Add Danny Hart to the ever-growing list of riders who have been spotted on 27.5” downhill bikes this season. Hart is aboard a prototype aluminum framed 27.5" Giant Glory at the first race of the British Downhill Series, an event that attracts some of the top DH racers in the world looking to gauge their fitness and try out new equipment before the big show gets underway at the first stop of the 2014 World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, next month.
Fellow Giant Factory Off-Road rider Marcelo Gutierrez raced his prototype Glory at the Valparaiso Urban DH race earlier this year, so it's not too surprising to see Danny aboard a similar looking ride. In a sport where the difference between standing on the podium and watching from the crowd can be determined by a hundredth of a second, racers are constantly searching for anything that can help them find those precious milliseconds. The new frame isn't a radical departure from the previous version of the Glory – the suspension configuration, using Giant's Maestro dual short-link design, remains the same, and from a distance it's hard to even notice the larger wheels. However, a close look reveals a 27.5" RockShox Boxxer on the front, while 27.5" DT Swiss wheels are shod with Schwalbe's Magic Mary tires in the rear.
We'll have more information when it's available, as well as full racing coverage from BDS Round 1.
What I'm bored hearing about is people moaning about wheel sizes (which *ARE PROVEN* to make you faster if used in the right circumstance) and then lose their s*** over something completely irrelevant like a new 'mud-shedding rotor'.
These wheel sizes are here for our benefit, and the reason PB makes a big deal about them is because although people like to think that they're '26inch4life', bigger wheel sizes are literally walking themselves out bike shop doors.
If anything, I'd get down on the "photog" who took a photo with light coming in from the background. You really can't see the bike. Think Vital had a way better shot of it a few weeks back.
Also bare in mind not all of us want to be faster. A vast majority of us still ride bikes just to go have fun and whip about. 26" still excel here. Nothing wrong with 650, I just dislike how the 26" options are getting more and more rare as more manufacturers are forgetting bikes are for fun and thinking they're just for fast times.
Something sort of similar happened with 15mm. It was to be a replacement for 9mm. It ended up on a fair few forks that should realistically have a 20mm. On paper, it gives the bike a lower weight, so is more appealing to the customer, but as we've seen on long legged AM bikes, the fork is often what lets it down, especially 32s in place where 34s and 36s are needed. I feel this is the same issue. All the large companies are swapping to 650 as it's definitely faster on paper, without actually caring about how the bike will operate on the trail for 99% of the people who will end up buying it. It's pretty shallow, but hey, it's the day and age we live in.
TL;DR, build your bike for your needs, not because one way is faster on paper. We all ride differently and a vast majority of us have different needs. Know your style, know your local, and know your bike!
The real (as in both correct and useful) numbers needed to describe a tire are its bead seat diameter and it's nominal width.
26" (for life!!1!) is really called 559 x (1.9-2.7"), 27.5" is really called 584 x (1.9-2.7") and 29" is really called 622 x (1.9-2.7").
The "650b" mountain bike tire of modern days just happens to have the same bead seat diameter (584) of the ancient 650b road wheel, and so the name got re-used. But obviously old super skinny road tires are never going to be fitted on new 27.5 MTB rims, and so the components have nothing to do with each other. The name should not have been reused.
But the industry's marketing bros decided y'all would be more comfortable with easier numbers. If you're upset about it, you can knock the stupid flat-billed fitted ballcap off their head the next time you see one at a trade show.
Pick a wheel-size nomenclature and be a dick about it.
For the record I have a 650b bike and it's a great wheel size and an easy transition from a 26"-wheeled bike. It's a nice option for those of us who don't want a wagon-wheeled bike but still want the advantage of a wheel size larger than 26".
Stick with your 26'' if thats whats fun for you on the trails.
Me, I'll take my carbon components, 800mm riser bars, 27.5''/29'' wheels and the rest of the innovations that have become standard because they work.
I'd rather skip the perpetual backwards debate about wheel size and to read substantive commentary.
As far as wheel sizes go, its like any other wheeled off road sport... Wheel size absolutely matters. Sometimes is not the obstacles in the way, its the holes in between them that matters. If you can fill it full of tire then you're more likely to maintain forward movement. And I'm a pro-26"rider...but simply out of pure ignorance. I have never ridden 27.5(its not 650b anymore), and I don't see any need to ride 29".
I also think that if we are going to start upping wheel sizes, then we better stop building trails and DH courses that you can ride a rigid bmx bike down.
companies don't give a shit about people who don't speak with their wallets. they're in the business of making money, not making losers on message boards happy.
This is the key statement for which all my dislike of the wheel size bollocks stems from. It is absolutely pointless to say "if you don't like change stick to 26" or "show manufacturers what you think with your wallets" if 26 are not offered any more. This has been discussed far too often before but essentially manufacturers and media have created hysteria that "26 is dead" plus largely removed all 26 bikes (getting even worse if DH bikes all go 26!) which inevitably means larger wheels sell better- not necessarily because that is people want to buy for this point in time. It is the lack of options and lack of truely listening to customers that gets my goat
Instead of changing all the bikes, geometry and wheel sizes, maybe we should just go back to real DH tracks and courses? This 'see if we can break the land speed record' track obsession is getting REALLY old. That's not why we race DH. I want my NORBA tracks back.
No wheel size is going to be perfect for every situation; my comment was geared more towards the track advantage necessities rather than attempting to open a debate about what miracles 650B is purportedly capable of.
for whatever the reason, the size has better roll-over, without being less nimble. I have gone back and forth between them. While I am not riding WC DH, from my experience you are getting more than you are giving up. Apparently enough WC teams feel the same way.
Have you ridden a 650b bike? Or are we just making that call with zero experience.
Now go out there try a 650b bike AND then IF you still don't like it be a d*ck about it.
Oh and don't get me started on the 26in is soo much more flickable and fun then 650b...oh please...
I'm not sure if it exists but I'd love to read a bout a bike company or parts company that centers their business model around longevity & value. I want to read about a sick bike where the complete build is under $3k, regardless of frame material. I love to read about boutique bikes that cost $10k as much as the next guy but where is the company committed to building bullet proof bikes at reasonable prices??? Maybe it does not exist, maybe I should start one....now if I could just find that $10 million I misplaced.
Or airborne even?
Add ME to the list of people who don't care.
OUR list is bigger, and bigger is better, right?
OTHER than the wheels beings a different size, does this bike, or any 650b do anything differently suspension-wise than a 26er or a 29er?
Truthfully, I couldn't care less. I know this for a fact, I tried to. Just couldn't make it happen.
Wait wait-the last two??!!
No-one raged on about how dropper posts and xx1 were marketing BS and not great innovation, yet big wheels have stirred up a right storm. Please. Offer them if you must but if they are as great as the marketing makes out then why push them so hard on people?
The only reason people oppose new technologies is that they are afraid that what they have will become obsolete. But the truth is, those same people will adopt the new technology long before their "outdated" gear is obsolete. I still see guys on the trail with rigid forks, friction shifters, and they STILL appear like they're having fun. Maybe the fun factor just has to do with being on a bike. Period.
Dropper posts can allow more descending FUN, better suspension can mean ploughing rock gardens and nailing drops which would have seen older forks snapped and leads to more FUN.
More reliable bikes through better drivetrains and components lead to less interrupted FUN.
If I wanted to go fast at the expense of fun yes I would ride a big wheeled bike in Lycra with 80mm of suspension. Or just ride road.
Let's innovate in ways which genuinely benefit us and excites us.
Some things are sold with no advantage to the consumer. Possibly 15mm axles included-certainly press fit bb's. But what I am arguing with wheels is a larger size does give an advantage (and so is not a gimmick)-it is just an advantage most of us don't want as we're riding to have fun not get the trail out the way as quick as possible so we can head home.
So if you can't design 3 bikes of differing wheel sizes that are geometrically identical and that will give similar suspension performance, how can you tell which is better? you can't, so the logical conclusion is either (A) certain wheel sizes are superior in different situations or (B) whatever the hell you want to have fun riding is what you should ride. When you slam any of the wheel sizes based on performance you sound like a closed-minded weenie bitch. When you piss and moan about how expensive a new 650B bike is going to be you need to realize nobody is putting a gun to your dim little cranium to buy a 650B bike, and that 26" wheels aren't going anywhere any time soon.
Everybody just stfu already and have fun on the wheel of your choosing. These are different tools for different applications, but also know that any of the wheel sizes are going to roll you down along a trail.
When the guys I know personally (whose riding styles I admire) start buying big wheels and saying that 650b has completely rocked their world and they're never going back, I'll take this shit seriously. But guess what-- those guys all roll 26" and every one has come back from a 650b test ride saying what I said: meh.
I honestly don't give 2 f*cks what anyone rides, but overall this has been a surreal wave of fanaticism to behold. And the worst is yet to come.
Local knowledge is more important that any incremental advance in technology and that is what 650b is. Its an advance just like every other innovation and most of the time they are not backwards compatible either so quit your bitchin. Why not bitch when Fox brought out a FIT cartridge that wouldn't fit in your old 40? Or when old brakes wont accept pads from this year.
If bike manufacturers make the bikes adjustable enough you could run a 26" in a 650b frame and not have any change from a 26" frame. Dunno if they would do that though? People run 24" wheels in 26" frames for example.
Big wheel sizes have definitely been forced on the market especially considering a lot of people still haven't ridden 650b as they're so 'new'.
Have you ridden one? I doubt it. I wouldn't go back.
Besides, 29ers were selling just fine…
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