What I planned to write about today can't be, so...
Let's talk about 650b/27.5, which from this point on will be randomly referred to as either/or in order to add to the confusion as much as possible. I've already covered the conspiracy theory angle on this new wheel size over a year ago, so let's get past that. Let's assume there is some merit and go from there.
Why would I consider reducing my wheel diameter, especially when almost everything I read out there basically says that 29" wheels are still ideal for hardtails... superespecially for single speeds?
You may not know this, but I am a little man, rivaling a stack of perhaps four apples. 5' 6" and some change to be (not) precise, yet I have no issues with fit on a 29" bike. That would be because despite what people with lasers and computers might say, I like little to no drop from my saddle to my bars. The lower front end of a 650b does nothing for me, it only makes it harder for me to find one (stock natch) in my size without using a shit ton of hideous headset spacers.
So what are the pros that I see?
I am not a weight weenie per se. I run heavy reliable tires, a wide, durable front rim, Shimano pedals and brakes, a bit of a portly saddle... Let's just say that I have friends with geared crabon squish equipped hardtails that weigh as much as my lightest SS. That said, I know that extra weight works against me. It's a simple matter of weight ratios.
I would be the five ounce bird, my bike the one pound coconut. BTW: The first time I tried to watch The Holy Grail, I did not make it past that particular scene.
Smaller wheels are lighter? How much (according to Giant's propaganda machine)?
After spending way too much time with a calculator, using direct comparisons (when possible) of products I use (Industry Nine Torch wheels, Ardent 2.4 front, Ikon 2.2 rear) I get slightly different numbers.
27.5 being 3% heavier than 26"
29" wheels being 8% heavier than 26"
Those numbers are rounded, but being that we are talking about wheels, I guess that makes sense.
My numbers are not as impressive as their numbers. Whatever. It's all about the extra weight being rotational and its distance from the center of the wheel.
This angle of attack thing...
Bigger is better. When do you hit the point of diminishing returns? Who knows? We're picking wheel sizes from the leftovers of other genres in cycling... beach cruisers, road bikes, and randonneurs (guys who like to ride all over Europe with leather satchels strapped to their bikes). How do we know when we've taken the best wheel size and made it ours? Dunno.
The angle of attack is certainly one aspect that concerns me. Since I like to race rigid and love technical races the mostest... this downsize works against me. Enough to notice? ?
Inertia. Smaller wheels, less of it. I can see where this can hurt me as well. I have less potential energy, being of my lilliputian stature, so keeping the wheels rolling is important. Giant didn't address that in their infographs. Luckily, Norco covered that in their informative (but terrible) video.
the flight of the bumble bee.
But who needs science anyways when you have guys working in the Marketing and Propaganda Department.
Bar graphs don't lie. People do.
That's enough for now. I've got shit to do.
Remember, I wouldn't even be close to being on the fence had I not had a pleasant experience on the Moots Rogue YBB 27.5.
Thus my dilemma.