650b the new 29er?

After the 2014 Giant media release you would be forgiven for assuming the 29er ‘movement’ never happened!

Giant Fully Commited to 27.5 for 2014 | Mountain Bike Review

In fact, at least according to Adam Craig, 27.5 might be the wheelsize going forward. That would be a pretty tall order considering the number of 29er fans around the world, but it does show that Giant moving forward is very committed to 27.5.

While I’m looking forward to trying out 650b, I can’t help but feel there is a lot of marketing BS going on here. I mean, I’m recall reading similar releases a couple of years ago saying that 29er was better in every way to 26, and no mention of 650b at all. So what is Joe consumer meant to believe now?

Beautiful Bicycle: Seth Rosko’s 650b Single Speed MTB - PROLLY IS NOT PROBABLY

Your average consumer will eat up whatever marketing junk is shoved in their face. I’m not saying 650b/27.5 is all marketing BS but there will definitely be people getting 650b bikes just because someone in a shop is telling them it’s the next big thing, better than 26/29 or the best of both worlds (which it might be).

We are in a sweet spot in history atm.
Many mtbs in many different wheel sizes, choose your weapon.
I am guessing in the next couple of years, 26er will become rarer, 650b will become the standard and us 29er riders will still be considered the odd cousin. :slight_smile:

You can’t consider 29 riders to be the ‘odd cousins’. XC/ENDURO events are dominated by 29ers, I reckon at 75%. 4 years ago years ago 29ers were a novelty.
Long live 26"!

To be honest I think mtb has room for 3wheel sizes,
Down hill and serious freeride will all ways be dominated by 26 you would think
Free ride trail and tech xc 27.5
And trail xc 29"
It really an exciting time where you can choose your riding style and have plenty of options in the market place.

I’m to old and sore to be hucking a 26" off stuff but 27.5, 29 are both winners for me

My first 29er was in 2007, so for me, it has a been an “odd cousin” thing longer than an xc race thing.
Here’s an article on the 650b vs 27.5 name.
Trail Tech: Cutting Through The 27.5 Wheel Size Hype - BikeRadar

The only thing GIANT are committed to is taking as much money off you as they possibly can.

I am over my 29er - i want a long travel 26" dualie (again).

Lets hear all about it, preferably with points of contrast to the benevolent large-scale manufacturers of the world.

I think Orbea has got it right with 650b and 29er should be based on sizing:

EB13: All-New Orbea Alma Hardtail Mountain Bike – Sleeker, Lighter & New Wheel Sizes!

The other part of the equation is sizing. The overall dimensions are essentially unchanged from the prior 29er. But, their shorter sponsored riders asked for 650B, so they tested it and liked it. For 2014, the Alma will come with 650B wheels for the Small and Medium (17.5″) frame, and 29er wheels for the Medium, Large and XL. Yes, there’s overlap at the Medium frame size, giving those riders a choice.

My honest thoughts are 650B is best for AM/Trail riding.

It used to be 24" for DH/Salom and still is to some extent for 4X but 26" is taking over.
Lot of Pommy people used to run 24" bikes but that seems to have changed when 27.5" ‘got traction’.
I still have a 24" dirt jump/trials bike and my park bike runs both 26" or 24" but this is pretty much where it belongs,
park, street, trials and the BMX track.

Running 24" on single track is just retarded and 27.5" does make a lot of sense.

Mmmm I was involved with gravity racing from about 1993 to 2008… 24" came and went in about 18 months for the most part. It never took any foothold in gated racing (slalom/duel/4X) or DH, 26" was and is king of gravity and the gates. 24" did get a bit of a foothold in tech street/park riding though.

I think the wheel size thing has been manufacturer driven but all have their positives and negatives. I think, like steel frames, we will see 26" wheels become more of a thing for independent manufacturers and individually specced bikes and fade out of the mid-high end OEM. 29" will probably take a greater hold in low end OEM and move mostly into trail oriented mid-high end bikes, 650B may well end up everywhere in mid-high end bike ranges and Enduro/AM bikes.

I ride a 29er and my riding is pretty gravity oriented and tech…works for me. So did the 26" bike I had before. Both have their pluses and minuses. You can build a 29er that is a gravity bomber, you can build a 26" bike thats sluggish and unresponsive, all comes down to design.

Salsa has done a similar thing on the Vaya (and probably other frames but I can’t be bothered confirming) but with 26" and 700c

I’m with Rhino. 27.5 is a no brainer for AM/Enduro/Trail. I for one am very glad the big manufacturers have got behind it, and I know I’m not alone with this sentiment.

Unless you’re over 6ft, a 29er trail bike makes no sense IMO. I rode a Yeti SB-95 last year and the wheelbase was like 30cm longer than my 26" hardtail. It felt like riding a chopper.

27.5 - bring it on.


Rode a new trance today only up and down the road however - potential to be a really fun bike. Having spent a whole 10mins launching off tree roots etc its pretty much everything the reviews say.

Unless your a clydesdale, or a hobbit it’s the way to go.

Since when is having another choice a bad thing?

I’m 6’4 and I love my 29er. It just feels right and when I’m riding it, and it actually looks right. I’ve ridden XL 26ers and it looks and feels like I’ve stolen some kids bmx.

I’m 5’10", my 29er trail bike works very well.

Could it be you’re not comparing apples with apples? I mean my 29er is a whopping 28mm longer than its 26" predecessor…

Design/geometry is a much, much bigger issue than wheel size. There are lots of poorly designed big wheel bikes by companies cynically jumping on the bandwagon, just as many crap 26" ones out there too. Not to mention horses for courses…A Specialized Enduro 29 isn’t going to ride like a 26" hardtail with a 100mm fork and 2.1 tyres, nor would it be comparable to a 100mm travel marathon XC 29er or anything else far apart on the spectrum of purpose and riding style.

A typical 650B 2.3 tyre as specced on most trailbikes is so close in size to my de rigeur 26x2.5 of old (as in single digit difference in MMs) as to make it pointless, too, so I don’t think its a no-brainer by any stretch.

I know that feels