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  1. #1
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    Please parse this reply out about 27.5 vs. 26 tires up front

    This was originally posted in the 27.5" forum


    Has anyone put a 26" wheel up front on a 27.5" bike?
    I'm waiting on a somewhat wider 26" wheelset to try a 26 x 2.8, but for now I'm trying out 26 x 2.4 on a 27.5" bike (just on the front, back tire is still 27.5 x 2.35). So the goal is to go + in front and standard in back, but for now standard 26 x 2.4 in front is actually not that bad. Yes it's bumpy, a bit bouncy downhill, but on curvy stuff it does so much better, because it lowers the front about 1.5 inches. I feel like the bike is rejuvenated by a shorter wheel up front, not hurt by it. It's livelier, not as steady on rocky downhill stuff but a lot better handling no smoother stuff. I feel like the bike comes to life, it goes from a solid but kinda boring workhorse to more of an agile 'Mazda Miata' bike. Now on difficult rocky stuff I'll put on a 27.5 in front for sure, but the smoother trails seem to be more fun with the 26" tire/wheel. Has anyone else experimented with this?



    One Pivot

    I was running 26x2.35 all around, and replaced only the front with 27.5x2.35, same tire. It does literally everything better. Theres no scenario where the 26 is better. Im not sure how you're dropping the front end an inch and a half. Mine went up about 10mm, or less than half an inch.



    OK, I have a lot of questions about this reply. I know a lot of people have put on a 27.5 fork and tire/wheel in the front on a 26" bike, and one guy I briefly rode with said it definitely helped. Helped as in for rollover. But what about for handling? And I'm confused on his reply that putting on a 27.5 front and 26 back would only raise the front 10mm?

    First off, I don't think a 27.5 x 2.35 tire will fit in a standard 26 fork so maybe he was doing rigid or something. But unless he has a 26+ tire, the height of the front should be more than 10mm raised with a 27.5" compared with a 26" tire, correct? Even if you take the radius instead of the diameter, it's still 3/4 inch or around 19mm higher. Won't that make handling worse?
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  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post

    One Pivot

    I was running 26x2.35 all around, and replaced only the front with 27.5x2.35, same tire.
    Yep. Sounds like something he'd do as a fun experiment.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    OK, I have a lot of questions...
    No doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    First off, I don't think a 27.5 x 2.35 tire will fit in a standard 26 fork so maybe he was doing rigid or something. But unless he has a 26+ tire, the height of the front should be more than 10mm raised with a 27.5" compared with a 26" tire, correct? Even if you take the radius instead of the diameter, it's still 3/4 inch or around 19mm higher. Won't that make handling worse?
    Fits just fine. Just for giggles, I stuck a 27.5x2.6 into my old 2010 Fox 32 with no problem. As for the 10mm, it'll vary by tire but I just happen to have a Hans Dampf 2.35 mounted to both 26 and 27.5. I just measured each:

    26: Total height - 26.8"
    27.5: Total height - 27.5"

    27.5-26.8=0.7"

    Divide by 2 since front end height increase is measured at the hub.

    0.7"/2=0.35" or 8.9mm increased front end height

    It'd handle just fine. Plenty of people run an extra 20mm travel up front and it adds stability (especially going fast) with a very small effect on climbing/slow speed stuff.

    If I cared enough to do your experiment for you I might move brake rotors around and try it out...but I don't. Go re-read whatever One Pivot wrote about handling since he has firsthand knowledge.

    It's 70 degrees and sunny and time for riding instead of staring at the computer, so...buh bye.

  4. #4
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    Ideally this is a fitment best-applied to the rear wheel.

    A shorter tire will offer better terrain-feel and, if something were to demand quick repositioning of riding position, the ability to have a taller tire on the back could possibly allow a bit of grace in recovery.

    Straightlining terrain, with a heels-down attack position naturally has a rearward distribution of weight - so the larger softer tire on the rear would still promote an advantage in traction.


    A Bicycle is always going to be less-than a riders weight; dynamics of aggressive riding have the minutia of input at the controls yield compliant results.

    The phrasing of Dave Weagle's many vehicle patents always reference 'body mass' which makes or breaks any bike; from DH bike to Trials bike.


    Whatever result is currently found is more reactionary due to such an altered position with riding position rather than the bike being oriented as being more responsive.


    Your stem is probably too short, just sayin'.
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  5. #5
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    Maybe you should just buy a Mazda Miata and get it over with?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Maybe you should just buy a Mazda Miata and get it over with?

    LOL. I do have a sports car, curb weight is around 3750 lbs, which is around 1000 lbs more than a Miata. If you have ever played a racing video game, you will find out that the Lamborghinis and Bugattis are super fast but don't actually handle very well, because they are so big and fat for sports cars. I'll try a 27.5 tire on a 26 and see how it goes, but I really don't think that 26 tire on a 27.5 is all that bad.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    but I really don't think that 26 tire on a 27.5 is all that bad.
    New plan. 29+ frame with 24" road tire up front. OK, go!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    No.
    /end thread

  9. #9
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    Love it...when peeps buck the system....still waiting on some good tires...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    New plan. 29+ frame with 24" road tire up front. OK, go!
    24" road tire in a double crown Monster T?

  11. #11
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    Wait what?

    I guess this is what happens when the bike industry goes haywire with standards.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    Wait what?

    I guess this is what happens when the bike industry goes haywire with standards.
    This has nothing to do with the bike industry I'm afraid.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    24" road tire in a double crown Monster T?

    You know, if they had 24+ tires and rims I'd almost be tempted to try it in front, in non-rocky stuff of course. My wife's bike is a 24" but the front wheel is pretty ancient and has rim brakes
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    You know, if they had 24+ tires and rims I'd almost be tempted to try it in front, in non-rocky stuff of course. My wife's bike is a 24" but the front wheel is pretty ancient and has rim brakes

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    No.

    So tire size has nothing to do with handling? I guess we all should be riding 29" fat bikes then eh?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    So tire size has nothing to do with handling? I guess we all should be riding 29" fat bikes then eh?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    You know, if they had 24+ tires and rims I'd almost be tempted to try it in front, in non-rocky stuff of course.
    Don't laugh, I've been running 24+ for the past 10 years! Sun Doublewides with Nokian 2.6 Gazzalodi up front and S-works 2.7 Evil Twin out back. I grew up on 20" BMX so this bike is perfect for me - really fun, great handling & acceleration, and personally I don't need big wheels to ride obstacles or roll logs...

    That said, I just built some Hugo 52 V2 26's to explore other options.

    Oh yeah, this is all on a SS.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    Don't laugh, I've been running 24+ for the past 10 years! Sun Doublewides with Nokian 2.6 Gazzalodi up front and S-works 2.7 Evil Twin out back. I grew up on 20" BMX so this bike is perfect for me - really fun, great handling & acceleration, and personally I don't need big wheels to ride obstacles or roll logs...

    That said, I just built some Hugo 52 V2 26's to explore other options.

    Oh yeah, this is all on a SS.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by one piece crank View Post
    Don't laugh, I've been running 24+ for the past 10 years! Sun Doublewides with Nokian 2.6 Gazzalodi up front and S-works 2.7 Evil Twin out back. I grew up on 20" BMX so this bike is perfect for me - really fun, great handling & acceleration, and personally I don't need big wheels to ride obstacles or roll logs...

    That said, I just built some Hugo 52 V2 26's to explore other options.

    Oh yeah, this is all on a SS.

    OK so you have a slightly smaller tire up front and handling is great. What if you had a 26" tire in back, what do you think would happen as far as handling, acceleration, climbing, traction, rollover (as in less pedal strikes) etc? Have you tried your Hugo 52 V2 26 in back and 24+ in front? Or vice-versa?
    ABSU: Arrogantly executing mythological occult metal since 1991.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    No.

    I see you are pleading the 5th amendment. That's happening a lot lately on your coast...
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    I see you are pleading the 5th amendment. That's happening a lot lately on your coast...
    SISO.

    You seem to be looking for a definitive answer to a rambling hodgepodge of hardly coherent "questions".

    That answer is 'no'.
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  22. #22
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    I've been running 24's front and rear, so handling is really great. It is much more responsive than 26 F/R, so you can image the difference in feel compared to 27.5 or 29. I've never run a smaller (than rear) front wheel. If I did I'd probably go to plus or super-plus to bridge the gap.

    My current switch was to a Hugo 52 26" front. I'm still waiting on a few items before I can ride it, but the plan to ride it 24/26 for a while. I want to get some miles on it before I change anything else, specifically 26-rear/26+front.

    I picked-up a rigid front fork with a lower AC, to negate the head angle going to the larger front wheel. Future head angle changes will be by tire width.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    =
    Fits just fine. Just for giggles, I stuck a 27.5x2.6 into my old 2010 Fox 32 with no problem. As for the 10mm, it'll vary by tire but I just happen to have a Hans Dampf 2.35 mounted to both 26 and 27.5. I just measured each:

    26: Total height - 26.8"
    27.5: Total height - 27.5"

    27.5-26.8=0.7"

    Divide by 2 since front end height increase is measured at the hub.

    0.7"/2=0.35" or 8.9mm increased front end height
    =
    Yup, like so many of us have said so many times, 27.5 isnt really any different. my 27.5x2.3 purgatory is maybe 5mm smaller in diameter than my 26x2.35 hans dampf. the 27.5 HD is the one that was about 10mm taller.

    For all practical purposes, its sort of the same size... except if you use 27.5 stuff you have TONS more rim and tire options, and they're pretty amazing these days. <450g big wide, stiff rims are all over the place. Carbon is all over the place (and its cheap).

    27.5 forks use a different offset. This is a big deal and a dramatic, significant difference. This, IMO, has defined and made long travel trail bikes a reality. a 160mm 27.5 fork handles crazy different than a 160mm 26er fork! Tracks better and wanders less. So theres that, but running a 27.5 fork with a 26er wheel is just neutering your options for no real reason. Thats a silly thing to do. If its a price thing, I totally get it and by all means run that 26er wheel! Just saying, dont go out and spend money to intentionally do it.
    Last edited by One Pivot; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:31 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    a 160mm 27.5 fork handles crazy different than a 160mm 160mm fork!
    Most of what you say is very subjective and silly, but this is just downright ridiculous.

  25. #25
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    Are you not aware that the offset changed?

    Kind of changes a lot zowie. You've been warrioring against 27.5, and it doesnt seem that you understand the difference.

    The huge change in fork offset makes the entire setup.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Are you not aware that the offset changed?
    On my 650B 160mm fork, or my 160mm 160mm fork?

    P.S. Like many other conversations before this, I run several different permutations, seems odd you sound like such an avid rider but can only find one to try.

  27. #27
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    Ah typo. You knew what I meant.

    I can only find one what to try? I have 3 26ers in my garage right now, and 5 forks. One is a low offset 650b, one is a high off set 650b, the rest are normal 26ers. Two of the 26er forks fit 650b wheels... and ive mixed them all around in every configuration, mostly just to see what happens. Not sure what you mean I can only find one to try.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Ah typo. You knew what I meant.

    I can only find one what to try? I have 3 26ers in my garage right now, and 5 forks. One is a low offset 650b, one is a high off set 650b, the rest are normal 26ers. Two of the 26er forks fit 650b wheels... and ive mixed them all around in every configuration, mostly just to see what happens. Not sure what you mean I can only find one to try.
    Well, you asked if I was unaware that 'the offset', singular, had changed.
    Sounded odd to me as well, and it didn't look like a typo.

    Shrug.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Yup, like so many of us have said so many times, 27.5 isnt really any different. my 27.5x2.3 purgatory is maybe 5mm smaller in diameter than my 26x2.35 hans dampf. the 27.5 HD is the one that was about 10mm taller.

    For all practical purposes, its sort of the same size... except if you use 27.5 stuff you have TONS more rim and tire options, and they're pretty amazing these days. <450g big wide, stiff rims are all over the place. Carbon is all over the place (and its cheap).

    27.5 forks use a different offset. This is a big deal and a dramatic, significant difference. This, IMO, has defined and made long travel trail bikes a reality. a 160mm 27.5 fork handles crazy different than a 160mm 26er fork! Tracks better and wanders less. So theres that, but running a 27.5 fork with a 26er wheel is just neutering your options for no real reason. Thats a silly thing to do. If its a price thing, I totally get it and by all means run that 26er wheel! Just saying, dont go out and spend money to intentionally do it.
    Except 26" offset is the new thing for 650b lol.

  30. #30
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    I'd like to change my answer to "nope".

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Ah typo. You knew what I meant.

    I can only find one what to try? I have 3 26ers in my garage right now, and 5 forks. One is a low offset 650b, one is a high off set 650b, the rest are normal 26ers. Two of the 26er forks fit 650b wheels... and ive mixed them all around in every configuration, mostly just to see what happens. Not sure what you mean I can only find one to try.

    So handling was not affected (as in worsened) with a 27.5" tire in front on a 26" frame, correct? I can't fit in a 27.5" tire right now, just letting the 26" coil fork slowly die before I put on the 27.5" fork (it's been leaking oil for around 300 miles).

    I'm still hoping 26 x 2.8 will help but that's a different tire than 27.5 x whatever.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Have you tried your Hugo 52 V2 26 in back and 24+ in front? Or vice-versa?
    No, I'm running Moto. The front = 2.35 Hans Dampf ballooned out on the Hugo, the rear is a 24x2.7 on a Doublewide. Lots of subtle changes at the moment so I'm not going to 26 rear yet...

  33. #33
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    Finally have the WTB Ranger 26 x 2.8 mounted and on the bike. It actually fits into the standard 26" fork by about 0.25 inches. It measures closer to 2.7 inches wide, and measures around 27.25 inches high. I predicted 27.40 inches high; it may have lost 0.15 inches of height since is about 0.1 inches more narrow than the manufacturer states. That's almost exactly what I predicted: 0.1 inches more or less wide = 0.165 inches larger or smaller diameter for a tire regardless of starting tire size. My numbers are not way off. They are just new to some people. I'll take it for a short ride this evening.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    Finally have the WTB Ranger 26 x 2.8 mounted and on the bike. It actually fits into the standard 26" fork by about 0.25 inches. It measures closer to 2.7 inches wide, and measures around 27.25 inches high. I predicted 27.40 inches high; it may have lost 0.15 inches of height since is about 0.1 inches more narrow than the manufacturer states. That's almost exactly what I predicted: 0.1 inches more or less wide = 0.165 inches larger or smaller diameter for a tire regardless of starting tire size. My numbers are not way off. They are just new to some people. I'll take it for a short ride this evening.
    You seem a little surprised a 2.8 fit in a 26" fork. 2.8's fit in 26" forks 15 years ago. Those old 2.8's were tall too because narrower rims round the tread pushing the center lugs up.

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