The questions have been out there for quite a while about if or when Specialized would be following suit with other companies offering a 650b option in their range. With Specialized openly admitting to us in years past that they had been experimenting with the platform, it was never truly certain. However with the recent increase in popularity of the 650b wheel size with riders, and the release of Specialized 650b tyres just weeks ago, we knew that it was only a matter of time before a model appeared in the range to fill the gap, but as anyone who knows the standard of Specialized design and production departments, a 650b would not hit the market until the frame geometry and performance was as good as or better than the competition. Specialized didn't ever say they wouldn't release a 650b bike, they just said that the time wasn't right for them. Well......the time for 650b is now. This week Specialized announced their intent to release the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Carbon EVO 650b ($7699) and Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo 650b (RRP $3799) Below you can read Specialized official press release on their 650b range. We can't wait to try them. Big wheels keep on turning. [caption id="attachment_4292" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp Evo 650b - RRP $3799[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4291" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Carbon Expert Evo 650b - RRP $7699[/caption] SPECIALIZED 650b - Official Press Release
OUR POSITION – BIGGER IS BETTER. EXCEPT WHEN IT’S NOT. We believe in big wheels. When they are built properly for the rider and the experience; riders should ride the biggest wheel they can. 29ers are fast, stable, and fun to ride but not all 29ers are created equal. We have developed our Specialized style to minimize the negatives of a larger wheel by focusing on light weight, capability, and fun factor. From recreational hardtails to World-Cup-winning XC race machines to All-Mountain bikes and equipment for men and women—the Specialized 29er advantage is proven. However, we know not every rider wants to ride a 29er; we will continue to serve the rider with a smaller wheel size. We are happy to introduce our first 650b bike, of course with experience and wheel size specific geometry, the Stumpjumper FSR EVO 650b. WHY 650b NOW? 650b has the advantage over 26” in traction, stability, & roll-over. Additionally, our priority is serving the riders, who have clearly asked for this type of bike. We are not slowing down one pedal stroke on 29-inch innovation, as we believe in 29ers. Nevertheless, there are two clear scenarios when a smaller wheel, that is potentially lighter & quicker accelerating, may make sense for some riders.
- Playful: When the rider wants to change directions slightly quicker. The smaller wheels on the 650b bike may feel a little more nimble. Don’t forget our modern 29er geometry still retains shorter rear ends than most companies’ 650b offerings.
- Size:When bike sizing or intimidation from taller wheels is an issue.We can make a 650b with more stand over clearance on certain models. There are also some riders, particularly newer riders, who might be intimidated by the look of the 29-inch wheel.