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Thread: SS, 29 to 27.5?

  1. #1
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    SS, 29 to 27.5?

    I recently sold my SS 29er and I'm in the market for a new SS, being a hair under 5 10" I felt that many 29ers just didn't feel right. I understand that having shorter chainstays does affect the agility of the big wheels however most SS 29ers out there do not have short enough chainstays and custom is out of my budget so recently I've been looking into SS 650b"s as a viable option.

    Has anyone gone from a SS 29er to a SS 650b if so can you describe any benefits especially when climbing as I find despite the added traction from the big 29er wheel out back, there were times I wish I had a smaller wheel.

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    i hated the 29er and went back to 26" but considered the 650b. Only thing holding me back is the avalibility of parts, and that i really dont dislike the 26er.

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    I put 650b's on a SS 29'er/ IT dropped the BB a little which meant I might spike the pedal on rocky terrain. Otherwise, it kept the bike nimble and quick in my favorite tight single track. Climbing was much better. I even tried it with a 29 wheel up front. It made the head angle weird but the climbing was great.

    Shameless plug-Selling a set of wheels cheap to try it for yourself.

    http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/1698605744.html

  4. #4
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    I dropped from a 29er to 650b because i was not content with 29er handling and the lack of rollover on 26". I really like it, though I haven't settled on 26" or 650b rear wheel.

    It is expensive to try out- I searched craigslist forever for my wheelset.

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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I dropped from a 29er to 650b because i was not content with 29er handling and the lack of rollover on 26". I really like it, though I haven't settled on 26" or 650b rear wheel.

    It is expensive to try out- I searched craigslist forever for my wheelset.
    One of my only concerns is losing noticeable stability going downhill on a smaller wheel than a 29er, was there any significant loss going to a smaller front wheel compared to a 29er?

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    Quote Originally Posted by djembe975
    One of my only concerns is losing noticeable stability going downhill on a smaller wheel than a 29er, was there any significant loss going to a smaller front wheel compared to a 29er?
    No. I do run full rigid, for what it is worth. I think the 29ers are hard to steer and require care to keep a line. 650b tracks great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djembe975
    One of my only concerns is losing noticeable stability going downhill on a smaller wheel than a 29er, was there any significant loss going to a smaller front wheel compared to a 29er?
    I think part of the reason why i didnt like the 29er was because i never had a problem with the smaller wheels going downhill in the first place, so really it was just excess weight and slower handling with no benefit to me. However, there is a noticable difference, at least between 29" and 26". Nothing that really slowed me down though.

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    It bears mentioning that terrain and experience matter. I love rigid SS 650b where I live. I visited AZ and I was happy to have front sus, and likely the 29er too.

    Confidence is a huge aspect to riding. If you go into a situation expecting not to dab or crash, you are more likely to clear it. If 29er gives you a confidence boost....

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    Would you say 650b makes an ideal SS, just enough roll over and and traction and faster spinning rear wheel?

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    As more tire manufacturers are getting on board with 650b it's becoming a more viable option. I'm 5'7" and made the jump from 26" to 29" very easily so going down to 650b wouldn't make sense to me. If 29" didn't work for me though, I'd think 26" with big tires might be more the way to go than 650b due to still much greater availability of tires and rims.

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    I've always wanted to build up a Surly 1x1 with 650b wheels. You can always drop back down to 26" wheels if the 650b doesn't work out for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut
    I've always wanted to build up a Surly 1x1 with 650b wheels. You can always drop back down to 26" wheels if the 650b doesn't work out for you.
    I'm contemplating a Haro Beasley with either a 100mm fork or even with a fat tire like the Surly Larry and wide rigid fork if I keep it rigid.
    Last edited by djembe975; 04-22-2010 at 04:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    No. I do run full rigid, for what it is worth. I think the 29ers are hard to steer and require care to keep a line. 650b tracks great.
    Did you also find that the 650b spins a bit faster while stile providing plenty of traction while climbing the steeper sections?

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    Does anyone ride a SS 650b with a suspension fork?

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    After doing a bit of research it seems that more in terms of parts and frames are being released in the 650b market although I'm still on the fence about ordering a dedicated frame or complete. I know people say the reason that 29er is ideal for SS is because of the momentum from the bigger wheels, however, when dong extended climbs on my old 29er SS

    I noticed that despite the added traction, spinning the big wheel did require more energy to spin thus one of my main reasons for looking into the 650b size. Do any of you 650b single speeders prefer giving up a little down hill stability and roll over for agility and quicker acceleration?

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    Quote Originally Posted by djembe975
    Did you also find that the 650b spins a bit faster while stile providing plenty of traction while climbing the steeper sections?
    Sorry I missed this. 650b spins up faster, but not faster than a 26" rear, which is something I am hoping to play around with over the summer.

    I borrowed a friend's 29er yesterday and it was an interesting experience. I had the front flop a bit more than I like when shifting weight on climbs and on a couple switchbacks I either didn't make it or I'd plow through by no skill of my own. The momentum the wheels carried on the rolling terrain was enormous and pretty darn fun.

    I don't miss anything about 29ers with my 650b- traction is very good (I have Nevs), the ride is pretty smooth and I've never felt that the feeling that the ride wasn't stable.

    When I can afford two mountain bikes, I do want a 29SS in the stable. It is fun to switch things up.

    Hope this helps.

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    Oh, the 29er was geared. I was surprised how much work it was to get it up a hill at 32x30 when I usually get up the hill with similar effort at 34x20...

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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Oh, the 29er was geared. I was surprised how much work it was to get it up a hill at 32x30 when I usually get up the hill with similar effort at 34x20...
    I ride in Socal and most trails start with some extended climbing over here and that's why I purchased a 1x9 29er however, for a SS I think I may add a 650b as I've done the 29er SS for over a year and a half.

  19. #19
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    dj, you're more than welcome to try my El Toro 650b convert next time you're in the Santa Monica area. I've owned SS's in 26", 29" and now 27.5" and the 650b just feels best for me.

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    Thanks Kcaz, I may have to take you up on that offer seeing as you are close by and I currently do not have an SS, btw, how much room do you have back there in the back for the 650b? Can you post some pics if you have some?

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    We have clearance Clarence. Not much, but enough. Older frame with horiz dropouts, wheel slid way back.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails SS, 29 to 27.5?-clearance-clarance.jpg  


  22. #22
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    I'm thinking perhaps the new model may not fit a 650 since it doesn't have sliders.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by djembe975
    I'm thinking perhaps the new model may not fit a 650 since it doesn't have sliders.
    Check the compatibility thread in the 650b section.

    I just upgraded to 650b front wheel on my 26” rigid SS. Makes a HUGE diff (better resistance, cornering, climbing, etc.) and I also don’t see any advantage by going to 29er. Really 650b just makes it easier because it fits 26” frames and gives you the larger wheel without suffering from fragile handling with the 29er (depending on your trail design). I did way too much research before upgrading mine. 650b just fits for my application.

    On the cost issue, I didn’t think it was that considering I reused my front Paul FHUB from my 26” wheel. Just had to buy a rim & tire, a buddy had spokes and nips. Set me back around $100. Slection is not very plentiful, but just about everything you will find is solid & reliable.

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