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  1. #1
    nimble biker
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    what do you guys think of 27.5 wheels?

    what do you guys think of 27.5 wheels?

    how does it compare to 26" wheel?

  2. #2
    dwt
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    what do you guys think of 27.5 wheels?

    About 1" larger than 26" in actual diameter with tire mounted (26'ers are really closer to 26.5"). A tad better roll, and a tad less flickable. No radical difference like 29" (which rolls much better but can feel like a tank)

    So folks who buy them say best of both worlds. Others disagree, so they don't buy them.

    Only way for you to decide is to demo yourself. If you can't where you live, take a vacation to somewhere you can.
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  3. #3
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    There's no way I would go back to the 26er wheels for my MUSS. Unless I bust'em up and I'm unable to fix the 650b in a timely and easy fashion and I need to ride. Compared to my 26er geared rides, the converted MUSS is the go to bike. I'll likely build a geared set and use them for the other rides. In this forum, I think you'll read a lot of the same opinion. There are plenty of threads that speak this truth. As dwt stated, the only way to really know is to try for yourself.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  4. #4
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    giant bikes seem to be pushing 650b pretty hard, and they had a litle section in their catalogue showing how the 650b is the best of both worlds. Although the numbers do back it up, a lot of it is about rider size.
    I'm 6'5" at 240lbs, and I've ridden similar bikes back to back at a demo on a local trail, same day (29er to 26" to 650b to 29er). The 650b are better than the 26" wheels to me, but I prefer 29". The whole hard to turn, not as nimble, doesn't accelerate doesn't really apply to me because of my size. If I could find 32" wheels, I'd probably go for it. Switchbacks are a litle more difficult, but that's the only thing I've noticed where 26" has the benefit.

  5. #5
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    We think they are the 650bee's knees and we recommend you get a taste before you spend gold for a new bike.

    PS: this topic has been beaten to death here, just browse the history of this forum

  6. #6
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    They're round, just like 26" and 29" wheels.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougie View Post
    They're round, just like 26" and 29" wheels.
    Hah. Just a little rounder then 26, less than 29. Just go try them.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  8. #8
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    I've never been a fan of 29ers, and I'll never go back to 26" after riding all wheel sizes, pretty much sums it up from my own experience. If you haven't ridden them yet, you should demo some bikes. If you ride a 26er, you will not notice such a big difference, which is NOT a bad thing. Some people complain about not noticing much of a difference from 26" to 27.5, as they did with 29ers, but can you blame them? some think that since you didn't notice a huge difference, that it must not be that good or that it wont make a difference, but it will make a big difference, you just might not feel it within your first 5 minutes

  9. #9
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    I'm in same boat. Looking for an excuse to buy/build a 650. i love my nimble, quick, fast to get up to speed 26ers , but 29ers rolls over, keeps momentum but slower to get rolling. i had a 69er, not sure why i changed it out. (I think it had non disc in back). in any event gonna get (disc) frame and build 69 again, if i don't love it or win lottery, i'll build a 650.

  10. #10
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    In my experience 650b feels like 26 going up, but when you descend and corner you can feel the better traction and stability with the slightly bigger wheel size. The thing is, I don't think its a big difference/improvement at all. However, even though it's a small improvement, its still an improvement, even if it 5% or whatever the numbers say. That is why I'm going to build a 650b up.

  11. #11
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    Can anyone explain why downhill still uses 26"?

    I'm still partial to 26" myself. All of mine run 26" and parts are plentiful.

  12. #12
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    From what I'm understanding in regards to the effects, benefits or feel of a 27.5 compared to a 26" or a 29" of what some have posted on this post or many other post that are similar.
    You are going to feel a bigger difference on a 29er from a 26er, there's no doubt, does it mean that the difference is good or better, there is a lot of discussion on that matter.
    Some talk about 27.5 being the best of both worlds ( that's my take) but that's been disputed by some( for some reason some believe that can't be possible).
    I'm not saying 27.5 is the "end all" wheel size, as of right now, I believe it to be superior in most cases for my personal riding/ racing.
    It comes down to what you like, if you can, spend time on all 3 sizes, maybe of bikes of the same model, each with the different wheel size and make your decisions based on those rides.

  13. #13
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    I converted my 26-inch Range to 650b and am really happy with the result. Very interesting comparing the same bike with 2 different wheel sizes. The 650b version is slightly lighter, climbs tech better, corners better, gets better traction, and feels much more lively. Downsides are that it sits taller, which reduces standover clearance and stability going downhill. Also requires a bit more steering input, but soon becomes intuitive. Much better trailbike but not as good AM bike as the the 26-inch version

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by swagbrdr View Post
    Can anyone explain why downhill still uses 26"?
    Probably because they are a stronger, if everything else is equal. Same model/size of rim, same spoke count, same hub, etc...; smaller diameter rim will be stronger. This is a stronger argument for 26 over. 29. The 26 vs 27.5 strength would probably be similar, but only a litle bit weaker than 26. Given time, DH will probably go to 27.5 once someone steps up to the plate and does it.

  15. #15
    dwt
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    what do you guys think of 27.5 wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dougie View Post
    They're round, just like 26" and 29" wheels.
    Now there's a useful comment.

    HT's and FS are both mtn bikes.

    6" of suspension and 4" are both suspension.

    Disc brakes and V brakes are both brakes.

    Tubeless and tubed are both tires, as are Rocket Rons and Nobby Nics.

    So what's your point? Other than trying to be clever?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard View Post
    what do you guys think of 27.5 wheels?

    how does it compare to 26" wheel?
    i ride bikes w/ both 26" and 27.5" wheel sizes (was able to retro-fit 27.5" NeoMotos in my current 26" 6" and 4" travel full susp bikes), and also ride a 29er (i replaced my FS 29er w traditional XC-oriented geo for a slacker "AM" HT model).

    since rider height/size is relevant to the discussion, i'm 5' 8" (173cm).

    for me (and i emphasize that), the difference is small but noticeable. i feel it mostly on rolling terrain where i can maintain momentum better--when riding 27.5" wheels, i'm either gaining on others who've out-pedaled me on my 26" wheeled bike, or coasting/pumping behind them (more than before) as they continue to pedal their 26" wheeled bikes.

    climbing and general trail "feel" on my 4" bike after the 27.5" conversion was definitely smoother overall (but i think that has as much to do with suspension as it does wheel size: my 4" bike is a simple "high-forward" single pivot, ie like a Superlight or Heckler, and its rear end firms up a bit when pedaling; the bigger wheels' slightly shallower angle of attack tends to mask that firmness to some degree). however, my 6" bike's dw-esque virtual pivot/parallel "mini-link" design is more active when pedaling/climbing, so that difference in trail "feel" is not as noticeable compared to my 4" travel bike.

    as others have posted here (and all over the web), the fact that (1) all else remaining equal (i.e. spoke gauge, lacing pattern, and general overall wheel weight), a wheel built around a smaller 26" rim should be stronger than a similar wheel built around a larger diameter rim, and (2) the 26" hoop's angle of attack relative to 27.5" and 29" wheels make it easier to pop off every little feature on the trail, i don't see 26" disappearing anytime soon for burly DH/FR/DJ/slopestyle riding, despite all the b.s., internet hype, and general fear mongering on pinkbike or other sites.

    wheel size and biking is like variety in skiing, surfing, etc--it's all horses for courses and choosing the right tool for the job at hand. the wheel size "issue" is tired and played out imho, and the 3 common sizes today (26"/559mm rim, 27.5"/584mm rim, and 29"/622mm rim) all have their pros and cons. one isn't ever gonna be better than the others for all riders in all situations. it's always gonna boil down to prioritizing your gear for the kind of riding you wanna do (with the emphasis on you as an individual).
    Last edited by slo_rider; 10-25-2013 at 03:00 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Now there's a useful comment.
    Thanks! I thought so.

  18. #18
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    Amen to that!

    Quote Originally Posted by slo_rider View Post
    i ride bikes w/ both 26" and 27.5" wheel sizes (was able to retro-fit 27.5" NeoMotos in my current 26" 6" and 4" travel full susp bikes), and also ride a 29er (i replaced my FS 29er w traditional XC-oriented geo for a slacker "AM" HT model).

    since rider height/size is relevant to the discussion, i'm 5' 8" (173cm).

    for me (and i emphasize that), the difference is small but noticeable. i feel it mostly on rolling terrain where i can maintain momentum better--when riding 27.5" wheels, i'm either gaining on others who've out-pedaled me on my 26" wheeled bike, or coasting/pumping behind them (more than before) as they continue to pedal their 26" wheeled bikes.

    climbing and general trail "feel" on my 4" bike after the 27.5" conversion was definitely smoother overall (but i think that has as much to do with suspension as it does wheel size: my 4" bike is a simple "high-forward" single pivot, ie like a Superlight or Heckler, and its rear end firms up a bit when pedaling; the bigger wheels' slightly shallower angle of attack tends to mask that firmness to some degree). however, my 6" bike's dw-esque virtual pivot/parallel "mini-link" design is more active when pedaling/climbing, so that difference in trail "feel" is not as noticeable compared to my 4" travel bike.

    as others have posted here (and all over the web), the fact that (1) all else remaining equal (i.e. spoke gauge, lacing pattern, and general overall wheel weight), a wheel built around a smaller 26" rim should be stronger than a similar wheel built around a larger diameter rim, and (2) the 26" hoop's angle of attack relative to 27.5" and 29" wheels make it easier to pop off every little feature on the trail, i don't see 26" disappearing anytime soon for burly DH/FR/DJ/slopestyle riding, despite all the b.s., internet hype, and general fear mongering on pinkbike or other sites.

    wheel size and biking is like variety in skiing, surfing, etc--it's all horses for courses and choosing the right tool for the job at hand. the wheel size "issue" is tired and played out imho, and the 3 common sizes today (26"/559mm rim, 27.5"/584mm rim, and 29"/622mm rim) all have their pros and cons. one isn't ever gonna be better than the others for all riders in all situations. it's always gonna boil down to prioritizing your gear for the kind of riding you wanna do (with the emphasis on you as an individual).
    Or whatever word's appropriate! Enuff's enuff already! Ride your ride whatever the circumference....
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  19. #19
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    Appropriate steps:
    1. Know the 3 different mtb wheel sizes

    2. Choose your favorite

    3. Be a dick about it.

    -How to be a mountain biker

  20. #20
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    Probably because they are a stronger, if everything else is equal. Same model/size of rim, same spoke count, same hub, etc...; smaller diameter rim will be stronger. This is a stronger argument for 26 over. 29. The 26 vs 27.5 strength would probably be similar, but only a litle bit weaker than 26. Given time, DH will probably go to 27.5 once someone steps up to the plate and does it.
    Ahh yes. Great point. I should have know this. Duh. Another reason to stay with 26". Thanks for the knock on the skull...

  21. #21
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougie View Post
    Thanks! I thought so.
    sar·casm

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    noun

    noun: sarcasm; plural noun: sarcasms

    1. the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  22. #22
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Appropriate steps:
    1. Know the 3 different mtb wheel sizes

    2. Choose your favorite

    3. Be a dick about it.

    -How to post on MTBR forums
    Fixed it for you.

  23. #23
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Probably because they are a stronger, if everything else is equal. Same model/size of rim, same spoke count, same hub, etc...; smaller diameter rim will be stronger. This is a stronger argument for 26 over. 29. The 26 vs 27.5 strength would probably be similar, but only a litle bit weaker than 26. Given time, DH will probably go to 27.5 once someone steps up to the plate and does it.
    KHS riders Logan Binggeli and Kevin Aiello successfully race DH on 27.5 wheels. Minnaar won the World Championship on a 26", but like all the Santa Cruz Syndicate riders, races Enduro on a Bronson. Santa Cruz doesn't make a 27.5" DH bike (yet) who knows whether he would have ridden one at Worlds if they did. Certainly didn't "need" bigger wheels though, huh?
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  24. #24
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    So far I am really liking the 27.5 wheels on my Troy. It does not really feel like it has bigger wheels in the tight terrain, but it definitely rolls over stuff better. I really need to take it to the trials we have that are real tecky, rocky and steep though to get the last aspect of how the bigger wheels do.

    -Brett
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  25. #25
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    The most amazing thing about this thread is you caught dwt on a good day in post #2 (he did warm up a bit in later posts unrelated to your original question). I figured for sure he would tee off on this question but StiHacka covered it pretty much in post #5. It's been beaten to death so do the research

    Yeah, that's my contribution to this thread even though I've given plenty of good info for a long time in this forum section.

    dwt, glad you were back to yourself in the later posts
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skooks View Post
    I converted my 26-inch Range to 650b and am really happy with the result. Very interesting comparing the same bike with 2 different wheel sizes. The 650b version is slightly lighter, climbs tech better, corners better, gets better traction, and feels much more lively. Downsides are that it sits taller, which reduces standover clearance and stability going downhill. Also requires a bit more steering input, but soon becomes intuitive. Much better trailbike but not as good AM bike as the the 26-inch version
    I think many of the downfalls that you are finding your converted bike were addressed when Norco redesigned the Range for the 27.5/650B wheel size. I would love to hear your input if you ever get a chance to ride the newer version to see what the differences are.

  27. #27
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    What do I think of 27.5 wheels? They go great on 27.5 bikes. Is this a trick question?

  28. #28
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    Nothing is wrong with more options.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carraig042 View Post
    So far I am really liking the 27.5 wheels on my Troy. It does not really feel like it has bigger wheels in the tight terrain, but it definitely rolls over stuff better. I really need to take it to the trials we have that are real tecky, rocky and steep though to get the last aspect of how the bigger wheels do.

    -Brett
    do you ride Devinci carbon troy?

  30. #30
    nimble biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by ti-triodes View Post
    What do I think of 27.5 wheels? They go great on 27.5 bikes. Is this a trick question?
    no trick.The captain never lies.

  31. #31
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    The rim impact force test and ultimate strength test of the 26 er is the strongest,so downhill still uses 26",In order to improve the lateral stiffness ,the 26er rims outer width
    are more wide design than 27.5er and 29er

  32. #32
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    yeah 27.5 is legit...if that's what you were wondering...

  33. #33
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    I had a 26" carbon hardtail and demoed a 27.5" carbon hardtail yesterday. Very subtle differences. But there seems to be a 27.5" tsunami approaching so thought it best to quit 26" while still a few dollars in it ;-)
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  34. #34
    ijd
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    27.5" = all the worst bits of 26" & 29" in one wheel.
    I'm a bit weary of the 1st generation 650b's as I believe they are still working at getting the geometry right (just like early 29ers). I'd like to test out the 2015 range of bikes when they are released as they should have had time to get the bikes set up correctly.

  35. #35
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    It is about half way between 26" wheels and 29" wheels.

    It isn't the best of both worlds, it is half way between the best....and half way between the worst.

    Like before, it comes down to personal preference. You can buy the hype that the manufacturers throw at you that it is the best damn thing out there just so you will buy a new bike if you want. Maybe it will be the best thing for you but maybe it won't. It will be a happy medium for some.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  36. #36
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    It is the " best of both worlds" for some riders. I never cared for 29ers, felt they handled too slow and " dumbed" down the ride, 26ers were fine until I tried 27.5, 4 years ago, now it's 27.5 or nothing for me, although I still own a couple of 26ers and 29ers which are collecting dust.
    I'm 6' tall, weigh 165, race cat 1, ride xc, trail and all mountain, used to race DH and ride/ race on the road also.
    Like I said in the past, I know the analogy that the 27.5 wheel size is the " best of both worlds" is a well used and semi worn out term, but why can't they be? Because it's not exactly right in the middle of the other two sizes? Historically speaking, sometimes trial and error, experimentation, etc, leads to the perfect situation for a given item or product. I hear "29ers are the best" because they roll over stuff better, or they carry momentum better, which may be true in some instances, but they also accelerate slower, are heavier and handle like crap. Bigger isn't always better, how come off road motorcycles and off road racing vehicles don't use the biggest wheels they can find? It's because they evolved by trail and error, both used bigger and smaller wheel diameters, they settled on what works best. I believe that 27.5 is what will be the size that will work the best for most people and be the standard in coming years, but it all comes down to what works for you, until about 12-13 years ago, you didn't have much of a choice, now you have 3 choices, try them all and see what really works for you.

  37. #37
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    It's really very simple, they are a hell of a lot better than that 650B crap the manufactures are trying to push just to sell more bikes and parts.
    Tantrum incoming
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    So what is the real advantage of 650B over 29er? I've been using a Trance X29er for a year now, this bike is very fast rolling when descending and fast to climb. Is the 27.5 faster than 29er wheel bikes?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rave81 View Post
    So what is the real advantage of 650B over 29er? I've been using a Trance X29er for a year now, this bike is very fast rolling when descending and fast to climb. Is the 27.5 faster than 29er wheel bikes?
    if you prioritize having a shallow angle of attack for trail features and ability to carry momentum, then 27.5 has little to no advantage over 29.

    if you prioritize being able to accelerate your wheel, or having a slightly stronger wheel, or the ability to get more pop off every little booter then 27.5 has an advantage over 29.

    if you design frames for shorter riders, 27.5 has fewer geometry constraints than 29.

    and speaking of geometry, most 29er frames still have geometries characterized by relatively steeper HAs, longer CS/ rear centers, and shorter front centers (ie 2014 alloy RIP 9 still has geo that's not significantly different than 2007 1st gen RIP 9, which defies explanation since Niner jumped on the slackish HA/shortish CS bandwagon for their ROS 9 HT and new generation WFO), which is not as optimal for riding aggressive trails as a bike w slacker HA/shorter CS.

    and if you're the CFO of a bike brand, and you missed the boat cashing in on the gravy train of 29er sales a few years ago, pushing 27.5 has an advantage over older wheel formats ;^)

  40. #40
    dwt
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    what do you guys think of 27.5 wheels?

    Quote Originally Posted by ijd View Post
    27.5" = all the worst bits of 26" & 29" in one wheel.
    I'm a bit weary of the 1st generation 650b's as I believe they are still working at getting the geometry right (just like early 29ers). I'd like to test out the 2015 range of bikes when they are released as they should have had time to get the bikes set up correctly.
    Simple. If you don't like 'em don't buy 'em. The bike industry won't give a shyte, because the "worst of both worlds" opinion is a distinct minority. Not enough of y'all to make a dent in sales.

    Example, not too many complaints about Bronsons from the riders who are like a who's who in Enduro racing on the Santa Cruz Syndicate team. DH World Champ Greg Minnaar, who won that race on 26", races a Bronson in Enduro.

    Unlike 29", 27.5" is so close to so called 26", geometry is not too much an issue. There are plenty of dialed in 27.5" bikes from HT, to 4", 5", 6" travel up to DH bikes made by KHS and Intense.

    Go ahead and wait a few years. No one cares and you earn zero cred for being a "I ain't jumping on no bandwagon" hold out. That's its own bandwagon
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    I think many of the downfalls that you are finding your converted bike were addressed when Norco redesigned the Range for the 27.5/650B wheel size. I would love to hear your input if you ever get a chance to ride the newer version to see what the differences are.
    Yes, of course you are right. The geometry was designed around a 26-inch wheel and running a larger wheel diameter will definitely compromise the performance. I am just suprised at how well the conversion actually works. The bike feels much more lively on the trails and the taller BB makes for very few pedal strikes. I have never ridden a Norco 650b but I expect it would ride even better than my conversion. I have ridden a new Altitude and it felt completely dialed.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Now there's a useful comment.

    HT's and FS are both mtn bikes.

    6" of suspension and 4" are both suspension.

    Disc brakes and V brakes are both brakes.

    Tubeless and tubed are both tires, as are Rocket Rons and Nobby Nics.

    So what's your point? Other than trying to be clever?
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I've never been a fan of 29ers, and I'll never go back to 26" after riding all wheel sizes, pretty much sums it up from my own experience. If you haven't ridden them yet, you should demo some bikes. If you ride a 26er, you will not notice such a big difference, which is NOT a bad thing. Some people complain about not noticing much of a difference from 26" to 27.5, as they did with 29ers, but can you blame them? some think that since you didn't notice a huge difference, that it must not be that good or that it wont make a difference, but it will make a big difference, you just might not feel it within your first 5 minutes

    Never a truer word spoken. I first rode a 650b in Europe in 2001 and it didn't feel any different to my F3000SL, well it felt slower at first.

    But when the going got wet and twisty through the Ardenne it was strangely easier. One weekend I took both the F3000Sl and the team bike (650B) and the difference became apparent.
    There's not much to be said about roll over because all the wheel roll over obstacles just fine but the 650B wheel is so much stiffer than a 29 wheel that wen things get slippery I much prefer the 650B. The ontact patch, wheel stiffness ratio is more ideal than either 29 or 26.
    But its not that big a difference that it will turn any rider into a winner. You still need a really good engine

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    Quote Originally Posted by swagbrdr View Post
    Can anyone explain why downhill still uses 26"?
    i would say that the most accurate answer is that because the two most popular OEM spec'ed DH forks (boxxer and 40) do not come in 27.5....yet

    once those come in 27.5...i am sure there will be quite a few more 27.5 DH bikes.

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    There's a Scott Gambler 27.5 I have seen be used...they might slowly work their way in a little further as time goes on.

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