Update: Oct. 1
We just came back from Interbike and 650b was the highlight of the show. It is by far the most exciting category of the industry as companies scrambled to get prototypes and rideable samples for the Outdoor Demo. 650b will be the growth category of the sport in 2013 as users again find a reason to upgrade their bikes and components to try a new wheel platform.
The good news is the unbridled excitement seems to have substance behind it as 650b attacks the core of the ‘All Mountain’ bike market. In 5-6 inch travel bikes, the 650b wheels which are 40% of the way to the 29er wheel size really demonstrate an advantage in technical terrain such as the Dirt Demo Bootleg Canyon trails of Nevada. Most bike testers came away impressed as they had better traction and rollover ability. An the bikes were still agile and playful as most of them shared very similar chainstay and wheelbase lengths as 26er bikes.
Mtbr got to try many of the products and our coverage is here: