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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 11:50 AM.

  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
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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.
    2014 Santa Cruz Superlight 29
    2005 Jamis Dragon
    2003 Jamis Dakota XC converted to single speed

  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
    to err is human... to face plant is frickin hilarious!!

  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_0046.jpg  

    26? What's the point??!!-img_0052.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
    Dave's not here.
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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

  47. #47
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    Bless

  48. #48
    Hardtail Steel Forever
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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...

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