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Thread: 650b

  1. #1
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    650b

    Not sure how many folks here have gone in this direction, but I just finished building a new 650b (27.5-inch wheel) bike. I know 29ers have developed a good following locally and with good reason.

    I've been riding 29ers off and on, mostly on, since 2006. I think, for the typical sort of trails we have here, the big wheels do a very nice job. My main ride is a FS Astrix Monk 29er. For reference, I've had a couple of decent 26ers during that time, including a very nice Yeti 575.

    Recently, I read a bunch of stuff on the 650b trend and thought I'd give it a try. Interestingly, I'm using a 26er frame and fork. The only thing that's specific to this wheel size is obviously the rims and tires.

    Frame is a Cannondale Prophet, which seems to have very nice geometry for our trails and easily accepts the larger wheel. Fork is a stock coil Pike. Everything else is typical AZ trail bike: 2x9, Hope M4 brakes, Sun Equalizer rims with 2.3 Neomoto tires (made by Panaracer), set up ghetto tubeless.

    Been on about five trail rides now and I really like the bike. Very neutral handling, intuitive, doesn't do anything weird. The 650b size offers some of the benefits of the 29er size (fast rolling, chews up smaller trail chop) AND of the 26er (more maneuverable, easier up to speed).

    Thought this might be interesting to those who either don't fit or are turned off by 29ers. This wheel size might be the magic bullet for folks stuck in the middle. The only real weakness are the relative lack of rims and tires in this size, though the Neo seems to be a very good tire and there's a Nevegal, too.

    For some reason, I really, really like this Cannondale frame. It's very stiff and managed to be relatively efficient and relatively plush with a Fox Float R. Pics:




  2. #2
    AZ
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    Nice write up , been looking @ 650 myself . Great looking ride .

  3. #3
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    Jamis has one coming out. One of our local shops here in NM gotta test ride yesterday and he was very impressed. I could see the benefit of running it on the front. I hope it catches on and they get more stout, I'd be willing to try it. Isn't it true that it fits most current forks?

  4. #4
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    nice ride.

    how do the neo moto's fit on the Sun Equilizer's? They are kinda loose on my Blunts.

  5. #5
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    Good looking ride and worked great on the few rides I tagged along. Good write-up.

    Blatant, I'm out for tomorrow AM. Rode today at 5pm (I'm a idiot) and had some issues. Rear wheel is done. Maybe Sunday........D

  6. #6
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    Nice cranks!!! Now I know what you were talking about...hopefully see you out on south!

  7. #7
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    You can't use ALL current forks, but most of them will fit. There's actually quite a bit more clearance in the arch than you can tell from the photos. The rear triangle of the Prophet looks like it was made for this size. It's perfect.

    The Neos were still loose on the Sun rims. I'd heard they were worse on the Blunts, but no firsthand knowledge. I had to build up the bed of the rim with three layers of tape to get the bead tight enough for the ghetto to hold.

    Bob: Thanks, the cranks worked out fine. Hit Javelina a couple times and will likely do Mormon/National this week.

    Drew: Let me know what you want to do. I'm up early and probably heading to Sedona this morning. Never ridden there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant
    Drew: Let me know what you want to do. I'm up early and probably heading to Sedona this morning. Never ridden there.
    Let me know how Sedona was and I'll work on my bike this morning.........D

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