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View Full Version : Any experience with Nashbar's Bee's Knees 650b?


kevinvc
06-17-2013, 04:58 PM
Nashbar manufactures a 650b mountain bike they've labeled the Bee's Knees. It comes in either a single speed steel version or an aluminum 2x10. The components are solid entry level stuff that is a better build at the price point than anything else I've seen.

They also have a one-day 20% off deal that drops the price to around $1,000 total. I hate the concept of buying sight-unseen, but they also have a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee.

Anyone have experience with their self-named line?

Thanks!

rnhood
06-17-2013, 06:08 PM
I would avoid a 650 bike. Get a 29. A 650 with 2.4 tire has the same diameter as the 29 wheel with 2.2 tire. 650 doesn't buy you anything. if you need travel, then get a 26. 650 is just a compromise wheel that combines the worst attributes of two systems, not the better.

Bikerist
06-18-2013, 06:12 AM
Go for it! Myself and 3 other friends have all ridden various Nashbar branded bikes. The tourer and a couple of the road bikes they have offered over the years.

I suspect you will be pleased with the look of the frame and simply amazed by how well it rides.

kevinvc
06-18-2013, 10:22 AM
I decided to hold off; rnhood scared me with his response. :)

I'm really not sure if I want a 650 or 29er and don't want to make a purchase until I have a better idea of what will work best for me long term. It seems as if 650b is slowly supplanting 26", but it's not widely available right now in the lower price point.

pinkshogun
06-18-2013, 10:28 AM
most of the local experienced mountain bikers have cashed in their 26'ers for 29'ers and have not looked back

many on single speeds, 1 x 9,10 drivetrains, many using no suspension at all.

Liv2RideHard
06-18-2013, 10:45 AM
I decided to hold off; rnhood scared me with his response. :)

I'm really not sure if I want a 650 or 29er and don't want to make a purchase until I have a better idea of what will work best for me long term. It seems as if 650b is slowly supplanting 26", but it's not widely available right now in the lower price point.

I have a different take on 650. It all depends on your style of riding, the terrain and your size. I know dudes racing both and loving both. I personally ride and race a 26er. I would have gone 650 with my new MTB but I just couldnt afford new parts plus my 26er stuff is high end. I am about 5'8" with a 30'ish" inseam. IMO I am not a good candidate for 29" wheels. Plus the singletrack I race is tight and not real flowy. Big wheels would not help in real tight singletrack where I have to constantly scrub speed and accelerate out of the saddle all the time. I like the snappiness and responsiveness of a 26er. I have buddies that complain about their sluggish 29ers and they have nice bikes. Just not for me. Dont knock it and take one persons opinion...an opinion that I do not agree with.

rice rocket
06-18-2013, 11:00 AM
I would avoid a 650 bike. Get a 29. A 650 with 2.4 tire has the same diameter as the 29 wheel with 2.2 tire. 650 doesn't buy you anything. if you need travel, then get a 26. 650 is just a compromise wheel that combines the worst attributes of two systems, not the better.

Did you see which bike has been winning UCI XC World Cups since it's inception? :p (yeah yeah, it's about the rider, not the bike...but if it's as bad as you say it is, how is winning possible?)

Anyways, ride what you want. 650b is a great compromise for tight singletrack that requires more agility. My Trek 29er felt like a steamboat in the forest.

Oh...back to the original topic, the Bees Knees is a weird bike, especially with their weird down tube. I'm not a big fan of the look, although I'm sure it rides fine.

Likes2ridefar
06-18-2013, 01:30 PM
I decided to hold off; rnhood scared me with his response. :)

I'm really not sure if I want a 650 or 29er and don't want to make a purchase until I have a better idea of what will work best for me long term. It seems as if 650b is slowly supplanting 26", but it's not widely available right now in the lower price point.

for what it's worth, rnhood's response isn't what most people that I know who have ridden or ride one think about 650b.

I'm not really for certain it's true, but I see 650b as a way to generate new bike sales with a new buzz word. It was 29er a few years ago and now it's that.

Skenry
06-18-2013, 02:25 PM
No knowledge of the Bee's Knees but I've had an old Nashbar frame (years ago) and it was a finely made frame. Nice paint, good quality.

I'm sorry I sold it.

I've looked at the Bee's Knees singlespeed and almost bought it just cause its neat and to try a 650b.

blilrat
06-18-2013, 02:30 PM
I tried a 29er, but as a shorter rider, I never felt comfortable on it. Then I converted a 26er to 650B and can't imagine ever changing back. I feel the opposite of rnhood - it combines the best of both bikes. Rooty/rocky sections are smoother than my 26er and twisty/tight sections are faster than the 29er.

I can't speak for current Nashbar bikes, but my first road bike was a Nashbar branded road bike with Cyclone components that I rode on and off for over 25 years.

avalonracing
06-18-2013, 02:31 PM
for what it's worth, rnhood's response isn't what most people that I know who have ridden or ride one think about 650b.

I'm not really for certain it's true, but I see 650b as a way to generate new bike sales with a new buzz word. It was 29er a few years ago and now it's that.

I'm going to skip right to 642b and ride that for a while as the industry slowly works it's way back to 26".

crossjunkee
06-18-2013, 02:44 PM
I wasted 1.5 years trying to "adjust" to a 29er, switched back to 26" last year. I've ridden several 650b bikes, but didn't really see the advantage there either. I guess that's the beauty of choices. For me, nothing handles as well as a 26" bike.

markie
06-18-2013, 03:00 PM
Hi Kevin, how tall are you? Some short folks prefer smaller wheels.

Personally I am nearly 5'11" and once I rode a 29er I sold all my 26ers. The trails are rocky here and I see a lot of my buddies now on 29ers. I don't see the point of an in between size myself...

Plus at that price you can probably do better.

kevinvc
06-18-2013, 06:01 PM
Thanks for all the input.

I'm 5' 10" and a very inexperienced mt. biker. I live in Oregon, so most of my riding will be fire roads and forested single track rather than dry, sandy and rocky. I might do the occasional short track race here and there. I rode a 29er for a bit last year and didn't really care for it, but that was at least partially (if not wholly) due to the fact that it was a size too large for me. I'm thinking between 17" and 19" would be a good fit depending on the individual bike.

Right now I'm thinking I'll focus on trying to find a decent used 29er. That will give me something to ride and in a year or so I should have a better idea of what type of bike best suits my style and needs. It will also give the 650b market a little more time to mature in case I decide to go in that direction.

rnhood
06-18-2013, 06:29 PM
Right now I'm thinking I'll focus on trying to find a decent used 29er. That will give me something to ride and in a year or so I should have a better idea of what type of bike best suits my style and needs. It will also give the 650b market a little more time to mature in case I decide to go in that direction.

An excellent idea Kevin. And don't hold your breath waiting for 650 to mature. It isn't going to happen. Go try a good 17" 29'er and you'll never look back.

markie
06-18-2013, 06:43 PM
an excellent idea kevin. And don't hold your breath waiting for 650 to mature. It isn't going to happen. Go try a good 17" 29'er and you'll never look back.

+1

avalonracing
06-18-2013, 07:02 PM
And don't hold your breath waiting for 650 to mature. It isn't going to happen .

Until the market saturates and the big bike companies tell us that all the cool kids are riding 650b.

gdw
06-18-2013, 07:22 PM
You guys are all behind the curve... 36ers are the future.

kevinvc
06-18-2013, 08:57 PM
Is that guy in the picture using 26" rims as his brake rotors?

charliedid
06-18-2013, 09:34 PM
I would avoid a 650 bike. Get a 29. A 650 with 2.4 tire has the same diameter as the 29 wheel with 2.2 tire. 650 doesn't buy you anything. if you need travel, then get a 26. 650 is just a compromise wheel that combines the worst attributes of two systems, not the better.

What?

avalonracing
06-18-2013, 10:07 PM
What?

You know something... "What?" is a great reply to the quoted text. Really.

Liv2RideHard
06-19-2013, 03:07 AM
An excellent idea Kevin. And don't hold your breath waiting for 650 to mature. It isn't going to happen. Go try a good 17" 29'er and you'll never look back.

Man there are plenty of options on the market right now. You can't be serious. Rims and tires are already out there. Most forks have the clearance. I looked back and decided a 26er made the most sense for me.

MrDangerPants
06-19-2013, 07:13 AM
I would avoid a 650 bike. Get a 29. A 650 with 2.4 tire has the same diameter as the 29 wheel with 2.2 tire. 650 doesn't buy you anything. if you need travel, then get a 26. 650 is just a compromise wheel that combines the worst attributes of two systems, not the better.

I was going to call you an idiot, but after much deliberation, will just say you're grossly misinformed.

I decided to hold off; rnhood scared me with his response. :)

You might benefit from getting advice from people that have actually ridden (and own) 650B, and not from those who haven't. I've been riding 650B since 2010 and it works quite well for me. If you ever want an informed review, I would be more than happy to share my thoughts offline. Also, visit the MTBR site as they have a 650B specific forum. Obviously, the only way you will know if any wheel size is perfect for you is to throw a leg over a bike.

jeduardo
06-19-2013, 08:18 AM
Thanks for posting Mr. DangerP, because I was waiting to see just when "one of us" long-time 650b riders would weigh in on this thread. Though I thought it was going to be mmcg (mark), who posts on P-line often, I was rather glad to hear from you.
As a longtime 650b owner/proponent, just shy of 4 years now, I appreciate that somebody is willing to aid the OP with some solid information, not just hater-nonsense. 650b SS & FS trail (med travel) bikes handle so well in the NE woods and IMO their tight trail handling benefits far outweigh the current disadvantage relative to the limited component choices/availability.
This French+Japanese "FAD" wheelsize which has been used successfully since the later part of the 50's.
As Danger suggested, OP and others who wish more informed info, go to the MTBR 650b/27.5 Forum threads (my bikes/posts are under umassracer)



I was going to call you an idiot, but after much deliberation, will just say you're grossly misinformed.



You might benefit from getting advice from people that have actually ridden (and own) 650B, and not from those who haven't. I've been riding 650B since 2010 and it works quite well for me. If you ever want an informed review, I would be more than happy to share my thoughts offline. Also, visit the MTBR site as they have a 650B specific forum. Obviously, the only way you will know if any wheel size is perfect for you is to throw a leg over a bike.

charliedid
06-19-2013, 08:28 AM
You know something... "What?" is a great reply to the quoted text. Really.

Huh?

avalonracing
06-19-2013, 08:40 AM
Huh?

Okay, sonny... give the computer back to your dad. He needs it.

charliedid
06-19-2013, 08:54 AM
Okay, sonny... give the computer back to your dad. He needs it.

That my friend, is an excellent reply to a quoted text.

559Rando
06-19-2013, 11:37 AM
A 650 with 2.4 tire has the same diameter as the 29 wheel with 2.2 tire.

How did you calculate that? 650B (please always, always say 650B not 650 - there is 650A, 650B, 650C) has a 584mm BSD (that's Bead Seat Diameter). The BSD for "29er" and 700C is 622mm.

So...
584mm + 2*60.96mm = 705.92mm
622mm + 2*55.88mm = 733.76mm

The difference is 27.84mm. That's more than an inch.

An excellent idea Kevin. And don't hold your breath waiting for 650 to mature. It isn't going to happen.

What do you mean by mature? Why won't that happen?

PS I'm not being snarky; I really don't follow.

Netdewt
12-29-2013, 03:27 PM
Bumping an old thread.

I have also noticed the Bees Knees. It seems like a good "in". Has anyone ridden one? Most of this thread is discussion on the wheel size. I am 5'11.5", and I hated my 30+lb 26er Specialized, but 29er wheels look huge to me.