650B Mountain Bikes Coming, Backed by Rockshox, WTB, Schwalbe & More!
We’ve heard tremors of some major (read: top four) bicycle brands coming on strong with 650B mountain bikes for 2013 data we’ve seen from Rockshox’s internal OEM ordering website shows that they’ll be supporting manufacturers with the boingy stuff up front.
UPDATE (Nov 12, 2014): Yep, 650B is here to stay, with virtually every bike, wheel and suspension manufacturer now offering something with 27.5″ wheels. It’s a remarkably fast move considering it was less than three years ago that the first public murmurings were heard about the wheel size going mainstream.
Locally, we’ve seen a few unofficial mods on Specialized’s full suspension bikes with 650b wheels crammed on them, but Jamis the most aggressive brand reliably pumping out bikes with the mid-sized wheels recently. What’s looked like a losing battle could now propel them to a leadership position if they play their cards right, but it’s looking like they’ll have some stiff competition.
If you’re unfamiliar with the benefits of 650B, the short of it is this: You get most of the improved roll-over-everything wheel diameter of a 29er while retaining most of the flickability of a standard 26″ mountain bike. You also have slightly less rotational weight than a 29er. And on longer travel full suspension bikes, there’s less of an issue with clearance compared to 29ers.
Looks like we’ll have to add another category for our posts, and we’re definitely looking forward to the lively banter in the comments section.
Thanks to Pete for the tip on this one!