Uninformed, untrue, in the dark. Just a few of my feelings on some of the shit that’s being said about 650B. Comments frequently made without experience of riding products. FFS…if a bike is good it’s good irrespective of wheel size, and in that respect the Norco Range Killer – B 2 is classic example of…a bike that cuts it in both 26” and 650B.
DIRT ISSUE 133 – MARCH 2013
Words by Steve Jones. Photo by Steve Jones
That said, if 650B offers more speed, improved stability, and with the same amount of grin then why oh why wouldn’t you? Well, tyres could be one issue and…well I can’t think of any other excuse not to buy this bike in the bigger wheel size. It is awesome.
Really? That good? Well in the supposed reserved, quasi world of ‘first–looks’ this could probably could be seen as a little ‘loved–up’. But that’s just it, so good is the Norco it’s already had one hell of a christening. It’s simply a bike everyone wants to ride.
But returning to the opening manoeuvre, a good bike is a good bike, yet it still needs putting into context. I worry that at 34lb with pedals on that the Norco is heavy for 160mm and that even though the bigger wheels allow it to be good for many an hour on the trail up and down, bikes such as the 25lb Cube Stereo 650B will be quicker all–round. And a lightweight 26×160 with the right tyres will still smoke the hefty Range.
It all comes back to applications, price and componentry. The lighter of the Stereo’s have far from ideal wheels for the job in hand, along with a hefty price tag, and when you look at the top end version of the Range it’s closer to thirty pounds anyway.
But back to this bike, hell it looks ominous for the opposition should you be on a solid technical gravity descent, the Range is almost mini–downhill in its nature, a modern day Specialized SX Trail but way friendlier for longer rides. As 160mm bikes go it’s very much weighted towards the gravity rather than trail side of the spectrum. One step forward, one step back, maybe, but with one hell of a grin.
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