Does 650b do what it says on the tin?

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  • Does 650b do what it says on the tin?
  • deanfbm
    Member

    Who’s jumped on a 650b bike and been convinced that they sense the 7% better square edge rollover and 9% better grip as promised?

    Or after jumping on a 650b bike, is it just the small modifications in geometry that have yielded the wow factor? IE increased CS length and bb drop?

    Just trying to weigh up whether to go for a bike based on the fact it’s 650b or whether to forget about the 650b factor since it does nowt and just buy which bike I like the most.

    I guess if the cliché is true that 650b rides just like 26, but small grip and rollover benefits are there, it sounds like an ideal route to go.

    CBA getting into the debate of why 650b wheels, market conspiracy and all that rubbish.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    The only reason not to get one would be compatability issues with your current forks, wheels, tyres

    Premier Icon tmb467
    Subscriber

    Buy the bike you like best

    Wheel size might be one of the reasons why you like it but it’s your money so do with it what you like

    Unless you’re at the top end of cycling and find you can tell the difference, obviously

    Premier Icon unknown
    Subscriber

    Please make it stop!

    Hob Nob
    Member

    I spent quite a while on a 650b bike before I got my new one (toss up between the two).

    I’ve ridden a few others too. Just like there are good, and bad 26″ bikes, the same applies for 650b. The only time I noticed any real difference was on long, rooty off camber sections – the bike seemed to deflect less and hold it’s line better. The variables are so great though – it could have been a slightly drier day, with a more suitable tyre pressure…

    That said, there isn’t really a bike in 26″ I would want to buy now.

    Premier Icon eat_more_cheese
    Subscriber

    Dear god no.

    Sancho
    Member

    i seem to be fully in to the 650b thing
    i have the kona 15 Process DL and the Explosif

    I got them because I thought they would be ideal for what I want and I have to say I am really impressed with how they ride, I cant see any disadvantages with the wheels.
    even my friends who are all die hard 26″ fans who have all resisted the 29er fad are loving how both bikes ride, so a big positive from me.

    catvet
    Member

    Yep
    Had hardtail, now a 140 FS just seems to generate a bit more flow.( v subjective)

    IanMunro
    Member

    I found the trails 5% more alive than before.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    not really, the last one I rode felt better than the 4 year old full sus but was significantly lighter and a better suspension set up.
    After trying that I got a much nicer 26″ bike that is better than both of them.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    650b doesn’t but boy, 27.5″ sure does!

    mekon
    Member

    Had a go on a trance 27.5 today, was very nice. Not massively different to my 26″ but did notice an improvement in smoothness.

    Premier Icon iain1775
    Subscriber

    Do they come in a tin now?
    My last bike (26″) came in a cardboard box
    Wheels are only a little bit bigger is the tin really needed, surely CRC could supply cardboard boxes big enough?

    seavers
    Member
    tang
    Member

    I rode a carbon prototype 650 enduro bike today (thanks to my old friend and top enduro rider Jamie Nicoll), was quite nice as it happens.

    asterix
    Member

    I have nothing against 650B, but they are not all the same. I rode a high spec carbon Trek Fuel 9.8 at just over £4,000 and it was really really ordinary – felt like a £1500 bike – nothing special at all

    Who’s jumped on a 650b bike and been convinced that they sense the 7% better square edge rollover and 9% better grip as promised?

    who promised this?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    asterix – Member

    I rode a high spec carbon Trek Fuel 9.8 at just over £4,000 and it was really really ordinary

    Is that not Trek’s entire USP- “Normal, but decent”

    asterix
    Member

    It could be – I don’t know. Just the price was a bit gobsmacking when I found out after the test ride. There wasn’t anything wrong with it – just not exciting in any way – maybe others would feel differently

    stevious
    Member

    It does EXACTLY what it says on the tin. I rode one the other day and was attacked by 650 bees. 🙁

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Subscriber

    just buy which bike I like the most

    Why would you do anything but this?

    It may well turn out to be a 650b wheeled bike, but why would you buy any bike other than the one you like most, unless it was too expensive for you?

    I most start ignoring these kind of threads…

    I own a 29er.

    My next bike is going to be 26.

    Small wheels are fun wheels. 🙂

    gaz552
    Member

    @matt_outandabout
    lol, love the picture.

    The saddest thing about all the marketing crap and ‘how it brings the trail alive’, is that bigger wheels due to attack angle, rollover and all that jazz actually reduce the feedback due to those very same ‘advantages’ I just listed.

    If anything a BMX would bring the trail ‘most to life’ due to it’s small wheels, of course it would potentially make it harder to ride as well.

    TL:DR :

    just buy which bike I like the most

    simple

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    hungry wrote:

    Who’s jumped on a 650b bike and been convinced that they sense the 7% better square edge rollover and 9% better grip as promised?

    who promised this?
    [/quote]

    I think Giant promised something untrue like that.

    maxtorque
    Member

    asterix
    I rode a high spec carbon Trek Fuel 9.8 at just over £4,000 and it was really really ordinary – felt like a £1500 bike – nothing special at all

    What did you expect it to do? Pedal for you? Fly? Get home, do the washing up, then hoover the cat, whilst dishing up a posh dinner for four?

    It’s a Bike, just a Bike. Once you spend more than about £1000 tbh, you are already well into the law of diminishing returns, and any change is going to be incremental.

    I’m giving up 650b threads for NY

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I rode a high spec carbon Trek Fuel 9.8 at just over £4,000 and it was really really ordinary – felt like a £1500 bike – nothing special at all

    Part of the problem for £4k bikes is that some £1.5k bikes are so bloody good now.

    If it wasn’t for the exciting new wheel size, bike compnaies would be struggling to come up with any significant improvements to trail bikes IMO.

    😉

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    PMJ, you getting into retrobikes now? Not feeling the love for the 29er? )

    I do – it’s great and certainly reinforces all the benefits of bigger wheels. For my ‘go to’ bike for riding from the door on it’s really quite brilliant.

    The only thing is, I think 26″ wheels do feel a little more ‘fun’ (for lack of a better word – ‘involving’ maybe?) when things are a bit more technical, which is what the next bike is going to be for – the ‘used once a month’ longer travel bike for taking to places with hills higher than 500m and rocks bigger than baby’s heads. 😉

    *dons flame jacket*

    asterix
    Member

    maxtorque

    It’s a Bike, just a Bike. Once you spend more than about £1000 tbh, you are already well into the law of diminishing returns, and any change is going to be incremental.

    I agree diminishing returns comes into it (but I’d probably say at a higher level) and it’s all relative as well – on the same day I also rode a carbon Scott genius for about the same price and it was far superior to the Trek

    Edit (BTW I don’t have 4K to splash around – but you’d test ride those bikes if you had tthe chance)

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    My wife has a 650C bike. The wheels are somewhere between 650B and 700C.

    Unfortunately, and handling improvements owing to this different and exclusive wheel size are difficult to discern, as it also has a basket on the handlebars and a sturmey archer 3 speed which sometimes doesn’t do 1st gear.

    However, it really does make nipping to the shops and buying a pint of milk come alive.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Mike wrote:

    I’m giving up 650b threads for NY

    Gosh that’s brave of you – how long do you think before the withdrawal symptoms kick in?

    joolsburger
    Member

    I was in an expensive and well known bike shoppe today and was told that 26 inch forks were obsolete and that they had none to sell me. I asked what he had in a 26 in flavour for under 500 – Nowt, nada not a thing.

    Like it or not, I reckon your next new bike will bring the trail alive and I for one am balking at spending the money required.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    I’m going to stick with 26″; just think of all the bargain wheels, frames and forks over the next few years.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    joolsburger – Member

    I was in an expensive and well known bike shoppe today and was told that 26 inch forks were obsolete and that they had none to sell me. I asked what he had in a 26 in flavour for under 500 – Nowt, nada not a thing.

    Most of my local shops don’t carry any forks at all, they’re expensive and slow to shift.

    Now tyres, it’s still pretty uncommon to find a 650b tyre for sale in the shops I use, and the ones they have are all bloomin Schwalbe rubbish. Hot topic at the Dudes enduro- aargh I have a 650b bike, what tyres can I buy in Fort William that will be any good for these stages? Oh, absolutely none.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    I’ve got a 26″ full suss (Five) and a 29er hardtail (FF29). When I first got them they behaved exactly as you’d expect them to. Not just in the way they felt but comparing Strava times each was faster where you’d expect it to be. This isn’t too surprising. Any time you do an experiment where neither the subject nor the observer are blinded you get the result you expect to get.

    What is interesting is that now the honeymoon period has worn off they both just feel like bikes. It’s not just the feel though; those Strava times have converged too. It’s reached the point where I’d struggle to show a significant difference between them.

    I’ve recently been comparing times on a 3 hour loop with around 90 minutes on the road, some nice steep off-road climbs, some rocky descents and some rooty stuff. You’d think the FF29 would kill the Five on the road at least. But even there I can’t really detect a difference. In fact the Five was faster on the road section the last two times. Similarly you’d expect the Five to kill the FF29 on a technical descent, but I find that anything I can ride on the Five I can also ride on the FF29 and my speed is governed by my (lack of) nerve and how much I brake, which doesn’t change.

    I would still say that I enjoy descents more on the Five and climbs more on the FF29, but even there the difference is insignificant compared with the large variability in how much fun I have based on external factors (weather, my mood etc).

    That’s comparing two bikes that are quite far apart on the MTB spectrum. So, good luck trying to find a meaningful and sustained difference between, say a full suss bike with 26″ wheels and one with 650b.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    For £1.5k a bike damn well ought to be bloody good! Either the biking world has lost touch with reality or I have? I find articles which say that a bike is a bargain for £2k and ripe for upgrades truly bizarre. Where is the sense of reality?

    clubber
    Member

    Lost touch with reality? You could get plenty of £3k bikes 20 years ago that were absolutely rubbish by today’s standards. MTBing has always had an element of disconnection from the real world in terms of prices.

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