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Posts Tagged ‘650b’

To 650b or not to 650b?

So 29-er wheels are to big for you? But there is something inside you whispering a slightly bigger wheel would make sense? No worries, there is still hope for you, and it is called 650b, or 27.5″. That’s right, just between the currently so much hyped 29″ wheel and the 26″ wheels, known since the beginning of the MTB.

Why 650b? The biggest problem for 29-er tires is the more sluggish feeling they give compared to 26″ wheels, so people who have a very active riding style (lots of bunny hopping, short direction changes by lifting the bike, or in general, used to a lot of air time) may find the 29-ers limiting for their riding style. Also, a 29-er requires a complete new, special made 29″ frame and fork. 650b may fit lots of 26″ frames (Surly, Salsa, …, but try before you buy ;) ), which results in a overal shorter wheelbase compared to 29″. So: a more active riding style possible and in some case no new frame/bike required. Another advantage may be small peoples bikes should not be tricked geometry wise to prevent toe overlap etc..

Like for every platform, there are disadvantages. Availability, slightly higher bb on a 26″ frame..

What tires are available?

Pacenti Cycle Design : Neo-Moto 2.3″, Neo-Moto 2.1″, Quasi- Moto 2.0″
Kenda: Nevegal 2.35″
IRD (Interloc Racing Design): Fire XC Pro 2.1″
Schwalbe: Racing Ralph 2.25″
WTB: Wolverine 2.2″

Also, quite some rims are available at the moment:

Stan’s No Tubes ZTR355
Sun Ringle EQ27
Sun Ringle CR18
Velocity Blunt
Velocity P35
Weinmann XM 280
WTB Laserdisc Trail
And more…

Finding a proper MTB worthy dedicated 650b frame may be a strugle yet, as most 650b frames are designed to be touring frames. Some smaller MTB brands offer a 650b frames (Siren, Carver), but also some bigger brands are kicking in (KHS, Haro, Jamis). As it was with 29″, it is just a matter of time for more options to become available.

Of course at Singlespeed Central you can find a selection of 650b parts, like the rims of Velocity and NoTubes, tires of Schwalbe, Kenda, Pacenti and WTB. Be sure to drop us a line if you need more info!

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