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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking at Scott spark 750 and 950. Same price , same components. 29 er is half lb heavier and 20 mm less travel. For those that went 29er do you regret not going with 650b wheel?




I noticed other 29er trail riders and friends are fast on the flat climbs but as soon as the switchbacks come or technical sections the 26er can out handle the 29er when it comes to speed. The 650 has been my consideration all along for the handling similar to 26er but don't want to regret going 650 as it is close to 26.




How did you decide on wheel size?




thanks in advance
 

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Just Wanna Ride!
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Rode 26ers for years and made the full switch to 29ers after the first few rides. Sold off all 26 parts. I'm 6'4, though, and a 29er fits me very well. I have ridden a few 650 bikes and they aren't for me. They may be a good choice for a rider needing a smaller frame, but benefits of bigger wheels wins out for me. 29er still rolls over trail chatter better and acceleration simply wasn't a big enough difference on the 650.

I would buy the biggest wheel you can fit. If you need a smaller frame, then maybe a 650 is the right choice for you. Other than that, go 29er.

Then again, Willow Koerber can't be much taller 5'2 and absolutely shredded on a 29er. Unfortunately, she retired from racing to raise a family.
Pro Bike: Willow Koerber's Subaru-Trek Trek Superfly Elite | Cyclingnews.com

Willow Koerber Gets Way Back Off Her Saddle During A Descent At Worlds Photos | Cyclingnews.com
 

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Just Wanna Ride!
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Just my opinion - be sure to test ride a few bikes to see for yourself. Just don't believe the hype that says 'this bike is much faster than that one'. The differences aren't that great. 27.5 is the current buzz bike so I'm sure those riders would say it's best.

At the end of a long ride you'll be fresher on a bike that smooths out the ride and rolls over roots/rocks more easily.
 

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Things to consider...as I am moving from a 29 to a 27.5 at the moment.

How tall are you?
How in shape are you physically?
Trails...tight and punchy, or long and rolling?
Are you happy sitting and spinning or are you one of the guys riding actively?
Are you dropping, hucking or riding flow jump trails (gravity) much and how do you want the bike to behave while doing so?

Depending on how YOU answer the questions like the ones above, you should start to find a potential answer. From my test rides, each size does give something up to the other just like you would imagine. The decision has to be in your hands brother.
 

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I have two 29ers, two 26er and a 27.5 bike. Personally the 27.5 seem to ride very close to 26 but is still my choice if I'm looking to do jumps or play. 29er wheels to me are much faster and is what I turn to on race day. As far as switchbacks with the proper technical skill you can still do them no matter what wheelsize you're running.

Get as many test rides in as you can and go with whichever bike feels right to you.
 

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Delay your gratification, rent or demo bikes to use them on trails and not a parking lot.

Also watch how "shred" of "fast" is used. For some I know that's being a big a$$ truck with big wheel rolling over stuff. For some that's banks, berms, doubles, a drift, pump and flick....

My wife and I did (rent, demos) that last summer. We're same height which makes it easier and we switched bikes as we rode. I see advantages to both types of wheel. What stood out in the end was how some bikes were more playful. With my not being a racer, that playful and versatile nature ended up most important to me. AM type 29r hard tails are the 29rs that felt best to me. I didn't get to try a bike such as Enduro 29r. I haven't pulled the trigger yet. If 29 it will be an AM hard tail type and keep my AM type dual suspension 26, or it might be sell/trade for the 650 dual that seems most do it all bike.

Again, do what I suggested to start here so you know what you want. I'm glad I settled that with the actual experience vs others telling me what to get.
 

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Short-Change-Hero
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Think that most of the responses have hit it on the head but you also have to take the geometry and handling of the bikes/setup as a variable plus the skills of the rider. I bet that you could give a 29er to the same rider and the same outcome would happen only after a few rides.

What I am basically getting at is that if the bike is setup to YOU and YOUR RIDING STYLE then you should be happy. If you are looking for doing nothing more than going fast downhill then you should find yourself a bike with a geometry that descends well. The coveaut to this is that it will more than likely climb like a fat kid chasing a cupcake uphill.

My buddy is a SCOTT rep and has the 710 Spark (I believe I know it is a higher end carbon frame 650b) and he and I are fairly equal riders. One difference I have found is that 1) he has better descending skill that allows him to pedal through areas that I normally dont, and 2) he has a true 2x10 setup where as I am a ghetto 2x9 (modded 3x9) which allows him to not pedal out as quickly as I do on the downhills. This translates into him being a much better descender than I am but we are about equal while climbing.

Like everyone else has said, go grab a couple bikes and try them out. Try something that looks like it may be completely off (too much travel, wrong geometry, etc) and see how it works for you. RIDE with your buddies on this so you have an accurate comparison because many times we will handle situations differently when riding alone.
 

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Rocks belong
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Buy this month's MTBA.

The cover features a Scott Genius 750 and 950 compare... While not a Scale, their observations are still comparable to your decision.
 

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I'm 6'2" and i'm going to 27.5 as fast as possible. My favorite trail is all switchbacks and these 29ers really perform poorly in tight corners. Straight line, 29ers are cadillacs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for replies. I will demo a fs 29er and going to ride my friends norco sight 650b next ride out. That will help with decision. When looking at the spark 950 and 750 with same components, price, and half a lb difference, it makes the decision harder than picking between two different frame styles.
 

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I have ridden the Spark 910 and 710 nearly back to back and there is quite a difference. Very hard to say what one is for you. You have been given good advice in some of the posts. If you can ride them first, that is best but consider the way you like to move down the trail. Are you a 'moto' type of guy, very active on the bike, aggressive, popping off of things? Or do you value stability, smoothness, roll ability, climbing traction, and carving turns like there is no end to the horizon?

That, IMO, is more important than the terrain you ride in…how you like the ride to feel. 27.5 will not do things the bigger wheels do for the feel of the bike and bigger wheels will not ever be quite what a smaller, lighter, and perhaps stiffer wheel will be either.

We are comparing the Spark 710/910 right now at twentynineinches.com so you might stop by now and again. The 710, with bigger rubber and a dropper post, would be my choice if I was a more active rider and liked to hit rougher trails with gusto. 120mm is nice. The 910 would be the bike for endurance based stuff, XC, light trail and just crushing miles after miles across all kinds of trails. Choose wisely. Ride happy.
 

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I have ridden the Spark 910 and 710 nearly back to back and there is quite a difference. Very hard to say what one is for you. You have been given good advice in some of the posts. If you can ride them first, that is best but consider the way you like to move down the trail. Are you a 'moto' type of guy, very active on the bike, aggressive, popping off of things? Or do you value stability, smoothness, roll ability, climbing traction, and carving turns like there is no end to the horizon?

That, IMO, is more important than the terrain you ride in…how you like the ride to feel. 27.5 will not do things the bigger wheels do for the feel of the bike and bigger wheels will not ever be quite what a smaller, lighter, and perhaps stiffer wheel will be either.

We are comparing the Spark 710/910 right now at twentynineinches.com so you might stop by now and again. The 710, with bigger rubber and a dropper post, would be my choice if I was a more active rider and liked to hit rougher trails with gusto. 120mm is nice. The 910 would be the bike for endurance based stuff, XC, light trail and just crushing miles after miles across all kinds of trails. Choose wisely. Ride happy.
NIce share guys..
+1
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Had my dealer locate a spark 750 today. Being shipped tomorrow. Not too many 650b sparks in the country. Tons of 950 29ers. Got a good deal and a lot of bike for the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I had the bike out for a first ride this weekend. I am very impressed with the ride of the Scott spark 750 and the twin lock is genius. The bigger wheels over the 26er were noticeably bigger once I hit rough terrain and can easily roll over. The tight sections were fun as the bike is equally nimble as my 26er.

The he schwalbe rocket Ron's are absolutely amazing tire. Tons of grip but shocked ad the knobs are spaced and lower than my wtb velociraptors on my 26er.

the twin lock with Ctd front and rear fox is a weapon that is very useful especially on the climbs. On the downhills with the shock open is a blast. Definitely keeps it fun.

The negative.
I ripped a chain link out 3 miles from the car. I ended up walking 2 miles back and another rider spotted me and had a chain tool.

I picked up a chain tool when I dropped bike off at dealer to replace with shimano xt chain instead of the Kmc 10 chain that is a pos.


for for a rider looking for a mid level 650 bike the Scott bikes either scale or spark are awesome value and group set.

my fs spark 750 6061 aluminum came in at under 29 lbs with pedals and xt and deore components and fox Ctd 120mm front and rear.
 

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Glad you found something that works for you.

I'm 6'3". I have a 29er hardtail. I like it for the type of trails I ride.
IF I were to buy a new FS bike and start jumping and going downhill, it would be a 650B no doubt.


I like both for different terrain!
 

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