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650b coming sooner than we think?

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by Tomasis, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. iRider Active Member

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    How is selling 4.5-times more in 26" than 29" full sussers 'being brutalized'?
    Considering that the 29-er is the new kid on the block I would have guessed that they outsell 26-ers.

    And if you count the bikes people own I doubt that the 29-er is even close to being a contender. Most people that I know that have a 29-er have a big stable of bikes and this is only one of them. Rest is 26" or 28" (roadie).
  2. marshalolson Active Member

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    You might want to check into the Derek zoo lander school for kid that don't read good ;)

    2011 full suspension:
    26": 50,000 bikes
    29": 130,000 bikes

    Just saying.

    Of course there are 500,000 front suspension 26" bike sold. For $200 at Walmart. That is the only wheel size available.

    For that matter, there are plenty of Walmart full suspension 26" bikes too, but no 29" cheapo bikes.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  3. iRider Active Member

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    Oops, only looked at 2010. But you might want to attend that school to:
    2011 full suspension:
    26": 50,892 bikes
    29": 29,001 bikes

    Comparing full sussers with front suspension bikes is like apples and oranges. ;)


  4. norbar Active Member

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    I find the notion funny. The factories on Tw are often as clueless as you can imagine. The ideas that sometimes tried to force onto the company I worked for were really surprisingly idiotic.

    Also yeah in 2012 Taichung they say 650b will kill all. In 2011 they said the same about 35mm bars. I don't see them on my bike yet.


    btw. Worst case scenario - maxxis still keeps strange wheel sizes for the high roller, nicolai will make any bike you want. Just stock up on some 823's and you should be good for at least 20 years.
  5. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    I didn't say it was ****ty for having 29ers.......it was ****ty for not having a good selection of 26ers. To me, that's ****ty. My "reality" is still 26" based.........I and all the guys I ride with regularly are still on 26" bikes, and all have 2, 3, 4+ bikes. And when I go to an LBS, it's my reality that I care about.


    And you wonder why LBS's bitch about buying online. :rolleyes:
  6. kidwoo Celebrating No-Pants Day

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    Just don't forget.........this is 'rider driven'.
  7. norbar Active Member

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    Move to yurp. There are still some places that don't go 29 crazy. Hell in Poland it's hard to buy a 29er even if you want to. Didn't see too many of them in Morzine, Maribor or L2A too. Must be 'merica.
  8. ZenkiGarage New Member

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    Couldnt agree more. I've pretty much written off the bike industry. When an overseas made short travel bicycle costs about the same as a 2 yr old 450 MX'er. Or a DH rig cost the same as a brand new 450. Fvck you. I'll also have support for that 450 for 20 years.
  9. chillindrdude Active Member

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    This argument again....*facepalm*

    Kinda apples to oranges imho.
  10. norbar Active Member

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    More like apples to some stupid exotic fruit. People need to realize DH bikes will be expensive because no one rides them. The market is marginal compared to mx. Also in some areas we push the technology more than mx. The duuuuh it got enginz, enginz egzpenziv argument is really silly.
  11. iRider Active Member

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    No, it is a valid argument. If you invest that kind of money you can expect spare parts to be available for a reasonable amount of time. :mad:
  12. chillindrdude Active Member

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    True, mainly with frame material and linkage design. I think it would be awesome to construct a mx chassis with carbon fiber. Imagine a 250 4stroke under 200lbs...that would be awesome
  13. norbar Active Member

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    The dh bike world is obsessed with weight. It's not only frames that are made out of carbon. There are also a ton of small manufacturers. Not to mention how many cast parts you see on an mx bike and how many on a dh bike? Thread patterns tires in the mtb world is also way more varied. Up untill recently shock/forks were a bit lacking but now we have reliable offerings which are really light. I really think people don't realize how advanced our sport has become. Yes some frames are stupid expensive and are made in Tw but if they make 200/year of them why are we surprised?
  14. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    didn't you sell off all of your bikes?
  15. General Lee New Member

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    You understand that it has exactly zero to do with how much money you spend and everything to do with the microscopic size of the DH bike market. When you sell X units per year vs 500X units per year your retail cost is going to be much higher because your margins have to be. And your capacity to manufacture and store a high inventory of proprietary relic parts for an even more microscopic subset of customers becomes impossible.

    If pay someone an excessive amount of money for a custom fabricated anything my substantial outlay of cash does not mean I'll have, or should have access to spare anything. DH bikes are bespoke items that often see revisions on 90% of all fabricated parts from one model to the next, your 450 does not. You want bikes to be cheap, light, dependable, innovative, and supported beyond obsolescence? Based on what whimsical formula?
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  16. stoney Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde

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    This probably has a lot more to do with sample selection, than overall demand. How many bikes do you guys sell annually? How many calls for 650b are you receiving? I would be willing to bet that it is realistically a very small percentage of your customer base.

    The people asking for this are probably the squeaky wheel. I for one, will not be changing until I absolutely have to (ie frame breaks). If the only new frames available are 650b, I'm going to be pissed because I will need to get a completely new bike, instead of just a frame. That will probably turn a lot of people off, especially if they are more than just recreational riders.

    I do hope you guys plan on carrying spare parts for the 26" SB line-up for more than 5 years. Until my 303 cracked, my plans to re-build it were useless because I couldn't get replacement rails or sliders after 5 years.
  17. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    I have 2 new bikes.....both 26". I must be doing it wrong.

  18. norbar Active Member

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    One huge mistake for Yeti and any other company to make would be to think the most vocal group is the biggest. Just look at the number of posts in the 29er forum on mtbr. They are not the majority but they are nuts.
    In my business there was a mistake like that and it was called "Scott Pilgrim vs the world". Everyone thought the movie is going to be huge because of how much buzz it got on the internerdz. It bombed. Badly.


    Also the need for 650b has been artificially fueled by ads. I understand you sometimes have to push where the customers had no idea we could go (otherwise we would still be riding rigid steel bikes with cantilevers) but if a technology it will stick. No need to kill the substitutes. If you need to kill something in favor of 650b, kill 29ers. They are the real niche.
  19. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    and carbon to boot! No doubt purchased through your LBS, and not through on-juan's or tite-ass's online stores. Because we're talking about people who walk into LBSes and buy bikes off the floor, right?
  20. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    I tried, but they all had wicked huuuge wheels.
  21. dump Active Member

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    Are those bikes even available in the US at a LBS?
  22. manhattanprjkt83 Rusty Trombone

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    I am torn on this whole thing, would I like to check one out, Sure. Do i think the 26" wheel is broken, not at all. I will be holding on to my 26" frame, tire collection, and money until someone comes out with a carbon framed 140 ish bike, with adaptable dropouts (26"/650), and reasonable angles.
  23. norbar Active Member

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    I really wish banshee goes carbon. Perfect bikes.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  24. SuspectDevice New Member

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    The new S&M Holmes 22" is already selling faster than they can build them.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  25. iRider Active Member

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    No, I just support manufacturers that support their bikes longer than from spring to fall of the same year.
    I inquired recently with Intense because I need spare parts for a Socom. They have basically everything in stock except for the main frame and swingarm. And that is a model that hasn't been in production for 4 years! Nicolai is another manufacturer that is very good at keeping your older bike rolling. So if small manufacturers like them can do it why can't some of the big guys do the same? :confused:
  26. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    No, in fact I don't think they're sold at any LBSs unless they're special order. Which is kind of my point. Don't tell me that you can't find 26" wheeled bikes at your LBS then buy them online. In fact, don't complain about your LBS at all and then buy online. Don't complain about the death of the 26" wheel and the rise of the 29er when the people who still shop at bike shops are buying 29ers (mostly beginners, I imagine).

    Personally, I only shop at LBSs for apparel and for service...so what they stock doesn't affect me.
  27. mattmatt86 Active Member

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    While I wish this was the case as well, it's just not. To further Lee's point, not only does it costs a lot to keep spares, replacements etc. But do you think all the bike companies want you to be able to rebuild your 5 year old frame? Some yes, but the majority don't. They want you to go out and buy a new bike (650B of course).
  28. General Lee New Member

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    I took my new Rune for a solid climb and some trail riding on Friday, and went DH racing on the weekend. Pretty ridiculous to consider how it's actually a far better bike than we used to race DH on in the late 90's/early 2000 and yet weighs about the same as my first xc race bike.

    Carbon would be sick, but I'm guessing that might involve using a new factory and possibly relocating production and personnel to a new city. Would pretty sick though, and makes me wonder in factories like Pacific aren't going to incorporate carbon production alongside aluminum fabrication to stay competitive (though they also make pretty sweet folding bikes which sell like crack here is Asia so it's possible they'd not suffer for lack of business)
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  29. CrabJoe StretchPants Reincarnated Crab Walking Head Spinning Bruce Dick

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    Your point is invalid. Wheel size has nothing to do with how much someone is willing to spend on a bike/frame. I bought those frames/forks online because they were all previous year's models and less than 1/2 MSRP. Is someone going to be willing to spend 2-3x more than they have to simply because they want a 29er? No. I'm sure you can get 29er frames and forks as cheap as I got my frames/forks online.

    However, I have no problem buying rims/tires/spokes/tubes at the LBS. In fact, I spent $260 on tires at my LBS a month ago. If what people claim is true, and shops start stocking 80% 29er tires and 20% 26er tires to match their 80% 29er complete bike stock.....why would I continue to buy tires there?
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  30. norbar Active Member

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    That's why I say screw them. As soon as I get a bit more cash I'm getting a custom nicolai trailbike. The legend stays because it is bombproof but if the germans refine their bikes a bit I'd be really tempted to go that way. Maybe when I get a chance to test ride one and I like it.



    @Lee - If I lived in the hills I'd be on the rune right now. Currently I'm thinking about getting a spitty v2 or an orange five.

    btw. What are you doing in Tw. Is it a permanent industry job?
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  31. iRider Active Member

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    Who says I am not buying a new frame from them AND keep the old bike rolling? :D
    N+1 son, N+1!!! :D
  32. General Lee New Member

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    I don't have an opinion on wheel size until I ride 650b a bit, but it's been mentioned before that the 26" wheel wasn't developed because it happened to be most optimized for trail riding. It just happened to be the wheel size already on the bikes that were converted into mtn bikes by some crazy hippies and became the standard. That doesn't mean it sucks, it just means that's why we started with 26.

    I was told by some factory workers here in Taiwan, that the 700c road wheel actually owes its existence to oil drums. Since they were already round it was easy to cut the old drums into strips and with a little reworking, voila, a steel rim. Why 700cc? Because that's what size the drums were.

    I have no idea if this is actually true, but it worth considering for a moment how our 'standards' are developed in the first place. Some evolve over time through testing and their own merits, others exist through pure happenstance.

    Some of you planning for the wheelapocalypse need to take some deep breaths before you start building your bomb shelters.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  33. General Lee New Member

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    My girlfriend works for the US Dept of Agricuture. She's posted as the deputy cheif of the taiwan office for the next few years so I'm along for the ride. I do a little here and there for Vital and such (hence the Banshee factory feature last week), but nothing official with the bike industry. I'm in Taipei, most of the industry is mostly 2hrs-4hrs South of here in Taichung, Kaohsiung, or Tianan (Carbon/Hodaka).

    I'll probably resume my regular profession as a math or history teacher at one of the international schools next year but for the moment I'm basically under kept man status, which is actually not all that bad.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  34. VMARTINEZ Member

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    I am waiting on a S&M Widowmaker in 22" wheels.
    Chrome with 48 spoke wheels.
    VM
  35. mattmatt86 Active Member

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    Ahhhhh yes, I forgot the equation. :D
  36. chillindrdude Active Member

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    I was just in taiwan a few weeks ago visiting family. The hispeed rail makes it super convenient to zip between taipei and tainan,provided you have some sort of transpo at the stations. Have you learned the language at all? Do you own a scooter? It still amazes me that more people dont get flatten by cars riding those things.
  37. General Lee New Member

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    HSR and the MRT are fantastic. Every city in America should have it this good. Now if they would just make it easier for bringing bikes on board....

    Scooters have right of way in all situations even when they are driving like a mix of Bubba and Andretti with 2 kids, a dog, and 3 propane tanks on the back. Flattenings are common.
  38. iRider Active Member

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    Hey, I am not at all against a new wheel size. What gets my goat is that the industry decided that 26" is dead (or at least the comments from a bunch of 'insiders' suggest this). If the new wheel size is really so much better then it will eventually take over. But the industry is not convinced it will, this is why they have to kill 26 to force the switch. Or they don't want to/can't take the financial risk to produce bikes for all 3 wheel sizes? Either way, it is not a natural evolution like 29 was initially.

    BTW: did anyone now finally show some real data which wheels are the fastest? I mean multiple tracks, freelap setup, SRM cranks, nearly identical bike setups, 10 runs on each, average times normalized to power output etc.????? Like, scientific approach, you know?
  39. Sandwich just shake your rump

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    :rofl:

    Closest we have is anecdotal and dirt's test track, where I thought a guy posted a best time on a 29er.

    I do think it would be neat to see a scientific test done, but I think a lot of wheel size selection comes back to personal preference. I'd be on a 29er if I rode california-style rolling trails with lots of miles. Here on the east coast I really like my 650b as it gets me up over the football size rocks every 5 feet but doesn't look anything in the turns. If i were riding something smooth AND fast, I'd stick with 26. I tried a 29er out here but it didn't work for me, it took too much muscle to push it through switchbacks. 26s got hung up on rocks. The right choice for ME was 650b.
  40. SuspectDevice New Member

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    26" WHEELS NO LONGER SELL ON THE SHOWROOM FLOOR.


    re testing:

    The Scott team did extensive pre-season testing on wheelsize exactly as you describe.
    Some riders were faster on 29", some on 650b.

    Nobody even bothered testing 26" wheels because none of the riders were interested in riding them.

    World Cup winner Nino Schurter chose 650b- It allowed him to keep the same contact points as his 26" and road bikes while having the advantages of a faster wheel that works better than 26" and is more fun to ride/manourverable than 29" wheels.