Was 650b Lost in Translation? | Hey You Hate This

Mountain Biking Magazine



Was 650b Lost in Translation? | Hey You Hate This

This 650b nonsense needs quelling. I’m not bothered about there being another wheel size or another standard. I don’t care that perhaps it is the worst of all worlds. The only thing I care about is the former wheel size haters who are all over this ridiculous wheel size like sweaty little sex pests over a pixelated picture of a Japanese manga character.

DIRT ISSUE 125 – JULY 2012 

Words by Seb Kemp. Illustration by Jon Gregory

These plebs love this new retarded half–wit of a wheel size saying, ‘oh yeah, 650b makes perfect sense because it isn’t so big’. But, why, mouth–breathers, are 650b even worth considering if you get none of the advantages of a wheel with gigantism but you get all the disadvantages? What is wrong with your 26”?

Actually, ignore that question mark, I’m not actually asking. I don’t want to hear what any moron from the wheel–size–hating–650b–loving camp has to say. The only sound they make is like a wet fart on a first date…which is embarrassing to themselves.

650b is barely any bigger than a 26” wheel (something like 6mm on the outside diameter if you take into account tyre differences) but you still have to deal with issues like lack of tyres, supply of spares, added flex, added weight. So what is the point?

The only upside to all this is it gives us a clearer idea of just who the real idiots are and therefore who to avoid. They hated–on ‘other wheel’ sizes for so long, but secretly they saw everyone enjoying riding a bike still, even if they were riding a ‘wagon wheeler’. They had dug themselves such a deep hole in the chat rooms that they couldn’t turn around, apologise, and try one out. Instead they had to wait till something else came along and jump on its bandwagon, proclaiming they were right all along. Well, the bandwagon they jumped on is full of manure.

29ers have found a place despite all the flak. People discovered that if it’s a good bike, it’s a good bike, no matter what size wheel. And that’s what bummed these wheel size haters out. 29ers weren’t actually the end of life as we knew it. No dark, swirling cloud darkened the sky and Beelzebub didn’t appear to scorch the earth and cast us into an eternity of fiery servitude.

29ers were never meant to replace everything else. The wheel size haters were so focused on hating because they imagined there was ‘a three–inch–bigger reich’ who were trying to force this one new size on all bikes, forever. No, no, no, that wasn’t ever the plan. 29ers were only meant to supplement and add choice in the market. Not everyone rides the same, in the same terrain, and wants the same bike. Variety helps get more people on the right bike. 29ers are here as a choice, like whether you want whipped cream on your hot chocolate or not. 26ers weren’t being killed out in some genocidal movement. “Guard, eradicate that bike, his hair is not blonde, his eyes are not blue and his wheels are not zee correct size. Hail Gary Fisher!”

29ers have their strengths and weaknesses. The wheels and forks are flexy, unless you either spend an astronomical amount of money on them or burden yourself with a lot of extra weight. Otherwise they get wavier than flag in a fair wind.

The strengths though, are that companies really had to drastically figure out how the geometry on these bigger beasts would work. Some brands and manufacturers were willing to invest in making their bikes rad, no matter the wheel size. Whereas some companies slopped a bunch of 29ers into the market and let it be done.

Now, the wheel size knobheads, who are usually so interested in debating the e–engineering co–efficiency of anti–squat, are saying that 650b wheels fit in 26″ frames. Yes, they can fit in there, but it doesn’t make them a) right or b) actually work. It is like squeezing a fist into your own month. Yeah, it’s a pretty silly party trick but it isn’t very useful. No one can make any sense of what you are trying to say any more, it looks uncomfortable, and it serves no real purpose other than everyone at the party thinking, “they obviously love the sensation of dick in their mouth”.

The wheel size haters went wild about 29ers, charging 29er riders with treason, but they never actually did anything about it. Now I think it is time for some real action about 650b. I’m thinking perhaps sit back and watch all these plonkers fly off on their own hot air and hyperbole.

Until then, two words, DICK HEADS.


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