Quantcast

650 for future freeride and DH bikes

baca262

Monkey
Aug 16, 2011
392
0
this would be great for largest bike sizes, always laugh at how awkward one local guy looks riding a 24" trek 4300 (he's over 2m tall, a ****ing wookie).
 

go-ride.com

Monkey
Oct 23, 2001
548
6
Salt Lake City, UT
Personally I thought last year Specialized would be showing up at the WC DH races with a 650B front wheel. They are very well positioned to make whatever tire they want in whatever size.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,432
225
650b isn't going to make riding any more fun than it already is... it might cost a bunch to switch over though.
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
3,941
28
Roanoke, VA
One of my 650b bikes won the first xc national championship on the wheelsize back in 2008 and I've been a huge fan since day one.
650b wheels are infinitely more fun for me and my riding style, a dozen years of top-flite XC racing overlapping with pretty darn good DH and bmx race skills.
They roll over stuff better and get traction better than 26" bikes but more importantly they jump way, way better than 29" wheels.
They have a flatter flight path than 26" wheels which is good for turnining your brain off at speed but unlike 29" wheels you can stuff them into a corner violently and still pop back out on the trail in a place where bigger wheels would have sent you over the high side.

Any of the DH forks on the market could fit a 650bx2.5", when such a tire exists, without any modification by my math.
Imagine riding a 26" Comp32 that weighed 2 pounds less and you have the sensation of the diameter of the 2.35" 650b tire.

Totally frikkin moto.
 

IH8Rice

I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
24,554
487
Im over here now
i was glad when we sold our last Jamis XCT 650 because Jamis is a horrible brand and 650 is useless. especially with 29ers (unfortunately) taking off. id gladly sell a 29er before ever selling a 650 again
 

frorider

Monkey
Jul 21, 2004
958
5
cali
Apparently Dave Turner's pretty far along on his 650b all mountain bike. Rumors about more fork and tires becoming avail.

If good tires from maxxis and spesh become available, I'd consider trying it out. To me it would be much more preferable than a 29er FS AM/light FR bike.
 

mtg

Green with Envy
Sep 21, 2009
1,476
827
Denver, CO
I'd like to try one, but to justify making a change, it would have to be noticeably better than 26".
 

frorider

Monkey
Jul 21, 2004
958
5
cali
The point of this thread and that link is that this shiz is supposedly going mainstream. Besides Turner, a company known as Specialized is apparently going this route too, and DT rims will provide an option beyond the current Stans, Velocity, etc.

I'm not too invested in whether this pans out or not. But I'm going to keep an eye on it...
 

Rhubarb

Monkey
Jan 11, 2009
196
28
Met the enhineer/desinger behind the Leatt Brace, no longer working with them and is now with Patrik Morewood. They are working on a 650B bike as part of their first bikes to be released.
 

Lelandjt

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2008
1,687
99
Breckenridge, CO/Lahaina,HI
I'm gonna put a 650B front wheel on my Ibis Mojo this winter to slack it out a little and cuz at my height I feel the front wheel hang up on rocks and roots sometimes when I'm weighting the front in a turn or climb. I've ridden 69ers and 29ers of different travels and I don't like the increased gyro effect or long chainstays and notice little improvement from the large rear wheel. However, I do like the front wheel's reduced inclination to hang up on ledges, rocks, and roots.

*I use a Maverick DUC inverted fork so I'll measure and make a travel spacer if necessary to prevent clearance issues.
 
Last edited:

buckoW

Turbo Monkey
Mar 1, 2007
1,533
193
Champery, Switzerland
I got some Flow 650B rims I want to build up and give a try. I just don't know what tires I could actually ride hard with. I can't corner that hard with single ply tires.
 

trib

not worthy of a Rux.
Jun 22, 2009
1,168
95
We already have at least 6 different standards for every other bike part, why not let wheels get in on the action too.

Bring on 24",26",650b, 29", 69ers and 36"wheels
 

sundaydoug

Monkey
Jun 8, 2009
368
58
Why mother ****ers always gotta reinvent the wheel...
Marketing departments prey on the shortcomings of human nature; namely our desire to buy crap that we don't need. In 5-10 years there will be another wheel size that will have idiots drooling and 5 years after that yet another great wheel size. I'd much rather stick with what works and improve my abilities on a bike rather than have the audacity to think that it's the size of my wheels that's holding me back.

If wagon wheels were the future for DH then you'd see WC teams with them.
 

ilfreerider

Monkey
Oct 3, 2003
268
1
israel
why all the hate ? it may seem more marketing than logic at the moment, but let the companies build them,get other people to buy them, do a demo ride and than decide.its not like it will be the only option any time soon or you will be forced to buy a new bike !?
i thought experimenting new stuff is whats progress all about !
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
3,941
28
Roanoke, VA
What tires are you running?
The 2.35" Pacentis are wicked grippy with some nice open side knob and some siping with the nice new Panaracer compound and sidewall bumper. I run them on flows using standard tubes. There's enough sidewall to ride a slack and low 120-140mm bike WFO down hairy stuff but once you get into your ginourmous alpine stuff and big rocks at Pro speed I'm not sure if they'd stay on since they're nice proper XC casings. They stay on when I mess around and do gratitious cutties, etc.
We should be seeing more sidewall protection in tires from the Dutch and the fake-Italians in a little bit, from what I've heard, and I know that lots of people like the tires from the Lowcountries.
Kenda has somewhere around 6 new molds open, I'm sure there is going to be some "dh" weight tires in the mix there.
As far as the other Georgia-based companies- there is probably something happening over there too.

Nobody is talking about 650b DH tires at the moment as far as I know, and It seems unlikely that we'll see anything of that nature soon unless somebody at a bike co with great means decides to go full-bore on that project.

If there are any 29" dh tires on the market(are there?) you could try to cut one down.
 

rpet

Turbo Monkey
Jun 9, 2003
2,903
267
El Lay
can we talk specifically about contact patch sizes, tread designs and tire widths?

Whenever I try to get actual information about 29 or 650B traction performance vs DOWNHILL 26" tires, I Google myself into the hell pit of MTBR smugness.

29er tire designs I've seen look not so great, but I'm no expert on XC tire "designs."
 

baca262

Monkey
Aug 16, 2011
392
0
i think that the contact patch argument is pretty much bull**** - the smaller the contact patch the more the tire digs in, the bigger the contact patch the more the knobbies that are doing something. by that logic, in wet and loose crap 26 would work better and bigger would be better in the dry. or maybe not. i only know i don't want any bigger wheels than 26 since i'm 5' 8".
 

BmxConvert

Monkey
Aug 6, 2007
715
0
Longview, Washington
If there are any 29" dh tires on the market(are there?) you could try to cut one down.
Minion DHF's come in a 29er now.

I've got a buddy that is wanting to go 650b on his trail bike so we've been searching all over for good options, that meet a reasonable price point. He's done both the 29er and the 26er thing and want to balance them out. The 2012 Jamis is looking like the best bet right now.

I'd be curious to try a 650b 4" travel slack bike if one was made. It seems it would happily fill the void in my current stable of rides.
 

Pslide

Turbo Monkey
can we talk specifically about contact patch sizes, tread designs and tire widths?

Whenever I try to get actual information about 29 or 650B traction performance vs DOWNHILL 26" tires, I Google myself into the hell pit of MTBR smugness.

29er tire designs I've seen look not so great, but I'm no expert on XC tire "designs."
2.4 Maxxis Ardent
2.35 Conti Mountain King 2

...among others...

i think that the contact patch argument is pretty much bull**** - the smaller the contact patch the more the tire digs in, the bigger the contact patch the more the knobbies that are doing something. by that logic, in wet and loose crap 26 would work better and bigger would be better in the dry. or maybe not. i only know i don't want any bigger wheels than 26 since i'm 5' 8".
A longer contact patch (footprint) is better for driving, braking, and cornering traction in all conditions. The science behind this is sound (google terramechanics if you want to research it yourself). Wider is not always better, but we're not talking wider in this case, we're talking longer.
 

frorider

Monkey
Jul 21, 2004
958
5
cali
the way i look at it is this: given a choice between the industry making a serious attempt at 650b for longer-travel bikes, vs 29er long-travel, I'd prefer the industry focus on 650b. by 'serious attempt' i mean a good selection of rims and tires, including 2 ply, and more fork options.

sure, if the bike industry were ruled like N Korea, we could just ask the dictator to ban any development larger than 26er so that we have no choices.
 

SuspectDevice

Turbo Monkey
Aug 23, 2002
3,941
28
Roanoke, VA
so most of our 26" frames/forks have the clearance for a 650 right? But with a decent tire?
Not most, some. Unsure how you define decent, but I assume a larger casing and some proper knobs? That's not going to happen with most of the conversions you see people boasting about on the interweb.

Throwing 584 wheels on a 29'r on the other hand, can be pretty sweet if you have a frame that's a little too high in the bb department or has stays that are a little too short for good wheel and front deraileur clearance.

That MTBR thread is chock full of a pretty decent list, one must assume.
Yoke clearance and seatube clearance are the main issues- as is the fact that you usually get f8ck-all rear tire clearance.
I can say fo sheezy that the Cannondale Prophet and Rush frames (shorten stroke, mind you) are really fun as 650b bikes, especially since Cannondale runs nice low bb's to begin with and have enough tire clearance to ride in proper mud. The fact that you can find Prophet frames for $300 is a bonus. A Rush with a 64 degree head angle(angleset, 130 fork) and mid 12" bb height is pretty dang shredtastic.
A local hyper-mutant friend of mine races pro XC on his Rush on occasion and boosts Hellion at Highland. Of course he also cracked his frame trying to ride it like a 26 pound DH bike... The Prophets last longer and the added weight is pretty negligible if you aren't trying to race XC.
In terms of hardtails- I build most of my frames so that they have a 12"ish bb height with 26" and 12.2" with 650b. Since I like 17" chainstays for XC and trail use it's as simple as changing wheels. I've sent people out on "blind" demo rides with 650b wheels on a bike they assumed had 26" wheels. The great thing about the wheel size is that they don't notice a difference unless you tell them, they just think the bike is frikkin sweet. It's harder to do the same thing with a 29'r but most open-minded 29'r riders tell me that they don't really notice a difference either.
If we have both 26" and 29" riders not noticing a significant difference if you don't try to convince them there should be one it gives someone an idea of why lots of us think it's a great wheel size. Riders just think that they're on a great bike. Critics who say that that there "isn't enough of a difference" for the wheel size to stand on it's own don't get it. The whole point is that you've found a happy middle ground for people who want a bike that handles "right" and fits within the parameters of normal frame design and components.

With all due respect to our friends at KHS and Jamis, using the bikes they're selling now to evaluate the ride of 650b wheels isn't going to tell someone much- the same bikes scaled for 559 or 622 still wouldn't please most riders in terms of geometry, spec or suspension performance.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,829
937
01776
eh, if you're gonna go, go big or go home. I want to see some effort made towards DH 29er bits. Otherwise I'd rather just keep the faster accelerating and stronger 26ers.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
15,829
937
01776
not necessarily. Creative frame building can get you within competitive range. still though, I'd love to try a 29er DH bike with the appropriate gear. If you're going to experiment with larger wheel sizes for the benefit of lowered rolling resistance, why not give it a shot first and then come back to 650b?
 

rideit

Bob the Builder
Aug 24, 2004
7,025
1,715
In the cleavage of the Tetons
Towns with three good restaurants are simply better to live in than towns with only two, I reckon'. Seems silly for the Eye-talians to be squawkin' that the Chinee place just ain't no good, and simply shouldn't exist. And let's not get started on them uppity mehicans, what with their chimiritos and whatnot, they don't like nobody else!
 

NoUseForAName

Monkey
Mar 26, 2008
481
0
Towns with three good restaurants are simply better to live in than towns with only two, I reckon'. Seems silly for the Eye-talians to be squawkin' that the Chinee place just ain't no good, and simply shouldn't exist. And let's not get started on them uppity mehicans, what with their chimiritos and whatnot, they don't like nobody else!
This is one of the best posts i have ever read. +1 for relevance.
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,514
26
ACT Australia
It seems logical to me. I'd imagine we'll se 650b being the common DH size in the next 5 years(maybe 6).
Or at least on some courses.
Mind you, I've not riddena 650b wheeled bike yet.
They're closer to 26" than 29". Roll over stuff better, and presumably won't feel to much more kooky than 26" does.
New hub/Fork standards too. So DH wheels can have a wider footing.
 

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
It seems logical to me. I'd imagine we'll se 650b being the common DH size in the next 5 years(maybe 6).
Or at least on some courses.
Mind you, I've not riddena 650b wheeled bike yet.
They're closer to 26" than 29". Roll over stuff better, and presumably won't feel to much more kooky than 26" does.
New hub/Fork standards too. So DH wheels can have a wider footing.
Looking at that new Fox fork it seems like they might be thinking ahead to.