Wednesday, March 20, 2013

22", the 650b of the BMX world

   A couple years ago at VeloSwap, a company was showing off a mountain bike with what's called 650b tires. These are exactly between a standard 26 inch wheel and a 29 inch wheel at 27.5 inches. They said it was the best of both worlds, and would soon be adopted by everyone and we'd all be using our 29ers for doorstops and paper weights. Here, have an unnecessary graphic.

                26" wheel              650b wheel            29" wheel

    Is that too complicated? Here's a more simple graphic:

Wheel sizes

Still too hard? I can't help you.

   One consideration for changing a wheel size (as opposed to adding frame size options) is that you need a completely redesigned frame and fork to accomodate the various sizes. That may be why 650b is a hard sell - frame, wheel, tire and tube companies must all be aboard. This is slowly changing however, as more and more companies are making 650b compatible parts.
   Apparently, the concept is a popular one because Faction Bike Co started doing something similar with BMX bikes. Presenting the 22" BMX bicycle:

20"                                 22" 

   Again the proponents say it will revolutionize the BMX world like 650B will someday with the mountain bike world.  Will 22" catch on? Well, BMX product giant Dan's Competition is now offering an S and M frame, fork and wheel kit that's 22":

Dan's watermark detected...

   They claim "the quickness of a 20 inch, with the stability of a 24 inch". Sound familiar? I think these guys could save money and use the same marketing campaign as the 650B folks. 

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