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Thread: 650b or 29er

  1. #1
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    650b or 29er

    or maybe this is just a stupid question. thinking about jumping into the full rigid ss thing. haven't ridden a ss since my bmx days as a kid. does anyone have an opinion as to which they prefer and why? the quicker acceleration of the 650 or the rolling momentum of the 29er? i was assuming the 650 would be the best of both worlds with the exception of tire selection. what do you guys think?

  2. #2
    The need for singlespeed
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    I'm gonna recommend a 650b. Why? Because I have one and it rocks! 'nuff said.
    Amolan

  4. #4
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    I have 650b myself, but to each their own. If I were riding rigid I would have looked heavily into 650b rear and 29" front. Chances are you'll end up trying a whole bunch of set-ups anyway, and wasting all kinds of cash before you eventually end up "content." I speak from experience.

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    thanks for the useful answers guys. 659er ehh?

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    it's a 69er... sounds more fun than a 29er.

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    I vote for 650b, even though i have no experience riding one. i just like the idea of sizing the wheel to the rider and application. Oh and the more of you guys who buy em, the better off i am in a few years when i decide to pick one up!

  8. #8
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    Give 650b a go!


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    Wish I knew, I have a 26 and a 29 with a 650b in the works. My plan is to have one of each and then I can let everyone know which one is perfect for everybody.

    I am curious though to see how the 650 bridges the gap between the 26 and 29. I'll probably end up with worst of both worlds...

  10. #10
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    650B tire selection you can count on one hand. that may be a factor.
    How tall are ye?

  11. #11
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    The tire selection is a huge problem, the other problem is the lack of frames that fit 650b without sacrificing geometry.

    I B6 during the summers, but go full 26" as soon as it gets muddy because there is not a great mud 650b tire.

  12. #12
    Retro Grouch
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    I didn't find the lack of frames a problem as there are a lot of 26" frames that can take 650b tires without messing with the geometry too much; a Bianchi SASS or similar is a good choice. Saying that I would probably go with a 29er as the jury is still out whether 650b is going to continue it's spotty wheel/tire support and the I found the advantages of the 650b are even more evident with the 29er..
    Just one more rep and I get the toaster!

  13. #13
    Oaktown Honkey on Strava
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    I haven't seen anyone talk about rider size. If you are smaller like me, I think the 26 inch single speed w/ suspension fork will offer you a great way to get back into biking at a reasonable price-used bikes are great. Sell it after 6 month's and try a NINER (sorry-29er). I bought a NINER SIR 9 used and have been throwing parts at it for 2 yrs-I am so much faster now NOT. Most of all, pull the trigger because I could have fun on a 1990 crappy bike on most trails. Ride your bike!

  14. #14
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka brad View Post
    I didn't find the lack of frames a problem as there are a lot of 26" frames that can take 650b tires without messing with the geometry too much; a Bianchi SASS or similar is a good choice. Saying that I would probably go with a 29er as the jury is still out whether 650b is going to continue it's spotty wheel/tire support and the I found the advantages of the 650b are even more evident with the 29er..
    I've done three "conversions." On my Monocog the 650b was ok. On the Monocog Flight the handling really took a hit- slowed it down a ton. Same with an old Access frame I had.

    The Bianchi line up seems to be pretty bankable and right now there are a lot of 650b specific frames for sale on ebay. Get a frame made for 650b and the chances of being happy with the wheelsize increases.

  15. #15
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    would a surly 1x1 frame be adequate for a 650b?
    Friends don't let friends ride geared bikes

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    Last edited by slocaus; 09-20-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0mb3r View Post
    would a surly 1x1 frame be adequate for a 650b?
    More than adequate - yep!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0mb3r View Post
    would a surly 1x1 frame be adequate for a 650b?
    I have a 1x1 with 650b running 2.3 Nevegals. I wish there were more good tires in 650b.

  19. #19
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    thanks guys. i'm 5'11". looking at a 650 specific frame but says you can squeeze 29s in if they arent too wide.

  20. #20
    Beer swillin' rabble ridr
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    Full rigid single speed I'd go 29er for momentum and traction advantages mainly. Full susp geary -- 650all the way.
    Drink beer all day

  21. #21
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by westcoaster View Post
    or maybe this is just a stupid question. thinking about jumping into the full rigid ss thing. haven't ridden a ss since my bmx days as a kid. does anyone have an opinion as to which they prefer and why?

    I rode BMX bikes from age 12 to 28. Thats 10 full years on 20" wheels as a fully grown adult. Those little wheels will hang up on anything - if you let them. You're forced to develop some serious bike handling skills to keep that bike moving.

    I know I'll be on 26" wheels until the day I die because of my BMX background, but if you haven't been on 20" wheels since you were 15, I'd tell you to go 29 simply due to parts availabilty.

  22. #22
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    How about 650b in the rear and 29 in front, that way you a win win situation on both ends. I've owned several 29er single speeds and I'm currently using a 650b in single speed mode and so far the only thing that I miss a little is a bigger front wheel when pointed downhill however I gained a bit of up hill ease with the smaller 650b tire in the rear.

  23. #23
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    Here's my GT Peace 26er 650B conversion.

    Feel like this should have been the original setup from the factory.

    Smooths bumps, handles well, lots of grip through corners and uphills, rolls fast especially downhill, and easily goes through sand and loose gravel.


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