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  1. #1
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    26? What's the point??!!

    I'm really interested in hearing what you love about your obsolete hoops. Okay I'll admit... I'm one of those people who bucks the tide, goes against the grain. I have issues with authority. I'll prove I can do it on 26" just because I can.

    Me first:
    I've got the "Magic Bike". The One. It may not be your first choice, it may not be ultra-fancy or expensive...but when I sit down, and reach out...my hands rest exactly where they need to be. My fingers contact my levers at exactly the right points. My ride takes off like a rocket and effortlessly soars with a smile. My hoops are stout, I never second-guess a landing.

    I may exert my authority over my cockpit when traversing rocky, gnarly flats...but I get through them. The benefits outweigh the deficit.

    That's me. That's my 26" preference.
    Last edited by chelboed; 01-06-2017 at 12:50 PM.

  2. #2
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    I love mine because it's what I have and it's paid for

  3. #3
    > /dev/null 2&>1
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    Agree with White: They're paid for, and they're still round and stuff.

  4. #4
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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    Lighter and currently a bargain to buy or build and they work... I don't think I'll ever race again, I have no desire to drop a few grand on a new bike probably ever again.

    Current 26's, 2 are semi-permanently being used by other family members:
    2012 Santa Cruz Blur LT2
    2008 Specialized Epic Marathon
    2008 Trek Fuel 9
    99 Bontrager Privateer Comp
    97 Bontrager Privateer S
    96 Bontrager Privateer Comp
    96 Voodoo Djab Single Speed

    I have never found a 27.5 or 29er that resembles the snappy feeling of these older XC bikes. And it's funny, I lend 2 of the bontragers to friends routinely, and there's almost always the look of shock when they ride one the first time. The way the bike moves with you seemingly without any effort is something that has escaped most modern setups, and even escaped most older setups.

    If I were to get a newer bike, I'd be looking at a Salsa El Mariachi Titanium, however, it's not exactly new since they stopped making the ti version a few years ago. There's a few others, also titanium, 27.5 or 29ers I've looked at but long shot at this moment. The Salsa Bucksaw carbon looks like a blast, and if I still lived in Colorado, I'd seriously consider one, but it's no use to me living down in Texas now.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Procter View Post
    Agree with White: They're paid for, and they're still round and stuff.
    Round seems to be the predominant wheel shape thus far. Can't wait for the new pentagonal stuff to come to market! (Hey, if someone has to try to reinvent the wheel, might as well go the whole way.)

  6. #6
    Cycologist
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    I love mine because they are bikes. They were fun when 26 was the standard and they are fun now, when they are no longer the standard; nothing has changed. I love my 29er as well as it is also a bike, but it definitely feels bigger, sometimes a good thing, sometimes not. I don't need to spend a lot of money on a bike or for the latest gear/trend as the increase in fun factor would be very minimal, if at all.
    "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -Douglas Adams.

  7. #7
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    I like the dialogue on this one.

    Often times I begin with wanting to stay with my platform because of money and what I have invested in the platform. This gives way now and then to some pretty "out-there" upgrades to keep my platform. (Hypocritical, or counterproductive?)

    This last time cost me dang near the cost of a Dragonslayer 26+ or 27.5+ when it was all said and done.

    But I'll be happier with this I think.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    I'm really interested in hearing what you love about your obsolete hoops. Okay I'll admit... I'm one of those people who bucks the tide, goes against the grain. I have issues with authority. I'll prove I can do it on 26" just because I can.
    ... because if you have a 26" that you like there is no reason on earth to spend thousands to get a 27" ...

  9. #9
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    They're for kids ^^

    Sent from my kltedv using Tapatalk
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  10. #10
    Sneaker man
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    There's a number of reasons...
    I got into riding in early 90's so everything from then is better of course...
    I've got my GT Xizang, this is my dream bike,I always wanted one. now it's not perfect, V-brakes work fine(but discs are better) and it probably doesn't fit me perfectly,maybe a bit long (or maybe i'm a bit fat, more like). But it looks gorgeous and I love it and is perfectly fine for most of my riding.
    Then I have my GT Zaskar, this was my original dream bike back in 92 until I discovered the Xizang existed,mines a reissue, so 4inch fork and discs... it fits me perfectly and handles amazingly, so far there is nothing I can't do that I can do on my 5inch 650b FS bike
    Then I have my Yeti ARC, nice bike, comfy, looks cool, probably also doesn't fit that well like the Xizang but it gets by fine.

    Some other things I like about these bikes, well I own them so thats great, they all tick my boxes a cool things, lots of parts have been on every at least 2 bikes (wheels, drivetrains, forks, brakes). I can take any part and put on any other bike (apart from brakes to the Xizang or seatpoles to the Zaskar) they are all pretty much the same standards.

    Only reason I bought a 650b FS bike in 2015 was well, 29er look silly and getting a new 26in XC FS bike is like impossible.
    All the gear and no idea.

  11. #11
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    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26? What's the point??!!-img_0052.jpg  

    26? What's the point??!!-img_0046.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Because they are the 125cc 2-Strokes of the MTB world
    Costs keep going up up up for the newest must haves.
    All things being equal, yes some of the virtues of the 27.5 & 29 platforms may help or perform bettering some situations, but at end of day when I'm out on my 26 with a group of people skill and endurance are factors WAY before the bike itself.
    I do get a little nervous at times about availability of the newest designs and quality in tires more then anything.
    And there is that special feeling if you do kill a section, or destroy someone on the newest high dollar machines!

  13. #13
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    26inch wheels help keep me sharp and my skill up. Riding a hardtail on top of that really helps with my core fitness. I love to feel the trail I'm riding..... I get all this with my 26 inch bikes. I don't buy the hype and never will. I understand the smooth feeling of a 29er on the trail and understand its place for some the 27.5/650b thing is kind of a head scratcher for me. I am also well aware and understand its the rider not the bike all my friends have high dollar very expensive 29ers and 27.5 full suspensions except one has a hardtail titanium 29er and I'm the fastest of the group on my 26 by a long way on the climbs and the flats its not even close. We did a standing down hill on payment I was on my single speed 26 we coasted down this road no peddling my bike put a 20ft gap on everyone by the time we hit the bottom of the hill. thing is the 29er math that critics are shoving down my throat doesn't seem to add up when I'm out riding hence why I don't buy the hype its that simple for me. Ride what you want and be happy just don't drop the wheel size I love because everyone else thinks I should ride wagon wheels. It's gotten so bad that I bring my bike in for its free annual tune at the bike shop and they try to sell my a 29er by telling me my bike is obsolete.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26? What's the point??!!-wp_20141015_11_02_14_raw_fotor-1.jpg  


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmike24 View Post
    26inch wheels help keep me sharp and my skill up. Riding a hardtail on top of that really helps with my core fitness. I love to feel the trail I'm riding..... I get all this with my 26 inch bikes. I don't buy the hype and never will. I understand the smooth feeling of a 29er on the trail and understand its place for some the 27.5/650b thing is kind of a head scratcher for me. I am also well aware and understand its the rider not the bike all my friends have high dollar very expensive 29ers and 27.5 full suspensions except one has a hardtail titanium 29er and I'm the fastest of the group on my 26 by a long way on the climbs and the flats its not even close. We did a standing down hill on payment I was on my single speed 26 we coasted down this road no peddling my bike put a 20ft gap on everyone by the time we hit the bottom of the hill. thing is the 29er math that critics are shoving down my throat doesn't seem to add up when I'm out riding hence why I don't buy the hype its that simple for me. Ride what you want and be happy just don't drop the wheel size I love because everyone else thinks I should ride wagon wheels. It's gotten so bad that I bring my bike in for its free annual tune at the bike shop and they try to sell my a 29er by telling me my bike is obsolete.
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  15. #15
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    I have a 27.5 enduro bike with 160mm fork and 150mm rear travel and its quite fun for most things.
    However I come primary from a dirt jump, slopestyle, and dual slalom racing background. In which 26" is still tending to be a norm,
    Unfortunately I out grow my dirt jump and old slopestype bikes so moving to a enduring was a new thing to ride all forms of terrain and get into singletrack. After about 4 months riding the Ft Force X I have started to love single track riding but still feel a little piece missing, especially when I go to a pumptrack or dirt jump park. Because of this I went out and bought a 27.5 hardtail frame that I am building with old parts so this means I am going to run 26" wheels on it, this isn't that big of a deal for me because I'm going to use it for racing dual slalom and riding dirt jumps again. So in my eyes 26 is dead for some but not all parts of the sport.

  16. #16
    650b me
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    It's all about the feel. 26" wheels spin up quicker and slow down faster. They're more flickable. I can steer with my hips on descents. They're so responsive, they feel telepathic. I think it, and they do it. Yes, they force you to make better line selections, but that's part of the fun for me. It's cliche now, but 26" wheels are like a sports car; as you go up in size, they become more like monster trucks.

    Or I could just summarize and say I have more fun on 26" wheeled bikes.

  17. #17
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    My 26er has bigger wheels than my 650b bike... So it's not size. Its also taller and larger in general.

    It's a cost thing, or a nostalgia thing.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmike24 View Post
    26inch wheels help keep me sharp and my skill up. Riding a hardtail on top of that really helps with my core fitness. I love to feel the trail I'm riding..... I get all this with my 26 inch bikes. I don't buy the hype and never will. I understand the smooth feeling of a 29er on the trail and understand its place for some the 27.5/650b thing is kind of a head scratcher for me. I am also well aware and understand its the rider not the bike all my friends have high dollar very expensive 29ers and 27.5 full suspensions except one has a hardtail titanium 29er and I'm the fastest of the group on my 26 by a long way on the climbs and the flats its not even close. We did a standing down hill on payment I was on my single speed 26 we coasted down this road no peddling my bike put a 20ft gap on everyone by the time we hit the bottom of the hill. thing is the 29er math that critics are shoving down my throat doesn't seem to add up when I'm out riding hence why I don't buy the hype its that simple for me. Ride what you want and be happy just don't drop the wheel size I love because everyone else thinks I should ride wagon wheels. It's gotten so bad that I bring my bike in for its free annual tune at the bike shop and they try to sell my a 29er by telling me my bike is obsolete.
    Well said. I am always entertained by riding mine. I am aware of the 26" deficiencies in some situations, but I don't ride in an area where they are exposed. Rather, I expose the deficencies of the riders of these bikes as I believe it is more a head thing than ability. And besides, someone in the industry made a lot of money in the con of all of this. And I don't feel the need to support the 'con'.

    Eric
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  19. #19
    Dave's not here.
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    I still have and ride a 26er because I have no interest in bigger, "better" wheels. I have no interest in KOMs. I have no interest in pissing matches in parking lots about who spent the most on their bike (and still can't ride it for shit). I have no faith in the bike industry anymore. I have been riding a 26er for a better part of 20 years and am still able to manage just fine. And, most importantly, I am too old to give a shit about new fads and such. I simply ride what I have and enjoy the hell out of it.
    Craig

  20. #20
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    26ers are better for pumping, jumping, and have stronger wheels, all things being equal. Better thru quick chicanes. Better for trials type maneuvers. Better at most of the things that exemplify great riding.

    I ride 26 because it's better at the things that I value most in riding. Because I'll gladly sacrifice 5 seconds/lap in rolling efficiency for a bike that is a bit funner and more dynamic.

  21. #21
    650b me
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    Loving so many of these responses! Keep up the 26" passion.

  22. #22
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    i 26 cuz i absolutely and unequivocally give minusfks and they still make minions in 26.

  23. #23
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    I will admit, my 26er SS is b'ed. However, the other rides are 26" skinnies and fatties. Also, I'm building a 26 SS wheelset that will work in both my geared and as another wheelset for my MUSS. I put together a NOS '07 RMB Blizzard a few years ago with some nice parts on the cheap. It's the bike I always wanted and that hasn't changed. The 26 fatties just make the winter easier. 26 is working, why change?
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  24. #24
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    yes...

    twenty s'xers are sixy
    ...

  25. #25
    noob bikepacker
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    I don't feel like my (the) 26er is obsolete...it is just not trendy now.

    Mine was part of my bike evolution:

    BMX-20"
    first MTB - 26"
    most recent MTB - 29+

    none have replaced the others. they ALL get ridden for different applications...AND, they all get ridden for the same applications. My BMX sees just as much time on the trails as my 29+ does at the skatepark. Granted, the 29+ at the skatepark gets more weird looks than the BMX on the dirt trails....
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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  26. #26
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    I would love to buy a new bike unfortunately the bike industry has dropped me as a potential consumer. I guess its custom builds from now on for me

  27. #27
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    I went to a local trail last year with 2 of my friends and they brought along another guy I had never met before he had a really nice 29er and he was all kitted up he rides alot and does race. This was a flowy trail double track with short climbs and smooth high bank sweeping turns you can carry lots of speed without slowing much. The guys on the big wheels just couldn't hang and after about half way through the ride the guy I had never met pipes up and says you have a unfair advantage REALLY!!!! Since when does anyone give 26ers have an advantage over anything now days. I was having so much fun popping off short whoops and just laying down the power feeling the immediate power transfer out of the turns then slamming the remote lockout grabbing my bar ends getting out of the saddle and destroying the climbs actually pulling a wheelie while cresting the hills...... just nothing like it!!!!
    I want to add one for thing its a travesty that some smaller riders have never even ridden a 26 inch mountain bike and have no idea what I'm talking about.

  28. #28
    Maaaaan
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    Better is relative.
    I have a older Mountain Cycle Fury which is 26" with very nice components.
    Why would I want to spend upwards of $3000 to get crappy stuff that wears quicker etc.
    The mountain bike industry is so far up it's ass in "Robber Baron" mode right now, that if my frame breaks, I'll probably stick to pavement.
    Communist Party Member Since 1917.

  29. #29
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    I purchased my 2012 Spec. SX Trail (26er) in 2013 for a damn good price. The only thing "out of date" on my bike is the wheel size. They got the geometry perfect, in my opinion. 65 degree HA, low BB, fairly steep ST angle. I can climb all day on this bike (and have, many times) and it descends like a modern DH bike. Suspension performance has not gotten better since 2012, in fact, it topped-out a long time ago. If you ask me, the dropper-post has been the single biggest advance in the sport in the last decade and a half.

    On local climbs, I pass the vast majority of people I encounter, and I pass them quickly in most cases. On the downhill, I am way faster than the average rider, which, by the way is probably on a 650B or 29er. There is a certain point of pride I take in outriding nearly everyone I encounter without needing to have the latest and greatest. I keep all of this to myself, of course; and to be honest, I'm really only competitive with myself.

    So I'm at the point where I'm really happy with my bike, and it happens to be a 26er. I will continue to ride it until I can't get Maxxis Minion 2.5s for it anymore, or the frame breaks. I figure I'd have to spend 5 grand to get a comparable bike to mine in 650b trim. That's not exaggerating. I don't race, so spending that kind of coin would be ridiculous.
    Dear U.S. Forest Service: Please ban all wilderness in my riding areas.

  30. #30
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    Because 650b and 29 are easier...just like an eBike. I don't need easy. I'm only 55.

    And then there's this...

    The first pic is when I built my new carbon 26 hoops and mounted the standard 2.35 tires that I can buy all day long for only $35 ea. and always buy them in bulk.

    The second pic is the bike today with the elimination of the Fox 34 CTD and CTD Boostvalve shock, adding a brand new Pike RCT3 and new Monarch Plus Debonaire shock. And I should mention I built this brand new 2014 factory warranty covered Expert Evo frameset in June '15 and paid <1/3 of it's new price and built it with all top line components for pennies on the dollar. It would cost me well over $7k to spec this bike as it sits with the only difference being wheel diameter.

    I'll be wearing this one out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26? What's the point??!!-2015-09-16_20.36.37%5B1%5D.jpg  

    26? What's the point??!!-20160306_131752_zpsyljfmwyy.jpg  

    Always ride with a purpose.

  31. #31
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    Like most here I have a modern 29er as well as two older 26ers. I began my mountain biking on a 26er and see no reason to stop riding one even though they're vintage bikes. I also love driving my vintage '65 Mustang when I have the opportunity. Both the Mustang and the 26ers make me smile for the same reasons: the experience and the individuality.

  32. #32
    Your bike sucks
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    26ers are better for pumping, jumping, and have stronger wheels, all things being equal. Better thru quick chicanes. Better for trials type maneuvers. Better at most of the things that exemplify great riding.

    I ride 26 because it's better at the things that I value most in riding. Because I'll gladly sacrifice 5 seconds/lap in rolling efficiency for a bike that is a bit funner and more dynamic.
    I like the way you think.

  33. #33
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    ^^ Total agreement on that, above.

    My 26'r on Demo Flow Trail is insane fun! As well, here on my tight turned, chunky local trails.
    Always ride with a purpose.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    They're for kids ^^
    and hobbits.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden boy View Post
    It's all about the feel. 26" wheels spin up quicker and slow down faster. They're more flickable. I can steer with my hips on descents. They're so responsive, they feel telepathic. I think it, and they do it. Yes, they force you to make better line selections, but that's part of the fun for me. It's cliche now, but 26" wheels are like a sports car; as you go up in size, they become more like monster trucks.

    Or I could just summarize and say I have more fun on 26" wheeled bikes.
    Nicely said. I have always felt the 26" wheel bike is more intuitive on descents. Your body makes small unconscious adjustments for technicla terrain that are part of the skill set. I like to race here and there, and appreciate the stability of my 29er on courses I am not familiar with (coming up on my mid 50s, I like to stay off the ground more). But on a familiar descent, there is no comparison what I can do on the 26 compared to the 29 (Avid Ti V-Brakes=one-finger braking). Lent my 26er ST to a buddy, who has been hanging onto it. Got one more old 26er in the attic I am hoping to find time to reassemble. Looking forward to improving my balance skills too.

  36. #36
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    Like most guys on 26ers, I got my start on a 26 and never felt the need to "upgrade" to a larger size. I tried 27.5 and 29ers at my LBS and they just seemed heavy and cumbersome. Not wanting to rule them out completely, I tried my buddy's 27.5 Giant and I couldn't wait to get off the thing. It was heavy, felt bulky, and didn't respond anywhere near my 26. The funny part is while I was riding my buddy's 27.5 2015 Giant, he was riding my 96 Gary Fisher Joshua Y and didn't want to give it back. He said he felt comfortable on the 27.5, but the ride was 100% better on my 26. Luckily for him I have 2 more 26ers to ride so i let him ride the fish for the rest of the summer. I've always been one for "ride what makes you happy", but also don't rule out the other styles just because they aren't trendy at the moment.. you may be missing out on a great ride ;-)

  37. #37
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    How else can you get a full suspension S-Works FSR loaded with premium components under $1300?

    And it is light and very nimble.

    26? What's the point??!!-specialized-2001-fsr-xc-s-works.png

  38. #38
    650b me
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    Nicely done, MudSnow! I had to look for my eBay handle on your spreadsheet...I sell a lot of bike parts on eBay. Now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming.

  39. #39
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    Not everyone can afford to buy a new bike. My 26'er has a modern XT 1X11 drivetrain, decent enough geometry and can handle the type of riding I do. I'd love to buy a new bike but the only thing holding back my riding experience right now is my own fitness level, not the bike.

  40. #40
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    I built mine piece by piece. I can't seem to break it.

    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

  41. #41
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    They are playful.

  42. #42
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    Obsolete? I love my fatty running tubeless, saves 1 lb per wheel. yes it's a 26er.

  43. #43
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    when I come to certain obstacles most of the riders i ride with, ride over it, if I have the speed, my 26r spreads its wings

  44. #44
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    In years to come, when bike companies decide to extract yet more money from people with a new "revolutionary" size, someone will make a similar comment (or comments based on the 2 threads you've started on this!) about 27.5 & 29.
    Bit like vinyl/CD/MP3; vinyl is growing in popularity nowadays thanks in part to nostalgia, but mostly to its superior audio quality

  45. #45
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    I am sticking with my 26ers because they do everything I request from them and more. I do not push either one to its fullest potential. I don't race, nor do I care about PRs, lap time, etc. If I can't climb or descend as efficiently as newer bikes, oh well.

    Sure, it would be nice to have a sub 24 pound carbon FS bike with all the latest technology and newer geometry. I don't think anyone could logically argue that they aren't valid improvements. But those improvements aren't worth the cost for me. For many others, who ride differently, they get a great enough of a ROI that it is worth it to them.
    "Holy crap, you are creepy as shit sneaking up on me wearing that collar with that freaky ass smile."




  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by May73 View Post
    In years to come, when bike companies decide to extract yet more money from people with a new "revolutionary" size, someone will make a similar comment (or comments based on the 2 threads you've started on this!) about 27.5 & 29.
    Bit like vinyl/CD/MP3; vinyl is growing in popularity nowadays thanks in part to nostalgia, but mostly to its superior audio quality
    Thanks for that, Captain Obvious. All this time, I never thought that happened. From the horse and buggy to the VHS/Betamax, there has never been people resistant to change.
    Craig

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    Well, this was fun while it lasted...
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  49. #49
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    Since the VHS/BetaMax war was brought up, I'm wondering what side of the wheel size debate the Porn industry favors? They lost the HD DVD/Blu-ray war, but they still got some clout.

    Why am I even asking, they are obviously big wheel people...
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  50. #50
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    When I moved to the mountains I picked up a 27.5" full-suspension and never looked back. Had to bring it in for a big service ($$$) so I went for a ride on my neglected 26" singlespeed - wow, such a fun/responsive ride!

    Call me sentimental I guess - I like my 26" since it's been with me through 4 countries, conversion to single speed, new paint job, added disk tabs, etc, etc. Next up are perhaps some new rims and a dropper...

  51. #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.


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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".

  53. #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 targnik View Post
    So I shoot off all full of bravado, hit this wee booter - grabbing some air, then I land - leading into a greasy rut.

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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.

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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

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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.

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    Because my suspension is so dialed Bros....... my 26 feels 27.5

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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.

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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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  60. #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!

  61. #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

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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!!

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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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    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

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    better said impossible Craig, Is right!

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


  67. #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

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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

  69. #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!!

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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.

  71. #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.

  72. #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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    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

  74. #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!

  75. #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.

  76. #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

  77. #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.

  78. #78
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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.

  79. #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.

  80. #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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    I have no need for a new bike and plan on riding mine into the ground. My son has a 29er and I really see no difference when we go riding.

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    Because I started with a used frame (08 5-spot) and built and upgraded it piece by piece over time... It may be a bitzer, but it's like an extension of me now and I will keep it until it breaks or I do...

    That said, I've never owned a vehicle (2 or 4 wheels) that I haven't modified extensively and become overly attached too... I just get way to sentimental about nuts and bolts


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdp3612 View Post
    I have no need for a new bike and plan on riding mine into the ground. My son has a 29er and I really see no difference when we go riding.
    Many people feel the need to own the latest, whiz bang stuff. Is it any better? For them, maybe. For me, no. I'm happy with my 27 year old Marin. If anybody says I'm 'outdated' they can go have carnal knowledge of themselves
    DAMN THE MUD, FULL SPEED AHEAD!!

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlMarin View Post
    If anybody says I'm 'outdated' they can go have carnal knowledge of themselves
    Quote of the day! lol

  85. #85
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    Step sons first "real bike" bought with part of his own money ---> 26" Fuji
    Step sons first real trail ride ---> on 26
    me with him on my good old 1994 Trek 26er
    beginning of a lifetime of riding and bonding with each other
    ...enough of a "point" for me...

    26? What's the point??!!-img_0300.jpg26? What's the point??!!-img_0116.jpg26? What's the point??!!-img_0110.jpg26? What's the point??!!-img_0111.jpg
    "It's about having pointless fun in the woods...." - Walt
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    Quote Originally Posted by wg View Post
    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.
    +1. My 2007 Yeti 575 with its 68 degree HTA and 430 mm chainstays refuses to let itself be considered "obsolete".
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26? What's the point??!!-image.jpg  

    "Holy crap, you are creepy as shit sneaking up on me wearing that collar with that freaky ass smile."




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    Great read.
    In 29 years of riding I've had all the sizes (even an old 28"wheeled Czech road bike.
    Most of the mountain bikes were 26", some steel hardtails, then 3 SC Hecklers on 26".
    Went 29" carbon HT 6 years ago, which was really fast, and really scary for the North Shore riding I do.
    Went to a 650B full suspension 3 years ago, and really like it. Rolls over everything and made me a way better descender, at 55 years old.
    Son decided to join the fun, so he picked up a used 2011 SC Nomad, with light 26" wheels. It's about 4 lbs lighter than mine, but less travel.

    Final verdict- I use his Nomad whenever possible. Way more 'playful', as the experts like to say. Feels way lighter, and descends very well. I'm fastest on it, and he kicks my butt when he's on it. For $1800 I would say he won the arguement in our house.

    Still want a 26" Ti HT someday.....
    Last edited by schwangster; 04-17-2017 at 11:14 AM. Reason: get dates straight

  88. #88
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    Lightweight and acceleration

    A couple reasons: I started out riding 26Ē so thatís what I prefer. Also weight savings and acceleration. I have a Cannondale hardtail (M) from í99 that is nearly sub-20 pounds with just a few carbon parts (bars and seatpost). It accelerates like a rocket and climbs easily for me. For someone who has only ridden a 29 and then hops on my bike, I hear both complaints and compliments. The main complaint is that it feels too twitchy and ďout of controlĒ for them on fast choppy descents, to the point where they were downright scared. Alternately they were simply blown away at how fast it accelerates after hard braking and exiting flat corners. Overall, most 29 only riders said it was borderline too sketchy to ride and not fun for them. For me, itís as fun and comfortable as I can get. Iíll keep pedaling it until I can no longer get my tires of choice. I donít have a problem with choices. IE: 29, 27.5, and 26. Just donít eliminate one for the other.

  89. #89
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    They work. They are fun. Since I have not had the time for many club/group rides the last few years, I find myself less and less having PBS or yearning for n+1 and am able to just enjoy what i have.
    Veni Vidi Biki

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    have an '08 Haro Shift R3 for 7 years, if I have to replace it, it'll be a new Shift S3, which is a 27.5, providing it doesn't ride really different. i'm not really into the size debate, but if it works at the size, then great!

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    Because I would need to go out and spend $4,000 to get a new 27.5" bike comparable to this one.

    $4k just to get a different wheel size? I don't think so.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  92. #92
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    Has nothing to do with size for me. All about $$$. I'm sure I'd be happy with other wheel sizes and when I find the right bike at a blowout deal I'll jump on it. regardless of wheel size. retail is for suckers

  93. #93
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    I am a sucker. I'm​ one of those who has a plus bike with three wheelsets for different tire sizes! Aye aye aye!

    But most of the time I ride 26 because I dig it.

    Then when I get on the puffy plus bike or the rollover 29er, it's like being in vacation.

    Usually though, it's all about the 26" SS.

    26 FOREVER!

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  94. #94
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    Not really, I was just joking. That's what's nice about being a grown up, we can spend our money however we want. unless you're married

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Because I would need to go out and spend $4,000 to get a new 27.5" bike comparable to this one.

    $4k just to get a different wheel size? I don't think so.
    Quote Originally Posted by crewjones View Post
    Has nothing to do with size for me. All about $$$. I'm sure I'd be happy with other wheel sizes and when I find the right bike at a blowout deal I'll jump on it. regardless of wheel size. retail is for suckers
    For me it is ALL about $$$. I didn't retire early by spending all my money on things I don't need.
    DAMN THE MUD, FULL SPEED AHEAD!!

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    I own a top of the line XC 26 bike, because I like to mock my friends, it also makes me unique in the group as no ones ride a 26 anymore. They are also always wondering how a 26er can outride them, flats included.

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    I found a 2012 model of my favorite so I will enjoy it for eternity. FTW

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    I've been watching the wheels market. You can still get quite a variety and get into the good sh/um stuff without having to build your own wheels.
    DAMN THE MUD, FULL SPEED AHEAD!!

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlMarin View Post
    For me it is ALL about $$$. I didn't retire early by spending all my money on things I don't need.
    OlMarin I like the way you think. I'm debt free and buy almost everything used. I hope to retire one day as well

  100. #100
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    1,055
    In the beginning, mountain bikes were designed and tinkered by engineers and/or inventors with a knack for tech and a vision. Then came the big recession of 2008, and bike companies needed something new to boost sales, pushing the role of whats now product managers to create new market "categories". Armed with advanced marketing, pseudo science, and alternate facts, they created brand shiny new "holy grails" called 29ers and fat bikes.

    Now both the 29er and fat bikes have their unique and special place in the biking world, but so much functionality has been sacrificed with the dropping of the 26er bike. Agility, acceleration, lightness, climbing ability, versatility, and frame stiffness, once the foundation of mountain bike tech standards, has been lost with these new bikes. 29ers and fat bikes will never achieve this in a simple and cost effective manner, hence why you have to pay so much more now to get a performance bike. You need more tech to achieve performance that was once so natural with the 26er.

    I have no doubt that the 26er will return sometime in the 2020's, but first the industry will wait until most of the existing 26ers will age, disappear, and be almost forgotten to maximize full sales and profitability potential as the new "holy grail".

    Welcome to the modern age of product marketing management. I've heard that the old top loading washer is back as new advanced tech...too funny :O
    SUCCESS - To be able to spend life in your own way

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