Wheel size standards – industry tactics

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  • Wheel size standards – industry tactics
  • 559mm vs 584mm…

    25mm, 1 inch in it…

    And 622mm – which is only 2.5″ bigger than a 26 rim. The three sizes should either be 26, 27 & 28.5 or 26.5, 27.5 and 29. Or more sensibly forget the tyre height variable and call them what they really are: 22″, 23″ and 24.5″ rims.

    Incidentally my 650B front tyre measures 28.5″ 😛

    gears_suck
    Member

    I will probably buy a 650b wheeled one if they really have replaced 26″ by then, and I can see me putting 26″ wheels on a 650b frame to liven things up a shade maybe

    That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever based on your assessment that the difference is inconsequential.
    Or maybe you’re joking. I can’t tell because if you are, it’s not funny.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Ramsey Neil – Member

    Strange how you used the terms best of both but not worst of both , not very balanced in my view

    Fyi:
    And 650b remains the best of both or a compromise of the two

    Anyway I’m a bit confused are you saying that they would all cover the course in exactly the same time or do you think that possibly one wheelsize would be faster than the others , or one slower than the others if you like?

    No, I stated that it’d been proven or perhaps at documented a lot of times that all the wheels sizes have different advantages or disadvantages and there are lots of variations per “course” which would determine the decision about which you’d use.

    IMO, the industry has given the pro’s another mechanical element to have to choose from strategically for the win, but for the lay person who can only afford one bike, has probably confused the issue prior to providing any clarity of how to make the “choice” of wheel size at purchase time. Things are slowly improving as experience of riding the wheel sizes get greater

    Premier Icon Normal Man
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    esher shore – Member 
    Specialized certainly have the “mid size” wheel coming out sooner than you think…Sea Otter Race in the USA is where we will see their popular trail and enduro bikes with this wheel size

    Out of interest, will that be to replace the 29 or 26 models from the current range?

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I will probably buy a 650b wheeled one if they really have replaced 26″ by then, and I can see me putting 26″ wheels on a 650b frame to liven things up a shade maybe

    That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever based on your assessment that the difference is inconsequential.
    Or maybe you’re joking. I can’t tell because if you are, it’s not funny.[/quote][/quote]

    Simmer down Treacle…

    All I’m saying is, yes there is a difference, it’s not as significant as those flogging 650b wheeled MTBs would have you believe but there you go, the “New” MTB wheel standard isn’t such a terrible thing…

    And I see nothing all that odd in the idea of maybe trying out 26″ wheels in a 27.5″ frame, it’ll be 12.5mm lower to the ground, that’s about it, it’s basically “Backwards compatible” I have in the distant past used 24″ wheels on bikes intended to take 26″ wheels, it was quite fun TBH and nobody got hurt…

    Re-use your “Old” 26″ wheels for uplift days and rufty tuffty riding, buy some posh new 27.5″ wheels for General trail riding and that 3% improvement in rolling resistance, not exactly Kerrazy now is it?

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    cookeaa – Member

    And I see nothing all that odd in the idea of maybe trying out 26″ wheels in a 27.5″ frame, it’ll be 12.5mm lower to the ground, that’s about it

    Which is quite a big deal tbf.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Nah, it’ll be fine 😉

    LoCo
    Member

    But there must be some co-ordination between different businesses in the industry to make this happen. Is there some kind of bike illuminati or do businesses just copy the big players like Specialized?

    I didn’t get an invite 😥

    Will be riding/racing my 26″ steel hardtail again this season 😉

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    I didn’t get an invite

    Neither did the bike shop I worked in at the time.

    Bikeind did, I’m not sure if he went though, what with being flown to shimano to test all manner of bullshit new stuff.

    Ramsey Neil
    Member

    ormal Man – Member
    esher shore – Member
    Specialized certainly have the “mid size” wheel coming out sooner than you think…Sea Otter Race in the USA is where we will see their popular trail and enduro bikes with this wheel size
    Out of interest, will that be to replace the 29 or 26 models from the current range?

    They have virtually no 26in bikes in their current range to replace.

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    ^ there is a 26er in both Stumpy and Enduro range.

    Replacing those with 650b, which could be forced by market / supply of components is very different to the big S stepping away from some 29ers.

    That was where I was going with my question. One step at a time 😉

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    spesh are going 650b next year too!

    Ramsey Neil
    Member

    Most knowledgeable people seem to think that acceptance of 650 will come at the expense of 26in wheels not 29in .

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    Ramsey Neil – I agree.

    That wasn’t what was being alluded too as the direction Spesh were taking though, hence my question / reasoning.

    Some interesting views from the industry on the whole wheel size debate in the latest Switchback mag.

    ollie51
    Member

    There is no such thing as the correct wheel size, there are only good and bad bikes.

    Industry’s gonna pump out what maximises profit, that usually means copying other brands to prevent significant product differentiation.

    More sales due to new wheels size ? better wheelsize.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    There is no such thing as the correct wheel size, there are only good and bad bikes.

    Well it’s taken us about 2 years to get here, but hooray!

    ichi
    Member

    Do your research, make a short list of bikes. Go and try em, have a decent test ride and taking into consideration your riding style, most ridden areas and what you like the most select a bike and buy it.

    Go out and ride and enjoy.

    Wheel size shouldn’t matter, follow the above and whatever bike you end up with will have the right wheels.

    andyrm
    Member

    All depends what you are looking for I reckon.

    There’s definitely some evidence to suggest that at high level Enduro racing (I am only going to comment on Enduro as I know nothing about XC), 650B does seem to be faster “overall” for a given rider. BUT is the faster 650B bike faster due to the wheels or advancement in suspension/geometry? I guess Nico/Jerome could comment better than I can here – they might be able to feel something discernible that they can put down to the wheels.

    For a normal (i.e. outside of EWS top 50) rider, I’d argue that to get faster, rather than £5k on a new bike, maybe wax £700 on some carbon wheels (LB or similar), shed a few bits of non essential weight, go 1x, fit better brakes, then spend £200 on a specific skills course and £100 or so on something like James Wilson’s strength coaching programme.

    I’d be willing to bet the less cool option of making small bike tweaks and improving fitness & skill would grossly outperform the “new bike” magic bullet for most if not all of us…………

    Sorry “industry” (if there is such a thing).

    🙂

    Van Halen
    Member

    did anyone watch that program on placebos last night?

    are the benefits of 650b real? or a product of your subconcious liking a new toy?

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    Speaking as someone thats manufacturing 650b bikes, I can tell you why we decided to go 650b…

    When I was designing our first bike (mostly in my head admittedly) I was weighing up the benefits of 26 vs 29. 29 clearly has a number of benefits over 26 in terms of raw a to b performance, but it compromises in alot of ways. I decided to take a look at 650b. It was a pain to get a bike set up but having done it I found 1 key thing; it rode like a 26er. Thats not me saying that 27.5 is much better than a 26 – Im saying 27.5 is very similar to a 26. So similar I challenge you to find the difference in real life use.

    Im sure many people are thinking ‘a-ha, you see someone who makes them says they are no different’. Thats only half the story. Human perception is a weird thing, I cant tell the exact physics of a bike when I ride it, only how it ‘feels’. To me they ‘feel’ the same. But, dare I say it I smashed a few strava times, had a blast and really enjoyed my first 650b experience. I described it to others as riding a 26 with better tyres; a bit more grip, a bit less rolling resistance, and bit better in every way.

    Then you look at the physics, and the 29er experience. The physics and 29er experience tell us that big wheels = faster rolling. Big wheels = better small bump compliance. Thats undeniable. Therefore by reason 27.5 has some of that too.

    If you can squeeze a little bit of that 29er benefit out of a 27.5 wheel without killing the 26 feel, you’re in a good place IMHO. It also has some nice geometry benefits too. I was as surprised as everyone with the speed that the industry shifted to 27.5, but not surprised it did. No doubt the cost of retooling is surpassed by the sales of ‘new size’ bikes, so its a boon for many manufacturers, but I don’t think its cynical, at least not from my viewpoint.

    Maybe we should have gone 27, maybe 28 is the perfect size. We’ll probably never know. Until then if that ever happens, 650b is here to stay.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    and another member of the MTB “industry” trying 26er/650b/29er in back to back said that 650b doesn’t have the rollover of 29er, doesn’t quite have the same nimbleness and acceleration of 26er, etc.

    still the only reviewer that I’ve seen saying that it *also* inherits the compromises of 26/29, and doesn’t only inherit the best bits of both.

    several magazine reviews this time last year had already written off 26. were calling it outdated. this time last year there were basically 0 bikes readily available in 650b, no hope hoops, a couple of tyres (but not in the favourite profiles). so… how many mag reviewers were paid? and how many reviewed that way knowing that promoting 650b would get them more bikes?

    so, now some 650b are available. still only seen 1 on the trails. When I go out for a ride on sunday, I wager that every single bike I see out there will be one of those outdated, legacy, archaic 26ers, thathas none of the 650b plus points 😉

    Which is quite a big deal tbf.

    Is it though? If they were reserved as your cheep/rough/trashable wheels then big tyres would be better. So say you had a 650b frame with 2.3 tyres, but wide enough stays for 2.8 or so. You could ride normal trails all week then do an uplift at the weekend with big tyres without altering the geometry.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Ben wrote:

    Speaking as someone thats manufacturing 650b bikes

    Maybe we should have gone 27

    It appears you did

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    It appears you did

    Depends on your point of view I guess. ‘27.5’ is a bit of a cheat, but also true. One school of thought says call it 27 because thats as inaccurate but in the same way as 26 and 29, another school of thought says 27.5 is right so why follow a misleading standard? I think I would agree that 27.5 is a label made up by a few companies to make you think its half way between the 26 and 29er though! I personally prefer 650b as it doesn’t have that confusion.

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