While the rest of the country freezes their butt off, So Cal mountain bikers are enjoying quite a warm winter. Warm winter=more riding! To up the winter fun factor, I’ve been riding Nashbar’s Bee’s Knees 650b single speed fully rigid bicycle.
Calling this bike a “beginner entry level” bike would be a mistake, the $499.00 may say otherwise but I would not recommend this bike to a person who’s just entering the sport. Why? First of all, the bike needs to be re-geared to be more “knee” friendly for mountain biking, the 32X18 gearing seems to be working fine for most people that have ridden the bike. Another reason why this bike would appeal to a more seasoned rider is that this bike is quite customizable and adding middle of the line parts that maybe gathering dust from a previous upgrade would be an decent upgrade to this bike.
One look at the spec sheet and it easy to see that this bike comes with mostly no-name parts such the saddle, seatpost, bars and the cranks. These parts do attribute to the heaviness of the bicycle. However, it is nice to see that the bike does come with Avid mechanical brakes and Kenda Nevegal tires.
What is the appeal of this bike? It’s a singlespeed 650b bike! As I mentioned on my first impression, I love Singlespeed bikes for their simplicity and how challenging they can be to ride.
How does it ride? Having had experience with both 26″ and 29″ singlespeed bikes, the 650b has blown me away. The bike is nimble, the steering does not feel heavy like a 29er, the lower center of gravity on the 650b does not feel that you are riding too high and once you get rolling, the momentum that 29ers have over a 26er is also present on a 650b bicycle. The choice of tires on this bike help out a lot, Nevegals are a superb all-around tire and that helps the bicycle track with easiness in all kinds of terrain.
The Bee’s Knees is no racing machine by any means, but the fun factor of this bike scores highly on my scale. I really like riding this bike even though it can beat me up sometimes and it also has proven to be very reliable with zero problems and zero chain drops. Another great reason to ride a singlespeed bicycle is that it increases one’s stamina and physical condition and it is great for losing the weight you gathered during the holiday season.
If you are wanting an inexpensive singlespeed with 650b tires, you should really consider the Bee’s Knees, it surpassed my expectations.