Riding 650b - First Impressions

BloggingFit Posts: 919
edited October 2013 in MTB general
I was fortunate enough to ride a couple of Trek Remedy 9.8 2014 demo bikes yesterday for a few hours. Unfortunately the weather was shocking compared to dusty trail riding the week before but was still able to get a decent feel of the bikes to compare against my current Remedy 8 2013.

Visually the bikes look great although white grips and saddle were already looking worse for wear. You couldn't really notice any difference in wheel size over a 26" like you can with a 29er but the frames did look a little smaller for their respective size. I had a 17.5" and 18.5" to try out and jumped on the 17.5" first as this is the same size as my 26" and noticed it felt smaller. Front end a bit twitchy with a very short 50mm stem and climbing not so rapid but at first it felt like the wet conditions after being used to the prolonged dry spell were to blame.

After 30 mins I jumped on the 18.5" and immedeately the ride transformed. The longer stem gave for mre stability and front end grip and more room in the cockpit for climbing. The guys at Trek have been going up a size with the 650b overall and it was the same case with me as well so well worth trying before buying.

Handling felt spot on with front end feeling really planted and direct in all situations and really giving confidence, even in the wet conditions. I found you could commit to a line and then still be able turn in tighter if required. I put this down to the stiffer 34" Stantions of the fork for which Trek have ditched DRCV and the stiffer straight laced wheels. Riding Berms were especially fun where as my current Remedy 8 DCRV fork would dive a little too much. Concerns of things becoming slow and cumbersome on the tight stuff were unfounded.

Climbing was very spritely which you would expect from a Carbon Frame and felt very little flex. It leaves the impression of having less travel than 150mm on the flats and climbs and then becomes very capable when the going gets rough and downwards.

Now the big question of whether I could tell if it was a 650b over a 26"? To be honest if I were blindfolded or simply not told then it feels like a very well sorted 26" bike. I'll certainly get one to replace my Remedy 8 as my concern that replacing 26" with 650b in the Remedy range having a negative effect on the ride have been fortunately blown away.
Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL


  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    Its good to ride a variety of sizes to get to feel the difference in ride. My 26er feels like a BMX compared to my 29er but both are good bikes to ride.