Having always ridden 26" wheel bikes off-road, I have been a little dismissive of and resistant to the recent 29er movement, I don't feel it suits the style of riding I enjoy.
650B definately has it's attractions, so I built up a new off-road bike around a Ritchey Timberwolf 650B frame with some BOS Deville 140mm forks.
To say that I am impressed with the ride would be an undrstatement.
After only a few miles I stopped noticing the slightly larger wheels; the bike felt very natural to ride, and comfortable at speed!
Here's what Ritchey say about the frame.
"Few can claim to have played a bigger hand in the evolution of the mountain bike than Tom Ritchey. And he's still at it.The original Timberwolf debuted in 1984 as Tom's answer to the growing demand for a mountain bike that could handle more of anything. Reborn 30 years later, the Timberwolf is a hardtail incarnation of an all-mountain trail bike that can shred anything you throw at it. Designed around 650b wheels, the Timberwolf is agile and fluid whether bushwacking the mountainside or carving single track. It's the bike we can't stop riding".
Even with the addition of the BBS01B motor and 11.6Ah of Samsung cells, it just slides under the 20kg mark at 19.8Kg.
I've only had a few rides so perhaps too early to decide, but the overall package built around 650B wheelset feels pretty good so far.
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