Just killed my Explosif – help me find a replacement steel hardtail!
Here’s the thing though, for ‘smaller’ riders, the frame of a 29er gets really crammed up. The big wheels make absolute sense for tall riders, but for anyone under 6 ft, there’s a lot of compromise in frame dynamics going on. Take a look at the Titus Fireline thread: The way the wheel comes so close to the seat tube even with a low profile tyre, and the way the tyre actually sits ahead of the front mech cable…I know it’s been done to get the best handling characteristics from the frame, but it has alarm bells ringing for me.
I’ll stick with my t456 evo and get a damned good dropper seatpost instead. Close run thing though 😉Posted 4 years ago
Looking at it in this sensible thread, then 650b, if it can be proven to have a real world advantage over 26″, would definitely allow frame designers to work their magic instead of pulling their hair out trying to make it all work. 650b makes more sense to me than 29″, but the margin of benefit over 26″ seems to be so small that I’m not sure it’s worth taking the spare parts hit to convert. You could get a pair of x fusion forks (they can be tuned to either size) and run a 650 frame with 26″ wheels, but again, where would the benefits be ultimately?
The nice thing about this thread (apart from reminding everyone about the once mighty Kona Explosif!), is that it’s made me really, coldly examine the whole wheel thing. It seems to me that everyone has had a huge amount of fun on 26 ” wheels for the last 30 years, and now there’s a wheel size that caters for larger riders who have always been compromised by 26″ wheels. And then there’s these 27.2 wheels that…well, are a bit bigger and a bit smaller at the same time. Going proper tubeless and fitting a descent dropper post would make as much of an improvement as going 27.2 I suspect.Posted 4 years agotonydMember
I’m in the process of upgrading my frame. I toyed with the idea of going 650b as it’s looking more and more likely I’ll upgrade fork and wheels at some point also. However, I ride a small frame and don’t think a bigger (or different geometry) frame and bigger wheels would be well suited to me. I’ve not ridden 29er or 650b so have no experience to back this up but I do a lot of road riding and 700c wheels on steep technical trails would feel alien to me I think.
Also worth considering is that with a new (to me) 26″ frame I can use all the other kit I’ve got and upgrade as time/money allow.
Horses for courses and if I was taller I’d probably give bigger wheels more thought but I’m not so I haven’t.Posted 4 years agoTimPMember
Been keeping an eye on this thread, and then Charlie the Bikemonger told me the new Surly catalogue is out. Had a look through and the Instigator looks awesome. 26+ could be the way forawrd for me. He let me have a go on a pugsley a while ago and although it was great fun I doubt full fat would be good for 90% of my riding. So semi-fat with forks and gears ticks a lot of boxes. Not light though at a reported 31 and a bit lbs, but then nor am I particularlyPosted 4 years agoDaveyBoyWonderMember
As mangatank says, this thread seems to be keeping the whole wheel size debate pretty sensible so I’ll chip in here.
For the cost of new frame, forks, wheels and tyres to go 650B for what tiny benefit (if it is a benefit and not just marketing bullsh*t) I reckon you’d be much better off getting something 26″, using all your own parts but buying something that’ll genuinely make a difference to your riding and that (IMHO) is a dropper seatpost. Even on a XC style bike like an Explosif replacement, it’d be worth it. I’ve run a Joplin and a Reverb on my mail trail bike now for about 3 years and they’ve transformed the way I ride. I reckon I really use the dropper as often as my gears.
So there, new frame and a dropper = much more real life difference than a frame, forks and wheels you’re notice barely any difference with*
in my opinionPosted 4 years agotonydMember
Dropper is going to be my first purchase on my new (to me) 26″ frame. I never even considered it on my old frame as it was 27.2 and too few options. Now I have 30.9 I’m going for a reverb.
Unless the trail gets really steep and rocky I never drop my post as I keep it at the height where I can just get over the back if needs must. The thing that appeals to me about a dropper is the ability to ride with the saddle at the right height for efficient pedaling (ie higher than I normally run it) – should make the climbs a bit easier. In my uneducated opinion it’s the top inch or so that a dropper will help the most with.Posted 4 years ago
A dropper post – something I hadn’t even considered on an XC rig
Nor I, until I fixed a slipping seatpost problem I’d been having. The post would gradually slip on the flat and up, and be as much as an inch or two lower on the descent. It was so effective I delayed fixing it! As soo as I had, I railed around a berm and instead of dropping behind the saddle to tackle the drop, ended up giving myself a saddle-wedgie before exploring the limits of the frame’s stand over height.
Thomson dropper in the post!Posted 4 years ago
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