Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: Specialized Enduro 29 or Enduro 650b

Voters
126. You may not vote on this poll
  • Enduro 29

    69 54.76%
  • Enduro 650b

    57 45.24%
Results 1 to 70 of 70
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32

    Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er

    Yeah yeah, i know, everyone is sick and tired of hearing the pros and cons about wheel size and the endless discussion about them.

    I'm in the market for a new bike, and a few weeks ago, i had the opportunity to test ride the S-works Enduro 650b at the Specialized Dealer launch that happened here in Australia.

    What i can say about the bike:

    IT'S FUN! Very well dialled geometry, a lot slacker than what i'm used to (Stumpy Expert Evo 26" - that i LOVE very much), but it really felt that i had this bike for a while, climbs pretty well, and descends amazingly good. At 124kg with SPD pedals it's a pretty amazing bike. Yes you couldn't expect anything less from a s-works that cost $10K.

    Unfortunately i didn't had the opportunity to test the enduro 29er back to back, so i could compare the 2 and pick the winner.

    But for all the reviews i read, every one talk good things about the Enduro 29er. And since the E650b is fairly new to the market, there aren't many user reviews around. All you can find is the odd Magazine reviews and those ones i definitely don't trust at all.

    I know there are loads of specialized haters out there, and each one is entitled to their opinions, but i never had any issues with them, and only positive feedback. I'm not associated with the brand directly but my best friend works at a bike shop that sells specialized so i can get a pretty decent discount with them. So a different bike is out of question.

    My riding location is pretty hilly, rocky, technical single track, very tight turns, flat turns and off camber. There are 2 or 3 "berms" on the entire forest. That's where pretty much i do 80% of my riding. the other 20% it's between a few more flow DH tracks, fast XC single tracks and Rotorua NZ (my favourite place to ride).

    So my question is: If you had to choose between the 2 and those were the only 2 bikes on the planet, what would you chose?

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,703
    I have the 29, love it. Did a 40-45 mile or so ride on it yesterday. I also rip at the DH resort on it occasionally. Awesome all-around bike that I don't feel like I'm fighting on the gnarliest terrain. Super fun to push when it gets nasty.

    I think about it like this:

    I've always liked a ~6" travel bike for being able to take maximum advantage of descents, but the bike has always had to be a compromise in terms of climbing and ability to ride for a decent amount of time on a given ride. One of my favorites was the Turner 6pack (later morphed into an RFX). It was tons of fun on the downs, maneuverable, easy to whip back and forth, fun on a jump or drop, etc. Climbing sucked though, climbing especially sucked because when set up with a 170 or 160mm fork, the bike wanted to loop backwards on itself in steep terrain. You literally could not climb up steep stuff without somehow lowering the front end. To that extent, I put forks on it that had a lowering-function, but that also did something weird and the resulting angle uphill made it feel like you were trying to "drive into the hill", but at least you weren't flipping over backwards anymore.

    My Enduro descents just as well as the turner did, maybe better, and climbs way better. It's not the most efficient 29er, but it absolutely smashes the old 6pack and RFX in terms of keeping momentum on a climb, dealing with obstacles, being able to put the power down without having the front end come off the ground, etc. No comparison, hands down better. Otherwise, you get some tradeoffs, like better roll-over and momentum, with few negatives, like slower entry/exit speed in some medium tight corners. Super tight switchbacks and terrain is no problem, as you aren't going fast enough for gyroscopic forces to be an issue and the short geometry makes it easy to whip around. It jumps well, although not as well as a DH bike with 2.5 tires, although I manage pretty well on the tabletops and doubles. I see more than a few surprised looks when I rip through the jump park.

    I think the 29er is better for what I do, one bike I can do our flow/jump trails on, one bike I can take on super long XCs with huge descents, one bike I can occasionally take to the ski resort, one bike I can go exploring on. If I was only going to do park/resort flow stuff, I'd get the 650.

    You can save some serious weight on the bike with some carbon cranks, converting to 1x10, carbon bar, lighter saddle, and adding a dropper type seatpost is a must.

    From yesterday:
    Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er-img_1046s.jpgSpecialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er-img_1062s.jpgSpecialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er-img_1075s.jpg
    Not yesterday, but I did this the day before:
    Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er-45505_10151875998025490_2078448979_n.jpg
    Last edited by Jayem; 09-01-2014 at 03:41 PM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    336
    I am interested in the replies to this as well. I am considering the same bike and unsure of which wheel size for similar conditions the original poster.

    There are some reviews out there but I have not found them too helpful. They seem like more of an advertisement.

    Here is one I had to translate but seemed pretty honest (and is pushing me toward 29):

    Specialized Enduro 650b und 29" 2015: Renn-Fahrbericht | MTB-News.de
    Last edited by DanielM3; 09-01-2014 at 09:24 AM.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    I really think you cannot go wrong either way. If you are not used to 29" wheels it will require a small adjustment period in terms of your timing of turns and jumps, but once there the E29 absolutely rails. I prefer the 29" on a daily basis because they make for a more neutral feeling ride, they allow me to relax a bit more and just flow. I also prefer the position and ride feel of the bigger hoops. Its great riding it in technical trails, but it really shines in the fast and rough.
    The 650B I rode, feels sick. It requires a slightly different riding style, its slightly quicker in its movements. Easier to jump. From the type of terrain you described it might be the slightly better option. You won't quite have the level of traction and roll over of the bigger hoops, but you will gain manueverabilty and the ability to change lines faster. Also the extra travel is an asset. Extra travel is extra travel no matter what wheel size.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: riiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    501
    How tall are you?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    I'm 180cm tall... So border line between medium and large frame... But my stumpy is a large.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Quote Originally Posted by dk13 View Post
    I'm 180cm tall... So border line between medium and large frame... But my stumpy is a large.
    I would say if you go for the 650B you can go large or medium, if you go E29 definitely get the medium. I would say factoring in your height and described terrain the 650B would be the better choice. Tough call though, because they are both such amazing bikes.
    The ticket for you, might be to get the large 650B and run a 35mm to 40mm stem. You would get the extra stability of the slightly longer wheelbase.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    336
    Great replies. Do you think it is fair to say that the 29 is more 'XC' end of the spectrum and 650 is more toward the 'DH' side? I know that they are both long travel bikes with similar specs but from the numbers it would seem like the 29 may be slightly that direction? Steeper head angle and seat stays. Easier gearing (even considering wheel size).

    I live in the San Francisco area so ride Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Marin, etc if you are familiar with those trails. I am 6ft and have been on size large 100mm 29'r bikes with steep head angles for a long time but am excited to try out a longer travel bike this year and am leaning toward the E29 over the 650b. It will be my do it all bike.

    That said, it is all speculation as I have not ridden both on trails and it sounds like some here have. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Its not so much the 29er is more to the 'XC' side of them spectrum its just a different ride, and a different experience, and slightly different way to ride. If you are really used to, and love the way 26" bikes ride the 650B Enduro is going to feel more like "home". I have always loved how calm and relaxed I feel on bigger wheel experience, I have had the best rides of my life on the E29, and it has completely elevated my level of riding. Even after 25years of riding mtn bikes. Confidence inspiring. I am amazed at how versatile the E29 is. It is the first bike I've owned where I feel all the technology that has gone into bikes has finally paid off. I never feel held back in anyway shape or form.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    I would say if you go for the 650B you can go large or medium, if you go E29 definitely get the medium. I would say factoring in your height and described terrain the 650B would be the better choice. Tough call though, because they are both such amazing bikes.
    The ticket for you, might be to get the large 650B and run a 35mm to 40mm stem. You would get the extra stability of the slightly longer wheelbase.
    Wow, I wouldn't think such short stems would work with this type of bike, I thought anything under 50mm would make the steering too twitchy...

    Has anyone had any experience with the short stems on the enduros?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    1,462
    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    I would say if you go for the 650B you can go large or medium, if you go E29 definitely get the medium. I would say factoring in your height and described terrain the 650B would be the better choice. Tough call though, because they are both such amazing bikes.
    The ticket for you, might be to get the large 650B and run a 35mm to 40mm stem. You would get the extra stability of the slightly longer wheelbase.
    Second that, well said.
    Last edited by Max24; 03-07-2015 at 09:36 PM.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Just took the E29 out this morning. Big loop, lots of climbing, followed by a rough DH descent with lots of jump lines, then a flowy singletrack, followed by super loose, sandy switchback filled trail. This bike has it all. No matter what I'm doing on it I just find it oddly relaxing to ride.

  13. #13
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,703
    The thing that just blew my mind about 29ers was the crazy-long chainstays, 18", 18.5", and so on. I rode a 29er hardtail with 16.9" stays for something like 5 or 6 years, but I wouldn't touch any of the FS bikes with a 10 foot pole. I just couldn't understand why a wheel size that is already "more stable" due to gyroscopic rigidity needed to be "more more" stable by being even longer than the equivalent 26er. This is why I jumped on the E29, it was finally a reasonably-designed 29er for all-around riding IMO. It's not that putting a front derailleur in there was impossible, just that no one really made an effort to design around the derailleur and the result was a half-a$$ed attempt IMO. Now a few other manufacturers have got on board and with 1x drivetrains I think we'll finally see the stupid-long 29er FS bikes go away, even for XC (but probably gradually of course).

    I don't think a 29er wheel is optimal for the steepest chutes and DH stuff, you'll never get as much wheel travel and your body will be positioned up a few inches higher. You can design around these to some extent, but I think 26 or 650 will always be the 1st choice for DH. The E29 just happens to be very capable downhill and makes an awesome all-around bike, maximizing the positives of bigger wheels and minimizing the traditional negatives.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    2
    I have just got the e 650. Rode both prior to choosing. Suggest you do the same. I went with 650 as I was coming up from 26 and the 29 seemed too big for my riding style. I'm not super aggressive but like the odd gap jump and step down and felt 29 was just not as nimble in those situations. Not much in it to be fair though. Both awesome bikes.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Yeah i think it will be the Best way of choosing, I just got told that the shop will be getting some demo bikes next week so I should be able to try then out... But the bad news is... According to specialized australia stock supplies, they are not going to be receiving any e650 s-works untill jan/feb 2015... So I guess it's going to come down to availability and not choice...

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162
    650b if only can choose one.
    Then again, the 29er kit has a fork that will actually fit 650 wheels if you wanted to retrofit.
    The frame shape geo and size isn't much diff from the two.
    Keep two sets of each-wheelsize for diff trails.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    8
    Im in the market for a new bike and this information is great.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    you cannot put 650b wheels on an enduro 29er

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162
    Tell me why 650b wheels won't fit a 29er bike?

    Name one reason, and no its not the brake disk fitment.

    Its actually old news many people been converting their 29ers to use a 26 or 650b rear wheel to make it pedle easier but keep a larger front wheel for roll over bennefits.
    There is even a clever name for these 29/26 bikes.

    Converting the front wheel is equally easy.

    Specialized did it on the new SJ 650b and new enduro 650b.
    It's a barely modified 29er frame with no real changes and small wheels attached.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Blazer View Post
    Tell me why 650b wheels won't fit a 29er bike?

    Name one reason, and no its not the brake disk fitment.

    Its actually old news many people been converting their 29ers to use a 26 or 650b rear wheel to make it pedle easier but keep a larger front wheel for roll over bennefits.
    There is even a clever name for these 29/26 bikes.

    Converting the front wheel is equally easy.

    Specialized did it on the new SJ 650b and new enduro 650b.
    It's a barely modified 29er frame with no real changes and small wheels attached.
    Because the bottom bracket would be ridiculously low. Your feet would be hitting the ground when you bottomed out the shock. It would totally screw up the bikes' geometry. But have fun. Don't let me stop you.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162

    Re: Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er

    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Because the bottom bracket would be ridiculously low. Your feet would be hitting the ground when you bottomed out the shock. It would totally screw up the bikes' geometry. But have fun. Don't let me stop you.
    Not even close man. Seriously its been talked about plenty on this forum and just Google it.
    Lots of people with tweener 29 front 26/27 rear.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Good on you then.
    I would love to see someone ride off road on an Enduro 29er with 650b or 26 wheels on it, I think it would be hilarious. It would make my day.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162
    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Because the bottom bracket would be ridiculously low. Your feet would be hitting the ground when you bottomed out the shock. It would totally screw up the bikes' geometry. But have fun. Don't let me stop you.
    Good points and some bikes would definitely do better than others on this conversion.
    It's not impossible though and can be totally worth it for some frames and situations.

    I've never personally done this, but my local bike shop started talking to me about it and I googled it a bit and so I brought it up here too.

    I'm not trying to suggest anyone follow my advice, I'm not offering any.
    I'm just reporting the news and exploring the possibilities.
    I'm new to the idea so I appreciated your pointing out the problems of the BB height issue etc.

  25. #25
    The Fastest of Bananas
    Reputation: FastBanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,792

    Re: Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Blazer View Post
    Tell me why 650b wheels won't fit a 29er bike?

    Name one reason, and no its not the brake disk fitment.

    Its actually old news many people been converting their 29ers to use a 26 or 650b rear wheel to make it pedle easier but keep a larger front wheel for roll over bennefits.
    There is even a clever name for these 29/26 bikes.

    Converting the front wheel is equally easy.

    Specialized did it on the new SJ 650b and new enduro 650b.
    It's a barely modified 29er frame with no real changes and small wheels attached.
    Whoa, before you get all offensive with your claims, let me school you. The 650b enduro is not a 29er front triangle, its a 26" front triangle with a newly designed rear triangle.

    But put 650 wheels on your 29er. Ill just laugh.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162
    Morandi beat you to the punch, FastBanana but with an easier to understand answer.
    So I think he school me first.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162
    Quote Originally Posted by dk13 View Post
    My riding location is pretty hilly, rocky, technical single track, very tight turns, flat turns and off camber. There are 2 or 3 "berms" on the entire forest. That's where pretty much i do 80% of my riding. the other 20% it's between a few more flow DH tracks, fast XC single tracks and Rotorua NZ (my favourite place to ride).

    So my question is: If you had to choose between the 2 and those were the only 2 bikes on the planet, what would you chose?
    To the OP's question.

    I'd go 650B because those tight off camber trails you ride with no berms will benefit from the 650b because you can lean it over easier and faster than with a 29 esp on very tight trails where you can't lean very far without clipping your body or the bike on the trail features.

    Fatter wheels/tires may get the same roll over as the 29 has on a 650b with a small weight penalty.
    Last edited by Trail_Blazer; 09-04-2014 at 03:17 PM.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Blazer View Post
    To the OP's question.

    I'd go 650B because those tight off camber trails you ride with no berms will benefit from the 650b because you can lean it over easier and faster than with a 29 esp on very tight trails where you can't lean very far without clipping your body or the bike on the trail features.

    Fatter wheels/tires may get the same roll over as the 29 has on a 650b with a small weight penalty.
    good point there... but considering the 650B has a had angle 2 slacker (65.5 to 67.5 on the 29er) than the 29er do you think that will compromise too much for the climbing and increase the chances of a front wheel washout? Not that i had any problems with this on the 650B but since i haven't had the chance of trying the 29er yet i can't say for suer if the 2 difference is going to be very noticeable between the 2 bikes.

    any ideas? (65.5 it's a pretty slack angle...)

  29. #29
    The Fastest of Bananas
    Reputation: FastBanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,792
    So I am doing a 27" rear wheel on one of my 29ers that has a high bb. Its an option, but only on certain bikes.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162
    The HT angle is only part of the bikes balance and by itself is not an issue at 67-71 deg... esp. when paired with a fork that compliments the bikes handling properly.

    Also the 650b is easier to get wider rims and rubber which increase handling balance and grip for most situations this can be better than a 29er.
    I'd rather roll a 650b 2.4-2.5" tire than a 2.25-2.3 tire over nasty gnar with big drops.
    More is better to the point of rolling resistance trade offs.

    Which 29 and 650b bikes are you comparing with less than 67 deg angle?

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 53119's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,279
    enduros are such capable bikes in either wheel size. as far as the climbing just pay attention to your midstroke tune so it doesn't wallow. the new leverage is much different than my old 26enduro and pedal way better without giving up grip.

    i'd run the bike that would let me progress on the terrain i want to ride most. if you lean towards gravity fed lines at your local spots and/or you want to travel to more gravity fed rides without sacrificing climbing too much...650b. proven capable in full xc and now dh modes. i would let your skillset and style choose the wheelsize.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    471
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Blazer View Post
    To the OP's question.

    I'd go 650B because those tight off camber trails you ride with no berms will benefit from the 650b because you can lean it over easier and faster than with a 29 esp on very tight trails where you can't lean very far without clipping your body or the bike on the trail features.

    Fatter wheels/tires may get the same roll over as the 29 has on a 650b with a small weight penalty.

    Broscience, broscience everywhere.

    On topic though, the 650b enduro is a hack job using existing frame components from the 26er bike. The 29er was a ground up design that works incredibly well, hence why it has been so unanimously well received.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Blazer View Post
    Which 29 and 650b bikes are you comparing with less than 67 deg angle?
    Enduro 650 and enduro 29er

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Trail_Blazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,162
    I'd go small wheel personally for a bike like the enduro.
    But there isnt anything wrong with the 29 Enduro.

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    336
    Just as a quick update, I rode both today at a shop near me. It was not a proper long term demo but I rode both for about 20 or 30 min on enough varied terrain that for me the decision was made as to what felt best.

    In terms of size I am just about 6ft tall. No question for me that a Large is the right size on both. I have a long torso and also am used to XC style bikes with longer top tubes and stems so I am sure that influenced what felt right. The Large felt great though and the Medium felt cramped.

    As many have mentioned on here, my guess is that if you like 26 then you will prefer the 650b over the 29 and if you prefer a 29 on another bike you will may like it better on the Enduro too.

    I have been on 29 bikes for the past 6 years and the 650 just felt like I was riding a 26 with a bit larger volume tire. It also felt very slack to me. I loved how the Enduro 29 felt though and it did not feel sluggish and did feel very stable. I suppose it is all relative though to what you are used to. The 29 also seemed easier to manage on steep smooth climbs as well. I did not have the opportunity for other types of climbing on the demo but this was an important thing for me as I do lots of climbing.

    Not sure if this is helpful for anyone but as others mention, I bet that if you rode each, they feel pretty different, and you will know pretty easily what you prefer.

    For me that is the 29.

    Thanks
    Daniel

  36. #36
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,703
    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Because the bottom bracket would be ridiculously low. Your feet would be hitting the ground when you bottomed out the shock. It would totally screw up the bikes' geometry. But have fun. Don't let me stop you.
    The bottom bracket is already low on the 29er, that's one of the reasons it's such an amazing bike, a 29er without wacky-goofy geometry. If I lean the bike over real hard in some dirt situations I'll occasionally drag a pedal. Fairly rare and seems to only happen on well-manicured bermed type terrain, but it's an occasional reminder that you wouldn't want it lower.

    I rented a DH 26 bike last time I raced DH and was slower Doesn't mean much because you usually know your own bike the best, but I wasn't expecting to be slower. Tight stuff is no problem for the E29 and you can get 2.5 minions
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by DanielM3 View Post
    Just as a quick update, I rode both today at a shop near me. It was not a proper long term demo but I rode both for about 20 or 30 min on enough varied terrain that for me the decision was made as to what felt best.

    In terms of size I am just about 6ft tall. No question for me that a Large is the right size on both. I have a long torso and also am used to XC style bikes with longer top tubes and stems so I am sure that influenced what felt right. The Large felt great though and the Medium felt cramped.

    As many have mentioned on here, my guess is that if you like 26 then you will prefer the 650b over the 29 and if you prefer a 29 on another bike you will may like it better on the Enduro too.

    I have been on 29 bikes for the past 6 years and the 650 just felt like I was riding a 26 with a bit larger volume tire. It also felt very slack to me. I loved how the Enduro 29 felt though and it did not feel sluggish and did feel very stable. I suppose it is all relative though to what you are used to. The 29 also seemed easier to manage on steep smooth climbs as well. I did not have the opportunity for other types of climbing on the demo but this was an important thing for me as I do lots of climbing.

    Not sure if this is helpful for anyone but as others mention, I bet that if you rode each, they feel pretty different, and you will know pretty easily what you prefer.

    For me that is the 29.

    Thanks
    Daniel
    That's some good info right there... as i was suspecting, for me that only had 26ers my entire life, the 650b starting to sound more attractive, as for every 29er i rode so far, i always had the same impression that i was 3m of the ground, I've tired the Giant Anthem 29er, the Specialized Epic 29er and Stumpy 29er, i know they are on a completely different class of bike more XC/Trail other than All mountain, but on all of them i felt too tall, maybe something you get used to after a few rides i guess.

    Definitely the idea of trying both back to back and making a decision it's the way to go i guess... in a couple of weeks the bike show will have the test bike so i can take them for a ride... so i guess i'll make my decision after that... I'll make sure to post my review after riding both bikes. I'm going to try do the same loop on both bikes so i can also compare some strava times

    cheers,
    Dan

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    doing some searching on the subject i've found this cool and funny video about 650b vs 29er... Obviously it's Matt Hunter this guy can ride a penny farthing down hill and still make it look easy heheh...

    Video: Do Matt Hunter and Kyle Norbraten Care About Wheel Size? | BIKE Magazine

    Dan

  39. #39
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,837
    Please don't argue with Trail Blazer; he's, uh, "special." Because you incorrectly interpret something you read on the Internet (and something you have zero direct experience with), doesn't actually make it true.

    More riding and less typing for you, brocephus.

    To the OP: Tough choice if you can't demo both. I do own an E29 S-works. And I've owned multiple 650b bikes, though not the new Enduro 650b.

    The E29 is the only 29er I've owned that handles pretty much like a 26er. The bike is plush and dialed. It's not the BEST climbing bike I've owned, but it'll get you up a mountain. On the downs, I'm actually faster on some trails than I was on a DH bike. I live in AZ, and the E29 just eats technical gnar.

    I will say, it's a lot of bike. I actually liked the E29 less on smoother and tighter "flow" type trails without significant technical features.

    I'm sure the 650b version is dialed, too.

  40. #40
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    392
    I prefer the 29er and it is the only Specialized bicycle that I would consider buying even though it has a proprietary shock that I absolutely hate (not the shock itself which is quite good but any proprietary part in general).

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    473
    Quote Originally Posted by dk13 View Post
    good point there... but considering the 650B has a had angle 2 slacker (65.5 to 67.5 on the 29er) than the 29er do you think that will compromise too much for the climbing and increase the chances of a front wheel washout? Not that i had any problems with this on the 650B but since i haven't had the chance of trying the 29er yet i can't say for suer if the 2 difference is going to be very noticeable between the 2 bikes.

    any ideas? (65.5 it's a pretty slack angle...)
    The head angle is the only reason I'd consider a 650B.

    E29's head angle is too steep.

    => 26" for me.

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    My only gripe I can say about my E29er is it takes a bit more body movement to bunny hop. Thats a handling "flaw" I can live with.
    Otherwise it pretty much outperforms everything I've owned.

  43. #43
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,837
    You can't accurately compare head angles between wheel sizes. Given the larger wheel, the E29 is pretty slack.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    You can't accurately compare head angles between wheel sizes. Given the larger wheel, the E29 is pretty slack.
    Exactly. 29" wheels have different needs.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Exactly. 29" wheels have different needs.
    bike geometry lesson 101:

    slacker angle = slower steering

    bigger wheels = slower steering

    slack + big wheel = too slow

    thats why 29er normally do have less slack... so steering feels the same....

  46. #46
    The Fastest of Bananas
    Reputation: FastBanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,792

    Re: Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er

    Quote Originally Posted by dk13 View Post
    bike geometry lesson 101:

    slacker angle = slower steering

    bigger wheels = slower steering

    slack + big wheel = too slow

    thats why 29er normally do have less slack... so steering feels the same....
    No. No its not.

    The added trail of the 29er wheels effectively slackens the head angle by 1.5 degrees.

    Google it, there are some informative diagrams.

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by FastBanana View Post
    No. No its not.

    The added trail of the 29er wheels effectively slackens the head angle by 1.5 degrees.

    Google it, there are some informative diagrams.
    Yes you are correct! But you have to agree that my explanation also works:

    slack means slower steering, you have to agree with that...

    if you have the Enduro 650b at 65.5 and the Enduro 29er at 67.5 - 1.5 for 29er wheels you get it closer to the 65.5 (66) which is .5 difference

    if we are talking about steering speed, not counting other factors like rotational force of the wheel etc... they should feel very close to each other... Obviously we are only looking at 1 factor here which is the head angle, there are a lot other issues that will make those bikes feel completely different from each other.

    but our explanations are pretty much similar if you think about it, but you explained the smarter and more technical way...

    Thanks!
    D

  48. #48
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,703
    Except that Specialized didn't "update" the geometry chart when they switched from the 150mm Fox 34 to the 160mm Pike RC, which raised the front end by around 5-7mm, slacking out the front a bit, maybe half a degree. The 67.5 is likely closer to 67.

    I've full-on DHed the E29 quite a few times now. It doesn't suffer from too steep of a HA. I don't know if there are any angleset options if you really really think you need a slacker HA, but I've taken it down plenty of super steep chutes and through plenty of chunky terrain where it's simply not needed. The 29er momentum and approach angle make up a lot for super slack HA, and due to it not physically being as slack as a 26er you gain turning ability when it's a super slow swichback (wheels aren't making enough gyroscopic force to affect turning at slow speeds).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  49. #49
    mtbr member
    Reputation: acfsportsfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    335
    You know I always thought in my mind that the head angle should be 67 with the 160mm Pike instead of the 67.5 with the 150mm Fox listed on the website.

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation: acfsportsfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    335
    I was in the market for a new Rig late last year and did a few good Demo's on various wheel size bikes including the E26 but after having done two 1hr demo rides on the E29 I knew that was the bike for me. (Never owned a 29er before) I've had it since December and have rode it everywhere in the S.F. Bay Area including Tahoe & Downieville and have not regretted the purchase. I'm not a great climber but am in decent shape and I didn't feel like the E29 hindered me on a recent 35 mile 5600 ft. XC ride. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I'm not trying to plug one over the other just some info for your reading pleasure.

  51. #51
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Oh, I have one other gripe with my Enduro 29er. The seatpost diameter is 30.9 which prohibits you from running a Reverb Stealth in the 150mm drop.

  52. #52
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,837
    So you run the superior KS Lev Integra.

  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    So you run the superior KS Lev Integra.
    Have they fixed that weird cable mount, where the housing moves? The Integra, unlike there other posts, apparently is a big headache.

  54. #54
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,837
    Dunno. I think it's only an issue if you're constantly moving the seat post around (like for different riders). I set mine up for me once and it's been flawless.

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    182
    Why not a 26er option? That would be my vote. The Enduro 26er is a perfect bike, no need to change wheelsize whatsoever!

  56. #56
    The Fastest of Bananas
    Reputation: FastBanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,792

    Re: Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er

    Quote Originally Posted by pedromayall View Post
    Why not a 26er option? That would be my vote. The Enduro 26er is a perfect bike, no need to change wheelsize whatsoever!
    Then buy the old one. The new one has updated geometry as well as the 650b wheelsize. Its more slack. The intent it a more capable park bike, as more and more enduro races are located in downhill parks.

  57. #57
    Flying in High in the Sky
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    272
    Is the 26" version even a option? All I see now and days are 29" and 27" bikes on show room floors.

  58. #58
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Nope 26" is gone. All enduros are 27.5" and 29er now

  59. #59
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,266
    here is a comparison between the 29" and 650B :

    Specialized S-Works Enduro 650b review - MBR

  60. #60
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    here is a comparison between the 29" and 650B :

    Specialized S-Works Enduro 650b review - MBR
    interesting reading, but i never trusted those website/magazine reviews, you never know if they got paid to do the review or not... when have you ever seen a bike magazine giving a bad review to a bike? They will never do it, as the bike manufactures will simply stop advertising with them.

    That's why i love forums like this, it's pure user opinion, people that have no ties with any brand, just giving their opinion black and white.

    I'm not saying that the enduro 650b is not a good bike, as i believe it is after testing it on the demo day, but the reason for this post is to compare the 2 bikes and find the one that suits the best for my needs... obviously by reading the article you posted, i should be going with the 29er as the 650b seems to be a full gravity bike part oriented bike, yes it is more slack than the 29er, but does that mean its going to be so bad at climbing, that you would only use on a lift assisted bike park?

    Everyone knows that 29er wheels roll better on rough terrain but they have a bigger rotational mass than the smaller wheels, so wouldn't one compensate for the other?

    plus just a few posts above we had the discussion that theoretically both bike have the same head angle due to 29er wheels affecting the head angle.

    so in saying that the 650b should climb a bit better than the 29er due to the smaller rotational force on the wheels.

    Am I correct? or am i tripping here?

  61. #61
    The Fastest of Bananas
    Reputation: FastBanana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,792
    Yes and no on the climbing. The smaller wheels accelerate better, but the larger wheels hold speed over uphill tech very well. My full sus 29er is my heaviest bike, and the best climber over tech. My hardtail 29er feels faster on smooth climbs, but is noticeably slower over rough terrain

    Also, in my experience, a slack bike doesnt climb poorly. it's harder to bring around uphill switchbacks, but thats a no brainer trade off for downhill stability. My 29er has a 67.5 degree head angle, and I can get it around almost anything, but I make up a lot of time going downhill in nasty stuff. I definitely feel that it has saved me from endo'ing over steep rollers as even as slack as it is, I have teetered on the front wheel for a foot or so over them if didnt have enough speed
    Last edited by FastBanana; 09-11-2014 at 09:37 AM.

  62. #62
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    33,703
    My E29 is not a great climber by 29er standards, it's not super light and not super efficient, but it blows away a 26" bike IME.

    I summarized before that it descents as good or better than my old turner RFX, is fun to throw around just like the RFX, but it climbs way way better, in terms of geometry (front end not trying to come off the ground on steep stuff), traction and momentum. It was fun to have a 160mm-170mm fork on the front of the RFX, except when trying to climb, it was damn frustrating then. This is not the case with the E29.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 53119's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3,279
    i think skill and style trumps any and all of it. you won't ever know for yourself unless you've actually owned and given time for both which you get on with better. so, yes, why not buy both over time?! would that be a bad thing? uh...hellz no! more toys! so...buy the wheel size you've never owned before. it's mtb and the whole idea is to experience a trail by lookin for lines!

    your preferences could change over time if your skillset goes a different direction. you looking for a specific feature or strength out of your choice or you just want a quiver killer? everyone has a bias. skills don't.

  64. #64
    the flerg
    Reputation: Knobby4me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    79
    After a recent tango with a motorcycle (hit from behind) and my E29 breaking in half I will be replacing it. But not before I demo a 650. Not expecting to like it better but want to see if it makes sense for the style of riding. Mostly SF Bay including Demo, UCSC and Skeggs (home trails). Will check in after I do the demo with feedback.

  65. #65
    the flerg
    Reputation: Knobby4me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    79
    added unfortunate pic:Specialized Enduro 650b vs Enduro 29er-img_20141123_154420352.jpg
    Dogs are happiest on bike trails.

  66. #66
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    860
    Quote Originally Posted by Knobby4me View Post
    After a recent tango with a motorcycle (hit from behind) and my E29 breaking in half I will be replacing it. But not before I demo a 650. Not expecting to like it better but want to see if it makes sense for the style of riding. Mostly SF Bay including Demo, UCSC and Skeggs (home trails). Will check in after I do the demo with feedback.
    Wow how come it broke easily? I got hit behind with my Lapierre Zesty 527 carbon frame with a 4x4 truck. The bike is still okay. no cracks at all.

  67. #67
    the flerg
    Reputation: Knobby4me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    79
    Was offered a crash replacement and took it. Sticking to the 29er. As for the crash, the motorcycle hit me and the bike going 35mph. Snapped it in half. Still working through recovery but surgery is likely. I don't blame the frame at all.
    Dogs are happiest on bike trails.

  68. #68
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    32
    Finally made de decision, after having the chance to test both bikes at the last specialized test the best demo day.

    Both bikes are amazing and lots of fun, I've tested the E 29 in medium and large and the 650b in large, definitely large is my size on ether model, the medium felt a bit small.

    stem on the test bikes were just the standard but I can definitely see myself putting a shorter stem as soon as I get the bike.

    My impressions: the 29 felt very stable at speeds, very confidence inspiring but felt a bit slower than the 650, note that I said felt but it isn't its actually faster, but I think it was a very solid point and shoot bike so makes it feel slower. Climbs a little easier than the 650b just because it rolls better and holds more momentum.

    The 650 feels fast, very close feeling to my 26" stumpy evo, I didn't really noticed the bigger wheels compared to my 26", it is a lot more playful bike, easier to bunny hop and manual, I really struggle with the timing of the 29er, I was always finding myself to be missing the hops as the bike feels a bit big when trying to do those type of tricks, compared to the 650. But I'm pretty sure it's something you pick it up on a couple of rides...

    The 650 feels faster and more playful but turned out to be 5secs slower on the strava run than the 29er, which is not much, and might have been me being tired as it was on my 3rd lap that I got the 650b.

    One other thing I'd change is the front chainring to a 32T instead of the 34 that comes with it, as on very steep climbs I can see myself needing something with a bit more gears.

    I had lots of fun on both of them, if I was going to race and be worried about strava times, And since my riding capabilities are not even close to reach the limits of both bikes. I'd get the 29er, as I felt it would be an easier bike to push my limits, as its a more stable and forgiving bike.

    But for me it's about having fun, just riding and enjoying, so I decided to go with the 650b. I hope I made the right decision but like I said I had fun on both bikes so ether one I'd be happy.

    One of the things I noticed on both bikes are the new fattie rims... They are awesome definitely makes a big difference in the grip side of things.

    Now it's just the waiting game until it's available in australia.

    Cheers,
    Dan

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation: acfsportsfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    335
    Oh my god, what a big mistake!......just kidding.
    Congrats on getting a new bike, I'm sure your going to have loads of fun.

  70. #70
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    489
    I'm loving my 650b Enduro expert carbon. Previous bikes were a knolly chilcotin, and an Evil Uprising. Bot top of the line aggressive bikes and the 650b enduro easily keeps up and then some.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-12-2016, 10:41 AM
  2. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-06-2014, 11:00 AM
  3. New 650B Enduro's on Specialized Web site.
    By Rock in forum Specialized
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-23-2014, 08:14 AM
  4. Replies: 170
    Last Post: 03-28-2014, 04:41 PM
  5. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-02-2013, 06:23 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.