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  1. #1
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    Is 26er a dying breed?

    I don't want to start a heated discussion. Just out of curiosity trying to find out what you guys think.
    I own a FS 29er, FS 26er converted to a 650b and have been following the fast 650b development for last 2 years.
    The current trend in the industry makes me believe the 26er bikes are becoming less popular. Just look at some manufacturers, Intense and enve both said the 26er is dead. So many small and mid-sized producers replacing them with 650b and 29". Forks, wheels, tires, almost everything new is aimed at 650b.
    It's only question of time when one of the 3 big bike companies will jump on the wagon.
    The speed with which the trend is running is astonishing.
    It took The 29" revolution to fully kick in 3x longer, at least.
    So what do you think?
    Where will we be in 2 years and do you think you will like the future?
    Last edited by jazzanova; 02-03-2013 at 07:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    There's about 50 threads that discuss this question.

  3. #3
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    more choices more better

  4. #4
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    29ers seem to have eaten up the XC market, and for good reason. They don't seem to have much penetration into longer travel disciplines.
    650b doesn't seem like much of a change from 26, but you can't sell someone something they've already got, can you?

  5. #5
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    This is the most objective side by side comparison I've found and the testers preferred 26 over 27.5 and 29.

    Opinion: 26 vs 27.5 vs 29-inch Wheels - Pinkbike

  6. #6
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    Re: Is 26er a dying breed?

    When I was shopping for my second bike I was basically told to bypass 26 completely since its only a matter of time before they are out of product lines. However I think the reason the smaller companies are embracing the change to the new wheel sizes is to corner the market before the "big bike companies" can revise. My .02 might now be worth much but it makes sense in my head.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpledesign View Post
    When I was shopping for my second bike I was basically told to bypass 26 completely since its only a matter of time before they are out of product lines. However I think the reason the smaller companies are embracing the change to the new wheel sizes is to corner the market before the "big bike companies" can revise. My .02 might now be worth much but it makes sense in my head.

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    I agree, I think you are on to something here. The small companies are trying to jump onto the bandwagon before it's a bandwagon, if that makes sense... lol
    Buy a f-ing bike maybe you wouldn't be fat

  8. #8
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    I will stay with the failing 26" wheel size. One day the "IN" thing will to be in the place that I have never left.
    All this hype is great for the sales of bikes and the bike companies are loving it.

    Read what MBA has to say about 26 vs 27.5 vs29 FS bikes. Watch Pinkbikes video on this subject. Interesting to say the least.

  9. #9
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    Re: Is 26er a dying breed?

    The bottom line is always going to be "ride what you like"

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    I'm not one to follow the crowds, I'll be countersociety and keep my 26in wheels. It will just make the 26ers more exclusive and people will say "whoa that guys on a 26er" instead of "oh look another 29er"

  11. #11
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    I have 5 bikes all 26" except a 29" hardtail. Guess what bike I'm going to be selling, the 29er. I just find the small wheels more fun to ride.

  12. #12
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    Right now we are sticking with the 26". Looking for a bike for my wife and it is a 26". Right now I feel it works fine.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    I have 5 bikes all 26" except a 29" hardtail. Guess what bike I'm going to be selling, the 29er. I just find the small wheels more fun to ride.
    YES!!!

    I swear, when I join in on some of the big group rides, I'm the ONLY 26er rider. my first REAL mtb was a 29er but I sold it to fun a full sus trance x (26er) and I love it. I did, however, try to sell it once but got ridiculous lowball offers and just decided to give up selling it until I get some more races under my belt and figure out exactly what I want. The bike is fun as hell and I do borrow my friends 29ers (fs and ht) sometimes and it definitely feels faster on these smooth xc trails but its just not as fun, you know? I can definitely get the trance in the air a lot easier too. I lack fluid cornering ability so they are about the same (
    to me) on the 2 wheel sizes.

  14. #14
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    I enjoy my brand new 26er, just like all my other mountain bikes, that have all had 26 inch wheels. Might a larger wheel smooth out the root gardens around here, yeah but at a sacrifice for corning ability and railing berms. And when people start passing me left and right when I am in good shape on my 26er I might think something is wrong with em, but right now I'm the one passing the 29ers out on the trail with my oldschool antiquated troglodytic caveman wheels.

    My wheels aren't holding me back, so why do I need bigger wheels?

    Tire technology has also gotten to the point that I have more grip than I used to, which means less drifting. Taking a corner with a nice two wheel drift without inducing it with your brakes is fun, a larger wheel would just make that even more difficult.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuenstock View Post
    I have 5 bikes all 26" except a 29" hardtail. Guess what bike I'm going to be selling, the 29er. I just find the small wheels more fun to ride.
    Exactly. Smaller wheels are more fun to ride. Period. If you like to put in miles on what is basically a dirt road, then go with 29" wheels. If you like to actually ride the bike rather than tag along for the ride, 26/27.5" is for you. I have a big-wheeled bike. It's a road bike.

  16. #16
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    Tons of people are going back to 26ers lately. The big companies are still churning out tons of new high end 26ers as well, and they're still the majority of bikes sold. They're not going anywhere.

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    I have to ask, in the wake of recent threads on other forums: Is this thread serious?

  18. #18
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    I own both (though in two different breeds) and I enjoy both. I had a 26" HT before my 29er Stumpy and would never go back to a 26" HT for a "XC" bike... With that said, I would NEVER get a 29er "AM" or long travel bike. They are not as responsive or as durrable as a good 26". 26" isn't going anywhere, anyone that says otherwise is a fool. 29er wheels simply don't fit everyone, or every style of riding.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Raton View Post
    I have to ask, in the wake of recent threads on other forums: Is this thread serious?
    I'd like to see the mods put all the no right answer threads in one spot.

    29Vs26

    Flat vs clips

    Dropper vs none

    Carbon vs aluminun

    Then sticky them all in the beginners section. We can have 200pages of clips vs flats for people to read.

  20. #20
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    Re: Is 26er a dying breed?

    So which one is it, clips or flats!?

    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    So which one is it, clips or flats!?

    one of each
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simpledesign View Post
    one of each
    Pedal bikes are a dying breed.

  23. #23
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    Probably.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerebroside View Post
    Pedal bikes are a dying breed.
    Thats truly AM! Badass
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  25. #25
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    ^ try to imagine a wheelie on that thing.

  26. #26
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    I'm picturing what it'll look like when bikes take over the world...
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  27. #27
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    They are certainly taking over my world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    I'd like to see the mods put all the no right answer threads in one spot.

    29Vs26

    Flat vs clips

    Dropper vs none

    Carbon vs aluminun

    Then sticky them all in the beginners section. We can have 200pages of clips vs flats for people to read.
    You think 200 pages would be enough? For those of us who have been trail riding forever, like me (well over 20+years), seeing the same questions, over and over, and over....etc. can be trying. Sometimes humor is a good outlet to that experience, but I gotta remind myself that a good percentage of the askers who come to this site, with those questions, are beginners, and they ARE seriously asking them.

    That said, I don't feel too bad about having just a tiny bit of fun at their expense, from time to time.

    I mean, ultimately, riding a bike had better be, at least in part ( a LARGE part, IMO ), about having fun, no?

  29. #29
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    Ive owned FS and HT 29ers. I sold both of them and went back to a FS 26" bike and haven't been happier. In fact, I was so happy I even bought a more extinct bike, a 26" hard tail. I love it so much I might even sell my FS 26" bike. This is so taboo in the bike industry today that someone might need to go to confession after reading my post.

  30. #30
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    I love my 29ers both the HT and the FS and plan on sticking with them.
    Don't think they are better than 26ers, just different. Both wheel sizes seem to have their advantages and disadvantages so it really boils down to a personal preference.

    As far as them taking over, I think there will be a temporary shift.
    I certainly see more 29ers on the trails than 26ers but I guess eventually that shift will balance out as time goes on. For now, it is just the shiny new toy on the market.

    I will say though that this argument will never be settled just like the clipless vs. flats argument.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

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    There is clearly an answer for which size is better. It just depends on the rider and the terrain. Asking random people which they prefer without any background info is pointless. Same with pedals. There are clear answers for most people, if they're honest with their riding style and terrain.

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    personal preference. own both, ride both, love both

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    This is the most objective side by side comparison I've found and the testers preferred 26 over 27.5 and 29.

    Opinion: 26 vs 27.5 vs 29-inch Wheels - Pinkbike
    ... agreed ... the most objective comparison I've seen to date. Thanks for that!

    I don't know about 26ers being a dying breed ... but I can say my LBS does just about everything to steer buyers toward 29ers over 26ers. Not only do they all ride and prefer them ... they stock more of them. As far as 27.5's ... they have no interest nor do they see any point of stocking anything 27.5.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    I love my 29ers both the HT and the FS and plan on sticking with them.
    Don't think they are better than 26ers, just different. Both wheel sizes seem to have their advantages and disadvantages so it really boils down to a personal preference.

    As far as them taking over, I think there will be a temporary shift.
    I certainly see more 29ers on the trails than 26ers but I guess eventually that shift will balance out as time goes on. For now, it is just the shiny new toy on the market.

    I will say though that this argument will never be settled just like the clipless vs. flats argument.
    I expect that someday the PTB will convince the buyer that riding a 20" bike is the best way to stay young ... Rinse, Lather, Repeat

  35. #35
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    Any invention becomes a "dying breed" the day it is made and sold -- everything becomes obsolete eventually. That said, if even the 26" wheel is eventually eliminated, there are so many thousands of 26" bikes out there, I have little concern that there will still be parts and such available on the market. If I were buying a bike today and found one I liked that was a 26", I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.

    However, I wouldn't hesitate to explore the new 27.5" AM offerings, either. I read an interesting article interviewing several prominent bike makers, and their opinion was almost universally that the 27.5 wheel was a sweet spot for AM bikes, and that is where most of them saw their companies headed.
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  36. #36
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    As someone who has both a 26er and 29er I can honestly say for the average weekend warrior out there, the number of beers you had the night before will have a far greater impact on your ride than a 3" or 1.5" diameter difference in your wheels.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  37. #37
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    the only really dying with all of this are skillsets. skillsets that are learned easier and quicker thru smaller wheels. bunnyhopping, jhop, manuals, pump and jump that taller obstacles require is easier with my 26 and flats! better yet get on 20s to progress even more skills. bmxican4life

  38. #38
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    Just think if 27.5 was the standard and 26" was being touted as the future.

    Marking would have the AM market drooling: laterally stiffer for any given weight rim, increased agility, increased durability, jumps and tricks easier, decreased weight where it really counts: lighter rims, spokes and tires.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    Just think if 27.5 was the standard and 26" was being touted as the future.

    Marking would have the AM market drooling: laterally stiffer for any given weight rim, increased agility, increased durability, jumps and tricks easier, decreased weight where it really counts: lighter rims, spokes and tires.
    The industry will try and phase out 26", then 4 years later introduce the new 26" as "retro".

  40. #40
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    I think just like the Pinkbike comparison mentions, is that it's just about rider preference and terrain. There are some areas that a specific wheel size excels on. Couple that with a feel that certain riders just like, and it all comes down to the individual. I know for around here, I've never ridden a 29er that felt better than a 26 full suspension. But that might be a completely different story for another person or on different trails. If I rode smooth hardpack trails most of the time, I'd probably go buy a CF 29er hardtail.

    I think all the wheel sizes have their merits, but for AM riding I don't see 29ers taking over, or 650b. There will likely be all wheel sizes available for quite some time, and people should ride what they like the best.
    "Got everything you need?"

  41. #41
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    I say we should all just get on our whatever sized wheeled bikes and ride them.


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  42. #42
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    This is the gospel truth.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    As someone who has both a 26er and 29er I can honestly say for the average weekend warrior out there, the number of beers you had the night before will have a far greater impact on your ride than a 3" or 1.5" diameter difference in your wheels.
    The truth shall set you free. Amen brother.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    As someone who has both a 26er and 29er I can honestly say for the average weekend warrior out there, the number of beers you had the night before will have a far greater impact on your ride than a 3" or 1.5" diameter difference in your wheels.
    I've only done a 2 mile lap on a 29er (carbon Tallboy) one time, but that was more or less my impression as well. Of course, the bike felt quite different than my Enduro, but it was hard to tell what was due to the wheels. The Tallboy was a nice bike, to be sure, but I can't say the difference was mindblowing.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by cerebroside View Post
    29ers seem to have eaten up the XC market, and for good reason. They don't seem to have much penetration into longer travel disciplines.
    650b doesn't seem like much of a change from 26, but you can't sell someone something they've already got, can you?
    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Tons of people are going back to 26ers lately. The big companies are still churning out tons of new high end 26ers as well, and they're still the majority of bikes sold. They're not going anywhere.
    These^^^

    29er's are for tall, lanky XC racers.

    26 and 650b are for all other riders. And, like someone said, if 26ers are stopped being sold anytime soon, give it 4 years. They'll be the "new thing" again.

  46. #46
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    I have a theory!

    Makers are always trying to make money right, and since there are government agencies in europe actually testing durability of parts and frames and such they can't actually make stuff that self destructs anymore so now insted they try to convince people they need this "whatever the new popular wheel size is" is the **** and everything else is outdated. And will soon disappear.

    29er is 700c and has been around for ****ing AGES.
    650b is an OLD french standard that someone just revived from the dead to make money out of, not talking thew enthusiasts here.
    And 26ers where OLD Kids bikes, to evade some tax that was put on adults bikes.

    Its all old ****, and it comes in waves, its a never ending cycle. None of them will disappear anytime soon.

    the bottom line here, is treks, speshs and giants bottom line thats what matters.
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    Specialized sucks ass.

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    LOL

  48. #48
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    Get one in all three flavors--and a mini to boot. That way you don't feel left out, and you have an excuse to expand the fleet.

    I love my 26" bikes--but it's time I start looking for a 29er. Maybe a sweet carbon off-brand with a rigid carbon fork. Yum.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    Just think if 27.5 was the standard and 26" was being touted as the future.

    Marking would have the AM market drooling: laterally stiffer for any given weight rim, increased agility, increased durability, jumps and tricks easier, decreased weight where it really counts: lighter rims, spokes and tires.
    This is just so damn true. There would of course be a few sceptics who would be questioning whether that very small decrease in wheel diameter could possibly make such a big difference; but then again their comments would be immediately shot down by all the marketing people, as well as the people on MTB forums who had converted their 650B bikes to 26ers and claimed it was a totally different bike - so much more agile, so much quicker, etc.

    I really like the fact that 650B exists - it gives us all another option; and it probably does have some small advantages over 26" (as well as some small disadvanatages) - but your post was so spot on about the extreme level of marketing BS and hype that surrounds any new product in MTB that basically represents a small step forward, rather than the huge leap forward that it is claimed to be.

  50. #50
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    29/650b/26 < sack size

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