Toe curling 650b marketing guff.

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  • Toe curling 650b marketing guff.
  • Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    The difference in rolling isn’t though.

    I’d agree with you, in principle. All things being equal a larger wheel will roll over obstacles more easily and the difference is noticeable. However, all things are rarely equal in practice. A 29er often has a steeper head angle and less travel than a comparable 26″ bike, which reduces the advantages to the point where they become hard to detect.

    If I’m trying to ride through a rock garden I find that my 140mm, 67 degree 26″ bike seems to roll just as well as my 120mm, 70 degree 29er (and is easier to change line if I need to). Which one is best probably just comes down to how the suspension is set up. Of course a 140mm, 67 degree 29er would roll through better than either of them, but would be a bit of a tanker.

    That’s the problem with a lot of 29ers on the market, in my opinion. In trying to address some of the criticisms of the earlier 29ers (e.g. slower steering) they’ve engineered out all of the advantages. I don’t want a 29er that “rides just like a 26 inch bike”. I already have a 26″ bike.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    The running gear on the 650 is identical from a Cotic Soul (9 speed , 32 front) and it does outclimb the Cotic, however it may not be wheel size but frame geometry that provides the difference

    I recently built up one of the last of the 26″ Fives and it’s made me realise just how pointless most of the discussions about wheel size (and suspension designs for that matter) really are. All that really matters is geometry. If you can get that right and make a bike that feels as perfectly balanced as my Five I don’t care what size wheels you’ve used.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    All things being equal a larger wheel will roll over obstacles more easily and the difference is noticeable. However, all things are rarely equal in practice. A 29er often has a steeper head angle and less travel than a comparable 26″ bike, which reduces the advantages to the point where they become hard to detect.

    Well I’m making the comparison on two machines both with zero suspension travel and zero (90?) degree head angle, so having removed other variables the difference is immediately apparent – to the point I can get up the same climbs in the same gear ratio on the 29er as I could on the 26er.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    ive just got a 153/160mm 650ber

    its rides brilliantly but no idea if thats to do with wheelsize, been riding a 2008 bike for the last few years so shorter chainstays, stiffer rear end-beefier pivots, better suspension, slacker headangle, type 2 mech, sexy paintjob 😉 all these things make it very hard to isolate any one feature making it so great

    I dont think giant need to worry about convincing people to go 650b, the decisions already been made itll just take a while, nichemongers aside im pretty sure 26ers will be supermarket only in a few years, not to say that 26ers will die, cant imagine ill ever stop riding my steel lava dome!

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Well I’m making the comparison on two machines both with zero suspension travel and zero (90?) degree head angle, so having removed other variables the difference is immediately apparent – to the point I can get up the same climbs in the same gear ratio on the 29er as I could on the 26er.

    I doubt you’ve really got a 90 degree head angle. That would be pretty hard to ride. Something around 72 degrees is standard for a (rigid) road bike. But I agree with you. Take suspension out of the equation and the advantages of a larger wheel on rough ground become pretty obvious.

    Bringing it back on topic, this is what confused me about the comments from the Trekette* She seemed to be saying that 650b only has an advantage over 26″ for longer travel, which seems counter-intuitive to me. I would expect the advantages of the slightly larger wheel (if you could detect them at all) to be most apparent with less (or no) suspension. Even the suspension offered by the tyres confuses the issue as the bike that rolls better may just be the one with the optimum tyre pressure for the terrain. Once you put a lot of suspension into the mix I’d need a lot of convincing that you weren’t just seeing the effect of any slight differences in the setup of the suspension rather than the wheel.

    * Is that better than “Trek lady” 🙂

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Well killing 26 means those manufacturers have excluded me as potential customer. Given the amount of kit I have I have no interest in a different wheel size. The industry has lost a lot of credibility with the aggressive 29er marketing. I actually ride my local trails on a hard tail to make them more challenging and thus interesting and I was never going to take a 29er to the Alps. The last thing I need is a trail bike which takes the fun out of riding.

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Anybody who really feels confident predicting the death of high end 26″ trail bikes should really be turning their attention to next week’s lottery numbers. We’re less than a year into the latest marketing experiment. If 650b delivers the increase in sales that the marketing department predicted then it may stick, but if it looks as though there is more money to be made from 26″ bikes you can bet that they’ll jump back on those just as quick.

    Of course they have to talk about the death of 26″ bikes. The biggest deterrent to somebody buying a 650b bike now must be the fear that it is just a passing fad, so you have to create the illusion that you are really committed to this new size.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Of course they have to talk about the death of 26″ bikes. The biggest deterrent to somebody buying a 650b bike now must be the fear that it is just a passing fad, so you have to create the illusion that you are really committed to this new size.

    really ? my new 650b bike should last a good few years so if in 2017 or whenever its time for a new bike ill just want the best bike I can get whetehr it will have 26inch wheels or 27.5 doesnt really bother me!

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    OK, I was forgetting that some people buy a bike and ride it in its “stock” form until it breaks. Fair enough; such wierdos people have nothing to fear 🙂 But those who may want to upgrade wheels, forks etc in a year or two will want to know that they’ll be able to get the parts.

    Judging from these threads it looks as though some people are buying 650b bikes because they are concerned about the availability of 26″ spare parts, which is a wonderful piece of circular logic.

    iffoverload
    Member

    “size doesn’t matter” 🙂

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    well its the first time ive ever bought a complete bike, always frames previously

    the only issues are forks tyres and wheels

    and it was a sticking point but my current stock of semi worn/shagged tyres will get used on my hardtail, ive got a set of hope hubs ill get built up when i find some nice 650b rims (existing front wheel is tacod)

    so that just leaves forks and while i love my 44rc3tis 1 ride on the new pikes and I couldnt give a monkeys!

    will prob work out a bit more expensive and more hassle to have done it this way but ive already got a buyer for my old forks and everything else is transferable or sellable

    I think Garth nicely illustrates the real problem here
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TtGQnyPZ6g[/video]

    deviant
    Member

    OK, I was forgetting that some people buy a bike and ride it in its “stock” form until it breaks.

    This is me.

    I read a good review, weigh up whether i think its worth the price or not, shop around to see if i can get it cheaper elsewhere, see how much i already have on my credit card and then buy said bike….i then chop and change a few personal things so it ‘fits’ me….bars, stem, saddle etc etc…..ride it until it breaks or until i sell it on….then repeat.

    It will be a few years yet until i buy another complete bike as i just bought one this year therefore it doesnt matter to me what is happening with wheels sizes….when i come to change again (likely next year after moving house) i’ll just pick what is best for me at the time.

    I suspect people like me make up the bulk of the buying public and most people dont swap their forks, wheels etc year in and year out.

    650b is being pushed at those of an insecure mindset who feel they are missing out if they dont have one in the shed….likewise the scaremongering about parts availability conveniently ignores market laws about demand….if there is demand for 26 inch parts then some enterprising firm will make said parts and make money from the demand.

    I cant decide whether these threads are boring or funny but i am strangely drawn to them anyway….i particularly like the industry PR being spouted at the moment, it really is good for a chuckle every few days.

    The best way to explain my indifference to the wheels size debate is to highlight that mountain biking is my hobby, the bike is merely the tool used to carry out the activity.
    By and large it doesnt matter what i’m riding, its the quality of my riding and the trails i’m on that make up a good ride for me….as long as the bike doesnt break and i have confidence in its ability to take a hammering under my 15st weight then i’m happy, i dont sit in the garage stroking the bike and staring at it.

    I also play squash, my racquet is a few years old, a bit heavy, has loads of cosmetic chips etc….but it doesnt detract from my love of the game, would a better racquet make me a better player?…nope, losing weight and getting fitter would do though!
    Its far too easy to get hung up on just buying things in the mistaken belief that they are better or will make you better….i doubt i’d be any quicker downhill on Gee Atherton’s bike than on my own despite the colossal price difference.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I doubt you’ve really got a 90 degree head angle.

    Well I suppose as they don’t have a headset they don’t strictly speaking have a head angle, but the steering axis is certainly 90 (0?) degrees.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    stop teasing, aracer 😀

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    But it’s such fun, scaredypants!

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    The last thing I need is a trail bike which takes the fun out of riding.

    Riding a bike takes the fun out of riding? ❓

    gaz552
    Member

    All this 27.5 marketing stuff is rather annoying, but we are seeing some nice bikes coming out based around 27.5 and more aggressive geometries. I’m still going to buy a Cotic Rocket as it’s supposed to be a really fun frame, but if I was after a 27.5 bike I’d definitely be interested in a Kona Process 153 or a Yeti SB 75.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    process 153 is the one makes 26ers look pointless heres mine next to a 26er for comparison

    MTB Rob
    Member

    I think we going to see more forks like X fusion.
    Ones that can be adjusted from 26″ to 27.5″
    Or maybe even 29″ forks adjusted down to 27.5!

    I never really been interested in riding a 29″ because of the type of RIDING I DO! 😯
    BUT I do think 29″ does suit some people on height and type of riding they do. as the vid said people should try the bike first and then make there own mind up.

    I am interested in the trying a few 27.5″ if I do like them all I need to need to do is get a new wheel set all other kit can transfer over!

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    kimbers – Member

    process 153 is the one makes 26ers look pointless heres mine next to a 26er for comparison

    Both are made to look tiny by your +7 Bookshelves of Nerd though.

    Wait, not in alphabetical order? Your opinion is invalid.

    grahamt1980
    Member

    Bugger off you crusty 650b evangelist.
    The best bit about that bike is the colour, sod the wheel size

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    graham, youll be on the big wheels soon… ps BPW in dec!?!?

    Northwind, my 1 year old son takes great pleasure in clearing the lower shelves for me on a daily basis but they were once arranged by genre/ thematically
    also, out of shot I spaced the upper shelves so they are exactly the right size for graphic novels and RPG sourcebooks !!

    grahamt1980
    Member

    Yeah right……
    Got 4 bikes with 26″ wheels, and until they all die then 26″ it will be.

    Def BPW, just let me know the date.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    rOcKeTdOg – Member
    Riding a bike takes the fun out of riding?

    What I meant was one which “flattens out” the trail via big wheels etc. If I wanted to ride on something flat I’d ride on the road. If I where to buy a bike with different wheels than 26 to would probably be a BMX upon which I would of course look totally ridiculous 😳

    fibre
    Member

    One thing that bugs me about new standards, “x” brand is saying after extensive testing the new size is better than the older ones, then a year later they have another new size that’s slightly larger or smaller and better than all of the previous ones (including the one that’s not long been out)… Surely all that testing they did with the previous revision should have included the new size they’ve just released!.

    I can understand when improved technologies or materials open up change to improve something, but when it’s slightly different why didn’t they come to that conclusion the first or second time round, not the tenth.

    Obviously we all know why it works that way, but it still annoys me. I’m happy with newer and shinyer until something is worth changing for an improvement, wheel size choices are fair enough as people can make their own mind up, but to say something is dead after an industry having an overnight revelation then preaching it like some extremist bike based cult is irritating.

    I’ve ordered a 29er, simply because I want something different to my 26 hardtail and full sus. I’ll ride whichever bike is going to be most fun for where i’m riding.

    martinxyz
    Member

    From Giants 2014 catalogue – ‘Arguably the most important benefit of 27.5 over 29 is quicker acceleration. This is the “snap” that a rider feels when they push hard on the pedals. It is affected not just by overall static weight but also where the weight is distributed throughout the wheel. The farther the weight is from the center of the hub, the slower the acceleration. So a similarly constructed 1000-gram 29-inch wheel is slower to accelerate than a 1000-gram 26-inch wheel—because the larger diameter rim and longer spokes place weight farther from the hub. The key to snappy acceleration is minimizing the weight of the outermost components (rim, nipples, spokes, tire, tube). As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel is only 1.5% slower to accelerate than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel, but a 29-inch wheel is 3.6% slower than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel.’

    Having owned and ridden 29ers,this is one of the reasons why I got rid of them. I keep posting over the years gone by on why I can’t see the point in me riding this wheelsize when,like I continue to point out,yet get told by these companies that the bigger wheel climbs better and faster,only to be told that they’ve done their testing to agree with me all along.. the riding I do up here,lets say over a 4 hour mountain ride,consists of approx 3.5 hours of climbing, the remainder descending. I have noticed on all the 29ers how slow and awful they are on climbs compared to the equivalent bike sporting the 26 inch wheel. I was really feeling like I was imagining things over the years as nobody seemed to agree. Most still don’t. Yet Giant have done the math to keep me a little more sane. How anybody can ride ANY 29er and honestly feel it better on climbs over the acceleration of a 26er baffles me. Maybe it’s because once you’re onto a 29er you forget about what the 26 once climbed like. Or maybe the 29er they’ve moved onto has a more efficient design in it’s suspension.. who knows. All I know is that whether its fully rigid 29er,front suspension only, or fully suspended with 29, they all climb nowhere near any of the 26 inch wheeled bikes I’ve owned or ridden.

    Now I know most of you would disagree on the above. This is just something I feel each time I ride 29ers. I can’t change what I feel on each bike on the climbs. As far as 650 goes, during a recent test of a Giant trance I felt it sluggish on the climbs over my 26er but definitely more my cup of tea as far as spinning the wheels up to speed goes. Considering that they are closer to 26 in size, I was quite impressed with the stability at speed of the wheelsize considering the small increase over 26.

    Anyhows, I’ll be back in a minute with a few images that will make you cringe..

    martinxyz
    Member

    To Giant,or any other brands out there that are trying to, or are planning on getting their message across on what’s going down in the lab as far as testing goes.. do not,repeat DO NOT draw around random spherical objects found around the office to make up your own take on wheel diameters. You can try and fool people by making up your own off-scale wheel diagrams to accentuate contact patch lengths along with angles of attack, but sooner or later someone will notice. Go back to the drawing board for 2015 (but find new objects around the office) and try and convince us with the truth. A good start would be drawing the 650 wheel to scale on par with the 26. THEN add in your contact patch lengths and attack angles to show how great it all is.


    giant contact patch image


    angle of attack

    JCL
    Member

    In our local race series there is a guy who on a good I can keep within sight if he’s riding his 26″ but if he’s on his 29″ he’s gone. It’s happened a dozen times. Acceleration isn’t the key to going consistently fast, it’s maintaining speed. That’s where the lower rolling resistance comes in.

    If you’re talking smooth climbs with loads of traction yeah I agree, a 26″ might even be quicker than a 29″ but technical climbing? Not even close. I can ride the 29″ up stuff I hadn’t a hope of getting up on the 26″ and I don’t even have to take the best line. You can ride like a goon and still get up stuff.

    Not dissing 26″ in the slightest BTW. If you don’t care about going as fast as possible a 26″ is probably more fun than a 29″ I’m talking the best examples of each size of course.

    JCL
    Member

    Of course a 140mm, 67 degree 29er would roll through better than either of them, but would be a bit of a tanker.

    You get used to it. And then there is no going back! 🙂

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Of course a 140mm, 67 degree 29er would roll through better than either of them, but would be a bit of a tanker.

    Hmmm the build a bike by numbers game… I reckon you could build one to those and it be an absolute stinker.

    One thing that came up a while ago was the other great reason for 650b – you can come back from 29″ without admitting you were wrong 🙂

    Hob Nob
    Member

    Hmmm the build a bike by numbers game… I reckon you could build one to those and it be an absolute stinker

    If by stinker, you mean awesome – then there are some bikes in that region now. They are monsters. And i’m someone who had scorned at 29″ as little as 2 months ago.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    If by stinker, you mean awesome – then there are some bikes in that region now. They are monsters. And i’m someone who had scorned at 29″ as little as 2 months ago.

    No, I mean if by picking 3 numbers you think you can make an awesome bike it makes you wonder what the R&D time is being spent on.

    wrecker
    Member

    Sorry but I can’t give those giant diagrams any serious consideration whilst they’re using “27.5”. Are they comparing 26″ to a 650B wheel or an imaginary 27.5″ wheel which we’ve yet to be introduced to?

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    Hmmm the build a bike by numbers game… I reckon you could build one to those and it be an absolute stinker.

    One thing that came up a while ago was the other great reason for 650b – you can come back from 29″ without admitting you were wrong

    Actually I think that last quote may have been mine. I’ve certainly said it a few times, but maybe I just nicked it from somebody else 🙂

    Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that you can build a bike with just a few numbers. I was just trying to make the point that the way a bike rolls over stuff depends on a lot more than just the size of the wheel. Head angle and travel are obvious parameters that will also affect the way a bike rolls over stuff, but of course there are others.

    One of the things that I’ve learnt since getting my 26″ Five is that I can’t predict how a bike will feel from the numbers. Maybe others can, but I can’t. I’ve also learnt that the size of the wheels is pretty much irrelevant.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    All of the marketing guff is just that. “We’ve done the math and this year xxx is the best, the fastest, etc.” Whatever it is you have to sell, the advertising copy will be fabricated to “prove” it.

    I don’t buy complete bikes. I have too many parts to justify a complete over a frame and a few items that are size specific. I quite fancy a 29er, if I could find something that is designed for the type of riding I like to do without the astronomical price tag.

    I don’t see the point of 650b apart from its the emperor’s new clothes and it might kickstart a flagging market. What really does concern me is the way Giant, Trek, etc. keep shouting “26 IS DEAD!” Tyre, rim and fork manufacturers may believe the hype, and OEM is their biggest market by a very long way, and start to reduce the choice of aftermarket 26 and 29 components.

    Not many have mentioned the independent shops. It’s difficult enough for them to carry a decent stock of 26″ tyres, let alone 29″. Now add in the pretty slim pickings for 650b. One LBS doesn’t stock full sus bikes because of the cost and myriad of choices. They order in as and when required. The majority of what they sell is up to £600. More like £400 really. They simply can’t compete with another “standard”.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    One of the things that I’ve learnt since getting my 26″ Five is that I can’t predict how a bike will feel from the numbers. Maybe others can, but I can’t. I’ve also learnt that the size of the wheels is pretty much irrelevant.

    and that was the other point, people saying 29 is 26 is this is that is. Quoting one or 2 numbers does make me laugh, having seen how different 3 or 4 full sus bikes sit when they are sagged and despite having the same HA they look completely different. But anyway i’d still like to see the bike that STW built on channel 99.

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Giant are going to change their mind if they stop making 29ers but others still do as they will be loosing the xc races as their riders will be on the slower 650bs…

    I’ve said before that all this 650b stuff does not bother me to the same level as many on here but the total spaf being spouted by Giant is begining to grind my gears.

    I’ve just gone from a 26″ 5 to a 5 29er as I fancied a change. Initial thoughts are in line with what’s been said before. Feels like a 5, carries speed better, climbs the same (don’t like ups on any bike), doesn’t feel it’s size, feels very fast, goes round switchbacks like my old 26″, is very smooth, etcetcetc……. but.. early thoughts are it’s maybe just not as much fun. I don’t feel like flicking it about like I did on the old one. I’m sure it could do it, it’s just that it doesn’t make me want to. It’s still new to me so my views might well change but I could well see myself going 650b in a few years as long as it’s still about and a test ride shows it to be more of the good bits of both then the worst bits.

    What I don’t need is Giant treating me like an idiot. It’s put me right off the brand. I’ll be keeping an eye out for other offenders to black list.

    Premier Icon Mike59
    Subscriber

    I must say I do like the look of this 650 steel hardtail.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    TurnerGuy – Member
    Giant are going to change their mind if they stop making 29ers but others still do as they will be loosing the xc races as their riders will be on the slower 650bs…

    tell that to the current xc world champ and his 650b bike

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