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Chris Sugai Takes on Tweeners

Niner's Chris Sugai gives Pinkbike his take on 27.5" wheeled bikes.


  • + 5
 LOL, because the owner of Niner Bikes is going to give an honest and unbiased opinion of ANY wheel size that isn't a twenty "NINER"...
  • + 2
 Just seen this for the first time and its a DAMN GOOD POINT and but the whole "tweener" technology things doesn't just cover the cycle industry!! I have 26" and 29" bikes. I can get away with a lot of bad lines on 26," but when i ride a 27.5" i think yeah i can get away with more on this, but i miss the bonuses of the 29" wheels, whether to be momentum through corners or the roll over. And now you can get decent 29" DH inspired tyres for them as well. Its all good dude..
  • + 1
 p.s. alienation are a relatively new company. Not quite sure how they could have been producing rims for that long.

I believe you were saying something about factual accuracy at the time?
  • + 3
 He's got a point, but I can't help but wonder why it didn't come about sooner!?
  • - 2
 The point I see is that he's saying the original generation of something (big wheels, first gen is 29) is also a learning experience and normally a mistake. 27.5 being the more thought out standard after we've had our mistakes on 29ers. He's so mixed in putting across his information that he's both supporting and talking down on 29ers. A perfect example of look before you leap.
  • + 5
 thats not what he said at all. he said 27.5 is a stepping stone for people not willing to make the full transition to 29. a sort of neither here nor there middleground that will eventually fade away.
  • - 1
 Looks like 24" really died out too.

Going to go with; he's an industry bigwig who benefits by talking shit on products that aren't his. He doesn't care if 650 would die out naturally or not, he wants it to die out so he doesn't have less market shares. Dude's kinda slimy.

Also bare in mind people are of different sizes. A 29er may be way too large for some people, so a 27.5 makes more sense. There's a lot more to it than a stepping stone.
  • + 2
 i think he has a point. 29 offers a very different ride characteristic to 26, to the point where its worth owning both sizes. at that point the 27.5 does become exactly what he says, a pointless stepping stone. and hes not wrong when he says this happens every time a game changer comes along
  • + 0
 You've still completely glossed over a very fair point in my post; 650 b is to someone that's 5'8" what 29er is to someone who's 6'2".

Not everyone fits the same proportions, and not everyone has the same desires. 650 seems to be getting a stronger and stronger presence, so you're going to need to give me more that "it's a stepping stone" for me to take it seriously.

Again, 24" is still around, and it has even less merit than 650. Be stoked if you replied to that point too. Demand trumps media hype.
  • + 2
 I was actually riding a 24" about half an hour ago. It was awesome, did the best frontflip ive ever done. (onto an airbag Frown ) It certainly has huge merits for dirt jumping, possibly bsx. It certainly ain't dead, but the parts are definitely not exactly easy to get hold of compared to ten years ago.

As for the 27.5 is like a 29er for short people comment. I see what you mean, however personally I think a small framed 29er is a 29er for small people. You don't really see taller people riding big wheeled bmx's. they ride normal bmx's with long top tubes and huuuuge bars.
  • - 1
 Two things that you're mistaken on. Not saying 24" has no merit, I do ride one after all, debatable one of the nicer bikes worldwide. Also, parts have been getting immensely easier to find as companies like Dartmoor and NS have really made some good parts. BMX and street MTB parts also fit over perfectly.

You're still missing the point. People have a preference. Understand what that means and you'll never again question why people might want a 650 over a 29er.

And I do see people ride big wheeled BMX. Most of my friends over 6'2" or so switched from BMX to street MTB so the frames would fit them more suitably. Notably, I also swapped over to a 24" for this same reason, cause I felt a BMX didn't fit quite right.

Cheers dude, you're in the right place, but you have a lot to learn still.
  • + 2
 not saying it has no merit? not sure i get what you mean. i think theyre awesome. bit more stable than a bmx which is pretty much designed to be as nimble as possible without being unridable, but still more responsive than a 26 which is more capable when plowing into rock gdns. in short theyre pretty perfect for dj and street. yeh a lot of parts swap over but for a long time good bars, forks, rims and tyres for street use were pretty rare. i think bmx racing kinda kept them alive. hadnt really noticed they were coming back cos ive been riding mostly dh for a while now but you're right and its cool to see. you're right about preference too, but the thing is i prefer 26. 29 is cool for rumbling along straighter, less techy trails at mach 5, almost a requirement on tamer xc courses but they suffer as things get tighter. they're more cumbersome to swing around and harder to slow down. they need more space to do the same manouvers so despite their improved bump eating they can still be more of a handfull in the rough. its not that you cant use them but as the trail gets trickier there comes a point where 26 becomes the better option. yes 27.5 falls somewhere in the middle of these two and theres nothing intrinsically wrong with that but as sugai says, whats the point? 26 and 29 have pretty much got it covered. The problem is its being marketed as if its some sort of holy grail of wheel sizes. a one size fits all wonder wheel with all the advantages of every other size and none of the drawbacks of any. and its bollocks. its just another wheelsize, trying to fill a hole in the market which isn't really that big. so to enlarge it a bit they market the f*ck out of it. now we have 3 sizes all very close together with not a lot to choose between them. if 27.5 fades out its no great loss really. if 26 or 29 go the way of 24, tech dh and marathon xc will suffer.
  • - 2
 Again, you're completely wrong. What long time are you talking about that 24" wasn't being looked after? Atomlab has always had a series of rims. Odyssey has been making rims for ages, as well as alienation, and a damned few other companies. There has never been this rarity of parts you're hinting at.

Not sure why you're telling me how great 24"s are. I own one. That's what I said in my last post. My reason for bringing them up was as an example of what people ignorantly refer to as a stepping stone, such as you're currently doing with 650b. By agreeing you see the merit in 24", you conceded the point without knowing what I was getting at.

I also prefer a 26" bike. I'm currently riding a Mojo HDR with the 26" flip chip. I owned a 29er last year and adored it. I make no plans for a 650b bike, as it doesn't fit what I want in a bike, but there are others that do benefit from them. They're making a large presence on DH courses, especially wide open ones where carrying speed is paramount, but a 29" wheel would be too cumbersome. In this very real world example, it's not even remotely a stepping stone, but a standard with merit unto it's own. Marketing hype is real, don't get me wrong, but you're completely discrediting a good thing because of a shitty bit of hype?

There's two bandwagons here, and a sensible middle ground. You're on the bandwagon of hate. There's also a bandwagon of idiots buying into it. Be the smart dude and get the bike that fits your needs the best, not based solely upon a wheel size, especially in the context of worrying if it'll fade away, when it's clearly gaining more and more traction.

Cheers dude.
  • + 2
 I mean the last ten years or so. yes there have been parts. but not exactly a great choice. Compared to the choices available in 20 or 26 inch I'd say 24 was pretty damn rare. I am certainly not "on the bandwagon of hate" although i seem to repeatedly get accused of that anytime i say 27.5 isn't the be all and end all of wheelsizes. I have nothing against it other than its a bit pointless when you have 26 and 29 already. no one is bringing out 25 inch as the perfect balance between 26 and 24.

I dont hate 27.5, but i do hate what its currently doing to the market, which is reducing choice rather than increasing it. For example my choice to buy a new dh bike with wheels small enough for super tech tracks....I guess thatll be a v-10 then. not really any other options these days.
  • - 2
 See, now you're making apples to oranges comparisons. No, 24" won't have the same amount of parts available for it, just as 26" street doesn't have as many parts as BMX. This isn't to say the parts are rare; they're not. You are flagrantly missing this point, and it shows in spades when you make rather inept remarks like the one about 25" wheels.

Nobody is saying 650 is the be all end all. I've just even said I don't own one or want one. That's what I'm saying about a middle ground. Be in that sensible middle ground. You most certainly are not. You've completely dismissed all of my examples of preference, body sizing, real world courses where people preferred 650, and you keep going on like a broken record about something you can't show an example of. You so clearly have no idea of how 650 works in a real world setting, but you're absolutely willing to deprecate it over the internet. You are the textbook definition of a hate bandwagon.

650 isn't doing anything to the market, the market is hyping 650. It's literally the complete opposite issue. Because of people like you making red herring arguments on the net, people get the most inept opinions of what 650b is, and the hate train keeps on rolling. You are without a doubt the posterboy for the current idiotic hate that wheel sizes are getting. You don't need to think they're the best to know they have merit, there is a gray zone.
  • - 1
 If you are really having difficulty finding a new non-650b DH bike, sorry, that's because of you. Many companies do offer them, relevantly, a big article on Scott's new DH bikes was released, and they will accept both standards. Stop pulling the woe is me card when people are still making frames for exactly what you want. You have literally no complaint to be made. Period.

At the end of the day, you are free to feel as you wish. You are as factually wrong as can be (especially about 24"s), but you're allowed to be wrong, so that's okay. Just do try not to spread it as misinformation, thanks.
  • + 1
 Accepting both sizes does not mean tuned for both sizes.
How am i wrong about 24's?
I did not dismiss all your arguments, i infact made the effort to compose reasoned counter arguments. Which you dismissed as inept, hate fuelled, ill informed and with the suggestion that i "be more in the middle ground". You really made no counter argument at all.
Your tone has become quite defensive. If you hadn't told me otherwise I might wonder if you had recently spent money on a 27.5. Or at least want to.
You might like to look up inept in a dictionary. Close, but no cigar.
  • + 3
 This, friends, is why i read the comments on this site. So funny...
  • - 1
 Dude, you're not wrong about 24"s. You're RIGHT. That's the point. By being right you're accepting my example as it relates to 650b. How the f*ck aren't you getting this? I've described it three different ways. I'll hold off on explaining the rest of my points as you still aren't getting the connection.

I bring up 24".

You say 24" is good and you like it.

I say it's a good example of an inbetween standard, such as 650b.

You start claiming I called you wrong.

I never called you wrong, I noted you've missed the point of the example.

You are making literally no sense. You're agreeing with my examples while disagreeing with what the point behind them is. Read my replies before deciding what I said to you, as you're missing the whole thing. My apologies if I am being defensive, but you're ignoring the most basic of points I'm publishing. If we're to look up the definition of inept, this behavior fits it to a T.

I would not shoot back insults like that, given you aren't grasping the most basic concepts here...
  • + 1
 "If you had recently spent money on a 650"

This is kinda exactly what I mean by not reading. My last reply to you stated I both have no intention of buying a 650, that I owned a 29er last year, loved it, and that I currently own a 26, and will be sticking with it.

This is what inept is. You are inept if you read this reply and still feel your reply was worth posting. You can read a dictionary to verify.

  • + 1
This is what made me think you were suggesting I was wrong about 24"

"At the end of the day, you are free to feel as you wish. You are as factually wrong as can be (especially about 24"s)"

Please explain how I have misunderstood.

Also you clearly haven't read what I posted properly, I will cut and paste for you;
"If you hadn't told me otherwise I might wonder if you had recently spent money on a 27.5. Or at least want to."

You have told me otherwise. That is why I worded my sentence like that.

You seem to be confusing yourself. You are certainly confusing me. I don't think I have posted any insults. You on the other hand have called me stupid a number of times. Perhaps a little introspection wouldn't go amiss?
  • - 1
 You stated there are no parts for 24". There always has been parts on the market. In that specific realm, you are incorrect. Past that, you still were still ignoring the main point.

Your words imply you are not aware of my opinion on buying a 650b bike, and goes as far as to assume I may wish to buy one, when I have now said three times that isn't the case. You then state I'm not reading your point? This is getting cyclical and rather pathetic. You are choosing to refuse information at this point. As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. You feel 650b is a stepping stone. I gave you real world examples as how it isn't, and you're still denying all my points. You are CHOOSING to remain ignorant, and for that, I must say I am sorry for you. It must make learning such a burden.

I am not confused. You are inept. Calling a spade a spade isn't a call for self re-evaluation, so much as acknowledgment that you're dealing with someone who's a spade. The fact you read that and assume someone else must have an issue supports a general loathing for hearing any sort of criticism, and replacing blame so one doesn't feel poor. It's a common strategy amongst grade school children. You exhibit it wonderfully, so thank you for being a good example.

  • + 1
 i never once said there are no parts for 24. your last essay of a comment made no clear point whatsoever apart from that you appear to think i am a spade. i totally agree that this whole string of comments has become cyclical and indeed quite pathetic. this is why my replies have grown much shorter. i have taken to simply highlighting the huge errors in your rants in the most basic terms possible. your initial comment about how you interpreted sugais views could not have been further from the truth. i tried to clarify for you but unfortunately you seem to be just getting more confused and upset. perhaps if you were to watch the video again then read slowly and carefully through the comments, paying actual attention to the words in front of you rather than what you imagine you want either me or sugai to say then this whole farce could be put to bed.
  • + 0
 "but the parts are definitely not exactly easy to get hold of compared to ten years ago."

Your words. I disagree with them. How you are not getting this is f*cking amazing. 24" parts are not hard to get a hold of compared to ten years ago, you're just ignorant and making shitty claims.

You have not pointed out any flaws, only missed examples by miles. The fault is with your literacy I suppose.

Your posts have only grown. Compare that post to your first. Good one dude.

My initial comment was about my interpretation of the video, my subsequent comments were to debunk your perspective of it. Unfortunately you feel your opinion is fact and cannot be criticized.

Perhaps if you were to actually know a thing or two about the bike industry, you wouldn't be making such idiotic posts, but here we are.
  • + 0
 still waiting for an example of where i said there are no parts available fot 24". it will prove difficult for you to find one.

i stand by my earlier comment that they are far fewer in number than 20,26,27.5 & 29 having until recently faded steadily since their last big resurgence circa 2004. your arguments to the contrary (especially those where you list companies that havent even been making parts for 10 years) suggest you havent been into riding that long.

my opinion on how wrong your interpretation of sugais statment was, is fact. it is also my opinion that it should not be criticised.

my posts grew up to the point where yours went from mildly confused to full on nonsense. they then became simple explanations of the various ways in which you have been making yourself look a bit silly. please continue. your responses are quite entertaining.
  • + 0
 I quoted you where you said it. I literally gave you your own words, yet you still ask me for where you said it. You are literally beyond useless.

Here's a second time you said it, this time, try reading my post you shit for brains idiot;

"for a long time good bars, forks, rims and tyres for street use were pretty rare."

NO, they have not been rare. That is where we disagree. If you cannot understand that after this post, don't bother replying, go take up a new forum, because comprehending bikes is not your forté. Go ahead, ask me a ninth time how you said 24" had a scarcity of parts. Rolleyes
  • + 0
 i will ask for the third time when i said there were no parts.

yet again you seem to be reading different posts to me. i have absolutely no recollection of asking you 8 times to repeat the fact i said they were rare. are you on drugs that may adversly affect your perception of things? if so you should inform your doctor. you should also ask him if he thinks 24 parts are as commonly available as parts for the sizes i listed above. doctors are usually pretty smart so he should be able to set you straight
  • + 0
 Ah, I see, you're one of those a*sholes that changes the meaning of their posts and constantly resets the goalposts so he can never be incorrect. You're right, you did not specifically say "There are no 24 parts" but did say "24" parts are very rare," which is also incorrect. Regardless of how you spin it, you are incorrect. 24" parts have not been rare.

Your post was making reference to the 24" parts being rare. I am stating they were never rare. You are an idiot for still not understanding that 24" parts were not rare. By saying you said there were "no parts" it's taken as a exaggerated example, but it's fairly clear we both know what mentality we are getting at, and how it is incorrect. 24" parts are not rare.

Also bare in mind 24" wasn't remotely my original point, merely an example. You've refused to acknowledge this and frame the example to a 650b wheel as you know it would show your dumbass opinion to be incorrect. The fact we needed to get into a semantic debate about your own wording shows how much you desperately don't want to go back to the original point and conceed that you had no f*cking idea at all, which you frankly don't. Again, I ask you to challenge the examples where riders have stated they've preferred the standard for certain tracks.

TL;DR, you can think what you want, the market is proving you wrong as we speak. I make this personal while posting relevant opinions, you sit here whining without being relevant at all. Your incredulous bullshit attitude this entire time shows how unwilling you are to learn. It's frankly pathetic, and I don't understand why you're on an educational forum if you detest new opinions and critical thinking so much. Here's a link to a website that surely fits you more acutely;

Get. A. Clue.
  • + 0
 I could not find any examples of whining in my posts. Please advise.

You do make this personal. It weakens your argument and suggests you already realise you are wrong so resort to personal insults. Its a common tactic for people in a tight spot.

24" parts are extremely rare compared to any of the other sizes (20,26,27.5 and 29) As I said earlier your lack of knowledge on this topic suggests you have not been riding long. Did you talk to a grown up about this as I suggested?

The original point was about how monumentally wrong you were about Sugais view. Feel free to expand.

The market has always followed what idiots are most likely to spend money on. Not what works best. I am sorry you are unable to see this.

Your attempt to liken 27.5 to 24 is, well, irrelevant and does not help your argument in any way whatsoever.

I have taken to arguing semantics with you as whenever you say something totally beside the point or just wrong and I point it out, you then start claiming you never said it anyway. If you are going to hide behind false arguments, be ready to argue semantics.

I am also now over the whole argument and now just trying to wind you up. Attempting to actually hold a sensible conversation with you has proven fruitless, but you make it so much fun to point out the huge flaws and mistakes in what you say that I just can't resist.

" Ah, I see, you're one of those a*sholes that changes the meaning of their posts and constantly resets the goalposts so he can never be incorrect." "Perhaps some introspection wouldn't go amiss?"

I do not understand how a website could "fit me acutely" Do you need to go get the dictionary again?
  • + 0
 "Feel free to expand."

I did. You ignored all my points while turning this into a cyclic argument. You've refused everything while asking for more.

No, I will not bite. Get a clue. Cheers.
  • + 1
 how is that related to whining?
What have I refused?
As I mentioned earlier I have not ignored any of your points and have in fact gone to great lengths to give reasoned responses to them . You on the other hand have just been slinging insults around.
Why, when you clearly feel so strongly about this topic, do you not take the time to make sure your responses actually make sense?
  • + 1
 also, you have totally failed to expand on how wrong you were in your original post there. You, once again, seem to be talking about a totally different point. Unsurprising really as this is clearly an issue you struggle with regularly.
  • + 3
 That was epic....... Who won?
  • + 1
 haha, i forgot this had ever happened.
  • + 1
 WOW. Stumbled upon this now...he may have just been a little off in his assessment. What a dope. Someone of his stature should be on a 650b bike.
  • + 3
 "just a fad" you know because that isn't what 29ers are...

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