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I have for some time thought that 650b would be the ideal wheel size. It seems every manufacturer is jumping on the 29 inch bandwagon but none (or virtually none) are offering 650bs. The only real choices in a fs set up are haro, jamis, and ventana. The Ventana is pricey and is sold frame only. The Jamis and Haro both have things that make them somewhat unappealing, without going into detail. Without mfrs supporting 650b full suspension frames, I just don't see this going anywhere from a practical standpoint. It is as if the manufacturers have collectively decided that after 29ers they just don't want to be bothered with thinking of another wheel size. What say you?
 

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www.derbyrims.com
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There's no OEM Fox or Rockshox brand 650b forks yet. If like 29'er forks, those high demand OEM fork manufactures will wait a few more years.

In the mean time 650b trail bike conversion and small production has grown at least 5 times more quickly than 29'er did in the first 3 years of availability.

The mainstream trend is coming much quicker for 650b.
 

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Im riding a Haro Sonix 650 I wish it were lighter but if it were I could not have afforded it.
Other wise it's a great bike. It makes the trek liquid it replaced seem like a complete POS
I am disappointed as everyone else in the lack of more wheel options and a adjustable travel SPV style fork would be nice. As far as 650b going anywhere, Ive got mine and it goes where ever I do at least once a week LoL!
 

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To the MTB world, it's still a relatively new size. I'm pretty sure the tire size is doing well considering it's "newness" and word of mouth is the most solid, yet slowest, form of marketing (IMO). In my little group of people I ride with, we went from my single 650b front wheel to 3 full on 650b bikes. And more are coming.

The 29'er honeymoon is starting to get a little stale as the best fit bike for everyone. I personally see multi-sized wheel bikes making a lot of sense (26/650b, 650b/29/ 26/29) for a lot more people than full on 29'ers.

<-----Off to race my 650b'd Flash. :)
 

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Feel that way too.....

I do think its a great size. But at this point, there's a lot of research and work to convert a 26er and most people don't want to do that, unless they're stoked. Most shops don't have any, and haven't built up any wheels. And you're right, the 3 companies out there, like you said, have some limiting factor.
I look at the 'visits' to this sight, and wonder how much it is really catching on. When this forum first came up, my first thought were, 'are they crazy, another wheel size'?! and I think that's what most people still think........but.......
what we have to do is talk it up and demo it on the trails. Its not like a 29er that you can immediately recognize on the trail due to those huge wheels. So lets 'demonstrate'. Put decals on your bikes. Put '650b Rocks' in your vehicle's windows. Get noticed and talk it up to yet to be friends on the trails. Talk to your dealers and send messages to the internet stores. I would think that a frame maker or fork maker could really prosper if they were willing to catch the developing wave, if they had the right product at the right price.
Until then, I'm glad I found it, and I talk it up all the time. But when I get out on the trail, most people don't 'see' it, if until I verbalize it. I enjoy this forum, and have posted on the Turner forum, (because I believe in their frames and CS). I really appreciate the community on this forum and its not snobby, like other forum can be.
Continue to find shops who know and support 650b. Most don't believe in it, as you guys point out. In this economy, its a tough nut to go after something new, especially when shops are getting back to core business models. 650b certainly isn't a core.:eekster: I've spent money on a new 'used' frame, a new wheelset, and a new rear shock. None of which would have been spent w/o being 650b, so we're supporting the economy.
Just my ramblings on a Sunday morning.
Live long and prosper.
Sbob
 

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daveseal said:
It is as if the manufacturers have collectively decided that after 29ers they just don't want to be bothered with thinking of another wheel size. What say you?
First, there's no collaboration going on. Manufacturers will make what people buy.

In the mid-1970's a few guys in Marin decided to graft deraillers on to their 26" cruiser bikes. They piece-mealed bikes together using a combo of road, cruiser and BMX parts for 7 or 8 years before any large manufacturers decided that maybe mountain bikes were something that they may be able to sell. It was another 10 years before a viable full-suspension mountain bike was offered for sale.

In the early 1990's the first 700c mountain bikes were introduced. They died out. In the late 1990's the first wide 700c (29er) mountain tire was offered, and the modern 29er started being introduced. One full suspension model (the Fisher 292) was available by 2002 - about three years into the "revolution." It's been 11-12 years since 29er were introduced, and nearly 20+ years since the first 700c mountain bikes were introduced, and some still consider it a "new" or "fringe" product.

When was the 650b wheel most recently introduced to mountain bikes? Maybe three years ago? There are several options for frames, and quite a few options for tires. It's not as many as 26er or 29er, which have been around for 30 years and 12 years respectively. Give it time, if they are a good idea (which I think they are) they size will grow with time. They're off to a good start.

Early adopters of anything always have to clear hurdles. Once an idea goes mainstream it grows more rapidly. It's true of anything. If you don't want to be an early adopter, give it a few years to grow and there will be more offerings. But if there are not enough early adopters, the idea will likely slowly die off. The 700c idea died once and then was reborn. What will 650b do? If you want it to grow, support it now. If no one buys the current bikes, there will not be a "next generation."
 

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derby said:
In the mean time 650b trail bike conversion and small production has grown at least 5 times more quickly than 29'er did in the first 3 years of availability.

The mainstream trend is coming much quicker for 650b.
So you are comparing a completely different wheel size -63mm bigger-requiring a total redesign and every specific part to a mere 25mm bigger wheel which simply can benefit from a quick fix on 26er frames or simply use them as they are?
No point in comparing. 27,5" is not so much different from 26" just 25mm. And if some of you believe is so much yahooo in rollover and traction then realize that a 29" wheel is 63mm bigger than 26" one and still 38mm bigger than 27,5" so more than a 27,5" from 26", comprendo?
 

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If the economy wasn't in the toilet right now, I'm sure we'd be seeing much more growth , but even still it's progressed faster than the 29er did back in it's infancy. The fact that people can use both existing 26'er and 29'er parts and frames is probably not helping push things either. I.E. People are making do with what is already available instead of putting pressure on manufacturers.

Frankly I'm amazed that 650b has come as far as it has considering the tough economic times we have been up against. People seem to quickly forget that we're still in a recession/depression. Many companies are still trying to recoup their investments in the 29er, as sales have been less than stellar, so it would seem silly to expect them to retool for another configuration, at least right now. Some companies are just barely staying in business.
 

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Davidcopperfield said:
So you are comparing a completely different wheel size -63mm bigger-requiring a total redesign and every specific part to a mere 25mm bigger wheel which simply can benefit from a quick fix on 26er frames or simply use them as they are?
No point in comparing. 27,5" is not so much different from 26" just 25mm. And if some of you believe is so much yahooo in rollover and traction then realize that a 29" wheel is 63mm bigger than 26" one and still 38mm bigger than 27,5" so more than a 27,5" from 26", comprendo?
Although it is true 650b circumference and every other change is less than 4% larger than a 26'er, and 29'er over 9% greater, the 650b FEELS like 80% of the advantages without so much extra rolling weight or long stay and higher head tube problems.

Numbers and theory are interesting, but the FEEL when riding is what really matters. It's nice to have options. 29'er full suspensions are improving incrementally, but from test riding the new models there's no 29'er that comes near to the ride quality in FEEL and versatility of uses to my 650b Ibis Mojo. I ride what FEELS best for my interests.

Cheers to the added option of 650b.
 

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Davidcopperfield said:
So you are comparing a completely different wheel size -63mm bigger-requiring a total redesign and every specific part to a mere 25mm bigger wheel which simply can benefit from a quick fix on 26er frames or simply use them as they are?
No point in comparing. 27,5" is not so much different from 26" just 25mm. And if some of you believe is so much yahooo in rollover and traction then realize that a 29" wheel is 63mm bigger than 26" one and still 38mm bigger than 27,5" so more than a 27,5" from 26", comprendo?
How exactly do you come up w/ 650b 25mm larger than a 26er & 63mm for a 29er ? I went into my LBS and we compared a 26er, 650b & 29er all with 2.3 tires of similar size / volume - With all the axles in-line the 650b was 3/4" taller than the 26er & the 29er was 3/4" taller than the 650b. Math on paper is fine but actual real word measurments trump. You have to realize as well that some riders may not need anymore tire than a 26er offers. Going to a 29er may be overkill and a 650b might be a good compromise. So really you until you actually ride a 650b or stop pushing numbers your arguments are kinda weak :nono:
 

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Doesntplaywellwithmorons!
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There's a reason why its called 27.5... because for a 650B x 2.0/2.1, it really is 27.5" diameter. A 26 x 2.0/2.1 is 26" oddly enough, and the 29x2.0/2.1 size... go figure... 29". That's respectively 38mm more diameter and 76mm more.
 

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Davidcopperfield said:
So you are comparing a completely different wheel size -63mm bigger-requiring a total redesign and every specific part to a mere 25mm bigger wheel which simply can benefit from a quick fix on 26er frames or simply use them as they are?
No point in comparing. 27,5" is not so much different from 26" just 25mm. And if some of you believe is so much yahooo in rollover and traction then realize that a 29" wheel is 63mm bigger than 26" one and still 38mm bigger than 27,5" so more than a 27,5" from 26", comprendo?
What is the point you are trying to make exactly? That if a 650b is so close to a 26 why even bother? That the difference surely can't be felt? If a couple inches made no difference then why are some parts and even frames sold in size increments as small as 1cm or 1"? What you are saying really makes no sense.

Not to mention that when we're talking about something with rotational mass and that directly affects our gear ratio, small size changes make a bigger difference than you seem to realize. So yes size does matter.

It sounds like what we have here is a 29er fanboy that feels threatened by this size, sees the true potential, and really doesn't want to lose that "exclusivity" factor.
 

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Davidcopperfield said:
So you are comparing a completely different wheel size -63mm bigger-requiring a total redesign and every specific part to a mere 25mm bigger wheel which simply can benefit from a quick fix on 26er frames or simply use them as they are?
No point in comparing. 27,5" is not so much different from 26" just 25mm. And if some of you believe is so much yahooo in rollover and traction then realize that a 29" wheel is 63mm bigger than 26" one and still 38mm bigger than 27,5" so more than a 27,5" from 26", comprendo?
Comprendo this...29'er pretty well suck at long travel AM style bikes for most folks. It's not their strong suite at all. The long travel 29'ers that exist are freakin' freight trains. That's not a slam at the 29'er concept, however, as the true advantage of the 29'er lies in its wheel size and wheel size alone. A 29'er wheel and long travel are not synonymous. There is a different quality gained by both approaches, but a bigger wheel doesn't translate directly into a certain amount of travel as many would like to claim. Yes, there is a rolling quality to a 29'er, and it is similar to more travel in certain types of terrain, but when things get more extreme, travel is king...unless you're trying to run 20" wheels, of course.

650B is the tallest wheel you can run while maintaining the relative excellent geometry of the 26'er and the long travel suspension of a 26'er. Not everyone wants or needs the long travel of an AM bike, so the 29'er may be a good choice for those folks. Not everyone wants the geometry and wheel size of the 29'er, and this is where the 26'er or 650B gives the alternative. Maybe 650B is really what should have been in the first place instead of the 26'er. I do know that when you start going above 650B, the bike starts changing in character and performance...not necessarily bad or good depending on what fits your riding style, preference, and physiology.

I don't understand what your problem is, DC. The reason there are so many bikes and wheel sizes is that there are lots of different types of riders, riding, and preference. What skin is it off your big stick-it-in-everyone-else's-business nose anyway? And what's with your comment about a quick fix for the 26'er? I think they call it "improvement"...advancement...thinking outside the box...trying something new. It's only 25mm taller? Nine speed is only one gear more than eight speed. Going to nine speed didn't require redesigning the hub. Heck...ten speed doesn't either. The point with 650B is that it can get the most of what is basically a 26'er without throwing out the baby with the bath water. My thought is that all bikes in the 26'er frame range could probably be designed to run both wheel sizes interchageably without much ado as time and frame upgrades and new designs come from the different manufacturers. Frankly I like a 650B front and 26" rear, but that's just me. Many frames can run 650B in the rear right now. My Stumpjumper FSR can run one. Options are good. Just because small minds can't wrap their little brains around that...well...that's their problem. With your line of thinking we'd still be on rigid, single-speed, 75-degree head angle mountainbikes. Oh wait...some people still ride those kinds of bike, and there's nothing wrong with that either.:lol:
 

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derby said:
Although it is true 650b circumference and every other change is less than 4% larger than a 26'er, and 29'er over 9% greater, the 650b FEELS like 80% of the advantages without so much extra rolling weight or long stay and higher head tube problems.

Numbers and theory are interesting, but the FEEL when riding is what really matters.
You seem to compare different tyres much less the wheel size. Yes a poor or lite XCish tyre on a 29er vs Neo Moto 2,3" is going to feel nothing but worse even in rollover than the latter. Please jaxtapose the rim size not the tyres.

If you insist feel free to use Volverine 2,2" or any other the same tyre in 29", 27,5" and 26" and I assure that you will feel the 38mm difference betwen 29er and 27,5" even more than a 25mm difference between 27,5" and a 26er. I am just trying to separate facts from pure emotions and other marketing hype. Also take the rest of the bike into account. Oh and take a decent light six grand 29er not the 600$ SS.
 

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TNC said:
Comprendo this...29'er pretty well suck at long travel AM style bikes for most folks. It's not their strong suite at all. The long travel 29'ers that exist are freakin' freight trains.
Well, eight years ago you would say the same about first inroads into XC in SS style and would laugh about GF trekking bikes with fattish tyres. I deem that the same applies here- read AM 29ers for 2010 are freight trains but what about 2020 am 29ers? Remeber first xc 29ers from 2001 and '02 and current 2011 ones? Do you grasp the difference?

That's not a slam at the 29'er concept, however, as the true advantage of the 29'er lies in its wheel size and wheel size alone.
I think you just negated that above, but it's just me.

A 29'er wheel and long travel are not synonymous. There is a different quality gained by both approaches, but a bigger wheel doesn't translate directly into a certain amount of travel as many would like to claim.
When I recall the first suspension on 26ers, there were some articles saying that a 120-130mm forks are only for going down and are impossible to climb on. Also all FS frame were considered DH only! You are just taking the footsteps of history, repeating the same myths.
Think negaive riser handlebars to get the them low enough for short people. Insanity, but hey are they any flat bars already in use and negative stems, why not go further. You said something about open mind...

Yes, there is a rolling quality to a 29'er, and it is similar to more travel in certain types of terrain, but when things get more extreme, travel is king...unless you're trying to run 20" wheels, of course.
So there is a large room for improvemnt in the frames and negative risers for the "lowness" of handlebar.

650B is the tallest wheel you can run while maintaining the relative excellent geometry of the 26'er and the long travel suspension of a 26'er.
No. 26er geometry is excellent for a 26er so a 29er needs another one, varying... and 26er one is little point of reference. It's merely the one we are accustomed to since 70'ties but it's not the best for 29er.
Not everyone wants or needs the long travel of an AM bike, so the 29'er may be a good choice for those folks.
You wouldn't have said that overall about 29ers in the early days, would you? So how can you know if you don't say it about future am 29ers?

Not everyone wants the geometry and wheel size of the 29'er, and this is where the 26'er or 650B gives the alternative.
Hmm who wants more rolling resistance and less traction and proness to endoing and hight centre of gravity? I'm examining covring a lot of miles or kilometers not flying in the air.

I do know that when you start going above 650B, the bike starts changing in character and performance
That's obvious, I guess you're implying that 26er design is somehow imtelling and to be copied or something. 559mm rim came into mtb by accident. The third paragraph.
http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/article.php?ID=894
These bikes had smaller rims (559mm) than the more popular 700c road bikes but had much larger tires. There was a good reason for that, too. These bikes were being built by Schwinn and others for 10- to 16-year-olds to use, jumping curbs, riding through empty lots full of gopher holes and weeds
...not necessarily bad or good depending on what fits your riding style, preference, and physiology.
The best wheel size for rolling and covering mileage is the biggest you can fit into the frame and that is reached when the headset touches your chin. Remeber negative risers and negative stems? What is wrong in having the handlebar below the headset? More sloping frames. I guess a 32er and 36ers can be saddled by 5'6" persons using these inventions. Of course 26er technology solves nothing. Think outside the box.

I don't understand what your problem is, DC.
This is my problem. I'm serious
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=631399

And what's with your comment about a quick fix for the 26'er?
I think they call it "improvement"...advancement...thinking outside the box...trying something new.
And I call it not being able to design a righteous 29er owing to being cofined to 26er designs and proportions and insisting on introducing something new without too much effort and investment. What's wrong about this see the ling in the previous quote.

The point with 650B is that it can get the most of what is basically a 26'er without throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Why ought we to stick to 26er geometry and proportions? Again consult the link above.
My thought is that all bikes in the 26'er frame range could probably be designed to run both wheel sizes interchageably without much ado as time and frame upgrades and new designs come from the different manufacturers.
Agreed but it is not substitute for a 29er.
 

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I currently ride a B6er and love it. I do worry though as it seems like 650b is starting to stall out. My bike is a XC bike, and seeing that Stans 650b rim is no longer available means I have no real XC rim options anymore. So I have to hope that my current 355 rim holds up. I would guess that the future of 650b lies with the Jamis and Haro bikes and how many they sell. If they turn out to be successful I think more manufacturers will jump on the bandwagon. If they fail I think it will be bad for 650b.

But I gotta say that I personally hate 29ers. They are slow and handle like tanks. If you like 29ers, that is great for you and I hope you continue to enjoy yours. You can sit around all day and tell me why 29ers are superior to everything, but if I don't enjoy the riding experience then who cares. But a world where 26 and 29 are the only wheels sizes available is not much fun. Or the world that Gary Fisher predicts with only 29ers is a bleak one.
 
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