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650b coming sooner than we think?

Tomasis

Monkey
Feb 26, 2003
681
0
Scotland
http://forums.mtbr.com/9880674-post1.html

"Although there are a few holdouts, especially in the U.S., the bulk of the industry here has concluded that 26 inch will soon be a niche size for downhill racing bikes and perhaps department store bikes. Most mid-priced mountain bikes are destined to adopt the mid-sized tires, with 29er wheels reserved for short-travel and hardtail bikes aimed at the cross-country set."



how much bs of it is? how much soon is soon?
 
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mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
I met a guy on the trails a few days ago that works in the industry and just got back from Taiwan. He said the consensus for Major bike manufacturers was that by 2015 only sub ~700 dollar mountain bikes and certain segments (DJ and DH) would be 26." Although only about 30-40% of DH bikes would be 26", he laid eyes on a few tooling machines for DH specific 650b products.
 

Kanye West

220# bag of hacktastic
Aug 31, 2006
3,460
173
*GAG*

There is nothing wrong with 26" wheels. These silly ever-changing "standards" in the bike industry need to come to a stop, especially when they provide no real additional benefit to the user.

26" wheels are already weak enough. No need to adopt a standard that will make an even weaker wheel.

Make frames that last more than a season, with properly spec'd hardware and with manufacturing that makes sense for support parts availability down the road. Prices for these things need to come down a LOT too, especially from the bigger manufacturers.

Make brakes that resist glazing so easily and rotors that are stronger and don't warp (making sure your rotors aren't dragging after being bent will give you more speed and less drag than changing to a 27.5" wheel will) and systems that retain their bleeds better.

Find some solution to derailleurs. It's a silly system that needs to go.

Make frames with greater clearance to run larger shocks (not longer, just wider diameter). Speeds on DH bikes have changed dramatically in the last decade, and designers are now trying to squeeze way too much performance out of a tiny damper that can't be as large as it needs to be to provide adequate performance.

There are a dozen other things to do before deciding to go and fvck with the wheel diameter and start developing bike geometry from square one again.
 

TGR

Monkey
Jan 9, 2006
263
3
It may not take over 26'' but it for sure is getting more popular... it's like a good evolution that can really become useful for certain types of bikes
Most people didn't even notice that some downhill riders were trying on 650 wheels on the last world cups... News is, even some big names are out there testing it... If it can be faster, why not?
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,788
209
NORCAL is the hizzle
What does wheel size have to do with continuing to develop gearboxes, improving discs, or making frames that fit more shocks and have better hardware? Those are all potentially good things but I don't see the connection.

I have not been drawn to a 29er but this tweener thing intrigues me for trail riding.
 

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
It may not take over 26'' but it for sure is getting more popular
Every source I've heard in the industry said it will take over no matter how much we bitch about it on the interwebz. I've talked to guys that have been on the ground floor in Taiwanese factories and said all the major brands already have or are in the process of acquiring tooling exclusively for 650b bikes from $700 and up and almost every full suspension under 180mm of travel.

One guy told me that by 2015-2016 less than 5% of new mountain bikes will be 26."
 
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jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
59,420
7,055
media blackout
Every source I've heard in the industry said it will take over no matter how much we bitch about it on the interwebz. I've talked to guys that have been on the ground floor in Taiwanese factories and said all the major brands already have or are in the process of acquiring tooling exclusively for 650b bikes from $700 and up and almost every full suspension under 180mm of travel.

One guy told me that by 2015-2016 less than 5% of new mountain bikes will be 26."
thank god enve wheels are US made.

and thank god for independent builders.
 

no skid marks

Monkey
Jan 15, 2006
2,514
27
ACT Australia
What a way to create a whole new market. I actually thing they might be okay for smaller size tyres. DH maybe, will take some fun from DH bikes, but will probably/possibly/maybe make them faster. New front axle width to ensure.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,616
384
What a way to create a whole new market. I actually thing they might be okay for smaller size tyres. DH maybe, will take some fun from DH bikes, but will probably/possibly/maybe make them faster. New front axle width to ensure
Not width, but diameter. If you're running 650B, you'll need to upgrade to a 16.50mm front axle.
 

UiUiUiUi

Turbo Monkey
Feb 2, 2003
1,381
0
Berlin, Germany
i haven't tried a 650b bike so far, but it looks like the industry tries to avoid the mistake they made with 29ers. back then only a handfull supported the big wheel and the others later struggled to keep up with the demand from their customers.

now the industry is jumping on it and hoping to create demand... we will see how this turns out.

i am definitely curious to see what 650b dh bikes will feel like
 

John P.

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2001
1,170
0
Golden, CO
I know that the feeling from those opposed to 650B is that the bike industry is trying to force something on their consumers, but in my experience, it's just the opposite. Having actually done a decent amount of riding on 27.5's, I'm personally not a fan, but the amount of emails/calls I get from consumers, shops, and distributors asking when we'll have a 650B bike is pretty overwhelming.

Seems crazy to me that a wheel size that's suited us all just fine for 25+ years could fall out of favor so quickly, but things seem to be moving in that direction.
 

'size

Turbo Monkey
May 30, 2007
1,918
249
AZ
i can't wait to throw some 'old' 26" wheels/tires on that new 27.5" frame, my BB height will finally be acceptable.
 

Transcend

My Nuts Are Flat
Apr 18, 2002
18,045
0
Towing the party line.
There will be a massive amount of DH bikes in 650b next year, let alone trail. It's almost impossible to get high end trail oriented bikes in 26" form most of the larger brands at this point. Specialized is even dropping 26" altogether from certain product lines.

As someone who stands at a massive 5'5", i weep myself to sleep every night at the thought of having to ride 650b or 29.
 

wiscodh

Monkey
Jun 21, 2007
810
93
303
As someone who stands at a massive 5'5", i weep myself to sleep every night at the thought of having to ride 650b or 29.
i hear ya, even at 5'7".

I am sure WSD style bikes will stay in the 26" realm. Stand over is already a PIA for wemens.
 

dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
5,616
384
I know that the feeling from those opposed to 650B is that the bike industry is trying to force something on their consumers, but in my experience, it's just the opposite. Having actually done a decent amount of riding on 27.5's, I'm personally not a fan, but the amount of emails/calls I get from consumers, shops, and distributors asking when we'll have a 650B bike is pretty overwhelming.
Have these people ridden 650B and determined their life isn't complete without it... and they call you? :) Seems more likely that this is what's hot but nobody has actually ridden it. I can't say I know anyone who has ridden 650B, let alone ridden it and has got-to-must-to have you (child)!

Seems crazy to me that a wheel size that's suited us all just fine for 25+ years could fall out of favor so quickly, but things seem to be moving in that direction.
I don't know how much this is a wheel falling out of favor as it is the latest shiny object that also corresponds to a whole new category of stuff people can buy (rims, tires, frames, forks). 650B is your new 29er is your new Barack Obama is your new fixie. They'll try it & then move onto something next year. I recall not too long ago when everyone said the trails couldn't be ridden unless you were riding 29er... it made me chuckle then too. Guess it's just not for me.
 
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kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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In my pants
The guy that wrote that?


Steve Frothingham


Certainly when I think credible news and analysis, I think Steve Frothingham.

"Twenty-six inch is taken off the menu," said an OE sales manager for a well-known tire company. "It may seem confusing now, but the industry has made the decision for the consumer."
20 bucks says that's some really AWESOME tire company that makes a bunch of really functional tread patterns.

No not really.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,788
209
NORCAL is the hizzle
Once again some of you guys are sounding just a little too much like conspiracy theorists.

Nobody is going to make you buy or ride a 650B bike or a 29'er. Relax.
 

Kanye West

220# bag of hacktastic
Aug 31, 2006
3,460
173
The fact that some of the WC'ers have been running it and nobody has noticed probably means there's little-to-no performance gain to be had...
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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Once again some of you guys are sounding just a little too much like conspiracy theorists.

Nobody is going to make you buy or ride a 650B bike or a 29'er. Relax.
Nah I just want to make fun of the retards from the customer side 'demanding' these things just because it's a new buyable thing that's way easier than going out and learning how to corner or pump a transition.
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,567
424
Groton, MA
I know that the feeling from those opposed to 650B is that the bike industry is trying to force something on their consumers, but in my experience, it's just the opposite.
How do you figure that? It seems pretty overwhelming from the interweb rumors in this thread that they intend to DO AWAY with 26"....how is that giving consumers more options? When my 26" frame or fork breaks, will I be able to get a 26" replacement? Or will I be forced to get a 650b frame....and then have to get 650b wheels.....which will require a 650b fork...
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,788
209
NORCAL is the hizzle
Nah I just want to make fun of the retards from the customer side 'demanding' these things just because it's a new buyable thing that's way easier than going out and learning how to corner or pump a transition.
Hey Mr. Sensitive, I wasn't talking about you, we posted pretty much simultaneously. ;)

It sucks to hear things like "the industry has made the decision for the consumer". Jason is a good guy (and a hell of a rider), and I tend to think that was taken out of context or something. (It's obviously a pretty arrogant thing to say, and that's just not his style.)

I guess I just think the consumer has more power to vote with their wallets than others here seem to think. And despite these nefarious quotes I just don't see 26" disappearing so quickly. I expect we'll get more choice, not less.

Or, maybe these guys just have a lot of stock on their hands and want to create a panic run on 26" inventory! Step right up and git yer 26" parts before they disappear! (How's that for conspiracy?)
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
115
San Francisco
If it can be faster, why not?
Cost, tradeoffs, lack of legacy interchangeability just to name a few. Also, when was the last time you heard someone say "Gee, I wish my wheel was weaker and flexier, my bike harder to turn, and my frame geometry and linkage less optimized so that my wheels can roll over things just a tiny bit better."?
 
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kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
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when was the last time you heard someone say "Gee, I wish my wheel was weaker and flexier, my bike harder to turn, and my frame geometry and linkage less optimized so that my wheels can roll over things just a tiny bit better."?
Every time I've read bicycle retailer in the last 5 years.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
10,004
2,299
AK
Yep, I believe 29er will rule everything XC, most things AM, and 650b will be a niche for longer travel bikes and DH bikes. 29ers can't get the right geometry and travel, but 650b can. This is why I dumped my 26ers before I moved a few months back. The 29ers just maintain speed better, can turn and maneuver well enough for XC, especially when weight is reduced, have gobs of traction going uphill, and even the hardtails allow you to roll over stuff and make the guy on the 4" cross country FS race bike seem slow and technically incompetent.

I think 29er hardtail bikes have made the traditional 3-4" XC FS "race" style bikes obsolete.

The 4" 29ers school the 5-5.5" "AM" type bikes pretty hard.

The few 5" 29ers usually run with DH and freeriders in my experience, and somehow they don't seem to be under-biked even though they look much more spindly than a 6-7" hardcore AM type.

650b is going to work it's way into things though, I think initially people will think it's better, then move back away from it a bit, and it will get solidly entrenched in the longer-travel applications.
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
22,871
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In my pants
The 4" 29ers school the 5-5.5" "AM" type bikes pretty hard.
Hey JM what's up man? Speak up, your reception sounds like shlt. What's that? You'll be landing on earth in the next few days? Give me shout once you touch down. Let's catch up!
 

CrabJoe StretchPants

Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick
Nov 30, 2003
11,567
424
Groton, MA
Yep, I believe 29er will rule everything XC, most things AM, and 650b will be a niche for longer travel bikes and DH bikes. 29ers can't get the right geometry and travel, but 650b can. This is why I dumped my 26ers before I moved a few months back. The 29ers just maintain speed better, can turn and maneuver well enough for XC, especially when weight is reduced, have gobs of traction going uphill, and even the hardtails allow you to roll over stuff and make the guy on the 4" cross country FS race bike seem slow and technically incompetent.

I think 29er hardtail bikes have made the traditional 3-4" XC FS "race" style bikes obsolete.

The 4" 29ers school the 5-5.5" "AM" type bikes pretty hard.

The few 5" 29ers usually run with DH and freeriders in my experience, and somehow they don't seem to be under-biked even though they look much more spindly than a 6-7" hardcore AM type.

650b is going to work it's way into things though, I think initially people will think it's better, then move back away from it a bit, and it will get solidly entrenched in the longer-travel applications.

Your location makes your opinion invalid.
 

Huck Banzai

Turbo Monkey
May 8, 2005
2,526
21
Transitory
i hear ya, even at 5'7".

I am sure WSD style bikes will stay in the 26" realm. Stand over is already a PIA for wemens.
I'm 6'8" and I love my 4 26"ers.

Also, I dont get on many other bikes, so my opinion is pretty useless. (((but hated every minute on every 29er Ive tried (Oh you havent tried one lately/newer) Meh) poot) blaaah)


I'm barely a weekend warrior, and then I keep breaking myself - so more salt to be considered in grain form.


I will be a late adopter after something gets proven, or wont if not. Rosebud.


I mostly look at whats around me, and who seems to be able to use it best, and get their opinion.


Kidwoo is my DW, but he's a whole lot funnier.
 
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