27.5″ mountain bikes. Where do they fit?

  • By Logan VonBokel
  • Published Sep. 19, 2012
  • Updated May. 3, 2013 at 4:06 PM EDT

The first day of Interbike is a bit of information overload. All of the “latest and greatest” in componentry is hurled toward you at once, with no escaping it or the scorching desert sun.

I was charged with one task, and that was to speak with the leaders in 27.5 inch mountain bikes and figure out where the industry is steering this in-betweener size.

As of now, the industry is still reeling so much that the brand managers of various companies cannot even decide on a blanket term, though retailers will likely stand behind the “27.5” moniker as it’s the easiest to explain to new customers.

Jamis refers to the wheel size as “650b,” Scott USA is saying “27,” and David Turner is using “27.5.”

Tech FAQ: What’s the big deal with 650b? >>

“650b bikes will most certainly replace 26″ for everything except entry level,” was Jamis mountain bike product manager, Sal Crochia’s take opening sentence when I pulled out my recorder.

Crochia went on to say, “We have a five-inch travel 650b bike and two hardtails, an aluminum and a steel option. We have a lot of other bikes in development and its an awesome all-around wheel size. Jamis is having a lot of success with the hardtail 650b bikes. We are getting a lot of requests for short travel 650b bikes.”

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Logan VonBokel

Logan VonBokel

Equally at home on a mountain bike above treeline and chasing down moves in the heat and humidity of a Midwest criterium, Logan Vonbokel is something of an oddity in cycling. Since he first swung a leg over a road bike as a freshman in high school, Logan has been a lover of both cutting-edge technological innovations and the clean lines of classic handmade bikes. Logan joined the tech team in May 2012, bringing with him nearly a decade of high-caliber road racing experience and his undying love for the mud, cowbells, and culture of cyclocross. Logan still races at the Cat. 2 level on the road and in cyclocross, and carries a seldom-used Cat. 1 mountain bike license.

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