Update: MEZZO 650B Test Ride

Update: Our newest hardtail will be called MEZZO 650B. Mezzo means 'middle' in Latin and the name is fitting since the 650B wheel size (27.5") sits in the middle of popular 26" and 29" wheel sizes. The website has been updated to include more information about this unique frame. Click link below:


------------------Test Ride Report-------------------

Today Rob and I headed out for a quick loop on Rocky Ridge, a local trail with a nice mixture of climbing and descending. Since the ride is short with a rocky descent, I thought it would be a good (albeit brief) testing ground for the new 650B prototype. Weather was cool with overcast skies; the trails were tacky with some muddy sections.

So how was it? The ride was enjoyable even though climbing was hindered by excessive mud buildup on the Pacenti Neo Motos. On the main climb, the 650 wheels felt similar to 26" wheels and my out of shape butt managed to make it all the way to the top without too much drama. I need to mention that the geometry of this new frame is identical to similar 26" frames I've designed in the past. Chainstays remained tight and both head and seat angles are a little slack like all my trail hardtails. Here are the specs:

Fork Length: 19.055" [484mm]
Fork Rake: 1.732" [44mm]
Head Angle: 70 deg
Seat Angle: 72.5 deg
Top Tube (eff): 24" [610mm]
Chainstay: 16.9" [429mm]
BB Height: 12.375" [314mm]

Once downhill sections started, most of the mud flew off and traction was more predictable. The larger diameter wheels rolled over rocky sections with ease and I felt immediately confident on the bike. Since I've ridden many incarnations of my aluminum frames, this baby felt stable and well-balanced the minute I hopped on the WTB Laser V saddle.

Rob seemed to have fun too until a little slip on the descent caused him to spill. After dusting off, we were back on our way through some serious mud sections. Rob's steel frame (finished in 'Larry Bird' green and pictured below) shed the cake-like mud very well and his post-ride cleanup won't be nearly as involved as mine!

Why is this bike nicknamed Dirty Harry? Because this 650's first ride was a dirty one that started at 650 Harry Road! I'm looking forward to taking this bike over to UC Santa Cruz and Wilder Ranch for a more extended ride as soon as I can...stay tuned for more updates.