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650B Haros SNEAK PEAK

Jan 19, 2008
8
0
<br>Haro Beasley SS
MSRP: about $850
Weight: about 27 lbs for 18" frame size
Spec highlights:
-Double butted 4130 cromoly 650B specific frame
-Custom full cromoly rigid fork
-Truvativ Fire-X 1.1 singlespeed crankset
-Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes
-Pacenti Neo-Moto 650B tires

<br>Haro Beasley 1/9
MSRP: about $1,100
Weight: about 27.5 lbs for 18" frame size
Spec highlights:
-Double butted 4130 cromoly 650B specific frame
-Custom full cromoly rigid fork
-Shimano Deore Shadow XT rear derailleur
-Truvativ Stylo 1.1 34T cranks
-Shimano M485 hydraulic disc brakes
 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
I have a question about the forks on these though - well more of a fork design question really. Is there two schools on how to get the offset on a fork?

For example these seem to achieve it through the offset sort of tapering out from the crown down to the axle. Yet other forks I've seen seem to appear to put the offset at the crown first and then go sort of straight down to the axle (I'm thinking of the On One Segmented fork as an example here).

Are there two ways/styles of achieving the same results when it comes to rigid forks?
 

jbogner

Monkey
May 8, 2006
315
0
Fort Collins, CO
Maybe I'm alone in thinking those look terribly un-graceful? Between the unattractive brake line routing, the jacked up seat and spacered-up stem, and the weird bend to the seat tube (I thought smaller wheels were supposed to make that unnecessary? ;) ), I can't say I'd rush out to buy one.
 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
i keep staring and staring at the pics....but i can't see a bent seat tube on either.

you sure you got the right thread?
I think he meant to say the bend in the TT.

They look real good, but I also think with a little more time - they coulda looked great with a more sloping and straight TT that might have run more in line with the seat stays (but then again - I'm a big fan of straight lines on steel hardtails).
 

ferday

Chimp
Jan 3, 2008
34
0
calgary, AB
i couldn't agree more MMcG, i love the sloping straight lines (a la Evil imperial)

honestly i'm not sold at all on 650b for HT application, but hey it might get really small riders interested in grown-up wheels.

now, FS on the other hand...i anxiously await Haro's 650b FS bikes....
 

jbogner

Monkey
May 8, 2006
315
0
Fort Collins, CO
i keep staring and staring at the pics....but i can't see a bent seat tube on either.

you sure you got the right thread?
Read my post again. "Bend to the seat tube." I guess I could have said "Bend (of the top tube) to the seat tube" but I wrote that quickly.

IMO, 650b singlespeed hardtails are pretty pointless (29'ers are just fine, thanks), but a 650b fully or a 650b AM/Freeride-ish hardtail could be cool. The thought has crossed my mind to build something like a Sinister Ridge with 650b's... some benefit of the bigger wheels but a little more jump-able. The one thing I don't like about my 29er is how much it sucks on the pump track. I don't even try jumping on it...
 

ferday

Chimp
Jan 3, 2008
34
0
calgary, AB
IMO, 650b singlespeed hardtails are pretty pointless (29'ers are just fine, thanks), but a 650b fully or a 650b AM/Freeride-ish hardtail could be cool. The thought has crossed my mind to build something like a Sinister Ridge with 650b's... some benefit of the bigger wheels but a little more jump-able. The one thing I don't like about my 29er is how much it sucks on the pump track. I don't even try jumping on it...

i jump the crap out of my 29er....i like how it feels in the air (although i've never tried actual DJ's with it)

i am very, very scared that the wheel will fold under me, and it probably will one day. 650b may help address this i suppose...
 

jbogner

Monkey
May 8, 2006
315
0
Fort Collins, CO
i jump the crap out of my 29er....i like how it feels in the air (although i've never tried actual DJ's with it)
Define "jump" then. I'm specifically talking about dirt jumps, which I've rolled on my 29er and found too tight in the lips to smoothly jump on my 29er. My 29er is even more useless on our pump track- it's pretty much 20/26 hardtail-specific.

If you're talking about rolling jumps and drops along the trail, then yeah- I jump and wheelie drop all the time. It's just part of riding around here. But 1-2' trail drops and jumps aren't really what I'm talking about...
 

ferday

Chimp
Jan 3, 2008
34
0
calgary, AB
certainly bigger than 1-2', but you're correct just trail drops and boardwalk style jumps, not actual lipped DJ's.

i have a 24" bike for the DJ's....horses for courses and all that.
 

enderwaves

Chimp
Feb 6, 2008
2
0
That sloping TT may be a heritage design piece. I had a very old Haro V3 that had a more defined curve in the TT like that. I've seen it in a lot of their XC/general purpose hardtails. That said, I'm not a big fan of it either.
 

Guitar Ted

Monkey
Aug 21, 2006
306
0
Waterloo, IA
My 29er is even more useless on our pump track- it's pretty much 20/26 hardtail-specific.
...

A very telling comment.

Perhaps it is the track and not the bikes wheelsize? Since there are not many who are into jumping 29"ers, your tracks are not going to be suited towards those sorts of things.

Anyway.............

It also begs the question, why would you want to ride a 650B bike on pump tracks, or even for a long travel application?

Here's my take on it: I have ridden a 5 X 5 650B FS bike which was a great bike, but for all the world didn't really do much for me from a "big wheeled" standpoint. I feel that with 5 plus inches of squish on board, you are going to have a really hard time distiguishing whether it was the tire that made that bump easier or was it the suspension? Hmm............... Seems obvious that the minimal gain in diameter from 26 to 27.5 is nearly totally masked by big travel. What's the point?

Now on to the 29 inch wheeled 5 inch travel FS bike I rode. A discernable big wheel feel here, but again, not so much in the way it ran over stuff. More so in momentum and traction. That to me is the key to a long travel full suspension bike. Momentum for carrying up and over and traction for the short steeps and corners. 650B just doesn't get there in this respect.

So, back to 650B versus 26"er FS. Obviously, unless you are into equipment disadvantages, the 26"er is by far a better choice. Heck, some big free ride rubber is already about 27.5 inches in diameter on a 26 inch rim. So again, why 650B?

It is said that 650B will get you "some of the 29"ers benefits". That's a nice way of saying maybe you will feel it, maybe you won't. I'm betting you won't, because really, how many of you have actually ridden 5 plus inch travel 29"ers? Not many. So, it is a pie in the sky statement in the first place, and likely isn't discernable, nor even true.

It is said that a 650B long travel bike will be easier to make than a 29"er long travel FS bike. Okay, thank you Mr. Obvious. The bike I rode at Interbike was a 26"er that they slapped the 650B's on. What does that tell you? It says to me that the difference between 650B and 26"ers is minimal. That's exactly how it rode too. It should also be noted that long travel 29"ers can be done too. (Upcoming Niner W.F.O.9) It's just not as easy as "tweaking the drop outs and BB drop" as one product manager said about converting their long travel 26"ers to 650B FS bikes.

Do I think these Haro bikes or FS 650B is a bad idea? No, I don't. But I also think 26"ers are doing a smash up job already. I just don't see the need for this "tweener" size. Not enough difference in performance to justify having 26 and 650B together.

That's my take.
 

jbogner

Monkey
May 8, 2006
315
0
Fort Collins, CO
You're right, of course, Ted, and I've argued the same point in the 29inches comments before. I don't know why I backslide and delude myself into trying to find justification for 650b wheels. ;)
 

ssmike

Chimp
May 19, 2006
13
0
I feel that with 5 plus inches of squish on board, you are going to have a really hard time distiguishing whether it was the tire that made that bump easier or was it the suspension?
Good points, G-T. 4", 5" ... today, for the most part, suspension systems are so efficient at what they do - absorb bumps and plow through dips - that wheel size doesn't play as much of a roll in what the rider feels. However, with hardtails, wheel size is a much more noticeable factor.
 

ssmike

Chimp
May 19, 2006
13
0
I have a question about the forks on these though - well more of a fork design question really. Is there two schools on how to get the offset on a fork?

For example these seem to achieve it through the offset sort of tapering out from the crown down to the axle. Yet other forks I've seen seem to appear to put the offset at the crown first and then go sort of straight down to the axle (I'm thinking of the On One Segmented fork as an example here).

Are there two ways/styles of achieving the same results when it comes to rigid forks?
Probably 3 ways if you count in curved blades. It's really a matter of how you get from Point A (bottom of head tube) to Point B (wheel axle). Well, maybe 4 ways if you count the wavy Pinarello Onda fork.
 

Guitar Ted

Monkey
Aug 21, 2006
306
0
Waterloo, IA
However, with hardtails, wheel size is a much more noticeable factor.
Yes, I agree. This is why I also feel the mixed wheel format, (ie: 69ers and their ilk) are also not a necessary bike for me to consider. Only if I was riding extremely "trialsy" type terrain would I want one and then it would be a fully rigid ride.

Let me add as well that people of small stature may truly benefit from 650B technology. I can get behind the idea 100% for folks 5'4" and under, but again, we already have a multitude of choices in 26 inch stuff that will so closely approximate what 650B does that it nearly becomes a moot point.

These Haro 650B bikes will be closely watched in the industry. I think it is the "make or break" moment for the format. It will either grow into other second tier companies or go back to being the custom builders wheel size of choice for distinguishing themselves from 'corporate" bike companies.
 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
One thing I'll say is you are passionate in your opinions GT - and that's cool.

I was highly skeptical of 650b when it first emerged, but I'm coming around to see that it could be another solid viable option. I'll elaborate more later.
 

Lumberjack

Monkey
Jan 24, 2003
633
0
PNW
I think the 650B is going to be more popular in the near future. I recently picked up some 650b wheel orders for a little later in the year. I'm waiting to see what impact these bikes are going to have with the general public and the folks that are teetering on the edge of making the jump to a 29'r. I'm with GT about using them in a more trialsy terrain situation.
 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
Here is where I think they hold merit.

1. for smaller riders say 5'5" and under - maybe even a slightly higher height threshold
2. As a front wheel for FS and possibly Hardtail mixed wheel applications. 26/650b makes more sense to me than a 69er
3. Full suspension trail bikes in the 4-5" travel range - I think the wheelsize would shine here for All Mountain riding. I would consider 5" of travel to be the norm rather than labeling it "long travel" the 650b wheel size will still give a better angle of attack through rock gardens than a 26" wheel and it would allow for shorter chainstay lengths than the current crop of 29er FS bikes (with perhaps the very expensive Lenzsport lunchbox as the only exception to the norm).

If Sherwood Gibson at Ventana decided to build himself up a 650b FS bike as his own personal fs bike - tells me there is some merit to this wheelsize for FS applications. I'd love to hear from Sherwood to get a sense of his thoughts for 650bs in FS All Mountain/Trail bike applications.

Cheers,

Mark
 

jbogner

Monkey
May 8, 2006
315
0
Fort Collins, CO
I measured my 29er wheels this past weekend. Knob-to-knob with 2.3 Rampages, the diameter is 28.25". Then I measured my 26er wheels with 2.5 Nevegals. Knob-to-knob diameter is 27" exactly. That further convinced me that I really don't need to even consider 650b for anything.

Does the world need a new wheel size inside of that narrow range?

I'm curious what the knob-to-knob measurement of the NeoMoto 2.3's on the velocity blunt 650b rims is. I'd guess that it's within a quarter inch of my 2.5 Neve's on 26er rims, and I'd also guess that the weight is pretty comparable between the 26er high volume 2.5 and the 650b 2.3. Given the choice of adding weight in more rim and spoke material, or in more rubber and air volume, I'll take more rubber and air.

650b is going to fade back into custom-land as more and more people and companies realize what the real-world measurements work out to be...
 
Oct 9, 2006
264
0
650b is just another way for bike companies to get you to ride a new bike and switch to more useless proprietary equipment and spend your money so that in 6 months or a year you have a completely useless bike laying around that nobody in there right mind would buy, where the hell can you even find a tube much less a tire on any given saturday at you LBS.

But I guess if that is what you need to make you feel like you fit in or you are on the next best thing and "I rode it first", then more power to you.

The roots of this sport didnt evolve from 29inch wheels and single speeds, the earliest MTBs where rigid but come on single speed and 29 inches and calling it retro, get over it.
 

ByStickel

Chimp
Nov 8, 2007
38
0
WNC (via nj,ca,tx,in,&va)
It took a while for people to realize the potential of larger (29er) wheels. Now that folks are so excited about 29er, opening the door to new wheel sizing, I'd have thought that there would be more interest in 650b, too, but that doesn't seem to be happening. If somebody split the difference between 650b and 26" them I'd imagine you'd have exponentially-less interest.

Two main reasons come to mind:

It's half as good as 29er. Or it has only half the disadvantages. Neither one of those is going to inspire people. Of course, you could spin it any way you want, but it's in between the others, rather than blazing some new path.

And it doesn't look any different than 26er, really. Not enough to be striking. 29er is revolutionary. Along with it's noticeably different riding experience comes a unique look, and as shallow as that might sound, I think it's an important aspect of the whole concept; it reinforces the idea that 29er is something new and special.
 

Mike B.

Turbo Monkey
Oct 5, 2001
1,522
0
State College, PA
I'm curious what the knob-to-knob measurement of the NeoMoto 2.3's on the velocity blunt 650b rims is. I'd guess that it's within a quarter inch of my 2.5 Neve's on 26er rims
FYI - I did measure this today with the NeoMoto set up tubeless on the Blunt and got 27.25" i.e. you're a good guesser

edit: forgot to weigh the combo with Freeride rim strip and spoke tape but I know the rim was 459g
 

jbogner

Monkey
May 8, 2006
315
0
Fort Collins, CO
FYI - I did measure this today with the NeoMoto set up tubeless on the Blunt and got 27.25" i.e. you're a good guesser
Nice. Thanks for the real numbers. Pretty eye opening. 26 / 27.5 / 29 sounds like a more reasonable range than the actual range of 27 / 27.25 / 28.25. But I guess we could have expected as much, since one of the claims of 650b was that it fit in current frames and forks. It only makes sense that it wouldn't be significantly larger than the largest 26er tire that the frame and fork companies built-in clearance for...
 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
I'm willing to give it a chance and I'm now open minded about it.

Numbers on a computer screen are one thing and actually getting out and trying the wheelsize out on a trail are another. I hope we get a chance here at RM to test one or two dual 650b wheeled bikes.

My impressions of the Carver Bumblebee (650b/29er) are very positive as a mixed wheelsized combination. I hope to do a bit more comparing the Bumblebee to a full on 29er during the spring to see what the various pros and cons are between the two wheelsizes in rear traction/acceleration applications. Stay tuned.
 

Guitar Ted

Monkey
Aug 21, 2006
306
0
Waterloo, IA
I'm willing to give it a chance and I'm now open minded about it.

Numbers on a computer screen are one thing and actually getting out and trying the wheelsize out on a trail are another. I hope we get a chance here at RM to test one or two dual 650b wheeled bikes.

My impressions of the Carver Bumblebee (650b/29er) are very positive as a mixed wheelsized combination. I hope to do a bit more comparing the Bumblebee to a full on 29er during the spring to see what the various pros and cons are between the two wheelsizes in rear traction/acceleration applications. Stay tuned.
I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm for trying out a new idea, but I do want to point out that I have ridden these bikes and the numbers posted here only help to support what I found to be true out on the trail.

The crux of the issue is this: You will always have "geeks" ( and I mean that in the most positive sense) that will take notice of new ideas, give them a whirl, and make a judgement call. Okay, that's happening now with 650B. The folks who are bike "geeks" like us will either give it the thumbs up or down, but we're hardly enough to justify a move on the scale of haro's Beasley introduction.

My comments are based on what an average trail rider is going to discover, namely that a 650B doesn't offer all that much advantage and more than likely on FS designs the difference will be unnoticeable due to the efficiency of long travel suspension, (assuming such 650B rigs ever make it to market beyond boutique/small builders)

It's just too close to 26"ers to make most folks take notice.

That said, it's not going away anytime soon since Kenda is now going to pop for a "B" sized Nevegal and Panaracer is coming out with a "B" sized Razer. At least the tires and rims should be around for the foreseeable future. I still think any more manufacturer intros will hold off to see how Haro fares with the beasley.

Time will tell.

Good luck with your "B" wheel experiments.