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27.5″ mountain bikes. Where do they fit?

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.”