29 v 650b interesting stats/propaganda?
Why all this obsession with speed? Every discussion about wheel size, whether here or in magazines, just seems to talk about whether X is faster than Y. Is this some Strava-fuelled thing? Do people really judge their rides by how fast they were to the nearest second?Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
Every development in MTBing and cycling is all about more speed. Suspension – ride over things faster, hydraulic disc brakes – if you have better brakes you have confidence to go faster, Carbon Fibre parts – lightness+stiffness = more speed, bright green baggy shorts – obviously faster etc. And so it is with wheel size. IF it can be proved that one wheel size is faster than another, then that will be the wheel size that wins out. The problem is with wheel sizes is that some sizes are better for some things, other sizes better for other things – there is no one size fits all.Posted 4 years agoteethgrinderSubscriber
Noone is being forced to buy into all, or any of these.
We are if we want to buy certain brands new. That’s the problem. SC say it’s BS and led by the customer, yet who grooms the customer? The bike mags via adverts from the bike companies.
If we had choice, it’d be fine – the lesser products would fade, like cantis and v brakes, or ISIS, or threaded steerers etc.Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
toons – Member
do you not like the sense of speed when travelling downhill?
Yup but speed =/ sense of speed… I was riding my 5 inch bike at innerleithen the other day, felt absolutely flat out and ragged, but had a look at times afterwards and I was a fair bit slower than I am on the big bike- just felt faster and had more fun on the little bike (and it lasted longer too 😉 )
I get the feeling there are folks on here that would love to shave tenths over the time it takes for them to shoot their load, just because faster is always better 🙂Posted 4 years agomduncombeMember
who cares which is faster? whats more important is which is more fun. oh unless beating your mates on strava is important to you.
I am currently riding a 29er, yes it feels faster, yes my mates say I am faster on it but at the end of the day I think I would have just as much fun on a 26 or 650b.
I went for a 29 cos middle age is taking its toll on my body and I aint the rider I used to be 20 years ago and the bigger wheels might make for a more forgiving ride without resorting to handfuls of suspension travel.
at the end of the day wheel size is probablly largely irrelvant over the course of a days riding, just ride what you have and have fun and you will no matter what size wheel you have, who cares what others are riding.Posted 4 years agoadshSubscriber
I knocked an hour off my time in this years Isle of Man end 2 end on a 29er. I know I’m a bit fitter, the course was slightly shorter and it was not as windy, but still went from 5 hr 15 on a zesty, to 4 15 on a hardtail stumpy 29er.
I’d say the reasons would be more to do with the underlined.Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
Teethgrinder – if either 650B or 29″ does completely take over and makes 26″ obsolete you’ll be long dead and buried i’m sure. 26″ bikes make up probably 99% of all MTB’s out there right now, so 26″ will be supported for some time to come. It will only be an issue for those who want to change their bike every year and stick with 26″.
I personally think we’ll end up with all 3 wheel sizes each targetting specific branches of the sport.
I don’t buy into the industry pushing us into somehting story. If that was true then the industry would be settling on one wheel size and pushing it down our throats – the industry is in just as much disarray about it as we are – last 2 years it was all 29ers, this year its 650B. They are experimenting for sure and hoping that a clear winner emerges – but it isn’t because any benefits are marginal at best, so they’re meandering about like a rudderless ship waiting for the first big manufactuer to make a move either way, but they all seem to be covering their arses to some extent.Posted 4 years ago
I’d rather pedal up a hill faster not slower and do you not like the sense of speed when travelling downhill?
If you want to go uphill faster, just put more effort in. I know that sounds trite, but I’ve found it to be true. I have a 29er HT (FF29) and a 26″ Full Suss (Five). If I take a large enough sample (say 10 rides on each bike) then I can indeed prove that the 29er HT is faster up a given (not too technical) hill. However, the difference is actually a lot smaller than I’d expect given how different the bikes are and also a lot smaller than the natural day to day variation. Basically, if I’m feeling strong I climb well and if I’m not I don’t, whichever bike I’m on.
Going down, you are right to say that it’s the sense of speed that matters and, as has been pointed out already” this is different to actual speed. The fastest bike often gives very little sense of speed, which is what makes it faster. Also, the time taken to ride a section of trail isn’t even the same as speed, let alone sense of speed. For example, Strava may tell me that I was faster getting from A to B on my FF29 than I was on the Five, but that may be because I went straight from A to B on the FF29 while I weaved all over the trail on the Five, looking for rocks to bounce off and generally pratting about. I may even have been travelling at a higher speed on the Five, but because I took a more torturous route that won’t show up in the stats.
But at the end of the day, it’s all just riding so it’s all good. I’m just surprised that the time taken to ride a trail (as in the article at the start of this thread) is seen as being a number that has any significance.Posted 4 years agoaccuSubscriber
+1 as theethgrinder said…
I ride 26″ and 29″….horses for courses…like both wheelsizes..just for different trails/tasks..Posted 4 years ago
definitely don`t need or want 650B(ullsh…)..
but don`t care about even more wheelsizes..
as long as I have the choice..
(at least for a while..)
and thats the point..aracerSubscriber
I’d say the reasons would be more to do with the underlined.
But they’re all extremely insignificant things – surely it’s the wheel size which made all the difference?
Going down, you are right to say that it’s the sense of speed that matters and, as has been pointed out already” this is different to actual speed. The fastest bike often gives very little sense of speed, which is what makes it faster.
So what you’re telling us here is that the slower bike/wheel size is actually better.Posted 4 years ago
So what you’re telling us here is that the slower bike/wheel size is actually better.
No, I’m just saying that the bike that feels the fastest isn’t always the bike that is the fastest. Often quite the reverse. The bike that feels stable at speed allows you to go faster precisely because it doesn’t feel as fast. I’m certainly not saying anything about “better” though, that’s totally subjective. As is fun. Plenty of folk seem to prefer to ride their hardtails down trails even though they know they will be slower than a full suss, for example.Posted 4 years agoMidlandTrailquestsGrahamMember
…just ride what you have and have fun and you will no matter what size wheel you have, who cares what others are riding.
You are completely missing the point here.Posted 4 years ago
What size wheels other people have got on their bikes is the most important thing in cycling, ever.
We need more threads on the subject. There should be at least two on the front page at all times.fizzicistMember
Meh, All that I know is than in an XC race I go a lot faster for longer on my 29er than I ever did on my 26er.
But my 26er is also hilarious fun at trail centres and descending. You pays your money, you log onto stw and get all judgemental. Just ride your friggin bike and smile.Posted 4 years agoallmountainventureMember
Northwind – But I bet you’ve had plenty of 26 inch riders who would have used a convenient excuse like wheel size if they’d had one.POSTED 21 HOURS AG
They could easily blame the bike (wheelbase, tires or head angle for example) but do not. The only bike blaming I ever see goes onto 29in wheels, which definitely have handling/manuverability limitations in small spaces and tight corners. Why would you put up with that just so you can go a bit faster on the flats/climbs????Posted 4 years agojamesoSubscriber
wheels,frames with poor geometry which definitely have handling/manuverability limitations in small spaces and tight corners.
maybe? it’s easier to blame the wheels tho. unless you’re riding crazy-tight stuff but in all the alpine riding I’ve done (nowhere near as much as many, but enough) I’ve not seen much that is really that tight that 1.5″ of wheel radius makes or breaks it.Posted 4 years agovelomanicMember
I knocked an hour off my time in this years Isle of Man end 2 end on a 29er. I know I’m a bit fitter, the course was slightly shorter, and it was not as windy, but still went from 5 hr 15 on a zesty, to 4 15 on a hardtail stumpy 29er.
I knocked an hour off my time in this years Isle of Man E2E too – on the same bike I rode last year!
Well done on the 4 hr 15 @thomasgeorge, credit where it’s due!Posted 4 years agoJCLMember
They could easily blame the bike (wheelbase, tires or head angle for example) but do not. The only bike blaming I ever see goes onto 29in wheels, which definitely have handling/manuverability limitations in small spaces and tight corners. Why would you put up with that just so you can go a bit faster on the flats/climbs????
Funny because on our trails I see a lot of riders struggling on the climbs on 26″ AM bikes or having issues on the descents on 26″ trail bikes. If you have to climb and descend on one bike a good 29″ is in another world.Posted 4 years agoslackaliceMember
Is there the same evangelical fawning going on about 650b by the brown-nosing journo’s in WMB and MBR as they did when 29’ers came along? I no longer read either because I found their sycophantic BS on the bigger wheel’s irritating to the extreme and found myself becoming anti 29’r because of it.
So I do kinda get why some people are anti 650, it being perceived that someone else, this time the ‘industry’ is telling them what to ride.
As for my own belligerence regarding 29, I have eased up on that with adopting a ‘don’t knock it until I try it’ approach. Hasn’t made me any more inclined to try one though, just more accepting 🙂Posted 4 years agobencooperMember
Argh, stop it. I’m building myself my first new bike for a long time – I’ve got the tubing laid out, the dropouts and braze ons, the design mostly sorted, and I was going to make it 26″ because that’s what I’ve always ridden. Then people convinced me it had to be 29″ – you’ll never look back, I was told, it’s so much better.
Now, apparently, this new size which is almost 26″ is the answer.
If someone invents a new wheel size next week, when I’m half-way through building this frame, I’m going to be very, very cross.Posted 4 years agoBlackflagMember
I think people are getting so wound up about this simply because for most of us a couple of grand on a mountain bike is a very big investment. It takes a very strong will to genuinely not care that the industry is now telling us the bikes we have invested so much in over the past few years are a bit crapper than the new wonder sizes. And im sure people are also nervous about buying a new bike and getting it wrong.
I rode a 29er for the first time last week and its ability to roll down tech decents and nail rooty climbs was outstanding compared to my 26 cotic, but at the same time it felt a lot less lively and less fun.
I’m sticking with 26 for a while till all this settles down…Posted 4 years ago
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