jenngordon
Hello. I’m about to pull the plug on a big purchase and would like to hear from anyone who is familiar with these specific bikes or companies. The price and chosen components are fairly comparable and my research has me leaning toward the Honey. Also, does riding 650b tires make a difference and what do you feel on the bike?
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pauley
Honestly I don't see how you could go wrong with either one of these choices. Also consider a Gunnar which as you may know is a division of Waterford. I know someone who had a Gunnar that he said rode nicer than his CF Parlee which was considerably more expensive.
Have not ridden 650b. It is a personal preference and you'd just have to try it out I think to see if you like it better than 700c.
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imwjl
I have to confess having some bias or a warm spot for Waterford because I’ve known and met their associates and owners over a long time. I know someone who has their bikes made by them. Above all I’ve never seen or ridden or touched one that’s not been great. Around this time last year I saw Richard Schwinn with with some really neat bikes that were not as conservative as most Waterford and Gunnar models.

This is personal but I’d only go with smaller wheels if the bike frame to work with my own frame had a hard time fitting bigger wheels. I’ve only wanted smaller wheels for my dirt jumper once the bike industry got big wheel bikes handling well and I got used to the higher axle height. I’ve also got big wheel bias from proximity to Trek engineers testing things. I have been around it and one time had a session with the Trek engineers having as same as possible bike, wheels and tires in 29 and 650B. Day two was after a little rain. I noticed climbing out of a slightly wet spot was no slipping with the larger diameter tire.

On the 650Bs, I tried the Gorilla Monsoon bike when we were shopping for a second drop bar do it all bike. I rode our Fargo with bigger wheels to the shop for back to back comparison. Later I tried it against the Sutra Ltd we have. I could not imagine wanting that bike with smaller 650B wheels if you can fit on a bike with larger ones. I would not want to give up the roll over and traction advantages. The other thing that was obvious is a drop bar bike is not playful like a MTB so you can’t get all the fun aspect of smaller wheels.

A tiny associate is my best argument for the 650B wheels. She’s had custom frames so her bikes are not all wheel. My wife’s almost a foot taller. A wide 650B could give her what my taller wife has with 29r Fargo.

The most important is ride a bunch of bikes. It’s not like it was for most of my life. Now there are so many models, sizes and manufacturers.

One other thing comes to mind with custom. I’ve done that twice in life. I tended to baby the bikes because of paint alone. Now I love a bike where you do all you can to wear everything out.

Have fun no matter what you do. Go try the different wheel sizes yourself even if it’s not the custom bike you order. I’ve said what I like and why but you need to know how the wheels and bikes behave yourself.

:)
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