I was wrong about 650b…….here's why.
The change in logo size is proportionally far bigger than the change in wheel size So from that you can conclude that the change in marketing bullshit is far bigger than the change in ride.
I like that analysis
vaguelyrelated: I met a geezer on a brand new bronson (carbon I assume) in the US a week or 2 ago. Asked him if he liked it – “Yeah, heavy but so stable and dependable”Posted 4 years ago
Was it a 650b ? – “no idea, what’s that ?”roverpigSubscriber
I’m trying to keep an open mind on 650b/27/27.5; really I am. I don’t mind manufacturers trying to make money; that’s their job. They come out with new products and try to convince us that they are better than the old ones. We decide whether the improvement is really big enough to be worth the cost. Twas ever thus. I’m not even resistant to changing wheel size. I have a 26″ full suss and a 29er hardtail. Both work, both are fun and the difference is just big enough to be useful.
But 650b still bugs me. For a start it seems to be based on a false premise. Looking at that guff from Giant you’d be forgiven for thinking that 26″ and 29″ represent the smallest and largest diameters that can possibly be imagined and that the difference between them is vast. Of course, in reality, they are just two arbitrary diameters. If you started with 24″ and 29″ you could use exactly the same arguments to show that 26″ was the optimum. The question should be “is there a big enough difference between 26 and 29 to justify a third option in the middle?”. Having ridden both for a few months I’d say that the answer to that one is “definitely not”. In fact I’d argue that a 10% change in diameter is about the smallest change you can make that actually makes a useful difference. Anything less is just change for the sake of change.
The only way that 650b makes sense to me is if it kills off 26 and 29. Then we go back to all mountain bikes having the same sized wheels. OK it is a slightly different size to the one we grew up with, but I think that would be a price worth paying. However, I can’t see that happening. Companies like Niner (and maybe big boys like Specialized) won’t give up on the 29er. Instead it looks as though we could end up with the worst possible outcome, with 650b and 29er both surviving and 26″ dying out. That would leave us with two wheel sizes that are just big enough that you need different forks etc, but where the difference isn’t big enough to be useful. If we are going to have two wheel sizes then 26 and 29 is a much better proposition than 650b and 29.Posted 4 years agobigyinnMember
I struggle with long sentences^^ *edit* oh ha ha ha mods
But having read the Giant article, out of all the various attributes compared, 26″ wins 5 of them, 650B / 27.5″ wins none and 29″ wins two. So it looks to me that the way forwards is 26″.Posted 4 years ago
Guess what size im riding (and sticking with). 😉jamesoSubscriber
Then we go back to all mountain bikes having the same sized wheels.
Why? We can chose suspension from zero to 200-odd mm, a choice in wheels is good too. Optimisation. A lot of different things done on MTBs now. 3 wheels may be more than we need or the industry can cope with but 2 is good. 2 rim sizes, plenty of tyre sizes ideally.Posted 4 years agochowmeinMember
I was dead set on a 650b for my new bike until I tried my mates whyte 629 and read this article: http://www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/article/trail-tech-cutting-through-the-275-wheel-size-hype-38058/
Basically the term ‘650b’ is used rather than 27.5 because ‘650b’ is not 27.5. its more like 27.2.
“For reference, there’s a 25mm difference in bead seat diameter between 26in and 650b, but there’s a 38mm difference between 650b and a 700c (29in) wheel.”
So I have a 26″ Heckler, if I wanted a new bike that would help me keep up with my mates on a 29er I would need to buy a 29er. The 650b would be marginally different to the 26er. So I opted for a t-129 works 29er which has a lot of riding similarities to a 26er but gets you that extra roll-ability.
In summary I think 650b probably does offer marginal benefits over a 26er, but the choice is still between the smaller wheel category (650b & 26er) for greater agility or a larger wheel category (29er) for greater speed.
I think Specialized see it from this point of view and will only go 650b if they are loosing a lot of market share to the hype.Posted 4 years agoroverpigSubscriber
jameso:[/u] Why? We can chose suspension from zero to 200-odd mm, a choice in wheels is good too. Optimisation. A lot of different things done on MTBs now. 3 wheels may be more than we need or the industry can cope with but 2 is good. 2 rim sizes, plenty of tyre sizes ideally.
I agree. Two options for wheel size (26 and 29) seems about right to me. My 26″ full suss and 29er HT are just different enough to make sense. There is nothing that I can ride on one that I can’t ride on the other, but they have a different feel. Basically, they both hand out the same number of grins, but they hand them out in different places. The only way a 650b would make sense, to me, is if I wanted to get rid of them both and replace them with one bike. I don’t, I prefer having two options, but at least that would make some sort of sense. Having 26, 650b and 29 doesn’t make sense and if we are going to cut down from 3 to two, it makes sense to drop the middle one. To use your suspension travel analogy: we have 140mm and 150mm forks. This is like being told that we should buy 145mm forks and that we’ll need a new frame and new wheels as well.
@crashtestmonkey: I have no idea what Giant are playing at. I have a 26″ Trance and I’ve had a ride on the 29er version. Both are great bikes. Both do the same job, but in a slightly different way. Different people may prefer one to the other. Dropping the 26″ version in favour of a 650b version just seems daft to me.Posted 4 years agoNorthwindSubscriber
crashtestmonkey – Member
Aren’t Giant trying to justify 650b because they can’t get their Maestro to work well with 29
Though their 29ers have been superbly received. The whole 650b promotion’s bringing out some really weird things. Like, as you say Giant suddenly slagging off their succesful existing models. That £4000 Anthem X 29er we sold you? It’s rubbish. Santa Cruz are doing the same- that Tallboy Carbon you spent a fortune on? Why did you do that, it’s a bag of arse.
Santa Cruz also with the frankly magnificent “You can’t tell any difference, therefore you should totally spend a fortune on it”Posted 4 years ago
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