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 Post subject: 650B?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 11:08 am
Posts: 6744
Location: Urbana, Illinois
What is everyone's thoughts on this? Tires and many models are available from most of the tire manufactures. Rims from carbon to alloy. I just bought a hard tail but have not received it yet but would like to hear experiences and thoughts.


 Post subject: Re: 650B?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:32 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:12 am
Posts: 122
Love my 650B, found 29ers to be too long and thought I would be clipping the back end a lot. Any more specific questions?

 Post subject: Re: 650B?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:41 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:06 pm
Posts: 46
I bought a giant xtc adv 3 earlier this year, but noticed nearly zero difference from my previous 26'', and i recently test rode a niner rdo, and it is ten times better.
I am therefor thinking of selling to buy a s-works stumpjumper

Skip the 650b, and go for a 29'' if you want any real performance gains

 Post subject: Re: 650B?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:55 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Posts: 2290
Location: Pedal Square
This is such an open question, you will not be able to get sweeping "yes" or "no" consensus, obviously.

In my book, it's all about striking the balance. At over 180cm height, if I wanted to get the best bike for the (usually not very technical) sportives and small races around here, with lots of climbing and descending, I'd probably have to get a 29er. If I spent most of my time on the steep, technical, and very tight trails in the woods, I might have to consider a 26er. But I'm allowing myself only a single MTB, as I'm not spending as much time on it as on my road bike. A quick handling 650b hardtail covers my requirements from occasional touring to small hillclimb competitions to technical trails every now and then.

It's never about the wheel size alone, it's about the whole bike, and the rider even moreso, obviously.

Bikes: Raw Ti, 650b flatbar CX

 Post subject: Re: 650B?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:42 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm
Posts: 1172
I would say that it depends on how tall you are and where you ride.
Riders over 6" should just get a 29er in most cases- especially if racing.
But if you are smaller or have had problems with handling on a 29er, a 650b could certainly be the answer.
I am 5'10 but I never got on with 29ers. I was always jammed up in downhill switchbacks, bike felt long and cumbersome. I owned some nice ones too. Stumpjumper HT, Moots RSL, Specialized Epic.
I went back to a 26" for about a year- until 650b went mainstream. I did not want to hack a 26".
I got a Santa Cruz 5010 and built it light- I am really happy with the outcome.

 Post subject: Re: 650B?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:12 am
Posts: 122
I'm not sure I agree with the whole, tall riders suit 29ers more, as the wheelbase of the larger bikes are huge! I am 188cms and ride an XL frame 650B which is a pretty long bike, a 29er was incredibly long, so if anything I think that 29ers suit shorter riders more as they can still have a smaller more chuckable bike.

 Post subject: Re: 650B?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:28 am
Posts: 1010
I'm a 650B fan. That said, I have a 29er. If I lived in an area with more technical riding, I'd be all over a 650B. But for fast fire trail riding, which is mostly what SoCal MTB is all about, a 29er is the better weapon.

I definitely notice a real-world performance difference between 26 and 27.5. It's not as dramatic as the leap between 26 and 29, but it's definitely there. 650B absolutely smooths out a trail compared to 26, in my experience, and gives you a measure of "steamroller" action over small bumps and obstacles. Again, not like a 29er, but more so than a 26.

For what it's worth, I've never particularly cottoned to the idea that 29ers are only for people 6 feet and up. That said, I'm around 6 feet myself, so maybe I'm not the best judge. But I built up a 29er for my girlfriend, and she likes it a lot, no fit issues to speak of. With all the cockpit sizing solutions available these days (stems like the Syntace Flatforce and various negative rise bars) the math of 29er fit has really changed. I think the idea that they only fit taller people is kind of obsolete at this point...


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