26 v 650B v 29 opinions from pink bike (not answers)

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  • 26 v 650B v 29 opinions from pink bike (not answers)
  • It’s not a problem for us, but it will be for your local bike shop when making decisions on what components and spares to stock.

    Do many LBS’s stock more than a couple of rims?

    Tubes take up no space, and they probably already carry 12/16/18/20/22/24/26/28(and 29)” tubes in varying sizes.

    Tyres, as above for rims,

    It’s not a problem for us, but it will be for your local bike shop when making decisions on what components and spares to stock.

    A descent LBS wouldn’t have any issues as they would just turn a percentage of their 26″ stock into 29er and 650B,

    There are hundreds of rim/tyre/tube/frame/fork variations as it is.

    Premier Icon Paceman
    Subscriber

    It’s not a problem for us, but it will be for your local bike shop when making decisions on what components and spares to stock.

    Do many LBS’s stock more than a couple of rims?

    Tubes take up no space, and they probably already carry 12/16/18/20/22/24/26/28(and 29)” tubes in varying sizes.

    Tyres, as above for rims.

    Three of the most expensive components when building a bike are the frame, the wheels and and the forks. These are all wheel size specific.

    Forks alone would be a serious outlay for an independent local bike shop wanting to offer customers a choice of 26, 650B and 29″ forks to choose from.

    There are hundreds of rim/tyre/tube/frame/fork variations as it is.

    EXACTLY… and adding another few hundred will only mean more unsold stock for an LBS already struggling to compete with the big chains and online retailers.

    I think 29″ wheels offer enough positive differences from 26″ to add something to the riding experience for many.

    But I still can’t help seeing 27.5″ as a cynical marketing ploy, primarily from those companies that just failed to jump on the 29er bandwaggon in time. But the boat has sailed and the 29er “Trick” isn’t so easily repeatable…

    Yes Intense are rolling out a 650b DH bike this coming season and no doubt there will be others.
    I’ll not dispute the marginal technical benefits of a 27.5″ wheel over 26″ but then there’s the consumer to consider, how do they really benefit from a 3rd “Standard” in the Mix?

    Completely agree with this.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    There are hundreds of rim/tyre/tube/frame/fork variations as it is.

    Exactly why we don’t need more.

    As to the point regarding rider ability versus bike ability, I intentionally ride rigid bikes on my local trails (and more recently single speed) because they’re just a bit easy and boring on a bike with suspension. I’d never have it as my only bike though, because the opportunities to ride somewhere more challenging are so few and far between that when I do get there I want all the help I can to ride them ๐Ÿ™‚

    an LBS already struggling to compete with the big chains and online retailers.

    Large retailers like Evans, wiggle etc all started as independents. They where the best, that’s how they grew. New products, trends etc come out all the time, only wheel size has ever created this amount of drama.

    Shop that can handle stock control, sales and know what their customers want won’t have an issue. The rest have more than just wheel sizes to worry about.

    Exactly why we don’t need more.

    Choice is what stops us all riding supermarket BSO’s

    Life would be boring.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
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    only wheel size has ever created this amount of drama.

    The industry may know how to make nice riding big wheeled bikes now, but it really doesn’t know how to market them without causing confusion. Name another product, trend or innovation that so fundamentally affected which bike you can buy. I suppose the last such thing was when frames began to be designed with suspension in mind as opposed to rigid forks, but even then there’s nothing stopping you putting rigid forks in a frame designed for suspension and vice versa. Once you’ve bought into 29er or 26er there’s no chopping and changing.

    I’d said it on other posts, as someone who is in the market for a bike, I was more than happy with the vast choice of 26ers available. I don’t have the funds nor opportunity to test ride even more bikes to decide on whether I should go big wheels or not. Choice is great, but too much choice is a bad thing.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    I think you need to consider that most MTBers don’t chop and change and buy a new bike every 12 months, much as manufacturers and Mag’s would love them to…

    The majority probably agonise over a new bike every what, 3-5 years perhaps?
    And will want to make a choice that will make their riding enjoyable for another 3-5 years.

    The prospect of adopting something ‘new’ (Specifically designed Frame and Fork to accomodate certain wheel sizes) when it seems to be part of a 3 way tug’O’war with other standards is probably quite off-putting.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
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    ^^^^This, put much better than I have ever managed. Thanks cookeaa

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    Probably not even that.

    Most MTB purchasers are probably the ones going down to Halfords/Evans/wherever to buy their first bike in a very long time.

    If 26 is going to go extinct, it’s not because an XC guy won a WC race on 650b and one DH team is thinking of running the same. It’ll be because all the big mfrs Giant/Spesh/Trek, consolidate all MTB Hardtails, Hybrid, Trekking, etc. bikes on to 1 wheel size. Which kind of makes sense.

    If half of that lot stays as 700c, then 26er is here to stay. 29er may split to be XC HT as 29, and 120-140mm FS as 650b (more scope for larger wheel in smaller frame sizes)

    wrecker
    Member

    The Blur Tr video is amazing but I reckon ANY rider could do that on most mountain bikes regardless of wheel size, frame material etc.

    Did I just read that?
    STW ๐Ÿ™„

    Premier Icon cookeaa
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    Not everyone will pour over this sort of nonsense in the same way as bike geeks like us lot;

    The first they will really know about it is suddenly being faced with a plethora of “standards” which weren’t about last time they came to buy a new bike, coupled with conflicting advice on what’s “Best” for their needs…

    As an example I’ve got a mate who is quite keen to buy a new MTB soon and he’s got a pretty fair budget to do it with. I suggested he give serious consideration to a 29er due to the type of riding he does, and he should try to test ride a few 29″ and 26″ bikes…

    Unfortunately rather than looking into demo days, he went away and read a few Mags and now is asking me about 26″ Vs 27.5″ Vs 29″ and if he’ll “Have a better handling and faster bike” with 27.5″ than his current cheapo 26er.
    He’s unclear as to how much of a foothold the 650b standard has in the MTB market (I share his confusion there), will he be able to get spare wheels/parts easily and affordably in a few years should he need them. So What do I tell him?

    My own personal Bias say avoid 27.5″ at all costs! That 29″ wheels on MTBs are established now and make perfect sense for his use, He’s got a 26″ HT that could be turned towards Hack duties should he become that way inclined.

    650b/27.5 just confuses a pretty simple choice with claims of offering the “Best of Both” which is not quite true IMO it’s more “a Bit of Both” like the article said it’s a compromise, but it’s a compromise that consumers neither asked for or really need…

    “Proponents” are trying to frame it as the “One Wheel size to rule them All” when in reality it’s more a case of “Another slightly bigger Wheel because we didn’t try it a few years ago and now you’re all riding bloddy specialized bikes!”

    Premier Icon Paceman
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    Well said Cookeaa

    Fair points above.

    Name another product, trend or innovation that so fundamentally affected which bike you can buy

    There are so many, suspension in the early days before frames where designed round it, currently tapered forks for example. The difference with wheels as to other components is that most people seem totally against it. Personally you should find the style of bike you want before you go down the route of wheel size.

    If its not for you then fair enough. Full sus bikes aren’t for me but I don’t write into mbr telling them how i’m never going to buy their mag because its full of fs bikes like someone did about 29ers in a recent issue.

    At the end of the day, what works will stay what doesn’t won’t.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    ^^ Just saw the last MBR mag. If the bikes they have on test are anything to go by, 29er is going to be the next big thing, and 650b hasn’t even been thought of yet.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
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    At times like this, I like to remember the horror that was the Whyte 46. Regaled as some sort of five-star, perfect messiah by the bike mags when it was first launched, a year later it was pretty obvious that novelty and unfamiliarity had sort of dazzled people. At least two top bike journos had the things as long-termers and found they rarely rode them because, well. put bluntly, they weren’t much good.

    People get taken in by newness and marketing. Not in a corrupt way but because we have a culture founded on perceived innovation and because people generally and testers in particular get bored of what’s the norm and want something else. Sometimes ‘something else’ turns out to be really good, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Personally, as long as I can still get bits for 26″ wheels, I’m happy. Because mountain biking for me isn’t about timed speed over measured loops. And even when it is, oddly, it sort of isn’t still.

    Has 650b filtered down to 50-quid catalogue bikes yet then?

    6079smithw
    Member

    26″ is better cos only the sexiest tyres are in this size.

    If you wanna go fast everywhere, there’s EPO.

    JCL
    Member

    That test was the most subjective load of crap I’ve seen. They guys were semi-goons and they didn’t properly time anything.

    The Dirt one is the only 29″ V’s 26″ test that got any useful data out of it that I’ve seen.

    It’s obvious to me anyway. I just can’t believe people come to a different conclusion than that a good 29″ is much easier/safer to go fast on so it’s ultimately quicker. They feel like bloody downhill bikes.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
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    The Dirt one is the only 29″ V’s 26″ test that got any useful data out of it that I’ve seen.
    It’s obvious to me anyway. I just can’t believe people come to a different conclusion than that a good 29″ is much easier/safer to go fast on so it’s ultimately quicker. They feel like bloody downhill bikes.

    And pink bike timed the 26 faster on the down.

    Conclusive eh?

    JCL
    Member

    Strava? ๐Ÿ˜†

    I’m not sure the average rider is the kind to get everything out of a bike. At least the guys in the Dirt test are high level riders.

    Premier Icon Paceman
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    Why does this always seem to come back down to 26 v 29 when the two standards seem to be co-existing just fine. Certain big manaufacturers forcing 650B into the market seems to be the problem in my opinion.

    wrecker
    Member

    Erm, the dirt article didn’t conclude that 29ers were faster at all. The 29er rider was faster on the 29er. The 26er rider was faster on the 26er. Funny that……
    The pinkbike article draws a far more logical conclusion, includes times and a strava link. Not really “subjective crap”. Not by a long stretch.
    I’d also wager that Matt Wragg is a better rider than the vast majority on here, including JCL.

    Premier Icon roverpig
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    While timing riders round a course may create the illusion of science none of the tests I’ve seen come close to being scientifically valid. But even if they were they would still be irrelevant to most riders, who don’t really care about small increases in their average speed. If I want to go fast I ride my road bike. All mountain bikes are slow, but that’s not the point of them really.

    Note, I’m not for or against different wheel sizes. If I found a 29er, for example, that lets me ride down stuff that I’m too scared to attempt on my 26″ bike I’d be tempted. But the fact that it might get me round my regular loop a few minutes faster is of no interest whatsoever to me.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    Strava is about as scientific as a statistic, sorry I mean “statistic”, in a Daily Mail “news” article.

    If Emmeline Ragot smokes Rachel Atherton on 650b, then I’ll start believing that there’s a technical advantage. Actually I could believe it would be better on some WC courses (Pietermaritzburg? Windham?) and worse on others (Leogang, Val di Sole,…)

    Premier Icon Paceman
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    The pinkbike article draws a far more logical conclusion, includes times and a strava link. Not really “subjective crap”. Not by a long stretch.

    … although ‘fun’ is hard to measure is it not?

    wrecker
    Member

    .. although ‘fun’ is hard to measure is it not?

    Quite right. I’m yet to see a scientific fun matrix.
    I suppose I’m tiring of the evangelical “29ers are better full stop and we should all ride them” bullshit, which seems to be getting popular.
    I don’t think that there could be a scientific test for this. Too many variables; rider skill, rider size, rider preference, trail/course, the bikes tested etc etc.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
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    But riding is all about getting to the bottom quicker!
    Surely Strava is the fun-o-meter, and everyone has this to objectively quantify the fun on each run? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon Paceman
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    I agree Wrecker, although I suspect its going to be “650B is better full stop and we should all ride them” in WMB, MBR, MBUK etc for the next couple of years. The answer… stop reading them and ride more!

    For the record; I love my 29er FS, I believe it has made me faster overall, and it’s definitely fun to ride I’ve no doubt. BUT… I still have to be at the top of my game to keep up with the fastest guys I ride with – a few on 29ers, but a vast majority on 26ers, and some of them even singlespeed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Rider skill, fitness, and commitment/mental preparation will always outweigh frame choice, wheel size etc in my opinion.

    … and I’ll always have a 26er in the shed too.

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