I’ve been riding a 29er for a little more than a year now. I’ve written about the comparisons of a 29 vs 26 inch wheeled mountain bike, and I’m still committed to the 29er. And, if you look around, so are a large number of the Pro’s. Let’s face it, if pro riders have committed to the 29er, it’s for good reason. It’s not marketing, it’s winning.
Ok, so some of you might still say that a smaller wheel is quicker in the tight singletrack, and that the 650B is better than a 29er for the same reasons as a 26. Ok, I’ll agree that a 650B is better, more efficient, than a 26, but I have to say that a 29er is still going to be faster. For the same reasons that a 29er is faster, more efficient, than a 26. So now that bicycle makers are starting to go wild with the 650B wheel size, the controversy still isn’t going to go away, it is just going to shift from 29er vs 26 to a 29er vs 650B debate.
I have never been on a 650B bike, so I really have no direct knowledge of a comparison. But the science is the same. It’s not as dramatic as 29er vs 26, but the science is the same. When I have the opportunity to test ride a 650B wheeled bike, I will. Until then, I stand by my 29er.