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Recovering couch patato
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Nice for riders between 5'0" and 5'4", till the greater offset suspension fork hit.
I don't believe that with wheelsize the middle road is the best. Such tiny differences in wheel size, while it's just been proven that even 36" rides pretty "neutral and "like a bike" as some very respected members of the MTB community have reported.
With the in-between size, (who will be able to tell them apart when not knowing the size, 1 inch between them) you of course only get half the advantages for half the disadvanatages. Is that worth swapping over another size for, whatever you're riding now?
This was bound to happen at some point (why didn't it happen decades earlier? Must be thanks to nothing but 29"...) and I wouldn't be surprised of some 26" holdouts will grab the opportunity to rave all about this "perfect" size. Thuth is, if 29" sucks for your riding, this will only suck less, you'll want a 24" bike. Plenty of tires to choose from, just only <5' riders seem to have found worth it.

Had 26" never happened, as our pioneers saw the light first time trying, would 27.5" now be all the rave, or would we have accepted 24" and 29" as 2 nice sizes to fit all adults on? My guess : 32" would have happened before 26", at least for adult application.

It's a nice looking bike though. Looks like a 26"er more than a 29"er.
What's that rim size again?
 

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Where's Toto?
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Seems like 650b is kinda catching on with non-racer road riders in the sorta way 29 is taking over the off road scene (similar but different). Lots of new 650b frames popping up all over. Conversions of racer boy frames using shorter wheels, wider tires, and longer brakes. Not sure I get it - if I'm going frame up I can spec clearance and get wider 700c tires that soften the ride.

BTW - appears from the photos that WTB is making a 650b off road tire?

Can a 650b MTBR forum be far behind?

Argh!
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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8,254 Posts
Confusing the masses?

I did a post on my blog in referance to 650B bikes just a couple of weeks ago. The concept is not new to mountainbiking. Raleigh and a couple of others tried the size out in the early 80's when mountain biking was still finding itself in state of experimentation, which we seem to have revisited now. ( 29"er, 650B, 36"er)

Rivendell has a proto type already in existence that Grant Peterson is really excited about. So, this Pacenti bike with the Cane Creek rims, WTB (?) tire, and a Panaracer tire seem to legitimize the concept further in the eyes of builders. I wonder though, how will another choice in wheel size be accepted by the average mtb'er. I'm guessing it'll be confusing to alot of them.

I can see how something like this will be an enthusiasts next "must have" bike, due to it's being "different" and unique. I suppose now we'll start seeing 650Niners, or 26/650ers and other such nonsense! :rolleyes: It's just a matter of time!

Also, didn't Frischnecht run some Dugast tubular 650 sized hoops in some races awhile back? Not 650B, but the outer diameter was bigger than 26/ 522 if I'm not mistaken.

Ahh! I thought the tire madness of the past was getting sorted, now we are returning to multiple tire standards once again. As a bike shop mechanic this can only lead to mass confusion if this stuff ever hits the store shelves!
 

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Welsh Dave
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254 Posts
And the French-inspired Kogswell Porteur seems to have been a big hit with their intended customers (Those Mary bars get everywhere!).

Search Flickr for "Kogswell" or "Porteur" to see how many ways people are building them up.

Go on Brant, do us a 650B "everything but mountain" bike with maximum retro-grouch touches like integrated luggage racks and beard-guard.
 

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i also unicycle
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in my shop 90% of the customers think 29 inch wheels are weird and don't understand them. I've tried to evangelize. this is just one more size to confuse most people with. it's like all the schwinn specific sizes. "no. your 26 inch tire won't fit on there, it's an S6 rim. sorry, but you need a very specific tire size with about 3 choices."
 

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27"/650b has already been done. Tom Ritchey made 12 bikes with this size wheel (of which I've luckily got one) right at the point when purpose-built mountain bikes started to be built. Tom had heard about the Marin thing going on over the bridge on 26" wheels and he thoght 650b would do the trick and built a few up. Rumor has it GF got one too. Tom said he really liked that size and since at that point there were no aluminum 26" rims available it was a huge improvement.

The only problem was the tires were a little hard to get and only about 1.75" wide or so. They imported Nokian Hakkapalita (sp?) tires from Finland, but sometime soon after this mtb thing started happening, Russia ordered Nokian's entire production of the tire and that was the end of it. Then aluminum 26" rims happened with Ukiah and Araya and that was that.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Some XC racers are using 650c (13mm larger) rims with custom tubular tires (~1.9's typically), making for a very much 26"-like 26.5" overall wheel size.

With such minute wheel size differences, the real difference will be in the rider's head. Whatever makes you think is better will feel better. Too little actual difference to to correct a mindset.
Will this 650B WTB tire fit a standard 26" fork that happens to be a bit roomy? Will it fit my 26"ers?

Odd, WTB thinks there's not enough market to make the tires we plead for (be it a true 29x2.5 or 32x2.3"), yet they do make a 650B. In-between less scary than larger yet?
 

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Always Learning
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markf said:
in my shop 90% of the customers think 29 inch wheels are weird and don't understand them. I've tried to evangelize. this is just one more size to confuse most people with. it's like all the schwinn specific sizes. "no. your 26 inch tire won't fit on there, it's an S6 rim. sorry, but you need a very specific tire size with about 3 choices."
I say the more sizes available, the merrier.

BB (Who has a garage full of wheel sizes for various applications and family members as it is including 20", 24", 26" and 700c)

Here's my 20/26"er:
 

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Cloxxki said:
This was bound to happen at some point (why didn't it happen decades earlier?
It did....well not decades, but one decade. GT used 700D, which is pretty close to 650B in the early to mid 90s on some bikes. Never caught on though. I have a really nice set of NOS 700D mtb tires with no rims available for them. Don't ask me why. :madman:

Maybe MTBR could start a new forum called 650B/700D/36"........or just call it "any wheelsize besides 26" and 29".....oh and I guess we can't forget 24" for the occasional rear DH tire forum"
 

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Cloxxki said:
Some XC racers are using 650c (13mm larger) rims with custom tubular tires (~1.9's typically), making for a very much 26"-like 26.5" overall wheel size.

With such minute wheel size differences, the real difference will be in the rider's head. Whatever makes you think is better will feel better. Too little actual difference to to correct a mindset.
Will this 650B WTB tire fit a standard 26" fork that happens to be a bit roomy? Will it fit my 26"ers?

Odd, WTB thinks there's not enough market to make the tires we plead for (be it a true 29x2.5 or 32x2.3"), yet they do make a 650B. In-between less scary than larger yet?
I agree 100%. Seems like 650B doesn't really solve much of anything, but if people want to make that size and use it, more power to them. I just don't see an advantage myself.

32 x 2.3 or 2.1 would be awesome. I'd buy that size in a heartbeat and have a custom frame designed around it. I've said this before, but I'll say it again.....the first time I rode a 29er, one of the first thoughts that came to mind after a few minutes on the bike, was "these wheels don't seem too big at all, in fact, a few inches larger would be perfect" and I had been riding 26" mtbs for almost 20 years prior.
 

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Premium Member
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Fillet-brazed said:
27"/650b has already been done. Tom Ritchey made 12 bikes with this size wheel (of which I've luckily got one) right at the point when purpose-built mountain bikes started to be built. Tom had heard about the Marin thing going on over the bridge on 26" wheels and he thoght 650b would do the trick and built a few up. Rumor has it GF got one too. Tom said he really liked that size and since at that point there were no aluminum 26" rims available it was a huge improvement.

The only problem was the tires were a little hard to get and only about 1.75" wide or so. They imported Nokian Hakkapalita (sp?) tires from Finland, but sometime soon after this mtb thing started happening, Russia ordered Nokian's entire production of the tire and that was the end of it. Then aluminum 26" rims happened with Ukiah and Araya and that was that.
I was going to mention this, too. You have the details much better than I remembered.
 

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Recovering couch patato
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So, will 27.5/27.5 kill the whole 29/26 halfbreed thing in the race for absolute fine tuned wheelsize for all things bike?

Please someone tell me where 650B sits between 559 and 622? If memory serves me (it would be a lucky guess, 650B is the size used on 584mm wheeled transport bikes, thus closer to 26". Yes, I know, too lazy to check Sheldon Brown today...

Will we now see MTB wheels in 650c/572mm (now in clincher) and something like 610mm, as 29" just accellerates that little bit "too slowly".
Go really small like 20" (for weight/acceleration/frame design convenience/handling quickness), or properly large like 32" (roll-over, rolling resistance, grip, traction, endo factor, steep climbing, comfort).
 

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Cloxxki said:
So, will 27.5/27.5 kill the whole 29/26 halfbreed thing in the race for absolute fine tuned wheelsize for all things bike?

Please someone tell me where 650B sits between 559 and 622? If memory serves me (it would be a lucky guess, 650B is the size used on 584mm wheeled transport bikes, thus closer to 26". Yes, I know, too lazy to check Sheldon Brown today...

Will we now see MTB wheels in 650c/572mm (now in clincher) and something like 610mm, as 29" just accellerates that little bit "too slowly".
Go really small like 20" (for weight/acceleration/frame design convenience/handling quickness), or properly large like 32" (roll-over, rolling resistance, grip, traction, endo factor, steep climbing, comfort).

FYI, I checked out that Pacenti today and the tire is a modified 26" unit. The right tires arent quite in.
 

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highly visible
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I like the idea, and I'm amazed to see someone actually got a MTB tire made for 584mm. Not so much as a middle ground for riders big enough for 29"ers, but for riders too short to take advantage of 29" wheels, but who could handle a size somewhat bigger than 26". Granted that's a small market, but it includes my wife!

I'm with BB - the more the merrier! The next thing we need - and unfortunately is not a preexisting standard -- is another size up from 29", for the over-6' riders. 36" is cool (and I want one for beach riding), but impractical for mountainbiking. Something around 31-32" might be ideal for a lot of taller riders.
 
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