There has been alot of talk in mtb circles, regarding 650b being the next big thing. Rockshox and Fox both have suspension forks on the way and there will be more tyres to choose from shortly.
My take is, the mtb industry needs a new thing to market.
29er, oversized steerer tubes, headsets, press fit BB’s etc…
For me at 5’7" 29ers just don’t make sense. 650b on the other hand is quite plausible. Especially as off-road tyres for this size are becoming more common. If I was to build up a SS it would be a 650b.
29ers are great for those riders over 6ft as they can finally get a bike this is well proportioned.
For folks my height it seems like the negatives seem to outweigh the the positives: bigger diameter wheels creating more torque under (disc) braking and cornering - which in turn requires wheels being built more heavily; longer chainstay and fork lowers, again more flexy and unresponsive. So you can roll over obstacles easier and maintain more speed. But its slower to accelerate /decelerate and harder to corner. Seems like 29ers are ideal for the road and firetrail riding, but not tight technical singletrack.
Good on Schurter. Bike manufacturers will be rubbing their hands together with glee.
For once I’m not cynical about the bike industry’s motives here … and you can thank Kirk Pacenti as the driving force for getting 650b on mtb’s (and a little bit at Velocity too). Actually Gordy, just buy the t-shirt !!! BikeLugs.com
I am 5’7" and ride a SS hardtail 29er & disagree with pretty much all of the above, with the exception of the longer chainstays argument - I do miss not being able to manual as easy as on a 26" bike. I have found tight corners, rocky single track & even DH tracks (albeit at a slower speed) fine on my 29er. Tight Uphill switchbacks are a pain but were so on my old 26er as well. The worst thing i found with my 29er was getting the front end low enough after swapping from rigid to suspension forks, my front wheel would wash out a bit, but a nice steep stem fixed that.
I wholeheartedly agree with you regarding Pacenti and to a smaller extent Velocity, it’s now the major players who are jumping on the bandwagon. Still it could be useful for building tourers and rando’s, if there are more suppliers out in the market.
Dice, I am with rcoh here. I have owned 4 29ers (currently ss rigid and dually) and am only 5’7". I like how I can sit down low between the wheels on my small Anthem.
At its heart is a specially built Scott Scale carbon fiber frame with 650b-specific geometry and thru-axles front and rear. Equipment includes a custom-built DT Swiss fork, a SRAM XX group, DT Swiss carbon fiber tubular wheels, 50mm-wide Dugast tubular tires and a smattering of Ritchey bits.
They tried to do this with dirt jumping mtbs in the early 2000s and it was terrible. 24 rear and 26 front, all it did was mellow out headtube angle and super low bottom bracket heights. It also looked very dumb, as proven above.
Pacenti’s splineless freehub design is totally brilliant IMO. With the move to spidered cassettes I makes complete sense as this would eliminate freehub chew. I wonder if it’ll be adopted by any manufacturers?