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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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650b/ 27.5" wheels, of course are just a 1.25"-1.5" bigger, and some say it doesn't make a difference from 26"( it does) and yes, you don't feel a huge difference from 26" in the ride as if you went from 26" to 29", just as if you went from 27.5" to 29".
I feel the 27.5 is the happy medium. Your saying that in the tight stuff, you smoke the 29ers with your 26er, you'll still do that on a 27.5", but the "perceived" performance gap on the smooth climbs will be almost nil.
We have a large riding contingent up where I live and currently I'm the only one on a 27.5" bike, all the rest mostly are on 29ers, I have not found one area of our riding( high altitude, big climbs, technical, rocky, up hills/ downhills and tight single track) where I give up anything to a 29er, I think that a 27.5er has the advantage.
I'm not totally dismissing any merits of 29ers, I just believe that in a lot of riding scenarios, a 27.5" bike is just as we'll suited or better than a 29er for some riders.
 

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For me, it is simple. Ride the bike you have the most fun on. Can you demo these? If you can, ride your 26 back to back with the 750 and 950. Who knows, you might have the most fun on your 26 and a few grand in your pocket.
I went from 26>29>27.5 and have no regret. It is the perfect wheel size for my size, riding style and terrain. I ride with guys on 26's and 29's. I have friends that swear by their 26's and 29ers. That's fine, I choose the bike I ride because it provided the greatest amount of fun for me. Some days I am faster, some days I am not, but damn, riding makes me smile.

Full disclaimer: I own one bike, that's it. It is my do it all bike.
Good luck on the search
 

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For me, it is simple. Ride the bike you have the most fun on. Can you demo these? If you can, ride your 26 back to back with the 750 and 950. Who knows, you might have the most fun on your 26 and a few grand in your pocket.
I went from 26>29>27.5 and have no regret. It is the perfect wheel size for my size, riding style and terrain. I ride with guys on 26's and 29's. I have friends that swear by their 26's and 29ers. That's fine, I choose the bike I ride because it provided the greatest amount of fun for me. Some days I am faster, some days I am not, but damn, riding makes me smile.

Full disclaimer: I own one bike, that's it. It is my do it all bike.
Good luck on the search
^^^ This.
 

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I currently own two FS 29ers, one 100/100mm and the other 140/125mm, and zero of any other wheel size. I converted from 26" to 29er about 2 years ago when I just couldn't ignore how much faster I could turn a lap on my home trails on one. We had the Giant demo come through about a month ago and I took the Anthem 275 for a spin (One of my 29ers is an Anthem). I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I also discovered that I have been fighting the handling on the 29er a bit based on how easy the demo bike railed through turns. Now, I was riding with other people, so I wasn't able to compare a lap time on it, but there's little question that the 275 put a huge smile on my face because of the FUN factor.

I'd need more time on the bike and check it against the clock to decide if I'd trade the Anthem 29er for the 275, but I'd trade the 140/120mm travel 29er for a comparable 275 in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for replies. I'm going to ride my friends norco sight 650b next ride out. The following week I will ride my other friends 29er hardtail and go from there. I rode the norco on a short trail and can instantly tell it rolls faster than 26 and can still snap it around switch backs. We will see how the 29er feels.
 

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No question I descended faster on my X1 29er, but I have more fun on my AA 1 27.5. Went on a solo ride yesterday taking it easy and had a blast jumping off little things, sliding around turns, etc in a way I wasn't comfortable on the 29r. So I have to put my ego aside on certain descents and just have fun everywhere else. And no question I climb better on the 27.5, especially tight switchback stuff. The bike just accelerates like crazy compared to the bigger wheels. And next time I get the urge for a new bike (happens too often) who knows what size wheels it'll have.
 

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I spent a weekend demoing 650b bikes at last years Dirt Rag Dirt Fest. My buddies were pretty stuck on riding 29ers (they own 26" bikes), and I owning a 29er, decided I'd stick to testing 650b bikes after a ride on a 2012 Niner WFO. My buddies loved the drastic rolling difference between their 26ers and the 29ers they were testing.

I've been riding a rather dated but functional 2009 steel hardtail 29er, felt that the newest crop of 650b bikes is just so much better than anything from 5-6 years ago. Back when I was first switched to 29ers, 26" bikes just felt like rollerskate wheels. Getting hung up on everything. Slow. No momentum.

I definitely noticed less momentum on the 650b vs the 29er, but I don't think it had any affect on my keeping pace. If anything, I felt slightly less worked through turns, switchbacks and technical terrain. The bikes felt "snappier" in the ability to keep pace.

Now, I also think my riding style has changed since buying a 29er. You learn to utilize momentum and "charge" terrain, knowing that those big wheels will do the work for you. The problem being that less travel means getting beat up when you get in over you heard. When you finally run out of momentum, getting back up to pace requires a lot of torque. On a full suspension 650b, the same riding style applies but if you do lose momentum its not quite so hard to get it back. That "snappy" feeling.

I've committed to a 650b 150/160 full suspension bike, knowing I very well may go back to 29er once the current crop of short chainstay bikes gets bigger (and cheaper).
 

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I am selling my Niner Jet9 29er because after riding a Scott 710 Genius 27.5 you will notice a difference in handling and climbing. 27.5 just feels better and I seem to have better control in tighter trailers than a 29er. You will notice a speed difference on single track trails on a 27.5.
 

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I went from a 26 to a 29 and loved the differences. The roll over was amazing, climbing was way better and I didn't really miss the the handling that much because I suck anyway and could now just plow over stuff. I've been on my 29er for about a year and just demoed a 27.5 Pivot. It was everything that I love about my 29er but it really blew it away on the turns and tight stuff. Just handled so much better.
My 29er is going on CL as soon as I save up some more cash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I rode a 650b Scott spark and scale 29er around lot, grass, and some hills around shop today.

I definitely think 650 is a good fit for me. Now for the Curve ball. I really liked the scale 750 ht. was 25 lbs of lightning. The Ctd fork with remote was awesome. Def a fast bike but not sure if it will be as fun as fs. Too many decisions.
 

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You're lucky to be able to demo the bikes. You're dealing with more than one variable, suspension vs. HT, 27 vs 29. Keep riding and go with your gut. Price might help you.

PS 25 lbs sounds heavy for a HT. I have a TB carbon 120mm dualie and it weighs the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You're lucky to be able to demo the bikes. You're dealing with more than one variable, suspension vs. HT, 27 vs 29. Keep riding and go with your gut. Price might help you.

PS 25 lbs sounds heavy for a HT. I have a TB carbon 120mm dualie and it weighs the same.
The ht was aluminum. coming from a 30lb fs cannondale 25 sounds light lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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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Lets face it, most of us know by now that bikes like the Specialized Enduro 29er (S-works) and Santa Cruz tallboy LT (Carbon, high spec) crush all the competition when it comes to all mountain bike reviews. Bikes that can do it all, climb and descend really well and aren't too heavy to spend all day on and don't hold you back on long distance trail rides. The point being that bigger is usually better BUT only if you can afford a high spec bike. 29er wheels are HUGE and the problem with less expensive wheelsets on 29ers is that they are heavier and not as stiff. Both of these factors are critical on a bike. Imagine the exact same bike with the exact same components and then evaluate them with budget, mid-range and high end wheelsets. As the wheelsets get cheaper you will notice the issues with a 29er, flex -> tracking, acceleration etc. So, my decision to buy a 27.5 ultimately came down to this. I found that riding a 29er (that I could reasonably afford) I could really feel these issues when I pushed the bike. I'm sure if I had the money to buy something fancy I wouldn't have found it a problem and would have loved it. So when I test rode a mid-range 650b bike I found it handled great, accelerated well and I didn't notice flex in the wheelset, fork, frame etc that I would on an equivalent spec 29er. So, if you have a load of money, (like 5-10k) buy a 29er. Maybe a Specialized Enduro 29er S-Works etc or something else equally pricey with a great stiff light carbon wheelset and top end fork. But if you are just spending 3-4 grand, go the 650b and I think you will be happy. It really is the best of both worlds for people who don't have all the money in the world.
 
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