650B For Giant's 2014 Elite-Level Mountain Bikes

Jul 28, 2013
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Giant USA released its 2014 bike lineup to the press and it comes as no surprise that mid-sized wheels play a large role in the brand's upper level mountain bike range. We were surprised, however, to discover that Giant will up-size all of its most important 26 inch all-mountain and dual-suspension trailbikes to 27.5 inch wheels, as well as down-size its 29er XC-racing hardtails and short-travel dual-suspension bikes to 27.5 as well. Giant will still offer its key 29er XC racing bikes next season and the Reign-X and Glory will be 26-inch only - for now - but the writing is definitely on the wall at Giant USA.

Trance Advanced 275
  The Trance 27.5 range of full-suspension trail bikes includes both composite and aluminum frame options. The Trance Advanced 27.5 2 model shown here features an Advanced-grade composite frame with 5.5 inches of Maestro Suspension technology.


Trance Advanced 275 details
  Giant's Trance Advanced 27.5 uses a carbon front section paired to a welded aluminum rear suspension. The Trance uses Giant's Control Switch 100-millimeter dropper post with internal cable routing. Internal cable housings keep the profile of the 2014 lineup looking clean.


Many mid-size-wheel naysayers insist that 27.5-inch wheels are an industry-driven fad being pushed upon customers who never asked for it. After two years in the mainstream, though, the growth of 650B points at an entirely different scenario. While there is significant push-back from existing mountain bike owners, new-bike customers seem perfectly happy to buy in to 650B. Traditionally, cyclists readily accept significant, but incremental improvements in drivetrains and frame design. Rather than inciting a revolution, apparently, the 650B wheel is being accepted similarly - as a worthwhile performance enhancement to the basic mountain bike. I believe that Giant USA has done its homework on this one and could be poised to take a leadership role among North America's 'Big Three' brands. - RC

Carlson
  "It feels amazing," said Giant's Josh Carlson, who rode a prototype Trance Advanced 27.5 to several enduro race wins in North America this spring. "You can charge through rock gardens and gnarly terrain with total confidence that it's going to be quicker and faster and safer than any bike you've ever ridden. You can come into corners quicker and exit with so much more speed."




Does This Spell the End of 26-inch Wheels For Giant?

Pinkbike asked Giant USA's Global Product Marketing Manager Andrew Juskaitis a few questions about the switch to 27.5-inch wheels:

Is Giant USA eliminating 29 and 26-inch wheels from its XC, Trail and AM models for 2104?

· No, not entirely for 2014. Reign X and Glory remain 26 inch for 2014 and Anthem X and Trance X will still be offered in 29-inch. But that story will change in the future….

So, there are no 29er XC racing bikes for 2014?

· Anthem X 29er, XtC Advanced 29er and XtC Composite 29er will still be offered.

Will Giant follow this path throughout its DH range next year?

· Can’t answer that question directly, but you can imagine that if we believe so strongly in 27.5 for the majority of our range in 2014, you can guess what might happen in our future…

Can we expect to see 29 and 26-inch wheels eventually disappear in Giant's consumer-priced bikes in the near future?

· 26-inch for sure, but 29-inch will be dependent on market feedback. That said, if the market progresses the way we believe it will, 29-inch will be phased out in approximately two years....again, totally dependent on market feedback.



Anthem Advanced 275
  The Anthem 27.5 range of full-suspension XC bikes includes both composite and aluminum frame options. The Anthem Advanced 27.5 0 model shown here features an Advanced-grade composite frame with four inches of Maestro Suspension technology.


Anthem Advanced 275 details
  Giant chose SRAM XX1 drivetrains for many of its top 27.5 models. It is rare to drop a chain running XX1, but just in case, Giant protects the swingrm of the Anthem Advanced 27.5 with a molded guard. Maestro dual-link rear suspension (right) has proven to be an excellent platform for mid-travel trailbikes.


Adam Craig
  Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Adam Craig won an early round of the 2013 Oregon Enduro Series on a prototype of the Anthem Advanced 27.5.


Press Release:


GIANT 27.5: RIDE WITHOUT LIMITS.

The off-road world now has three wheel sizes from which to choose. Through extensive research and ride testing, Giant has
thoroughly analyzed how each size performs under different riding styles and in varying conditions. Our findings show that
mountain bikes with 27.5-inch wheels deliver superior performance without the compromises of 26 or 29-inch-wheel bikes.
So to create the best off-road riding experience, Giant has fully committed its 2014 lineup to this superior technology.

Why 27.5?

There is a common misconception that the performance of 27.5 technology sits squarely in the middle between 26 and 29. But
as our data reveals, 27.5 actually displays some of the best characteristics of 26 and 29—and it never measures out exactly in
the middle.

When it comes to weight, 27.5 performs more like 26—it’s light and agile. And for efficiency and control, it outperforms 29.
Rather than introduce a single 27.5 model, as some of our competitors have, Giant is rolling out entirely new designs and
engineering solutions to maximize the performance advantages of 27.5-inch wheels. Here’s why:

27.5 TECHNOLOGY: Three reasons to believe

Lighter Weight
• 27.5-inch wheels are only five percent heavier than 26-inch. By comparison, 29-inch wheels are 11 percent heavier than
26-inch.
• Overall weights of 27.5 bikes also trend closer to 26 than heavier 29 versions of the same series.

More Efficient
• 27.5 wheels accelerate much like 26, outperforming the more sluggish feel of 29-inch wheels.
• 27.5 wheels roll over obstacles with much more control than 26. That translates into more efficient cornering,
acceleration and braking capabilities.

Better Control
• The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better
traction—which improves acceleration, deceleration and cornering. 27.5 wheels provide a contact patch that is similar
to 29-inch wheels.
• The larger the wheel, the larger the frame dimensions must be—and that leads to unwanted flex. A flexing frame
causes sloppy handling and slower acceleration under heavy power. A 27.5 frame flexes less than a 29 frame,
resulting in better control.

1. Weight

Every rider experiences two types of weight affecting their ride: overall bike weight and rotational wheel weight. Here’s a
closer look at these two forces and how different wheel sizes alter the dynamics of your ride:

Overall Bike Weight
Compare the weights of identically equipped bikes with different wheel sizes and you’ll see substantial weight differences. As
expected, the 26-inch-wheel bike is somewhat lighter than the 27.5, and substantially lighter than the 29 (up to two pounds of
overall bike weight savings from 29 to 27.5). Every gram saved helps you ride faster.

Wheel/Tire Weight
The overall weight of a 27.5 wheelset (wheel, tire and inner tube) is only 5% greater than that of an identically built 26-inch
wheelset. Compare this to the 12% increase of a 29-inch wheelset and you can see how a seemingly small increase in
diameter results in substantial weight gain—and poorer performance when climbing or accelerating.

weight


2. Efficiency

Roll-over
Increased wheel diameter decreases the angle of attack (the angle in which a round object intersects a square object). This
is a good thing. A 29-inch wheel rolls over a 6-centimeter square-edge obstacle 14% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel
does. In comparison, a 27.5-inch wheel rolls over the same obstacle 9.8% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does.

Another way to analyze angle of attack is the degree of impact—where 26-inch equals X degree, 27.5 equals X-4 degrees
and 29 equals X-6 degrees. Again, a shallower angle is better—so 29-inch takes the win, with 27.5 exhibiting nearly the same
performance but without the weight penalty.

rollover


Frame Stiffness
Lateral (side-to-side) frame stiffness can be affected by wheel size. To accommodate larger wheels, frame dimensions must
be elongated. Therefore, a size medium 29-inch wheel frame has more lateral flex (bottom bracket and headtube) than a size
medium 27.5- or 26-inch wheel frameset. Additional flex compromises handling under heavy pedaling or sharp cornering.

frame flex

3. Control

Frame Geometry
The larger the wheel, the more difficult it is to optimize geometry, especially on smaller frames. As the frame size decreases,
head tube heights become higher (in relation to saddle height). On 26 or 27.5-inch frames, it’s less of a problem, but geometry
limitations can affect smaller 29-inch-wheel frames.

Traction
The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better traction,
which leads to improved acceleration, deceleration and cornering. As you can see below, a 27.5-inch wheel has a similar
contact patch to the 29.

Contact patch


XtC Advanced 275
  The XtC 27.5 range of hardtail XC bikes includes both composite and aluminum frame options. The XtC Advanced 27.5 2 model shown here features the Advanced-grade composite frame.


XtC Advanced 275 details
  (From Left)Giant's flagship XC racer, the XtC Advanced, features a 12-millimeter through-axle in the rear and a clean looking internal seatpost clamp beneath the top tube junction. Nice to see a carbon XC racing hardtail, with a provision for an internally routed dropper post.


11 Lindgren Emil Giant Pro XC Team SWE
  "When you're racing cross-country, you're pushing the limits," said Swedish national champion Emil Lindgren. "The heart rate is maxed and you want a bike that responds and makes the effort feel a little easier. Going from a 26 to a 29, there's a big difference in the way the bike rides. But with 27.5, it's the perfect balance of quickness and acceleration of a 26, with the traction and stability of a 29er."


The Back-Story About Giant's 27.5 Range

Giant, the world leader in cycling technology, is revolutionizing its 2014 off-road lineup with a full range of new bikes featuring 27.5-inch wheel technology. Some of Giant’s most recognizable and successful off-road models—including XtC, Anthem, and Trance—will now include 27.5 choices in both composite and aluminum frame options.

For 2014, a total of seven new men’s series and 28 global models feature 27.5 wheel technology, which Giant has been developing for the past two years. Several prototype Giant 27.5 bikes have already been ridden to major race wins in pro XC and enduro competition.

“The diversity and range of our new collection of 27.5 bikes shows how strongly we believe in this new technology,” said Kevin Dana, Giant Global Off-Road Category Manager. “That belief is founded on a lot of internal research and testing. We worked with a wide variety of riders—and from our World Cup XC pros to our enduro riders, all of them feel strongly that the end result is improved performance.”

Research and ride testing in different off-road racing disciplines, and in a variety of terrain, showed that the 27.5 wheel size delivers significant performance advantages in three key areas: weight, efficiency and control. Bikes with 27.5-inch wheels displayed some of the best characteristics of 26 and 29-inch wheels—but without the compromises associated with each.

Truly capitalizing on the advantages of 27.5 required a deep commitment to engineering and development. Giant’s team of engineers, product developers and athletes looked at each new model individually, dialing in the frame features and geometry to optimize the new wheel size for particular types of terrain and performance goals.

The end result is a full line of purpose-built 27.5 performance bikes for all different types of off-road riding. From the XC World Cup-proven XtC Advanced 27.5 hardtail to the trail and enduro focused Trance Advanced 27.5, each series has undergone extensive development from the ground up.

For elite-level Giant XC pros like Swedish national champion Emil Lindgren, the lighter weight and quicker acceleration offer a huge advantage.

bigquotesWhen you're racing cross-country, you're pushing the limits. The heart rate is maxed and you want a bike that responds and makes the effort feel a little easier. Going from a 26 to a 29, there's a big difference in the way the bike rides. But with 27.5, it's the perfect balance of quickness and acceleration of a 26, with the traction and stability of a 29er. - Emil Lindgren

To meet the needs of racers like Lindgren and teammate Michiel van der Heijden, who recently won the Dutch XC Championships aboard a prototype 27.5 hardtail, Giant developed 27.5 versions of its XtC platform in both Advanced-grade composite (XtC Advanced 27.5) and ALUXX SL aluminum (XtC 27.5).

For technical XC terrain, Giant developed 27.5 versions of its legendary Anthem platform, available in both Advanced-grade composite (Anthem Advanced 27.5) and ALUXX SL aluminum (Anthem 27.5) frame options featuring Maestro Suspension with 4 inches of travel. Giant Factory Off-Road rider Adam Craig played a major role in the bike’s development, and rode his prototype Anthem Advanced 27.5 to a win at an Oregon Enduro Series event earlier this summer.

bigquotesFor cross-country racing, the 27.5 offers a very clear advantage. It's not just about how fast a bike rolls, but how fast it can be in real racing scenarios, and that involves accelerating, braking, climbing, a lot of low-speed stuff. A bike that's a little more nimble and quick is ultimately an advantage. - Adam Craig

For more aggressive trail and enduro riding—the type that Australian enduro racer Josh Carlson has been racing with his prototype Trance Advanced 27.5, which features 5.5 inches of Maestro rear suspension technology—the added control and stability makes a huge difference. The Trance platform is also available with the Advanced-grade composite frame (Trance Advanced 27.5) or ALUXX SL aluminum (Trance 27.5). Both the Trance Advanced 27.5 and Trance 27.5 also come in an “SX” model for more aggressive, gravity-oriented riding.

For 2014, Giant is offering the following off-road series with 27.5 technology:

XtC Advanced 27.5 (Advanced-grade composite hardtail XC)
XtC 27.5 (ALUXX SL aluminum hardtail XC)
Anthem Advanced 27.5 (Advanced-grade composite full-suspension XC)
Anthem 27.5 (ALUXX SL aluminum full-suspension XC)
Trance Advanced 27.5 (Advanced-grade composite full-suspension trail and enduro)
Trance 27.5 (ALUXX SL aluminum full-suspension trail and enduro)
Talon 27.5 (ALUXX aluminum hardtail XC)

2014 Giant 27.5 off-road bikes will be available through Giant retailers later this summer.
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455 Comments

  • + 358
 This is ridiculous... Giant, take this as my opinion, but I feel it is shared across a large amount of passionate riders. We all get the hype, the math makes sense. But what you don't realize is, we don't like to be put in the corner. I want my 26" wheels. I like to pop off as many roots and kickers as possible, not roll over them. 26" isn't just for DH, its for people who like to feel the trail and utilize what it has to offer, not dumb it down and roll over everything. You are making a bold commitment to 650b, and honestly, we will all laugh in your marketing faces when you re introduce 26" wheels 5 years down the road.

Bring more options, but don't kill the ones that people love.
  • - 22
 or we will laugh in 5 years when they gonna crash their sales
  • + 113
 So by that logic you must be running a ridged bike then ? because suspension just sucks up the roots and lips of jumps and dumbs down the trails right ?

Nearly every single mountain biking product has been designed to make the terrain easier to ride , I just dont get why people get so upset over this wheel size but not when Fox brings out super slippery and plush forks to make the trails easier ?

Though I do see your point regarding them forcing the market , and I do agree that 26 is better for DH IMO and I have no plans to run anything but 26".
  • + 59
 @ tangaroo

Why don't you ride 24" wheels? Lighter, stiffer and you even can pop of even smaller roots and rocks.
  • + 0
 Run a "FR" bike , Hardtail and Bmx...and don't see the point bout fox they don't force you to buy Kashima and even if you've got some other brand that can offering you what you want.Same ish with headset or axles you have the choice: The point with the wheels size is that 'manufacurers' forcing you to by different wheels size that you happy with...Marketings stuff turns people heads
  • + 34
 @bigburd I am not upset at bringing new wheel sizes. I am upset because they are phasing out 26", and apparently 29" as well... I don't want to ride 24" wheels, and I don't want to ride rigid. I want to continue to ride 26". I don't need a new wheel size because some marketing snob tells me I do or because this root is too hard to pedal over.
  • + 5
 I was not directing the upset remark at you , more a generalization of what people write here recently , you kept your emotions under control unlike some people who seem to think the end of the world is nigh
  • + 30
 being a predominately xc rider i love 29ers. I have extensively ridden all three wheel sizes for xc and trail bikes. and being taller than the norm, i instantly felt at home on the 29er and decided to get an anthem 29er. I love this bike, it is my favourite one, it just seems right for me. I guess all of the marketing bull shit went straight to my head and i said i won't touch a 26er again (unless for aggressive all mountain, dh and dirt jumping). I do see the 650b platform absolutely brilliant for the trail/all mountain (even dh) category and would definitely consider a trance (which is a brilliant looking bike) or something similar with 650B wheels. Its Just for XC that i like 29ers. Now the company which i believed in has turned around and come out with 650b (which is still good - i just prefer 29er for xc) and clearly stated that "29-inch will be phased out in approximately two years....again, totally dependent on market feedback"

HOW THE HELL DO YOU GET MARKET FEEDBACK IN RESPONSE TO WHEEL SIZE WHEN YOU PREDOMINATELY PRODUCE 650B AND PUSH THE SALES OF 650B. What look at specialized or trek sales i dont think so.

Good on you GIANT guess the bike i buy in 2015 won't be one of yours. Keep 29ers for xc till i stop riding!!!
  • + 92
 Only giant could alienate both 26" fanboys and 29er fanboys at the same time.
  • + 24
 Seriously? It is a bit laughable that as we speak shop salespeople are now going to tell regulars and new customers that the 29er they just bought is apparently not the technology they thought it was. Here, let me show you some new graphs and neat point of sales that support my effort in trying to rid of my current holy Grail tech inventory as it will become obsolete by the time I ring you up and take your money. Man's noble invention? Yes. Intention? Eh...not so much. It really isn't about the science of it all. One would have to be pretty naive to buy into that wholeheartedly. Nothing is perfect except 650b today but only till later today or till after our sales meeting.
  • + 14
 Have a look at one of the on-going polls on pinkbike, most people voted to say that their prefered wheel-size is 26". I cant see myself running anything else so this has meant Giant has shut down a huge number of potential customers for what they see as progress, not impressed
  • - 7
 And it looks like i will NEVER buy anything from Giant ....People like choices , 26 works and 29 works ... The whole 27.5 is just a fad , i think its dying off so thats why they want to push it that much . Hey Giant you might get the noobs that want to spend 500 bucks on a bike and you can get away with lies but the real people that have passion about biking and spend thousands , well you will lose them ...
  • + 6
 @ tangaroo man, you nailed it! Seriously, i my self prefer 26" bike rather than motorcross-like-bikes and the only reason why is i wanna feel the trail, i wanna feel every stone every root every single thing and that's why we stay loyal to our bikes.
  • + 37
 have any of you guys ever even ridden a 27.5 bike? because i have, and honestly it's pretty much as "playful" as a 26 inch bike.
  • + 14
 My xc hard tail is 650b and for real I love the thing. Its fast and corners well, and I've felt way more confident on it compared to my old hardtails. i've ridden some pretty hairy lines that I'd never consider on a my old bikes. But that said, it doesn't manual too well. I like 650b, I also like choice. People have been converting 26ers to 650b for awhile now, why can't they release a frame that actually supports both?
  • + 7
 Being a Giant rider since 1985 this was a concern and I knew they would cave in, specially after discontinuing the faith series the very year I was going to buy one. However they only thing I taking from this article is the best news I've heard - 26" Reign X. Thats the only bike you will ever need. I have destroyed dhers with that bike, out jumped djers, out pedal xcers, it can do anything and then some. Welcome back Giant, now your on my frame list again. Glory 26" also good news but the Reign X rules mtb.
  • + 7
 hamdawg, you totally missed the qualifier in the quote - "...depending on market feedback". If Giant are selling 29ers well, then they won't drop them.

DannyJB, most of the people on Pinkbike run longer travel bikes which is why most prefer 26"- have a look at the polls, BUT most riders are riding trails, not lifted runs (it simply is extremely popular style on this website) The Glory is still 26", and one day a WC DH race is going to be won on a 27.5" bike - and many people will be happy to buy in. Remember not too long ago many people thought air would never replace springs for DH? Now many are salivating over air forks that weren't before.
  • + 31
 You guys are like old people complaining about how your sony walkman is better than your nieces' Ipod... Sometimes change is good. Go ride your bikes.
  • - 6
 You better listen to us old timer riders who started this industry and been here the whole time. Nothing worse than a young buck who don't give a fuk about his elders. You can learn the easy way or the hard way. Customers are always right and us old customers have the money these companies desperately need. If they piss us off what going to happen to mtb? You think every kids parents are going to purchase a 10k 27.5er for their child?
  • + 14
 I have to laugh a little at the people saying that Giant won't be getting their money and than listing a bike made in one of Giant's factories. Giant is the largest manufacturer in the World. Giant makes bikes for the big three and than some.
  • + 2
 I love 26 inch bikes, and I think they're the best because this is what I'm used to, however we received a few 2014 giant talon bikes that have 27.5 wheels, and I have to say they're not that bad compared to 29ers. Can't tell you how it feels to ride one, but at least the wheels do not look as ridiculous as 29 inch ones... So, don't hate. Bike companies are trying to improve what we have.
  • + 17
 So much talk about performance attributes and specs, but there is a key point being missed in all of this. Is a a 29" wheel going to work for a person 5'4"? Likewise, how does a 26" wheel feel for a 6'4" person? Their frame size isn't the same so why should the wheel size be? The 27.5" works best for the average person which is probably the demographic target average that will be most profitable for a company to focus on as 3 sizes of wheels being offered over 3 or 4 frame sizes over how many models would not be applauded by share holders.
The 29ers were first utilized primarily by larger than 6' males which is who benefits the most because a 29" wheel scales a L or XL size frame better.
  • + 13
 Remember "New" Coke in 85! Maybe Giant will market 26" Classic in the coming years.
  • + 1
 Yes and the "innovation" is a big a scam to get you to think what you have is junk. If you run high volume rubber it's less than an inch size difference which is not much of a help. I could see a small benifit with short XC racers but with the general public this is just terrible business. Can you say wal-mart mongoose bike soon???
  • + 15
 I'm 6'1" and just built myself a 650b 140mm trailbike. In all honesty, I don't see a huge benefit. I am seriously thinking of putting on the 26" dropouts and going back. My 26" Hardtail is the most fun bike I ride and that is the reason I ride in the first place, to have FUN.

I also own a bike shop and sell all 3 wheelsizes so I'm not biased to any of them but assess how people ride and recommend what suits them. I stock Giant as one of my main brands and to see that 26" is defo going to be fazed out is a bit dissapointing.
  • + 2
 Zebracar, wheel size is a lot more relevant to the trail underneath you than the size of the rider. Its the tightness of the turns, shape of the lips and size of the holes that the wheels have to make it through that matter, hence 6'4" racers racing super long bmx frames, but still nonetheless 20" wheels. saying that, XS 29er frames do look pretty funny..
  • - 6
 Lol thats funny, put the 26s on there. It only going to improve mud clearance and handling. The geo??? Shouldn't change too much. I also a giant dealer and if you think they are one of the biggest manufactures are sadly mistaken @mtb rnd. If you think I'm joking go try and order a giant right now. Road or Mtb. They sell out soo fast because very low production numbers. If I could have dollar for each customer that wanted a giant, I get on the phone with them and guess what? Out of stock on everything. Call my other dealer- Specialized and guaranteed in stock. This has been going on the last couple years especially. Very low numbers, you have to buy a giant the minute they come out or preorder. They have awesome bikes no doubt but the productions numbers are scary low. Not just in mtb its also road. I have a guy that wants to spend 5-6k but they all out so now he pissed and I have to try finding something else or loose the sale all together. I know where the customers are coming from, if I really want a bike by a company that advertises it, then find out you have to wait til next year. Dam I going to be pissed, maybe never see me again shopping with 5-6k.
  • + 11
 I work at a bike shop, and I must say, while I ride a 26er, they are becoming a lot less capable of a bike. Some people still like the feel of them, but they are a hard sell compared to 29ers. People looking for a cheap something to get them around and still have fun on the trail? 29er does it best (especially the half commuter/weekend warrior). Going up into the XC race bikes, people want the faster edge, and 29ers tend to do that on the majority of trails nowadays. Somebody who wants something poppy and a bit more relaxed of a trail bike goes with a 650b, because they get some speed advantages while maintaining the nimbleness of a 26er. The only time we sell 26" bikes anymore is because people are used to them, for the most part. So, if the market says "yeah, 29ers and 650b makes sense for me," then they will begin to phase out 26" bikes. They simply aren't selling as much anymore; it's not because we're pushing these other wheel sizes so much more - we couldn't care less what wheel size they're on, so long as they like the bike. And 26" bikes are becoming less and less popular for us. Such is life.
  • + 5
 I not buying that 26" all of a sudden is not capable. I living proof that it is capable. Maybe if your racing in france in superenduro championships explore your options. The key word there is options, people want them. If you take away option you alienate customers who have already spent 35,000 air miles on 26". Basically if your into slopestyle/freeride or any type of mtb jumping 26" is natural. Bigger diameter doesn't fit into technical jumps. Thats why nobody on fmb tour using anything but 26". To be honest I have out jumped people on my 24" that were on 7k freeride bikes. There are millions of ways to spin this argument. The fact is the industry just told you to expect better things in next couple years. To me that means they are uncertain and probably more confused than us veteran riders. My wheels will be spinning have no fear. The reason 26" sales are down is because they last longer and improvements to hardware and linkages make frames last longer. The riders I see turning over to a new bike every year are not really progressing. It taking them all season to adjust then they sell it and start over again. I just stand back and laugh. Did you not see me hit that jump on my 24" and you can't even hit it on you dh??? Everyone have diff skills and weakness and free to buy anything but stop pretending like the 26" going to vanish off the earth. Keep in mind I have 650b wheels from 1975 in my basement. They still work, want to try them out? The industry going in circles like the wheel itself.
  • - 3
 THIS IS YOUR FEEDBACK: I have only ridden 26inch, I currently ride 26inch and I will always ride 26inch, 26 inch is like the sole of biking
  • + 3
 @bigbossman maybe it is a good thing that giant hasn't been pushing mass quantities at their dealers in past years. Would you really want to have a showroom full of 2 Giant 26" and 29" bikes when they dropped this press release saying that both of those wheel sizes are outdated and inferior. Were talking an instant 20% markdown on all remaining 2013 Giant.
  • + 4
 Like I said I'm in the industry and have rode ALL bikes of ALL size wheels. When I say ALL sizes that means 12,16,20,24,26,27,29,700 you name it and I either owned it, rode it, sold it, or fixed it. Is that soo hard to comprehend. Yes I preffer 26" but also love 24" and 20" and 700. I go bonkers on any bike, it doesn't really matter. Have been in this industry long enough to know trends come and go faster than Gwin at Windham Mtn. I in it for the long haul and find this very interesting. They want to cause chaos by making riders choose or think they have to choose. I live for chaos and stocked locked and loaded 26". My shop ready to take on any fad the industry wants to spin out of control. If you a believer go march with the sheep. In my shop the rules aren't the same as yours. We know a bike doesn't go bad like bananas. Give me 45 bikes and I sit on them for 6 years. They will sell and the proof is right here in my happy customer order forms. Giant plays it safe not smart. If you the big dog why not invest more and sell tonage of bikes like GT and Specialized. They intend to spin this story soo far you will go insane and buy into whatever they sellin. It happens on street corners and in the bike industry. Buy this and you going to feel like a million dollars. Do whatever suits you and your riding style. I not arguing to stop progress. I just know from experience there is no way to phase out a standard size. They have tried before and guess what I still riding a 24".
  • + 1
 Is Giant makin 20" coz it's awesome!
  • + 2
 I really wish they could repeat the same information over and over a few more times... This crap reads like your typical 'merican reality tv show, constantly repeating what just happened over and over, as if the audience consists of drooling vegetables...
  • + 5
 Hey Giant, "don't you ever tell me how to live my life again."
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs60CqBYnvg
  • + 4
 @Bigbossman, I am in the industry...have worked in it for years on more than one continent for several International brands. Giant is the largest manufacturer of bicycles...read that again, MANUFACTURER not brand. That means they make other brands. Here look through some photos www.canadiancyclist.com/races12/taiwan/parttwo/index.htm See some other brands in there? Colnago is also made in the same factory. There other brands made by Giant too. Don't confuse Giant's misunderstanding of production cycles (They always run out this time of year) for them not producing the most bikes.
  • - 4
 screw your xc and your 650b
  • + 7
 Snooze. You'll all be on 650b inside five years. It's a shame we must endure the 4 years of whining that precedes it.
  • + 3
 @huggie17-I get your reference... solid
  • - 5
 In 5 years these companies will all be out of business and we riding flying bikes with no wheels then you can put your feet up and not pedal. Giant should focus on their own brand in their home country USA it still is Giant USA. I could really care less what happens across the pond mate or who else they manufacture. If they out of stock on everything in may there's a problem in denmark captain. Stop advertising you have bikes if there only 50 of them made and the queen of england bought 49 of them.
  • + 5
 'every gram saved helps you ride faster' ... Even though its a false clame anyway, but doesn't that totaly contradict using bigger HEAVIER wheels?
  • + 2
 Spot on Tang! Exactly what I was gonna say. The industry will f*ck everyone with this bullshit & then what went, will come back, just like flat handlebars.

WTF does anyone talk about "progression" & bigger wheel sizes in the same sentence for? None of this has anything to do with "progress". If it did, they would've made bigger wheels to roll over bumps long before they ever made suspension. A bigger wheel size is NOT innovative. You can't re-invent the wheel & you pretty much can't re-invent the bicycle anymore to keep selling "new" to all the dumb trendies. So we get shit like these stupid wheels, & 15mm axles. f*ckin' regress is what it is. Ya word?
  • + 4
 hard data thats all I want to say, where the F*** is the hard data ?? 1-2 second off for a WC uci dh racer on a 2:50 minute course is NOTHING for the rest of us, when the 29er came out lap time was decreased and hardtail where actually faster, not just on the FEEL. Also, please don't quote your sponsored riders... its not like they are gonna say anything else than you guys would say. MTB has become so expensive don't tell me that because of you I am gonna pay more for my tires and rims cause there is a 3rd well size on the market !!!! Whats next ?? 3 month warranty on 27.5 glory dh bikes ?? cmon!
  • - 7
 Hey my friend here is from canada and he even thinks this big wheel nonsense is the work of desparate company dorks who can't manage to make enough money. Oh no you can't afford twelve bikes and fifteen trips to whister this year, I soooo sorry for you corpo. Maybe have to trim it down a bit boohoohohoooo I crying for you and playing my violin at the same time- Multitasking. How about companies can make frames only. One 26" one 27.5 and one 29. The wheel/tire companies can go wild, they love making tires right. Each rider can pick out the frame that suits them and build it accordingly. Who buys completes anyway-noobs-idiots. No need to argue this is better for that and I saw this pro ride a big wheel size here. Let the customer choose what works for them. Forcing wheel sizes is corporate suicide, you can't win. We have the money, not you. Nobody telling me what bike to ride. I telling you make 26" or your company going down like sooo many before. People will not be forced to buy big geek wheels, we're mountain bikers, the most stubborn customers on earth. I'd rather weld my own bike than buy a big wheels money machine. Feed the machine, you guys might starve out there if your customers all leave and go surfing. $400 and you riding waves. $9000 and you can pedal uphill slightly faster and feel less bumps. I live to ride rough trails and you want to smooth it out for me. Your crazy, and going down with the ship.
  • - 5
 I don't like Giant because if I wanted a DW link bike, I'd buy a real one like a Turner or Pivot. Probably cost the same or less than that plastic fantastic Chinese production line stuff too.
  • + 1
 Well. All opinions are really invalid unless you have done some serious research on the performance of the wheel sizes as Giant has done. I have also done some research and have come up with significant evidence that there is a superior wheel size. I have summarized this into a the attached scientific report. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. This attachment proves beyond a doubt the findings are true.
Enjoy.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/9895427
  • + 5
 The "helibike" guy above is obviously cracked and a science nerd. I rode my 26" wheels today and they are almost unridable. They are like cave man wheels. might as well be square. I think that wheels should be redesigned annually and increase in size 1.5" per year until they are too big, then reduced in .25" increments until they are somewhere in between square and too big. That's where we are! super duper! I'm going to sell all my crappy 26" bikes.
  • - 1
 @ slowdownU - Giant have been making composite bikes for 25 years in Taiwan. The factory that makes Ibis has not - not even close.

@Brakesnotincluded. I have lots of hard data. I've been Stravaing my rides for some time now, on trails I've been riding over and over for many years. On my local Super D-like descents, I am faster on the 29er, and on the XC loops, much faster. Yesterday I came fourth and I was 12 seconds behind the winner over 16 minutes of Enduro-ish descents. I would have preferred to have come first and I certainly am no Pro - just a washed up old Master. In about a week I will have my Anthem 27.5 and the first thing I will do will be to go out and see which wheel size is faster. People say they like 26" because they are more fun, I find going fast and doing well in races fun. Gimme the fastest bike, I don't care about the wheel size. Gotta collect the data before I form an opinion.

@helibike - I love the graphic!!!! I amy not agree with it, but at least it is funny.
  • + 5
 Just sposed to be funny. I couldn't care less what wheel size people ride. Just RIDE!
  • - 1
 @ iamamodel , soon 29ers will disappear from the xc/trail giant range just as 26ers did. I have seen the 2014 giant catalog and it almost seemed like an after thought, there is no evolution in the previous model except for a 142 rear axel. Just said to see a bike i really love now disappear in 2 years.
  • + 8
 Ya know, when Giant's two years of testing proves the 650B has 2/3 of the roll over efficiency and contact patch advantage of a 29er (over a 26er) at less than half the weight penalty...well hey, that's a great compromise. And when they are the largest manufacturer of bicycles in the world, with also the largest sales for their own brand, and where they lead most everyone else, even ones who don't manufacture in their factories, eventually follow... then people should pay attention and maybe keep an open mind. They were the first with 44mm cup headtubes, first with tapered steerer tubes, first with hydroformed tubing... and they've just done exactly what I was saying some brands were doing a few days ago in that stupid wheelsize poll where the tinfoil hat brigade came out full force... they're changing 29er models over to 650B in a big way. Either adapt to technology marching along, or keep whining about it here on internet web forums... fat lot of good that'll do other than make you look like morons. Pinkbike has the most members of any mountain bike website going now, but also the most close minded, irrational, immature percentage of members of any website going.
  • + 1
 Seems that aboiut wheels size people over here get more sensitive than on facebook
  • + 8
 Totally agreed. I'm sick of seeing closed minded anti-progression comments like 'I have only ridden 26" and I will never ride anything else"!!' over and over and getting 259 props for it. Not one comment has even mentioned how great these new bikes look and instead we see stupid ignorant Giant bashing on unrelated subjects like plastic Chinese frames (never mind they make the most advanced shit for other companies).
  • + 3
 on a lighter note:

I am sold - the Trance looks lovely!
  • + 2
 Trance is a great bike but the Reign is the ultimate do it all bike. At least Giant didn't completely loose their minds and continued the 26" ReignX. I guess some riders need more help than others. So let them have the big wheels. Just don't stop making bikes for the skillful riders who rip any track on a 26". I see the big wheel style, its sit down and let the bike handle all the scary bumps. Some of us are not scared and like it rough. Don't need 0.5 extra rolling patch contact or care about spending 10k on a bike that will be outdated tmrw. Just make one batch of Reign X 26" 6.7" frame every year and we will put it together. Don't need or want completes.
  • + 2
 The Reign is the ultimate workingman's do-it-all-bike. The X stays 26", but what about the rest of the Reign line?
  • + 2
 Working mans bike lol. Whatever that means. The ReignX is the only bike capable of true all mountain. That means real xc, real dirt jumps, huge freakin drops, and full out dh. No other bike or brand has ever come close to that in any wheel size, price range, or other majic bike trickery industry jargin. The trance was nice but more trail orientated and now its a big geek wheeler so fuggetaboutit.
  • + 0
 workingmans=less cost than a two-week paycheck?
  • + 1
 @codypup, the Reign has been discontinued AFAIK. I was a Reign fan when I lived in gnarlier territory.
  • + 3
 Imagine a perfect world where Giant would build the Reign X in carbon and you could have the best bike ever made. 6.7". Reign x at 24lbs. I guess Giant not smart enough to make that happen.
  • + 4
 I think giant is plain stupid, I don't find it that bad to bring new option but shit not all riders want to change from 26, let alone dirt riders, if they expect to put ot the stp on 650b I know of some brand that'll have to stick that frame up their arse
  • + 5
 Thats right, we don't need 650b STP. That would be hilarious. Some riders don't need any help with clearance and bump sensativity and extra 0.5" of tire grip patch. We telling you keep the 26" coming or risk loosing alot of customers. Make the big wheels and everybody on them enjoy your experience. Don't put the squeaze on the most talented jump specific riders who live and die by the 26". You think Geoff Lenowski wants to do trials on a 29er or 27.5er?
  • - 2
 Just how big (widths) of 26ers do people who are so anti-650B run on here? I'm willing to bet many are on tires close to the diameters of 650B tires (but at much greater weight) and are too obtuse to realize that they could run those same big 26ers on 650B frames and forks.
  • + 2
 Still commenting? you ain't got ishes to do or trails to destroy?
  • + 2
 Sorry to leave you hanging. I was out riding my 26" am specialized. Couldn't believe the wheels didn't fall off.
  • + 4
 what about the bumps - did you get over them ok?
  • + 2
 Ya I made thru everything but was very scared. I almost stopped at the shop and bought a 10k 29er but that might have been a halucination.
  • + 2
 Bigbossman, I've got an 07 Brodie Recluse. At the time it was their cheapest (2000$cnd) dually. Still got this bike today, and it's truly a do-it-all. A 6" bike that I can drop the seat post so low you'd think it's a bmx. I've taken it to Whistler multiple times, Silver Star multiple times, ridden the hell out of the North Shore for 3 years, and endless XC miles and DJ hours as well. You're right about the Reign doing it all, but there's other bikes out there too.
  • + 3
 Ya that sound good, have fun all over the mountain. 2007 was a great year for mountain bikes. Honestly I would ride any bike and get thru just about any trail. The Reign X we talking about since this a Giant thread and I just happen to have enormous experience on it like you on your brodie. Price not soo important, its about what you can do with it or how you see fit to build it up. Have fun whatever your riding, leave the headaches and bs to the marketing department.
[Reply]
  • + 40
 I get the progression, but killing off 26 seems outrageous to me. What about us short guys where the bigger wheels feel to tall. Just because the math say its better doesn't mean it feels better. Sorry Giant, but I don't think I'll be looking for a trail bike from you in the future
  • + 1
 killing off 29er seems outrageous to me!!
  • + 4
 It does me as well. Options is just good business. Some fat nerd writing equations on paper doesn't transfer to the average "joe". Options or else we shope with a company that gives us what works for us.
  • + 3
 If I ride a 650 I'll look like a child behind the bars.
  • + 0
 @ Trey, I guess you won't be looking at a Specialized, Norco, Trek, or many others either?
  • + 3
 It will be interesting to see what happens with Giant going mainly 27.5 and Specialized seemingly avoiding 27.5. Place your bets now.
  • + 5
 My money is on Giant. Mid size makes sense for the most. Pinkbike isn't really representative of the global market. I know y'all only ride park, but in the rest of the world, the masses have left 26 behind. Honestly, killing 26 isn't as significant to gravity riding IMO as dropping 29er will be to the spandex clad racer boi elite. Watch the sausage casing crowd march in protest.
  • + 3
 @Willie1 the other brands you have listed still have 26 models for sale.
  • + 1
 yep... and you can bet Spec. wont be jumping onto this bandwagon until they see that its better (or more profitable). This info is coming straight from their sales rep we work with.
  • + 1
 @ Trey, yes, as a small percentage, and mostly at the low end of the range, other than the gravity bikes, but give it two years.....
  • + 0
 Dude go on Treks website. The Fuel, Remedy, and Slash are all still offered in a 26. Those are all high end bikes. Spesh still has the stumpy and enduro in 26. The point is I can still go to those brands for a 26. I can't with Giant anymore.
  • + 0
 What are you upset about then?
  • + 4
 I like giant bikes and I just stated my opinion that I think it was a bad move to get rid of 26, and that when looking for a new trail bike I won't go to giant. You then said that I can't go to other brands which I can. I correct you then say I'm upset... Logic
  • + 0
 Still commenting? you ain't got ishes to do or trails to destroy?
  • + 1
 @ Daddybear - i will on my 26er.
[Reply]
  • + 34
 Finally a company that's done a proper test not only in the lab but in the real world with real riders. I've been sitting on the sideline watching for sometime and I'm super stoked to see intelligent progression of this nature. 29ers were never tested against other alternatives before selling in such massive numbers. I walked into my local bike shop Friday and found every bike a 29er....sad, because that's sheep mentality. But I always suspected and feel 27.5 is just right, right for a massive segment, maybe not jumping, maybe not super aggressive downhill although that's likely to change, but its so hard to argue against it. My local trails are cemented rock trails and a 27.5 is on the cards, trails are become more demanding too.

One thing I've promised myself in life as I get older...don't age like those old complaining folks that are always reminding us that things were better in the old bygone days and that the new generation has lost the plotSmile I plan to stay young at mind and keep growing. Why do people hate progression in nature and life. It's who we are as humans. Things will be fine tuned and will change and will progress and yes there will be complaints along the way, but it's for our own good in the long run. Like my recently purchased and yes expensive XX1. I love it's simplicity, feels like a single speed and silently goes about its business without any hiccups. And thanks to the first consumers out there paying stupid prices like I did the costings will come down and benefit all. Thanks also to the masses that bought into a large % of the 29er hype. Let them be the crash test dummies.

Let's try stay open minded about wider bars, thicker diameters bars, drop post, short stems, composite materials, electronic suspension, more suspension and a alternative wheel size that will make ripping up the trails a even bigger and awesome experienceSmile
  • + 7
 You must work for Giant
  • + 1
 as far as the 29 er goes most of them out there are sheep mentality with geometry, cept for kona, and a select few that shorten there rear stays (to the point of running a 1x in the front because a fd won't fit) also most have steep head angles slacken em to 68 and it will fix the traditional stereotypes with the big wheel. giant refused to get it right and threatens to take out their 29 ers which is stupid.
  • + 8
 You think to logically to be here on this forum vs. all the butt hurt 26" fan boys crying over 650b spilled milk.
BTW Scott bike did extensive real world testing like Giant before bringing their 650b bikes to market as did Rocky Mountain, now Trek and others. There is a place for all 3 wheel sizes but 650b covers a wider all around sweet spot than 26 or 29. 26 will has the smallest sweet spot range and hence why it's sales are going down the tubes (isn't it funny how Trek dumped their 26 Fuel, Remedy and Slash also?????). 26 is certainly a great size to build skills on before moving up in wheel size (especially to a 29'er) which can mask deficiencies in ability. There will be plenty of companies around to keep the 26 guys happy but form a manufactures position most on this forum just don't get it at all as they aren't the one trying to sell the products or the dealers who now might have to carry 3 wheel sizes. Joe mtn. bike customer (and this is who it's really about) comes into a shop to buy a mtn bike and lets say identical 26 and 650b bikes are available to purchase and he gets the rundown on each and it's pros and cons and a test ride on each. I'll guarantee you almost all will spring for the 650b bike. 26 will live as a smaller niche while 650b and 29 will dominate. I'm confident the feedback to Giant will be to continue producing/developing the 29'er platform as it works well in many conditions. I seriously don't believe they will abandon that segment despite their comments.
  • + 4
 Justcruizing - hah that getting old stuff is funny eheh. FYI my almost 60 dad as well as mu wife's dad are all into new sht, they buy everything they are told is newer and better. They are obsessed with being up to date and heh I would not call them young by heart by any means.

And if you take a brief look at the history of design of anything, you might want to rap those words: everything you do's already been done. People on both sides of the argument believe the world will change because someone increased a bicycle wheel diameter by an inch. Nothing will change apart from second hand market. It's neither natural nor evolution. In objective reality it is just another event and I am more than sure that die hard 26ers won't notice the difference if they had to buy a 650b bike if their old one cracked. Just as new owners of 650b that bought it before the wave came, can only wank about the superiority of their recent purchase. BB went down half of an inch and this is what you will feel, the rest is natural revolving bullcrap.

Meanwhile I will enjoy a 26" carbon blur TRc that I bought for a half price, cheaper than alu Nomad 5 years ago, because Rob went bananas and throws all 26" stock overboard, panicking that extra cargo will stop him from reaching the 27.5 gold island before the dawn... Otherwise I would not be able to afford it. So It's all good guys, trust me. Especially for die hard 26ers
  • - 5
 Hence the reason I picked up a Santa Cruz Tallboy C and not a giant, lighter, stronger, short stays, and rides better.
  • - 6
 Justcruizing your funny. Do believe that professional wrestling is real too?
  • + 1
 How the hell would you know? Have you ridden these unreleased frames? Shut the f up and I don't give a crap about whether you bought a Santa Cruz or a Santa Claus. Damn troll
  • - 1
 Eat a dick. I have ridden plenty of newer 650b rides and the increase in wheel size is not worth all the stupid hype. So it seems that if someone doesn't agree with your small mindedness they're a troll.... Stay ingorant....
  • + 3
 Since 7 years here on PB, I lived through 15mm axles, long travel air forks and shocks, tapered steerers, carbon, 29ers, wide bars and few more trends. People were always parted and after less than a year rthe resistance was softening, but now it seems that with 650b vast majority is still against it, there has never been such a consensus despite the fact that 650b is the biggest push the industry ever made. There are only like 5 folks here, who regularly preach the advancements of the new wheel size. I don't know where it is going, but it will be interesting to see if trolls can influence the actual customers.

You know... Elections are won by winning votes of swinger voters, people who are not sure or just don't give a damn, not by licking arses of die hard followers, and nobody waists time repenting the opposition. And conspiracy theories only help you at the throne taking attention of yhe main game. Public opinion man! But some big fkrs lost their job because of whistle blowers Smile I will enjoy watching it unfold, it's interesting times ahead.
  • + 4
 Fine for you and your SC. But you paid twice what I paid for my Reign and got a bike that at best is minimally better.
  • + 0
 Nope I got mine second hand with top shelf parts for lest than 50% MSRP.
  • + 3
 Codypup with all due respect I really could not care less if there are cheaper and better bikes... But I salute you for experiencing such joy from owning a great value bike. I rode Reign briefly and I think it is one of the best bikes in it's class, I liked it right away. It looks great too and comes well specced as a complete. Can you feel my woodie in your brain?
  • + 2
 @Mtnbikedad108 what the flying f*ck, do a bit of reasear trek did not dump any wheel size all those models are still offered in 26, I personally don't see 27.5 a good thing for extreme disciplines, guess why bmx wheeks handle those incredibly big forces better? The same applies to 26 in dh and dirtjumping, the rest, meh I'd try a 27.5 for enduro or trail but not for anything else, then 29 for xc as you need to roll faster
  • + 0
 Nobody really knew what the correct wheel size should have been in the 80's with the intro of a mountain bikes as they had very little reference. BMX being the main comparison to wheel size. Going from 20" to 26" must have been a mind blowing prospect. So if they had the time over with all the relevant TECH and R & D available today do you reckon they would have settled on 26"...? Imagine suggesting 20" to 29" back then for any dirt type riding.

There are also so many more disciplines now with so many more people riding than ever before and the answer to the wheel size debate is 'what the f*ck do you feel suits your type of riding best'. If your brand doesn't offer it anymore then well done to the next guy who does. To the purist gravity riders I can understand the passion and the bullshit that goes along with wheel size but at the end if the day if a rider can get down the mountain faster, hucking everything on a HT 29er well then that's the bike for them!
  • + 1
 Actually the og's started with 700c think about ritchey and all those pioneers, mtb comes from road and the started using road wheels which if you add the tire become a 29er, guess why they went smaller for dj, 26 is thought for tall riders shorter ones ride 24
  • + 1
 Leo - good point with ride whatever you like, I'd say this is the best way of putting it, even better than what suites your stykle or what suits your terrain, because most of us have little style and a rough idea what actualy suits the terrain they ride in. To me wheel size is a big detail not main component of what suits certain terrains if one considers tyre choice, geometry and suspension. So at the end of the day, yes, ride what you like, and if you wanna huck a 29 fixie, and you succeed frequently - do it! But at the same time as to the other thing you wrote I thought it was actualy companies telling us which wheel size is the best. You know, rather than those pointless graphs which should be kept for a bike shop walk, I prefer someone telling me to be a boring prick for riding 26", gay for riding 29" or wanker for riding 650b. I hate such stupid "science", there is no place for it in MTB
  • + 1
 Waki-Just like your girlfriend said, I can't feel your woodie at all.
  • + 1
 I don't have a girlfriend anymore...
[Reply]
  • + 20
 There is more chance that Giant will disappear before 26" wheels do!.
  • + 13
 Not a chance.Giant would go out of business. Their the biggest manufacturer in the world and supply most other brands as well.
[Reply]
  • + 16
 The trance is a killer looking bike.
"Superior technology"... it's just a bigger wheel!!
Every bike company is trying to convince us that they were saying bullshits a few years ago when they were praising the 29 wheels...We believe you! Apareently in two years time, in the name of the profit, bike companies will list the benefits of the square wheel.
[Reply]
  • + 19
 Please don't do it
  • + 6
 too late...
  • - 1
 Looks like a session
  • + 5
 Looks like a fecking Giant.
  • + 1
 there still going to be non 650b bikes until 2104 guys, we got some time :p
  • + 2
 If the 27.5 was bad, then I'm pretty sure they wouldn't make top-notch machines with them. If something goes horribly wrong like many believe, then they can go back to 26. Let them revolutionize, or let them fail.
  • + 2
 I don't want that Giant fails,its a cool and good Bike brand
[Reply]
  • + 11
 As a guy whose spent significant time on 26's and 650b, I can say that each wheel has its butter zone. Sure the 650 is sweet when the trail opens up and the corners are coming with pace, but their are trails, on both coasts, that I can't ride on 650. When sliding through off-camber, steep, tight switchbacks and slithering through lowspeed boulder gardens the slight frame height increase and nimbleness decrease of the 650 size becomes a huge factor. Giant and the other big brands should take a hint from smaller brands like banshee and Santa Cruz and either diversify their lineup or offer frames with dropout and geo adjustments to handle both wheel sizes
  • + 6
 Finally, someone who gets it. I find wheel choice is highly dependant on the terrain you ride more than anything else. A lot of the xc trails around here are really smooth and anybody can ride them. As an owner of 2x 26ers I can honestly say that it would probably be much much easier on a 29er but then again sometimes I ride rocky trails that require razor sharp handling at higher speeds and anything bigger than a 26er doesn't make any sense at all.

I do not mind spending more energy overall to retain the sharp handling and playfulness of a 26er when things get fun (at least in my eyes). Meanwhile, some people might prefere an overall easier ride at the price of slowing down when things get serious. Different strokes for different folks.

Giant has always been known to make slightly more affordable bikes and I feel they're realizing that you cannot do that by catering to all wheel sizes across many platforms. Selling a wheelsize as "the one" seems disconnected from reality though, wether it be 26ers, 650b or 29ers.
[Reply]
  • + 10
 Hell, let this big 650B marketing push continue. I'll gladly stay on my 26" and scoop up all the enve carbon wheels and kashima coated forks that aren't the "cool" thing anymore. Should make for a bitchin 26" used parts market which will last for years to come.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 This seems like some properly anal stuff that I'm not at all interested in
[Reply]
  • + 13
 I'll keep my 26" and ride my bike simply because its fun.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 WOW! I am shocked by all of the negative trolls posting negative statements. You all did not even read the full story AND have not even went to the local LBS to see what the 2014 lineup from Giant really is...

1.Giant added a ton of 27.5" bikes for 2014.(27.5" fits small-medium size riders much better than 29". Really great for women too!) I want an Anthem 27.5".

2.Giant still has a ton of 29" bikes(Talon, Revel, XTC, Trance, Anthem...) I love my Trance 29er! I will keep it....

3.Almost no large company offers 26" because they don't sell! Giant still has 26" bikes too(STP, Revel, Reign X, Glory...) I still own a STP 26"!

That seems like alot of choices to me!?
[Reply]
  • + 11
 First they introduce 1 1/4 inch steer tubes and now they are completely getting rid of 26inch wheels, what next giant?
  • + 4
 I have no problem with the 650 platform but I will NOT buy it (or any other bike) if it has that silly 1 1/4 headset. I have a whole box of stems that I can use to fine tune my fit. Other than that, I like the idea.
  • + 0
 Its not 1 1/4 (that thing's time was done more than 20 years ago), its a tapered 1.5 to 1.25 and if its silly, nobody BUT giant will adopt it, but my money is on other brands seeing the logic just as they did with 1.5 to 1.125 tapered which Giant also invented.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 in the spring i bought a new reign which is an amazing bike but is now dying because of this trend. The reign is so much fun and an amazingly performing bike and i claim that those new bikes are even better.heres the thing tho:i dont like when i pay 3000 dollars and then after few months they say that my bike is outdated!!!! This sort of aggresive marketing makes people disguss bike industry!
  • + 2
 Reign's are staying 26". I don't see where your problem lies as your new bike is not outdated.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 MANUFACTURERS & MEDIA
--I'M NOT GOING TO THROW AWAY THE REST OF MY KIT TO BUY YOUR NEW BIKES... THE ONE WHO MAKES 26" IS SUPPORTING MY INVESTMENT IN THE SPORT THUS FAR AND THEY WILL GET MY MONEY!

Every bike, Every website all we hear lately is "650B, 27.5' -Knock it the hell off!
-You want to make a new bike with a new wheel size, great I'm sure some will buy it and love it but eliminating other wheel sizes is ridiculous. Trying to leverage consumers into having to buy the new bikes is ridiculous.
Somebody will continue to make the 26" and they will get my money.
  • + 6
 I used to feel how you feel about BBs. When we went from square taper to ISIS... groan. And then ISIS wasn't adopted all-round and HollowTech(II) etc came out. Groan again. And then my five hole 110 BCD chainrings and bashplates didn't fit with the new four hole 104 BCD, et cetera et cetera...

Nowadays, I don't Frankenstein parts from one bike to the next. I just sell the old one complete and buy a new one. Problems solved.
  • + 6
 No one has to throw out their existing kit. When it wears out, which it will, you will buy new kit, and the BB will be different, the head tube will be different, and the wheels will be different.

I have wheel spares with 126mm rear bolt on axles that use freewheels. I don't use them, but I can still get parts for them and keep them working for the kids to use at the cabin. I have a box with 8 speed/cable brake combo shifters. I can still get new ones if needed. I have 1" steerer forks with threaded headsets. None of these components work on my current bikes. I have square taper/isis/holowtech/bb30 spares. I have a box full of cantilever and v-brakes. They don't fit on my frames either, My wheels without disk mounts won't work on my frames. (The last frame I bought was 2010. I had a knee surgery and missed a full season, so my bikes will likely be good for another 2-3 years before I will need to replace them.)

As I said, when your current frame wears out, and if its aluminum, 5 years is about the fatigue life of an aluminum frame, it will be time to upgrade. I don't have many 5 year old hard use rims I would trust, other than on a commuter, so those would need replacing as well. I really don't see the problem.
  • + 4
 I respect what you are saying, really I do but what about all the 26" inch wheels, tires frames and forks that everyone has invested in?
If manufacturers continue to decide to cut out the 26" from their line up (& to the dismay of the public) then they are basically rendering any related components useless.
So if the public is saying that they DON'T want to give up their 26" wheels then the only reason the manufacturers are switching is to propagate an unwanted forced spending trend, is it not?
It's NOT supply & demand nor consumer spending metrics that are telling them to go this way because 90% of the public seems to like what they have.
Forcing a change to propagate forced spending well that all smells like B'ullsh't to me!
If it was for any other reason then they would have kept a small contingent of 27.5 bikes on their line up and still supported the consumers investment in the 26" standard. But that's NOT what people feel is happening...
They are saying "HEY WE WILL MAKE YOU HAVE TO BUY THIS EVENTUALLY BY DISCONTINUING WHAT YOU HAVE OVERNIGHT!"
  • + 3
 A bunch of people said that 29ers wouldn't take off, and 26" was clearly superior. I have read sales numbers of 7:1 to 25:1 in favor of 29ers. Posting here isn't the answer. If people don't buy new 26" components, they will be replaced with products that sell better. You will still be able to get parts. Hell, I have a 1980s BMX at the cabin that is still working, as parts are still available. It hasn't been overnight. I think this has been building for over 10 years, first with 29ers, then over the past 6 or 7 years with 650b.
  • + 3
 >I respect what you are saying, really I do but what about all the 26" inch wheels, tires frames and forks that everyone has invested in?

Keep them? I was riding a road bike with 27" wheels until 6 months ago when I got knocked off and the wheels got squashed. You could still get spares then, but I upgraded to 700c due to tyre choices and parts availability. It's been 30 years since the last 27" bikes were sold.
  • + 0
 Hah Willie, but now if to trust this "Giant science" and my big troll nose, the problem is that it is 29ers that should go extinct Big Grin

From my experience when obstacles get big enough, that attack angle thing becomes irrelevant as it is the suspension that takes the edge of the hit. It becomes necessary not to roll over the obstacle at better attack angle but to take the wheel out of the way. For gross gravel and minor roots that might be the case but for baby heads up we are talking only about the increased grip due to larger tyre contact patch and your favourite: rich in stability BB drop. Then 29ers suffer from slower handling and evidently decreased acceleration (which, off course, is not always needed - hint: London Olympics course). The only way to get around that acceleration is carbon rims, and those will never be available to the masses. Even LB rims are above pain threshold. I sold my 29er because I got minimal if any gain in average speeds and evident decrease in handling and subjective fun level. I really can't get around what kind of idiot one had to be to get that marketing slogan: 29er ht rides like 100mm 26 full susser.

I see a great future for 29ers in long distance riding, some more advanced versions of touring. Also as bike for really high people, but since 650b are here for good can we say that 29ers in S are daft?
  • + 1
 Yes, there are a lot of variables, which include air volume, suspension tune, tire composition and many others, but all things being equal, there is a noted difference in feel between the wheels. Not related to roll over is the BB drop, which is a huge variable for bicycle feel.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I'm happy with my Stumpy Pro Carbon FSR 26 and my SC Tallboy C 29. The upsize in diameter is only 1/2 of an inch from my fat Specialized rubber and rubber weighs less than a wheel as well as costs less. Not interested giant....
  • + 0
 I'm happy with my bus pass. I don't need to change anything!!! WTF??????
[Reply]
  • + 7
 Wow, what a bad decision. I honestly don't think that many people would be willing to change to a 650b. I think what they meant to say is 'In the next couple of years Giant will slowly begin to make less money and you will see less of the bikes out and about'..........
  • + 1
 I've sold more Talon 27.5 than any other bike in our shop the last two months. It's not because I push the sale-I'd rather get rid of old inventory- but because after a demo ride the customer enjoyed the 27.5" better. The people ARE making their minds heard and they are saying 650b is the way to go.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Giant Cadex, Giant Trance X, Giant Reign, Giant Glory... It was an awesome trip, but no 27.5 for me, thanks. Good luck, goodbye.
  • + 7
 Giant CFM3, Giant ATX 980, Giant Trance 1, Giant STP, Giant Reign 0, Giant Reign 0, Giant Trance X 1, Giant XTC Composite 29er 1, Giant Trance X Advanced 1, Giant Anthem X Advanced 29er... ... and in a few days Giant Anthem X Advanced 27.5.
  • + 0
 @Marsupilami - Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out...
  • + 1
 Yeah, same situation here, but I am... was... a Scott guy. But don't worry. With so many people loving the 26" wheels, they will no way die. Just companies like Giant and Scott will need to make their apologies. Me, personally, never forget and never forgive. I'm also curios of what Trek will do with their 26" version of Slash. Will they kill it or keep it?
  • + 0
 Get ready for your answer Mentalhead. I've seen Trek's plans.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 I think it's funny how after 2 days ago PB did a poll to find out if consumers felt like these bigger wheel sizes were being shoved down our throats and the industry is trying to kill off the 26" wheel and now we pretty much get proof that they are!!! If people want to buy 650b or 29er's they will but give us 26" lovers our choice as well! In the end you will sell more bikes and have more people out riding.
  • + 5
 If you read the poll all the way through, and total the columns, there are more people accepting of 650b, than opposing it. Last I looked it was about 4500 against, and 5500 who aren't against or totally against. If I was a business, and had to choose. what do you think I would pick? Before you answer with why not make both, remember that not everyone posting is paying. A shop owner posted 25:1 sales of 29er compared to 26er. KHS and Jamis have been taking a lot of the other companies sales with their 650b lines. The big guys notice. The niche market could switch quicker, and they took sales away from the big three. As much as people here say they love their 26ers, 4500 people, most of which are not the target market for these companies (looking at profiles, I see a lot of 5 year old used bikes cobbled together.) the companies aren't going to shoot themselves in the foot and produce a dying breed.
  • + 4
 Pinkbike members seem to have this little kingdom mentality where they think the world revolves around their poll opinions. Unfortunetly for them, and fortunetly for the rest of us, that's just not the reality of the bicycle industry.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 It sounds obvious, but companies like Giant, Specialized, Trek and the rest don't make any money "making" bikes, they make money "selling" bikes. Once people have a bike or two, you either need to sell bikes to new people, or convince the existing people theirs are no longer any good. The market is saturated with 29ers, so to sell more you need the people with 26er and 29ers to think they are missing out on something... and here you have it.

Don't panic. This is just marketing.

And have you ever wondered why they never actually quote a figure about the energy required to accelerate the wheels? Well try this at home... Lift up the front of your bike and with the wheel stationary, give it a flick with your hand (the wheel that is!) You can accelerate a wheel from 0 to 20kph with such little energy, the figure doesn't even register. Its just hype.

Go ride.
  • + 3
 Specialized and Trek make $0 making bikes, they are marketing companies that sell bikes other companies make. Giant actually makes their own, as well as Trek's, and the majority of other ones out there.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Giant switching completely to 650b - Ok guys, now we're officially fu..ed up. Say goodbye to 26". Sorry to say that, but Giant you're going to loose a customer who was riding Giant bikes / frames for the last 20years. I generously overlooked your mess with this useless OD² standard but abandoning 26"? That's way out of line.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Funny how things change... a few years ago (not so long ago indeed), many manufacturers were talking about the disappearance of 26" wheels in favor of 29". Now, the 27.5 is announced as the new "ideal" diameter and 29" wheels are not so hot anymore... they even could be phased out (!?!), as per Giant's marketing division. In a few years, we will hear that 26" wheels were not such a bad idea... the wheel (!) is turning, but please, Giant, I want my 26" wheels! If currently own a Trance X Advanced SL (which has been discontinued, BTW Frown ) and will keep on riding 26" wheels. If you don't want to listen to a big chunk of your customers, be ready to say goodbye to them!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 ALL IMO-

1) 26" bikes and their geometry has been refined to damn near perfection FOR THAT WHEEL SIZE. Manufacturers see an idealized wheel diameter as a new "format" upon which to improve, and it will continue to progress as time goes on.

2) 26" specific components are going to plummet in price, so if one is so committed to the 26er, stock up!!!

I'm just fine with my 26- only stable of DH, DJ, Trail, and townie bikes. Each one feels perfect. My biggest concern is legacy parts, but let's be realistic. Hubs are hubs, spokes are spokes, and the last 26" rims to go are the burly ones I'll want anyway, so really it's not going anywhere. Besides, nothing in my stable is more than 2.5 years old, and I'll probably be on 650b sometime around 2015-2016. I'm sure the 650b bikes will have seriously dialed geo by then.

I'm going to miss my 400-415mm chainstays though. I'm sure of it.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Mhm... I bet 90% of small manufacturers are going: "YES! Thank you! That is the best present ever!"

So who will invest in a troll-owned company? I think I am starting one... Waki-bikes. By trolls for riders - 26 FTW

BTW: wonderful graphic-artwork-driven "science" Giant eheheh... People will eat it like Ben&Jerry.
  • + 1
 I want one "Waki-bikes - protour 1" please.
  • + 4
 Yes! Good name! If I'd grow big enough I would sponsor Aaron Gwin and everytime he comes away from first 5, people would say: it's Protour's fault!

Then I'd make a 650B clunker with thumb shifters and call it Deeeight
  • + 1
 Waki : Excellent! Smile
  • + 5
 That was funny!
  • + 1
 Can I play? What model would I get?
  • + 4
 Sorry Willie, you can't play, you make too much sense in your arguments and you are not repeating the same stuff on and on again...
  • + 2
 I though I was repeating the same stuff. I'll try harder.
  • + 5
 I tell you what: we write to Anthill films and ask them to make a document about internet biking scene. It can also be an action movie, like those gay vampire movies, it's just that instead of vampires and werewolves it will be trolls and geeks feeding on people who have no clue. You will be the troll hunter. Deal?

We can start with making a PB poll: "who is the most annoying PB user?"
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I have ridden a few high end 650b rigs amd as much as I liked the Intense Carbine SL my Pro Carbon Stumpjumper FSR felt better, was lighter, and was more comfortable. It's all stupid marketing hype. "What you have is crap because we made something new and want you to buy more". Minute supposed increases in performance that are in no way worth the weight or price. Let it die like the rabid dog it is....
  • + 1
 Ride a Trance 29 back to back with a Trance 27.5? I did not think so... You will have your chance if you go to a Giant Demo! Until then how do you know what they ride like?
  • + 0
 I've let customers take bikes out on demo rides so they can come up with their own opinions. I'm sure this guy has a similarly awesome LBS.
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  • + 4
 I feel that the benefits of the 27.5 " wheel are comparable to Giant's calling their half carbon bikes a carbon frame.

I suppose that there are some benefits, but there are also some draw backs that they're not telling you and really should.
C'mon nobody wants to buy a carbon bike with an aluminum rear triangle.

Oh wait, let me guess: it's the best of both worlds.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 For many of us this is really sad. As an avid fan of Giant to this day I feel that without the choice of 26 inch I will be forced to look elsewhere, as there is simply no subsitute for it in terms of real, hard, fun riding. I don't deny there could be a place for 650b, but I ain't leaving 26 without a struggle. Up to now Giant have been legendary, but this is a wee bit foolish?
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  • + 8
 Just give us carbon Glory!!!
  • - 9
 and it would still be ugly...
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  • + 8
 You people are so fucking dumb.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 You can whine and cry all you want about wanting your 26" wheels and it'll do nothing. Its going away. Being replaced by something that has been proven to offer some performance increase. Things change. End of story. By the way, a larger wheel doesn't necessarily make trails easier. They don't just mask all your abilities. That's why the pros are winning on them. Whether you want to admit it or not 27.5" wheels make sense.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Here is a novel idea... Try something instead of over analyzing it on paper and see if you frikin' like it or not.. All the 26" lovers should be happy because you are going to get hella good deals on parts and frames.. It cracks me up how people whine about the industry forcing things on them... I buy what I want not what the industry tells me is cool. I can have fun on all wheel sizes.. I rode a $100 26" hardtail with elastomer front fork and v-brakes for 30 miles the other day and guess what? I had fun! Imagine that.. I blasted through rock gardens and hit small jumps and guess what? The universe did not implode..
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Those are some awfully sketchy and misleading graph with data and axes heavily massaged to emphasise their point.
That and raging on web forums makes f*ck all difference to a companies bottom line, and therefore the bikes they are going to release next year. you want to make a difference, vote with your money! (I vote 9er for short travel, undecided for long travel)
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I normally ride a FS 29er and I've ridden two 650b FS and regularily ride 26" HT and FS. I am taller than average (6' 1 1/2") and experience that with my long lengs, my balance is a lot better on an XL 29er than the same frame size with smaller wheels. Result: I feel better, go faster and fall less with big wheels. This is pretty apparent on general trail riding with lower speeds, gnarl and roots, not so much on gravitybased rides. 650b all the way for long travel applications (more than 140mm).

So Giant, I might be a minority in the bike world, but please do not stop making your 29er trail and race bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I have been riding and racing Giants for 11 years and have owned no less then 16 of these bikes. I am excited for whatever changes Giant introduces. Still the grassroot riders bike of choice.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Whilst all this wheel talk is fascinating.....there's a something really important I'd like to know...

Does the trance have ISCG tabs yet?....

I highly doubt Giant going to 27.5 inch wheels will bankrupt them, I would expect that a large proportion of revenue comes from the sale of complete bikes, so inherently if someone buys a complete bike with 26 inch, or 27.5 inch wheels it matters not, and frankly most people buying a complete bike won't be to bothered (best spec for the money plays a large part and Giant do very well at that). Infact if the salesmen do their jobs the bikes having 27.5 actaully becomes a selling point, something different to the sea of 26 and 29 inch bikes avaliable.

It's interesting that some manufacturers are shunning 27.5 completely, whilst others are embracing it as the mainstay for their lineup.....
  • + 5
 Trance does have ISCG now.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 The bike industries crack pipe must be white hot! F what the bike industry wants people to ride...they've clocked on to the fact that all the new riders with money who don't have a clue are coming into mountain biking and are easily fed that all these new fads/trends are WHAT they NEED to ride properly...I give it two years and they will be spoon feeding rigid trail bikes to the masses as "feel is real" or some BS.
  • + 1
 "Feel is real" I like that :-) Gonna make a sticker and plop it on my rigids.
  • + 1
 Giant will sue yo ass for having that sticker!
  • + 0
 New riders typically spend less than $2000.00 on their first bike. Its the second or later that is the $4000,00 or more bikes.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 It's difficult for new customers NOT to embrace 27.5" when that is all that a lot of manufacturers are offering at the high end of the market.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Yesterdy I playd with my calculator and Giants' results in wheel weight, roll-over efficiency and traction control are bullshit. The diameter 650b is closer to 26", it is not in the middle between 26" and 29". So the circuit of 650b is more like 26", including roll-over angel and contact patch. And the wheel weight does not show so huge differencec due to the hubs, that are the same for all diameters. I am not able to count flex percentage but based on all other results I do not belive that
[Reply]
  • + 3
 >A 29-inch wheel rolls over a 6-centimeter square-edge obstacle 14% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel
>does. In comparison, a 27.5-inch wheel rolls over the same obstacle 9.8% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does.

What a bunch of crap. The dependency of efficiency on wheel size is strongly linear.
If "29-inch wheel rolls over a 6-centimeter square-edge obstacle 14% more efficiently", then 650b will have only 5.6% increase in efficiency. Do your math better, Giant.
  • + 0
 Same applies for contact patch. 650b wheel is only 25mm larger than 26", so it behaves almost like 26".
Who the f*ck made those rigged calculations?
  • + 5
 someone smarter than you. nothing about circles is linear.
  • + 6
 Dam, where were you when Giant really needed to figure out all those calculations that they go so wrong? And for 2 years of development it's just amazing you never got the call. From Scott bikes also when they did their calculations. Such stupid engineers at those companies huh? Dumb ass!!!
  • + 4
 Riding the same trail back to back on my Mojo SL, once with 26", and once with 650b, I will say those numbers describe how the difference felt. (I obviously rode the trail a zillion times, but I did the back to back comparison.) BTW, I have university level physics, and those calculations are accurate. (I am not a physicist, but took physics as electives in my degree.)
  • + 3
 Nothing about circles is linear? Let's see, circumference is directly proportional to diameter. That's a linear relationship dude. Velocity is directly proportional to rotation and radius... thats another one. There is enough misinformation from Giant in this post, let's not add more.
  • + 2
 Dammit Liberty, I stand corrected. But what he's talking about, the percentages, those aren't linear.
  • + 11
 Okay, guys, if you're lazy enough to believe those statements without a word and can't do the math for yourselves, I'll give you exact numbers.

Given wheel sizes: 673mm for 26", 698mm for 650b and 736mm for 29".

And we have a 3 inch square edged obstacle. Angles of attack:
26" - 13.76°
650 - 13.51°
29" - 13.15°

2 inch square edged obstacle? Not a problem:
26" - 11.20°
650 - 11.00°
29" - 10.71°

Anyone sees that 650b is closer to 29"? Not me.

Now to contact patch. Anyone knows what is the circumference of a circle? It's formula is as simple as it can be: π*d, where d is diameter and π is constant 3.1415...
Wheel circumferences:
26" - 2114 mm
650 - 2193 mm = 3.5% bigger than 26"
29" - 2312 mm = 9% bigger than 26"

And do you know what is contact patch? It's just a fixed fraction of total wheel circumference. Anyone knows why in Giant's poster 650b is suddenly closer to 29" in contact patch? I'll tell you what - it's not about physics or math. It's about company that is interested in selling new standard. Period.
  • + 3
 VoidWanderer please don't go and bring facts or math into the equation. Not good for the fanboys and bike pimps.
  • - 4
 Voidwanderer, you are assuming the tires are made out of solid material. You have to take air volume, tire flex into the equation, and the math gets way more complicated. Actually measuring the force is the most accurate way to do this, because of the numerous variables involved. While the simple ruler grade 6 math tells one story, the actual math is a wee bit more complicated, and is what riders actually feel. The difference is bigger than what a ruler tells, because a ruler can't take all of the variables into account.
  • + 4
 Willie1, I'm just sick and tired of this "holy grail" crap. 650b is just a wheel size. And it is not better than 26" or 29". At all. And it had not "inherited best of two worlds". It's just a wheel that behaves almost like a 26", but slightly bigger. With all it cons and pros.

But they have a WorldCup winner on 650b wheels and a good-looking (but crippled) arguments, so we are now the spectators of the eclipse of 26" trail bike. Not because 26" were worse, just because it was decided that 26" stuff (wheels, forks, tires) is obsolete.
  • + 2
 Willie1, the same variables apply to each wheel size surely?
  • + 0
 Yes they do apply to each wheel size, but they are like tire pressure, more isn't always better, and less isn't better either. Find the sweet spot, and run it, where you have the maximum traction, and minimum rolling resistance, balanced with flat protection. The air volume of the 650b wheel is probably its biggest advantage, much more important than actual diameter.
  • + 1
 The size of the contact patch is very easy to determine.

Pressure is defined as force per unit area, i.e.: P=F/A.
In the case of a bicycle wheel, pressure relates to the air pressure in the tyre, force relates to the load on the tyre and area relates to the contact patch used to support the load.
By making Area the subject of the formula, we get A=F/P.

Please note the importance of rim radius, tyre width and rim width and all of the other things that you've ever been told create a bigger contact patch.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 where I live in alaska a huge population of people ride 29ers. We have some pretty hair ball trails up here like the Lost Lake trail. look it up. I ride my hard tail banshee paradox up and over it. The decent is gnarly for a trail bike. I can see where Giant is coming from. It would be nice to have the shredability of a 26 and the confidence of a 29 while riding some trails, at least where I live. but for pure gravity riding I will stick to my 26. Giant is focusing on more of an XC, All Mountain crowd with the 27.5. as for me, I will keep my 29er for trails, but i see where they are coming from.
  • + 8
 Jack of all trades, master of none. Only makes sense for their profit nothing else.
  • + 1
 "Master of none": 650b is 5% heavier than 26" but has a 5% rollover disadvantage when compared to a 29" wheel. It's ALL in how you spin it. No pun. intended. If bike companies would have worded their sales campaigns this way the unwashed masses would have kept their 650b money in their wallets.
  • + 2
 Its goldilocks... Not to big, not to small, just right.
  • + 2
 But that's just it, 26" was never too small, 29" was just too big. I say let all the dirt roadies make the jump back down to 650 and leave the rest of us alone
  • + 1
 To those of us with actual experience riding the wheels, yes... 26" is too small. To those of you with zero real experience, obviously it isn't, but then, maybe you should get some actual experience before commenting like you know anything....
  • - 1
 So you rode two identical bikes, same tire brand, same geo, back-to-back with a way to time the differences? If you didn't do all of the above, is it at all POSSIBLE that your "comparison" is biased in some way? I recall an MBA comparison between the 3 sizes that had the 26and 29ers with 69* head angles. And guess what the 67* 650 bike was more stable in the descents. Go figure.
  • + 0
 Yes. Same bike in fact. See the point you dont grasp is that there are thousands of people who have 650b bikes converted from 26ers and three of them are posting in this article's comments, and we all know first hand how much better the 650b size is. You however clearly have zero riding experience on any 650b bikes st all.
  • + 2
 For those of us with real experience riding the wheels, deeeight - you are full of it. 26" is not too small. It rides fine. Do not overdoze on smug.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Am I the only one that noticed the "Elite-Level" part of the title? The line-up they've announced isn't all of their 2014 bikes. I don't think we'll see the end of the 26" bike for a while yet. I'm hoping that we'll see a more balanced range though. 29er for Hardtails and proper XC bikes. 27.5 for Trail Thrashers and Enduro and 26" for the DH market. I've never ridden anything other than 26" myself but from what I've read about the other sizes the 29er is more suited to a hardtail and the 27.5 is a happy medium. Better rolling ability over smaller obstacles but just as agile and playful as a 26" bike. I've got a 2012 Trance X2 myself which I won't be swapping for a long time. If I did though I would be seriously tempted by a 27.5. If you don't like what Giant are doing dare I suggest buying something else? They're not the only ones doing it though. Anyone seen the new GT line-up? only the Fury is offered in 26". The Force and the Sensor are 27.5. There are still some big names to join the fray too. Trek for one! Next years bikes will be the real clue as to which wheel size is winning the VHS vs. Betamax contest (or Microsoft vs. Sony to those not from the UK).
[Reply]
  • + 2
 "The larger the wheel, the larger the f"rame dimensions must be—and that leads to unwanted flex. A flexing frame
causes sloppy handling and slower acceleration under heavy power. A 27.5 frame flexes less than a 29 frame,
resulting in better control" but still not like a 26"
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Its not just me I hope screaming at the page when theyre like ' 27.5 are better than this this and this...than a 29er' so surely 26 is better still!!??? Also if im averaging two rear 26 rims a year then theyre not gonna be as strong and ill be on 3 rebuilds instead..?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Industry pep talk for moving existing inventory. 29 are dead on arrival. 27 does not sell well. Too many drawbacks with either wheelsizes compared to 26 and no advantages. Not buying and they are scared shit. 26 bikes are in the pipeline everywhere. Huge marketing blunder and a waste of resources.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Man all these tire size discussions get everyone super jazzed up. Giant is a HUGE company, everyone must know that ! They have manufactured bikes for many other companies for years before getting into their own cool brand of bike - and they still manufacture some other companies bikes FYI ! And they make wicked bikes and put them out at a price point that always seams reasonable compared to many other boutique bikes out there. But all this negative chatter about tire size... jeeze ya'all who are worked up need to chill out - no-one is making anyone buy a certain kind of bike... you all know what you like so ride it and forget the rest... put your angsty energy into a good ride instead of bantering about how retarded Giant or other companies tire marketing might be. Its basic marketing - a supply and demand game with these big companies and if demand across the whole bike buying market is more cost effective to sell one style bike - of course they will. And now they have some good science to prove their point to whoever cares what they think. But... get over it. If you care that much boycott the company you think is sticking it to you.. Consider staying with the companies that provide what you think makes sense.. buy a handmade bike from a local company - I'm sure most of your local made bike companies will always genuinely care a little more about what 'you' think than the big guys. And stay tuned, once the 27.5 bike is all in the market, they will market the 26.75 and the 28,25 just for kicks. And you will have to buy them all up!! Every last one. Ha. Just sayin.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 If you read the Bike article on the launch, the conclusion is that Giant havent been able to build a good niner with their Maestro suspension system as it gets in the way of shorter chainstays. Mmm I wonder?They do say the new Trance is a lot better than that weird Trance X Niner though, which is a good thing. It probably rides like a Reign now, which raises the question yet again. Why?
  • + 2
 sorry i ride TranceX 29er with 140 fork, it RULES the trail XC FR AM DH.
  • + 1
 What is wrong with the Trance X 29er? Trolls need to go out and ride fast like Adam C, Kelli E, Josh Carlson, etc... instead of reading geometry charts.
  • + 0
 Jim, go and read the Bike article before you start laying troll comments down. A respected MTB journo says the new bike is better than the TX 29er. Just relaying the message, or is Bike mag packed with trolls?
  • + 3
 I ride a Trance X 29 and absolutely love it. I'll be riding all three wheel sizes next year and enjoying each and every one of them.
  • + 1
 headshot... you said Giant is unable to build a good 29er based on Maestro. I am saying the Trance and Anthem 29er was good enough about 3 dozen Super D and Enduro races as soon as they came out.

I would say that Giant did a great job on the Trance 29er. We can line em up and race...then you tell me the geo is holding me back. Smile !

I plan on buying a 27.5 Anthem to race XC on next year. I will keep the Trance 29 for trail riding and SuperD/Enduro.
  • + 1
 No Jim for the second time I didnt say that Bike Mags journo said it. You need the link or can you Google. By the way I also like Giant I just dont buy the hype
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "27.5 wheels accelerate much like 26, outperforming the more sluggish feel of 29-inch wheels. "
IE 27.5 accelerates like a slug compared to 26 just not as sluggish as 29 - just ride one

as long as I can get 26" tires F@*k you Giant!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I completely understand tangaroo's point. I enjoy technical trails. I love the challenge of them as I've known them, using a 26er in Colorado. I don't have a 650 but I am seriously considering buying one after riding the much more technical trails offered in Moab, Utah. But back to what I think tangaroo is trying to convey here. So going to larger tires, although and inch and a half increase does not seem like much, should make rolling over obstacles easier and therefor take away some of the challenge, take less skill to overcome them and change the experience. I think he just wants to preserve what he has come to love and there is nothing wrong with that. It's done in many sports. The idea is to keep all things equal but improve your skill and keep the experience the same. There are purists and they want to preserve the status quo. I get that.
On the flip side I love innovation and embrace it as, in this case, larger wheels, long travel suspension and improved geometry allow you to tackle more difficult terrain, go faster and generally increase the fun factor. Some "improvements" prove not to work so expect to see what works best prevail and generate the most sales.So my point is no one should force their opinion on anyone. We all don't want the same things out of bike riding. It would be great if manufacturers could make something for everyone but, it's a business and they will go with what keeps them in business. For me the 27.5 is in the near future.. I got trails to conquer.. wait.. what's that I hear? Moab is calling... see ya gents.
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  • + 2
 Razor manufacturers and bike manufacturers share the same marketing strategy. Each year the shave gets closer............except you don't get your money back if the new bike fails to meet the hype.
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  • + 3
 If I ever got to the point where 9.8% will actually make a noticeable difference in my ride, I want to be getting free bikes and a paycheck to ride them.
  • + 0
 9.8% is a huge difference.
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  • + 2
 Tangaroo nailed this one, make advancements and new tech, but don't force anyone to do anything, make more options available to the masses and let US decide what we wanna ride.
  • + 1
 You do realize more choice equals more cost right?
Doesn't that go against the Giant is a great value belief pushed here on PB?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just put some cash into my 26in reign x. Im more interested in what Stans No-tubes will do for my riding and a bit more xc tire shape! It would be nice to have a bigger tire for popping across holes. However, do I need to buy a new bike for that! Something that was mention earlier hit me like a tun -a bricks! If you have 10 or more years experience riding, what the hell do you care, You should be able to ride any bike successfully in smooth pack or ruts... and that hit the clincher for me! Sure, Id love a new bike! However, Im keeping my rigid 29r and my Reign sx! I will add to the collection, but Im not getting rid of anything for a fad that is pushed to help the new rider run the ruts... Dont get me wrong! I love the idea of the 650B specifically for a bigger ramp going over holes, other then that! who cares!
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  • + 1
 I wanted a Giant 6 or 6.5" travel 650B option (even trek is going to have the slash 650B 160mm travel)........I think I´m going with the Scott genius LT700 and change my Genius 740 650B that I love......
Well for XC I´m just a fanboy and actually prefer enduro and DH riding BUT FYI 2012 and 2013 XC is dominated by Nino Schurter on a Scott Scale 650B bike so 27.5 I think is good for XC too........

But I was thinking on changing my Glory 2012 next year but I will hold on and wait for the Glory 650B option.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just spent the day test riding the new Trance No.1 / 27.5 / LRG. Over 6 ft 210lbs and have been riding an Ellsworth Moment for six years. I will break it down really simple. Bigger wheels do everything better end of story. 30lbs out of the box never felt so good. The first mile in, pedal strikes were really pissing me off but soon after I had already adjusted my riding to nearly eliminate all strikes. Today it's really hard to buy a bad bike - the product out there is incredible and Giant has hit another home run with offering the 650B size.
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  • + 1
 Come on all you guys who say they sticking with 26" wheels.just think, if every one else buys 650b or even 29ers the bike companies and individuals will be selling off their 26" bikes and parts like wheels, tyres and forks, so there be plenty of bargains out there, so we will have an even bigger smile when we having 'FUN' on the trails!!!
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  • + 5
 WHEELS, WHEELS, WHEELS. Pick the one's you enjoy the most and ride them.
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  • + 5
 More RC propaganda...keep feeding the hype machine you marketing shill...
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  • + 1
 my xtc advanced 27.5 is sofaking sick!! how long is this thread anyway???? all y'all need to go ride your bikes. ps my reign and old 8" faith are still frigging awesome for other terrain Giant rules!! the new trance X is sick too, but too close to my reign to change up
[Reply]
  • + 1
 "Traction
The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better traction,
which leads to improved acceleration, deceleration and cornering. As you can see below, a 27.5-inch wheel has a similar
contact patch to the 29."
Now this is one big fat lie. I am really sorry about the marketing expert but the area of the contact patch on one tire is only control by the tire pressure. Under the condition that the rider's weight and it is the same and the tire pressure is the same the area of the contact patch in all 3 sizes will be the same it is simple physics.
Unless Giant sales team have invented there own law of physics.. F=P*A F is the riders weight A is area of the contact patch P pressure of the tire.
In our case F is a constant P is a constant so from does 2 conditions in all 3 cases the contact area A of the tire A=F/P it will also remain constant. This is the reason way when you drive on the beach even with really large tires you need to drop the pressure down to 20 psi so you can increase contact Area of the tire.
In our case with the 3 different wheels size what can change only from size to size is only the shape of the area but not the total area witch means in practice that with the same tire pressure and same tire width traction will be the same. The traction will improve only with wide tires running lower tire pressure , but implies on all 3 wheel sizes.
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  • + 3
 The 26er isn't going anywhere. Supply and demand will dictate that, and I don't ever see demand becoming obsolete. Someone will always produce 26" bikes /parts.
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  • + 1
 Rode the trance x1 (alu) this morning, awesome bike. Though I'm coming off the anthem x1. Got to ride it on home trails and PRd every DH. I've had the anthem PUSHd and didn't set anything but sag on the trance and felt infinitely more comfortable at speed. Dug the 27.5 wheels, and I think the bike rode better than both the Bronson and RM Altitude I've demo'd in the past. That being said it could be a bit of confirmation bias given I wasn't able to ride the other bikes on home trails and am 'more' used to the Maestro configuration. Net net was very happy with the '14 fox offerings, much better mid-stroke tune than the '13 models and actual platform in climb mode. Something my anthem sorely lacks. Net net a very positive experience, will be waiting for the stealth black pricing to see what I end up with though. The matte looks so hot online.
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  • + 1
 Some people just can't accept changes, This company studied Facts and Figures before they introduced 650b and 29er to the world of biking. It is either love it or hate it! They don't force anyone to believe or to buy their product. Plus you can test ride before you buy don't be stuck with 26" (Narrow minded), Be 650b or 29er (Open minded).
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  • + 3
 I am looking forward to 26,969 inch wheels, they will be 0,12% stiffer than 27,5 and only 0,06% heavier than 26. I think this is the future of mtb.
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  • + 5
 I see your math and raise you I won't buy if it ain't 26"
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  • + 1
 We all expected the 26" wheel to be fazed out, however, saying that the 29" will also be fazed out is big statement. It's hard to imagine a spandex clad cross country racer being caught in public on a wheel size other then 29".
  • + 1
 Or 6'8" me, who looks completely ridiculous on a bike with wheels smaller than 29". The seat on my 22" 26er is so high that it's above the rear axle.
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  • + 1
 I didn't read all of the marketing bla bla from Giant but do they still support the 1.25 / 1.5" steerer tube standart? (you remember that one, it's just so much better then the usual tapered steerer)
Actually I like Giant is going for 27.5, 29er might be faster for XC racing if you can spend as much money as you want to buy a race-ready bike but if you compare a 26 and a 29er bike for, let's say, 1500$ the 29er is just no fun to ride because the wheels are so heavy, no fun up the hill and no fun down the hill. So I think 27.5 will do it's job better then a 29er in this price range.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How is "More contact patch" better? More contact patch means more rolling resistance. More rolling resistance is Worse, not better. It's clever marketing, and unfortunately, people will believe it. Obviously, the whole picture is painted here by Giant. No chart for acceleration? How would you measure acceleration, anyway? No chart for nimbleness? How would you measure nimbleness?
  • + 1
 Did you skip school? lol Go back!!!! lol
  • + 0
 Rigaud, do you believe everything you read on the internet? Have you measured rolling resistance yourself in a comparative study?
  • + 0
 More contact patch = more traction which is better when you have to accelerate, brake, or change direction. I'll take staying upright over crashing and live with the loss from rolling resistance as it'll be less than the time/energy lost stopping from wipeouts over the course of a ride.
  • + 3
 This is not what Schwalbe was saying a couple of years ago (I bet it is still their position) , praising their high profile tires for having less contact patch thus less rolling resistance cause of this. What is good or what is bad for the bike companies is dictated by their sales targets. I'll decide for my self.
  • + 2
 Contact patch is the same. It is shaped differently - longer.
  • + 0
 Trundle - A 5th grader could figure it out without internet.
  • + 1
 I agree with bikegreece. Riguad, you are confusing traction with rolling resistance. Axxe, it's not just longer, there is more surface area of the tire in contact with the earth.
  • + 1
 longer = more friction. Good for sex bad for wheels :-)
  • + 1
 Explain then why everyone in XC is faster with bigger wheels (which weigh more and have longer tire contact patches) than smaller wheels ? And why serious DH teams, testing 650B seriously, have found their times are better with them than 26" wheels ? Why should we listed to armchair mechanics on pinkbike over multi-time world champions like Nico Vouilloz.
  • + 2
 What I know for sure is that everyone is faster than me even if I am on bigger wheels and they are on BMX's. In another words cycling is a dynamic equation with more than one decisive factors for every measurement and result. Thanks but I do not buy this kind of stats. By the way the Great Nico won all his victories on 26ers. And yes I am glad that the longer patch will brake better now cause first I had the cantilevers and I was unhappy, then I got the V's and I was unhappy again, then I was given the mech discs but I was unhappy then I got hydraulics and I was unhappy. This is the totally useless unnecessary yet missing element to improve my braking. The soil is next...
  • + 3
 Faster does not always mean better. 99% of people never race.

On most local trails difference is not consequential. Much more important to have a well fitted, light bike.

650b will be perfectly fine though. Not as much fit and weight compromise as 29".
  • - 4
 Doesn't matter if 99% of people don't race. Racing isn't the only reason to ride fast. Poking along slowly is BORING. If you expect anyone to believe differently, other than observed trials riders, then you're delusional.
  • + 5
 Poking along slowly? Because of a 5% smaller wheel? What other bright statements would you make today?

I guess we should also cancel all that fatbikes on trails riding I see around. They did not get the memo that it always has to be faster. While we are at it, lets explain to mountain unicycle riders that they are idiots for not going fast enough.

Now turn on your reading comprehension circuits and parse the following phrase again "Faster does not always mean better". Yes, most people enjoy a ride without paying attention to a minuscule possible maximum speed penalty. If you think a 5% bigger wheel is key to riding enjoyment, you are delusional. But we already know that.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So let me get this right. The Giant engineers figured out all the merits of 27.5 being better than 29 a year or two after they sold their customers 29ers as being the thing to own? How did that happen? If you read the article too it is VERY carefully worded. 27.5 being almost the same as 29,etc,etc. This is about a few things a) Giant don't want the cost of running two wheel sizes, they only want one which is 27.5. The reason being is that frames and geometries are closer to 26 and saves R&D cost. b) Stealing a march on rivals c) Getting people off of 26 and even 29 and onto 27.5....more sales. The real difference between 26 and 650b in real terms is not 1.5 inches its more like 1 inch. Rim on 26 is 559mm, 650b is 584mm, 25mm difference. '26 inch' wheels running 2.25 are 26.5 in reality, 650b running a 2.25 tyre are 27.5.
Whats the point in 1 inch or 3.8% more circumference? The problem is that the bike firms made a rod for their own back. They said 29ers were the thing and they do work but not for DH or some AM but they do for XC and Trail so now they have to support two consumer bases. Giant are trying to make everyone compromise and we ain't having it ! In years to come they will also refine and polish the 29er weight, responsiveness and geo issues out. So I see 26 and 29 will stay and 650b will be a fad.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 All I know is this issue is making things difficult for the newbie riders to upgrade, such as myself. There is enough hype for all three wheel sizes to make me scream, not knowing which way to turn when it comes time. No LBS around here will let me take any bike on the trail, just a spin in the parking lot - which obviously means jack-shit when trying to figure out what would suit me best. Nothing like a high-dollar crap shoot and pray it all works out in the end.
  • + 1
 from my experience 26 owns for downhill and anything you want more suspension and quicker handling, if you want something thats easier to climb and flatten rough terrain try a 29er with a slacker geometry and short stays, it keeps it nimble. and 650b is a balance of both worlds as long as you keep it slack and bump up the travel..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 First off i like each size for different types of riding but that comment about 26 AND 29's going bye??? Huh...just don't see it happening. My shop is selling 29ers at about 25-1 over 26 in the mid to high end.

Giant will be a midget if they position for 650 only.
  • + 0
 What has been posted over and over is the transition to 650b. If 29ers and 650b both sell well, they will continue making both. If the 29ers slow in sales to 650b like 26" has done, the 29ers will go away. Funny, you see the 25-1 difference in sales, but the retrogrouches can't.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Screw your XC and 650b
  • + 1
 I'm sure XC riders are saying the same thing about you.
  • + 3
 It's a joke, eh. It's from a spoof video posted the other day. Don't get your Lycra in a twist
  • + 2
 sarcasm does not translate in text mess, "screw DH bikes, see what i mean?
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  • + 3
 Mountain bike choice is about options, realllly bad move making it only 650b. From what I have seen this community does not like pick it or leave it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 There's a lot of defending of the 26" but not so much for the 29" on this thread.

I just recently bought a Trance X 29er 1 from my local Giant store after their big sell on how perfectly suited it is to my riding (XC / Trail). Not having had any opportunity to ride it round trails I took the plunge based on what little I knew.
I was more keen on the idea of 650b but a few months ago it didn't seem like there was going to be this mass exodus to 650b - and even talk about 650b not taking off.
I guess I was a bit hasty (but my previous bike had been stolen and I just wanted to get riding again).

Anyway, I'm just a bit disappointed that their article above seems to rubbish the 29er.... Have they forgotten that they have spent the last couple of years gaining quite a few customers on the grounds that their 29ers are the way forward.

Don't get me wrong... I like change! In fact that Trance might be too good to resist in a year or so... but I can't help feeling slightly disappointed that I've just spent big bucks with them and now they're coming out with this Frown
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is just a prime example of everything that has been said in previous discussions on 27.5. There is nowt wrong with the wheel size but the manufacturers are just using it as a way to force everyones hand into buying new kit. Prime example right here and other compnies such as Orange making the 5 27.5 only, as has been said before why dont these guys make it so that the frames are 26/27.5 compatible ala banshee. total pish. Stop trying to kill 26" and make riding "gnarly" trails easy, if thats what you want go get some 700 wheels and bugger off an ride road
  • + 0
 With the other wheel sizes means that everything associated with 26" wheels has to be changed. Innertube prices will be sky-high because they will be made by a few companies all charging extortionate prices. Everything will quickly become even more expensive than it already is (somehow)
  • - 4
 Your joking right? Yes, there are 650b inner tubes and no they are not more expensive. A 26" tube stretches just fine for 650b use and I've been doing that for 4 years. Typical over reaction like most of the idiots on PB about 650b.
  • + 3
 Over reaction to the loss of perfectly good tech for no reason other than marketing scams. Next you yanks will be driving efficient cars. Shock horror
  • - 1
 Marketing scam...ah yes another typical PB dumb ass comment and most likely from someone who's never ridden a 650b bike for any length of time. Take off the blinders and have a good look around at all the companies and manufacturers who are in on the marketing scam. Really had to go there with country slam huh. Another PB idiot comment.
  • + 2
 mtnbikedad108, it's fantastic the way you said 'your joking right?' followed by calling me an idiot. Please learn how to use the English language correctly
  • + 2
 yeah i went there with the country slam as it appears that its mainly people on that side of the pond are the ones with the blinders on and jumping on the bang wagon. 650b has been around for a long time but its only now that 26" geometry, forks etc are so dialled that we cant realistically go no further (read sell nothing new) that everyones making this jump.

Also if t makes that much difference why are they trying to make smaller volume 27.5 tyres so that they match high volume 26" tyres?. if bigger wheels are so much better why arent dirt bikes following this trend ? with the supposed advantages it gives, DH should be the one leading this but its not, why ? because its total pish.

im not saying its a marketing scam for a laugh, it is a marketing scam because 26" cant really be tweaked (exploited with new tech except carbon) any more and people arent forking (excuse the pun) out on new kit every year as much as they were. 26" works end of. if you feel the need to splash silly money to gain an extra second on the trail and feel more "confident" then thats fine but i dont think the industry should be hammering the people that have already invested a lot of money in kit because a few people with too much money think that 1.5" bigger rims are going to make them a better rider.
  • + 2
 to me the companies should just listen to the customers, 26" wheels are still wanted by the majority so they should provide this. After riding bmx and not riding a mountain bike for a while it feels like a penny farthing with 26" wheels.
  • - 2
 DannyJB....maybe you should learn how to read posts more carefully as I didn't call you an idiot....or anyone an idiot. I said it was an idiot PB comment
  • + 1
 Danny, the sales numbers don't support your claims. That's why 26" died.
  • - 1
 Yeah Jaydmr...why don't you go look at all the companies on your side of the pond building 650b bikes now. Bikes we never see here in the US from both big and small companies. Obviously plenty of riders over there looking to get a 650b bike. Your the one with your 26" blinders on. Like most here on PB I'm gonna guess you've never ridden a 650b bike (I've got 4+ solid years on them now) and are forming an opinion without giving it a fair shot. You really have no idea what you're talking about until you go ride one for a length of time. As soon as I converted a Cannodale Prophet to 650b I became a believer and proponent of the wheel size there was no going back for me except as a training tool.
Don't go there with the dirt bike stuff either. I've got close to 40 years of off road riding and racing on that side of things how about you? They have settled on the 21 front and either 18 or 19 rear with the 19 used mostly in MX. 23" was tried at one point and didn't work out. And guess what my friend, a 21" dirt bike wheel with tire works out to 27.5"-28" depending on tire size....just like a 650b wheel. Give it a fair chance and you might actually like it.
  • + 2
 So what youve just said is what ive already said that high volume 26 is near to how theyre making 27.5" tyres anyway so the rim size is irrelevant and tyre sze is key. point here being that if thats the case is there really a need for 27.5" rims ? no just run high volume 26" tyres on wide rims and then it doesnt cost everyone a shed load of money to get new bikes. But then these companies wouldnt make any money from that so there gonna push people on to 27.5 by giving them no options.

No i havent spent much time on 27.5" bikes, do i want to shell out a shed load of money to try one ? no. and the people i have seen out there on them arent exactly flying past me on the trails so i dont see it as a high ranking upgrade like moving to a fork with better damping or a dropper post. Im sure in a few years i'll have no choice but to move to it but in the mean time im gonna have to put up with crap tyre/fork choice all because a bunch of people think its gonna make them faster/better riders.
  • + 2
 mtbdad108, in that case you should have said 'idiotic comment'. Everyone's entitled to an opinion and their opinion is valid so saying someone's opinion is idiotic is a little narrow minded.
  • + 3
 jaydmf, I agree with you. I'm sure 650b wheels are all well and good but I'm happy riding 26" wheels. I never think to myself that I wish I was running bigger wheels, I enjoy the playfulness and the ease of moving the bike round with 26" wheels, it's great fun being thrown around on a bike! In the UK, or just deep in the pennines at least, we're a bit old fashioned and if something isn't broke and actually works very well why change it? I think the vast majority of people over here are happy with 26"
  • + 1
 This is exactly it Danny, its not being added as an option for people, the industry is trying to make it THE standard because they know if they make it just another option it will only have a mid percentage of take up. lets look at this in monetry terms, im in the market for an orange 5 lets say. 2013 version i could move the existing kit off my old patriot straight on to a 5 at the cost of a frame, seatpost and headset (£1600). 2014 version i now have to buy frame, headset, seatpost, forks and wheels (£2300) and all i end up with is a wheel thats 1.5" bigger than what i already have. talk about laws of diminishing returns.

I think this sums it up nicely:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbVKWCpNFhY
  • + 1
 As an FYI Jaydmf the biggest volume 26" tires are just barely about the same size as the smallest 650b tire. So that would be a freaking heavy ass 2.4" or bigger 26" tire vs a puny lightweight 2.1" 650b tire. There is a huge difference in how that feels on the trail my friend. The large volume 2.4" 650b tires are now over 28" tall which is like a small 29'er tire in diameter. Plenty of the 650b tires are now just under 28" tall and not freakishly heavy either and if a reasonably experienced rider can't notice the difference and improvement then their just out of touch with the bike. Perhaps for people like that the easiest way is to ride a 650b bike for awhile and then hop back on the 26" and it becomes very very obvious.
  • - 1
 Obviously neither of you guys have any real world 650b experience so in that case DannyJB your opinion is just that an opinion only and it's not valid as you have nothing to back it up with with 650b experience. I'm not even close to narrow minded but it's clear most of the PB crowd sure is.
No one is forcing you guy's to go buy 650b and no one is telling you it's gonna make you some fantastic rider. What it does is hit a broader sweet spot than 26" or 29" and will work more comfortably and more easily for more people and that = sales and that's what the manufacturers are ALL looking at. 26" will be around for awhile but you may not find it from the big players anymore and rest assured, despite what they say publicly, Specialized will have a 650b bike announced or in production within a years time. Heck, most of the Spec. dealers around where I live only stock 29'ers now or very low end 26'er for price conscience folks. I also don't believe Giant will discontinue 29'er production/development despite what they might be saying and after they listen to riders and dealer feedback over the next year. 29'ers just sell to well for them to take a pass on it. With 650b's strong presence now 26" bikes are gonna be the slow sellers (except to devoted 26" diehards and/or an uneducated buyer) and stagnant inventory for allot of dealers. Is what it is.
  • + 1
 Please show me the choice of 26" 140mm trail bikes for 2014. There are now very few, thats the point its not choice its manufacturers dictating what we're gonna buy. Also a 2.4 is not a heavy ass tyre unless your using dual ply casings and heavy tubes. Even then it aint that bad
  • - 2
 @Jay: please scan the receipt of any 26" bike you bought in the past 24 months. If zero, STFU!!!!!!
  • + 4
 Orange patriot 16" with cc dbair. Just planning on getting a 5 but now its 27.5 opting for a nukeproof mega tr although id prefer a single pivot if i could. Oh wait i havent got much choice
  • + 3
 mtnbikedad108, what we're saying is that yeah 650b may give you an advantage but I don't want that. I don't just want to roll over stuff, I enjoy kicking off a small root and throwing it around. Over here in the UK atleast 90% of bikes are still using 26", in the local riding groups no-one has anything other than 26". At the end of the day it's all personal preference, and it should be up to you to choose what wheel size you want. The companies are not offering the choice which is the irritating thing. Im sure some people would like 650b but there's also some that wouldn't so catering for this market is just as important.
  • - 1
 Danny, do you use suspension, disc brakes, and tires over 2.0"? Those make the ride easier too. How about HTA? Is yours still at 70deg, or do you have a 68 or slacker HTA? Its all the same- the ride gets easier.
  • - 1
 @ Jay- please ad a pic of your new bike to your profile so we can actually see that you did purchase a new bike in the past two years.
  • + 4
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/9897479. Any more for anymore or am gonna have to send you a dna sample next?
  • - 2
 All right, you are the second person here who actually bought a 26er in the past two years. My apologies. Its too bad that there are so few of you, resulting in the current state of affairs.
  • + 5
 Willie, if i look back through orders in the past 30 months youd have to add my Mr Hyde to that list and my Tomac vanish which i have now sold. If i include friends, theres also a on-one 456 and norco sight too. Over here 26" is still the mainstay of MTB, this is why we're getting so pissed off. I love Orange bikes but even theyve jumped on the bandwagon atm.

Its not choice thats being added to the market, these companies know theyre gonna have to push people off 26" bikes to keep the revenue coming in at current levels. 26" are so dialled people keep them for too long, there's no built in redundancy so they have to create it by hyping stuff up. I have no problem with 650b being another option and if it puts a grin on your face then stick to it, just dont make my hard earned bikes obsolete just because some marketing hack threw some twisted percentages on a webby to make a fast buck from people who dont know better than to trust whatever the guy at the bike shop says.

as a side note:

contact patch can be increased slightly by dropping pressures, using wider rims and higher volume tyres. rolling over stuff can be made easier if you lower pressures so the tyre actually tracks the ground rather than bouncing off small obstacles (yes this will make it harder to ride but man up). you can go faster by pushing yourself harder or changing gear ratios. The faster you go the less you notice the little bumps. all this is free and tuneable on existing tech, same as years ago when we werent able to dial in rebound on some cheap forks we just put heavier oil in.
  • + 4
 ** also note the marketing hack comment is not against RC, this debate is going on all over the shop and im talking about all the marketing BS that keeps rocking up. Just this weekend i had to listen to a salesperson waxing lyrical about 29" only to finish his schpiel with "im not really a mountain biker i tend to stick to the road"
  • - 3
 Jay let's see that canti brake rigid you're riding. If you're riding anything else you're a poser because anything other than a rigid is doing exactly this:
"make riding "gnarly" trails easy"
  • + 3
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/8626277 - dont have a full rigid unfortunatly as i cant justify spending bucks on rigid forks and the last bike i bought (well owned) that came with them i was 7, but this still gets taken out for a spin round the same trails as i ride the others on. and guess what its 26" :O
  • + 4
 i don't think people are getting my point. Here in the UK bikes are still 26", very very few people ride a different size of wheel. i guess we're quite old-fashioned people but we don't like change. i don't want to be forced into buying a different wheel size and i'm sure a lot of people over here don't. it's just the way things are, i dont want a bike with bigger wheels than i've already got. i switch around a little bit between bmx and mtb and there's so much difference it takes me days to adjust back to the other, i'm quite a small guy and 26" wheels are more than big enough for me
  • - 2
 Danny, people get your point. Its just that most of the buying population disagrees with you. When I worked with young offenders, I so often heard: "its not a big deal, all of my friends steal cars." and they were right. Its just that most people outside of their circle don't. If you look at the market as a whole, not the handful of riders you see every week, the sales trends have been very clear. I would bet most people in Whistler see few 29ers, but that doesn't mean most people buy DH bikes. The number of people PROPORTIONALLY buying 26" wheel bikes has been declining for a decade. Not enough people buy them to justify continuing to produce them, at least not in the high end markets.
  • + 3
 Willie1, like I said before, the UK market is completely different to that of America and Canada. You guys embrace new developments a lot more in comparison to us, we're satisfied with what we have got. I'm not just talking about in my local area, at trail centres around the UK 26" is all there is to be seen. We have a completely different outlook and our people think differently. I'm not just talking about dh bikes as very few people own dh bikes, we don't have chairlifts or anything like that so you have to have a bike that you can ride to the top of the hill. Most people own 130-160mm travel bikes with 26" wheels
  • + 3
 Oh dear - I also bought a sixer in the last 6 months Willie1 - a 2013 Giant Reign, as did several other people I know. What a bunch of idiots we were, when we should have waited a year and bought the next big thing. I'll never live it down.
  • - 1
 What I find interesting is I never said there is anything wrong with 26ers. 27.5 is just a bit better, and will be embraced by the majority of the buying public. I accept that 26ers are OK, and run them if you want to. You will be able to run your 26" wheels on new 27.5 frames, with a slight performance hit if you really want to. Why the hate for people who like the better ride of the new wheels?
  • + 2
 When did I say I hate them? I just said that I don't enjoy them being forced upon me. Like I said, us over here in the UK are stubborn and are satisfied with 26". It would make more sense for the companies to offer 26" and 650b wheel options on their bikes, that would give their customers more choice. I could understand buying 650b in areas where trails are flowing and only quite rough but where I ride all the tracks are ridiculously tight, steep and rough, like downhill tracks. I like the manouvrability of 26", I'm sure there's cases for buying 650b but in the UK they haven't been welcomed with open arms.
  • - 1
 650b doesn't give up anything to 26" in terms of agility. The benefits in traction outweigh the slight weight penalty. You would have a hard time noticing the difference in agility, but that doesn't help people who want to use old components on new bikes, which I think is the biggest issue from what I read here.
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  • + 1
 Nobody is taking away rim/tires availability for 26". And when your fork is dead, get a 650b fork and fit some 2.7" 26" rubber, like the new Dirt Wizard tire.

And when your frame is dead, get a new frame with 27.5. It is really not that much different from 26. Just like tapered fork is not much different form 1-1/8, and we managed to live through that transition just fine.

In short, stop whining, and care about it when buying the new bike. The only possible problem is lower resale value for your current bike. Well, then stop being a gear whore and keep it longer, until it is properly dead.
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  • + 2
 Having been a DHer/BMXer all of my life I was at first resistant to 650b. Till I actually rode one.

Its a shame the 26" wheel is going to go but that's progress. As will be the demise of 29ers
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  • + 1
 My next bike is goig to be a fat bike so 26 still lives on!!! I don't see my trials bike going to 650b or 29er so I think thats safe too, they did the reverse they went 24 is the next "BIG" thing for trials. They didn't stop maing 20" or 26" trials bikes they just added the third size 24". You can still buy what ever size you want and trials is a way smaller market then MTBing is.
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  • + 1
 I am adding one more point here. Respect for the tradition.
When I started my adventure with mountain bikes in early '90ties, there was only one definition of a mountain bike - 26inch wheels. Why 26inch ? Because it is the right balance between the large diameter wheel with all its benefits and stiffness. It may be that it is possible to make a larger wheel with better stiffness nowadays, or in the future, as the technology developed, but we should not forget about our history here. Ask Gary Fisher. We owe Him.
It is the battle between the tradition and technology progress. We ought to experiment in order to develop, but we shouldn't forget, about the history. Time will say which wheel size wins, I am sure 95% of us haven't even tried the larger sizes, but the alternative to go back, or stay with 26inch size is more than holy in this case.
  • + 0
 For all of the time the history of mtb claimed 26. It was the identity for all XC, FR, DH whatever the idea for riding came, it was always 26 equals off roading. The size was the only common feature, and made us one big family of riders.
Now I am riding along some spots and people tend to pretend they have larger xc 29inch bikes than my giant glory...
There was a war between tradition and progress in Japan some hundreds years ago, and still is, everywhere in the world between traditional customs, religion and casual pop culture. People should be inteligent enough to learn on mistakes, and make conclusions. Reading paper books is worse than audiobooks, typing is better than hand writting, cars are better than horses. Is it really better? How about manicured trails better than the unknown of wild path? How about electric powered car replacing V8? We all need tradidion. This is our identity and if somebody thinks he's gonna make me forget about my mtb tradition of 26inch size, than I am not going to buy any new (larger) bike part to the rest of my life, just like I am not going to quit reading paper books and reving v8.
..and about the diagrams above. They are all right and true, larger wheel is better, just the same like robots are better than humans.
If it is really worth to change, it should be done slowly and reasonably. Let us all try and decide, and let us all have equally developed alternatives.
  • + 1
 Tradition... really? So ditch advanced composites, disc brakes, suspension, etc. Because none of those were around in the "holy" days when these bike were invented. That is a poor argument at best.

26 came from availability of what those guys could get there hands on at the time and make last. They didn't do extensive research & development, lab testing and prototyping with rider feedback on the scale that today's manufacturers are doing. If they did, they might well have ended up at a different size just like what we are seeing in the 650b & 29 market now.

MTB's are technology based and have continuously improved over these many years. New & better materials, production methods, design tools have all lead to incremental improvement in performance and capabilities of our bikes. I find it funny how this topic seems to be the final straw when we have all upgraded to suspension, discs, more gears, tubeless tires and countless other improvements prior to this.

Anyone who has ridden for 5 years or more probably has tubs of obsolete parts that were totally amazing in their day, but are nothing more than spares for beaters now. Maybe it's time wheel size gets to join the party with all the other crap we have upgraded.
  • + 1
 I just don't get it how on Earth a larger wheel is more difficult to invent than "advanced composites, disc brakes, suspension, etc", to be taking so much time to think on. If it is so great about the larger wheels why so simple idea after so many years of trying to improve 26inch technology. That is a waste of time. What I really think this is just marketing, as larger wheels demand changing everything (frame, tires, forks, majority of bike parts). If we all get persuaded to buy the larger wheels, the industry will make more money than ever. It is just marketing and it smells dirty money in response to economy crisis. Why not 36inch then? Shall see after few years.

I don't give a d... how much better they say it is. I am staying with my 26inch wheels just because they are good enough for me. I don't need few percent better. I'd rather train my body. Majority of the pinkbike community is not professional and watching the questionary most of us rides for fun, so why should bother all the time with best bikes available.

I am not a professional rider so 650b or 29er improvements will attract me in remote future, when 26inch will occur not enough for my skills and fitness (but it sounds ridiculous after decades of riding 26inch wheels). The problem is this is not evolution they are offering, it is a total revolution and I just don't see any point in changing something that is good. Better is always the enemy of good.
  • + 1
 I don't think any argument on my side of the conversation will stop them from changing. What I am really worried about is that they won't offer any 26inch bikes in three years. I am still using 8speed chain because that is enough for me, because it lasts longer and it can handle more, but 9, 10, 11 speed chains are "better" (they claim) and more expensive to run (I add). I don't see any problem in seeing others using 9speed chains, but I can't buy high end 8speed chain as they don't offer it.

I am asking where the balance is. The width of the cassette is always the same, so when they will be offering 16 speed cassette what durability will it have to use gears 0.132mm wide. More gears are better, larger wheels are better.. off course they are but untill the guarantee time runs out and then it is time for You Chader09 and all of us to go and buy it once again or change into better. Who needs 16speed cassette. This is all the same. You know what motorbikes are faster! Why don't we all stop offering bicycles and make us all to buy motorbikes. That is just the way I see it.
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  • + 3
 I'm sure the 27.5" has it's benefits but limiting offerings for your customers is not a good business move. Either way I don't see myself buying a Giant.
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  • + 1
 Giant should've had poll first. Now carbon mould has been made, there is no turning back. Specialized once almost bankrupted when they mass produced super market bikes. Glad they heared public outrage and went back to dealership only products. I hope Giant will learn from that.
  • + 2
 You think Giant, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world did not do a market analysis? The poll on this little site showed higher acceptance of 650b, than a desire to stay at 26".
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  • + 3
 Kudos to giant for their bold move. Nice looking bikes. This shit is getting boring though. Back to what matters . C'MON SAM!!!!!!!!
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  • + 1
 phase out 29 er? guess giants all about market.. or they cant design a good geo to make a niner snappy with better handling. i see the advantages of 650 for trail/enduro... but xc? no it doesnt roll over or climb as good, plus the maestro is just a rippoff of the dw link and every time i see one i picture that maestro link slamming on the tube...

eh guess giant= snobb marketing and doesnt wanna offer more choices
  • - 1
 Giant line is still full of 29ers for '14! What is wrong with the geo? I guess you are faster than Adam Craig and Carl Deker?

And a rip off of DW? Do you even work in the industry, or do you read one sentence out of and article and comment blindly on it?

Get the facts first...
  • + 1
 Meastro was out way before DW link. d'oh. oh 29er rules
  • - 1
 mayb i was wrong about the dw link but with the geo most niners are optimized for xc with steeper ha, if its slacker on a niner itll handle quicker same goes for shorter stays
  • + 2
 @Jim - Giant is probably going to phase out 29er and solely focus on 650b as that is currently the rising market. When sales are flat with 650b, the 26er and 29er will be back. They'll say due to rider feedback. All driven by sales and not really by science.
  • + 1
 jaydawd69, I believe it is, and can be, both science and sales. Giant is the largest engineering company in the bike industry by far. I believe they did their homework and I rode the bikes and I believe it.

However, they are a bicycle sales company too....of course they are in business to sell more bikes. Right now (2014) they are giving everyone lots of choices! More 27.5" choices than any other bike company.
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  • + 1
 Wheel size? Who cares? What I want to know is, if you saw the whole range of bikes, why not show the Glory? It's because it's carbon and the embargo is still in place, yes?
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  • + 2
 Dear Problem Solver Magazine, My name is 650B and I am a Solution. For years now, I have been looking for a Problem but can't seem to find one. Please help. Regards, 27.5
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  • + 0
 Haha RC looks like I struck a chord with my Mantis bicycles comment bc you deleted it! You have no credibility, bolt on front and rear triangles died a quiet death like your hype filled 650b wheels eventually will. I want to thank you for bringing your gay "MBA wrecking crew" mentality to pinkbike and tainting an otherwise great mtb resource. I will go back to drinking my chocolate milk as you said and will rest knowing that unlike the sheeple out there drinking your rainbow xc wheel kool aid I'll keep smokin fools on my inferior wheels. 26 fo life bitches
  • - 2
 Would you like some whine with that butthurt?
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  • + 0
 This is the cotton wool generation the dumb generation, smart phones for dumb people, big wheels for riders that call them selves mtbers then roll over tables stand on drops and call themselves shredders, roll over stuff instead of pick good lines and boost off even the smallest rock or root, they crash at the mention of off camber, need berms the side of house and still roll the wrong line, then dick on about roll over control, they miss the whole point of mtb and why we do it, manafactuers are missing the whole point, our trails are being ruined by dumb people and people pandering to this dumb generation by digging out all natures features and and creating cookie cutter trails, the same the world over all in sake of the dumb mtbers and they're big wheels, strava and iPhone carrying muppets!

Watch what happens this will turn out like the 4stroke 2 stroke debate by manufactures, those manufactures that threw out the bath water suffered the most during the economic collapse have lost market share and now a company that 10years ago that was a minor player now dominates both the 4 stroke and 2 stoke bike markets and has had year on year growth, it stayed loyal and listened to all its consumer markets, now Orange is the only colour. I won't support any bike, wheel or fork manufactures who will not support 26" don't compare 24" it was an introduced option by one manufacture it was not std that was why it was not accepted other than that Id did not work for general mtb its not even on the same page, if a company will throw out 29ers as well as 26" people should really be worried especially from the largest bike company in the world, where are all those parts and existing products going to go, well in America we know they just dump everything in a field or desert, the throw away nation and society, throw people away so why not bikes huh!

I used to help people buy Giant because they were great bang for buck, def wont be doing that anymore!
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  • + 0
 "The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire." - Its not true. Basic physics laws say that contact patch is longer and narrower with bigger wheels, but the area is the same. Contact patch area is given by tire pressure and weight load (wheel size does not matter)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_patch
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  • + 0
 I laugh because people get so emotional about wheel sizes... vote with your wallet. If you don't like something. DONT BUY IT. Personally, I ride a 2013 Giant Trance X 29er. Love the bike. I'm a 260lbs guy and I can tell you that climbing long steep hills does suck... on any wheel size bike. I also believe in physics and I'm sure that once you slow to a crawl that my 29" wheel isn't helping me at all. Oh well... pedal faster? It's not the wheel size or the bike... it's the RIDER.

If Giant does eliminate the 26/29 size, then I'll check out the 27.5's. If I like it then, cool... I'll switch next time I buy. If not, then I'll go to another brand. This really isn't that difficult folks. Everyone needs to calm down and ride what you got. Or not. Who cares what Giant does?
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  • + 0
 Giant will do what gets them the most in sales; thats how a company stays in business kids. Giant or any other bike manufacturer isn't going to produce 26er if they don't sell. So if you love your precious 26ers so much go out and buy one.

Im sure Giant did their due diligence and research on the matter and they believe in 650b; Trek and Specialized are going this way too so there got to be some merit behind this change.

Sounds like everyone here knows more than these major manufacturers.
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  • + 0
 It is not the marketing that is pushing this, it is the market! and the market is us! Word of mouth is pushing...

Many riders know the limits of 26 wheels. Anyone that has ridden a 29r over rugged all mountain trails understands the brilliance of those larger tires. However,

I had no shocks! I was using a Salsa Fargo 29r, what a brilliant experience with drop down handle bars on those rugged trails.

I tried a specialized 29r with 100mm of shock front and back on skittish flat local single track, " horrible" boring, and to hard to push forward. You could not make me buy a 29r with sus! Id use my Reign SX before a sus 29r!

Thus comes the 27.5! and now Im curious! Pleasantly curious! I have a new Santa Cruz Heckler 650b in-mind!

My point: I did not need marketing feedback from the big name companies! I have my own opinions from running several versions of tire size on different slopes. I was my own marketer and engineer assessment manager!

I believe enough equipment is available for the average rider to make up his/her mind on the tire size question!

I believe it is the MBT riders that are shaping the opinions of the marketing segment of bike companies, in-turn creating influenced new products like 650B for the newer customer!

Long Live the Rider!
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  • + 3
 Man discovers the most significant invention of the ages; the wheel.

GIANT tells us what size it will be.
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  • + 0
 Hey.
I believe that the 29er is killer in super light Hardtail but that in FS the 650B may be the go. I am a spoilt owner of both in 29 (anthem X, Stevens sonora SL). Yes, bought the hype.

The type of trails you can rocket on a hardtail (smooth single track or firetrail) aren't an issue when it comes to the apparent lower acceleration or nimbleness. Because its not super technical and you are maintaining momentum/speed most of the time.
FS bikes where you can smash the rooty/rocky or more twisted trails may be just a bit better on the slightly smaller wheelsize
V8 for firetrail type racing
rally car for rooty single track
?
My old 26 feels small after riding a 29er. Cant get used it anymore.
Just personal opinion
Cheers
PS hate being a suckered sheep though and buying the hype. It sucks to be told Bike A by bike company X is the business then next year bike A is now shit, only bike B is good. If so, they should let me trade my heavily devalued bike to them for a changeover. Then I would not feel so cheated.
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  • + 3
 Anyone else get bothered by such illustrations, maybe due to their skewed perspective and questionable accuracy?
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  • + 1
 i guess no companies would like to store more than 1 wheel size for every model they make........
but maybe they can have a choice of 29" or 27.5" for Anthem/XTC/Trance M size and below......
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  • + 0
 I'm confused about how 650b have been mainstream for 2 years. Did I miss something? Aside from internet chat, these didn't really exist until this year. Even boutique brands didn't offer them until this spring, Trek just announced 2 models last month, Specialized has no intentions of 650b (they say), and this is Giant's "coming out" memo.
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  • + 0
 Got to ride a ton of bikes recently in 650b and 26". 27.5 is slower, more sluggish and heavier. You can FEEL it when you pedal, turn...anything.
I live in the greatest forest in the US, Pisgah....and it is tight as hell. A long trail bike sucks if you want to actually push the bike and the terrain. You can't work the bike, move it around, make it cut on a dime. Heck, you can barely get a 2" around the switchbacks here.

Stupid, stupid marketing ploy.
  • - 3
 Bollocks. Difference to 650b in wheelbase/weight is smaller than say between size M and L for the same bike. Difference in tire weights is less then variations in weight for the same tire model.

It is just not that much of a difference to be a problem. Ride it with an open mind.
  • + 1
 bet you didnt try the norco sight, or pivot firebird, because until i rode them i was sayin 650b was just hype.. but those two bikes prove that with a balanced geometry the 650 b rips.. its a perfect balance of both worlds.. (with proper geometry and more suspension) 29er will still win for hardtails since it cushions the ride and rolls faster so you have better input with handling since you take the suspension out. I even rocked my 29er hardtail up at Mountain creek bike park for a lil while and had no problems with it but i could see a 650 b with more travel being a better all mountain bike.. and im standin by 26 for downhill since you have 8 inches of travel to soak up the bumps...

bizbutch* try a Pivot firebird 650 b and tell me its too sluggish.. the geo is short n playful, only thing i did notice coming from a 29er hardtail is it didnt plow over things like my bike does but it handled the rough stuff with more agility. also wheel sizes dont matter much in terms of weight.. thats why cannondale made a flash 29er that weighed 16 lbs right?
  • + 1
 You're arguing a 29" down to a 27.5" comparison and you don't ride Pisgah. Don't care and I know what I've ridden!
  • + 0
 the comparison was for weight, you said 650b is sluggish and heavier... and yes you know what you rode but you never said which bikes..... the firebird is short and sweet with geometry so yes you can throw it around... so is the norco sight with the infamous xx1, also up here in northern nj we got allot of tight n technical terrain that is wellsuited for more aggresive 29 and 27.5 bikes with short n slacker than average geometry, aka kona taro, honzo, satori, process 111 etc, also till trying the firebird and norco i didn't think much of the 650b... those bikes opened up my mind to what an all mtn bike could and should be...
  • + 2
 Thanks for the feedback, but I literally will not buy 650B. I'm 5'10" and a 26'er is compact enough for everything I need and better effort into making a bullet proof product at a REASONABLE price point would be what is best for consumers.

Selling a NEW technology with new start up and design costs and passing those on to the consumer is just greed. Create a new platform, sell it for the same if not more than the previous product. If you buy it, they'll make their money and you'll feel cozy inside because you're on something new and different.

It's unncecessary. What they don't speak about with 27.5 or 29" is never the INCREASE in percentage of the RIDERS BODY WEIGHT. The lighter you are, the greater that increase and the less the benefit of ANYTHING BIGGER OR HEAVIER! A 5% weight increase on a bike might sound minimal until you divide the total weight of the person by the total weight of the bike. Less...and less...and less benefit to the rider.
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  • + 0
 I've always seen Giant as a good bike to start riding trails with if you're interested in it, they're relatively cheap, and you can find them pretty easily. that being said (owning a Giant myself) they seem to always be on the back end of mountain bike progression so I think they might be trying to compensate for that by saying "hey guys look we have all this new stuff for you and we're trying to get ahead of the game" but I think they are going to far by killing their other lines. they need to find a happy medium. I think instead of paying a bunch of money on market research Giant should just read the comments on here. it clearly shows Mountain Bikers do not like being backed into a corner.
  • + 3
 I think YOU should read the comments on here. If you do, you'll note the sales numbers referenced, based on wheel size. For every PB 26" or bust fanboy, there are 20 other consumers buying clown wheeled bikes. In the battle between consumer wallets and your keyboard, your keyboard is losing. BADLY.
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  • + 0
 "After two years in the mainstream, though, the growth of 650B points at an entirely different scenario. While there is significant push-back from existing mountain bike owners, new-bike customers seem perfectly happy to buy in to 650B. "

Two years in the mainstream? How so? 650b has been lurking in the shadows for years, just waiting to for 29 to take hold - it is very unlikely to successfully release/enforce TWO wheel standards at once, since 29ers had momentum (no pun), it had to play out first.

And of course NEW-BIKE CUSTOMER are perfectly happy, they don't know the whole story, only the marketing mumbo jumbo. They don't have any sort of context to place the information about 650, just "listen to what I say, I'm a bike sales person"....

Hey, 650b might be the best thing since dropper posts, but I'm skeptical. I don't take this as such a jump in technology, as I take it as a lack of imagination from bike designers. That's right. Seems they've done all that can do with 26. And I wouldn't argue that, but I don't think that means its time to push an entirely new bike standard out (what - pressfit didn't catch on well enough?) /rant.
  • - 2
 Shadows? Haro, jamis, and khs (among american brands) offering multiple production models since 2009 is in the shadows is it? Getting reviews by mainstream magazines since 2009 also. Being raced to big wins for over a year now. And enjoying surges in sales and interest by dozens of brands at a pace that 29er fanboys could only ever dream of. We early to 650b folks were never rooting for 29ers to take hold because we knew that had already happened.
  • + 2
 Yes, shadows - THREE American brands? That's hardly cornering or saturating the market. At least as far as marketing/media has been concerned - it's been all about the 29er. Percentage of bikes sold (or reviewed) compared to 26 and 29? Yes, I'd say it's been the shadows. At least until the big media push of Enduro, which has been almost tandem with 650, almost as if media suggest they go hand in hand. The surges in sales? Does that match the surge in marketing too? If 650 has been so entrenched for so long, how come the sales are now in surges - where were these surges in 2009 when the marketeers were pushing 29ers...
  • + 1
 Hey Jerry sounds like you don't know the whole story either. Go research the beginnings of mountain biking and come back here and tells us what you find.
Here's is a small hint: 26 inch wheel wasn't the optimal size.
  • - 3
 I said "AMONG AMERICAN BRANDS"... are you blind as well as deliberately being stupid ? I could rattle off a dozen brands that got onto the 650B bandwagon BEFORE last year, and before the wheels were sweeping XC and Enduro race podiums the world over. You know, when 650Bs got rolling 5 years ago, there was no interest really in the new fad of enduro racing. People were adopting them for XC riding, and contrary to what the tinfoil hats on this site would like to believe, the MAJORITY of mountain bikers the world over consider themselves and the riding they do primary, as cross country riding. That's who buy the majority of bikes. Not DH riders, not AM riders, not freeride/slopestyle riders, and certainly not dual slalom or 4X riders. And definitely not racers. If EVERY member of pinkbike was an exclusively gravity-oriented discipline rider on only 26" wheels, that wouldn't even amount to 1% of the annual bicycle sales worldwide.
  • + 2
 "bandwagon" That says it all. Sweeping podiums? I think the riders swept the podiums not the bikes - and many of the enduro racers are on sixers including the series leader and most of the top ten.
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  • + 0
 The idea of forcing people into riding 650b is stupid! If Giant don't re-think this decision then this could spell the demise of the company, I certainly won't be buying anything larger than 26" so they've already lost one customer here.
  • + 4
 I bet the worlds biggest bike company is shitting its pants.
In all reality, giant just sealed the fate of the 26" wheel for performance pedalable mountain bikes.
  • - 2
 Giant dominates globally, most little kids complaining just don't know it.
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  • + 0
 In terms of them killing off the 29er in a few years as well......it makes sense because if you look at the geometry of their 29ers, they are getting out classed by a number of companies. Without a complete redesign of their suspension, they are left in the dust....with their 17.8" chain stays lol! I had the original Trance x and quite liked it, with exception to the ridiculously tall head tube. Now days they look nice!
  • + 0
 ^ hit the nail on the head... their geometries are bland, granted i tried a xtc carbon a few years ago back when my main bike was a 1998 klein mantra, granted it felt better than my outdated bike, but for more aggressive riding it wouldnt hold up like what im riding now (kona taro) they gotta update their designs and think outside the generic shit...
just like maestro.. its a flexier version of the dw link and needs an update...
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  • + 3
 Love 650B... Can't wait to ride more of it! 26" wheels are old school... Better options exist for
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  • + 3
 Few years from now we'll be seeing another wheel size slotting in between 26 and 27.5
  • + 2
 And of course that will be the new "best of both worlds" Big Grin
I'm so sorry to see that MTB industry lost its momentum because of marketing departments being so done already.
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  • + 1
 Ironic to see all the Spameritards whining about 650b when it was them that accepted 29ers with open arms. 29ers were never accepted in Europe because they look like clown bikes, at least 650b looks normalish.
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  • + 2
 "Is Giant USA eliminating 29 and 26-inch wheels from its XC, Trail and AM models for 2104?"

I'm too tired to think of something clever to say.
  • + 1
 2104? i think well have space bikes by then with launch packs to catch insane amounts of air....
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  • + 0
 The whole "bikeshop bike" industry is moving to 650b to separate themselves from the box store market. I've heard from the horse's mouth (a "big three" regional rep) that this is inevitable. As much as some will bitch, this IS where the market is headed. Soon you will only be able to buy 26ers in Walmart, Costco, or Dick's sporting goods.
  • + 1
 I was speaking to cubes uk rep and he said for cube anyway it was because suspension designs were so refined now that they we're struggling for new marketing strategies and USPs so they had to make some big jump to still be able to get people to buy new bikes
  • + 0
 It is really all about moving product after all, and always has. But if people werent buying new bikes, what were they buying, second hand sixers?
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  • + 0
 The logical progression...
Mtb is following what road did many years ago. 26=road bike, 27.5=cyclo cross. 29=womans shopping bike, just add a basket.
We may think we are being new and innovative, but this was all done many many years ago.
High volume 26 tyres offered by the likes of schwalbe have been a stepping stone to a slightly lower volume 27.5.
Stiffness is not everything. How many top manufacturers are moving away from carbon frames as it is too stiff, just like motorbikes did. Try a wheel with single butted spokes then cone with double or triple butted spokes, the double or triple butting just feels so much more compliant and does not tend to come loose as often as the loads on the nipples are so different and better controlled by the butting.
  • + 22
 You had me at "loads on the nipples".
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  • + 4
 What will happen to the STP then if theyre killing 26" off?
  • + 3
 Exactly what I was thinking... Shame to think it'll go, considering it's recent redesign. Such a sweet bike.
  • + 1
 Giant STP, Reign X and Glory are all still 26"................
  • + 2
 I'm wondering why they only mentioned the Reign X and Glory then...
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  • + 2
 how can you get market feedback if there arent any options? if no one buys a bike will you go back to 26"?
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  • + 2
 I'm really holding out for 28.3 inch wheels with airless tires, 1x15 drivetrains and 2.5 to 3.5 tapered head tubes Smile
  • + 1
 I thought I was the only one.
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  • + 3
 CARBON 650B GLORY???? That would be pretty sick
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  • + 1
 the top for a very good bike out both technical and fun:

_26 "
_cadre SR steel
_Reliable equipment and timeless
_No Standards shit

That's it!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Been riding the new Giant Glory for a day on easy tracks. Less than impressive and very average. That holds true for most of Giants productline. Now if Giant cannot make a decent top off the line 26, Giants 650s will be halfassed too.
  • + 1
 Danny Hart is a machine. If he was on a Session he'd be killing it this year!
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  • - 1
 I bought a 650B Norco Sight 1 this spring. I was riding a 26 2005 Specialized S-Works dual suspension. Such a big change makes it hard to compare just wheel size but I do feel the increase in the amount of control in tight fast stuff is significant. I think the 650B adds just enough difference to make the riding experience better. All three sizes have benefits over the others so it is important to ride all when buying something new. I do not think the difference between 26 and 650B would justify buying a new bike for just the wheel size unless you are looking for just that edge you think you need. I was buying a new bike anyway and I think the 650B made a significant difference in my riding. No matter what the physics says (and I actually understand the physics), it is the seat of the pants that counts.
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  • + 4
 Shove your 650b
  • + 4
 and shove your 26" since you can't have an open mind about something as simple as a wheel size.
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  • + 1
 The real questions are these: will the reign lower links still break on 2 inch drops? No mention of the dumb 1 1/4 headtubes? What of the DW link patent suit?
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  • + 3
 DAMN! This article Butt Hurt a shit ton of people.
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  • + 4
 Vote with your wallet Wink
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  • + 1
 The worst part about all these choices with wheel sizes, is all the internet banter over it. quit your internet jawjacking and just ride your bike!
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  • + 3
 giant you've just lost another loyal customer
  • + 0
 And most likely picked up many to take your place. Business plain and simple.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like smooth roll of the 29" and the nimble feel of 27.5", so I'm waiting for 2015 when I predict I'll be informed that everyone should switch to 28.75".
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  • + 2
 SOLD!! 27.5 for me. was lookin' for an excuse to get a fresh whip next year anyways!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 glad to see that the Reign X and the Glory will still be 26ers...
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  • + 3
 26-inch wheels must stay. Fuck those 650B's and 29ers.
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  • + 2
 I love 650B, finally I'll buy cheap 26 bikes!!
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  • + 1
 Rode the 650B Trance SX on the weekend. It's money. Still super playful and super stable.
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  • + 2
 Giant have really put a lot of time into this. I just want to ride.
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  • + 1
 At least the frames look nicer with the curved seat tube (to accomodate the larger wheels).
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  • + 2
 Don't do it you cant have a 27.5 stp or faith or any freeride bike
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  • + 2
 This sounds like they are adding selling points for the sake of it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 650B Remedy 29er Superfly 100 That is my Arsenal! It's not hype and you can still pop of rocks and roots.
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  • + 2
 WAIT,WAIT! let me take my calculator...
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  • + 1
 I tell you what it spells, a big decline in sales for giant. We buy what we want, not what is forced on us.
  • + 1
 I'm gonna bet you are completely wrong in your sales prediction. No one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to buy a Giant 650b bike either. They've spent the last 2 years developing this extensive lineup of bikes and it's obvious they firmly believe in this wheel size as a better bike (after 4 years riding 650b I can tell you it is better. What's your 650b experience?). You think they just decided on a whim to try to force something onto the market for the heck of it and to piss people off without the belief they are improving on the 26" platform? I'm sure there is a nearby Specialized dealer where you will find some 26'ers already gathering dust.
  • + 0
 Will be interesting to see what happens in the spring when they have a choice of three different wheel sizes, that's for sure. My local shop even the soccer moms want 29"!
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  • + 2
 I will always be a 26 kid!!
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  • + 1
 I'm gettin sick of only hearing about 650b. We get it they roll faster no one cares
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  • + 2
 Like it and want it... now I just need the money hahaha
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I am speechless.
Did you take us small guys in your homeland into consideration?
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  • + 1
 bike manufacturers should keep making 26ers as it is more suitable to smaller riders
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  • + 0
 Well I found some of this article quite informative. I don't know what my next tyre size will be, but this was still informative.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 27.5 is just like gas prices, or living with you're mother. Just gotta accept it.
  • - 1
 No you dont..if 26'' wheels go extinct then im riding mine into the ground and going to smaller wheels, not bigger. Ill go back to bmx before i buy 650b anyday
  • - 2
 Your a dumbass, the science behind 650b proves it out performs 26 and 29 inch wheels. More performance = more fun.
  • + 3
 Maybe if you only ride DH and trails, I ride dirt jumps and street/park making 650b wheels absolutely useless, it's personal preference. The fact that giant has taken other wheel sizes away with this new line just proves that their trying to force 650b on everyone, it may be good for some people but not most. If you want proof look at other polls concerning wheels, most people ride 26" and don't want to change.
  • - 3
 Ah, you got that backwards there hubbz. It will be good for MOST people and not so good for some. Your world of dirt jump, street/park riding is small potatoes in the big picture of selling bikes. I get your concern about the wheel size for your preferred activity but for the majority of riders (which most don't realize yet) the 650b will be a better all around choice. I've been using em almost exclusively for 4 years now so I'm not just flapping my gums here. No worries though, 26" will be here for years to come but just in a smaller capacity now that 650b has finally taken hold.
  • + 3
 Yes, you've been using 650b on a xc/am bike which is preaty much the intended use of 650b wheels. The majority of riders out there either ride DH or dirt and street making it a fairly even split, beside the few downhillers who will stick with 26''. Just because 650b looks good on paper doesn't make it the be all, end all choice for the majority of riders. If i rode xc/am i'd give em a try possibly but the cold, hard truth is im far from the only person who believes 26'' is the way to go. Just because you had a good experience with your 650's doesn't mean others feel the same way. It was the same thing with 29'ers, they look great on paper but most people thought they were crap. Again look at other polls concerning wheels, you can't argue facts man...pinkbikers have spoken and its 26'' for the win!!
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  • + 1
 26 dissapear for sure? C'mon giant
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  • + 0
 They thell this like it's a great way. But.. I don't like that. 650b Descender? Pretty Weird.
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  • + 0
 Nice seat post, I might buy one. Sorry about the bikes, you lost me as a customer.
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  • + 1
 Fat tire bikes. That is where all the action is. Hehehe
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  • + 1
 Looking forward to seeing the glory
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  • + 2
 One Word : bullshit
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  • + 1
 That Trance is awesome.. Would love to see more specs !
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  • + 2
 Bikes are FUN!!!
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  • + 1
 A random comment.
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  • + 0
 Does that really say '10mm dropper post'? So it only drops 1/3 an inch?
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  • + 1
 Big mistake Giant.
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  • + 0
 3wheelsizes X 3models X 5framesizes = 45 different items = nightmare
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  • + 1
 booo! no choice=no good
  • + 2
 Giant still sells all 3 wheel sizes for 2014? That seems like lots of choices to me. Should they add 24" or 36" for you?
  • + 0
 But they just told you that they won't do that afterward. Don't you read the article?
  • + 2
 They said they would let the maket dictate the models.... I was at the dealer event in Utah last week and the said the same thing. They NEVER said "no choice"!
  • + 2
 They said they'll remove the 26" so I no see "choice" here. It's funny that some people are happy of having "choices" while in fact they may have not them very soon. Scott removed their 26" line, Giant are telling they will do the same. I hope this madness will stop here. I don't mind having different choices, but I do mind limiting my 26" enduro bike options.
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  • + 0
 We may need a petition for companies to build 26' wheels
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  • + 0
 I have to sell these things!!! Lol
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  • + 0
 THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING!!!!!!!! That is all.
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  • + 1
 this is bullying!
  • - 1
 Yes, gun to your head and back against the wall. Too bad there aren't dozens of other bike builders somewhere in the world that offer bikes with different size wheels. If only you had a choice.
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  • + 0
 NOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!! *facepalm. sobbing*
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  • + 0
 I'm liking the look of that Trance, can't wait to try it.
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  • + 0
 I think Giant is just Trolling on Pinkbike.
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  • + 1
 #mtbisdead
  • + 2
 It's not dead - it's just gone insane.
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  • + 0
 Don't buy 27.5: This is the only way to keep 26 & 29" alive!!
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  • - 1
 "When you're racing cross-country, you're pushing the limits,"

haha
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  • + 0
 650b reign 0 ? Siiick
  • + 0
 Cutting the Reign line to only the Reign X-now that's stupid.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 Mantis bikes are gay, you have no credibility RC...pinkbike delete my comments as usual
  • + 20
 Nobody is taking your wheels away C'81. People still ride eight speed rear derailleurs, and somewhere, a fork maker offers one inch threaded steerers too. Have some chocolate milk and get some rest.
  • + 2
 Richard, I would like to ask you how you would respond personally, as RC, not as a PB employee, to the following since some of us here are genuinely interested in why there is such a wholesale change going on in the MTB sector and would appreciate the thoughts of people such as yourself who are better placed that 99% of us to glimpse the future.

"There are an increasing number of thinly veiled comments appearing from frame manufacturers that would suggest the 26 inch wheel compatible frame may well disappear from the LBS shelves within the next 3 to 5 years.Given the previous decade's massive sales of 26 inch MTB frames and components, the majority of which are still very much ridden and at large, what do you envisage will happen to the relationship between manufacturers and consumers over the next 3 to 5 years?"

Any thoughts welcome.
And please respect those thoughts people should Richard be kind enough to share them with us.
  • + 3
 In the 1970's the marketing department of the american automobile industry thought they had us consumers all figured out...their "motor city" just went bankrupt.
  • + 6
 Hey RC, don't be offened by anything c81 says. None of these negitive ninnys are old enough or been around long enough to remember a company called Bridgestone. They refused to adopt any new tech in the late 80s-90s and they didn't take long to disapppear from the industry. They had cool bikes, but refuse to evolve.
  • + 4
 I remember. The MB-1 was the bike to have but it never changed. I loved mine. Steel frame and XT with 3 X 7. Bridgestone made the best bikes. The other side of the coin is that standardization brings prices down. i.e motocross. In late 80's through mid 90's you could walk into a small bike shop and buy a chain, cassette, tires, spokes, tubes etc for a mountain bike. All pretty cheap and easy to find. Try that now and you'll hear "we can order that"

They tell engineers to keep products fractionalized because that makes accountants happy. I embrace all that is new whether to watch it fail or succeed, each are entertaining but for folks with limited resources in remote regions (most mountain bikers) the 650b may be the final nail in the coffin for your local bike shop. Small shops can't afford to keep up as standardization decreases. That's why appliance repair shops are rare now but were very common 20 years ago. The 3 wheel sizes will hit us hardest in the aftermarket where component prices will remain escalated despite increased volume of sales. My 1992 MB-1 was super reliable and cheap to keep running. Ya sure my new bikes are way better but they are not cheap and fail constantly.
  • + 8
 Fair enough question, Orientdave.

Here's the short version:

I do think that most bike makers will phase out 26-inch mountain bikes in the three-year period you mentioned, and I don't believe that it will cause any significant problems for riders. I also maintain that 29ers will maintain a strong presence. I think that 26 will remain strong in freestyle, because that diameter seems to be a magic balance between its ability to sustain inertia for recovery from a trick, while still allowing the rider to overcome that force to initiate one. By the time we realize that there are hardly any 26-inch mountain bikes on the dealer's floor, however, we will be too caught up with the next big thing to give it more than a passing thought. For me, it will mark a more significant moment - the 26-inch wheel and tire were the last major components that I can fit to my vintage Mantis Pro Floater. It will mark the end of an era.

For the whole answer:

www.pinkbike.com/u/richardcunningham/blog/Answer-to-Orientdaves-650B-Question.html
  • - 1
 An end to an era you seem to push for at the behest of these manufacturers.
  • + 0
 RC - based on the juvenile, closed-minded whining going on here, do you think that the commentators are responding based the actual physics involved with wheel diameter? That is way over the head of the "it's marketing/bullying/bullshit!" crowd. Do they think Giant would take such a leap without doing their due diligence and determining if it would be successful from a sales stand point? Trek is onboard too now. Only Specialized is holding out...which is exactly what they did with 29ers. Wait, to confirm it wasn't a fad and they could profit, THEN go all in and market it as if they invented it. "Innovate or Die" Most ironic marketing slogan ever.
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  • - 1
 Haha! What a fucking joke!
[Reply]

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