What Wheel Size? 29 or 650b/27.5?

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Thread: What Wheel Size? 29 or 650b/27.5?

  1. #1

    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Pennsyl-tucky
    ME: 87 Ibanez RG550
    MA: Wasburn D12 6
    Rig: ADA MP1 / Spider II

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    What Wheel Size? 29 or 650b/27.5?

    Considering buying a new mountain bike, but am not sure which wheel size I want. I am leaning to 650b(27.5). I know a 29er would come in handy for the terrain here but I think I would prefer a lighter, more responsive wheel. (650b).

    Which size did you pick and why?

  2. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: EBMM JP6 / JP7
    MA: Martin DC-1E
    Rig: Axe-Fx II XL

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    Having owned both (and put over 1000 miles on each), I've come to this conclusion:

    If you are tall, you'll probably prefer a 29'er. If you are under 6' or so, 27.5 will probably be a better way to go. Both are equally good for whatever amateur riders like us throw at them, and everything else is marketing hype. Bike geometry and fit is way more important than wheel size when it comes to what you'll be most comfortable on.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Pennsyl-tucky
    ME: 87 Ibanez RG550
    MA: Wasburn D12 6
    Rig: ADA MP1 / Spider II

    iTrader: 0

    Im going to try a bunch of both sizes and see which one works better.
    Its funny you mention bike fit. I'd just fix up my old Cadex and ride it, but I bought it a size small and it kills my fat old ass to ride it now Plus I expect the carbon tubes to explode every time I get on it.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Mar 2010
    Location: Wisconsin
    ME: Schecter Loomis
    MA: Ibanez classical
    MB: Ibanez SR400QM
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    If you have the chance, try them both. I have a 29er simply because:

    -when I bought my MTB, it was the first bike I bought in 20+ years
    -I had no idea what I wanted, so I went to the LBS
    -LBS sells Trek. For my model (and I think many other models), Trek only puts 27.5 tires/wheels on small-frame bikes. For the size frame that fit me, 29" wheel/tire was the only option.

    If I were to sell my MTB and get a new one, I would definitely try out a 27.5 on the trails I ride. I have a feeling that I would like it better, since I think it would be more responsive in the turns/more nimble and there aren't a lot of wide-open pedaling sections (which is where the 29er is great). But I'm only guessing.

    By the way, I'm 5'10", so that's why I'd prefer a smaller wheel.

  5. #5

    Join Date: Jul 2009
    Location: Manchester, UK
    ME: Parker Fly Mojo
    Rig: Orange OR50

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    I think it also depends on the type of riding you want to do. I have a 29er and it's perfect for what I (rarely ) use it for. The 29 inch wheels roll better and carry speed a little better on flatter trails and paths. If I were doing anything more technical (what some of the guys on here do), I'd steer towards the 650b as the geometry has the space to be more flickable/fun (especially on smaller frames), plus the wheels will be stronger as they are smaller etc
    Post metal, for fans of ISIS, Cult of Luna, Neurosis, Gojira etc

  6. #6

    Join Date: Sep 2013
    Location: Just outside Boston
    ME: Jackson DXMG
    MA: ibanez
    Rig: Jam Up/Bias

    iTrader: 1 (100%)

    pretty much whats been said is spot on.
    chris is rite. frame geometry is much more important. but also, i agree with rory that the 29 rolls a bit easier.

    my new mtb is a 29. I had it set in my mind i was gonna get the 27.5 trance, it was more affordable than my santa cruz. i tried two 27.5 bikes and the 29, and really for me (being almost 6'3"), neither could compare to the 29. buuuut, its not just because of the wheel size, it was everything about the bike. the second i got on it, it fit me like and old leather coat. just felt rite.
    just go with the bike that feels the best. you can't go wrong with either a 29 or 27.5.
    There is no Dana….Only XUL

  7. #7

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
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    700c or GTFO.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  8. #8

    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Pennsyl-tucky
    ME: 87 Ibanez RG550
    MA: Wasburn D12 6
    Rig: ADA MP1 / Spider II

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    700c or GTFO.
    road weenie

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