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, and this screen grab from Rockshox’s internal OEM ordering website shows that they’ll be supporting manufacturers with the boingy stuff up front.
The pic comes from an excellent, extremely in-depth article over on Bicycling. They’re reporting that many of the brands who’ve invited the middle child wheel size to the party before are bringing him back for more, including WTB, and Schwalbe. More importantly, many major brands are apparently jumping into the fray with a less than timid range of products. Expect 650B forks from Fox, Rockshox, DT Swiss and X-Fusion being spec’d on bikes from a wide range of manufacturers large and small.
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 flick ability 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!