December 30, 2011

News About!

I spent a few minutes on the phone yesterday and gathered some useful tidbits of information, the abridged version:

Pacenti working to release new sizes of their tire line. Other things changing behind the scenes, but all in order to move forward and grow the line!

A "North-of-the-Boarder" company will soon be receiving some tires (from an undisclosed manufacturer) for 650B testing.
More Big "S" rumors are swirling, but don't ask them directly, you'll get the cold shoulder. They seem to be keeping their lips sealed about 650B development.
Vee Rubber has confirmed the production of their Mission  27.5x2.1" tire, with plans to produced a larger  volume version very soon. In addition to a second Mission, Vee Rubber's US Marketing Director Jim Wannamaker hopes to have more 27.5" tires in prototyping phase by summer time.

Taipei Bicycle Show brought much 650B interest from European companies. They are easier to adopt 650B as it has been used on 'trekking' bikes for 30 years now. This interest will likely lead to ramped production of 650B rims and specific frames.

December 03, 2011

Turner Bikes: 650B Prototype Confirmed

In a recent interview with David Turner, his company Turner Bikes, plan to produce a DW Link 650B Trail bike based off the 5.Spot.  Dave is currently testing the bike, and will likely see production once Sultan demand has been fulfilled.
Read the Article at The Straight Dirt

November 12, 2011

29er Full Suspension Builder to Begin Building 650B FS

Fort Lupton, CO.
Lenz Sport, a custom frame manufacturer and proponent for full susser 29ers, will begin working on a 650B veriosn of their 3" travel Revelation full suspension frame.  Their production hasn't yet begun, but has been confirmed by 650B Palace.  An e-mail from Lenz Sport eludes to the potential of a longer travel 650B frame to follow the Revelation.
The Revelation will feature monocoque aluminum tubing, a tapered headtube, 3 inches of movement- traveling on cartridge bearings, an anodized finish, and can be built with an 80 or 120mm fork.
This will be one mean XC race machine and will definitely be found on trails across the US.

Check out the LENZ SPORT website HERE

October 31, 2011

650B from 26" Convertible List

Brought to you by 650B
650B from 26” Convertible List
·         Airborne
o   Zeppelin Elite
·         Azonic
o   Revenge
o   Steelhead
·         Banshee
o   Scratch
·         BMC
o   2008-11 Team Elite
·         Bianchi
o   SASS
o   BASS
o   PUSS
o   DISS
o   MUSS
·         Brodie
o   Cruzado
o   Catalyst
o   1-Ball
·         Canfield
o   Balance
·         Cannondale
o   2003 Gemini
o   2007 Prophet
o   Taurine
o   F3
o   F4
o   2007 Rush
·         Commencal
o   2009 Meta 5.5
·         Chumba
o   HX1
o   Evo
·         Evil
o   Sovereign
o   Revolt
·         Ellsworth
o   Epiphany
·         Foes
o   XCT
o   FXR
·         Gary Fisher
o   Fat Possom
·         GT Bicycles
o   Peace Single Speed
o   2010 Force
o   2010 Force Carbon
o   Zaskar Carbon
·         Haro
o   Sonix LT
o   Xeon
·         Ibis
o   Mojo
o   Mojo HD
·         Ibex
o   Atlas
·         Intense
o   Uzzi VP
·         Jamis
o   Exile
o   2007 Dragon Team
o   Dakar
o   Parker
o   2010 Xam2
·         K2
o   Factory 6.0
o   Apache 2.0
·         KHS
o   2008 XCT 555
·         Kona
o   Unit (with sliders)
o   2007 Coiler
o   Cowan (with sliders)
o   Humu
o   A’ha
·         Knolly
o   Endorphin
·         Litespeed
o   2010 Ocoee
·         Marin
o   Rift Zone
o   Wolf Ridge
o   Mt. Vision
·         Mountain Cycle
o   Fury
·         Merida
o   FLX 900
·         Morewood
o   Zula
o   Shova
·         Novara
o   2008 Method
·         Nicolai
o   Helius AC
·         Orange
o   R8
o   Patriot 6.6
o   Alpine
o   Five
o   ST4
·         Orbea
o   Occam
·         On One
o   2005+ Inbred
o   Scandal
·         Pivot
o   Firebird
·         Pipedream
o   Sirius R853
·         Ragley
o   Piglet
o   Mmmbop
·         Salsa
o   Ala Carte
§  vertical dropout
§  swinging dropout
o   El Santo
·         Santa Cruz
o   2008 Heckler (shock limit needed)
o   Bullet
o   BLT2
o Nomad (shock limit needed)

o Blur TRc
o   BLT Carbon
o   2011-12 Blur XC Carbon
·         Scott
o   2007 Spark 30
·         Schwinn
o   2008 Homegrown LTD
·         Sette
o   Serum
·         Sinister
o   Ridge
o   Splinter                                                                                                                 
·       Simplon   
     o   Racorblade  
o   Groove (2.1” tires)
·         Soul Cycles
o   Titan
o   Hooligan
o   Icon
·         Specialized
o   2011 Camber
o   Myka
o   2007 Enduro Elite
o   1998 Stumpjumper HT
o   S-Works Carbon HT
o   2008 Carbon Epic
o   2008 Pitch Pro
o   2010 Stumpjumper
o   2009-11 Stumpjumper FSR
o   2005-06 Rockhopper ht
o   2010 Epic AL
·         Spooky
o   Darkside
·         Surly Bikes
o   1x1
o   Instigator
o   Pugsley 
o    Troll

·         Transition Bikes
o   TransAm
·         Trek
o   Scratch
o   2009-11 8500/8000
o   Fuel 9.9 (2.1 Nevegal tested)
·         Titus
o   2001 Switchblade
o   2002 Motolite
o   Eleven
o   Fireline
o   2008-09 Guapo
o   Quasi-Moto
·         Turner
o   2006 5 Spot
o   2008 Sultan
o   2008 RFX
·         Ventana
o   El Chamuco
·         VooDoo
o   Bokor ( with sliders)
o   Bizango
o   Wanga ( with sliders)
o   Sobo
·         Weyless
o   2004 XP
      ·         Yeti
o   2006 575
o   Arc (year needed)

Information has been based off supplied data from the fine members of

October 24, 2011

My Jamis Dragon 650 Test Ride - A Grade A Trail Bike

Well I picked up a shop Dragon 650 demo bike (not a Jamis corporate demo bike)last Sunday thanks to Aaron at Storrs Center Cycle in beautiful Storrs, CT. Aaron owns a really nice shop and is definitely a pro-650b local bike shop owner. He currently has two 17" Dragon 650s on the floor as well as a 17" Jamis Nemesis hardtail. If you are a CT resident or a New Englander not too far from Storrs, I would recommend paying a visit to Aaron's shop if you are a 650b fan or even just 650b curious. If you want to find them via the web his shop's site is at

Aaron sent me away with a size 17 Dragon 650 and it fit great at my 5'9" height. Prior to leaving his shop, Aaron took some time to adjust the handlebars and dial in the White Brother Loop fork (more on the fork later) to make sure everything was good to go for my test ride at Nassahegan State Forest in Burlington CT.

I was able to go for a solid 2.5 hour test ride and the bike performed great. The steel frame felt very quick, and snappy and the ride was nice, not a harsh feeling to this frame in my humble opinion. I think Jamis did a great job on the geometry of this bike. The 68 degree head tube angle was nice and comfortable, yet the bike felt extremely responsive, and not at all slack or sluggish feeling. Yet at the same time the 120mm of travel up front was a really nice "sweet spot" for trail riding. The bike was very quick to accelerate (possibly due to nicely spec'd American Classic wheels paired up with 2.1 Nevegal tires), and it felt very nicely balanced in the air when I was able to launch it off a few natural trail jumps and whatnot. Traction from the 2.1 Nevegals was excellent right now as our trails are now littered with leaves (which can make things a bit slick at times).

Climbing on this bike was also very very good. Even with 120mm of front end travel and a slack 68 degree HT angle, the Jamis tracked well on our short steep, techy climbs at Nassahegan. I never felt the front wheel wander and I was able to sit and spin up climbs very effectively and efficiently. It was a bit of a different feel for me to sit and spin up stuff as I normally ride single speed, but I enjoyed the climbing ability of this geared Dragon 650 immensely.

Now about that fork! The White Brothers fork is the real deal. One of the nicest forks I've ridden - and that was with it coming right out of the box. I was the first guy to ride this bike. The Loop rides a bit high in it's travel which was nice for this type of bike in my opinion. I never felt the fork pogo-ing or anything during the ride. It was great while climbing, and there was no major fork dive whatsoever while negotiating techy/tricky trail features at Nassahegan. The fork was just super smooth and sort of just disappeared beneath me as I put the Drgaon 650 through it's paces. The 15mm thru axle front end allowed the bike to steer incredibly well and there was little or no fork deflection under rough rocky terrain and through some of the longer rock garden sections of trail on the loop I took. Really came away impressed with the Loop! If you have a chance to check one out - do it!

Being a single speeder for the most part over the last few years, I rode the Dragon 650 in the middle ring the whole ride - and if I had one of my own I think I'd build it as a 1x9. Our trails around here don't really call for a big ring for trail riding, and even a granny isn't necessary except for a few climbs (or when fatigue sets in). The drive train worked very well (combination of Deore level cranks and an SLX rear derailleur) and shifting was crisp and precise. For other parts of the country the three chainrings up front might be great (or possibly a 2 chain ring-bashguard combo would be excellent as well).

As I said, the Dragon comes set up with 2.1 Nevegals and they hooked up great in our fall conditions. I think 2.3s would fit, but there isn't gobs of tire clearance in back. However the 2.1s are a good pairing with the American Classic 650b wheelset that comes stock on the bike. The 16.73" chainstay length is sweet. Great for getting the front wheel up and onto trail obstacles, great for wheeling drops, great for climbing. As I mentioned earlier, the front end never wandered on climbs and the bike has a nice upright comfortable riding cockpit position - definite trail bike geometry. It is great bike geometry for long rides, but also a helluva lotta fun for a quick 2.5 hour trail ride as well. With a swap of some components like cranks, stem, bars, seatpost the bike could definitely be lightened up and still raced if one were to choose to do so.

While riding this bike, I kept thinking how perfect it would be for someplace like the Kingdom Trails in Vermont or some other trail network in the USA that offers miles and miles and miles of sweet singletrack to ride - linking them together for an epic day or long weekend in the saddle. This bike would just kill it in East Burke at the Kingdom Trails - I definitely would love to spend a weekend up there on this thing. I think it would be a blast.

Overall I came away very impressed with the Jamis Dragon 650. The Dragon has been a highlight of the Jamis mountain bike lineup for years and years. In fact, when mountain bikers hear the word Jamis - the Dragon is probably the frame that comes to mind first. They've been doing this Reynolds 853 frame for a long time, and this newest iteration in 650b guise is spot on for this wheelsize. The frame is well built, the paint is a stellar Shamrock green metallic color with just the right amount of logos (not overdone) and it has a classic trail bike hardtail look to it.

I find it refreshing that a company like Jamis is committing serious resources to the 650b platform and the 2012 Jamis Dragon is an excellent example of how serious they are about the merits of 650b bikes.

Overall it was a grin inducing 2.5 hours of trail riding for me. I want to thank Aaron again for providing the demo bike and I hope his offer stands for more weekend loans on the Dragon 650 as I'd like to take it to a few other Connecticut Trail systems to further my testing of the bike.

Great feeling Steel Frame
Excellent Trail bike Geometry
Nice American Classic wheelset
White Brothers Loop fork (Stellar)

Stock grips are just so so - but nothing to worry about
WTB Silverado - not friendly to this rider's sit bones at all
A few heavy components (Syncros Stem, Bars, Seatpost, crankset)

Overall Impression/Grade
If I were to give the Dragon 650 a letter grade - I'd definitely give it an A grade for the first marking period. Here's hoping that I get a chance to put it through it's paces for a couple more marking periods before all is said and done.

October 18, 2011

Jamis Bikes: Committed

Jamis seems to be quite proud about their 650B offerings for 2012! We at 650B Palace share their excitement! More to come about the Jamis 650B 853 Dragon complete bike!

October 13, 2011

Tubeless Ready 650B Rim? Sure, why not?

Pacenti is at it again! This time the fine 650B proponent brings us the TL28! A tubeless friendly,28mm wide MTB rim. Much like the stellar P35 it will be available in 26, 27.5, and 29" flavors. No discrimination from this company!  Much love for all sizes! Boasting a 409g weight for the 650B version! WOW. Nice number for sure.

High fives for Pacenti Cycle Design!
Look for them in shops Mid-November.

September 15, 2011

My 650b Bike

I should have done this last night - but it was late and I forgot. Here's my current 650b bike. It is based around a 44 Bikes SnakeDriver frame and currently set up rigid and single speed with a Salsa Cromoto Grande fork up front.

Bike also features some Hone Cranks, and Ragley Carnegie Bars.

Although I'm constantly fiddling and experimenting with different stem/bar combinations with it.

Very versatile bike that just shreds in 650b mode!

September 14, 2011

New Contributor - Thanks for the Invite Jeremy!

For my first post to the Palace I thought I'd take the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Mark McGrath - many of you will know me as MMcG on the forums - and I'm psyched to be a contributor to 650B Palace. A Huge thank you to Jeremy for letting me contribute to the blog.

I'm stoked on this wheel size and excited to contribute to spreading the word a bit and sharing cool 650b related news and stories of interest for all of you.

I've been riding mountain bikes since 1999 or so (not that long compared to a lot of you guys I suspect) and I've really gained a passion for bicycles. I started to really get into mountain bike riding when I moved to CT in 2001 and that eventually led to a part time sales rep gig with Balfa Cycles. Some of you might remember the Balfa BB7 and 2Step as well as the Belair and Minuteman (their hardtail frame). After my Balfa stint was over due to Procycle pulling the plug after the 2004 frames were released, I then started to become interested in bigger wheels.

After various 26" hardtails and FS bikes, I finally got my first 29er in a Surly Karate Monkey. From there I was on various 29ers for a few years, including a brief stint helping out Ted Wojcik with his custom frame building business and helping to promote his new 29er frames - initially named the Monkeybutt 29ers and now called his Sof-Trac 29ers.

Then I heard about this new 650b wheelsize and I decided to give that a go. First it was a test and review of a Haro Beasley for and then it was on to a Carber Bumblebee long term test for Ridemonkey. This really helped me realize the good virtues of the 650b platform - especially for a guy like me who stands about 5'9" tall.

I'm now riding a bike built by Kris Henry - of 44 Bikes. My frame is Kris' original SnakeDriver prototype and it now sports 650b wheels and a Salsa Cromoto Grande rigid fork. I've got it set up in single speed mode right now, but the frame allows me the option of going 1x9 or whatever if I so desire.

I've found the 650b wheels to be the ideal configuration for this particular frame as it puts the bottom bracket height in a "sweet spot" - the bike really shreds turns now in this configuration.

I like it so much that I plan to add more 650b wheeled bikes to the stable over time.

In addition, I plan on posting to the Palace often about 650b news, 650b bikes, and 650b rumors etc. Probably even a feature or two on builders who are doing a lot of work with 650b wheels - like Yipsan, Watson Cycles right here in CT, 44 Bikes etc. etc.

So stay tuned for more MMcG updates folks!



May 28, 2011

Velocity's New Addition! The 650B Blunt SL

Designed to be lighter, stronger, faster. Velocity is proud to announce its newest rim, the Blunt SL. Bringing together the proven success and technology of the P35 and Blunt rims, Velocity has developed a new tubeless ready race day rim that weighs in at 420 grams in the 29”/700c platform. The Blunt SL can easily be made tubeless using Velocity’s Velotape kit. In addition to rims, Blunt SL Pro and Comp wheelsets are available. Each wheel is handbuilt by The Wheel Department at Velocity, which can custom build to rider’s specifications. Detailed information can be found at The Velocity Blunt SL rims and wheelsets are available through any local bike shop or from Velocity’s online store.

Shallower and more narrow than the Blunt OG the SL rims are available in 26”, 650b or 29” sizes, in black, silver or white color with 28, 32 or 36 hole drilling.

May 10, 2011

650b Flows from Stan's

They're here!!!!!!!! GO GET'M!!!!

April 20, 2011

Transition Bikes Trans AM 650B conversion.

Joe from Parrish FL, just south of 650B Palace just finished his Trans Am 650B conversion with success!  Read more about it at the TRANSITION BIKES BLOG

April 01, 2011

Rim Update!

No Tubes just received their final batch of ZTR 355 rims. Their 650B Flow should arrive within 3 months.

Velocity will be releasing a lighter version of the awesome Blunt. The new rim will be properly named the Blunt SL; no word yet if they will discontinue the original Blunt.

For our European riders, you'll be happy to find out about XXCycles offering of the Ambrosio KEBA in 650B. 20mm deep with a 18.5mm inside rim width with eyelets.

March 31, 2011

Top Secret

Many things are ahappenin here at 650B Palace.  More news to come!!

March 09, 2011

Soma Returns! The 2011 B-Side hits the Market.

"The version 2 B-Side still features our custom spec of double butted Tange Prestige heat-treated CrMo tubing. It does boast some notable upgrades, including Tange/IRD stainless steel sliding dropouts. These offer the rider single-speed and geared set up options with fewer hassles than a track-style "dropout" and lighter weight than an eccentric bottom bracket. The dropouts include eyelets for fenders, but there are no rack mounts. We don't expect too many to run fenders on this bike, but it doesn't hurt to include them."
We also tweaked the geometry so tall riders don't have to raise the seatpost quite as much (a comment from some owners). Some riders will still need a 400mm post. Other geometry changes include a shorter chainstays overall and a longer top tube on the 16.5". Integrated seat clamp is gone (again at the request of our fans).
The bike is still designed around the length of a White Brothers 80mm travel 650b fork; however we expect most folks to fit a 100mm travel 26" fork on the B-Side, which is about the same length.
If you are looking for top shelf hardtail option for 650b that's versatile, too, look no further than the new B-Side in its stately matte Gun Metal Blue finish. Sizes medium and large available now (no ETA on the other sizes) Geometry is posted below. We will not be including on the main site, until the new page design is ready. Sorry about that."

February 08, 2011

Rawland Strikes Back!

I absolutely failed to bring the Drakkar to the spotlight at 650BPalace, so I REALLY didn't want to pass up Rawlands redesigned Sogn. Dubbed the "rSogn."
This time around the rSogn is still geared specific, offers a pump peg, f&r rack ready and rim brake only. It has a lighter gauge steel tube set, TIG welded main frame, stainless steel dropouts, added headtube rings and the good ol' Rawland Bi-plane fork. The headtube has been modified, whereas previous models the headtube extended high over the toptube joint. The rSogn will be offered in 5 sizes, C-C being 43cm, 51, 53, 55, 57, all will be 650B specific. Ready for road duties with Pacenti's Pari-Moto and will easily accept the 2.3" Neo-Moto.
The rSogn hasn't yet landed, and is still in PRE-ORDER mode, but expect to see it soon. Retail is currently $625.

February 06, 2011

White Bros Loop 650B fork.

White Brothers no longer have the profile they once did in the mountain bike suspension fork market, with RockShox, Fox and Marzocchi having a virtual stranglehold on aftermarket sales. But if first impressions of the new Loop are anything to go by, they could soon regain a foothold.

The Loop looks very different from previous White Bros forks, with stiffer one-piece cast magnesium lowers and none of the CNC machining that used to be their trademark. It's available in a variety of different configurations to suit different wheel sizes, head tubes and types of riding.

All models have 32mm aluminium stanchions and come with the Colorado-based company's new QtapeR15 system – their take on the 15mm quick-release through-axle, which uses a tapered head and dropout to ensure a secure fit.

White Brothers' new Aura TCR damping is used throughout the range. All models have adjustable spring rate (via an air valve on top of the left leg), rebound damping (bottom of the right leg), compression damping and (magnetic) lockout threshold (top of right leg).

Forks are available with either 80/100/120mm of internally adjustable travel or 130/140/150mm. When you buy a Loop, you can specify how much travel you want it set to out of the box. Adjusting it simply involves changing the position of a circlip – this takes roughly 15 minutes.

Versions are available for 1-1/8in and tapered (1-1/8 to 1-1/2in) head tubes, and 26in/650B and 29in wheels. The Loop is available in black or white. There's no word yet on weights.
By James Costley-White