Yes, 27.5-inch wheels (aka 650b) are invading the downhill category. KHS rider Logan Binggeli has been testing versions of this 27.5 DH bike for several weeks and was so impressed he chose to ride it at last weekend’s Red Bull Rampage. Building around the new mid-size wheels, KHS lowered the bottom bracket .25 inches, reduced the head angle by half a degree to 63.5, shortened the chainstay .5 inches and extended the front center—the effective toptube is 2 inches longer than its existing DH platform. In downhill testing, KHS team manager Quinton Spaulding said the 27.5 bike was five seconds faster than a similar 26-inch version over a four-minute DH course.
KHS Factory Team Manager Quinton Spaulding is totally psyched about 650b wheels for downhill racing. He told us that based on his prototype testing, the tween wheels offer traction advantages with no compromise in handling. “Nothing lost, only gained,” was his executive summary.
KHS is fully committed to the production of an all-new DH650b model, based on the suspension platform used on the company’s current DH300 bike (shown here). The first production bikes are due off the line in about six weeks. Look for KHS rider Logan Binggeli to pilot the DH650b at the upcoming Red Bull Rampage in Virgin River, Utah.
The plan is to have the Factory Team riders thoroughly test the DH650b throughout the end of the 2012 and into 2013, with an anticipated release to the public in late 2013 or early 2014.