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Scientific wheelsize test
There's an interesting video posted on Bikeradar where some university scientists compared 26 vs 650b vs 29, using multiple riders, power meters, VO2 monitors, etc. Sorry to all the fashionistas here, but 650b was the slowest.

A lot of caveats there, open to interpretation IMO.
Yankee Wrote:... but 650b was the slowest.

any mention of who had the best time riding on their day off?
Keep it foolish...
Interesting and a good watch. Not surprised the 29er won on an xt test though, most people do seem to find them best for this type of riding. I'm happy to say I'm a owner of a 650 and brought it on the grounds of test riding a few bike and going for the one the geomatry fit me the best and most of all brought the biggest smile to my face.
I for one did find 650 rode the DH knarly stuff better and faster with more grip than 26ers.
I think that you should ride whatever brings the biggest smile to your face. This was an XC test, and yes, the general consensus for some time now has been that 29er is the quickest for this. I don't usually get involved in wheel size arguments, I was struck by this being the most scientific and comprehensive test I've seen. It is by no means definitive or exhaustive.

What I take issue with is the evangelical types who harp on about their chosen size. I think it's quite easy to find the bike you've just test ridden to be amazing, with more modern and better components than your old bike.

Lastly, I think it's hard to deny that 650b had been driven primarily by marketing. 29er grew organically for years, whereas 650b blew up in the course of a year or two max. I believe you when you say your new bike is better than your old 26er. Is it better than a contemporary 26er?
Yep the 26er I had was a Litevile mk11 so a very up to date 160 travel bike, as said it worked for me going over to a 650 but the new bike could have felt better if it was 26er to?
I have riden 29ers and found they gave more grip and flowed though trail over the rough stuf fantastically, but felt sluggish in the air and cornering.
Big thing I found when looking at new bikes now in the 160mm market is almost all are 650, so lucky for me I like em.
Know lots of very good riders that's don't notice any difference between the to smaller wheel sizes, so it might just be a placebo?
Hey Matt, what bike have you got now?

I'll give you a fiver for that old German thing Wink
Lee Gee Wrote:Hey Matt, what bike have you got now?

I'll give you a fiver for that old German thing Wink

Mrs skids riding the German stead now. Went with a santa nomad, was after a long wheel base sort reach and super slack in a wicked colour. As said Iv never riden a bike that makes me smile so much Big Grin

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