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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There has been a ton of stoke regarding 650b bikes and all of the shops are buying 650b in mass, almost exclusively at this point. Although obviously market driven, do Knolly riders see themselves abandoning Endos & Chili's for the Warden and never looking back?

Currently I am on a Delirium that although a bit heavy, I would not trade it for any other bike out there at this point, with the exception of the Chili. Even if I decided to go 650b at this point, I doubt I could get my hands on one (or the right one) since most bike manufacturers have such a limited supply.

The cost of a new 650b is going to be expensive once you put all of the custom parts on the bike. Has the 650b craze induced Knolly riders to change their minds from the Chili to the Warden as their next bike?
I am curious to know what you all think since I am more inclined to get a Chili rather than a 650b at this point. Cheers.
 

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Any wheel size is a compromise. If I was going to replace my XC/trail bike it would almost definitely be with a 29er, and if I replaced my Delirium with another park/freeride bike it would almost definitely be with another 26er.
If I choose to buy a bike in between then 650b would be a strong contender, but not the only choice.
 

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Best answer to this is to wait til the Knomers get their Wardens and provide honest feedback on its performance. Some will actually have the benefit of comparing it to either the Chilco or Endo. That will be the true review to read. How it compares to their 140 or 160mm Knolly.
 

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I'd like to add a Warden to my Chili and Endo, just not sure I would want to replace either of my Chili or Endo for it right now. Every time I consider selling either bike for a Warden, I just have one of those rides which convinces me otherwise.
 

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If my Chilcotin were stolen, I'd most likely replace it with a 140-160mm 27.5 bike. Warden would be at the top of the list along with the Mach 6, Troy, Bronson, Burner, and Range carbon (edit: Have to add the Intense Tracer T275 to that list).

As it is I'm keeping my Chilcotin and adding something in the 120-140mm with 27.5" wheels.
 

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I borrowed a proto Kona Process in 27.5" from a buddy and got 4 rides on it. I gotta say.....I really enjoyed the bike. Hard to say if it was the wheel size or just the sum of the parts, but it definitely shifted my thoughts on that wheel standard.

EB
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess you could say my Delirium is too dialed as well to let it go. Hard to give up a bike that is pimped and rides really well and is customized exactly how you want it. I am not willing to give up that level of plush this year.

It will be interesting to see if the demand for the Chili and Endo stays steady after this year or if the Warden and other 650b bikes make any 26inch all mountain or cross country bike go extinct.

The other issue is Carbon v. Aluminum. A lot of dudes are jumping on carbon. It will be interesting to see how well they hold up after a year of hard riding. We will know in October whether the carbon will endure the season and not crack. Perhaps there will be a redirect back to aluminum. Carbon is light, rigid, and strong, but how well can it withstand a hard impact? Chime in friends.
 

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I think the manufacturers and retailers will determine the fate of the 26er more than the consumer will. Manufacturers will not continue R and D and fabrication of 26er frames and accessories and retailers can't possibly stock a full run in all three wheel sizes plus parts and accessories. The industry including media has zeroed in on 27" wheel-size for trail and AM use, thus the consumer is VERY reluctant to buy 26ers right now. Manufacturers and retailers want the consumer to only want two wheel sizes. As soon as the majority on the WC DH podium and the Enduro WC podium are on 27" wheels (this season), that will be about it for the 26er, until the revolution in 3-5 years. "Try the new lighter, stronger, livelier, more maneuverable 26" (600a?) wheel size and awaken the pure joy of riding again..."

I think the same could be said for carbon frames. I think enthusiastic, experienced riders with some money are reluctant to buy aluminum frames right now. We here on the Knolly forum are the exception in both categories - and we like that!
 

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I've got a dialed 26er AM rig. I am not planning to get rid of it. It rides as great now as it did before 29ers or 650B were options.

Nothing wrong with the new wheel sizes. I've recommended my friends get 27.5 or 29ers when looking for new rides, but I wouldn't tell anyone with a great 26er they needed to change anything.

I doubt you'll see many 26ers going forward. Read some of the interviews with bike company folks on the difference in sales/interest between 26ers and bigger wheeled models. Yeti posted some eye opening stuff on MTBR. Orders for their 26er this year were under 50 in total compared to hundreds of the 27.5 and 29er models.

It could be that Knolly riders are bucking the trend and wanting 26ers more than the rest of the MTB world, but if I wanted a 26er Endo or Chili I'd be buying one soon.
 

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I borrowed a proto Kona Process in 27.5" from a buddy and got 4 rides on it. I gotta say.....I really enjoyed the bike. Hard to say if it was the wheel size or just the sum of the parts, but it definitely shifted my thoughts on that wheel standard.

EB
That's why I think the best thing to do for anyone interested in the 27.5" wheel size, is to ride a 27.5 frame that's as close to their current 26 as possible. For most here that's going to be a Warden. At least that way you can eliminate the different suspension characteristics, etc etc.
 

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Interesting comments, especially the one about 26" coming back in vogue in a few years when the market "matures" with the new wheel sizes and everyone needs something "new" to sell or buy again... as I also expect the same thing to occur.

In the meantime, I am partial to 26" only because I finally have a stock of good forks/wheels that I am not interested in discarding and the Chilcotin is on my list for next year. Practically pleading with Knolly here to please let us know BEFORE they discontinue any 26" wheel frame!

BTW, my 2010 Endo still rips trails to bike parks even though its supposedly too old, heavy and wrong-wheel sized...:cool:
 

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I am not going to comment on the respective merits of 26" VS 27.5" wheels because I have zero experience with 27.5".

However, please don't tell me that this trend is market driven. At my LBS, all I could see were 27.5" trail bikes. Litterally, I think it would be hard for customer to buy a new 26" bike at this LBS. When the customer has no choice (besides buying second hand), this is definitely not market driven. To me, this is all very much manufacturer driven.

People who have tested the different wheel sizes from 26" to 29" state that there are advantages and disadvantages to all three wheel sizes. I have no problem with co-existing wheel sizes, and I would like for new 26", 27.5" and 29" to be produced for years to come. But I feel like the focus of companies is 27.5" and that they are ignoring 26". I am having a blast on my 26" Chili and cannot just change to a 27.5" bike on a whim because 26" is planned for obsolescence.
 

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However, please don't tell me that this trend is market driven. At my LBS, all I could see were 27.5" trail bikes. Litterally, I think it would be hard for customer to buy a new 26" bike at this LBS. When the customer has no choice (besides buying second hand), this is definitely not market driven. To me, this is all very much manufacturer driven.
From the Yeti Forum:

Guys-

Seems like everyone is all fired up here. I'd love to give you insight into all of our future plans and the cool bikes we're working on, but I'd probably get fired. I'll do my best to set the record straight, but please understand that I'm bound by a certain degree of confidentiality that allows us to keep our competitive advantage.

Regarding 26ers in general, our staff as a whole loves them. There are a few 29er and 650B guys in the office, but most of us currently ride 66's on a day to day basis because we love its performance and versatility.

Personally, I wasn't a big fan of the first few 27.5's I rode, mostly because they were bikes that were originally designed to fit 26" wheels, but they somehow squeezed some 27.5's in there (bolt-on dropouts, etc.). These bikes handled poorly due to the high BB and wacky geometry that often occurs from after-thought solutions like that, and they never felt like they took advantage of the larger wheel format. Once I finally started to ride bikes that were designed from scratch for 27.5's, I was damn impressed. I really like the 75, and I'm even more excited about some other bikes we have in development.

As some other shop guys have stated in this thread, an interesting thing happened toward the end of 2013 - despite all of you guys (and us here at Yeti!) professing love for 26ers, tangible demand for that wheel size fell off a cliff. In our domestic preseason bookings, in which we literally book hundreds/thousands of bikes for shops, demand for our 26ers was almost zero. Literally, there were less than a dozen 66's on order nationwide. Yikes. Meanwhile, demand on the 75 and 575 (both 650B bikes) was off the charts.

At the end of the day, we have to stay in business, and the way to do that is to sell bikes (duh). We're currently moving through our back stock on 66's, and if demand for that bike suddenly spikes again, we'd be more than happy to ramp production back up. In the meantime, we are finishing up some incredibly cool models that have been in development for almost 3 years now, and they are going to knock you on your ass when you see them. We're not going to release details until these suckers are ready to ship, but remember how nuts everyone went when we first released the SB? Expect to get that excited once again.

In any event, I know this is long winded and vague, but I hope it gives you a little clarity on what we're doing and where we're going. It's funny . . . if nothing else, Yeti should have a pretty strong reputation for innovation and producing high-end, badass bikes (it's literally all we've done for 28+ years now!), but some people out there seem to have little faith in us for some reason ("hypocrites", sarcastic "thanks" notes, etc.). It's all good though - we understand that we're only as good as our last model, and that's why we'll continue to bust our butts to make great bikes and give you the best service.

Peace, guys!

John P.

tl;dr Summary: We love 26ers, but demand is very low; we're working on some cool new stuff.
If you care to poke around you can read posts from LBS' talking about buying a bunch of 26ers thinking the 650B thing was a fad and getting stuck with lots of inventory to blow out. :eekster:

On one hand, if this is true I'm bummed. I have a 66c that I absolutely love and at this point have little interest in changing to anything else. However, I work in a shop and very few people are interested in 26" bikes at all. Our shop has no plans to stock anything 26" moving forward with the exception of DH bikes and Dirt jumpers. We have no hate for 26" but if there isn't any demand...
 

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The plot thickens...

Your post was informative Vik, but I think the "demand" that it mentions is that of bike shops, not that of customers. Yet to stay in business, bike shops have to sell bikes to customers. It makes me wonder what type of customer is the most profitable for a bike shop. Is that type of customer so convinced of the benefits 27.5" or so influencable by marketing that bike shops would not want to order 26" bikes anymore?
 

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The plot thickens...

Your post was informative Vik, but I think the "demand" that it mentions is that of bike shops, not that of customers. Yet to stay in business, bike shops have to sell bikes to customers. It makes me wonder what type of customer is the most profitable for a bike shop. Is that type of customer so convinced of the benefits 27.5" or so influencable by marketing that bike shops would not want to order 26" bikes anymore?
Read that 2nd quote. That's from a LBS - they are talking about their customers not wanting 26ers:

However, I work in a shop and very few people are interested in 26" bikes at all. Our shop has no plans to stock anything 26" moving forward with the exception of DH bikes and Dirt jumpers. We have no hate for 26" but if there isn't any demand...
I was shopping for a new bike this year and wasn't going to spend a penny on a 26er. So I can add that 3rd perspective - the consumer's.

I want to say I read the same sort of stuff from Kona, but I can't put my finger on the link to it.

Knolly will be a good brand to watch because they have a 650B option this year and still lots of 26ers - plus they are stoked on 26ers so if you see them go all in for 650B you'll know it was because selling 26ers weren't viable.
 

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People want the latest and greatest if they have the disposable income and the latest and greatest right now is 27.5. If you're in the market for a newly developed trail / AM frame or bike model you basically have to pick a 27.5 bike. There are great 26ers out there but im talking new,y designed for 2014. There are small and subtle differences over a 26er but its not some profound jump. A well executed 26er beats a poorly designed 27.5er all day every day.
 
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