Video: Will 650B Replace 26" Wheels?

Sep 7, 2012 at 13:37
Sep 7, 2012
by Matt Wragg  
 
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Confused by all the talk of wheel sizes right now? Alex Rankin has just dropped this short documentary looking at what 650B/27.5" is and why the mountain bike industry is pushing it right now. He spent his time at Eurobike talking to mountain bike companies to find out why they think it is so good and what they see as the future for it. The big question now is: is the 26" wheel on the way out?

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469 Comments

  • + 162
 No no no no! 26" wheels were designed for a reason, you can't get better than them for the mix between ruggedness, control and speed, every time you change wheel size from 26 you lose an aspect like 29ers losing a bit control.
  • + 96
 i agree 100% 26" wheels are the way to be. you can do just about everything with them!
  • + 153
 Stupid companies trying to re-invent the mountain bike, for the 40th time. We dont want so many different
products we cant buy it in the sizes we want!! Soon some wise crack will pop up and say 24.56 is the best
size, then dopey hipsters and rich kids will believe, and yet again clash parts with a normal bike. Who cares
if 27.5 is 0.5% better overall for mtb's? Learn how to ride better, you dont need what the industry tries to flog
to you 'new and better' every few months. End rant.
  • + 107
 yep, I've never been on a trail before and thought "I only wish my wheels were 1.5 inches bigger"
  • + 21
 to freeriderayward, if everyone took your attitude we'd still be riding rigid steel bikes off road trying to "improve our skills". There are some riders on the absolute edge of whats possible, small gains like this allow them to progress the sport. No one is forcing you to give up your 26 inch wheels but there's no reason to hate the 650b just because you either cant or wont invest in new technology.
  • + 64
 there's no debate if youre going to go airborne it needs to be 26. anything else i dont really care what the XC world does.
  • + 17
 HELL TO THE NO!
  • - 22
 Just F**k NO !
  • + 26
 @tombikesse
Where , pleease, is the new technology , when you only change the wheel size where you can´t feel a difference but you have to buy a whole new set up ??
The manufacturers are on a dead end ...so they invent stupid stuff...you don´t have to be a brain surgeoun to figure that out!
  • + 15
 Just marketing. 650b isn't that much bigger so it's just showing that the manufacturers search for excuses for their ridiculous prices.
  • + 12
 I blame the environment that 29ers are being ridden in. There is no need for a 26" when there isn't a berm in sight to rip or a man sized double to whip. Near me in Northern California, 29" wheels rule because they climb the vast amount of crappy fireroads around me better than a 26" could. Not a (legal) berm in sight to lay over and drag bar like a 26" can.
  • + 15
 The only reason its 26 is because that was all that was available. If back in the day, the only had 29 and that was what was used up until now. Then someone came up with 26" and tried to market it, I don't think you would be any more receptive to it.
  • + 31
 The only i thing i can say its that i´m happy with my 26¨...i don´t care about the others, i don´t care if other sizes are more efficient... ill just stick with 26. tup
  • + 26
 I was all excited when i first started watching this. "Something new.... wow thats kinda cool", but towards the end of the clip when they started talking about phazing out the 26er and how that might stay around for a girls or childs type bike, it kinda pissed me off. For all i care (for all we know) the 650B could phaze out the 29er and i wouldnt miss it a bit.

Time will tell, and in the end.... We, Us.... the consumer decides.
  • + 34
 For hopefully (but probably not) the last time... twenty six inch wheels were developed for single-speed balloon tire cruiser bikes. That is it. That they were adopted for mountain bikes by the pioneers of the sport was merely for the sake of convenience. They would have preferred to be riding fat tire 650B or 700C tires but there was a lack of them easily available in 1970s california (where the sport got started).

All the good big wheel off-road tires that existed back then were pretty much restricted to the european market countries, and there just wasn't enough available for guys to order in california to start building bikes with. That's not to say some other makers didn't try it later on (Raleigh had a model called the Mountain Tour with 650B off-road tires in the mid-80s).

forums.mtbr.com/vintage-retro-classic/vintage-650b-raleigh-saved-trash-man-x-post-colorado-front-range-811547.html
  • + 13
 i dont have face book i dont have an iphone or even a smart phone if 27.5 does take over u can bet ur ass ill be one of the last to convert
  • + 26
 deeeight is right. I'm NOT expressing yet an opinion on 26 vs 650 vs 29 (as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out) but it's plain WRONG to say that 26" wheels are/were designed for a reason, or that the history of MTB on 26" is in any way relevant.

26" on MTB is an accident of history, nothing more. So, there's no point getting all emotional about it, we have no magical or mystical connection to 26", it's just a wheel size!
  • + 6
 I support 27.5 wheels but im not gana go get a new wheel set up but in three or four years when im do for a new bike im gana consider 27.5 because why not have another advantage but i do not want or think 26 is gana disappear
  • + 5
 The problem I see with these sizes is how hard it's going to be for me to find a replacement part in a hurry when I break something at an event or competition. What are the odds the shop will have the size you need? Not to mention, your local shop isn't exactly going to want to carry 10 sizes of the same part...

On a separate note, anyone remember that Schwalbe bought in the 25" wheel and tire size a few years ago...That faded out quickly, hopefully this does too.
  • + 29
 Some of you guys are hilarious and completely against innovation of any kind. Sure, blame it on the mtn bike companies and say they're doing it just to make more money. Just like they were trying to make more money when they started developing dual suspension bikes, dual crown forks, shorter stems, wider bars, stickier pedals, slacker geometry, adjustable seatposts.

We have SOOOOOO many options out there now thanks to the bike industry. You can buy whatever you want and it just keeps getting better and better and what do you guys do? Bitch when there's another option available. Good stuff.

Vote with your wallets guys, and maybe they'll stop producing this stuff and go back to 26 only, but you might want to TRY one of the other options and see why people are buying it.
  • - 4
 wow, that video was a whole bunch of horse shit! these shitty in-between sizes are not new at all btw, they tried so many tweener sizes in the 60's and 70's and EVERY ONE OF THEM FAILED!! I feel so bad for people trying to get parts from their beloved old bike and are told their bike has become a boat anchor. These in between sizes aren't aimed to rob consumers however, merely to appear to give them choice! the real aim is to increase sku lists for the retailers and force them to carry more stock! have trouble finding a sram derailler lately? that's because shops have to carry 10 times more sku's to have every derailler in stock! Axle sizes, wheel sizes, shifter types, derailler types, 10 spd, 11 spd. bla bla bla, squeezing money from your ibd. those guys have it hard enough as it is! Help your local shop and don't buy into this marketing junk!
  • + 12
 650B - innovation? The invention of the spoked wheel was an innovation.

Besides, it appears that 650B has always been around – what is new is that now we are given the opportunity to spend money on it. Smile
  • + 0
 It was bad wording yeah... but I stand by my comment.
  • + 2
 if your going to be riding more cross country but want the option of a bit of fun then the 650b will do.
but for the harder riders that just want to have fun then 26" all the way.
  • + 8
 people bitch about wheel sizes but not suspension designs? I dont see anybody here saying "look at that fsr/vpp/etc.! we dont need that!" or "65 head angle?! way too slack!" this is innovation people nobodys forcing you to buy them... yet anyways
  • + 0
 Good thing we don't have to worry about not being able to get 26" anymore. There is no push anywhere to create 1 standard for wheel size and anyone who says it is is just talking from their ass.

I personally welcome the thought that the bikes I want to buy will have noticeable differences in them. Does anybody else find it ridiculous that companies will tout the one bike quiver type of bike, but then have 20 bikes in their lineups with so much overlap? Maybe the ground that the new wheel sizes gain will cut down on that.
  • + 27
 26 inch dh bikes 27.5 inch all mountain bikes and 29 inch cross country bikes
  • + 3
 I'm in support of innovation. A message to industry - don't stagnate.
  • + 5
 Don't be so closed minded, clearly 650b has a lot of potential. It actually makes me sad, when I think that most all mountain and downhill guys are very chilled and open minded. Sadly so many of us can't accept change.
  • + 9
 as an xc rider who commonly gets airborne i say 26 all the way, however to each his own and all that, i just don't want to be left with no 26" parts
  • + 5
 This is very amusing because I bet most of the people who are hating on 650b haven't even tried them. They may be great or they may not, you can't know until you take them for a long open minded ride. I haven't tried them so I try not to have an opinion, and I encourage you to do the same.
  • + 0
 cant wait to try them, just gotta make sure its a demo ride and that i didn't pay for the bike so I can find out for myself if its all crap or not, ppl who have bought their own bikes will be biased obviously even if its the most miniscule change they'll make it a big deal, it has to make some difference tho if some pros are riding them 29ers make sense for xc root climbs, 650b has its doubts but people will try it and either ditch it or keep it, all I know is theres no way in hell im paying for one without trying it out first on some decent trails
  • + 6
 The 26 inch wheel is dominant in downhill and will be due to its better cornering (tread and weight).

29er was dominant in XC, but now 650B is mixing things up.

650B might be the best of both worlds for the all mountain rider (the more pedal related rides).

I think it is a great idea, but it should not be advertised as the 26 killer because that is not.
  • + 1
 MX rims are up to 21". As we can see from huge forks, oil shocks etc. DH/FR is getting close to motocross. In this case, rim size should go smaller not bigger.
  • + 2
 MX are measured from the rim and bikes are approximate outside diameter.
A 19" MX front wheel is approximately a 24"-26" MTB.
  • + 1
 The fact that it is only a little bit bigger is what makes it perfect. We finally got the perfect wheel size, and it only took 3 tries, not bad! Once you try it you will realize this, and right now it is funny to see so many people fighting it. I laughed my ass off reading the article in the latest issue of DIRT opposing it!
It's a good time to be a mountain biker, as long as you don't pay much attention to the issue of global warming. The future will either be miserable or impossible, but right now it feels perfect; just like 650b!
  • - 1
 never knew, good point. So anyway, something about 26 is optimal for agressive riding
  • + 5
 Thank you deeeight... 26 inch were not designed for mtb. They just chucked them on and it worked. People who dont know nothing should say nothing.
  • + 7
 is everyone forgetting the days of 570mm handlebars and 100mm stems, it's taken quite a while but I'm sure most people on here are now running wide bar short stem, it's just better. And I'm sure there was plenty of wingers about corporations robbing your hard earned cash when the 31.8mm bar standard came in from the 25.4mm standard, progression happens, it happens for a reason, the ones that dont happen for a reason don't sell.

The same goes for 20mm bolt through axles from QR axles, a new, better standard. Downhill air shocks instead of coil (admittedly not market dominant but certainly a viable option for the weight concious). The sport is always having new innovations, i should imagine in more than half the cases here, those whining about a new standard are those not willing to try it due to financial circumstances. This isn't a problem but don't hate on a new technology because you "like" your 26 inch bike.

I ride a 26 inch bike, no way can I afford a new frame, fork and wheelset so will be stuck on 26inch for a long while to come, but that doesnt mean from that, I can deny that anything new is immediately rubbish. I look forward to trying a 650b wheel, theory says it should ride nicers!
  • - 3
 So 29 and 650b are better because it makes it easier to roll over bumps. Therefore trail becomes easier, challenge elimanted. Everyone then gets 29/650b bikes so races become equal, we are back to the beginning again just with heavier, flexier, less fun bikes (and don't tell me they are fun because you go faster, speed is relative and stop being lazy and try harder)
  • + 1
 Its not just the roll-over improvement that makes 700C/650B bikes better. Longer tire contact patches mean more traction so they climb and corner better as well.
  • + 3
 26' will remain always for the dirt jumps and the slopestyle riders. having riden and tried to spin a 29" i can say its pretty impossible. 650b is going to be harder to throw around so it wont be ideal.
  • + 0
 do they think we need 26, 27, 28, 29 and anything inbetween to have fun?
  • - 1
 29'ers (and 650b presumably) absolutely rip.

www.sicklines.com/reviews/review-niner-bikes-wfo-9-29er

If you can't figure out how to shred the wagon wheels...it's not the bike, it's you. @getyourskillsup
  • - 4
 650 BULLSHIT!!! Just a select few retarded Amaericans trying to re-invent the wheel to make a quick buk. slightly disappointed in Rankin for giving this Hype exposure.
  • + 2
 29 and 650b don't make the trail EASIER they make the small bumps less noticeable. If you've got a 6 inch root stickin out of the ground you're gonna feel it, no matter what wheels you got. Just because you've ridden 26" and like it doesn't give you reason to be a close-minded elitest thinking you are a better bicyclist for riding one.

If anything, the best aspect of a larger wheel is momentum. More momentum = harder to stop. Doesn't make anything easier. In fact, the larger diameter wheels are just larger gyroscopes, harder to turn, harder to control.

Do some research people. 26" was a happy accident and 29" is a viable option but with different applications. I personally think there's no point to bring in a size half-way between, since the difference is so negligable.
  • + 1
 Really guys? 26" was just there from the start because thats what the old shwinns used to have as standard. Rather than having Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Charlie Kelly and all the rest of the guys up here from Larkspur/Fairfax go and not only re-invent not only frames but also wheels and tires in their garage is way too much to ask. They would have like to go 29" because it rolls faster and really works for the terrain that we have here locally. Sure 26" works fine and for spins and tricks the gyroscopic effect of the larger wheels makes it harder to do spins, but saying that downhill is only for 26" is also pretty close minded. Niner currently offers the WFO which with 7" of travel and the 29" wheels is nearly if not exactly similar to a normal 26" downhill bike with 8" of travel. Sure 650b is going to be a pain to convert over to but with such industry support right now I'm sure that you will not see this die out. I'm sorry to all you 26" lovers and some of you 26" bigots but unless you ride slopestyle 26" wheels will see a decrease in the market for all but the largest companies as smaller companies cannot keep 3 size options around for a long time.
  • + 3
 Bottom line: "Hybrid" bikes are the biggest bike sales segment in history and they aren't good for anything. The fact that we as mtb-ers are getting all kinds of choice is mind-blowing. Just say "Thanks!" and ride mo fos.
  • + 3
 I dont care whatr size wheel im riding. If it works, lasts and makes my bike better/faster ill ride it. Id even try a 650B dh bike if the wheels became strong enough and light enough to handle it.
  • + 1
 @norcalw24: the Niner WFO has 5.5 inches of rear travel, not 7. Hardly a DH rig.
  • + 2
 good enough for bike parks...
  • + 1
 right, which is about the limit of wheel travel for a 29er before the bikes cannot be fit to all but the tallest riders. Trek did attempt a 29er 7" travel DH bike a couple years ago and abandoned it as un-workable.
  • + 1
 why not 29er front 650b back? just a thought
  • + 5
 wait i got it!! 26 in the rear, and 26 in the front!!!
  • - 5
 sorry kids we live in a world of evolution and experiments and thats not going to change so deal with it
  • + 3
 build bikes which can be set with either 27.5 or 26 inch wheels by changing the drop out or other geometry? The radius of the wheel is only 0.75 inches so i'm sure forks could be built with that standard
  • + 4
 There is only one correct wheel size. There is only one correct car. There is only one correct type of shoe. There is only one correct type of underwear. There is only one mind. There is only one correct way of thinking. [SARCASM, SHOULDN'T YOU HAVE NOTICED]

Seriously, thank diversity! What are we? Robots? Don't be affraid of change... Look at what a DH bike is now, compared to what is was when Gary Fisher was shredding them. Get your head out of your arse.

I'm not saying that we have to accept everything. But please, 3 different wheelsizes? You pick the one you like and you ride. Nagging about it takes away all the fun in riding a bike. I'm not going to ride now since reading this just ruined my evening. Or has riding a bike never been fun and was I believing a lie?
  • + 1
 I think its nice to see new wheel sizes being tested, but I am sure 26 is not being totally replaced by 29 or 27,5 as long as there's still people riding donwhill, slopestyle and dirt jump.
[Reply]
  • + 51
 Who cares. Ride what you want to ride. You don't see people getting uppity because my car has 17 inch wheels but their car has 15 inch wheels.
  • + 14
 Finally someone who hits the real point here. Mountain biking is all about personal expression. What bike is going to best match how YOU want to ride and YOUR personality on the bike. 26? 650B? 29er? Who cares! As long as you're having fun on two wheels that's what counts.
  • + 4
 Yeah and it's not like they are forcing anybody to use/buy them. The market will decide if it becomes a new standard or not but it's not like they will stop making 26in just gives us a wider arrange of options. Plus with all these new frame designs like Black Markets Roam that will use 26/650b/29 all on one frame (fork will be needed obviously) you can have the best of all 3 worlds.
  • - 3
 Brain washer move makes me feel sorry for 29er owners(fans)
keep in mind - everyone from the video is a sort of sales person after all
  • + 6
 I can't stand people who hate on something with out trying it. Keep an open mind and ride what you love, It'l do you good.
  • + 2
 True, but I think the problem here is the elimination of 26" wheels from the product lines.... Like the dude from DT Swiss said in the video.... I doubt something like that is going to happen especially any time soon.... It's up to the buyers really.... If people support 26" wheels, no company is going to eliminate them.... If they are eliminated someday, that will be because most of the people chose 650B.... and that would probably mean that they are better in general... Then I'd only be pissed if I had just bought a 26" bike....
  • + 0
 Right, so no need to worry Smile
  • + 4
 bike companies need to make new parts to keep them going, they create something new to keep people wanting something new, thus spending their hard earned cash on it! its the way the world works. i like 26, i'll be staying on 26, doesnt mean everyone has too!
[Reply]
  • + 33
 Downhill = 26'' only,650B could be a potential wheel size as a altenative option next to 26'' in the near future.
AM/Enduro/Trail = 26'',650B
XC/Marathon = 29'',650B
Freeride/Slopestyle/Dirt = 26'' only
  • + 0
 totally agree! Do you think 650b wheels would ever be used on flatter less tech dh tracks such as Canberra? Or would they be too slow handling? Personally never rode anything but 26 so I dont know how they'd handle dh.
  • + 1
 I can see a slight advantage on the more pedaly tracks like PMB that a 650B could be make some diffirence,but for most DH tracks it's just better to stick with 26'' in most parts.
  • + 7
 650B tires were used by at least two riders at the 2012 DH World Championships last weekend.
  • - 1
 How'd they do?
  • + 1
 Yeah I imagine they would be, wonder if we'll see many riders on them next year, or even in Norway. Can't see them being the norm tho, they can't be as good on tech stuff surely, or tight lines?
  • + 6
 They didn't win.
  • + 1
 Don't know if it was the 27,5" whells on Claudio Caluori Scott bike that made him ride so fast without a tire on the rim..! But it looked pretty good for a retired dh rider! Apparently the tire rolled off on one of the wallrides.
Their junior did pretty good placing fourth.
  • - 1
 you forgot that lots of people are offering DJ setups in 24" now, though...
  • + 1
 What makes people think that 26 is not a good option for xc? There are tradeoffs for xc as well.
  • + 3
 Here is a thought on slope style. I am being honest here, but I think that they should move to 24" wheels. Jump lines tend to be smoother, so responding to the trail is a much smaller issue. They just need to take the large impact of landings. With smaller wheels the bikes could accelerate faster, be far more maneuverable in the air and the wheels would be far stronger. Anybody for less tacos?
  • + 2
 i agree aelazenby. smaller wheels you can throw around better in the air.
  • + 1
 yup, I think we'd see tricks move to a whole new level if they went down a wheel size. I wonder if it would affect how big they make the hits, though...
  • + 0
 I agree with Fantaman. 650b makes a lot of sense for an AM setup where there is more pedaling over terrain irregularities then on a straight up DH setup.

That said, it still always needs to be remembered that more weight diameter always equals more unsprung weight which always equates to more work the suspension needs to do. That said, the question is always if the advantage of larger diameter is more then the negatives resulting from more unsprung weight.

This answer to this will most likely be a matter of use and preference. In other words, whatever the rider likes. :-)
  • + 1
 i think the junior riding for scott 11 was riding the middle size, got 4th? noel neiderberger or something.
  • + 4
 The 1 thing i dislike about this article is the fact they mention wiping out 26"...

About the 24" for Slopestyle thing. No thanks... 24 has been around on hardtails for AGES now. And there isn't a large number of riders that prefer it over 26.
24"s roll faster through a tight set of dirtjumps, but 26s hold speed better and feel all round better.
Slopestyle is closer to mountainbiking than Dirtjumping. Obstacles are spread out on a bigger area and courses require allround skills to be ridden at the highest level.
I just dont see 24" ever fitting in, they've been tried but never came out all that popular. The majority of 24" fans are UK trails riders, and even there there seems to be more 26" preferring riders...

I love 26" and don't plan on changing that anytime soon. They may have become the mtb standard by accident, but they stuck around on top for a reason...
I wont go hating on people for running different wheel sizes. Aslong as you enjoy what you've got then that's sweet. But don't go talking about wiping out what has been the standard for so many years now completely...
[Reply]
  • + 35
 26" is where its at!!! No offense to the peeps who ride 29ers
  • + 6
 Funny thing is the 29'' doesn't realy exist in the common bicycle wheel size world,people should know that 29'' are actually ISO 622mm/700cc wheels which relates to the same wheel size found on commuter,road racing,cyclo cross & hybrid bikes.But we know them as 29'' in de mtb industry.

26'' wheels are here to stay for ever for most riders it's the industry standard for most bikes out there,for Downhill it's well clear that the industry are not gonna replace the 26'' for a 29'' because the whole market is specific made for 26'' wheels only because it's the best wheel size to stick with.I realy like that KHS & Scott are experimenting with 650B for Downhill but still that wheel size would never be better than 26'' in most area's.
  • - 9
 Completely disagree! People are getting taller as a species, forget all the technical and marketing crap, the fact is that as a populas we are getting taller and as such we require bikes that fit us. I personally am 6ft2, which itself is not huge, but I feel that the 26" is starting to run its course.
Don't get me wrong I have nothing wrong with 26" wheels (and personally hate the look of 29"/700cc mtb's) but I feel it is an evolution of both a sport and ourselves to provide a tool that is best suited for our needs?
As we ride further, faster and over rougher terrain why don't we get the best kit? We use carbon now when a few years ago steel was the only way.

650b for XC? Certainly, and most likely 29"
650b for AM? Can only be a benefit
650b for DJ/FR? No
650b for DH? Don't see why not. Some will like some wont. Some people like single pivot bikes, others like linkage. Neither is wrong and both are evolutions of the sport.
  • - 5
 you are an idiot @ajh4446. peaty and minaar are super tall and they don't say that because they are a taller they need bigger wheels. the 26 inch wheel is not and will never run its course. Are you a scientist? the evolution of ourselves?? you mean how some people are born with a tall gene, people are still short, not everybody is tall and its going to stay like that.
  • + 1
 people dont seem to be changing if so gotta be shorter... why the f*ck am I arguing this?!
  • + 6
 I could see the switch to 27.5 in AM and perhaps even DH. I don't see it taking hold so much in FR or DJ.
  • + 0
 Peaty and Minaar are tall you are right, but their company also has not utilised 650b wheels, nor do they run suspension that has been designed for such. I would not be surprised however if they had tried even 29" wheels or that they would have at least experimented with it during race runs if they were sponsored by Intense cycles and Manitou suspension for example. You don't hear them complaining about this because it would go against their companies policy.

It is just a fact that people are taller now on average then what they were even 20 years ago. Yes some people are tall and small, I wasn't suggesting anything otherwise, but what I am saying is that a larger size wheel for certain applications is a benefit and certain frame sizes (both in body and bike) Companies are only now starting to offer different rotor sizes and crank lengths dependant on sizing, so it would go along the same lines that larger wheels would suit a larger frame.

@dh433 to call me an idiot for having a basic understanding of evolution, history and marketing seems kind of ironic at the least
  • + 0
 evolution of humans... ? wow guys... lets bring shoe size as a factor into it at the same time.
  • + 0
 I wear 45-47 depending on brand so in that case I must be all set!^
  • + 7
 Peaty's sponsor may not be pushing 650B, but Peaty himself HAS raced the wheelsize already this year at a UK DH race. Apparently he's open minded enough to try it out, maybe the fan boys who worship him here could be also.
  • + 2
 didn't he finish 38th though.
  • + 1
 with a crash...?
[Reply]
  • + 21
 Run what you brung...its all good as long as your having fun
[Reply]
  • + 17
 I think that 26" wheels will stay at least for the freeride, dirt jump/street, and slopestyle bikes. I don't see a single reason why there would be a need for bigger wheels in those categories.
  • + 15
 For weight and strength reasons, 26" will always be best for getting air and hammering the dirt jumps
  • + 1
 that and with the current trend of making chain stays short as possible on street/park mountain bikes (think bmx street riding on mtbs designed around that niche) 26" wheels arent going away.
  • + 0
 Someone better tell the BMXers Wink
  • - 1
 bmxers are even worse for hating innovation. they even question why you would ride a 24" or 26" wheeled bike for street and park.
  • + 1
 bmx is the most wrongly used term
  • + 0
 true. but its the industry standard coined term. just like the granny ring.
  • + 0
 KTownRoyster - Straight up LOVE that comment.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Tyler Morland said it perfectly. It's all about personal choice. So with that being said, there are enough supporters of each wheel size that all sizes will stick around. yes you will see some sizes become the standard from some companies for a certain disciplines of riding but I don;t think we will ever see 26er's die out.
  • + 3
 get some pro DHers on 650B and watch the sales.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 How many of you armchair engineers have actually ridden different wheel sizes? I haven't but am still open to try them and come to my own conclusions through experience and not assumptions.
  • + 12
 Unfortunetly open minded mature mountain bikers like yourself are a fringe community here on pinkbike.
  • + 2
 this is true^^ it's really a normal thing to run into. I had an middle aged man come in pissed off because he bought a Marin Team CXR(top end carbon XC race bike) last year, and is pissed because they made it a 29er for this year and that he wanted a refund and a deal on the new one. his argument was "well you knew it was going to be a 29er this year, you should have told me so i could have waited" "well no sir I actually didn't know. If you did any research on your own time you would have figured out that it was likely going to happen" angry customer storms out mumbling garbage about how all of us are in it to scam people and shit like that.lol
  • + 2
 how could anybody be possibly that stupid to think hes going to get a refund? this isnt walmart people! you cant start bitching super loud and expect to get free shit
  • + 1
 yea i never understand those people but they are always the ones that make enough money to drive a 70 000 dollar car but want their bike bellow cost Rolleyes
  • + 0
 Glad you didn't give the baby his bottle.
  • + 0
 I like my 650b converted bike so much I have no interest putting my VERY nice carbon 26" wheelset back on. My 650b wheels are "average" Sun EQ27, Hope Pro II, and DT revolution spokes. With 650b I use racing ralph, with about the same grip in average conditions as the nobby nicks they replaced, all in 2.25 casings.
  • + 1
 I run Rotaz hubs w/Alex rims and DT Revos and Quasimoto 2.0s on my carbon full suspension 650B conversion, and Hope Pro 2 w/Velocity Blunts and DT Revos and NeoMoto 2.3s on my Haro Beasley hardtail. With the full suspension, I built it from the start with 650Bs. Its never had 26"wheels and tires mounted and I've never regretted putting it together as I did.
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  • + 8
 hm... i am not sure what will last, but i will definitely try out a 650b downhill bike when there is one available.

would love to try a scott gambler 650b back to back with the 26" counterpart.


am i really the only one to be curious about this and not hating on it without even trying it?
  • + 1
 for sure. get some pros to ride side by side. one on a 26 one on a 27.5. do a run then switch bikes and do another. science
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  • + 8
 I actually think that 26" will stay, and 650b will replace 29". There is no argument that for DH 26" wheels are not going anywhere, and manufacturers will not continue to try and offer 3 different wheel sizes since it is very expensive and will cut into to profits. the advantages of 29ers over 650b in the x-c race world is not great enough to justify both wheels, but the advantage of 26" in DH and freeride over 650b is enough to justify both wheels. In my completely biased and unfounded opinion.
  • + 1
 industry has played their hand. The market will respond. The people without hangups will choose what's best for them.
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  • + 7
 will lock-ons replace regular grips?
will tubeless replace tubes?

Pinkbike, you ask the dumbest stuff at times. Honestly...
Do some reading, a few companies have said that they'll only do 650b to stay competitive in the market.
  • + 0
 yea and clipless will replace flat pedals!
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  • + 7
 how many have even ridden 27.5 inch wheel? how can you say that 26 is fine as is when you havent even ridden a 27.5 wheel. If people dont keep pushing the envelope on mtn bike products then things will not get better. These people have been engineering products for years and doing miles and miles of R&D on the trails. they wouldnt just be saying this, this 27.5 inch wheel obviously has a lot of potential
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  • + 8
 I Can't Wait to Jump on My Mono-Ski this winter, then when I get home I will pop in a Betamax tape and relax on My Futon..... so innovative!!!
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  • + 6
 What a bunch of wankers..."if 26" wheels go away, I'll quit riding." Don't let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.

I have not seen a single comment against 650b by someone who has ridden one.
I have never been a fan of 29ers, but didn't pass judgement until I actually rode one...
  • + 1
 Its usually the retarded Dh guys who just post shit rather than ride... Theres no 650b DH bikes atm, so no issue... No 11speed DH group, if anything spesh are pushing for 7 speed, so no issues... But they do like a good old moan about shit that they really have no interest in or even a product that exists...
  • + 2
 Well I didn't intend to post, but just for you. I'm not very tall with my 173cm, and I took a 650b 160mm travel bike for a ride on XC trails around Whistler, didn't really like it. It has its positives, it can kinda roll over stuff easier, but I didn't really like its maneuverability. The XC trails around here are often quite technical, either up and down the hill, and on the bigger bike I just got stuck quite often on a rock or a root, just because I failed to either get around it, or jump on it as I could with the 26".

So just for myself, I'm not seeing myself on bigger wheels than 26", not even for XC, as I like the technical parts of trails, and the 650b just doesn't cut it for me there.
  • + 0
 I respect your opinion. I think for everyone, there is a bike set up that suits them best, based on their size and riding style. You do admit it has positives...maybe they don't work for you, but at least there is something to it, more than just marketing.
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  • + 5
 Dear Scott,
Have you ever been to Glentress in Scotland?
...it is the busiest (most number of visitors) bike location in the world, so I guess has some of your target market.
Have you seen the average height of the rider who rides there?
... it is Scotland, we are all short asses, so around 5ft8
Have you ever seen a short ass on a 29'er..... lol
Will you ship your bikes with wee ladders on them to allow people to get on them....?
My wife is 5ft2 (tall for a girlie up here), 5ft2 on a 29'er or even a 650B, she makes an XS framed 26" bike look huge...
  • + 1
 hehe I love this comment and it made me smile Big Grin this is the reason I cant wait to go back to glentress your all lovely people in Scotland x
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  • + 5
 Mountain bike wheels are measured based on OD (outside diameter)...

My 2.5 minion DH tires on medium width rims are approximately 27.5" OD ....
My all mountain has a 27" OD front and 26.5" rear on skinny rims and medium aggressive tires.

Downhill is already 27.5" LOL

XC/light all mountain need to be made up for in OD due to the lower sidewall thickness!!!!
  • + 3
 Exactly... they may say "26 x 2.5" on the sidewall, but the tires are not actually 26 inches in diameter. My fat bike has tires labeled 26 x 3.8 but in terms of actual diameter its 29 inches. Surly just released the Krampus with tires labeled 29 x 3.0 but whose actual inflated diameter is close to 31 inches. That's one reason why its so easy for converting existing bikes/forks from 26" wheels to 650B, if they had the clearance for 26 x 2.5 to 2.7 tires, they had the clearance for existing (as of 2012 model year) 650B off-road tires.
  • + 3
 The argument for 650B being the best is just another reason to keep downhill as 26" because it is actually the same already.

Why fight something that is been used for downhill bikes already. They will not change them on downhill bikes without contradicting themselves by saying 27.5" is the best.
  • + 1
 Seriously, why do 650B wheels feel so good... they roll over stuff like a downhill bike (27.5 = 27.5)
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  • + 9
 im sick of all these "will it replace 26" nonsense posts.
  • + 1
 its unfortunate that so many people live in fear and react emotionally rather than logically.
jeff steber is actually out to con buyers and bring 26" bikes to extinction, it simply can't be that 650 is worth investing in.
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  • + 4
 People of the world- have no fear. After the death of the 26", because of the size obsessed men of wheel design Wink - I plan to buy a vast amount of 26" wheelse which will be sold in covert to prevent the 29er and 650b police. 26" wheels will Inevitibly become the drug that is dealt in the ghetto.
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  • + 5
 I wish i could neg prop pinkbike for the lame title to this article. Why does 650b need to "replace" anything? Are we all that short sighted?
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  • + 3
 Christ this debate is soooo boring. I bet most of you haven't even tried anything other than a 26 inch wheel. Most are basing it on its looks, and because it looks different, people freak out. Open your minds people. If you don't like it, don't buy it, but evolution never stops...
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  • + 3
 Marco Giarrana from DT Swiss was the best. He was the only one that really compared the three in terms of riding. His points were:
- His own (and not DT Swiss')
- 29er for speed
- 26" for "if I just want to go for a play ride. Whip it off stuff, manual, drift corners..."
- 650b...[winces] and says "...is probably what will happen to me personally". His choice of words sounds he knows he will be forced into 650b.

The worst was Bill Shook from American Classic. He only cares about weight and rolling resistance. No mention of the ride. He needs to go riding with Marco have some fun.
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  • + 3
 Bike technology is getting to the point where new standards must be created to get people to continue to buy new bikes and components! There are many new standards that make sense (i.e. tapered head tube, 142x12 rear axels, 73mm bb, 20mm and 15mm axels etc). 29er and 650b might make sense in the cross country and light trail market but when you increase you wheel size you limit your available suspension travel. Unless you're Yao Ming, a larger wheel on a long travel bike would create a pretty high standover and bb height.

When 650b hits downhill bikes and proves superior, I will be a bit more convinced that it's meant to be. Although I guess if you make a frame for 650b you can still use a 26" wheel.
  • + 2
 That's the reason for 650B being in the AM market segment... the growth from a FAT 26er to a somewhat skinnier but larger diameter 650B is minor, and many AM bikes already clear some pretty chunky 26er tires. For their designers, they required almost no changes to be made to adapt to 650B. Certainly not the mess that happens with trying to get 29 to 31" tires to clear.
  • + 0
 mah riding trails on 2.4" tyre is king, cushioning is sweet. I rode a 29er with 2.1 tyres and it feels smooth sure, but as long as you stay on the ground. Any jumping from rock to rock, landing drop offs feels as rough as on 26" with same tyre. Fat tyres will always be fun booster, no matter the wheel size, that's why I chose 2.25 NNics (adequate to Maxxis and Conti 2.4) and wide 28mm rims for the Niner I am building right now.
  • + 2
 I haven't seen a DH rider with a true 26" wheel in over 15 years. To be 26" the tire needs to be less than 2.0". A 2.5" tire is more like a 27.5" wheel. It is already seen as superior.
  • + 0
 I find (and others who've reviewed and written about in mags) that continental tires tend to have taller casings for a given claimed width, that other brands, and often their tires don't actually measure what they claim for widths. WTB tires practically never come out at the claimed width because their claims are based on inflating the tires on 26mm rims at SIXTY PSI. And yes, over-inflating tires past the point you'd ride them at will stretch the casings and lead to greater widths. Take a pair of Kenda 29 x 1.9 Karmas and at around 30-40psi they come out at about 49.5mm width. Pump them to 70psi though and they stretch another 2mm in width. Back to conti tires... I usually assume they'll measure out 10% less than they claim for widths based on past experiences with their tires and recent magazine reviews of them.
  • + 0
 Conti and Maxxis use smaller casings that claimed with most of their models, and there is only one explanation to this: weight weenie seducting factor. On the other hand Schwalbe uses slightly bigger casings than claimed, but with 1ply casings their tyres are 10-20% lighter than others - sure at the cost of stability and durability, but still - in your face you sleeky cheaters Smile

Conti also uses weird thread spread on some tyres like MKing or Xking - it is not as widely spaced towards the sidewalls as on Maxxis or Schwalbe. Hurray for poor riders who lean too little
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  • + 3
 Some people in this video were interesting to hear, some were complete douche; "26" bikes are still a very good option, especially when it comes to entry level bikes or lady bikes... " man f*ck you !! Most riders aren't inspector gadget, it's annoying how they are trying to confuse people with ridiculous stats about this product being x% better than the other; When you are on the trail you don't think about that, you think about riding ! Plus asking the opinions from wheel makers and frame builders isn't really objective; They are in a bike show, they have things to sell, and they would say anything to you to make a sale.

I liked the opinion of the santa cruz owner on another interview pinkbike posted, where he said that he doesn't care about which size wheels are, as long as you have fun with their bikes that is what's more important.

If frame manufacturer decide to phase out 26", we can't do anything about it; The best solution is to give the consumer an option! Now they surely won't make 34 versions of the same frame just to accomodate god damn wheels, so just stick with the same and focus on something else ! As long as 650b remains only an option, I don't see any trouble here...
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  • + 3
 Personally I don't see what the huge fuss is. I've ridden both 26 and 29. I see the advantages and place for each, so why not streamline the options available and have a true best of both worlds wheelset for the end user but is on the fence with 29. I mean buying a bike is more so like buying a car than ever, why not have all of the customizations possible...whatever you do though dont eliminate the 26.
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  • + 3
 I get the feeling certain companies are desperately trying to sell these 650B wheels to consumers, and judging by the comments to this article are going to have a tough time with the gravity side of the market. I think they might have more success in the XC market, which seems to attract the wealthier mid-life crisis types, who are more likely to spend their money on something an advert told them was the new fangled optimum size.
  • + 1
 Like oval chainrings.
  • + 1
 the rotor Q rings dont feel that bad to me, 50$ on ebay (: thats for a road bike... likely placebo effect tho if you word it right it can sound like eating dog shit will make you faster
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  • + 3
 There is no way that 26 is going to die off because of 650B, it didn't die when 29" came around, why would it die now, think about every 26 inch wheel ever made, maybe companies will stop making them, but they won't die thats for sure. Its the same as carbon, the market didn't go crazy when carbon stuff came out, some people bought it, some people stayed with Alu and Steel,

ride what you want, do what you want, buy what you want
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  • + 3
 After riding the 650b bike I own extensively for the whole season, I can honestly say I couldnt tell the handling from 26 or the rollover from 29... 27.5 is a great size and anyone who does their research would know 650b didnt pick up at the beginning of the mtb era due to 26er parts being readily available in the area, so they became the standard.
  • + 1
 Good point...the only really arbitrary wheel size is 26". It was just chosen for mountain bikes at the beginning b/c that's what was available.

27.5" and 29" have been researched and tested extensively. 26" wheels on the other hand were used b/c that's what was sitting around in the garage.
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  • + 2
 Talking to Gary Fisher a couple weeks ago he said. They used 26" wheels because that was what worked the best when they were putting their bikes together. That was all they had at the time. They didn't have computers and labs at their disposal they were making junkers in their garages. That was why he decided to experiment with 29'ers in the first place. The bicycling world still has a way to go, I think people should be happy with experimentation.
  • + 1
 A well put point.
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  • + 6
 this is the silliest shit ive ever heard.
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  • + 2
 For me, the guy from dt swiss summed it up perfectly, when he wants to go out and have fun he rides a 26" and when he wants to go fast he rides a 29". For me the whole reason I ride bikes is to have fun, sure going fast and beating your mates, gives you bragging rights at the end of the day; when I get home after having spent all day on the trails, I'm not thinking of the inconsequential numbers that pop up on the speedo, I think of how awesome that day was, how pinned it felt to rail that corner. At the end of the day for 95% of us who ride, it's about getting out there and riding trails, even for those that race my experience is that most of us are there for a good time and not looking for a spot on the podium. For those who are looking for a spot on the podium go for a bigger wheel, for the rest of us, who just ride for the enjoyment of it, isn't 26" still the most fun?
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  • + 2
 this comment section is making me feel sick from all of the goddamn stubbornness of some people. you know what they said about 29 inch wheels. oh they wont work. then, oh its for XC only. then, oh well its also AM compatible. look where we are now. the 26 inch XC market is effectively gone. i work in a shop and we cannot get rid of our 26 inch XC bikes. as technology improves, the flaws of bigger wheels start to get solved, and the advantages really start to come through. to all the haters and 26er fanboys out there, just remember, you can dismiss new products all you want, but in the end, if there is a reason for it to stay, then it will, and there is clearly a market for 27.5 inch wheels. keep an open mind, ride what you want, and dont hate on what others choose to ride. there is plenty of trail for all of us and no reason to get mad at each other for our bikes.
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  • + 2
 both my bikes are 26" but being 6'1" the bikes do start to look out of proportion so from a aesthetic point alone i wouldn't mind trying out a 650b. also as a child you start on bikes with say 16" because anything more would be cumbersome, as you get taller you move to bigger wheels. so maybe it would be a good idea to spec the larger sizes with bigger wheels...just a thought
  • - 1
 "the bikes do start to look out of proportion so from a aesthetic point"...enough said ! You are a real biker!!
  • + 2
 at the same time i have no intention of especially buying a new bike for this. i am sick of shimano, sram, campag (also have a roadie) or any frame manufacturer making new bb standards, adding cogs and my favourite one changing the cable pull ratio so mechs are not compatible with older iterations meaning new shifters, front and rear mech if one goes wrong after its bin discontinued
  • + 3
 look mate are aesthetics what most of it is about. all bikes are pretty much spot on in terms of geometry and design and in the end it comes down to what it looks like, if your bike looked like shit in the shop would you have bought it?....didn't think so. ether way id give you a run for your money on whatever bike
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  • + 2
 I was a very sceptic when my friend buy a 29` wheel bike because i feel like the whole idea was stupid, and the companies wanna take the money out of my pocket... again. After i rode it i was in shock how fast and smooth this bike run on the obstacles on trail compare to my 26`. Another thing is that maybe for smaller riders the bike gonna be a little to big but 650B - that make sense - so maybe 29ers will go away, and on the market stays only 26 and 27,5 inch bikes. Will see, i have nothing againts innovations.Sorry for my grammar....
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  • + 2
 Dude saying that the cycling industry is the most innovative sounds like BS too me. I saw carbon fiber, titanium, all the different suspensions designs, computer control, and differing wheel diameters and widths in the early 90's with MOTORCYCLES!

MTB'ing has come up to speed as the speeds traveled by MTB'rs increased and the gnarl factor of what's ridden increased. It only makes sense that so much be pulled from a tech sector that's been there.

The place where MTB is it's own is in geometry. But even still, I remembering commenting in '94 to a GF that the aggressive (by which I mean steep) steering head angles on MTB's of the day looked to me like suicide. Any wonder that they slackened up?
  • + 2
 And I'm sure this is going to be marked down out of existence but the truth is the truth I suppose.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 look at all those boffins in the video trying to get rich and stir up a craze that the new size is so important, get a grip and go and make some 26" products.

how about I bring out a 680b wheel and say thats new and must have to make a few bucks......oh lapierre already have.
  • + 1
 Exactly, or 26 3/4....maybe thats the holy grail of biking in a few years...???

Maybe they should focus on improving what is there, durability wise and in aspect of easy maintanance...but instead they push out new wheelsizes, 11 or 12 gear shifters and things nobody really needs!
  • + 4
 f*ck it bring out a 666 for all the satanists ,
a 678 because i like the way the numbers escalate,
a 699 because it's almost 700,
a 6................................................................ sorry i feel asleep,what size is 26" in millimetres anyway ? i'll stick to that.
  • + 3
 and what the f*ck does the "b" stand for ?
Bollox ,bullshit, balderdash ?
  • + 0
 my thoughts exactly, why am i going to listen a bunch of people who will make money if I go out and buy a shiny new 650B setup. Not exactly an impartial crowd.
  • + 1
 pigman exactly what I thought! before I knew about them I thought they were bringing out lil wheels
  • + 0
 There is already a 590mm rim standard. No one makes tires for it anymore though. 584 is pretty close to 590, so I don't think anyone would retool a production line to bring 590 out. I have some 571 and 540mm rims in addition to the 559 and 622mm rims. I can get tires easily for 559 and 622. 584 is going to be better next year.
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  • + 5
 God damn it........ It will be like the old pennyfarthings soon, just a frame with HHUUGGGE wheels!!

26" all the way!!!
  • + 2
 that's it... I'm going to build up a bike with 29" front and and a bmx wheel in back.
  • + 1
 its the other way around its called a chopper.
  • + 0
 Haha now that I would like to see! A DH chopper!! How cool would that look!!
  • + 1
 yes, a lengthy-forked-slack-head-angled-sit-down-ride with some serious rake
  • + 1
 deleted..too obscene.
  • + 1
 In one of the disorder videos, I think it's Bearclaw, has a chopper style frame with a monster T up front, IIRC.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 To be honest, i couldnt agree with chunkymcpot, it sounds all too salesman jargon, every year new products come out to replace older parts, bars getting lighter, wider rims with less weight, lighter tires that still have maximum (believed) grip, but bringing out a whole new wheel size for the sake of a slight improvement in rolling distance for example?... 26 inch wheels are what practucally everybody feels comfortable riding with, maybe not trying 650b myself i wouldnt be able to criticise against them massively, but only give me a reason to believe that i can only think that logically its a new selling market to adapt to for people who want to 'waste' their money on something that i feel wont be a massive outbreak on new products, i cant see fox making forks on a production line to suit these wheels, its a totally wrong time to bring out a size like this,

Think ill stick to my 24's to be honest! Wink
  • + 1
 Sorry if I missed some subtle sarcasm (possibility judging from the end of your comment). But if not, you may have had your head in the sand a bit too long. "i cant see fox making forks on a production line to suit these wheels" ??? uuuhhh... I don't know about England buut.. We already have Fox 650b forks available for sale.. In several different models. If I WANTED to, I could order one right now and It would probably be at my front door in two days.
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  • + 2
 BOTTOM LINE : you ride what works for you ! i am 5'2" - a DHr and anything over 26" is a brainfart for me, so these jokers blabbing about 26 " wheels being 'phased out ' is like saying ' lets cut our own throats profit wise by only making wheel sizes that work for only certain folks' - who are these XC salesmen and what the hell are they on about ! 24" 26" 27.5" and 29" all have their place depending on style of riding - you will never see someone winning a DH race with 29" wheels that are the size of a front wheel on a Penny Farthing ! so stop worrying, demand will dictate the wheel sizes on the market not some know nothing marketing sales desk biker wannabe...
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  • + 2
 They say 29" wheels roll over things easier IMO they are for the less skilled, so the 650b is for people just a little less skilled. Say what you will but you should be able to ride a trail cause your skill are better not that you bought an auto pilot bike, just my .02
  • + 2
 lol, so 7" travel AM bikes are for less skilled riders, 6" is for people just a little less skilled and real AM bikers go for 5"!
  • + 2
 The rigid single speeders are the "REAL RIDERS"!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 It's just market stimulation. The Industry has to keep innovating (or being seen to innovate) new products in order to keep us spending our money. They hype up the advantages of new tech or designs to make it seem like it'll make a massive difference to your enjoyment of riding. The reality of course is that it won't. It may make you a little faster and up your enjoyment by a little bit but a "little bit" won't make you spend $$$$$$.
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  • + 5
 if 26 gets replaced then i will iether quit biking or only ride old bikes. well maby not bit i will be pissed
  • + 1
 Bring back the Bighit!!!
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  • + 6
 I can't believe this is still a debate. Talk about flogging a dead horse.
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  • + 4
 If Stevie Smith says 29ers are gay I wont disagree with him! 27.5 is just another marketing ploy to get the sheep to open their wallets...
  • + 1
 seconded..
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  • + 2
 I seriously don't get it. I like 26" wheels, been riding them for a while. However, if manufacturers and pros are trying out new things in 650b and it turns out to be better, so be it. I never pledged alliegance to size of the 26" mountain bike, a to the mountains I will ride, one cyclist, on the trail, a honeybadger to my wheel size.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 The writing is on the wall. I have not yet read a review where a bike with 650b was not liked. Even the Pinkbike reviewers who are looking for it to be a problem to support their kiddies who hate changes could not find fault with the performance. They even tried to dismiss the advantages by saying its not clear the wheelsize makes the bike so good, but may just be good geometry. They were unable to do the pro/con discussion like you can with 29ers. It really is the perfect size for offroad.

I have both 26 and 650b, and will only buy 650b in the future. Once riders demo them, 26" will die a fairly quick death regardless of what the kiddies think. How many people currently buy full rigid aluminum bikes anymore? Very few. The moment front suspension became reliable and available, everyone switched. It will be the same here. 650b is so much better, in five years people will laugh at the retrogrouches on 26" wheels. It is just like the resistance to road disks this year. The retros are worried about warping rotors, loss of performance and reliability. Its a joke. In 2-3 years, you won't find a cable braked performance road bike anymore.
  • + 1
 Couldn't say it any better. Funny you mention road disc because I have been following up on that subject. Getting fed up with stopping power when I hit 70-80kph on the road bike down a hill. Theirs an article on disc equiped road bikes coming out for 2013 also cyclocross got approved with disc brakes. Yup it's coming. 650b is not new as you probably already know, just being brought back to better use. The wheel size clears on a lot of existing forks and even some bikes rear suspension already.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Board-room meeting. 'we're in an economic slump, how can we increase sales?
Maybe let's phase out 26 inch wheels and make everyone buy another size that is lightly larger and barely makes any difference.
But they won't want to change surely?
Tell them it's the perfect size and they need this to stay modern and hip.
You Sir, are a genius.'
  • + 0
 only if everyone was truly as stupid as you are then that plan would have worked.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Y'all need to relax if you watched the whole video then you would have heard the Swiss guy clearly say "We will have 26" for lady bikes" That should cover 90% of Pink bike commentators. Personally I've been riding 650b for three years and I would never go back to 26
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  • + 1
 i think this is just a way to the industry make more money at the cost of the consumer curiosity they apply new products to the market than they (mtb industry), talk that is a better poduct then the last one of course, the 26 its not a mistake or an error on mtb history, for me its the best and more ballance wheel that own is place in the sport we all love, but at the end of my observation i think the market is big enough for the 650 or the 26 or the 29, its about to us to decided what we wont to use and try and buy.
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  • + 1
 this is all just a huge fad in my opinion! he says 27.5 is the 'Goldilocks size' simply because its in the middle. well so is 26" in between 24" and 29", it might not be exactly in the middle, but its close ! Not only this but the market is just to developed around 26" to change any main component!
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  • + 1
 To all the guys (and gals) that bitch and moan about the new wheel size and swear on their lives to forever stick with 26", I want to ask you this....

Have you EVER ridden a 650b mountain bike before?

My guess is 99% of you have not. So before you pass judgement, please consider actually trying one before giving your naive opinion. It will at least make hearing your judgement a bit more convincing.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Don't knock it til you try it, but there's an addendum: try it with an unbiased attitude. So you ride and have ridden 26 inch wheels your whole life, and they've never done you wrong, but neither have 29 or 27.5 inch wheels, because you haven't given them a chance without a bias. You can't try something new if you're already critical of it; if you think 29 inch wheels are going to suck, then the first time you ride them, they are going to suck, because you already decided. Let the ride decide how something is. Try a few rides on 27.5, see if you feel faster, worse in corners, more momentum, etc., and if you don't even tell much a difference, then good for you, that just means that now even if 26 inch wheels get phased out on some trail bikes, it doesn't even matter because if you couldn't tell a difference, it doesn't matter which wheels you're on. If you ride 26/27.5/29 and you hate how it feels, great, don't ride it, but don't speak for the entire mtb community that's made up of so many different styles of riding, body types, and riding ambitions. Be open to innovation, or if you don't think it's innovative, be open to new products, spend less time passing judgment and more time pedaling.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It seems that 650B standart is not new at all. You can check this video: vimeo.com/47207697
Near the 9-th minute in the video is talked about 650B, and it seems to happen many years ago.
I am wondering, why the industry is advertising the standart right now, so many years later.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I ride XC and I love my 26er! I don't have money to change my bike! I will update it with a decent fork and lets hope that in the near future there will still be good tires and rims. If you buy me a 29er I would probably ride it but I prefer the 26er. If you buy me a 650b I will probably ride it too, but then again I won't be able to get tires from my city and I will have to order them! HELL I won't be able to get a tube if I really need one!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 On a technical trail is Bronson 650b a lot better than a Nomad? Nop!! I tried both
I tried an sb75 n it was not close better than my first alloy sb66!!!!!!!!
650b was never a must!!! Is only 25-27mm difference from a 26" , so why they call it 27.5" when actually is a 27.1-27.2 " ???? So u think is far different from 26" n spent ur money like a dumb ass!!!!! I used to co-own a bike shop and sponsor a racing team, I know too much about why they r killing the 26" . If u have the money buy whatever makes u happy, I will stick to my sb66 carbon n 29" talbot I badly ever use until I need a new bike n I am force to buy a 27"............. I won't be surprise when a new 30" or 30.1" comes outSmile .
[Reply]
  • + 2
 this is silly B.S. PB, stop instigating all the stuff like freeride is dead, or 29er is better and now out with 26 in with 27.5.
Does .75 inch radius of a wheel and tire really make that much of a difference?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wheel size, is sort of like your ski quiver, I guess options are a good thing...long for speed, short for shredding. 29er is about the ugliest thing I have ever seen, but 650b is something I would consider for XC. If you ride the NW, you are in complete denial if you think bigger is better.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It seems the 650B standart is not a new one. You can check this video: vimeo.com/47207697
Near the 9-th minute in the video, 650B wheels are mentioned and this is many-many years ago.
I am wondering why just now the standart is being so advertised.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm a 26" wheel AM rider and roady. It says in the clip that bigger wheels carry more momentum but (thanks to the laws of physics) you have to build that momentum back up every time you slow down, requiring more power and using more energy over 26". I'm sure top dh riders have discovered this and better speed gains will be taken from suspension setup. Also when you make something bigger you have to increase its strength^3 so pound for pound 26" wheels should be better all round no? It will be intereSting to see what happens. Bikes are getting bigger, riders are training more, let's see what happens.
  • + 2
 Lets bring on thh 20" wheels. We will all save energy getting up to speed. YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm so tired of people talking about the 26" wheel size like it's a bmx rim. personally. i don't care what the trail community does. i dont see 26" leaving the DH scene while i'm still active in it. the big wheels still look awkward to me
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think its good that they are pushing the limits for improoving bikes to theyr utmost performace. If you personally think 26" is better for you (although most of you didn't even try 27,5) then stay at 26" Innovations are always hardly accepted because everyone got used to something, and changing means investing and getting used to anew. Come on get over it, if they really are prooven to be better let the best athletes ride 27,5" and afterwards it'll just become a trend and everyone will start using them. I dont know how bout you, but i really dont feel like im at the top of the game to have the right to decide whats better for the whole community. The pros do that, so either become a pro and make the changes or just get used to stuff changing.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This argument for "rolling over but not the weight of 29" is getting old. If that's what's important why don't they put a 29 wheel up front and a 24 out back? You get to get the weight of dual 26 but the rollover of a 29er.

I think it was stated perfectly at 8:06 "I think that companies missed the boat on 29r, it's just a fad...even though we don't want to do it, because everybody else is, we will even if we don't want to..."

Seems to me it has nothing to do with weight, but all justification of a new standard. I'm all for technological improvements, but until I see hard data showing that 650b is superior....I don't think it's worthwhile.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Has anyone made/ tried a bike with a 26" rear and 27.5" front?? is it possible that the bigger front hoop could help to roll over objects, but keeping the rear wheel small would keep the back end manuverable?? or are there some blatant physics that oppose this notion that i am ignoring or not aware of?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this 29er and 650B is all nonsense, think about it logically the penny farthing was a hash because you could not turn on the thing, this notion that bigger wheels handle better is complete crap physics tells you the lower you are to the ground the better, look at rally cars do they have 22 inch wheels? no they stick to 15 inch for a faster acceleration and better handling. same with bikes a 26 will accelerate better and corner better simples, ok the 29 will be easier to go long distance same as a road bike, but when it comes to descents it's crap is you want to go 29 or 650B put on your lycra and join the rimming club......
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Here, from my personal experiences on all 3 wheel sizes, are my findings:

~Huckin'=26"
~XC/trail=650B
~Road=29errrr

If one strays from these guidelines your hubs will seize up, and you will tomahawk, stack it up, and slide on your face. i.e. I can remember this one time I tried riding my 26 inch wheeled bike on the road and the bike disintegrated beneath my as though it were in a bath of acid.

Let that be fair warning to all of you!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i want to see the top 50 mtb manufacturers get a rider each, and put 25 on 26" and put 25 on 650b then have a big ride off, film it all and have pinkbike members judge the winner which ever size wins the industry goes with.

the end of it
[Reply]
  • + 1
 (Full disclosure, I have a 26 Scott genius lt 10 2011) first off I want to say, due to the fact that I am a more casual, as opposed to a competitive rider, the beginning and end is having fun on a bike. To be fair I can see how JHK ould want to ride a 29er as they roll better, etc, but for me, mtbing has been about having the most amount of fun I can have.

In honesty I am a 26er, because that is what I came up on and I ride for fun, not for competition. 4-5 years from now, when my genius lt is in its last wheels, I will objectively test a 26 (which will still be around) and a 27.5 and see which one is funner, because at the end of the day, THAT is what drives sales and what 90% of riders are looking for, not to shave 9 seconds off their favorite runs.

I do not believe the 26er is on its last wheels, but I welcome the 27.5 and even the 29ers, as progress and change is difficult to say the least and in the end the best will win out.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I used to race dh for 8 years and been riding mountain bikes since 1985.
I tried several 29'ers and to me, they weren't enought "flickeable" and a little hard to accelerate in slow technical trails (xc wise) I ride. For a very flowy singletrack, I could live with it but I prefer 26" wich will ever be stronger for the same weight, it's just physics.
To me, 27.5 might be a good compromise to look at and I'll keep an open mind and demo a few bikes before making my own opinion, as I always do. For my size, type of riding, it might be a very good alternative to 29". I think it could be a very good wheel size for a real do-it-all bike. It might take a few years for manufacturers to fine tune the ride, as it was the case for 29'ers. To me, there was a world of difference between the first generation of 29'ers trail bikes and the bikes I tried this summer.
When I rode 29'ers, I noticed that they were rolling over some stuff more easily.
I also think that frames could be designed to accomodate either 26" or 650b, and a 650b fork could also accomodate a 26" wheel without a big change in geometry. In fact, your bb height would change 3/4 of an inch, wich could be compensate with an adjustable linkage...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hate to burst the bubble but no. this stupid new 27.5 bullsh*t is never going to catch on because there is no point. it wont have as much flex as a 29r and it wont be as stiff as a 26r, so pritty much its going to brake everytime you go around a corner at faster then 10 mph. also it will be absolutely impossible to jump, terrifying at drops, and the worst part is that the fork companies are going to change all their stuff to be compatible to it which means they are going to start that stupid inverted crap. When that happens all bikes are going to look stupid and the mountain biking apocolips will happen. F*CK THAT!! 26r and 29r only.......end of story. dont f*ck with it.
  • + 1
 Spoken like someone close minded with no knowledge of the subject matter.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 27.5 is fine it's a size of wheel that might work better for certain things, maybe some people will like it better in down hill but some people would enjoy to stick with what they have known in downhill since they started riding, people new to the sport, great here's a 27.5 inch bike, but for someone who has been in the sport and likes 26 inch should have the option to stick with 26 inch and still be able to buy 26 inch parts so that they don't have to replace a bike that they have that they have put a lot of money into and love very much, plus I'm a dirt jump/street rider 27.5 while not adding much weight still adds weight! And if go out on my brand new NS 27.5 inch dirt jumper and can't bunny hop for crap well, looks like I'll be losing something I love. So just keep all 3 wheel sizes for different types of riding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So what happens to all these 'quiver killer' bikes? These 'do it all', all day, up and down rigs? Are they now useless if they don't hold 'the goldilocks' 'not to small, not to big' 650b wheel size?

If that's true, we'd better not buy a carbon covert then! at no point on transition's site does it say it can hold a 650b wheel.

I think companies are losing sight of the big squishy thing that sits on top and makes these wheels (however big) turn.

I myself am not too bothered about it... i'll happily ride a 650b all day rig.. as long as i keep 26 for DJ and 4X.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 So what's next ? 25" wheels for dirt jumping , I personally don't care as long as we have a choice of using the wheel size we prefer , to each his own ,but I'd rather stick with 26" wheels for what I ride .
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I'm sure it's been posted in the comments already...but I have to believe the future is larger wheels for less travel & intended purpose with some cross over between 27.5" and 29" in the "All-Mountain" and "Trail" categories of bikes.

26" - Downhill/Freeride/SlopeStyle/Jump
27.5" - All-Mountain/Trail
29" - All-Mountain/Trail/XC

A fast rider will always be fast no matter what they're riding, but I think this is the future. (Unless you're really short...not good to have tires taller than your inseam)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just back from the dh-track. What a blast. Weather was perfect, track condition 1A. Body and Soul playing unison and guess what 26 wheels were just perfect.

Then some latecoming idiots tried their new "Enduro" 29ers on the track and everything shrieked to halt.

The ambulance came and went, the magic was gone.

Could have been the perfect day today.

Time to stop the damn media and industry with pushing dangerous gear to xc-drones.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 To all the guys (and gals) that bitch and moan about the new wheel size and swear on their lives to forever stick with 26", I want to ask you this....

Have you EVER ridden a 650b mountain bike before?

My guess is 99% of you have not. So before you pass judgement, please consider actually trying one before giving your naive opinion. It will at least make hearing your judgement a bit more convincing.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 For the love of god!!! I think people keep forgetting about personal preference and opinion in regard to this matter. Who gives a shit. Ride what you want. Just ride the damn thing.
On another note, you show me a 650b/29 that doesn't heighten my center of gravity, can accommodate 8-9 inches travel, sport a dual crown fork and I will buy the shit out of it. Until then 26" bikes have a very strong place in mountain biking. So everyone should chill the hell out.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I rode a converted hardtail 650B for a couple of seasons. It was amazing. It was still had playful handling. It had that same rolling sensation you get from a 29er without the Ford F-350 extended-cab, long-bed handling you get from a 29er. While I won't be ditching the 26ers on my dirt jumper and can't see in the foresee-able future getting rid of my Intense T2; I'm saving my pennies for a 650B XC hardtail or XC full sussy.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Congrats children, you're now being laughed at on the other major bike site.

forums.mtbr.com/650b/look-all-whiny-comments-812068.html#post9669214
  • + 3
 Congrats gramps, I read that forum... nothing to be proud of there. You guys are just whining about whiners. Have you counted the number of comments you've made on this article sitting on your high horse?
  • - 1
 Probably a dozen responses to people posting nonsense so far. Of course what do I know, I was just one of those sheep who learned of a new tire option four years ago and did something about giving it a testing and learned firsthand that the format actually does work as claimed. So yes, I am sitting high on the subject given actual firsthand knowledge of it, and having four years of riding on 650B wheels. You're still in the ottawa area right? Want to try out a 650B for yourself ?
  • + 0
 Oh yeah, Datey the Vanguard Champion!

He was a Trekkie before being a Trekkie was cool! Live long and prosper, Datey!

I'm not so sure that being "laughed at" by Empty Beer e-riders is anything to be ashamed of. Empty Beer readers never ride their bikes. They just "upgrade" them and take new digital pictures of them, to "post up" to somehow "prove" they are actual meatspace bike riders. The bikes get sold on Empty Beer's forums to a lucky winner, whose luck is limited to the price -- and becomes big luck after going over the bike before riding it, to ensure it was built correctly. Usually a lot of adjustments are needed. The e-rider never rode the bike, you see.
  • + 1
 I am but not interested in changing bikes as I am quite content with my stable at the moment which includes 24", 26' and 700c wheels. I'm sure 650b is a great benefit to riders looking for something to help smooth out the trail, but that's not something I'm looking to do.
  • + 1
 Not suggesting a change of bikes D.D., just offering you a chance to ride a 650B bike if you want to give it a whirl, i'm putting a loaner together with a spare wheelset.
  • + 1
 deeeight........not worth trying to make the negative people understand that trying something different is good. I get your point and agree with you. Theirs a good reason bikes and gear for 650b is being manufactured at a faster pace then 29er ever did.
By the way, the way you write up your info the past year is very informative well worth reading. Wink

Oh....here's a DH bike on 650b wheels some might like!!!!
www.vitalmtb.com/product/feature/First-Look-Intense-Debuts-the-M9275-a-650B-Downhill-Bike,139
  • + 0
 The khs dh 650b has been announced as a production model already as it happens. Not sure the tire spec yet but likely either the new maxxis high roller II 2.4 or the schwalbe hans damf 2.4
  • + 1
 650b fits on my Turner dhr as is. Just the rear can be a problem if the seat is positioned far back. I'm open minded and really want to try out this wheel size
  • + 0
 Settle down Rigaud... no need to get personal.

what kind of geo/travel frame is it?
  • + 0
 CFOxtrot, what the hell are you talking about?
  • + 0
 same old Dingo!!! Forget it.
  • + 1
 Ignore CFO dave, he's a class A troll who gets banned from forums often. He used to post on mtbr until he was banned there. The one advantage to pb isonly four people tiring of his ramblings can negative prop his posts out of visual existence.
  • + 1
 Rigaud, you don't know me... stop pretending and leave me alone.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 What the hell are these guys talking about? This is useless. There isn't any flaw in 26. Its THE best size for gravity. Your just going to lose a good inch and a half of control...Really.?
  • + 1
 Your DH bike is already a 27.5 if you have 2.5" tires.
  • + 2
 I guess people don't have tape measures LOL!!! You get neg propped for telling the truth. I guess people like to live in fantasy worlds.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I could see a 650B front wheel being potentially advantageous on really rough DH trails.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 All this big wheel hype reminds me of the 24in wheel craze of 2001. Fairly ridiculous, full of outlandish claims by bike companies. the Big Hit DH used to come with a dedicated 24" rear wheel (you couldn't even fit a 26). Now people would pretty much all agree a 24" rear on a DH bike is useless. In my opinion 650B is more of a "HEY, HEY, OVER HERE!! LOOK ,NEW STUFF!! ITS SHINY AND NEW AND WE HAVE CANDY AND PUPPIES!!!" marketing ploy than a legitimate performance gain for bicycling.
  • + 1
 yea, I did love my big hit, though, don't think I've had a bike so confidence inspiring since. that little wheel in the back just made it feel like you could turn on a dime. The problem, however, was tires, which doesn't look like it will be a problem with 650B (or, if you want to run it, 24" anymore either, you can even get maxxis.)
[Reply]
  • + 2
 well didn't essentially DJ come from BMX 20" to 24" and finally to 26" ?? I'd be intrigued to check out 650b .......... shouldn't need a new bike for 5 years or so, we'll see what's around then...............
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I feel like 27.5" wheels are a bit extraneous in the mountain bike world. 29"-wheeled bikes ride entirely differently than 26" wheeled bikes but I feel like 1.5" increase in diameter would mostly be unnoticed by the average rider.
  • - 2
 Who cares what you feel but it's funny yo claim that 3 inches difference makes it ride entirely different but half of that would be mostly unnoticed by the rider!
  • + 2
 Why is that funny?
  • - 3
 because you're contradicting yourself!
  • + 2
 I didn't contradict myself at all. I said that a 3" wheel size difference is going to be more noticeable to an average rider than a 1.5" wheel size difference.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 dh bikes are already long and big. putting a bigger wheel on them will just make the bb higher and the wheelbase longer right?

For xc i could see bigger wheels becoming maybe standard tho. just like a road bike have 29' wheels. xc bikes are pretty much just offroad roadbikes right? they can keep to themselfs and the dj, slope and dh riders can keep to themselfs too.
  • + 4
 Not really. The diameter of the wheel doesn't change the wheelbase and the BB height is mitigated by frame design. Having larger diameter wheels lets the frame designer lower the BB in relation to the axle centers improving the center of gravity and thus handling/stability of the bike.
  • + 1
 other than the KHS and scott protos, I've seen no 650b DH rigs... so whats the problem, the majority aren't gonna take it on board and it seems to be going towards a more regimented size, 29/650 for xc, 26/650 for am/enduro and 26 for DH... where is the problem there, people get choice in what they want, no body gets shafted and everyone can just go ride.
  • + 2
 That we've seen so far. KHS revealed their 650B DH prototypes a couple months ago, the Scott ones didn't get revealed until ridden at the worlds last week. But now its end of season so we'll just have to wait and see what develops over the winter during testing amongst the other factory teams. Motocross bikes have gone thru changes in wheel and tire sizes without the hyperbole and whining that has surrounded it in mountain biking.
  • - 1
 And in other Dateyland news, Datey's mom asks him if he's finished folding the laundry yet.

That's as important as the "insider rumors" he is offering here. It's crucial to know that Datey still folds laundry for his mom, and just as relevant to whether 650B is a great choice -- or just another way for the "industry" to whittle away at people's money.
  • + 0
 In MX, there have been 17,18, 19 and 20" rear wheels (measured at the rim, not the tire diameter.) In the front there have been 19,20,21 and 23" tried. A few riders preferred the 20"front over the 21, but most preferred the 21. In the rear, 18" is the main choice where flats may be a concern (such as enduro, off road) and 19" is used with a lower profile tire (same outside diameter) in MX or SX. No one complained over marketing BS. Teams tried the options, and the feedback was collected, race results looked at, and the clear performance advantages were soon seen. In suspension, the inverted fork blew the conventional fork out of the water (the retrogrouches whined too much in MTB land and we lost out excepting the Dorado and now the new X-Fusion.) Disk brakes blew drum brakes out of the water as well. They were adopted early on. Liquid cooling was adopted quickly as well. These products were all developed in racing, and the performance improved. Why do we resist improvements in performance here? The general buying public will listen to the LBS salesman, try the three sizes, feel the difference, and choose the best performing for the application they ride in. 26" will go away. Anyone who thinks it is the "correct" size needs to restore an old Schwinn single speed, and ride that. Everything developed since then is marketing BS to take our hard earned mony from cyclists.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Bit like apple products this, only usefull for hipsters
[Reply]
  • + 1
 enduro27 sounds like a conspiracy theorist lol. Personally, I want to try the lenz pbj or the intense 2951, a 29er DH bike. Not Because I think it would be better or worse, but because i want to form my own opinion on the matter. Same goes for 650b, I'd be down to try one. And,(even though it's been posted several times already...) 26" wheels WERE originally chosen arbitrarily; they were the most convenient at the time mountain bikes started popping up.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 ok so 26inch for DH,4X,DJ
650b an 29 inch for XC,AM ect ect
BUT
even for XC,AM ect ect 26 will not dissapear... why?....
short people, (male or female)
try an picture a bike with 650b wheels built for somebody say 5ft2 or under....
yea not gonna work
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Try it, you'll like it... it's good.
  • + 1
 Kirk, Thanks for being an brave enough to put up major money to make our bikes better. Please ignore all the ignorant Donkeys here on PB. Most of them have taken too many headers at high speed on their little wheeled bikes, to comprehend the simple fact that you gave Mountain bikes a performance boost that doesn't negatively affect the way their bike handles. Thanks again.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I personally don't care what people do with their wheel sizes, I just wish that they wouldn't write off 26"

I'm sure there is a good reason for 650b.. I just don't want it..!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 This is like the TV advertisements that are trying to convince you to buy something that you don't need.The only reason is to brainwash you and make big profit.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I already converted both my Kona Stinkys to 650B. Rolls faster yet has the same attributes in steering and hucking as a 26 wheel. One has a Sram X9 20mm thru axle, the other has an American Classic 20mm, both rear hubs are Azonic 12mm. Rims are Velocity 650B P35's Works great.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Naah. I'm good with 26" for my dh and 29" for my road. I'm pretty satisfied how my DH v3 goes down the mountain both with me on it and off it Big Grin
  • + 2
 700c not 29" for road
  • + 2
 Ohh cool! Thanks for info, didn't know the standard name of it Smile
  • + 1
 29" is the tire diameter, not the wheel size. Road bikes and 29ers share the same wheel format, 700C.
  • + 1
 yes but you dont say i have 29" on my road bike. You say 700c.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 As long as the 26 inch wheel doesnt disappear, I will be happy. For shorter people the 650b sounds like it would make it just a bit more awkward to get off and on the bike.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I just want to ride my bike! Which just happens to be a 26"
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Did you see the new Intense M9 it's a 650b. I have said it here before and I'll say it again. 650b Will be the Dominant wheel size in less than 5 years. DJ and Slopestyle will be the only bikes left with 26" wheels.
650b is being pushed by pro riders not the companies. They are just along for the ride. Niño Schurter persuaded his Sponsor Scott into building him a 650b bike, and he has dominated the WC on it. The results and the clock don't lie. Bike companies know this and have reacted accordingly. It wouldn't surprise me if by this time next year every major manufactuer had 650b bikes across their entire range XC - DH. Yes I included DH. The Bigger wheels roll faster down hill the top pros are always looking for more speed and 650b will give them more speed and better control without the bike feeling much different.
Not sure why soooo many of you here are so resistant to things that will make our bikes work better. Like it or not 650b is here to stay and both 26" & 29" wheels are going to take a hit. I believe the niner market will be reduced to Hardtails and short travel race bikes. Here where I live most of the guys who bought 9ers now only use them for racing and the rest can't wait to try a 650b bike.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Having ridden 26' most of my life, ridding the 650b felt impressive. I didn't notice the lower level of maneuverability anywhere near as much as with the 29' and felt i could hit rough sections much quicker with only minor differences in really tight sections. If i had the option id go 650b for very rough techy terrain such as Val Di Sole. It would arguably also be faster at places such as fortwilliam. Champery... Probably not.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 just got a 29er, AnthemX, i XC AM FR DH, name it, i've done it, and you know what i LOVE my new bike, shes a ripper. stop bitching and get on your bike, what ever it is and ride it! I LOVE RIDING BIKES!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 26 for me other sizes are just money spinners they only change the size on parts to make more money out of us.It will soon be single with 12 speed or 32.8 bars its all money.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 All three sizes are here to stay.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 no way 26ers or 29ers are going to become extinct in my lifetime. this "new" 27.5er is already winning word cup races. thats some good hype!
  • + 1
 oh, thanks enve for jumping in and building a bad arse wheel set.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i've never tried 27.5 nor 29ers and have purely 26ers in my stable so what i am trying to say is IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, DON'T BUY IT.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 No worries. There'll always be a loyal 26 market, at least, while y'all are still ridin'. No need to stockpile HighRollers and Minions.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Hmmm what happen to all the talk about 29 killing the 26? i guess its the 650's turn to take a stab at the king. and it too will just become a standard.
  • + 3
 26" is dead in the XC world. In the commuter world, 26" is dead. In the road world, 26" is dead. DH is already 27.5 (no one is running 1.75-2.0 tires) even though they are called 26". Most AM bikes use 2.35-2.4" tires, and are therefore 27+" wheels. 26" died in the 90s.

We are no going to see improvements in unsprung weight with comparable diameters to DH bikes. I think this is a good thing.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I think PB does articles like this to see just how many comments it'll generate. Definitely a hot-button topic. Sorta like poking a big stick into a hornets nest.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 This guy doesn't know what he's on about. The original mountain bikes had 700cc wheels, because that's what was available. The initial thought was that skinny, tall wheels would be more effective. Then they started fitting cruiser wheels on the bikes and moved to a 26" wheel which offered much better structural rigidity as well as improving maneuverability. The 700cc (and similar) wheels were abandoned at that point. The 26" wheel was an EVOLUTION away from the larger wheels.

As materials have improved, the gap between 26" wheel construction and larger wheels has narrowed to a degree, though this doesn't make a larger wheel applicable to all riding. However, the most damning issue with a larger wheel is the frame design limitations (and extra weight from both frame and wheels) that come with the larger wheelset.

The 650B could is a more logical transition from a26" wheel as it should offer some benefit to obstacle clearing while not sacrificing a huge amount of structural integrity, but it does still impose frame design limitations as well as increases unsprung mass and increases rotational mass. I would suggest that those benefits would be largely invisible to most 26" riders though.

Like anything else, pushing a new standard keeps the market fresh; it doesn't matter if it is a good idea or not. This keeps the market in money and pays for development. I suspect what we'll see here will be bikes fitted with wheels designed around intended use; flat open areas (desert XC) will likely gravitate toward 29", the XC wooded flatland areas will likely wind up with 650B, and downhill, AM, and rolling-terrain XC bikes are likely to stick with 26". Each has a benefit, and each has a disadvantage. It's going to come down to the manufacturers using their heads to apply a correct wheel size to the correct frame for the correct intended usage that'll determine how successful and what longevity each of these wheel sizes has.
  • + 1
 It had nothing to do with handling. Balloon tires were the only suspension they had back then. Its that simple. They couldn't get the 650b tires so they didn't use the wheels.
  • + 1
 You must be a youngin'. I was actually around during these years. And it sure as heck had everything to do with handling; you'd fold those 700cc wheels in a hurry while ducking rocks and cutting switchbacks. The 26" wheel proved infinitely more robust. After several variations, Gary Fisher actually adopted the 26" on his bike and it stuck. The next thing you know, there's a whole subculture and subsequent industry surrounding mountain bikes. It was glorious.
  • + 1
 You were riding with Gary Fisher et.al. when you were under 5 years old? The early days were the early 70's, when you and I were preschoolers.
  • + 1
 I never claimed to be riding with Gary, but I sure was a ways from preschool. And the first production mountain bikes didn't come out until the mid '80s, and didn't really catch any real mainstream popularity until the late '80s. Gary and his buddies (one of which started Specialized) just bombed down hills as a way to play, and nothing more. It wasn't until these guys really got together and started getting serious about producing bikes that they established some type of standard. Through their recreation, they found some basics of what worked and what didn't. Gary had to admit that skinny tires wrapped around tall wheels just wasn't working and the fat tire of the beach cruisers was the adopted choice.

It was awesome meeting a lot of these guys during my bike building days; getting to listen to their stories is pretty incredible and inspiring.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 My problem with the 650 is that it's kind of an in between size. From what I've read it's really more like 27", not 27.5". So we're talking an inch? Is it really that big a difference here that the entire industry is being overhauled? I mean at least the 29er, like it or not, actually provided a noticably different type of ride.

The jump from 26 to 27 though? I'd be willing to bet that 99.9% of riders wouldn't even be able to tell the difference between 26 and 27 if there was a way to do a 'blind' mountain bike test. Let's face it, everyone who tests these things has a bias in some way. They are aware of what they are riding and can convince themselves of things that may or may not actually be happening. What they should do is set up a test where they give people some new 650s to test, but actually switch the wheels on half the test bikes to 26es. My guess is every single person would come back talking about all the differences they noticed ( good or bad) with none realizing they were actually on 26es. Its a classic case of placebo effect.
  • + 0
 Believing or arguing that its 27" and not 27.5 is like believing that all 26" labeled wheels are actually twenty six inches in diameter. They're not. Tires and wheels should continue to be properly called by the industry accepted terminology for the wheels themselves. The problem is however, while the proponents of 650B's revival have always maintained calling them as 650B, we shot outselves in the foot by ever trying to describe them as 27.5. Yes the first tire available, the Pacenti Neo-Moto 650B x 2.3 was twenty seven point five inches in diameter, but other widths and brand/models of 650B tires are other diameters. The only reason they got called 27.5 was to quickly try and explain the difference to 26er and 29er tires. 29ers should never have gotten labeled as anything other than 700C x width. Its a 700C pattern rim with a wide tire on it. In some parts of europe, 700C x 38-45mm width tires get labeled as 28ers.
  • - 2
 datey's imitation of Encyclopaedia Brown doesn't really help the discussion. The point is that there isn't much difference once the tires are mounted and filled with air.

What datey's diatribe tells us is that datey likes to do Google searches and recite his findings. He sounds like that fat bloke who followed Tyler Morland in the video, but the fat bloke came across more knowledgeable -- and he came across as pretty dim.

Datey follows his own myth, one in which a person who rides bikes virtually through a computer connection is considered an "expert" while someone who actually rides frequently and discerns little to no difference is just some loser in Dateyland.

It would be better for the threads here at PB if Datey would go back to his primary hobby of being a Trekkie.
  • + 1
 Its not that hard to understand. If you use a 650b rim/tire combo, you will effectively do the same thing as swapping your16" car wheels for 18" wheels with lower aspect tires. The OD of a 559 x 2.5 is about the same as a 650b x2.25 (depending on the tire and rim width.) Aluminum and carbon weigh less than rubber, so you get lighter/stronger with the same rolling as a DH tire. With the move to wider rims, the 2.25 tire will have the same air volume as the 2.5 on the narrower rim, without the disadvantage of increased weight.

PEOPLE: YOU ARE ALREADY RIDING 27.5" IF YOU HAVE 2.5" TIRES!!!!! You can now get a DH Ride with trail/XC weight!!!! ALL YOU IDIOTS WHO SAY 650b WON"T WORK FOR DOWNHILL ARE ALREADY DOING IT!!!!!

THIS IS A GOOD THING!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Exactly... here... this chart should help the morons since they can compare numbers quick and easy for different models of tires from ONE brand.

mtbtires.com/site2/tire-specs/56-schwalbe/59-schwalbe-tire-specs

Notice the axle to tallest tread numbers, that's the radius of the inflated tire. Double it and divide by 25.4 to get the diameter in inches if you must measure it that way, but the 26 x 2.5 Muddy Mary is 2mm greater radius than the 650B x 2.25 Racing Ralph.
  • + 3
 @ CFOxtrot: You need to go back on your meds, You have some serious mental health issues. You don't have a gun I hope.
  • + 0
 What meds are you talking about? Maybe my satirizing of Datey's "expertise" is just something that you don't get. Or maybe you think I'm dead serious?

You don't really consider Datey an authority on anything do you? He's been doing this stuff for 15 years under multiple handles over on Empty Beer. He's the internet's leading authority on being an authority on MTB trivia. He's really blasted off after Sheldon Brown's death, as if he imagines himself the successor to Sheldon Brown. The problem is that Datey only knows data, he doesn't know bicycle riding or wrenching. He's just a databank for gear geek trivia.

The dude used to say the Giant Warp was an awesome buy and the best suspension bike available in its era. How can you take such a clown seriously? Every rider who owned and rode a Warp immediately was handicapped. Someone touting that bike had to be joking. Joking like Tony's warranty policy, I mean.

The same way someone thinks I'm being serious, I guess. :confused:

My "gun," Willie, is the keyboard. Just like Datey's fire-breathing dragon and magical armor are his keyboard.
  • + 0
 And cfo got drummed off MTBR ages ago for being a kook. Apparently he's found a new home to spew his libeousl and illogical ramblings here though. Oh well, only a matter of time before he gets banned.
  • + 1
 Upie, your Internet Expert status is really valuable to you, isn't it?

Good job, bro! You've staked out a position as the Fiercest Trekkie MTB Datageek on the Toobz!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 I've seen some people say its not that big of a difference. Any improvement in wheels makes a change. It like having shit wheels to a good set makes a difference! I havnt rode 29 much on a mountain bike. But I have road some single track on my cross bike and it gets over roots and such nice. Why not have a all mountain bike with 650b and not get rid of 26.havnt more than two option would be nice. It's like I worked in a bike shop and a guy asked what's th difference between 26 and 29. And he is like I cant jump a 29? I was like you can but it's not as strong as a 26. Why not have a middle. They wanted to have 29er dh bikes So why not?. So yeah that is my input don't shoot me
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  • + 5
 who give a f*ck?
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  • + 3
 Nah! I stick to 26 but would love to try the 650B and not gonna try the 29ers(ugh).
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  • + 2
 What pile of BS...the Kenda dude says it how it is on 8:10...its a Industry Hype ...nothing more , nothing less!!
650b F... it!!
  • + 2
 That's what you got from his comments...wow. I feel for sorry for you.
  • + 1
 well Deformrmedroadie...what else could you hear about what he said...enlighten us, please!
  • + 1
 I rest my case.
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  • + 5
 26" WILL NEVER DIE
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  • + 4
 if 26 dissappears ill just go to 24 no way ill run bigger ones
  • - 1
 You better start stocking up on 26" DH tires because all the Pros are Switching to 650b. The Pros are Choosing 650b not the other way around. If riders don't want a product companies don't build it. Unfortunatly for you most Bike companies are pretty small and Rider driven and they are simply building bikes that their riders want. The Pros Don't care if you like it or not. They get paid to win and 650b will give them more speed and control.
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  • + 2
 The DT Swiss lad keeps looking over his shoulder to make sure his boss isn't looking as he gives his opinion.
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  • + 3
 that being said jscott. i should just shut up and ride. =]
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  • - 1
 Since the birth of mountain bikes trails have been built around the capabilities of 26 inch wheel bikes. Not goofy 29ers or their step brother the 650b. These bikes with their big wheels won't ride most technical trails as well as 26 inch wheels do.
  • + 2
 Have you tried 650b?

let me answer it for you, NO!
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  • + 2
 I will forever ride 26" wheels for freeride and downhill. 650B needs to just go away.
  • - 3
 nothing should go away..
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  • + 2
 Here is the real........ Bike companies are going to make new shit, and we will buy it! End of story!!!!!!!
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  • + 0
 To the so called industry leaders...

Piss us off by introducing new worthless standards and we'll stop buying your products !!

26" is THE standard, all others are just recently introduced experimental nonsense !!
  • + 3
 There are now something like two dozen industry accepted and supported standards for headsets in bicycles. This amount of crying over a third wheel standard for adult size mountain bikes just shows the immaturity of most members of this site.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Ughghhhhhh people are so stupid that they will buy into anything bike companies say is good, anyone who is actually a good rider and enjoys having fun on their bike knows that 29 and 650 are dumb. Honestly everyone, suck it up and get better and ride a 26 rather than reading some mountain bike action article that says that a 29 will make u a better rider and then go out and buy one. Every time someone buys a 29 or 650 it shows the bike companies that there is a demand for the wheel size and then the big wheeled markit keeps growing. We need to stop this disease before it keeps growing and starts over taking 26, just look at the biggest bike manufacturer in the world, in the 2013 specialized line up 29er is taking over in almost ever mtb model with the exception of their gravity line . Only buy a 26er!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 people are so stupid they can't measure their tires and realize 26" has long been obsolete. All that is changing is the efficiency of the wheel to get the real diameters riders use.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Is there a demand for 650B or are the bike companies telling us theirs a demand for 650B?
  • + 0
 They have been doing this in Europe for decades. The parts weren't easy to get in the US back in the day.
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  • + 2
 Next invention: a bike that when it hits 60kph, a burger pops out from your frame. Nice!
[Reply]
  • - 1
 Lets think about it....26" is a 559 rim, 650b is a 584 rim, radius is 12.5mm bigger. So any roll over bump performance will be marginal. Decent rear suspension design on a 26" will more than out weigh any potential benefits of a fractionally bigger rim. The tyre foot print will nigh on be the same, but your adding a bit more rotational weight so like for like will dull your acceleration and add to the unsprung mass. Save you money and dont believe the hype.
  • + 0
 That'd be correct thinking if the tires only grew in radius by 12.5mm. Except they don't. They grow much more in radius than the wheels they mount to do.
  • + 2
 Urrr can you not do maths? If the tyres cross sectional area is the same, the radius will only increase by 12.5mm.
  • + 0
 Except that in general, tires do not share exact cross sectional areas. Every manufacturer, and every model is going to be different, even for similar widths and even across the same production batch of tire. Look, Kenda offers the Nevegal is both 26" and 650B versions, in the same 2.1 and 2.35 widths....supposedly. Yet the difference in radius(measured axle center to tallest point of tread) between the two 2.1 versions is only 10mm, not the 12.5mm you're predicting. The 26" version is 338mm and the 650B version is 348mm. On the 2.35 size the difference is 13mm. Yet the measured casing height of the two diameters and widths grew by 1.6mm and 1.3mm respectively and the casing widths and tread widths also changed.

mtbtires.com/specs/kenda.html

mtbtires.com/site2/tire-specs/78-650b--275q-/107-650b-275q-tire-specs

The problem in predicting the results lies in the fact there is always a variation in production for different tire models even from the same production batch. I have two Specialized Burroughs XC 700 x 45C tires, mounted on a touring bike I'm building up. They're both inflated to the same pressure and mounted to the same model of rim, yet there's a 1mm difference in measured width between them (and both are undersized, they're about 5mm below what they should be for a tire labeled as a 45mm width). Saying they're all going to grow by 12.5mm is like saying all 650B tires are 27.5" in diameter and that all 559mm bead seat tires will be 26" in diameter. Look over the link to the Kenda tires at all the different models of 26 x 2.1 size tires, and notice how they all end up with different casing heights and widths (and thus different air volume indexes).
  • + 2
 So what your saying is random shit happens when making tyres. Your overall radius may only increase by less than 10mm compaired like for like with a 26" set up. Or going the other way maybe it will increase to 15 from the nominal 12.5. Still make it sound even more of a marketing gimmick. Like the guy on the video says, manufactures are afraid off missing sales if they dont jump on the band wagon.

Really is starting to sound like self perpetual marketing with no logic involved in the process.
  • + 2
 Mozz I think he actually made your point even stronger by suggesting the difference in radius is even smaller. This was the point I was trying to make above in a post of mine. Regardless of all the little details deeeight is posting about (which are correcy), the difference in wheel size here is not actually that much.
  • + 0
 Datey says that his data, gleaned while using a slide rule with a Commodore 64, proves 650B is superior. Yawn. Brent Spiner, you're not.
  • + 1
 WTF, put the crack pipe down!
  • + 1
 They sure do My 2.4 Purgatories measure 27.25.
  • + 0
 Again it comes to down to what you're comparing. A traditional balloon tire from a cruiser that was adopted for the first production mountain bikes, like as seen on the 1981 Specialized Stumpjumper (the first mass produced mtb), was 26" for a 2.125" labeled width, on rims that were about 35mm wide, and had pretty minimal tread depth compared to what's available today. Today the 650B Neomoto 2.1 is about 27.48" inflated diameter when installed on rims around a 25mm width. If you go to mtbtires.com and look through the tire specs, a tallest radius of 330.5mm gives exactly 26" in diameter.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I'll rent a 650b and then get back to you. Any other way of doing this is armchair engineering.
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  • - 1
 they speak of no science whatsoever....26, 27.5,29...they say 27.5 seems to combine the best of 26 and 29...but they give little evidence...next they'll say 27.5 is 'nearly optimal', what we need is 27 and 28, then it will be 26.5 and 28.5... its all bullshit really, i'll stick with 26 permanently.
  • + 0
 You're the only scientist here, rest of us just ride our bikes and go for whatever feels right and it's fun!
  • + 2
 nothing wrong with being a bike geek stops me getting snake oil'd.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 This is just all marketing for companies. They ran out of new light materials, they ran out of large travel shocks and forks, and 1000000 link rear suspensions when the basic single pivot works just fine so now they'll brain wash our muscles to be lazy and let larger wheels run over obstacles for us. Its common sense. The larger the diameter, the more space between spokes making flat spots and hop way easier. SO, why yes, give me the larger wheel so I don't have to pull up on a curb. I'll just run right over it because that won't break the same gauge spokes as a 26er.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 there s no need to invent 650b I mean is 1.5 inches really going to help that much
  • - 5
 looks like low profile (means punctures up here) tyres and 650B, or high volume (mmmm nice and soft, compliant and lack of punctures) and 26" at the moment.
27.5"=0.5" off cyclocross. With the tyre dimension = cyclocross.... but the Americans never invented cyclocross, so they gotta get their name on this wheel size somehow...
  • + 1
 Try it, you may be surprised.
  • - 2
 1.5 inches on anything will make a difference....travel, stem length, the geometry and etc...
  • + 1
 Out with the Pink bike bubble, things have been tried in the past.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Why not have a convertible drop out to suit two wheel sizes
  • + 0
 Banshee is doing this. The prototype Morpheus is doing this. a lot of custom builders use paragon sliding dropouts which allow this as well. Intense has used replaceable dropouts for some time. Its just a matter of producing the correct length and drop for the new wheels.

Any bike that can fit a 2.4" tire can fit a 650b with a 2.1-2.25. The Schwalbe 2.25 is a bit bigger than advertised and is a very tight fit on my Mojo SL. I wouldn't ride it in the mud like that. I am waiting for stock to come back and go with 2.1 in the back for a bit extra clearance.
  • + 1
 Because you create weak points.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 no 26 wheels are the best! bike brands are just setting new standards to rob our money cause we buy things we dont need
  • + 4
 You're so right! They change standard to keep the hype & sales up. I don't see a reason why I would change my current saint rear mech, to 10 speed, 11speed and God knows maybe 12 or 18 some day. Now when people buy really expensive bicycles, they do not brake everyday, and they stay fresh and live rather long, so companies need to find a way how to get money out of bike enthusiast. The best compromise is not 650B, it's keeping the 26" or what ever bike you have right now, save the money for Whistler park tickets and learn to f*cking ride.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I think that as you go up in suspension size, you need to go down in wheel
  • + 1
 so a 9" travel bike with a 24" wheel would be perfect for you then?
  • + 1
 12" travel BMX is the bike we all need.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 2six all day
  • + 0
 That's for drinking ;-)
[Reply]
  • - 1
 It'll be like crank lengths on road bikes. Your wheel size will be detemined by your height. If you're over 6ft with the right stature to put a 29er with longer wheel base round a corner then that's what will be recommended. 5'11? A 650. 5'8? 26''. I like a different wheel for different types of riding. It's a 26'' ill put round a berm and a 29 for XC. And not all 29ers handle the same. A yeti big top is as manoeuvrable as any 26 out there. A lot of it comes down to the frame application.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 to be honest, even the way 29ers look is kinda ugly and as we all aggree, good looking for bikes as important as their performance. Long story short, 26er rulez!
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  • + 1
 Holy crap, people are so ridiculous. It's a f*cking wheel size. Nobody is forcing you to sell your firstborn or anything. Calm the f*ck down.
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  • + 3
 First world problems! Life is hard.
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  • + 2
 Haha, that headline was totally there just to get people riled up. It worked. Nice one!
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  • + 2
 Just wait, next year 650b bikes will be winning pedally DH courses. This is the future.
  • - 5
 shame that the riders won't just be separated by sheer human ability, training and dedication...naturally the bigger wheel will win, technically I'd say it was unfair. Why not just fit a motor?
  • + 1
 "sheer human ability, training and dedication"? So you want them all on the exact same bike, same tires, same components and everything? Yeah, that's a whole lot of fun. Can't wait to see the awesome products that come out of that competitive environment. *rolling eyes
  • - 3
 lol slash, you crack me up!
  • + 1
 Nope, just the same size wheels.
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  • + 3
 I am just gunnar go fast no matter what I am riding. Rick Bobby style.
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  • + 1
 I put 650B's on road bikes in the 80's to build our own XC mountain bikes because the frames were lighter so to me this is old stuff recycled lol.
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  • + 1
 Riding 26 wheels since 1986 ! Thousands and thousands of miles on the perfect wheel ! Wouldn't change a thing it's perfect !
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  • + 2
 What is dead may never die! 26 inch wheels aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
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  • + 1
 the wheelsize people don't buy anymore will die
(in my opinion we have to live with three wheelsizes)
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  • + 2
 I have a 26", it's cheap to put together, that's all that matters to me...
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  • + 2
 i want them all: made in america, asia...etc....bikes and girls ...
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  • + 2
 I am stocking up on 26" rims and tires for the next 10 years.
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  • + 1
 I think 650b would be a good thing for my XC bike, but no way am I going 650b for DH!
  • + 0
 You already have.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 they have no question about what size of wheel to ride! it's 26 inch forever!
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  • + 1
 Looking forward to smoking all the people on their 650b bikes at the races next year on my 26's!! Smile
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  • + 1
 I like how all the people interviewed that are supporting 650b are people who have a 650b product for sale.
  • - 3
 so you think companies which don't make any 650b would endorse the wheel size so they can lose business to their competitor?
Why don't you try the wheel size instead of trying to be a smart ass?
  • + 1
 Wasnt being a smart ass was simply making an observation. If they are going to do video like this it would be nice to have unbiased input from say...riders? And fyi im currently in the process of building a 650b front wheel for my bird. So again not opposed but when posing a question such as "will 650b replace 26?" and then you ask a bunch of people who are selling 650b product its pretty obvious what your answer is going to be. That is all.
  • + 1
 I agree with you that we need input from riders and preferably not the sponsored ones to be as unbiased as possible, but right now there are not many 650b bikes, riders or videos around because the second coming of 650b bikes is not officially here yet.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 the next demo day at glentress i will try all the 29rs.untill then I AM VERY HAPPY WITH MY TREK REMEDY 8 ha
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  • + 2
 ha id like to see someone hit a normal bike jump with that size tire
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/8638219

Take a look here then - Logan Binggeli last week @BootlegCanyonTrails on a KHS DH650B.
  • + 1
 ha you have alot to learn, i ride 650b, and if i hadnt bought that fr bike from you id have no problem riding it at mt mckay
  • + 2
 was actually talking about the 29er tires someone else was talking about...
  • + 2
 My bad, its just that syntace makes 650b dh rims and all...
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  • + 1
 fuck this stupid bull shit hey y dont you just put on a fat tire baam! 27in wheel
  • + 2
 ... and add 2lbs of rotational weight to a trail bike LOL. People spend $1000.00 per pound to increase performance, and you want to just add 2lbs because you are a retrogrouch.
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  • + 1
 It's gonna happen, thats inevitable. Buy it if you want, don't if you don't.
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  • + 2
 Why is Jackie Gleason talking about the history of wheel sizes?
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  • + 1
 26s never say die. Wait til next season when 669 DD wheels start shredding hard brobbie.
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  • + 1
 How about making half of the wheel 27.5 and the other half 26. Best of both worlds right?
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  • + 2
 26 inch is perfect don't bother changing!
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  • - 1
 If I follow the logic in MTB wheel size now and adapt it to bmx the bigger would be better...LOL and seriously, f*ck 27.5 ''. 29 for xc and some fency all mountain/trail riders otherwise 26'' if you are a real man.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I ride XC/Trail, And Im looking forward to trying out these sizes. Just to try, not to buy, not yet anyway.
[Reply]
  • - 2
 I hate 650B wheels!! Companies are just looking for stuff to change because they are getting bored. The one guy in the video said it perfectly, where the companies producing 650B stuff don't even want to be doing it, but they are simply scared of missing a surge in popularity like the 29 inch wheel. Companies will push 650B wheels, consumers will believe the hype and soon 26" wheels will be phased out (WHICH IS A HUGE SHAME). I however would still love to be some 26"/24" wheel combo bikes coming out so what do I know. The downhill world will probably soon adopt 27.5. I call it the roadbikification of downhill (tires getting skinnier, bars getting lower, axle to crown heights getting lower and now wheels are getting bigger). Soon companieswill start pushing 6" downhill bikes, and soon dual crowns will be phased out and you won't be able to buy a downhill bike with tires larger than 2.1.
I better start stocking up on parts now so I can still ride bikes that I like into my old age.
  • + 5
 Where the hell are you riding that you're seeing this? skinny tires? Just because you can downhill in Sask on a hardtail doesn't mean the mtn bike industry is going to kill the dh industry. 26inch wheels are only around because they were first, because of cruisers, not because of any science behind it. 27.5 will be a great option for DH bikes in the future as wheels get stronger.

Let me guess, you've never ridden ANYTHING but 26 have you? Today I lapped whistler twice from top to bottom, once on my 26" downhill bike, once on my 29" AM bike just to see what the difference was. For me, the DH bike was the better ride, but it's also 8" vs 5.5" and it's made for it. I can't wait to bring a 27.5 up there, especially if it's built for it.
  • + 2
 JScott seems personally invested in seeing 650B take off.

I've been riding MTBs for over 20 years, lots of 26", 5 different 29", FS and HT in both formats. I think this "split the difference" thing is appealing to people's sense of pseudo-logic. It SEEMS logical to split the difference. The question is, is the difference significant?

Too many riders --usually men/boys, but sometimes women/girls-- look at the world of possibilities as a rider and think the reason they're not faster, better, more aggressive, burlier, take more risks, or find more flow/style, is because of their equipment. Men especially are quick to assume they have nothing to learn, and are simply on the wrong gear. Wrong tires, wrong fork, wrong frame, wrong geometry, wrong seatpost (not a dropper post), 8 cogs out back instead of 10 or 11, 2 or 3 rings up front instead of one, etc.

I guess it's human nature, but I'd rather improve my skills. I keep up fine with friends on 29" wheels when I'm on 26" and keep up fine with big-travel bikes when I'm on a trail bike. I think anyone could hit that point if they chose to focus on the riding itself, and not on the gear. Going to 650B isn't going to make you win an XC race, an enduro, a SuperD or a DH race if you don't have the legs, lungs and skills to win already.

A side to all this nobody ever seems to consider is the resource use inherent in constantly trying to upgrade our gear. There's only a finite amount of resources available to make the metals and composites used for MTB parts. The more we waste those resources chasing a New Blingy Toy, the more costly things get. And that's not even considering any responsibility we have toward the youth and the future generations of riders, who may find bikes unaffordable because the raw materials are too rare, too expensive to extract & process, or too costly to buy for the manufacture of components & frames.
  • + 0
 I don't see how you think that I'm invested in this tire size. I have two 26" bikes and a 29er and have no ties to the bike industry whatsoever. I just get sick at the thought of all these people not able to see past their nose and actually trying something before discrediting it.

As for materials, are you really that naive to think mtn biking uses up enough materials to make a difference in the world? Really? we're going to run out of aluminum and rubber because of a new wheel size? And yeah, materials are becoming more expensive, but also more common. How often could you get carbon parts 10-20 years ago? Now it's everywhere and available even on lower end bikes. If anything it's only a negative when people over extend themselves financially to buy the newest toys. But that's their problem and it only benefits the economy.

So basically I disagree with everything in your post except the comments about people blaming their gear, but sometimes different gear is needed. At 6'3" I don't like riding a small bike, or even an XL with 26" wheels, doesn't mean I can't do the trail, just means the 29" is more comfortable for me and doesn't feel like I'm riding a kids bike.
  • + 2
 Yeah you'd better tell all those guys like Steve Peat, Gee Atherton, Greg Minnaar that at 6'3" you need 650B or 700C or 29er in order to not be "on a kids bike."

I rode a 24" bike for a few years as a fully-grown adult and it never made me feel childish or (worst horror ever) less a man.

I suggest you have a lot invested in 650B because you're on the Hype Train as a happy passenger. If you're stoked on something, that's good for you. But your stoke isn't a fact for the industry to advance in support of new wheel sizes.

If the Hype Train is the only train driving the MTB industry, then the 26" wheel is going to be put on the chopping block for everything under a given suspension travel -- probably 6" or 7" travel bikes. That's where the Hype Train is headed now, anyway.

I am fine with 26" wheels, as I said above. And I don't think the Hypemongers should be driving the Hype Train to someplace where the only 26" gear will be heavy and bikepark/slopestyle/DH in orientation.

Maybe I'll get lucky and this will be as big a fad as Cannondale's 1.25" head tube, but from the looks of the Hype Train that's not likely and I'd better get some cash together to buy up all the 26" stuff I can.

Please don't try to talk "economics" here. Wasteful trends do NOT "drive the economy." They are false spurts that hurt long term stability. Anyone who's watched things over 50 year or greater periods knows this. Only people who measure "the future" in months think differently.
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  • + 2
 26 til the end!!! why play with a tried and trued wheel size?
  • + 0
 because 98% of the top 10 male and female xc riders are winning on 29" wheels buddy. why cant the xc racers (on 29ers) get along with the gravity crowd (on 26ers)? looks like the 27.5er is already proving that it will have a permanent spot in our sport.
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  • + 3
 650bugger off.
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  • + 1
 Those amazing mountain bikers use 26" ...that's all I can say...can't wait for redbull rampage...
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  • + 2
 it's all about pedaling hard!!!!
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  • - 2
 I'm sick of the covetous ROADIES that choose to ride mtb's , 26" is the way to ride.
sure i didn't ride 650b wheels but i haven't tried eating shit either , maybe it good for you and the planet.
i'm more than happy & content with my 26" wheels . if it works don't fiddle with it!
Smiles for Miles NOT Miles for Smiles!
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  • + 2
 26........4.........LIFE!
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  • + 1
 Rule 1 of mtb. noone fucks with 26 wheels.
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  • + 1
 I'm excited to get an AM bike with 650b wheels.
  • + 1
 understandably. i got a 650B am hardtail (26er transition transam converted) and have been loving it. it is a fast bike on very comfortable wheels.
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  • + 1
 650B PODIUM AT RAMPAGE... nough said!
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  • + 1
 Try it, you'll like it... It's good.
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  • + 0
 And 29ers are the dominant in xc. they work better and are way more fun. Try them first before you talk sh!t about them.
  • + 2
 They are NOT more fun. Go see someone, you're idea of fun is squew.
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  • - 1
 26 will be gone eventually. the 26 should never had been the norm. Ritchey had it dialed way back in th 70's with 27.5. It really should be the standard size.
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  • + 1
 just ridiculous more marketing non-sense..
  • - 1
 how so?
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  • + 0
 i have a feeling that 29'' will prove to be the wheel for XC, 27.5" for trail/enduro, and 26" will remain for gravity
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  • + 0
 29-xc, pedal pedal. 650b-trail/am, "one bike do it all". 26-dh, techy, jumpy, park.
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  • + 1
 Which haters here actually watched the video?
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  • + 0
 I'm gonna just stick to 26ths, no, don't tell me 27.5th or 29th are better, it is just not.
  • + 5
 I know! Why bother figuring it out for yourself or actually TRYING something when you can just close your eyes and cover your eyes and pretend it doesn't exist?

/sarcasm
  • - 3
 Jscott F off.
  • + 0
 Again, very compelling argument.
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  • + 1
 I vote for 26.04 inches wheels!
  • + 2
 No no no! 26.75" is really the ideal wheel size for ANY bike out there. I am an expert, listen to me!
  • + 0
 Well im some snooty top shelf manufacturer and i think 26.9 is the future.
  • + 0
 no no! 26.825" not to small, not to big. just right
  • + 1
 Nobody had said anything in two days... you're just stirring the pot now.
  • + 3
 Yes just stop screwing with the 26 wheels then.
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  • + 0
 tanto fez tanto faz a espaço no mercado
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  • + 0
 Nothing will replace 26in period! End of decussion! Thank you!
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  • + 0
 can we have one standard please
  • + 1
 +1, we also need standard size frame. I hate all these small and large frames in the market when I only need the medium.
  • + 3
 We should all have the same suspension travel and handlebar widths too. Helmets should be one size fits all as well.
  • + 1
 That would be brilliant Willie!
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  • - 1
 don't re invent the wheel!
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  • - 1
 I'm inventing a 27.750". Bigger is better right. So dumb. Stay 26"
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  • - 1
 Funny how some people think they know what everyone else doesn't need!
  • + 2
 This is a really common thing. Your doctor knows more than you about your heart. A neuro surgeon knows more than you about your brain. An engineer knows more than you about bridges. Dave Weigle knows more than you about suspension rates. The people with the strongest opinions are the people with the least knowledge.
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  • - 1
 The 1st place podium at the WC...end of debate.
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  • - 1
 It's would be perfect in XC only!
not somthing eles...(for my opinion)
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  • - 1
 I really f*cking hope not. Dirt jumping with 650b's??
  • + 2
 Hahahahaha! That ain't gonna happen in my lifetime
  • + 0
 actually it already happened..there was a pinkbike video with a dirt jumper backflipping a road bike at the dirt jumps...did you all miss that? it was a shoot for spy goggles/sunglasses

here is the reminder that the world is upside down on all wheelsizes

www.pinkbike.com/news/Mike-Montgomery-Road-Bike-Backflip-Behind-the-Scenes-2012.html
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