- What the F? 'The wheel decision isnt our choice'
Haven’t bike companies been trying to sell bikes for years?
I didn’t realise they had just woken up and thought “shit we better make some money”
I’ll buy whatever bike I look of and feels right at the time. i enjoy riding marketing BS round the woods. Makes me smile.Posted 4 years agomrmoMember
Campy are very poor for ongoing surport , I’m more concerned about getting 10 speed record spares than 26″ stuff for my mtb
what do you wan’t? ergo springs? rear mechs? Campy are far better than Shimano on the spares score. There are a few WTF issues, like why they have stopped making freehub bodies for highend hubs that are only 6 years old and almost identical to the current hubs, but you can still get free hub bodies for cheap hubs that are older?Posted 4 years agoalthepalSubscriber
I wouldn’t be concerned about this, but for the fact that the big S are dropping most of their 26 full sussers for 29ers. Will only be offering 26″ on basic budget full sussers and downhill bikes afaik.. I realise that 29ers are flying out the door in the US but not here, despite that fact, they’re pretty much not gonna sell a decent 26″trail bike from now on.Posted 4 years ago
That concerns me.orangeboyMember
Having spent 4 months waiting for record bb cups the other year and now its all going 11 speed can’t see them carrying on to much longer with 10 speed stuff ,
It may now improve since chicken seem to be the official impoter , I’ve not tried getting anything this last year tbh
But just google record 9 speed and not a lot comes up there is lots of 8Posted 4 years ago
Speed as old stock but not much 9
And your right with the odd wtf , campy mini v- brake block incerts were a total pain last yearBearBackMember
650b is a marketing move, an answer to a question consumers had no interest in asking.
650b was driven by the consumer creating pancetti conversions in their garages to fit their 26″ frames.
Similar to fat bikes in that its something that caught on as DIY project builds. There are a few guys on here with fatbikes.. but the manufacturers didn’t make them by them.
Some manufacturers did some significant testing on the inbetweener platform, some found tangible benefits, some not. Some manufacturers jumped on the band wagon.. but regardless of how your look at it.. 27.5″ bike are selling and there is plenty of NOS 2012 26″ inventory available for customers that don’t want to go middle sized but still want a brand new bike)… but the new bikes are still selling and not because consumers are forced to buy them.
We will likely see some new 26″ wheeled bikes for next season, but manufactures probably spent their 2013MY time and budgets on 27.5 development.
This will certainly be a telling year for 27.5… but I wouldn’t be concerned, you’ll come round to 27.5 before the 26″ stock runs out 😉Posted 4 years ago
I wonder how much this is backfiring on the industry. Looking at a few of the replies above it looks like I’m not alone – I have a fs frame (turner flux) that for no rational reason I have got an urge to change but at the moment I’m hanging tight and keeping the money in my account. My bikes have always been trigger’s brooms with gradual evolution but if I change wheel size now it means ditching even more components than usual. At the same time I don’t want to spend on a new 26″ frame if all the progress in the future in terms of tyres etc will be focussed on 650b/29er. So I’m doing the sensible (as in I don’t actually “need” a new bike) thing and keeping the money in my pocket where usually I’d have made an unnecessary purchase by now.
This does seem a time of change though – disregarding wheel size my bike is also “behind the curve” on bolt through rear hub, press fit BB, numbers of gears (3X9) & tapered steerer. It all sounds like an expensive next step so I’m going to bury my head in the sand and stick with what I’ve got until it’s proper worn out.Posted 4 years agoSinglespeed_ShepMember
I wonder how much this is backfiring on the industry
It hasn’t at all.
people who want new bikes are buying them. people who want spares are still buying them.
The people that are new to cycling far out way the people giving up because their local spec concept store doesn’t do enough 26″ tyres.Posted 4 years agoshortcutSubscriber
Golly gosh – what a lot of shizzle.
From my perspective I am completely convinced of the benefits of 29er wheels over 26 especially on tight twisting English, Welsh,Scottish trails.
26er stuff will be available for long enough. If you are worried – stockpile it a few rims and maybe a set of on sale forks will keep you going for a long while.
650b not sure yet, but I do quite like some of the new offerings fro
Santa Cruz and even Orange but it will be good to do back to back testing with 29er equivalents so Solo vs Tallboy or Five vs 29/5 to see which works best. There is certainly choice out there at the moment and surely choice is good.
As to the rest of the innovations –
Bolt thru, 142rear, PF BB (this really is horrific), headset standards (not really necessary)these changes are ongoing evolution some will survive, others won’t. Ultimately even the newest stuff will die when we all move to something else in 15 years time (hover bikes???).
Just ride what you have, buy what you like, it will all be fine and the world will not end.Posted 4 years agorogerthecatMember
We are reaping the whirlwind of our own folly.Posted 4 years ago
We spend obscene amounts of money on the latest tech innovations.
The manufacturers have realised that there is a large cohort of riders who can, and will, part with large amounts of cash to be seen at the “bleeding edge” of mountain biking. All they are doing is exploiting the market opportunity and a large proportion of the market will obediently trot along behind forking out more cash to improve their riding by a negligible amount.
I agree with the comments re niche spares companies – look at the automotive market – I have a couple of 80’s VW vans and can source almost every part I need, obsolete ones are being made and sold by enterprising companies who are doing very nicely out of it.
I do think the manufacturers are taking the piss, but we are entirely complicit.mrmoofoMember
Wow – marketing try and force a product lifestyle through and make the old stuff obselete …
I can’t really see 26 dying – and next year there will be the next big thing. Please , will people just accept the wheel size arguement is about driving the sales of “units” … and making the customer feel that the need the new and updated one.
Wheel size debate is great for the manufactures – they come up with some quasi performnace reason – and all of a sudden last years best thing is now passe. Frame , forks, tyres and wheels. Hell, sir, you may as well buy a new bike …
27.5 – other than the above why ? Either it is an acceptance that 29ers are not the future, or the needs of the sales VP to make sure slaes continue to increase. And he, quite frankly, will no f*** all about the performance differences. The product manager will know all the differences. But after a couple of bottles of Pinot Noir, even he will tell you it is mainly smoke and mirrors …Posted 4 years agocharlie the bikemongerSubscriber
Hey it’s just business, and the cool thing with business is it is a harsh environment of survival of the fittest, where only things that work will survive…
You see if 650 is a bad idea, if your wheel being 25mm taller is a crazy idea that does not work, then it will become extinct.
Ultimately the consumers make the choices… Otherwise we would be commuting on Sinclair C5s.
A lot of 650 and 29 complaints come from people who have already invested in 26, have plenty of life left in their 26er, but this does not make other sizes a bad idea.
I think it’s good that the industry has moved away from a period of developing endless headset standards whilst poo-poo-ing 29ers (hello MBR) which was in my view changing things for zero benefit whilst being slow/resistant to something that does make a difference. And again if there was no market for bigger wheels, no money in it, it would just be a few bearded gents on surly karate monkeys…. The buying public have the ultimate vote.
Posted 4 years ago
I don’t understand why people who are looking to buy a new bike are put off by all this. Just buy a bloody bike (any sized wheel – it’ll still be fun) and stop being drama queens.
There is a difference between want and need (as much as anything in a leisure activity is a need!). I think it is probably reasonable for someone with no need but a passing interest in buying something new to take the current “resetting” of standards as a moment to pause and continue to use what they already have and is still perfectly serviceable. If I truly “needed” a new bike (my old one cracked, got stolen and or fell down a bottomless crevasse) it would be quite fun making the decision with a few more options than normal.
The above still does not take away from the fact that as a bloke with a disposable income (but not of an endless quantity) and a passing interest on spending it on unnecessary bike porn, I’m not bothering until the standards settle down and the bike industry has not benefited from the cash in my pocket for a while. But don’t worry, it’s not giving me sleepless nights 😉Posted 4 years agoJCLMember
It’s funny reading the microcosum UK perspective. Have a look at the Oregon Enduro results from the weekend. You had to go down to 7th to find a 26″ rider. What you see at the last Gorrick race isn’t the real world. The industry has killed 26″ for 100% marketing reasons. The guys who missed the 29″ train were pissed with low 26″ sales and something had to be done and 650b was the solution and your nice 26″ lost 25% it’s resale overnight. Still think new top end stuff will be made for 26″ or a while? I doubt it. Fox alone are not making any 26″ SC forks after 2014. I heard that 26″ Enduro S-Works are going for near half in California yet the dealers could sell 5x the 29″ version if they could get stock. The times they are a changin.Posted 4 years ago
It’s almost as if a lot of the general public don’t actually realise that the rider makes a lot more difference than the bike. Ah…
Remember, though, most buyers of mountain bikes rarely use them. It’s about buying into something (fairly expensive), riding it twice and leaving the bike in the garage forever.
I’ve heard that UK bike sales have moved towards road and ‘hybrid’/city bikes in recent years and bike shops are doing more work on such bikes. This actually makes sense, considering where people use them.
The bike industry isn’t alone though. Look at cars. Cars are ‘improved’ year-on-year with more (often unnecessary & unused)gadgets, ‘bigger’, ‘faster’ (but no faster point-to-point, especially when the cars are already fast), more ‘sporty'(but often less fit-for-purpose for real roads). Motorbikes are similar. Extremely fast bikes are made faster, despite almost no riders being able to make use of the added performance.Posted 4 years agoamediasSubscriber
The only spares problem would be tyres and rims, and I doubt they will even be a problem for some time yet as there’s so many 26in bikes out there that 26in tyres are gonna be around for a long time, yes even decent ones.
The thing about 650B forks is that they work perfectly well with a 26 wheel, clearance is fine and the difference in A2C is minimal, it’s almost within the same realms of differences between manufacturer at the same travel and headset cups so the fork thing is pretty much a non-issue as you’ll still be able to fit a newer fork should your old 26in one die a horrible un-fixable death.Posted 4 years agobutterbeanMember
It’s funny reading the microcosum UK perspective. Have a look at the Oregon Enduro results from the weekend. You had to go down to 7th to find a 26″ rider. What you see at the last Gorrick race isn’t the real world. The industry has killed 26″ for 100% marketing reasons. The guys who missed the 29″ train were pissed with low 26″ sales and something had to be done and 650b was the solution and your nice 26″ lost 25% it’s resale overnight. Still think new top end stuff will be made for 26″ or a while? I doubt it. Fox alone are not making any 26″ SC forks after 2014. I heard that 26″ Enduro S-Works are going for near half in California yet the dealers could sell 5x the 29″ version if they could get stock. The times they are a changin.
Whilst the race results are pretty irrelevant, as the quick riders are quick regardless of wheelsize, the rest is pretty much spot on.
Specialized in the US is a little different to the ROW and their obsession with 29’s for everything, but as I said in another thread, 26″ is done now. Once this new product lag is over, a lot of you are going to be very upset.
Fox are not alone in not making any 26″ forks after 2014.
A little insider told me with SC since the Bronson came out, 27.5″ & 29″ wheeled bikes account for over 90% of their sales now. They had seen a steady decline in 26″ sales for the past 12 months.Posted 4 years ago
the quick riders are quick regardless of wheelsize
This is the whole point.
A slow, overweight weekend rider with a low skill level is not going to be transformed by a change from 26″ to 650b wheels.
Fast riders are fast riders. Top XC racers are looking for any advantage they can find, which may be with 29er wheels, and will also ride the bike that their sponsor provides.Posted 4 years agoamediasSubscriber
A little insider told me with SC since the Bronson came out, 27.5″ & 29″ wheeled bikes account for over 90% of their sales now. They had seen a steady decline in 26″ sales for the past 12 months.
If it does go full steam ahead as predicted it will be interesting to see how long it takes for those new sales to mean that 650b bikes on the trails outnumber 26in, cos even 90% of new sales is a tiny % of total bikes already in circulation.
are we talking a few years or decades there*?
*obviously at the high end/racing etc it will be quicker, but that again is a tiny % of people riding bikes on the trails.
Once this new product lag is over, a lot of you are going to be very upset.
I think the upset is not from people thinking their kit is going to be obsolete, its the being told their kit is obsolete by the industry, when it still works perfectly for their needs.
All my MTBs are 26 at the moment, but then some of them are 15-20 years old now and still get regular use, at some point I’m sure I’ll end up buying a bike with different size wheels, that wont upset me, after all it’ll be another bike 🙂Posted 4 years agobinnersSubscriber
Capitalism dictates that if there’s a demand for a product, then someone will supply it.
So the manufacturers can try and foist on us what they like. But as countless threads on the subject prove, a lot of people still want 26″ parts, and have no desire whatsoever to switch to 29/650B. So there’s the demand.
The marketing departments can try all they like to make us ride 29ers/650b/Whatever’s next, but its the accounts dept that will have the final word. And if people want 26″ parts, then anyone who wants to stay in business better supply them! Or someone else will.Posted 4 years agocakefacesmallblockSubscriber
Wheel size was never going to be the rider’s choice. 29er was a “new” standard siezed upon by big manufacturers looking for a method of staying on top during recessionary times. It wouldn’t have mattered whether they made bicycles or ironing boards. Create obsolesence and you drive a market. Simple. To big business it matters not if 29ers are faster on a race course, if we stayed 26 races would still take place ( Cue seperate events for 29 or 27.5 “formula” racing, with retro 26 classes). For those who “need” the latest greatest and best, they will jump ship and buy for sure and new bike sales will grow.Posted 4 years ago
650b becoming the new std. for “ordinary” mtbs is, in my view a far bigger change for the worlds sale of bicycles than ever 29 is (was?) a marketing and salesman’s dream, a bullet in the head for the average, weekend riding, enthusiast.
It’s a brave move, but I for one, who doesn’t have a huge disposable income and although the n+1 theory works for me, like my bike to work for me and last, via upgrades and maintenance.
At 53 now, I have probably one or two bikes left to buy, before I pedal off into the sunset.
I’d best go buy some tyres for the 26er, so I can continue to enjoy my “inferior” bike for another year or two, before I have no choice but to buy a 28er. 🙄PJM1974Member
Having seen the Ibis Mojo news on the front page this morning, I have to commend Ibis for getting it absolutely right.
Yes, you can have either 27.5″ or 26″ on the same bike. The choice is down to the consumer. With that, Ibis have promoted the Mojo way up into my dream bike list.
More of this, please.Posted 4 years agoJunkyardMember
Wheel, rim, tire and suspension makers have also tooled up to supply the demand. SR Suntour, for example, is introducing an entire new fork line for 650B.
Well if you can get Suntour forks then that is the typing point for me
BS to get us to upgrade
My orange 5 seems to be near unbreakable – well by me anyway- the geometry is largely unchanged since i got mine hence they need to make it obsolete to get me to buy something new
It has F all to do with anything else
Will it work …who knows but I will not be upgrading to 650 b in a hurry tbhPosted 4 years agoMisterTSubscriber
What a lot of extremist radicalism and speculation this subject promotes.
This church of Mtb is a broad church. Thankfuly we don’t all have to same needs or same belief systems. We are a highly varied bunch with highly varied bikes and components.
If you serious believe the hype that marketeers attempt to pedal about the demise of a wheel size, then stop and think sense.. And think about the following.
Brake disk widths and diameters
Shock eye to eye lengths
Oh and don’t forget… We are all different sizes too… Some of us are litte over 4′ and others are way over 6′.
Oh and let’s not forget… Some of you ride fast flat smooth rolling hills.. Whilst others ride knarly rockfests and others huck hop and drop.
20″ 24″ 26″ 27.5″ and 29″ have all been manufactured and widely used tyre sizes for decades…
This is a highly varied and broad church. Don’t believe those radicalised extremists who bestow their narrow belief of what our religeon of real mtb’ing is all about.
And remember that this world of ours is ruled by chaos, not marketeers.
Enjoy life… We only get one each.Posted 4 years agomindmap3Member
I”ve largely ignored the wheel size debate and have just bought a new frame, although admittedly it can take 650b by changing the drop outs.
I’ll continue running 26 inch for the foreseeable future because that what my wheels and forks are. It’s also ha st to be able to swap wheels and tyres between my other bikes. The choice doesnt bother me, it’s having something forced on me that does.
The industry has never been good at standards; ISCG didn’t last long, headsets and bottom brackets are a joke, IS disc mounts are dead etc. I think parts will still be available for a while yet and there will be a strong second hand market..you only need to look at the guys on Retrobike keeping some mega old stuff going.Posted 4 years agonickcSubscriber
Seen this all before. The arguments on this site about flat bars vs riser and vees vs hydro were just as vociferous and bitter.
Most times people realise that there are benefits or see which way the winds blowing and act accordingly. I can see that now the geometry’s sorted 29ers make sense for a lot if the riding a lot of us do, and that there’s a role for 605b for those for whom 29 is just a wheel size too far.
My next bike will most likely have bigger wheels than the one I’m riding today, TBH I’ve got other things more important to worry aboutPosted 4 years agobrakesMember
Ultimately the consumers make the choices…
once they’ve been told what to buy.
It’s funny reading the microcosum UK perspective. Have a look at the Oregon Enduro results from the weekend. You had to go down to 7th to find a 26″ rider. What you see at the last Gorrick race isn’t the real world. The industry has killed 26″ for 100% marketing reasons.
all the way to 7th? The last Gorrick race is our real world – the Oregon Enduro isn’t. It’s all relative. Nice to see that we’re not quite as gullible in the UK.
when I start seeing more 27.5″ and 29″ bikes on the UK trails than 26″, I’ll maybe start thinking about changing but at the moment I have three 26ers to keep on the road that I’m perfectly happy with.Posted 4 years ago
I also buy quite a few parts in the second hand bike parts market, which must hurt the bike and parts companies – perhaps that is what this is all about – sales of new/ upgraded parts suffering because of the burgeoning sales of second hand parts.
all the way to 7th? The last Gorrick race is our real world – the Oregon Enduro isn’t. It’s all relative. Nice to see that we’re not quite as gullible in the UK.
Exactly. The question you have to ask is would the same people have taken the top 6 places if they had been riding on 26″ or 650b wheels?
The human engine is also quite important.Posted 4 years ago
Have a look at the Oregon Enduro results from the weekend. You had to go down to 7th to find a 26″ rider.
How far down the results page do you have to go to find a rider riding a bike they bought with their own money rather than a rolling advert?
when I start seeing more 27.5″ and 29″ bikes on the UK trails than 26″, I’ll maybe start thinking about changing
I think this is a fairly moot point – surely it’s only the bikes being ridden around the UK trails that are new in the last 12months to the current rider (bought new or 2nd hand) that indicates the UK’s current purchasing choices? I agree though that the wheel size they are using probably makes the square root of diddly squat to their performance or their enjoyment.Posted 4 years agoPacemanSubscriber
I think this is a fairly moot point – surely it’s only the bikes being ridden around the UK trails that are new in the last 12months to the current rider (bought new or 2nd hand) that indicates the UK’s current purchasing choices?
I agree. I still don’t see many 29ers out on my local trails, but the few new bikes I’ve seen over the last year have almost all been 29ers, and that includes both brand new and new to the rider but second-hand.
The fact of them matter is that there is a slump in the bike industry and fewer new biies are being sold, but the ones that are being sold are those with the bigger wheels. As more 29er frames and spares start to appear on the second-hand market this is just going to accelerate further.
26er is far far from dead (I hope), but the fact is that it is set to become an older standard and more riders will jump ship as this happens; whilst new entrants to the sport will be buying what’s available in bike shops and what is getting positive reviews in the press, i.e. the latest new thing whether it be 29er or 650b/27.2″.
I’ve only seen one 650b bike so far and that was recently at Afan Forest in Wales. I expect to see more as time goes by whether I like it or not. The process will not happen quickly as we don’t replace bikes that often and road cycling is seen as the more attractive option to many new entrants to the sport at this time.
We are also just one part of a worldwide market and although our buying habits have some influence over the manufacturers we have to accept that what is selling well in the USA is often what ends up in our LBS.
Personally, I saw value in 29er bikes alongside 26er in our sport, both offering different advantages in certain conditions and offering more options for performance gains. 650b/27.2″ I feel is a standard too far.
I’m certainly not going to worry about this, after 20years riding i’ve seen many changes come and go, but for me i’ll be sticking with 26er and 29er for now.Posted 4 years agobrakesMember
surely it’s only the bikes being ridden around the UK trails that are new in the last 12months to the current rider (bought new or 2nd hand) that indicates the UK’s current purchasing choices?
I’m not too bothered what people are buying now. It’s what’s supported in the future that I’m bothered about – what people are actually riding rather than buying will tell you more about that.Posted 4 years ago
Maybe I’m not like the majority of consumers and maybe I’m a moderately late adopter but I have some capacity for independent thought and decision so I’ll wait until the bandwagon gets full before I jump on it.
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