Norco Range Killer B - First Ride

Aug 16, 2012
by Mike Levy  
2013 Norco Range. Photo by Dustan Sept.

The Range Killer B - 1 is assembled around Norco's 160mm travel, 650B all-mountain platform.


2013 Norco Range Killer B2 and B3

The Range Killer B - 2 (left) retails for $4150 USD and uses a SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain and FOX suspension, while the Killer B - 3 (right) goes for $2899 USD with it's X-Fusion Vengeance fork, O2 RL rear shock, and SRAM X5 running gear.




650B Commitment

Norco is jumping into 650B headfirst, with six different models utilizing the 'tweener wheel size for 2013 - There is no 26" wheeled Range option for 2013. The 160mm travel Range Killer B platform consists of three of those models, with the top-tier Killer B - 1 ridden here. Norco has designed the Killer B lineup with hard charging riders in mind, and the bike has a 66.5° head angle to match those intentions, as well as replaceable ISCG-05 tabs and some very clever dropper post cable routing.

Further enforcing the the bike's aggressive ambitions, Norco has employed their 'Gravity Tune' geometry ethos onto the Range. A geometry layout that was first used on their acclaimed Aurum DH platform, Gravity Tune sees the bike's rear/center measurement (chain stay) change to match each frame size's front/center length. Most frames use one length of rear/center regardless of frame size, but Norco's goal is to preserve weight distribution throughout the sizing range. It is also worth noting that the 2013 650B Range actually uses shorter chain stays than that of the 26" wheeled 2012 model.



• 650B all-mountain platform
• Rear wheel travel: 160mm
• FOX 34 Talas fork, 120 - 160mm
• Dropper post routing
• Tapered head tube
• ISCG-05 guide tabs
• 360 locking pivot hardware
• 'Gravity Tune' geometry
• MSRP $5850 USD

2013 Norco Range

The Range's A.R.T. rear suspension is a variation of the Horst Link that Norco has tuned to have slightly more rearward axle path than what is found on many other Horst Link designs. The goal is one that is talked about often: better square edge performance, which in turn can result in a bike that carries good speed over rough terrain. The bike's rearward axle path can also be used to tune in a certain amount of anti-squat by way of chain tension, something that Norco says they have used to improve the Range's climbing abilities.


2013 Norco Range

A sturdy looking, one-piece welded rocker link (left) is used to active the shock. Both the main and the rocker link pivots utilize an interesting hardware arrangement that has been designed to take point loading off of the sealed bearings to increase pivot life. A split, expanding collet is used up against each bearing's inner race, with the pivot axle than pushed through the collets (usually it would simply be the axle up against the bearings). As the pivot is tightened, the collets expand and exert even pressure on the inner bearing race. Contrast this to a standard pivot axle that must fit lose enough to be pushed through the bearings, which then allows it to rock ever so slightly and apply a concentrated load to one specific spot on the bearing. Will it make a difference in the long run? Only time will tell.


2013 Norco Range

The bike's chain stays feature clevis pivots that forgo using a welded on pivot location. Instead, the tubing thickness has been increased slightly at the stay's ends, allowing Norco to machine-in the clevis joint rather than weld one on.


2013 Norco Range

Norco employs a Syntace X12 thru-axle out back, as well as a sturdy derailleur hanger that is held in place with a break-away bolt (left). This greatly lessens the chance of bending the hanger and putting the derailleur into the rear wheel, simply because the hanger bolt has been designed to fail before that can happen. A spare hanger bolt is threaded into the frame just above the bottom bracket (right), keeping it out of the way unless it's needed.




First Impressions

We spent two days aboard the 160mm travel Range, with the first on smooth-ish trails that were fast enough to have our eyes watering. The green machine felt like quite a lot of bike on this sort of terrain, with the slack head angle, forgiving suspension, and short cockpit keeping us from getting the most out of the mountain. Those same attributes perfectly suited the next day's route, though, that saw us on some classic North Vancouver singletrack, starting with Executioner and working our way down the hill, although we first had to get to the top under our own power.

The Range made its way up the gravel access road without much fuss, although leaving the FOX shock's ProPedal lever in the open position resulted in a very active ride; the sort of thing that you'd expect from a 160mm travel bike - it wasn't uninspired, but it certainly doesn't have the 'jump' of some other offerings out there. This won't concern many Range riders who will obviously put their ride emphasis on pointing the opposite direction, but take note if you often ascend monster climbs to access your trails. Flipping on the ProPedal on quelled the bike's suspension action, and using the FOX 34's Talas dial to drop the front end helped to keep it from wandering, but the Range still has a very clear "I'm here for the descents" air to it.

And the descents are exactly where the bike shines, which isn't much of a surprise given the its character. While many of today's 160mm travel bikes are positioning themselves as long-legged trailbikes, the Range really doesn't shy away from doing a spot of monster truck-ing when the need arises. Lean back and let the bike's supple, yet progressive, rear suspension handle the trouble underfoot - it does a very good job of it. The active rear end made short work of steps and sharp impacts, blunting high-speed impacts quite well and proving to us that Norco's A.R.T. rear suspension layout certainly functions well. The 16.8'' chain stays and short cockpit also made lifting the front end a breeze, making it easy for us to manual for fun or out of necessity off of a slow speed drop.


The 650B Factor

While the Range certainly proved its mettle on North Vancouver's challenging trails, the bike's 650B wheels have left us in a bit of a quandary. After all, just how much do the mid-sized wheels actually factor in? We have to admit that, at least in a blind test, we feel that we'd be hard pressed to truthfully say we took note of the difference between the 650B hoops and standard 26'' wheels. The fact that the 650B size actually measures much closer to the 26" wheel than the 29" wheel isn't lost on us, and while physics prove that 650B wheels carry more momentum over bumps than smaller wheels, that doesn't mean that the bike as a whole will perform better overall on the trail. The Range did perform well in its intended environment, though, but we feel that it is down to the entire package - the sorted suspension, geometry with a DH slant, and a solid frame - rather than just the bike's 650B wheels.

www.norco.com

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172 Comments

  • + 40
 I really wish that Norco hadn't gone and just ditched 26" wheels straight off the bat.. I can't help but feel this 650b thing is a huge waste of time.
  • + 13
 Its not. If it had not been for a lack of production volume of tires available in america thirty plus years ago, mountain bikes never would have adopted twenty sixers.
  • + 7
 I dunno, I think they are getting in ahead of the curve. It seems like alot of parts manufactures are committing to it, so you should be seeing lots of tire, wheel and fork options in the near future.
  • + 5
 Well obviously at some point 26" would have been an innovation, but this new size doesn't seem to be that much of an innovation.. to me it just kinda feels like they're filling a gap in the market with something that doesn't really need to exist.
  • + 12
 I'd only just got used to the idea and benefits of 29ers in mountain biking and I can see how they make sense but I think 650Bs are trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist, its all very well saying its the best of both worlds but all that usually means is that its a jack of all trades and master of f*ck all.
  • + 9
 650B is not an innovation, the size has been in continual usage in europe and asia since the 1950s. Very few Pinkbike members even have parents that old.
  • + 2
 Maybe so, but it surely hasn't been used in this context on this sort of bike. I just can't shake the feeling that it's not really going to benefit anything.
  • - 2
 Notice how its been around for that time and 26" wheels continue to reign supreme? Now why is that I wonder.. It still just seems like a waste of time to try and encourage mass use of 650b now when 26ers have been become the norm, If you want more stability and fast rolling, go buy a 29er.. Or if you want to waste your money on a standard that only a minority like yourself think is worthwhile in mountain biking, be my guest! I'll stick with having fun on my 26" wheels with all the wheel and tyre options I could ask for thanks..
  • + 17
 Hey Joez, I can tell that you haven't actually spent any time looking into it or actually trying any of these wheel standards out by your comments, but I suggest that before you accuse others of wasting their time, that you actually try one out. 29ers roll great but they have geometric concerns that are near impossible to address, like the higher front end and longer chainstays, which can negatively affect the way the bike handles or fits. 650b is a great way to address that as you can fit the bikes to a wider range of rider, and you still get a noticeable improvement in rolling resistance. I've personally tried out all three on multiple bikes, and I can honestly say there's merit to each one. I wouldn't hesitate to own a 29er hardtail, but i'd have a hard time recommending a 29er FS bike. I'm keeping my 26" DH bike just the way it is. My 650b trailbike is great through, it gives me a little bit of the benefits of wagon wheels without feeling like I'm riding them. I wouldn't go out and sell all your 26" stuff just yet, but if you're in the market for a great bike that gives you most of the advantages with very very few of the disadvantages, 650b is a great option to have, and more and more manufacturers are seeing that, like Scott, Schwalbe, Norco, Stan's, Turner, and Kenda. Like it or not, it's coming, and pretty soon, MOST people are going to be wasting their money on it.
  • + 5
 It just rustles my jimmies is all.
  • + 2
 Like I said, feel free! But I'm happy with my 26 inch bikes.. Given the chance I would like to try out a 650b to see how it feels and I did say that I have nothing against 29er bikes if you'd actually read my comment, I can see the merit to both wheel sizes and I think a 29er makes absolutely perfect sense for say a hard tail cross country bike. Unfortunately however, for the type of riding I do and the fact I can only afford to own and run one bike that I'm happy with, 26 is just ideal. Like I said if you want to go buy a 650b bike for the style of riding you do, feel free (I realise I may have worded it before to sound like anyone buying a 650b bike would be at a total loss and I apologise, the style of riding you enjoy is totally up to you).. But I'm afraid I'm sticking resolutely to what I have..
  • + 21
 forget all this hoopla, i'm gonna go back to 24" wheels
  • + 3
 I remember the times when all skis were streight and then thes carving skis came. There were so many haters on the net. So many!!! ..... like here Wink ))))

Now after 10-12 years every skis are carving skis, some more some less.
I do not say that it is gonna be the same with bikes.
Not at all. All I wanna say that from my own perspective I like the idea and I am sure we will see more and more of 29"
Maybe still some technical issues to be solved but when they do it....oh man, it will be boom for 29".

And I am already waiting for Santa Cruz 29" New NOMAD Smile ))))))))))
  • + 6
 I haven't spent more than 5 minutes on a 650b ever, but I like the option because I'm 6'3 and XL 26ers tend to look awkward and disproportionate.
  • + 2
 This is for you Joe and I don't want to come off to harsh because you did comment on your first posts aggressiveness, saying this i do want to point out that the beauty of Pinkbike is that i can click on your name and watch the video of you riding your DH/FR bike on your local trails. And the reason I am posting is because there seems to be a stereotypical wall that 26inch fanboys (and there is ALOT of good things about a 26in bike) can't seem to get over. This wall is that you just can't have as much fun with the "style of riding/trails that i/you do". So while watching your video I just can't see any difference of fun factor that you are having that i could have on my 5in FS Kona Satori 29er. I would rail the same corners then get the same amount of air w/ the same amount of style, and land with the same amount of smile that you do. So in the end I am not sure there is any "ideal" bike within our riding skill, riding style, or typical riding trail. In the end, to bring this back to the 650b wheel size is that I am positive that someone will be able to have just as much fun as you will riding a FS 650b with out any downsides that a "26in fanboy" is worried/adamant about.
  • - 1
 Very nice looking bike! Best looking and well thought-out Norco trail bike yet.

Why not buy frame only and run 26" wheels?
  • + 12
 Oh my god people would die if you ran a 650b frame with 26" wheels..! xD it's like dividing by zero.
  • - 1
 So you're saying I should ride downhill on a 29er? If I posted pictures of every time I went riding and where then I wouldn't have any time to go ride.. So cwpioske I respect your opinion about me and my bike and all but of the same token, the downside of the 'beauty of pinkbike' is that you only get to see what I can be arsed to upload. If you're so happy with your 29er then by all means stick with it, but I'm happy with my 26 inch box welded single pivot bike.. I was merely voicing my opinion on this craze with wheel sizes, I wasn't however having a go at anyone specifically for the type of bike they ride. If you've got your own opinion then I'd love to hear it, however could you please refrain from attempting to change mine..
  • + 3
 Or my personal favorite, 26" in the front and 24" in the back.....aha.
Well done Specialized.
  • - 3
 Lol , oh joe so defensive. I respect your opinion and I am not to sure that there was anywhere in my post where I said, joe this is what you need believe. In fact for someone who defends there opinion by telling the other to not share his opinion is quite an odd concept. To get past this issue you should look at my post as more of a discussion point. And let's be honest only a self infatuated pompous ass would go on a public site to post a opinion with out any angle of trying to reason/ discuss/ or show a reality/truth or being willing to humble themselves to maybe understand a view point.... And before we get carried away on alternative wheel sizes for DH, this article/bike is not in a downhill category. All I was doing was commenting and establishing a baseline of where your bike opinions come from. And further more, I do realize that it would be silly to expect you to video all your rides but not as silly to expect that the ONE video you posted wasn't because you wanted to show everyone on a public site the trails you don't usually ride, with a lesser amount of skill, and of course not as stylish as you ride either. Those are always my intentions as well.... And as an end note sorry for the aggressiveness of this post but I did mean it cause I didn't like your return post. Have a good day and don't get to angry. And yes I do question a 29ers role in downhill, as of right now 26in DH bikes all the way.
  • + 3
 This is getting out of hand..! Lets all remember that we all love bikes here! Regardless of wheel size!
  • - 4
flag Joezwls (Aug 16, 2012 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 Ok, seeing as you feel the need to act patronisingly, I will start by asking you to address your grammar because I found it so hard to understand what points you were just trying to make.
I will explain exactly why I am so resolute about owning a bike with 26 inch wheels.. It similar to the reason I still ride flat pedals although perhaps slightly more complex given the different amount of options involved. There are many other standards that fill the marketplace for all riding disciplines of which many have been in use for years by people who have deemed them best for their own preferences. I've ridden 26 inch wheel bikes ever since I was old enough and therefore tall enough to ride them, it's all I've ever known and its what now feels perfectly natural to me and I'm not prepared to shell out some serious outlay for a new wheel set or frame to accomodate something I probably won't like. Given the chance to try a 650b or 29er bike out properly instead of looking at them/sitting on them in bike stores, I'm sure I would be able to acquire a better understanding and therefore an even more reasoned view as to why I would or wouldn't want to own one. Having only sat on a 29er, I can merely state that the bike felt clumsy. I understand that the rolling inertia of the wheels would help to reduce this when riding the bike but I'm sorry to say I just don't fancy it. As for 650b, the wheel size is so minutely increased over 26's that I'm afraid I just cannot see where the reward lies for using them, just like the author of this article.. Seeing as I can only afford one bike to cover all bases for me, whether its riding trail centres, trails, downhill tracks or the alps.. I'm going to stick with the 26" wheels that I know and trust.
Also if you question the role of 29ers in downhill, then you should agree as to why 650b or 29" wheels don't interest me.. mainly because I just don't think they're up to the task of coping! Cheers
  • + 3
 shut up cwpioske. no one cares.
  • + 6
 I know I don't anymore.. bored of this now, excuse me while I go out and ride my bike.
  • - 1
 I do apologize for ranting a bit there. and although I get where your going Maveri20, people obviously care. Tomothy said it right, and like most rants they get out of hand and the better point is to just get out and ride what ever bike you decide to buy. To make mends with Joe, I agree my grammar can always be better, but yours was not perfect either. Mute point. I understand and respect your reply post, good points that were much more geared towards you vs the mass market.
  • + 4
 ive already said that before and ill say it again. u XC ppl talk toooo muchh !!! this is not a religion, its just different wheels sizes, get over it.
  • + 2
 I'd prob consider going 650b if its a bit more benificial than 26"? But i've never liked the look of 29ers and would never ever get one! they look horrid! :S
  • + 8
 Can you two just exchange phone numbers so we don't have to witness your verbal diarrhea online?

Also, @cwpioske - "mute point" is not a thing.
  • + 3
 Sorry guys.. got very carried away and there was no need for it, I apologise.
  • - 1
 Mute point Is debatable. But most say it's just a common misspelling. Unfortunately for nit pickets like you I don't really spell check, and my phone doesn't really recognize 'moot' as a typical word. But thanks for educating me.
  • + 6
 dudes, stop looking at bikes or sitting on them in parking lots and go ride them! Why should a product that makes it easier to ride longer and faster be considered a bad thing? That's all big wheels do...they give you more traction going up, and they go over bumps easier. They don't kick your dog and they don't steal your cheerios. They certainly have some detriments, but I don't get the hate unless you've ridden one and have decided that they simply don't work for your needs.
  • + 1
 i can see 650b being good for people like martin soderstrom and kelly mcgrarry who are taller, that is if they make a stronger more durable version good for slopestyle
  • + 1
 I dunno about slopestyle, is traction and roll over ability something you need / feel is lacking with twenty sixers on prepared ramps and jumps ? As to stronger, stronger what ? Tires ? Rims ? Spank has already started shipping their 650B version of the Subrosa rims to dealers. Pacenti has their DL31 rims already. Velocity does the P35 in a 650B.
  • + 3
 Did people seriously negative prop Joe for apologising?
  • + 2
 Welcome to pinkbike Ollie.. I fully accept I was in a shit mood anyway and I got carried away but apparently thats not good enough for the forum populous. Oh well, I'm not fussed.
  • + 1
 I can understand people negative propped you if you came in a little hot at first but that's just hating for the sake of hating!
  • - 2
 WE'RE ALL BEING SCAMMED.
  • + 1
 I'm assuming thats sarcasm, but if not calm down dude, its just another standard in the market for those who deem it worthwhile to use on their bikes
  • + 16
 Just like 29ers; No Minion, No care...
  • + 1
 You're more likely to see a minion in 650B than in 700C.
  • + 3
 "No Minion, No Care..."

This may be the most well pointed and definitive quip on PB ever. Not truer statement has ever been assembled!
  • + 0
 I'm ready to bet that you guys haven't tried new schwalbe tires like the hans dampf.
  • + 2
 Yes I have - on a 26 and 650b. Not as connected as a 26" Minion DHF EXO 3C kevlar.
  • + 0
 That's nteresting. Do you run your minions tubeless?
  • + 13
 wu tangs first moutain bike`!
  • + 7
 What are the tire options like for a 650B like? who does them and how much do they cost ect.... forgive me if anyone sees that as a stupid question but i haven't researched the field. :/ still, if they had the option i'd go for the 26" wheels. I think this is just another way for norco to give the bike a 'unique selling point'.
  • + 1
 More manufacturers are starting to look at the size but it's a fair bit more expensive than standard sizes because they're not in such huge demand.
  • + 6
 Thats a crock. The tires are in such huge demand now its sucked up all the production currently available. And EVERY tire brand / manufacturer has 650b models kicking into production for 2013....

- kenda
- pacenti
- wtb
- panaracer
- schwalbe
- michelin
- hutchinson
- ritchey
- syncros
- rubena
- maxxis
- vee rubber
- geax
  • + 2
 I didn't say they weren't being made, I meant they aren't that common at the moment. It's still a niche that has yet to really set off.. I think people are over reacting a bit to this..! xD
  • + 3
 There goes deeeight with the harsh cold hand of reality smackdown again
  • - 1
 they're just doing it so they can justify expensive prices, because it' s a new trend, with it accessories...
  • + 7
 Its not new...ok maybe to the kids on here who don't know anything they haven't read in decline or fed to them by some pro in a video... but to many of us, this is SOOOOO five years ago. And the stuff isn't more expensive than 26er specific bits of equal quality. People who can afford this level of bike, will, and people who cannot, will complain.
  • + 0
 never said it's new, they^just try to create a new market
  • + 2
 Actually if you bothered to comprehend what has been repeatedly said about the format, you'd understand that no... they're not. They're trying to provide a solution to a section of the market that the OTHER larger wheelsize format has failed to do. It took a decade of geometry tweaks and suspension development to get 29" tires into bikes with 140mm of wheel travel, and to do so they had to compromise bike fit to the point that many brands, don't offer small enough sizes to fit many riders out there, and even use tall folk (I'm 6'6") will run stems flipped negative with flat bars to get the bike setup comfortable. Along comes an alternative that has been overlooked since the early days of mountain bike development, and it requires almost no adjustments to geometry/fit/wheel travel, and still gives significantly enough improvement over twenty sixers as far as traction and roll-over obstacle ability to be noticeable by the rider.

And don't for one minute should you or anyone start to believe that they'll restrict the wheel format to XC/AM segments. Niner, Trek and others have TRIED to make a 29er DH bike work, and no doubt there are manufacturers out there who are looking at their existing bikes and thinking of how easily they could implement 650Bs on them, if they only had the right tires being made by their team sponsors.
  • + 2
 I just disagree with you, I find your opinion a bit naive, people who think they need it, will buy it and everybody's happy
  • + 2
 Yeah what do I know... I've only been riding 650B mountain bikes for four years now. How long have you been riding them ?
  • + 0
 because YOU find a 1.5 more inch wheel way better doesn't mean it's needed. Finally you don't get my point, I'm not saying it's useless, just that the brands create this need, not the riders. Don't tell me it's revolutionary, bul.... I rode 29er, I felt some advantages and some disadvantages but it was small ones, with something between it ll be like nothing
  • + 1
 The brands didn't create any need. The whole slew of interest in 650B beyond touring bikes and tandems, has been because of ACTUAL riders driving it along. Perhaps you should ride one before whining about it like you know anything other than what you've read about it.
  • - 1
 I'm just laughing at people who think they need it, shut up and go riding Wink
  • + 11
 Money spinning gimick, please die by the kerb.
  • + 0
 harsh bro
  • + 6
 but true
  • - 3
 Not gonna happen.
  • + 0
 What's wrong with my 26" wheels again? I've been riding on them since I was a wee lad in all types of biking disciplines...XC, DH, dirt jumping...and found they suited everything. Is the market telling my that I can have more fun if they sway me this direction? I just don't know...baaa...baaa (it's my pet sheep).
  • + 5
 I love how reality and logical complaints will always get negative propped by kids but "ohhh its a gimmick" illogical ones are proped up and up and up. Negative this all ya want but it won't change the fact that 650Bs ARE here to stay, and will take over a large segment of the market, to both the dismay of 26er and 29er fanboys.
  • + 3
 It's unfortunate this all turned into a wheel size battle because the expanding collet on the rocker link and the main pivot I think is a killer idea!! Good thinkin Norco
  • + 5
 never thought I'd see bikers tell a bike to die on the curb because of a feature they don't like / isn't accepted yet.
Weird
  • + 5
 I remember 5 years ago nearly all dirt jumpers were on 24s and look at them now, back on 26s.

How about some new wheel sizes?

20 to 24 = (22) = the all new 550!!!!!!!

24 to 26 = (25) = the all new 500!!!!!!!

and repeat till money gained......
  • + 1
 550 and 500 sizes already existed.
  • + 7
 lets remake the fully sussed penny farthing with wheel size 553/half /432/ front and back upside down wheels
  • + 6
 Good idea Speedy! Then all these rich guys would own 10 bikes instead of 5 and they would b in here writing paragraph long comments about how awesome each size is and how they couldnt live without em.
  • + 0
 well said!
  • + 3
 Wow! That's some weird crazy controversy. I think it's great to see new bikes out there. More choices more fun. In full disclosure... I've ridden 26ers, 29ers and my current ride is a 650b full suspension. It works perfect for me and I'm not looking for a new bike but it's great to see innovation and choices. It can only make our sport better. I hope they don't get rid of any of the sizes or styles of bikes as there is a rider for each of them. 29er vs. 26er vs. 650b vs. single speed vs. downhill vs. hard tail vs. fat tire bikes vs. x-country vs. steel vs. carbon the list is endless. As long as a company can make money selling them all styles and types of bikes will be around for that individual need. Stop hating everything except your own personal choice. There is room for all riders in our great sport. PLEASE LIGHTEN UP!
  • + 6
 Yet another reason local bike shops will no longer be able to taylor to all styles of cycling.
  • + 0
 Their days are definitely wayneing
  • + 2
 Seriously??? Thats your best argument? I don't know of ANY lbs's capable of handling all styles successfully now except for ones so large as to rival department stores in size and sales volumes. Places around your typical 2k or 3k square feet of space simply can't survive trying to cover every dicipline/style of bike currently available. Even just trying to support strictly the gravity assisted styles which combined are less than one percent of bike sales and bike riders in the world is challenging to most shops if not located near a major bike riding center like whistler.
  • + 6
 The inability for local bike shops to tailor to all styles of cycling is a failure of those bike shops in that far too many hire inept high-school kids to sell thousand dollar bicycles, most bike shops are unwilling to offer demos, unwilling to offer consignment sales, and focus too much on expensive products and not enough on moving quantities. The rise of the online retailer in this industry is solely because they have a huge warehouse full of products that they sell cheaper than anywhere else.

Bike shops needs to be creative and open to a multitude of strategies, probably the most important of which is getting potential customers out there on bikes they love, bikes they dream about, and bikes they can afford.

Case in point: I had a friend who only had $500 to spend. Demo'd some cheap bikes. Then he test rode a $2,000 bike. Week later, he had gotten a bank loan and bought the $2,000 bike. The bike shop who sold it to him let him ride every bike he wanted with a retainer and card on file.

My local bike shops on the other hand won't even let you take a bike out off shop property without a background check, 3 forms of ID and a GPS tracking device. They are going out of business.

What does this have to do with 650b? Test ride it, and determine for yourself if its worth your money. If its not, that's fine. Your local dealer should have a 29er, a 650b, and a 26" bike of varying components and travel, and they should be open to allowing you to ride it on the trail.
  • + 3
 "while physics prove that 650B wheels carry more momentum over bumps than smaller wheels, that doesn't mean that the bike as a whole will perform better overall on the trail."


Is the author on crack? Just because the wheels perform better, doesn't mean the bike will perform better? Better performing wheels are the biggest improvement you can make to ANY bike. They need to compare the bike back to back with an identical 26" wheeled bike. This really is the point of 650b. You get the better rolling, and don't notice the problems as you do with 29ers.
  • + 2
 Not on crack... yet. The statement you quoted above is meant to say that it takes more than just a slightly larger wheel to make a bike perform better than its 26" counterpart.
  • + 1
 MBA already did as direct head to head to head comparisons as possible using KHS full suspension and hardtail models in all three popular wheel size formats, and in both shootouts the 650Bs won overall. The problem is, pinkbike doesn't have the clout or staff resources as a major print magazine like MBA, and as such generally isn't offered the chance to do such testing. The best they can hope for would be for example, having Intense provide them a carbide with an X-Fusion Vengence fork (as its officially compatible with either 26 or 650B wheels), the two dropout options and two wheelsets so they could test the bike with 26" wheels and then change the dropout and slip in the 650B wheels. If they ran such a test, and the 650B happened to win, I still don't think it'd shut up most PB whiners. It might get a few to open their eyes to other options in the universe though and that would be good enough for me.
  • + 3
 Deelight, I did just that on my Mojo SL. It turned out so well I sold my carbon hardtail I used to use as a gravel road bike. I am sold completely.

Mike, if you rode this exact bike back to back with 26 and 650b wheels, the differences are obvious in comparison. The fact you didn't "feel" a difference is because there are really no drawbacks to the 'tween size. It isn't a compromise like 29ers.

If someone argues the geometry is optimized for 650b, use a 26" starting point and convert to 650b such as the Mojo HD. I don't know of anyone converting going back to 26,unless there is a clearance issue. The 2.25 650b rear tire barely clears in the rear on the Mojo SL. When tires become available again, I will try a 2.1 on a 24 or 28mm internal width rim. I currently am using 2.25 on a 20mm internal rim (sun equalizer 27, bought on clearout for $20.00 each to try his out.)
  • + 2
 Although in theory this could be a great bike, I think its the sort of bike that could become a major pain in the arse! Im out in morzine, i think the bike would do pretty well out here, but if i slashed a tyre sidewall that would be it, holiday over as no where sells the tyres. If i dinked a rim same story. I really just dont get the point of 650b, seems like liability and its not different enough from 26. 29ers im fine with but 650b stinks of marketing BS.
  • + 7
 Spoken like someone who's spent zero time on one.
  • - 1
 Like you haven't bought into any marketing schemes?
  • + 8
 Too bad a good majority of PB readers cant just accept innovation and realize that the bike world is not trying to tell them they need to get rid of their 26" bike and give in to 29ers and 650b. Everything has its place, and i feel that in the near future every "cross country" and "trail" rider will be on a 29er (hardtail or FS), every "AM" rider will be on a 650b, and the free ride and DH boys will still be riding 26". It will be great as different jobs require different tools.
  • - 3
 There is no innovation in them, 29er work as they tend to be used on HT or shorter travel bikes and they do roll over obstetrical better and have a larger contact patch giving the rider confidence, but once you start increasing the suspension travel the 29er rolling advantage is massively diminished and suspension design plays a greater % in the ride characteristics of the bike. The difference between 26 and 27.5 is just to small for all the potential ball ache it might cause. It is pure marketing B.S. and nothing more. I dont buy into marketing schemes, im a real world engineer, i asses thing by there design attributes and potential. Iv been mountain biking 15 years and iv seen enough fads come and go, i know this is just another until someone provides empirical data to prove the advantages out weigh the pitfalls.
  • + 2
 Mozz- if you are riding something specific, wouldn't you bring spares? When I went to Whistler, I brought spare wheels, fork seals brake pads, tires, chains.

That is a ridiculous excuse. By mid 2013, most shops will have spares anyway, as there are a lot of production bikes in 650b for 2013.
  • + 2
 The only spares hard to find right now are tires... because all the supplies out there already are being snapped up by every racer, product manager, and enthusiast who sat on the sidelines about this for several years and are now going "OH SHIT... I shouldn't have waited". TWO DAYS after Nino Schurter won the season opening world cup XC on his 650B Scott Scale, Kirk Pacenti took orders for FIFTEEN HUNDRED 650B RIMS. And every last tire he had in stock.
  • + 0
 A quick bit of internet searching and there is next to zero availability of 650b products in the UK. Chain reaction, the worlds largest bike store does not even have anything listed, the only spares iv found is some stans ztr's. Absolute liability of a wheel size at the minute.

Willie 1
Although i would love to take spares, bike bags are limited to 30kg when flying, Bike+bag+a few tools+body armour +shoes pretty much brings you to 30kg.

deeeight
You seem to be preaching about 650b without explaining any of the benefits do you have some vested interest? In my experience XC pros will race the wheels of anything someone is willing to pay them to race, so the fact he won on 650b is pretty irrelevant, he would have performed just as well on a 29re, 27.5re or 26er.

If you take a pen paper and calculator, draw a circle of 26, 27.5 and 29, add say 2.5 to the radius or represent the tyre. then draw a horizontal line 1cm up from the lowest point of the tyre to represent the tyres contact point squashing into the floor. Measure the intersection of the horizontal line with the tyre diameter and multiply it by a nominal equal figure say 1 inch to find a contact area. You will see that the jump in tyre contact area from 26 to 27.5 is quite small, but the jump to 29 is actual large hence the advantage.

You can do a similar *ag packet calc to see how the wheel sizes react to square edge bumps to see how much more time it gives as it rolls over them, and you find the same thing, the difference between 26 and 27.5 is small (The addition of some rearwards axle path on a full sus is going to make much more of a difference) but the jump to 29 is again quite large,

So yet again until someone shows me some hard number on the advantage im calling marketing B.S.
  • + 1
 Mozz - good for you.
  • + 1
 Mozz...you posted 12 hours after me and apparently failed to actually read what I said. Also you failed to bother to actually use even GOOGLE it seems. I already said there is a shortage of tires available at the moment and explained why that is. The hard numbers have been explained in past articles, ad nauseum, on pb, in major print magazines, and on other web forums for years now. If you refuse to go out and actually READ them, that's not my fault. If you bothered to quicky put '650b' into google, one of the first sites to show up on the list is 650bpalace.com where you can get all sorts of info specifically about the format. Including what brands are supporting it.
  • + 1
 deeeight

I posted 12 hours after you, after going to the cavern bar in Morzine, and sleeping. Woke up and rode Champery today (was scary awesome). There is a is a time difference between Canada and France! I read what you wrote and there is next to no 650b rims or tyres available in Europe from the usual suspect online retailers. And your still yet to provide any empirical information, just because some journo on a press launch in a swanky bike park seems to think they are better means jack shit. (not aimed at you mikelevy, your article was actual very balanced) yet my ruff hand calcs point to a negligent improvement, can you not do the maths? I can safely say that there has been no empirical back to back testing in the UK publications, so ad nauseum my arse, and at least in the UK this 650b wheels size has really came out of the blue as the next big thing.

Dont get me wrong id like to have a go on a 650b but with next to no support over here in Europe for very little potential gain in performance and an increase in rotational weight, how on earth as someone who build and designs bikes could i recommend the size? Remember 10 years ago 24in rear wheels were all the rage.....

Anyways enough of this forum debating you clearly have your mind made up, and you have gone quiet on the vested interest question, do you have a garage full of 650b rims and tyres your trying to make a quick buck on? i mean 26 post in total under the article, thats some serious forum bashing to try and bring people round to the idea.
  • - 1
 So there's little availability right now from european mail order...terrific...so order from the USA then... or for that matter, wait a month until after Eurobike and the dealers there will start getting their early samples after the show.
  • + 1
 OMG you are totally missing the point, why would i order from the states, wait who knows how long for them to be delivered, then pay import and value added tax on top. My entire point of my initial post is that 650b size has next to no spares on sale over here so, the performance gain is very little on a full sus, and as nice as that bike is, you would be raving mad to buy one if you were even a slightly hard rider in Europe right now. Still quiet on the vested interest front i see......
  • + 1
 I have no vested interest in them. Get a freaking clue. I am an individual who has owned and ridden 650B bikes for several years now. I don't go through life worrying about a shortage of spares when I buy bikes or forks or components. I don't limit my decision on purchasing something that IS better just because its in such high demand that I might only get ONE set of what I need to start riding it. And why you think there's nothing available in europe, just because some british mail-order store doesn't have any, is naive in the extreme.
  • + 0
 I give up, you are crazy or cant or wont follow some simple logic.

Maybe your the guy that rides down the trail dragging the shit out of his brakes, creating braking bumps, causing tail backs and never breaks anything.

Im going to need a new rim for my session as it has 2 huge dinks as from my last day in Chatel, one from hitting a lagre rock at speed on ride humble trail and the other who knows! Good job i dont have a 650b rim size or id be waiting weeks to get out on my bike again!

You 're obviously sold on the idea (heck you have defended the shit out of them for no reason) where as i think they are a flash in the pan especially on 5-6in bikes . I cant talk you into seeing sense from my side and vias versa. So lets just leave it at that. I bid you farewell.
  • + 2
 I defend them because I ride them and I KNOW they are an improvement over twenty six inch wheels for these applications. Others know it also. Apparently you never will so that's just fine then. I already explained how easy it is to get rims. What? There's no other dealers or distributors in the UK and europe than Chainreaction ? For that matter... this "shortage" of tires and rims is just temporary due to the sudden explosion in demand this race season. It will not last. Not with the number of companies gearing up production for the size.
  • + 2
 Kinda stoked I got a range this year so I get my jumpy 26" wheels. PS. Norco, please come to the dirt demo in Vegas this year, I really want to feel the ART suspension on a DH/FR bike before I spend that much.
  • + 0
 coming from a small town its hard to get parts , if it's 24 inch or 27.5 inch ( rims , tires , tubes .... ) so im not following into this . i love norco but this wont make me continue with they're brand if its going to be a pain in the ass to get parts .
  • + 0
 I think the 650b is a good idea. But is it really THAT much better than 26"? It doesnt seem like theres much of a noticable differance in climbing capability. And by making the wheel larger it starts to lose its structural integrity. I think this wheel size should be geared towards 140mm trail bikes, where you ride up and dont "rip" down, but you descend at a good pace. All-mountain seems to look more towards DH than XC. I believe the 140mm trail bike woud be the perfect outfit for this wheel size. Something like a stumpjumper............
  • + 2
 The difference feels like going from an average set of wheels, with average tires, to a top of the line wheel with great tubeless tires. The thing is, if you have great wheels, you get the additional performance on top of that 26" wheel. My "old" wheels were carbon rims, hope pro IIs, and Sapim CX rays. I was using Nobby Nick 2.25 tubeless. Current wheels are Equalizer 27s in 650b, Hope Pro IIs, DT Revolution with Racing Ralphs in 2.25 tubeless. I am not going back to my "old" wheels even though they were a couple hundred grams lighter. I am waiting for the carbon 650b rims to come out this year and will lace up a new set of those. I agree a 140mm trail bike is the perfect place for 650b, but it works well on hardtails and 160mm bikes. I would even try it on my DH once my knee heals.
  • + 2
 But is it really worth it? To change the entire frame design just for a set of wheels. Even pinkbikes reveiw sounded like there really wasnt much of a noticable difference. I would try them if the opportunity presented itself, but i wouldnt go out of my way to get them.
  • + 3
 yes its worth it.
  • + 0
 Less strength and no real noticable gain?
  • + 3
 It is completely noticable. I have ridden one of these Ranges and it was love at first pedal. The bueaty of the 650b is that they were able to keep the geometry nearly identicle as a 26''.
  • - 2
 If you want geometry identical to a 26", just buy a 26".
  • + 3
 I do want the geometry of a 26'' but love having the monster truck feeling of the 650b, and the extra traction on the climb. It's win win. I really hope you get the chance to ride one, it's and extremly fun ride. I had a smile on my face the whole ride!
  • + 3
 I watched that video that norco produced on explaining why the 650b was so beneficial. Im starting to see the light. It isnt THAT much bigger than 26", but it starts to give that 29er feel to a bike. I just wish the bike norco is producing was more in the $2500 range.
  • + 4
 What are the weights of these bikes?
  • + 0
 • 650B all-mountain platform
• Rear wheel travel: 160mm
• FOX 34 Talas fork, 120 - 160mm
• Dropper post routing
• Tapered head tube
• ISCG-05 guide tabs
• 360 locking pivot hardware
• 'Gravity Tune' geometry
• MSRP $5850 USD ------- I guess since its a " 650 B " YOU HAVE to pay more .. Seems like companies are just upping the prices an insane amount ....
  • + 4
 Lost sight of reality much, the 2012 Range 1's MSRP is $5600. Bikes go up in price each year ya know... and for only $250 more you're now getting bigger wheels with no loss of wheel travel and a redesigned frame with the gravity tune geometry, and also it appears a upgrade to a raceface crankset from the Deore XT unit of this year. Be nice if they talked about the rest of the parts on it to see if there were anymore changes.
  • + 1
 Cool story man ! , i didnt look into the prices before hand . Just saw what they have listed here but still i think its a bit much . I have dropped some good coin on my bikes but i feel thats not worth what they are having it retailed for . Prices are just getting a tad over the top, they need to keep it a bit more realistic .
  • + 3
 Does nobody read articles on here ?!?

"The Range Killer B - 2 (left) retails for $4150 USD and uses a SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain and FOX suspension, while the Killer B - 3 (right) goes for $2899 USD with it's X-Fusion Vengeance fork, O2 RL rear shock, and SRAM X5 running gear"
  • + 4
 Is 650b going to be an all mountain thing, or will it be used in XC or DH?
  • + 4
 I was at the olympic XC on Sunday and quite a few riders were riding 650B there.
  • + 5
 Silver medals of both men and women, plus the overall world cup title for men have been won on 650b tires so far this year.
  • + 1
 Can someone explain the me why its called a 650B? Also why dont they just call it a 27.5 if thats what it is?!
These are recent yet no article ive seen explains this. WTF?
  • + 1
 Because 650B is what the wheelsize is. Its the name given to it by the french, sixty plus years ago. Under the french naming system, the number meant the nominal inflated tire diameter (in mm) and the letter was for how wide a tire it was. 650 A, B, and C tires were all the same diameter, just different widths. Same went for 700A, B, and C. The only reason 29ers are called that is because the mountain bikers who really started pushing the fat-tire 700C bike craze 15 years ago, needed a way to quickly explain to morons what the difference they were trying to achieve was compared to 26ers. Only a select few tires have been produced though that were actually exactly twenty nine inches in inflated diameter. But the naming convention stuck so now everyone (myself included) either because they don't know the history or are simply being lazy, call them 29ers. Again, the generic 27.5 term that some apply to 650B is simply to explain quickly to morons who would otherwise likely be confused if you tried to explain to them that their 29er is actually a 700C wheel and tire, and that 650B is in between it and the popular 26er wheels and tires. The "average" inflated diameter, for the first modern available 650B mountain bike tire, the Pacenti Neo-Moto 650B x 2.3 was twenty seven and a half inches. But there has been an attempt already made by a couple euro brands to label the size as 27ers because 28ers is what they call the 700C size in some european countries when using tires around 32 to 45mm widths, and because 29ers are what you call a 700C with tires around 50mm or more (even if now as Surly has produced, a 700C with a 76mm width tire, that inflated is about THIRTY ONE inches in diameter, people are still calling it a 29er).
  • + 3
 LalalIike it! sweet bike Smile
  • + 0
 29er is a trend. My advice: F**k trends and go ride.

There are small differences between 26er and 29er for us, that people who ride a bike for pleasure, for recreation, not for races or competitions.
  • + 2
 @ Deeeight.. Hilarious. I've ridden this bike. It is a weapon. Have my preorder in already.
  • - 1
 I'm not opposed to the idea of 650b... but come on guys, let's be realistic. it's another 1.5 inches bigger than a 26". I'm sure there's benefits that comes from this relatively small increase in size.. but let's not forget about the squishy thing that sits on top and makes them spin! It's not all about the bike.. and it's certainly not all about 1.5 inches of difference in wheel size! I myself will probably like to have the option of 650b vs 26" when it becomes more mainstream..
  • + 3
 Hey why are you running 710mm bars instead of some 670mm bars ? Using a 50mm stem instead of 90mm ? You should go ride that sweet frame with 12'' inch high BB, should be sweeeeet on the rocks ! Or even better, leave at home the fat 2.4 tire and just stick with a 2.0, i mean, the difference is even less than 1.5'' !!!

See my point ? Just because the difference isn't big doesn't mean that it doesn't make a huge difference ....
  • - 1
 You're relating the difference in tyre width to the size of a wheel? a 2.4 tyre is a 2.0 + 1 fifth it's size approximately. Apply the same ratio to a 26" wheel and you get a 31.2" wheel. So yes, with that ratio in mind, the difference would be huge, because the difference in size is huge. That's why tyre sizes have such an impact.

And everything else you've stated depends on the size of the person riding. I myself run 710mm bars on my DJ bike, because i'm 6ft2", and need the bars that width. My girlfriend however has hers chopped down to 680mm, because she's smaller. The same can be said about the stem, seatpost, seat etc..

The argument for 650b is application specific.. as i said in my previous comment, i want to have the choice.. between. But i don't believe that they are far superior platform to 26" or 29". It seems like a halfway house, which is nice to have, but ultimately unessential.

So now we have 26", 27.5" and 29" wheels to choose from?

So no.. i don't really see your point.. although i do think i know what you're getting at.
  • + 3
 loooovely!
  • + 2
 That's a killer paint job
  • - 5
flag qman11 (Aug 16, 2012 at 0:20) (Below Threshold)
 the paint job sorta looks to much like the new gambler...
  • + 3
 Yeah it's a very similar shade of green , love it !
  • + 2
 that talas is a 650b fork with a 15mm axle - win/win lol
  • + 2
 love the stick holding the bike up hahahah
  • + 1
 That stick looks like a dead rodent.
  • + 1
 can anyone tell me what is the difference between 650b and 26in wheels ? some one help me out
  • + 1
 650b are 27.5in wheels
  • + 1
 What people call 26" wheels are an old-pre second world war tire / wheel size that was used on fat balloon tire cruiser style bikes originally with 2 inch wide tires. They were adopted for production mountain bikes because the tires were widely made and available in the 1970s when mountain biking was moving from a hand-built / custom bike thing, to a mass production thing. Even back then, simply being able to order a few dozen tires of the same size, was all it took for the twenty six inch tire to become the standard which most every mountain bike the world over would end up using.

650B is another old wheel size that could have been what mountain bikes were standardized around had it not been for a shortage of tires available in the 1970s california bicycle shop scene. In the simplest terms, it falls in between the twenty six inch's wheel size, and the 700C wheel size. I say wheel size because the tire that goes on that wheel size can vary in width and thus inflated diameter. Many ANTI-650B folks will try and argue (and this includes the idiots at Specialized who are so totally drinking and selling the 29er kool-aid as to do anything they can to keep their customers from shopping elsewhere) that because the 26er wheel is based around a tire bead seat diameter of 559mm and 650B is 584mm and 700C is 622mm that no, the 650B is not the midway point between the other two sizes (590 would be) and that its closer to a 26er than a 29er. But that ignores what tire is actually used for the comparison because many popular twenty-niner labeled tires aren't exactly 29" in diameter, and many popular 26er labeled tires are likewise, not exactly 26" in diameter.
  • + 1
 What would you prefer deeeight? a 26" or 650b bike.. or does it depend solely on the application for you?
  • + 1
 After I built my second 650B conversion (carbon fiber full suspension) I had decided not to do anymore bikes for myself that weren't 650B other than a winter fat bike (which being 26 x 3.8 is effectively a 29er in tire diameter). Then my gf gave me a Salsa Spearfish frame for christmas last year so I am kinda obligated to build up another 29er. But when I go into shops to tire kick the new models, I often measure the chainstay/seatstay clearances (even going so far as to bring a spare rear 650B tire/wheel along) to see if I can convert them to 650B. Right now I have several 26er bikes/frames in my basement I can convert and am building a medium size Brodie Drifter frameset up to use as a "loaner" to let shop owners in town try out 650B with. Many of them don't unfortunetly carry brands that currently offer 650B models (or have announced near-future models) and so this is pretty much the only way to get them to give the format a try at the moment.

I have so many bikes right now that deciding which is ridden (unless I'm going snow, road, or CX riding in which case there's only one bike option for each) usually starts with a coin toss to divide between hardtails and full suspension and then another toss to pick the wheelsize. Its almost never 26" though anymore unless I'm taking one of my vintage bikes out for a spin for nostalgia reasons. I did that on tuesday for a night ride, taking my twenty year old Rocky Mtn Stratos for a spin. During the ride, and several jumps, I discovered the elastomers in my fork, had turned solid, going from the banging noise that occurred when I used up the travel of the coil springs in the fork and the elastomers didn't compress at all.
  • + 1
 so.. 650b then
  • + 1
 Yeah, pretty much. I've been saying for four years that its the goldilocks wheel size. Its not too big, nor too little. Its just right.
  • + 1
 I use 2.4 rubber queens on Mavic Crossmax STs... it's like rolling on a 650b, so i think i'll just keep on with my 26ers for now
  • + 1
 Except its not. What it is is using a heavy tire to try and emmulate a larger diameter tire format. It might get you part way to the larger cousin's strengths, but its coming with a large weight penalty to do it. Rubber is the most density challenged part of a wheelset, and using a half pound of rubber to do the job of a quarter pound of aluminium and stainless steel makes no sense at all.
  • + 1
 Except i don't use that set up to emulate a 650. I use it because i get good traction, no pinch flats, a nice big bit of tyre to soak up an impact, AND a larger rolling diameter. The high profile tyre resulting in a bigger diameter is more of a side effect than anything else
  • + 3
 Well that looks nice
  • + 1
 If you don't like the 650b's get regular 26" wheels. They aren't that expensive. Come on
  • + 2
 Yeah like anyone who 'hates' them has actually tried one, considering theyre extremely scares let alone available for demo rides.
  • + 1
 I am building a "loaner" 650B bike to let buddies who own other bike shops in town ride so they might be encouraged to start carrying the bikes. I was probably the FIRST guy in the ottawa region on a 650B mountain bike, and still today, five years on there's probably not more than ten riders on them around here. Lots of bike store owners have been asking me what is up with the size whenever I visit their stores, And I'll sometimes bring a spare back wheel along with me with a NeoMoto 2.3 installed on it, to check frame clearance on 26er models they have, to give them an idea of what bikes they have already they could convert to experiment with themselves (if they had the time).
  • + 0
 Got the 550 and the 500 the wrong way round Frown

Doesn't matter, they sound cool and poeple will buy muhahahaha!
  • + 1
 I would try one of these! Price is great for what you get on all models.
  • + 1
 just put 26" wheels on if you like the bike but hate the 650B's haha
  • + 1
 Neon green attack!!!!!!!!!!!! 3
  • + 1
 I see paint not the best quality
  • + 2
 sick looking bikes
  • + 1
 At first i thought an Aurom turned into a slope bike!
  • + 1
 I love this! Now I just need to save some money....
  • + 0
 the only time 26" wheels become obsolete is when everyone has a hover bike! untill then....im sticking with 26's
  • + 2
 Nobody is calling the 26" wheel obsolete.
  • + 1
 then why in the hell do people keep on with this dull argument against different sized wheels. i for one couldnt give a hoot! the fact remains 26" will not become obsolete ..... that was my point....and so parts for 26" will remain. so why bitch about other sizes. noone is making anyone spend money on other wheels.
  • + 2
 Because people who complain on the internet are usually lacking in friends in real life who even notice their existence most days. They come here for attention, and since they get more attention being negative.... we get this anti 650B and anti 29er zealotry.
  • + 0
 just love this bike alot :-) but mite get a year or 2 till i go 650b
still looks early to know where is industry is going
  • - 1
 'Hello do you have a 650B tube?'
'No, we've got 26x1.5-2.1 or we've got 700x15-18C'.

Damn.
  • + 5
 I run 26 tubes in my 650b bike because rubber does this new innovative thing where it stretches Wink
  • + 3
 Yes, and you can run 26" tubes in 29 tires also... tubes stretch in diameter really easily. Inflate one with an air compressor off sometime (and hearing protection and safety glasses on) and watch how large a diameter it'll get before blowing. I've seen some tubes inflated large enough to drive a van thru the center of them.
  • - 1
 thanks but i'll pass on blowing up tubes - a friend was once inflating a tire with the bead coming off and we didn't see the tube bulging since it was on the other side of the wheel, when it blew up less than a meter from our faces we were deaf for a minute
  • + 1
 Baca... that has nothing to do with using the wrong diameter tube, that's all to do with simply being a moron who doesn't pay attention when inflating a tire. Any mechanic with a brain and even a gram of common sense would know to turn the wheel and look at both sides to make sure its inflating correctly and the bead is popping into place properly.
  • + 0
 thank you for the insults on my friends account (he is a bit of moron though) but do notice that i haven't referred to the wrong sizes causing blowouts nor did it cross my mind until i read your reply. i was speaking of blowing up tubes in general.
  • + 1
 If you were speaking of blowing up tubes in general, why cite an anecdote unrelated to anything other than moronic tire inflation practices ? Tubes... stretch. This is a fact. The manufacturers know this and even tell the consumers this right there in the labelling of the tubes. A 26 x 1.75/2.5 tube for example, is designed to fit in as narrow a tire as 1.75" width, and as wide as 2.5". Obviously to do both, it has to be able to fit into the smallest tire without stretching, and still safely stretch to fit the larger width tire. That's nearly a 43% stretch in width. In comparison though, stretching in length (to fit the larger circumfrence of a 650B or 700C format wheel) is a lot lower percentage. Worse case (26" to 700C) its going to be about 11% of stretching.
  • + 2
 Put some air in the tube, with it out of the tire. Presto!!! in a couple minutes it will be a 650b or even a 700 tube if you wait too long. The rubber stretches and expands. Or, go tubeless.
  • - 2
 when all you idiots start selling you 26" bikes for 650B's, I'll be buying them at amazingly low prices..... so i'm all for the new wheel size popularity!
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