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  1. #51
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    In grade school, my brother and I rode what we called "clunkers" with 20" wheels in a dump.

    By 1974, wearing an ice hockey helmet, I was riding a Centurion 10 speed with 27 and 1/4 wheels on dirt where hunters poached.

    After buying my first 26" wheeler bike, Diamond Back Topanga, and being introduced to real mountain bike trail riding, think it was 1988, what I called ATB riding, became a weekly ritual.

    In 1996 I warranteed a broken plastic resin bike (early carbon fibre) for a Dean Ti Colonel 26" mountain bike. At the time, I considered this the ultimate expression of my devotion to mountain biking.

    Time passes.

    Around 2008 I started single speeding part time on a 26.

    In 2009 a friend sold me his fresh 1995 Dean Colonel Ti bike built single speed. Identical to my original Dean Ti, the bike became a part of me.

    I continue to single speed part time.

    Today, despite riding an incredible 27.5 plus carbon fiber full suspension from time to time, I find that the 26" fully rigid SS more rewarding to ride every time, even if it kills me.

    After all these years, that 26" wheel size does matter.


    Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk

  2. #52
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    I just jumped on my old 26" aluminum Schwinn with Maxxis tires for a bit today. After riding a 29er for awhile, the 26 felt so fun, even if it was a $100 bike. It felt tiny like a BMX. If I could magically appear at the top of the trail every ride, Id choose 26".

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD42 View Post
    Bought my Giant Warp DS3 in 2003 and have rebuilt and or upgraded ever since. It will be the bike I ride right until the end.
    The end of what? The world?
    Quote Originally Posted by NDD View Post
    Dude, I'm in Illinois. The only place anyone would come from that would say this area is hilly is Kansas.

  4. #54
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    cuz i cant afford a new bike worth more than my car. so have always bought used. and upgrade parts as i go. usually used also. my bike drops off, jumps, pumps, and hits berms to have a good time. dont care about strava any more. 27.5 wont make me jump further, jib sections harder. When the time comes i will buy a good condition used 650b rig. almost tempted to go 26 again with a used uprising.

  5. #55
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    Started in the early 90's on a Diamondback, gave it away late 90's, became a father in 2005 and got back into it in 2009 with a budget secondhand 26'er hardtail. Spent more and more time on bike with my son and loved it so that it got to the stage I had to upgrade his bike a couple of times over for size and mine for skills. I can't afford to drop $3k+ on new but for $1100 I got a very nicely specced 5" with a Pike fork, mainly XT components and 26" rims, I'm not fast enough to push this bike to its limits and at 45yo probably never will be. Could it be lighter, have bigger wheels or be more on trend in paint scheme??? Yeah but I don't care, I got better things to spend $$$ on like my boy and his younger brothers bikes in the next few years

  6. #56
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    Because no matter how fast I feel I am at times, 27.5 or 29 will not get me in the top 10 on strava trails I care about. Because those guys were still that much faster before 29 even hit the scene. Skills and experience count for way more than the 1% effeciency you gain.

  7. #57
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    Because my suspension is so dialed Bros....... my 26 feels 27.5

  8. #58
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    The end of me or the bike. Either until I can't ride any more or I break the bike beyond repair. At this point in time I think the bike will outlast me, I ride trails just not as crazy as I did 20'years ago.

  9. #59
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    well I am poor and put my bikes together with what I drug off for free or nearly free....I have bought a few new parts along the way, but nothing too spendy.... both are 26" with the newest of the 2 being a 1997, but it is really pieced together with what I could find....its my SS beater/commuter/city bike.... my other one is a 91 and it was fairly complete when I got it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26? What's the point??!!-bike-372.jpg  

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    97 specialized rockhopper.
    91 raleigh tangent

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD42 View Post
    Bought my Giant Warp DS3 in 2003 and have rebuilt and or upgraded ever since. It will be the bike I ride right until the end.
    Do you even ride that bike? It's so clean!

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by May73 View Post
    Bit like vinyl/CD/MP3; vinyl is growing in popularity nowadays thanks in part to nostalgia, but mostly to its superior audio quality
    It's a good analogy with bikes:
    The 26ers are come back in fashion in 10 years , people are gonna realize how fast and responsive they are compared to old 29ers.
    I had to order a custom made frame to keep a 26 setup ...... sad......


    PS : I know that we're in a bike forum but about the vinyl comeback :
    it is 75% nostalgia and 25% to be cool.
    Nothing about sound , in fact , the difference perceived in sound quality is mostly due to the higher distortion with vinyl. (if you compare to uncompressed digital sound)
    Distortion is giving "a certain sound" that digital doesn't have.
    Same thing with tube amps , certain people prefer them because of the higher distortion.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD42 View Post
    Bought my Giant Warp DS3 in 2003 and have rebuilt and or upgraded ever since. It will be the bike I ride right until the end.

    That looks sharp!!

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    It's a good analogy with bikes:
    The 26ers are come back in fashion in 10 years , people are gonna realize how fast and responsive they are compared to old 29ers.
    I had to order a custom made frame to keep a 26 setup ...... sad......


    PS : I know that we're in a bike forum but about the vinyl comeback :
    it is 75% nostalgia and 25% to be cool.
    Nothing about sound , in fact , the difference perceived in sound quality is mostly due to the higher distortion with vinyl. (if you compare to uncompressed digital sound)
    Distortion is giving "a certain sound" that digital doesn't have.
    Same thing with tube amps , certain people prefer them because of the higher distortion.
    this is why I didn't get rid of my 26. I like to ride both my 29+ and my 26...

    I like both albums and digital...when I "replaced" much of my vinyl with CD's, I didn't get rid of the vinyl. The CD's just allowed me to listen elsewhere other than my living room
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhopper97 View Post
    well I am poor and put my bikes together with what I drug off for free or nearly free....I have bought a few new parts along the way, but nothing too spendy.... both are 26" with the newest of the 2 being a 1997, but it is really pieced together with what I could find....its my SS beater/commuter/city bike.... my other one is a 91 and it was fairly complete when I got it
    That kangaroo pouch is epic

  15. #65
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    better said impossible Craig, Is right!

  16. #66
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    26" wheels make my schwanznoodle look bigger...


  17. #67
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    My bank account is not subject to fashion trends.
    The Knolly is a 26 and I don't think I'm going to outlast or "outskill" that frame. Shopping replacement rims now and have learned that I am woefully behind in my MTB wheel knowledge.
    Don't harsh my mello

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoolie View Post
    It seems like I'm usually waiting at the bottom of the hill, for my friends with bigger wheel bikes. Then I have to listen to them tell me I need a better bike. Funny.
    Attachment 1115103
    That was a huge f'in tree!! Nice bike BTW

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith462 View Post
    That was a huge f'in tree!! Nice bike BTW
    That is a huge tree!!! 26 is here to stay IMHO!!

  20. #70
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    I have a modern 27.5 and an old Trance X 26". I ride with buddies who have 27.5 or 29er Yetis, Treks, Banshees and Giants. I've had the opportunity to ride their bikes and my old 26 back to back. It always blows my mind how light a cheap aluminum 26 Trance X frame is compared to the 'modern' 27.5 Trance frames. I know they gained some suspension (125mm vs 140mm) but wow they got fat. Most of my riding could be done on a 100mm XC bike so my older Trance X3 suits it just fine - and is light, and was very cheap.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by akiracornell View Post
    Because no matter how fast I feel I am at times, 27.5 or 29 will not get me in the top 10 on strava trails I care about. Because those guys were still that much faster before 29 even hit the scene. Skills and experience count for way more than the 1% effeciency you gain.
    Because all the pros race on 26ers now? Umm, not. They ride 29ers to be slower, nope.

  22. #72
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    Maybe the trails he cares about aren't the type of trails that they run pro XC races on?

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  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    Because all the pros race on 26ers now? Umm, not. They ride 29ers to be slower, nope.
    The pros are all sponsored and ride what the manufacturers give them. I don't ride them for the same reason I don't road bike, they suck the joy out of riding.

    For fun factor 26 is king!

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

  24. #74
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    For me it's simply I cannot afford a new bike, so I make sure not to demo or ride anything that may be better than what I have, otherwise I will want one.

    I have bought used for the last 10 years, and will likely keep doing so because I can't afford new bikes anymore.

    I bought a used Giant Trance X3 26er a couple years ago and will likely still have it for a long time!

  25. #75
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    Here is something interesting. I ride with a SS 26". I don't ride with groups. I am just starting out in MTB since I have been a roadie for over 7 years and into local racing for 4 years. I don't ride with groups and so I have no peer pressures. LOL I could be riding a $5k FS bike and no one would care or know. I am not good enough to race MTB. So, it would make no sense to follow the pro trend. Around here, NYC Long Island, the trails can easily be ridden with a SS!!!!! No hills or mountains. Mostly technical single track.

  26. #76
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    I started riding bikes off road in the 70's.
    When mtn bikes were first being invented (progress was reported/documented in the BMX rags of the day) they went through all this wheel size experimentation... and 26" won and reigned for 20 years.
    OK, that aside.
    I bought a new off the rack RM Slayer in 2014 for dirt cheap because 27.5 was on the rise.
    At 5'6" in height and riding a small frame, I really don't need the extra wheel base, stand over or bar height associated with the larger hoops. The bike has modern geometry, modern suspension and modern drivetrain. I ride technical (rough hiking trails) terrain where DH bike suspension is welcome (nearly required), and no longer care about climbing, so long as I get to the top I'm good, however I like to let it rip and play on the descents.
    I have no desire to go to a bigger(sloppier?) bike.
    I rode xc on a 29'r once. I see why they are popular, but still have no desire to own one.
    My bike, Slayer 70

  27. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgto View Post
    Do you even ride that bike? It's so clean!
    I do ride that bike. I wipe it down after riding and I don't crash. That's the idea right to keep the rubber side down. Plus the picture was taken right after I had finished the last upgrade and cleaned it up.

  28. #78
    Braille Riding Instructor
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    Great thread.

    When I am faster, it's because I am fitter and riding more. I'm obviously much slower climbing at 225 pounds than at 195 pounds; the size of the wheels surrounding me aren't much of a factor.

    But we sometimes grow bored with our toys, so after 10 seasons on 26-inch hardtails, I jumped into a squishy 650b last year. It's been a blast, but I also kept my hardtail and still use it.

    Ride what you like and love what you ride. Spend the money if it motivates you to ride more or if there is some other need to address (e.g., comfort, changes in style or terrain), but don't for a moment think the advantages or disadvantages between the wheelsizes are statistically significant for the Average Joe. In most cases, we're talking about seconds, not hours or even minutes.

  29. #79
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    Well played, sir! I like the bike I have and don't plan on changing just because of some 'new' wheel sizes. Enjoying myself is paramount. Everything else is secondary and inconsequential.
    I also read an interwebz blurb not too long ago claiming 26 is a good choice if you plan on touring in parts of the world not likely to have a large selection of wheel sizes.

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrugStoreCowboy View Post
    That looks sharp!!
    Thanks, I fell in love with it isn 2003, then didn't ride much over the next 4-5 years. I have gotten back into it and parts started to break or weren't as efficient as they once were so I rebuilt it. It is such a better bike than it was before. The modern suspension & components have really made it even more enjoyable than it already was.

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