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Thread: 27.5 vs 29

  1. #1
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    27.5 vs 29

    I am in the market for a new bike. I currently ride a full suspension 26er Specialized Enduro 2003. I want to race cross country, but still be able to jump and huck the bike a little. I currently am looking at the 2014 Kona precept dl and the 2013 Scott spark 950. Should I consider a hardtail? My budget currently allows me to spend around 2,000$.

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    Well, this is tough...if you want to race cross country, most people seem to be riding 29er hardtails. However, if you want to jump around and huck the bike...then i'd recommend 27.5 full suspension.

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    I have ridden a Giant Revel 3, which I know is far from a race hartail. It was really rough and I felt almost like I was out of control on the bike. Is a 29 going to ride that different?

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    Starting your research here is good...

    ...however, do go ride demos, friend's bikes. Ask locals what they ride. Get suggestions from a bike shop you like. You will do best to concern yourself with how any bike rides for you than what wheel size it has. Every category of mountain biking has every size of wheels available. Some will feel great to you and some will not.

    My two cents...If you wish to blur the lines of a race-able trail/am bike then get a 27.5 one. Buy the best one at your price point and then lighten it up where it counts with a new wheelset. I am in no way saying you cannot do this with either a 26 or 29 wheeled bike. However, a 27.5 will still feel similar in handling to you current rig, have the nice rolling characteristics of the larger wheels and not have the unique geometry that 29'ers have that often takes time to get used to. To this end, the Kona and future upgrades will be a better choice
    the going won't get good 'til I'm good and gone

  5. #5
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    If you only have 2k to spend on a race bike, do not buy a FS.

  6. #6
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    Hardtail = 29er

    Dually = 27.5

    .02

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    For the price. Consider an easily converted '12 or '13 26er.
    '10 Marin MountVision 650b conversion

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    You'll get more bang for your buck if you get a hardtail. And if you do, that's where 29er wheels really shine. Also, you can "jump around and huck" a hardtail so that's not an issue. It kind of depends on your skill level, preferences, and where you ride. The Kona Precept DL would probably be a great all around bike, but not as fast as a 29er hardtail under most conditions until the trail gets really gnarly.

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    27.5 in either hard tail or fs, but spending around 2k, I would go ht, Giant should have a bike that fits t h e bill

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    Re: 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by SoMuchBlood View Post
    I have ridden a Giant Revel 3, which I know is far from a race hartail. It was really rough and I felt almost like I was out of control on the bike. Is a 29 going to ride that different?
    A 29er ht with a decent fork will be drastically different. My girlfriend rides a revel 3 and the fork is a pogo stick

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    If I were to look at hardtails, which ones should I look at?

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    Re: 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by SoMuchBlood View Post
    If I were to look at hardtails, which ones should I look at?
    Lots of good choices out there, I picked up one of these this spring and have been very pleased

    http://www.airbornebicycles.com/prod...13-goblin.aspx

    And at $1200 there's plenty of room for a few upgrades, although the bike is very capable stock.

    Also check craigslist for used bikes or call around to bike shops in your area to see if they have any 2013 stock on clearance.

  13. #13
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    I think 27.5 are the industry's answer to long travel for larger diameter wheels. 29ers have traditionally been stuck at around 100-120 travel and is generally more suited for long distance XC type riding. Going longer on a 29er can really mess up the bike's handling. This is where I think the 27.5 tweeners have a place with the ability to dial up the travel to 150mm. 27.5 excel in Enduro type riding condition. The 26er will still have it's place as a long travel downhill beasts.

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    Would a good comprimise bike be something like a Niner ROS? I rode a couple of demo bikes over the weekend. The bikes I rode were the Kona Precept Dl and the Scott Genius 930. I know the bike shop owner personally and he said he would sell me the Genius at cost. I assume this bike is proboaly a little "big" for xc racing? Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoMuchBlood View Post
    I am in the market for a new bike. I currently ride a full suspension 26er Specialized Enduro 2003. I want to race cross country, but still be able to jump and huck the bike a little. I currently am looking at the 2014 Kona precept dl and the 2013 Scott spark 950. Should I consider a hardtail? My budget currently allows me to spend around 2,000$.
    Are you keeping the Enduro 26"?

    If you are then go with a hard tail. Also, finding a FS for under $2k would be a leap.

    I've had some really good experiences on 27.5's lately. And oddly enough a 27.5 ht is my preference over a 27.5 FS.

    Yeah, I think I may be a bit cooky.
    When I'm not riding I help beginner mountain bikers learn new skills at Texas Mountain Bike Trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnskee22 View Post
    Are you keeping the Enduro 26"?

    If you are then go with a hard tail. Also, finding a FS for under $2k would be a leap.

    I've had some really good experiences on 27.5's lately. And oddly enough a 27.5 ht is my preference over a 27.5 FS.

    Yeah, I think I may be a bit cooky.
    I think I would keep the enduro considering i have more into it than it is worth, but I have out-grown the frame and it causes low back pain. I am not able to ride xc very competitively on it so I have toyed with making it more my jumping bike. I also think I may be able to spend up to about $3k on a bike.

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    I would totally look at a Scott Spark 27.5... 120mm travel, on the slack side of XC geometry so it should be fun too... sounds ideal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    Lots of good choices out there, I picked up one of these this spring and have been very pleased

    Airborne Bicycles. Goblin
    Glad to see someone else mention Airborne. I don't own one, but a friend I ride with who's been riding for 15+ years just got one, and he loves his.

    The Goblin X0 is a pretty amazing set of components on a nice hardtail for less than $2K. (*Due to the very recent temporary $500 price drop) If I was in OPs shoes, I'd have that on my short list.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteer01 View Post
    Glad to see someone else mention Airborne. I don't own one, but a friend I ride with who's been riding for 15+ years just got one, and he loves his.

    The Goblin X0 is a pretty amazing set of components on a nice hardtail for less than $2K. (*Due to the very recent temporary $500 price drop) If I was in OPs shoes, I'd have that on my short list.
    That's a good price for a good bike. Currentlly listed at $1899. With a Reba fork and full XO that's a hell of a deal.

    Though personally, if it were me I would be hunting a carbon HT deal on Craigslist or the local used market.
    When I'm not riding I help beginner mountain bikers learn new skills at Texas Mountain Bike Trails.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for all of the help I ended up going with the 2014 Santa Cruz Heckler R AM build.

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    Good choice!, enjoy.

  22. #22
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    Great choice. I said nothing of my choice before, but I am getting a Heckler too.
    the going won't get good 'til I'm good and gone

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    You'll get more bang for your buck if you get a hardtail. And if you do, that's where 29er wheels really shine. Also, you can "jump around and huck" a hardtail so that's not an issue. It kind of depends on your skill level, preferences, and where you ride. The Kona Precept DL would probably be a great all around bike, but not as fast as a 29er hardtail under most conditions until the trail gets really gnarly.
    I never had any issues jumping and hucking my 140mm 29er. (Unless I have not read your post correctly) They huck and jump just as well as a 26" or 27.5" IMHO if not better.

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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by SoMuchBlood View Post
    I am in the market for a new bike. I currently ride a full suspension 26er Specialized Enduro 2003. I want to race cross country, but still be able to jump and huck the bike a little. I currently am looking at the 2014 Kona precept dl and the 2013 Scott spark 950. Should I consider a hardtail? My budget currently allows me to spend around 2,000$.

    I hope I'm not too late.. I just scooped up a new old stock 2013 Spark 950 on the cheap ($1700) and I LOVE IT. This was my first full suspension and first 29er. I don't know how I lived w/o haha. To me what separated the spark from other full sussy 29ers in that price range was the full lockout setup Scott has. It has 3 modes, full squish, medium, and locked out. You don't even need to think about it. Just come out of a downhill section into tight turn with a steep climb? Just lock it out, it's as simple as shifting. I was worried I wouldn't like the 29er, but for my trails (mainly XC but tight and twisty technical trails too) it is a beast! So much faster and with less effort in my opinion. It climbs great! I would go with the spark. But I'm a bit biased.

  25. #25
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    My favorite thing to do is hit dirt jumps on my Scott Scale 940 29er!!!

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