5'8"). I could, but it would make me look intolerant. Some folks like different things than others...

    Is the "fear" on behalf of the 29" bandwagon that product managers and designers will stop catering just to them?

    All seems a bit silly and childish to me. It's just a rim and tire size fer chrissakes.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectDevice
    Ted,
    Why all the agressive anti-584mm hyperbole? I don't actively inveigle against some of the bigwheel projects that seem so silly to me (like 5"+ bikes, 29ers for people smaller than 5'8"). I could, but it would make me look intolerant. Some folks like different things than others...

    Is the "fear" on behalf of the 29" bandwagon that product managers and designers will stop catering just to them?

    All seems a bit silly and childish to me. It's just a rim and tire size fer chrissakes.
    Hey, I'm just asking questions, and not getting straight up answers for all of them. So I call "BS" when I see that. I think 650B as a format is fine and dandy. I've said that what? Three or four times in this thread alone. Quote me on that, if you'd like.

    Thanks for clarifying your position on print media. I saw a statement that said "Just now we are seeing 650b coverage in print media." when clearly it had been done long ago. Now you are claiming Dirt Rag isn't the correct mag for advancing 650B stuff amongst the masses. Fine. Just say that to begin with, ya know?

    And if things are happening with product managers and stuff is "on the boat", that's great. That didn't come out until I started poking around in this thread. Not that I want any credit, but I do pay attention on the next forum down and that stuff hasn't been floating near the top for weeks now. So to the point of this thread, why is there no momentum, or lack of buzz on the 650B side of things? Well, it now seems that there is reason to have some excitement there, but for whatever reason, the OP wasn't seeing this, and quite frankly, neither was I.

    You bring up fear. Fear of what? You say that I may fear that product managers won't cater just to me? How rich! Perhaps you missed the thread I started on the 650B forum about something I hadn't seen postings about, (at least not obvious from thread titles) so you guys would know about it, and the subsequent castigation I recieved for missing Wish I Were Riding's thread about the same subject. Gee......thanks guys! Starting that thread doesn't sound like something someone would do that was afraid of 650B stealing resources from 29"ers would do, does it? Sheesh!

    Perhaps you didn't know that I helped foster the start up of sixfiftyB.com for Crooked Cog? So, maybe you could care less about all of that, but please don't misunderstand me. I am not "against" 650B, and I am not afraid of it. I just don't think alot of the things said about them makes sense. I have an opinion on them, but I am not "against" there being that sort of bike. As has been said. "It is just a bike".

    So,maybe I'm childish. If I am, then so be it. Thanks for your considered responses.
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  57. #57
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    The silly and childish remark is more directed at an attitude I read through out this thread... Lots of people (mostly just that Dutch Lunatic i suppose), that are absolutely obsessed with gigantic wheels. I'm not sure if I am ever going to be able to wrap my head around that!


    I think like a lot of people who spend, literally all day, every day in the bike world, I get sick of hype. I get sick of generating, reading, spreading it. Hype doesn't happen. It needs to be created. And I think a lot of us who are an active part of the hype and information organ often get busy with our other responsibilities.

    650b stuff is still super rare. There are maybe a few hundred people worldwide riding 650b stuff. Almost all of them post on MTBR.com Almost all of them heard about 650b stuff via MTBR. Hell, I make 650b stuff and I heard about it via mtbr!

    Sorry if you thought i was ragging on you directly... But your original post does really come off as rather hostile.

    When it's time to hype more stuff, it will happen!

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuspectDevice
    ....................

    Sorry if you thought i was ragging on you directly... But your original post does really come off as rather hostile.

    When it's time to hype more stuff, it will happen!
    Hostile? Nay.....passionate? Yes.

    No worries.

    I'm gonna prep my bike for a gravel grinder tomorrow. Hope you get a ride in too.
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  59. #59
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    I shall strive to express my opinion, which is biased towards 700c as I mostly commute on a trekking woman bike and old rusty steel 26er. Definitely the old one rusty old-timer would benefit from 584mm in the front but I would have to remove my fenders. 584mm will not be cleared. On 700c- 622mm I always felt faster and more efficient on 622mm and I feel slower to cover ground from points A to B on 559mm, if wanted to do ramp jumps DJ style I would use my old 559mm not because the wheels are significantly stronger than 622mm but 559 is easier to turn in the air- stunt friendly.
    Since I do not perform stunts while commuting I consider the possibility of which at least superfluous
    I don't want to change my 622mm in the treeking bicycle for smaller 584mm and don't want in mtb either.
    Of course one could get away with conventional gearing and accelerate faster but for what? I do not race I ride for pleasure and will not trade smootheness for lighter weight or acceleration.

    How tall should one be to fit 584mm and too tall to fit 559mm?
    Small riders like 165cms below will benefit more from 6" of travel with 584mm than comparable 29er but that's a minority.

    It was remarked that 584mm27,5/650b splits the difference which is a downright balooney as the one to do it would measure exactly 590,5mm.
    Kirk Pacenti touted it as having all benefits of 29er and all benefits from 26er without any shortcomings- such reasoning is, at least, flawed. He used 584 rather than 590 due to bigger proliferation of the former, which makes little sense as any other trekking/touring tyres are gone long ago.

    The fear had been brought up several times before this thread was started and Yes I dread,

    I fear that less attention will be drawn to 29ers from manufacturers' standpoints and thus lees resarch and development will be made.

    I fear that branx X when challenged about 29ers will reply
    "Sorry we've no plans for a 29er, we are trying to keep up with 650B demand"
    And it happens see Chris Cocalis from pivot cycles he thinks that longer travel than 4" on 29er is much of a compromise- tall front end, long chainstays, heavy tyres.
    He "bought it" he leans towards making long travel bikes with 584 rather than 622mm, which selfishly makes me desire the 584mm wheel format disappear with a view to providing him and others like SC the quantum leap sized wheel-622mm to experiment on and searching ways to make it work better and not stuffing smaller wheels to remedy lack of vast spectrum of choice in 622mm.

    I fear that in this particular case 584mm will threaten 622mm becuase the f.ex. Mach 5" will be done in 27,5/650b only and not in both: 700c/29"/622mm and 27.5.
    Selfishly speaking I would like to see Mach 5" in 29er format first.
    If such recurrence ensues we might see Yeti, Santa Cruz and Giant endorsing 584mm in their bikes whilst not producing a signle one 29er, in which case 584mm will overtake 622mm and this taking my positive experience with 622mm will make me feel disappointed.

    I fear that the above will pertain to new tyres. "sorry we shan't invest in more 29er tyres development as we must invest more into 584mm movement becuase we feel this format is superior to both currently avaialble 26&29"

    If 29ers are fully mature I shall advocate another kiddy wheel size, before that I shall feel compromised on 622mm selection as manufacturers are spread thin catering for another size.
    If we are to have 10 new 29er tyres we wil get 3 instead becuase 7 will be done in 27,5" and I donnot want this to hapen.
    Imagine a factory in which the whole of surface with "tyre moulders" must be partaged into 3 sizes which means we shall get less in each wheel size unless they build more factories
    Ask anyone who specializes in anything to venture to do something different- like car company venturing into 4x4 terrain realm when opposed to competion specialized in terrain offroad car. The original carcompany will have neither time nor human resources to cover all tweak related expenses on all types of cars- outcome? Blighted cars, which would not happen if the company focused on just one type if car and put investments solely to it.

    I want 29ers to flourish firstly- get all suspension designs systems, all forks available to be done in 29er format, all manufacturers jump on board- before something new enters otherwise LBSes will be spread thin as well. Instead 10 29er tyre we shall get 5 29er and 5 27,5er.

  60. #60
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    You can look at 650b as a glass either half full or half empty.Either way, it's hard to get excited about a half glass of water.

    Nobody has asked me about 650b and I hesitate to recommend a format with few options and an unsure future.

  61. #61
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    I think the real problem is that there needs to be a wheel size between 650 and 29er. Now that would be the cat's meow!
    My brain went from "you probably shouldn't say that" to WTF!

  62. #62
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    Your whole arguement is based on .... fear? My god, David ... it's only a bike we are talking about here, not a life



    R.


    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield
    I shall strive to express my opinion,

    The fear had been brought up several times before this thread was started and Yes I dread,

    I fear that less attention will be drawn to 29ers from manufacturers' standpoints and thus lees resarch and development will be made.

    I fear that branx X when challenged about 29ers will reply
    "Sorry we've no plans for a 29er, we are trying to keep up with 650B demand"
    And it happens see Chris Cocalis from pivot cycles he thinks that longer travel than 4" on 29er is much of a compromise- tall front end, long chainstays, heavy tyres.
    He "bought it" he leans towards making long travel bikes with 584 rather than 622mm, which selfishly makes me desire the 584mm wheel format disappear with a view to providing him and others like SC the quantum leap sized wheel-622mm to experiment on and searching ways to make it work better and not stuffing smaller wheels to remedy lack of vast spectrum of choice in 622mm.

    I fear that in this particular case 584mm will threaten 622mm becuase the f.ex. Mach 5" will be done in 27,5/650b only and not in both: 700c/29"/622mm and 27.5.
    Selfishly speaking I would like to see Mach 5" in 29er format first.
    If such recurrence ensues we might see Yeti, Santa Cruz and Giant endorsing 584mm in their bikes whilst not producing a signle one 29er, in which case 584mm will overtake 622mm and this taking my positive experience with 622mm will make me feel disappointed.

    I fear that the above will pertain to new tyres. "sorry we shan't invest in more 29er tyres development as we must invest more into 584mm movement becuase we feel this format is superior to both currently avaialble 26&29"

    If 29ers are fully mature I shall advocate another kiddy wheel size, before that I shall feel compromised on 622mm selection as manufacturers are spread thin catering for another size.
    If we are to have 10 new 29er tyres we wil get 3 instead becuase 7 will be done in 27,5" and I donnot want this to hapen.
    Imagine a factory in which the whole of surface with "tyre moulders" must be partaged into 3 sizes which means we shall get less in each wheel size unless they build more factories
    Ask anyone who specializes in anything to venture to do something different- like car company venturing into 4x4 terrain realm when opposed to competion specialized in terrain offroad car. The original carcompany will have neither time nor human resources to cover all tweak related expenses on all types of cars- outcome? Blighted cars, which would not happen if the company focused on just one type if car and put investments solely to it.

    I want 29ers to flourish firstly- get all suspension designs systems, all forks available to be done in 29er format, all manufacturers jump on board- before something new enters otherwise LBSes will be spread thin as well. Instead 10 29er tyre we shall get 5 29er and 5 27,5er.
    It is inevitable ...

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdb1974
    ........ I know that this is the off season. I also know that the 29er floundered in the early days.
    But there are some worrying signs. 29ers really only had to deal with resistance from the 26er camp, the resistance to 650b, however, seems to be two fold. From other post I have made many of the 29er camp feel that 650 is nothing more than a compromise (also, a big chunk of early adopters has buried a lot of capital in the new size, diminishing the market). And, on the other side, many 26ers seem to have dug in their heels after years of mocking the "novelty" wagon wheels....
    Bought my first real mtb last spring and it is 26".....and I liked it. As I rode, observed, and studied (on the net and asking people I met), I became very interested in 650b and 29ers. After much research and thought, the 29er just made more sense to me....benefits of big wheels on both ends, only one size spare tube to carry, tire interchange, etc. Since I ride hardtails, the rear 29" wheel really helps smooth out the ride and provides incredible traction that a 26" never gave me....doesn't matter which tire. 29 floats on top of sand, gravel, river rocks, and loose soil!!! I am so happy with my 29er that I'm going to be selling my 26" and looking to buy a second 29er....full suspension for the really gnarly trails. BTW, 29er steers plenty good for me even in the tight techy single track. But, to each their own. When people ask I tell them how great 29ers are, but I don't really care what they ride, I now know 29 is where it's at....currently anyways....maybe larger in the future, but I think that would start to have too many drawbacks in the techy trails.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    Your whole arguement is based on .... fear? My god, David ... it's only a bike we are talking about here, not a life
    R.
    Sometimes you just need to symphatize with wheel size- a religious zealotry. Yeah but what's wrong with it? As long as religoius zealotry is progress-evokable it is good. I just want an Ibis 29er and 529 and not 584 version of them instead of/without 29er one.

  65. #65
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    A few questions/thoughts:
    1. How long did it take to get a good assortment of 29er tires?
    2. How long did it take to get a good 29er suspension fork?
    3. For that matter how long did it take to get a good variety of 29er frames with different/varied geometry?

    4. What's wrong with haveing more wheel size options - we've got all sorts of options in terms of forks (xc, long travel, dual crown, lefty etc. etc), you've got all sorts of options to run for cranks (outboard bearing, Isis, octalink, square taper not to mehtion different size crank arms and chainring combos), you've got flat bars, riser bars, H-Bars, Mary Bars. Variety is good IMO.

    5. The economy kind of sucks right now does it not? I'm sure that's having an impact on companies moving all sorts of stuff forward whether it be 650b rims, wheels, tires or what have you. That weak economy is also hurting consumer confidence and purchasing power so perhaps we are seeing fewer people with the financial means to give the wheelsize a try.

    6.I've ridden a few 650b wheeled bikes now and I gotta say at my height I like em. I like em a lot. I think they are worthwhile and will stick around.

    7. And I also am fine with things proressing along the way they are for 650b. I'd rather see slow and steady progress and new products arriving, than a huge rush of stuff coming out all at once. A slow roll out is fine by me, it doesn't have to be lightning fast. Hell it wasn't lighting fast for 29ers either.

    8. Man it seems like a lot of entergy spent on this "debate" that could be spent elsewhere.

    9. After all it is just another wheelsize and they are just another type of bike, and we pretty much all can agree that bikes are good things right!

    Here's to a great 2009 for 26ers, 29ers, 650bers and hell even you whackos riding those 36ers!

    Cheers,

    Mark

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    A few questions/thoughts:
    1. How long did it take to get a good assortment of 29er tires?
    Well, what is a "good assortment?" When I built my Monkey in early 2003 there were two WTB tires, two IRC models, Kenda Klaws, and one other that I can not recall at the moment, which were all avaiable in late 2002, by the way.

    2. How long did it take to get a good 29er suspension fork?
    Again, your definition of "good" might be called into play here, but there were Marzocchi and White Brothers forks designed specifically for 29"ers by the time I built my Karate Monkey.

    3. For that matter how long did it take to get a good variety of 29er frames with different/varied geometry?
    Well, that can be a loaded answer. Custom? From the outset geometry was being experimented with there. 2002 Fisher Bikes helped move things along with the 43mm offset Marz sus fork. 2003 saw the debut of the Karate Monkey, which spawned so many copy catters it isn't even funny. Still a great handling 29"er by any measure to this day.

    4. What's wrong with haveing more wheel size options - we've got all sorts of options in terms of forks (xc, long travel, dual crown, lefty etc. etc), you've got all sorts of options to run for cranks (outboard bearing, Isis, octalink, square taper not to mehtion different size crank arms and chainring combos), you've got flat bars, riser bars, H-Bars, Mary Bars. Variety is good IMO.
    Good for? You'll get a lot of people that will go either way on this. Especially with the component standards. I guess I don't see much of a correlation here. Wheel size is a wholly different animal and your lumping it in with the other variations on componentry and style aren't really making a case for the lack of buzz with 650B, I think.

    5. The economy kind of sucks right now does it not? I'm sure that's having an impact on companies moving all sorts of stuff forward whether it be 650b rims, wheels, tires or what have you. That weak economy is also hurting consumer confidence and purchasing power so perhaps we are seeing fewer people with the financial means to give the wheelsize a try.
    This is a good point- going forward. Up until this point, I don't think the economy has played a role in why it is that 650B seems to be sitting at idle in the publics mind. Using your point going forward, it doesn't bode well for the fomat in the short term.

    6.I've ridden a few 650b wheeled bikes now and I gotta say at my height I like em. I like em a lot. I think they are worthwhile and will stick around.
    Good. It (as a wheel size) has been around about 60 years already, so yeah, I would agree with you here.

    7. And I also am fine with things proressing along the way they are for 650b. I'd rather see slow and steady progress and new products arriving, than a huge rush of stuff coming out all at once. A slow roll out is fine by me, it doesn't have to be lightning fast. Hell it wasn't lighting fast for 29ers either.
    Yeah, but it wasn't as slow as 650B guys would have us believe either.

    8. Man it seems like a lot of entergy spent on this "debate" that could be spent elsewhere.
    That pretty much sums up 90% of mtbr.com. I'll have to work on lowering my average post count per day in 2009.

    9. After all it is just another wheelsize and they are just another type of bike, and we pretty much all can agree that bikes are good things right!

    Here's to a great 2009 for 26ers, 29ers, 650bers and hell even you whackos riding those 36ers!

    Cheers,

    Mark
    Right! Here's to a great 2009 riding season for ya Mark!
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    A few questions/thoughts:
    1. How long did it take to get a good assortment of 29er tires?
    2. How long did it take to get a good 29er suspension fork?
    3. For that matter how long did it take to get a good variety of 29er frames with different/varied geometry?
    These points contradicts what Kirk Pacenti is touting, right?
    May I remind you that he keeps on advertising that ISO 584mm is ready from the start and compatible with everything: most forks and frames and very little or no tweaks are necessary.
    Then, out of the blue, it turns out that 27,5ers must go the same path the 29ers did, doesn't it? and it isn't what he foresaw at least for a few years.

    4. What's wrong with haveing more wheel size options - we've got all sorts of options in terms of forks
    Yeah but now till most big wigs are convinced to 29ers, 650b will only canibalize would-be 29er projects (tyres, frames forks and even pro-racers). Manufacturers will not be able to introduce both wheelsizes and will have to make a choice. Simply 29er freaks don't want unsuccessful outcome for them.

    Don't get me wrong I want all 559mm to be deputized by 584mm but another - 622mm size will suffer and the proliferation of which, might be hampered.

  68. #68
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    Hits

    Revisiting the initial question, as some have pointed out, this was not so much a question about if 650b is valid as a format (although that plays heavily into it) but if, as it appears to some it, has waned in the market over the last year (the best technology is often not the most successful). One interesting indicator, which I have not monitored, would be traffic flow on the 650b forum? I am sure someone has access to hits over the last year, that volume would be a strong indicator of trends.

  69. #69
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    The Mods can get that info, I'm sure. I just checked and while there are ~315 users in the 29er forum, there are ~15 in the 650B/69er forum. I'll keep an eye on the user count each time I check in.

  70. #70
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    Coming in late to this thread, but the following might be in order:1.)One of the prime advocates of the 650B wheel was/is Grant Peterson, of Rivendell bicycles fame. His main point was, on the smaller ROAD bike frames, (say 52cm or under), it is stoopid to design the frame around the 700c wheel, because that size wheel makes it very difficult to allow enough clearance in the frame and fork for rack and fenders, as well anything bigger than 700cx25 tires. He feels pretty strongly that any useful bike should allow for these things.
    My wife's 47cm Bianchi Eros Donna was a case in point. Looked stoopid and disproportion with 700c wheels; would've looked correct, and had room for 700x32 tires and fenders, with 650B wheels. That was his whole point! Don't think he ever cared much about MTB performance, even though his Bombadil is built around the 650B. The wheel was originally designed as a touring bike wheel, for randoneuring.
    2.) Having owned his 650B Bleriot, I will say that the wheels did maintain momentum noticably better than any 26"er I've ridden. Those don't maintain momentum worth squat.
    Sometimes that's just what you want. Never really rode that bike off road, so can't comment on their singletrack capability. It was definitely the plushest road bike I've ever ridden, but it rode like a tourer, not like a roadie.
    3.)If you have a 26" frame that you really like, I'd think it'd be more cost effective to get a decent pair of 650B wheels built up ($275 for a really decent handbuilt set from Riv), and give it a try, then to sell your 26" at a huge loss, and start over with a 29er. Not that I'm going to do that, mind you. I like my 'umble D440 so much, soon as I find an 06 or 07 pagan green MC 29er, I'm gonna bail on 26"er. But that's because the geometry of 29'ers just work for me a lot better. That is all.

  71. #71
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    Here's a thought.....most of what is discussed in these forums is gear. I've been lurking on this 29er forum since I built up my first 29er 2 years ago - largely to gain insight from other people's experience on something I might want to try out. I think a lot of the silence on the 650b forum has to do with the lack of any interesting gear to discuss. Two tires, 2 rims and 2 forks. OK...now what? Let's face it, we're just a bunch of gearheads who like to talk about the new stuff. Half the time I'm probably just looking for justification to buy something new (I usually find that here and then some). I agree with several posters that the 650b format is not really in question. I rode a buddy's 650b setup a couple of weeks ago and have since tried his front wheel on my FS 26" bike - I love it, and I'm sure many others would too. If there were more product choices to discuss, there would be much more action on that forum. Unless manufacturers bring out more stuff to try out.....what's to discuss? Talk about a catch-22.....

  72. #72
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    Another thread about exactly the same wheel and the same excelent advantages of both wheel sizes.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=402908

  73. #73
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    650b? You bet!

    I'm almost afraid to bring this thread back to life! I just read through it and found it very interesting.

    My take on the "momentum" issue compared to 29ers is that it seems to me that 650b suffers from being a "reasonable" or "logical" tire size ... rather than the revolution that 29ers were 10 years ago. 29ers were an absolute revolution ... no question about it.

    It just seems reasonable to me that if you didn't have a dog in the fight, 650b would be the proper wheelsize for small and medium sized bikes ... everything just looks and works right. And the 650b potential for 5" - 6" trail bikes of all sizes seems apparent to me.

    Take a look at my 650b Ventana El Chamuco. Size medium ... 6" travel rear ... 5" travel front ... perfectly proportioned and handles great. Faster than it is with 26" wheels.

    Show me a 6" travel 29er in any size looks more "right" than this bike. And you know a bike like this is easy to design and at some critical tipping point a big company is going to build one and roll it out. And you know people are going to love riding them.

    Can you honestly look at this bike and tell me that you don't see the potential for the 650b wheel size?
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  74. #74
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    650b.....is great. So is Beta.

    New ideas should solve something. 650b is a heavy 26 wheel or a 29er wheel that doesn't roll over stuff as good. I'd go back to 26" before i'd bother.

    I got $20 on Haro for the Death Pool. Nuff said.
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo
    New ideas should solve something.
    Why is that? Honestly. Why is that your standard?

    We buy a new brake system because it has slightly better modulation. Or try new tires because we think the tread pattern or rubber compound might be better. Or buy a bike with a different suspension design because we think it might pedal slightly better.

    My El Chamuco feels faster and is more fun to ride with 650b than it is with 26" wheels. And it has 6" of rear suspension ... no issues.

    The bigger wheels maximize the performance of the bike to a far greater degree than different tires or carbon handlebars or whatever. Is that not worth something?

    Really, this artificial "it has to solve a problem" statement forces a standard on the wheel size that we never really apply to anything else.

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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUB160
    I'm almost afraid to bring this thread back to life! I just read through it and found it very interesting.
    First off: Great looking bike and I'm glad you are having fun riding it. Beyond all the hype, it is what it is: A bicycle. Good stuff that.

    My take on the "momentum" issue compared to 29ers is that it seems to me that 650b suffers from being a "reasonable" or "logical" tire size ... rather than the revolution that 29ers were 10 years ago. 29ers were an absolute revolution ... no question about it.
    Meh......I recall something very different than "revolution". Mostly it was redicule, and the 29"er was doomed to failure. In actuality, 29"ers were a grassroots, organic sort of deal. Definitely not a revolution. That "revolution" hype is just that. Hype.

    It just seems reasonable to me that if you didn't have a dog in the fight, 650b would be the proper wheelsize for small and medium sized bikes
    Okay, up to this point I can see some validity in your statement. Smaller riders, for sure.....yes, they could benefit from 650B.


    ... everything just looks and works right. And the 650b potential for 5" - 6" trail bikes of all sizes seems apparent to me.
    Here's where it goes off the rails for me. "Looks" are totally subjective and really are not a great reason to tool up for another wheel size. As far as "potential for 5"-6" trail bikes...", well, you can say that about any wheel size that is within reason.

    Take a look at my 650b Ventana El Chamuco. Size medium ... 6" travel rear ... 5" travel front ... perfectly proportioned and handles great. Faster than it is with 26" wheels.
    Again, subjective on the looks, (I happen to think it looks just fine), and I've no doubt you believe in it. Good on you. Still- it doesn't convince me that we need to have this wheel size.

    Show me a 6" travel 29er in any size looks more "right" than this bike.
    Okay, okay! I get it. You like the way your bike looks. What about 650B as a benefit performance-wise?

    And you know a bike like this is easy to design...
    I had to single this out because it is a popular reasoning to go with 650B versus 29 inch wheels. Well, just because it is "easy to design" doesn't mean it is good, nor that it is necessary, since apparently there isn't much difference between 26"er AM/Freeride designs and what you are talking about here. It leaves me wondering why this negligible difference is desirable.


    ....and at some critical tipping point a big company is going to build one and roll it out. And you know people are going to love riding them.
    In my opinion, that will be a very long time in coming, if we are talking about the Trek/Specialized/Giant type companies. As you must know, Haro is already doing one. I wouldn't hardly call their effort a "tipping point", however.

    Can you honestly look at this bike and tell me that you don't see the potential for the 650b wheel size?
    Again, it is definitely a solution for riders of smaller stature that want the benefits of a bigger wheel, if that is what they want. Trouble is, there is not enough difference to justify going away from a 26"er, which in it's bigger tire sizes approaches the same diameter as many of the current and coming 650B tires. Lack of fork support is also going to hold back 650B for the time being. I won't even get into the retailers point of view, which isn't friendly to 29"ers in a lot of cases, not to mention 650B.

    So, in conclusion, I see a tough row to hoe for this "tweener" wheel size. If it does make it, great. But I just do not see it happening on a level any where near 29"ers, and certainly nothing close to what 26"ers are for mountain biking.
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  77. #77
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    Good job! 650b

    Wow.... Ted, i'm a bit surprised by your negativity on this 650B issue mate.

    It reminds me of the attitude we encountered when 29'ers were new to the market, and we were trying to get the new wheel size to grow and be accepted as a viable proposition.
    Why are you so strongly against this new wheel size? There is room for three sizes, and really, it shouldn't worry anyone but make more riders happier...including you.
    I can't understand why you are picking it to bits all the time....or maybe i'm just reading between the lines wrongly this time?

    A wheel is a wheel is a wheel, and if it gives more riders more options, then why not accept it and encourage instead of knocking it all the time....I don't understand your stance on this at all.
    The 650B sure has a lot going for it, and from my own personal experience, it *is* better than 26" in some areas and situations. I would love to see it take off, even though I have nothing at all to gain from it doing so. I just believe that it should be given a fair trial and a fair go.


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  78. #78
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    i agree with SUB160 and Rainman. i believe that the 650B could be a great alternative in the 5+ inch catagory. i have ridden exclusively and extensively FS 29er and while it rules in XC where you can carry momentum, in tight technical slow single track my 29er feels cumbersome, a lot of work and much less fun. jumping on a 5+" 26er i felt i could manage the same terrain much easier and with a much bigger grin. you could say it's a matter of bike geometry - my 4" 29er rig compared to 5+ inch 26er, but the much bigger wheels and long wheel base under all mountain conditions at slow speed seem to be a drawback. i think for "all mountain conditions" the 650B could be a great compromise solution and i'm looking forward to more companies willing to take a chance on the new format.

    SUB160 - nice bike!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    Wow.... Ted, i'm a bit surprised by your negativity on this 650B issue mate.

    It reminds me of the attitude we encountered when 29'ers were new to the market, and we were trying to get the new wheel size to grow and be accepted as a viable proposition.
    Why are you so strongly against this new wheel size? There is room for three sizes, and really, it shouldn't worry anyone but make more riders happier...including you.
    I can't understand why you are picking it to bits all the time....or maybe i'm just reading between the lines wrongly this time?

    A wheel is a wheel is a wheel, and if it gives more riders more options, then why not accept it and encourage instead of knocking it all the time....I don't understand your stance on this at all.
    The 650B sure has a lot going for it, and from my own personal experience, it *is* better than 26" in some areas and situations. I would love to see it take off, even though I have nothing at all to gain from it doing so. I just believe that it should be given a fair trial and a fair go.


    Rainman.
    rainman, sub160, et al reasonable persons,

    the troll killer suggests that one should not waste ones virtual breath on the likes of these wankers.

    for all his claims of objectivity, fairness, open-mindedness one does not have to dig too deep to find what gt really thinks. one wonders if he's so double-minded he really believes that he's being objective? he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he undertakes.

    the troll killer can't figure him out, but would submit this as exhibit a; decide for yourself.
    http://650b.com/2009/01/23/650b-is-moving/

    vaya con dios,

    tk

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    Wow.... Ted, i'm a bit surprised by your negativity on this 650B issue mate.
    Ray, sorry if I come off that way, but I'm just trying to figure out what the poster thought of 650B,and its performance. He thought it "looked right", which is fine and dandy, but you know as well as I that things can look right and ride "not so right". Just looking for some answers here, which a lot of people are, I think, regarding the "why" of this wheel size.

    It reminds me of the attitude we encountered when 29'ers were new to the market, and we were trying to get the new wheel size to grow and be accepted as a viable proposition.
    No, no....... Here's where I think you are wrong. I don't ever say the wheel size is stupid, a fad, that it will never last, or that it is too slow, sluggish, etc. Quote me where I have and I'll say you are right here, but you will not find it.

    Why are you so strongly against this new wheel size?
    I'm not "against the wheel size", as you might be referring to "against" as meaning I wish it didn't exist, that it is stupid, or what have you. I just am looking for reasons why it makes sense to use it. look, I'm not convinced that it is really a solution for many riders.


    There is room for three sizes, and really, it shouldn't worry anyone but make more riders happier...including you.
    Worry? I'm not "worried" about 650B at all. Happy? If folks are happy riding their bicycles, that's the number one desire in my mind. Wheel size? Pffft!

    I can't understand why you are picking it to bits all the time....or maybe i'm just reading between the lines wrongly this time?
    Again, I am looking to be convinced, not told a bunch of fluff. So far, I haven't found a whole lot to be swayed into thinking 650B is what the proponents are saying it is most of the time. I'm still looking into it though, so it's not like I have a closed mind to it.

    A wheel is a wheel is a wheel, and if it gives more riders more options, then why not accept it and encourage instead of knocking it all the time....I don't understand your stance on this at all.
    Well, I'm sorry you do not understand it. I am not against options, but I will ask questions about those claims made for those options. Just like I did for 29"ers when I was investigating that wheel size. I am not convinced the claims made many times are all they are trumped up to be. So maybe my pressing the point is rubbing a few the wrong way. Hmm.....well, what can I say?

    The 650B sure has a lot going for it, and from my own personal experience, it *is* better than 26" in some areas and situations. I would love to see it take off, even though I have nothing at all to gain from it doing so. I just believe that it should be given a fair trial and a fair go.
    Okay, again. I am not against 650B existing. Fair enough?


    Rainman.[/quote]
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by troll killer
    rainman, sub160, et al reasonable persons,

    the troll killer suggests that one should not waste ones virtual breath on the likes of these wankers.

    for all his claims of objectivity, fairness, open-mindedness one does not have to dig too deep to find what gt really thinks. one wonders if he's so double-minded he really believes that he's being objective? he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he undertakes.

    the troll killer can't figure him out, but would submit this as exhibit a; decide for yourself.
    http://650b.com/2009/01/23/650b-is-moving/

    vaya con dios,

    tk
    Moving the 650B site to be part of Twenty Nine Inches was a decision that was made by more than one person, some of them that like 650B a whole lot.

    Seems like you know about me and my decisions more than I do, so certainly, I must defer to your superior knowledge.

    When you have somewhat to say regarding the benefits of 650B and why you think I should try it, we can have a meaningful discussion. Until then, your obtuse meanderings will only serve to give your beloved wheel size a black eye with me.
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  82. #82
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    It reminds me of the attitude we encountered when 29'ers were new to the market, and we were trying to get the new wheel size to grow and be accepted as a viable proposition.
    Kinda strange, I would think the 29er riders would be the first to get it. Best wheel size for right rider dimensions and a particular application.
    As far as the argument that there is not enough of a size difference. I think there is enough of a size difference between 26/650b. Only 5% diff but how many tire revolutions per ride ? Also, I think the outer casing has allot to do with it.
    Interesting note, the other day my friend and I measured my 650b pacenti tires against his 29er X/C race tires and the outer measurement was almost the same.
    Also, this guy is fast on the downhills but could not really keep up with my more aggressive 650b tires, in that particular application.
    the troll killer can't figure him out, but would submit this as exhibit a; decide for yourself.
    http://650b.com/2009/01/23/650b-is-moving/
    ghawk says, oh damn. I really would like the bike industry to cater to my particular needs, not the other way around.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUB160
    My take on the "momentum" issue compared to 29ers is that it seems to me that 650b suffers from being a "reasonable" or "logical" tire size ... ... no question about it.

    It just seems reasonable to me that if you didn't have a dog in the fight, 650b would be the proper wheelsize for small and medium sized bikes

    Since when does mountain biking, or biking in general, have anything to do with logic! By its very nature, biking is an emotional experience, and different people will bring their emotional baggage to bear on whatever topic, or aspect, of the type of riding they do, to the exclusion of whatever aspect of biking that others do. Its as though they regard it as some zero sum equation, that potentialy denys them their preference. If you're under 5'8", theres nothing to see here in the 650b realm, move along now, shows over. Ride what you like. Like what you ride.
    Last edited by theodash; 02-03-2009 at 08:28 AM.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghawk
    Interesting note, the other day my friend and I measured my 650b pacenti tires against his 29er X/C race tires and the outer measurement was almost the same.
    Out of curiosity, what was that outside diameter?
    Former New Yorker, now in Fort Collins
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  85. #85
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    All 584mm zealots ought to note that a helluva 29er riders would rather see the both expenses and researches being done on 29er parts than getting responses that major wigs are having their hands full of work with 650b and thus 700c is out off the blackboard.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    First off: Great looking bike and I'm glad you are having fun riding it. Beyond all the hype, it is what it is: A bicycle. Good stuff that.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Okay, up to this point I can see some validity in your statement. Smaller riders, for sure.....yes, they could benefit from 650B.
    Thanks again

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Here's where it goes off the rails for me. "Looks" are totally subjective and really are not a great reason to tool up for another wheel size.
    There is something simple and elegant about bikes. It seems to me that there is a relationship between form and function that is not entirely subjective.

    What I actually said was "Take a look at my 650b Ventana El Chamuco. Size medium ... 6" travel rear ... 5" travel front ... perfectly proportioned and handles great. Faster than it is with 26" wheels."

    That's a pretty good list of reasons for 650b right there. I'm 5'9" and I've got a long travel trail bike with bigger wheels that works great and yes ... it passes the eye test too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    ... just because it is "easy to design" doesn't mean it is good, nor that it is necessary, since apparently there isn't much difference between 26"er AM/Freeride designs and what you are talking about here. It leaves me wondering why this negligible difference is desirable.
    This is a good question and a good point. So what's the difference? Honestly, the 650b just rolls and flows better and feels faster than any 26" wheel/tire combo that I have had on the bike. I don't know any other way to say it. It doesn't feel negligible to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    In my opinion, that will be a very long time in coming, if we are talking about the Trek/Specialized/Giant type companies. As you must know, Haro is already doing one. I wouldn't hardly call their effort a "tipping point", however.
    I can't say that I disagree with this. If companies like Haro are looking for places where they don't have to go head to head with the big boys ... 650b would seem to be a good product for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Again, it is definitely a solution for riders of smaller stature that want the benefits of a bigger wheel, if that is what they want. Trouble is, there is not enough difference to justify going away from a 26"er, which in it's bigger tire sizes approaches the same diameter as many of the current and coming 650B tires.
    I think you just need to compare apples to apples. A 26" 2.4 Big Betty may be nearly as large as a 650b 2.0 QuasiMoto ... but those two tires are going to have radically different applications. There is no doubt in my mind that a 650b 2.0 QuasiMoto would smoke a 26" 2.0 QuasiMoto.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Lack of fork support is also going to hold back 650B for the time being. I won't even get into the retailers point of view, which isn't friendly to 29"ers in a lot of cases, not to mention 650B.
    We agree here too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    So, in conclusion, I see a tough row to hoe for this "tweener" wheel size. If it does make it, great. But I just do not see it happening on a level any where near 29"ers, and certainly nothing close to what 26"ers are for mountain biking.
    I can't disagree with this either.

    What I will say is that I tend to think that the market is going to continue to evolve towards more and more specialized products. It doesn't matter much to me if my LBS carries 650b bikes and components. I have not bought a bike from an LBS in 10 years. I don't think I'm totally unique in that regard. People are buying Pacenti's tires and Velocity's rims and White Brothers' forks ... they are not getting them from shops.

    An interesting question ... what percentage of 29ers are bought online? I bet it is significant.

    When I look at the fork manufactures out there ... they offer literally hundreds of forks and options with new models coming out all the time. Someone will decide to stretch the dimensions slightly and declare it 26" _and_ 650b compatible. It will just take a couple of design cycles for enough awareness to bubble up in order to make it happen.

    So in my mind, I'd happy enough for this to move along at a slow steady pace. No problem.

    Regards,

    John
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  87. #87
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    Good job! This is my recommendation...

    I remember that a lot of us used to be asked, and are still asked..."why a 29'er?"
    My answer, after some discussion was always the same ........ "Just try one for yourself."
    That's never changed, it still applies. Whenever I am asked about my 29'ers I say the same thing...just ride one, try it for yourself.
    Now, i'm asking you guys to do the same thing, to keep an open mind on this and ..... try a 650B for yourself.
    I am happy with 29'ers, and never thought that I would need to go to a different wheel size. Many of you here will remember how strongly I fought for the bigger wheel size to be accepted.
    Then I was given two 650B wheels to test and review by a magazine editor. Even though that test wasn't great, it showed me that the wheel size held promise. The wheels rolled very well, they didn't get hung up like 26" did, they had almost the same roll over ability as their bigger brother, the 29'er
    I was so impressed that I set up another test between 26", 650B and 29'er. I rode all three sizes back to back, on the same trails, day after day.
    In the end, my conclusions were very positive, the 650B wheel size definitely had a lot going for it.
    Since then, I have continued my testing and investigation of this wheel size, and I am as impressed as I ever was that it is a very good and viable proposition.
    There are times when I prefer to be on my 29'er, then there are times when the 650B is the bike I want to ride. I must say that the times that I ride the 650B are becoming more and more frequent, as this wheel size has so much going for it.

    What i'm asking you all to do is to keep an open mind on this 650B wheel size, just like you did on the 29'er. Try one for yourself. Just ride one, preferably on your local trails and see why I am so enthusiastic about them.
    What I have found is pretty much all positive. They are fast, handle very well, and roll over stuff in the same manner as a 29'er.

    ............. Just ride one. There *is* room enough for all three wheel sizes.


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  88. #88
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    Well said Rainman.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    What I have found is pretty much all positive. They are fast, handle very well, and roll over stuff in the same manner as a 29'er.
    Sorry Rainman, Guitar Ted's arguments just make more sense for me.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...5&postcount=50 check this post. That guy prefers 29er on rougher stuff.
    I get what you say. You are at lower spectrum of 29ers so smaller wheel size feels better overall for you.
    One thing is for sure I won't be swapping my city bikes 700C wheels for anything smaller just to get a 0,5 sec better acceleration out of the corner and lose that advantage after 10 meters of rougher trail.
    I also ride rigid geared steel 26er which felt faster till I tried city 700c geared bicycle. Initially I feel faster on 26er becuase I commute on that old rusty junk and am more accustomed to, yet 28" are plain faster, keep the momentum better and lower rolling resistance. Why taking a step backwards?

    25mm over 559 still is further to 622mm exactly 38mm more than 584 and 63 than 559. 584 is closer to 559 not 622mm
    Thus no, they roll well because of the good tyres not the 25mm more in rim diamater. Owing to quality tyres they attain the rolloverabiloty. Now make us a 29er Neo moto and quasi moto and check.
    See how Endomorphgs 3,7-4" roll well- should we praise all 26ers?

    Ask someone 180-210cms if they feel so enthusiastic about 584mm suposing that they ride a good 29er Am when they want AM not rigid SS.

    Edit:
    Wide sweeping argument that 584 is the best solution for AM/FR bicycles is as well balloney for someone on Medium frames and up. 584mm makes sense for Small frames, unless stunts is what you wanna concentrate on. If this is a matter look for a -pegged- BMX 20"
    Last edited by Davidcopperfield; 02-05-2009 at 07:23 PM.

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    Good job! Options...are good.

    Well, i'm sorry too, DC. . . but as i've said before, your arguements are mostly based on fear. Fear of there being more 'competition' for 29'ers if 650b becomes an accepted and popular third wheel size option.
    Don't forget that I own and ride two 29'ers as well as a couple of 26" bikes and a 650b test bike that I have tried with three different wheel sizes, mixed and matched.
    Really, honestly, there is enough room for three wheel sizes in this industry. Customers drive the wheels of the bike industry, and if there is enough demand from riders, the industry will [eventually] supply that demand, otherwise they lose money and market share.
    26" bikes are fully established. 29'ers are almost established. Hopefully, 650b will become established too. There are enough riders of all different ages and sizes 'out there' who will do what I and other riders have done, and that is to try all three different wheel sizes and realise that it is of great benefit to have that choice for different bicycling pursuits and situations.
    Different trails and different conditions just suit different wheel sizes better than others.

    It's nice to be able to pick and choose your 'weapon' to suit those trails and conditions. Why limit yourself when the options are available?


    That's all I want to say on this thread.

    "Just ... try it for yourself".

    Rainman.
    It is inevitable ...

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    your arguements are mostly based on fear. Fear of there being more 'competition' for 29'ers if 650b becomes an accepted and popular third wheel size option.
    Yes, there are based on fear, as now I get responses from Santa Cruz that they won't do 29ers becuase they have their hands full with 26ers. I don't want to get repsones that they switched from 559 to 584 and eventually ecided not to manufacture 29ers. That's my exact grudge.

    Don't forget that I own and ride two 29'ers as well as a couple of 26" bikes and a 650b test bike that I have tried with three different wheel sizes, mixed and matched.
    I do remember your fierce zealotry pushing 29ers for shorties, however I realize that you are vertially challenged on small FS 29er and that 27.5er will fit you better in 120-140mm travel range. That's why you are a proponet of 584, again ask someone much taller like Cloxxki- send hm the wheels and you'll get different opinions. Mostly saying that 29ers fit him better and he wouldn't like to ride 160mm AM stuff with 584mm either, he or any tall enough rider would choose 622 for AM 160mm travel rigs over 584mm. No doubt and I don't understand that religious zealotry (not necesserily yours) that 584mm will outperform 622mm in All Mountain toursim.
    Yeah on stunts right, on tight DH courses right but not on wider, roughier and faster DH courses.

    Your opinions are biased due to height-wheel size ratio.

    Really, honestly, there is enough room for three wheel sizes in this industry.
    Now we get problems about getting more 29er stuff done in more than 110 travel and you are talking about three coexistant sizes. Perhaps only in America. Yeah God bless America.

    Different trails and different conditions just suit different wheel sizes better than others.
    It is the frame size, which decides which wheel size al long as we are speaking about MTB and tourism not BMX.

    It's nice to be able to pick and choose your 'weapon' to suit those trails and conditions.
    Nice indeed
    Why limit yourself when the options are available?
    Perhaps because some bike companies will feel spread thin and will have to draw lots which size is made redundant.

  92. #92
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    Rainman: i didn't read all your posts - could you be a bit more specific and tell us under what conditions you like the 650B better than the 29er and vice versa (or send a link to the web page where you talk about it). many thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    ....There are times when I prefer to be on my 29'er, then there are times when the 650B is the bike I want to ride. I must say that the times that I ride the 650B are becoming more and more frequent, as this wheel size has so much going for it.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Here's a big reason for the apathy in 650B, as far as I'm concerned. Put succintly, there isn't enough of a difference from 26"ers to make the move in that direction appealing. The fact that a 2.7 - 3.0" 26"er tire/wheel combo is the same outer diameter as a NeoMoto/650B rimmed wheel is rather telling.

    Then the hardware and tires selection isn't really coming online as was promised two years ago. Of all the manufacturers listed on the original "manifesto" circulated around in the beginning, only Haro has really pulled through, so far. Sure, smaller scale manufacturers like Ventana have been accomodating, but that was expected from the beginning. Smaller manufacturers and custom builders are adept at that sort of thing, or should be.

    It has been said that Kenda was going to produce Nevegals and maybe something else, but nada so far. Panaracer was said to be coming out with a FireCross, but so far.......nuttin! There is a WTB prototype WeirWolf out now, but there hasn't been a release date set for it as of yet.

    Then the lack of an accepted name in front suspension has really hurt. It is rumored that Manitou will be on board by 2010, but it might be too late by then.

    Which brings me to my final point: the point made in the quote above about problems with 29"ers being "overstated". I would say, rather, that the problems and objections have been overcome by manufacturers. Choices in tires and suspension, weight in tires and wheels, gearing is next with a rumored 36T cassette, 20/30/42 T cranksets are possible now, and more selection is happening in gearing all the time. Handling has been addressed, long travel suspension is here, and more full suspension all mountain stuff is here or coming. Stuff that they said just a few years ago was impossible, too much of a compromise, or "too difficult to do" in 700c format.

    Davidcopperfield notwithstanding, 29"ers have made a ton of advancements in the last three years, advancements that are making the argument for an "inbetween wheel size" less attractive.

    I don't have anything against the 650B format, I really don't. I just question the "why" of it more than anything. It is getting harder everyday to justify doing a 650B bike when 29"ers and 26"ers have all of that ground covered.

    That's my view, your mileage may vary.
    Very well put...........and I agree. I love my 29er and don't ever want to go back to smaller wheels. And I don't care what size wheels anybody else rides unless I'm asking them for advice, then I prefer somebody with actual riding experience on the equipment that I'm inquiring about.
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  94. #94
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    Mostly, I have found this to be true :

    Depending on the rider, the trail/s and what you want to do on the bike, some set ups are better suited to the task than others.

    For example: If I am going to be riding tight single track, I prefer to be on the 650b simply because it steers faster around trees and rocks, etc than the 29'er does. If the trails are more 'open' then usually the 29'er is faster and is the preferred mount. If I want to do a lot of jumping, then a 26" bike launches easiest and is better than both the 29'er and the 650b.
    I can mix and match these options to "fine tune" my ride for the day if I need to do so. Techy AM downhill trails are best handled by the 650b front wheel and a 26" rear wheel, usually. This can change and I can change it according to the severity of the trails.
    The whole point of this is to be *able* to change and mix your wheel sizes to suit the terrain and what you want to do. Each wheel size has it's specific strengths and weaknesses depending on the trails and how you want the bike to handle those trails. It makes sense to be able to set up the bike for the best performance possible.

    Rider size does matter, but not to the extent that DC thinks it does. You see 6-5' riders on 26" bikes and 5-0' riders on 29'ers, and everyone of them can handle it fine. The current advances in frame geometry make it pretty easy to tailor a frame to fit most any rider size.

    In conclusion then ... What I have found is that for a *lot* of the time, a 650b set up is pretty much ideal. It rolls over stuff almost as well as a 29'er, it steers and reacts faster than the bigger wheels, and doesn't get hung up on the trail like a 26" wheeled bike can do.
    But if I am going jumping, I prefer to ride with 26" wheels both ends, and if the trails are more open, I usually prefer to use the 29'er wheels.
    It's so nice to be able to pick and choose your weapons for the job at hand, is that not so?
    Why limit ourselves? If the wheel sizes are available, and each size has an advantage in some particular discipline, then it just makes sense to take advantage of that option.

    Rainman.


    Quote Originally Posted by starre
    Rainman: i didn't read all your posts - could you be a bit more specific and tell us under what conditions you like the 650B better than the 29er and vice versa (or send a link to the web page where you talk about it). many thanks!
    It is inevitable ...

  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUB160
    I'm almost afraid to bring this thread back to life! I just read through it and found it very interesting.

    My take on the "momentum" issue compared to 29ers is that it seems to me that 650b suffers from being a "reasonable" or "logical" tire size ... rather than the revolution that 29ers were 10 years ago. 29ers were an absolute revolution ... no question about it.

    It just seems reasonable to me that if you didn't have a dog in the fight, 650b would be the proper wheelsize for small and medium sized bikes ... everything just looks and works right. And the 650b potential for 5" - 6" trail bikes of all sizes seems apparent to me.

    Take a look at my 650b Ventana El Chamuco. Size medium ... 6" travel rear ... 5" travel front ... perfectly proportioned and handles great. Faster than it is with 26" wheels.

    Show me a 6" travel 29er in any size looks more "right" than this bike. And you know a bike like this is easy to design and at some critical tipping point a big company is going to build one and roll it out. And you know people are going to love riding them.

    Can you honestly look at this bike and tell me that you don't see the potential for the 650b wheel size?
    Good points and I think that 650b is better than 26"....but for me 29er is better than either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    I remember that a lot of us used to be asked, and are still asked..."why a 29'er?"
    My answer, after some discussion was always the same ........ "Just try one for yourself."
    That's never changed, it still applies. Whenever I am asked about my 29'ers I say the same thing...just ride one, try it for yourself.
    Now, i'm asking you guys to do the same thing, to keep an open mind on this and ..... try a 650B for yourself.
    I am happy with 29'ers, and never thought that I would need to go to a different wheel size. Many of you here will remember how strongly I fought for the bigger wheel size to be accepted.
    Then I was given two 650B wheels to test and review by a magazine editor. Even though that test wasn't great, it showed me that the wheel size held promise. The wheels rolled very well, they didn't get hung up like 26" did, they had almost the same roll over ability as their bigger brother, the 29'er
    I was so impressed that I set up another test between 26", 650B and 29'er. I rode all three sizes back to back, on the same trails, day after day.
    In the end, my conclusions were very positive, the 650B wheel size definitely had a lot going for it.
    Since then, I have continued my testing and investigation of this wheel size, and I am as impressed as I ever was that it is a very good and viable proposition.
    There are times when I prefer to be on my 29'er, then there are times when the 650B is the bike I want to ride. I must say that the times that I ride the 650B are becoming more and more frequent, as this wheel size has so much going for it.

    What i'm asking you all to do is to keep an open mind on this 650B wheel size, just like you did on the 29'er. Try one for yourself. Just ride one, preferably on your local trails and see why I am so enthusiastic about them.
    What I have found is pretty much all positive. They are fast, handle very well, and roll over stuff in the same manner as a 29'er.

    ............. Just ride one. There *is* room enough for all three wheel sizes.

    Rainman.
    More great stuff!
    Get off the couch and ride! :)

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    But if I am going jumping, I prefer to ride with 26" wheels both ends...

    Rainman.
    You're jumping at your age? Way to go!

    I saw my first 650b at a race last summer and was pretty intrigued by it. Enough to ask the guy a bunch of questions about it. He had moved from a 29"er to the 650b platform and loved it. Here's the guy (sorry, I don't remember his name) at a race in Omaha, NE.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2781418242/" title="650B custom bike by singingsingletracker, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3287/2781418242_bed7e97850_o.jpg" width="680" height="510" alt="650B custom bike" /></a>

    What the heck, I guess since I use Crows a lot of the time I'm pretty much riding 650b as it is.

    BB

  97. #97
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    thanx rainman for your great impressions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    ..........
    In conclusion then ... What I have found is that for a *lot* of the time, a 650b set up is pretty much ideal. It rolls over stuff almost as well as a 29'er, it steers and reacts faster than the bigger wheels, and doesn't get hung up on the trail like a 26" wheeled bike can do.
    But if I am going jumping, I prefer to ride with 26" wheels both ends, and if the trails are more open, I usually prefer to use the 29'er wheels.
    It's so nice to be able to pick and choose your weapons for the job at hand, is that not so?
    Why limit ourselves? If the wheel sizes are available, and each size has an advantage in some particular discipline, then it just makes sense to take advantage of that option.

    Rainman.

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