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  1. #1
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    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    For mid-travel bikes 4.5-6" of travel, is everything moving to 27.5"? I thought I read something to the effect that orders of 26" tires from dealers have been dead in the water while sales of 27.5" tire have been on fire. That sounded somewhat unlikely given the low number of 27.5" wheels that must be currently in use, but it got me to start thinking about the future of 26" vs 27.5" wheels. I'm thinking about waiting to see how everything shakes out with 27.5" and what new bikes come out in that wheel size.

    I've tried several 29" bikes last year and disliked all of them as they felt so clumsy other than when going in a straight line. I tried a 27.5" SC Bronson and could definitely feel that the 27.5" rolled better than a 26" wheel without losing much in agility.

  2. #2
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    my guess is 650b will take over in the trail/ am catagory but 26'' bikes of any variety will never go away.

  3. #3
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    Aslong as there is a diverse rider base we will have options. As the number of riders decreas so will options. Leaving us with what ever the most cost effective one to produce is...



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    About 2 weeks ago I visited a few shops here in SLC, UT. Seemed like all but the freeride/DH oriented one had pretty much given up on 26" tires (not bikes, but tires). 2/3 to 3/4 of their stock was 29er.

    So much for supporting the LBS if I have to go online to buy tires. And I'm not buying a new $3000+ bike because I can't find a $50 tire.

  5. #5
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    Doubt there's much of a future for 26" wheels, except for a few niche markets like dual slalom/dirt jump, maybe downhill bikes for at least a few years, and unicycles...lol. I wouldn't be surprised if the major manufacturers drop their 26" lines for the most part in the next 2 years. Maybe you'll see a few city-cruiser types in that size, but otherwise I'll predict wal-mart will be where you'll find 26" mountain bikes (until they too change). It's just too costly to have 3 different wheel sizes and 27.5 solves the problem for some of the riders that 29 couldn't. The two sizes will be 29 and 27.5. And there is plenty of stock, molds, machine equipment and everything else in support of 26 so that it will be around for quite a few years to come. Supplies will possibly get low well into the future (many years), but I predict it will always be available due to those niche markets where it will still exist, just that it will be in shorter supply with less options and possibly higher price. By the time this is the case, no one will care likely (5-10 years).
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
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    A 650b frame is just a 26er with good mud clearance*, I can see lot's of 'under wheeled' bikes popping up in the near future.

    * I rode a Bronson with 650 then 26 wheels this weekend, honestly couldn't tell the difference.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Doubt there's much of a future for 26" wheels, except for a few niche markets like dual slalom/dirt jump, maybe downhill bikes for at least a few years, and unicycles...lol. I wouldn't be surprised if the major manufacturers drop their 26" lines for the most part in the next 2 years. Maybe you'll see a few city-cruiser types in that size, but otherwise I'll predict wal-mart will be where you'll find 26" mountain bikes (until they too change). It's just too costly to have 3 different wheel sizes and 27.5 solves the problem for some of the riders that 29 couldn't. The two sizes will be 29 and 27.5. And there is plenty of stock, molds, machine equipment and everything else in support of 26 so that it will be around for quite a few years to come. Supplies will possibly get low well into the future (many years), but I predict it will always be available due to those niche markets where it will still exist, just that it will be in shorter supply with less options and possibly higher price. By the time this is the case, no one will care likely (5-10 years).
    What exactly is the problem you speak of? As far as I see it, 29ers didn't solve any problems. 29ers took advantage of momentum with the cost of agility, which works perfectly for some, and not for others. It could also be body dimensions, as I see a lot of taller guys riding 29ers, where they felt too big on 26" before. And I don't care what reviews you read, manualling and hopping any 29er will always be more awkward than the same geo bike with 26" wheels. If a wheel size takes care of a riding problem, I think the problem lies with skill, rather than the design of the bike.. I finally rode a Bronson and I cannot dis the bike in any way, but I did not feel "faster" or "better" or anything more than my SB66, but then again I haven't ridden anything that compares to the SB66. The only thing I felt was the new, different bike feel. I will ride 26" until I no longer can, which sadly, seems to be coming sooner than I had ever thought...

    The bike industry has to make money. If they didn't come out with new standards every year like tapered headtubes, new iscg tab sizes, forcing people to 15mm TA rather than 20mm, etc. that are "proven to make you 16% faster and 14% lighter" than we wouldn't have the technology that actually does make the bikes better. Just my 2 cents...

  8. #8
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    I was riding when they first tried to push 29's in the 90's .... they were lame then & they are lame now! 27.5 is pure marketing hype nothing more. There will always be good 26 tires & wheels available ... think about it you can still get quality 24" wheels & tires & they have been out of the main stream for years.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    What exactly is the problem you speak of? As far as I see it, 29ers didn't solve any problems. 29ers took advantage of momentum with the cost of agility, which works perfectly for some, and not for others. It could also be body dimensions, as I see a lot of taller guys riding 29ers, where they felt too big on 26" before. And I don't care what reviews you read, manualling and hopping any 29er will always be more awkward than the same geo bike with 26" wheels. If a wheel size takes care of a riding problem, I think the problem lies with skill, rather than the design of the bike.. I finally rode a Bronson and I cannot dis the bike in any way, but I did not feel "faster" or "better" or anything more than my SB66, but then again I haven't ridden anything that compares to the SB66. The only thing I felt was the new, different bike feel. I will ride 26" until I no longer can, which sadly, seems to be coming sooner than I had ever thought...

    The bike industry has to make money. If they didn't come out with new standards every year like tapered headtubes, new iscg tab sizes, forcing people to 15mm TA rather than 20mm, etc. that are "proven to make you 16% faster and 14% lighter" than we wouldn't have the technology that actually does make the bikes better. Just my 2 cents...
    And then came carbon rims and other advancements that made the bigger wheels easier to accelerate, while still rolling better over things. Yes, major manufacturers may stop selling mainstream 26" bikes soon. No, you will not have any problem getting parts and wheels for years to come. Is 26 the best just because you are used to it? Because it's what most of us started on? Was it ever "designed" for off-road? Who knows, but 29" is here to stay. It's not going anywhere and has become solidly entrenched in the XC market. If you notice, 26 bikes were already getting fairly rare in the hardtail market, with most going to 29. Now the other choice will be 27.5, and it will be more consistent with the rest of the line-up.
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  10. #10
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    I personally felt 27.5 was the worst of both worlds when I demo'd. Heavier and sluggish compared to 26" but didn't roll noticeably better. I've heard this sentiment echoed by a lot of non-marketing people.

    Of course, many people will let the marketers tell them what to ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I personally felt 27.5 was the worst of both worlds when I demo'd. Heavier and sluggish compared to 26" but didn't roll noticeably better. I've heard this sentiment echoed by a lot of non-marketing people.

    Of course, many people will let the marketers tell them what to ride.
    To each thier own. More options more better

  12. #12
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    The 29er didn't solve any problems for ME anyhow (I think 29ers, along with 650b solves some problems for the market - via creating a new fad, next best, or new black).

    I have fun on my 29er, but not sure it allows me to do anything I can't on my 26. Makes pumping small transitions on a trail a bit of challenge, but I can do it. Rolling over steeps is a little different, popping into a manual and maintaining it is a bit harder - but I can manage, tight tech moves are more of a challenge because there's just more bike to negotiate. Because mine is a overbuilt XC model, I stay away from bigger drops and jumps, but I'm comfortable enough to hit most of them. I prefer my 29er for more XC oriented rides because its a lighter build than my 26, but if I had the same thing set up as a 26er - I'd probably get rid of the big wheels. Going to 29 reminded me of when I first tried to ride a mountain bike after spending 15 years riding bmx/street on a 20 inch bike.

    (Maybe I shouldn't describe it as "more difficult" but just different, as I can do most everything on the 29er than I can on the smaller bike. For a while, I figured it might make me a better rider, but it really only made me good at riding the same terrain on two different wheel sizes).

    Suppose at some point I'll try the 650b thing out of curiosity - but not tilll they sort through a few geometry fads first. For now, I'm not finding deficiencies with my 26 setups - so I don't see the need to switch to 650...

    BUT adding another ride to the stable is almost always a great idea...
    Last edited by jhazard; 07-08-2013 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Landsharks
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    If a wheel size takes care of a riding problem, I think the problem lies with skill, rather than the design of the bike..
    What he said...
    The overwhelming majority of riders in my area (SE PA) are on 29ers. Those that had skills on 26" wheels, still have those skills on the 29er.

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    That's it, I'm throwing out my brand new bike with 26" wheels in the garbage as soon as I get home. Why didn't somebody tell me!!

    Actually, I did like the 650B wheels. I just didn't like the bikes they were on as much. Of course, now Ibis has come out with a 650B varient for the Mojo. . .go figure.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    What he said...
    The overwhelming majority of riders in my area (SE PA) are on 29ers. Those that had skills on 26" wheels, still have those skills on the 29er.
    Agree with this 100%. I am usually the only one in a group riding a 26" bike. Pretty crazy. What is scarier is that if you go to the LBS, there are almost no MTBs anymore. Talking to the shops I have been told that MTBers are too cheap, buy everything on the internet and want it installed for pennies. Only low end kids stuff. The whole industry is changing.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Agree with this 100%. I am usually the only one in a group riding a 26" bike. Pretty crazy. What is scarier is that if you go to the LBS, there are almost no MTBs anymore. Talking to the shops I have been told that MTBers are too cheap, buy everything on the internet and want it installed for pennies. Only low end kids stuff. The whole industry is changing.
    LOL...my LBS is primarily mountain and a mix of 26" and 29". They are probably the premier bike ship in Atlanta.

  17. #17
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    I'm waiting for the 650b/26 tweener bikes to come into fashion. 27.5 up front and 26 in the back. Seriously if you think about it there's really no need except for aesthetics to have the same size wheels on both the front and rear. 26er in the rear would shorted the chainstay while 27.5 up front would gobble up any bumps. It would be the ideal combination.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    I'm waiting for the 650b/26 tweener bikes to come into fashion. 27.5 up front and 26 in the back. Seriously if you think about it there's really no need except for aesthetics to have the same size wheels on both the front and rear. 26er in the rear would shorted the chainstay while 27.5 up front would gobble up any bumps. It would be the ideal combination.
    Won't happen. Doesn't have the appealing name of the 69er.

    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes-slorence764_2071_600.jpg

    The Tween6er sounds awful.

    Took a demo on a Bronson this season. It was a fun bike, but I don't think that was strictly because of the wheels. They're only a portion of the equation. I hope that 26" trail bikes stay around forever, but I think the tweeners will start winning out. Cyclists really enjoy buying stuff.

  19. #19
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    I don't have a clue how sales on 27.5 are going but I have a feeling many people are not ready for an in-between size that doesn't offer substantial advantages over 26 inches. Given people are slow to change their habits and 29ers have needed a while to take off, I'm surprised most manufacturers dropped their 26inch bikes. My guess is that their sales will go down in the short term, but I'd like to see some real numbers.

    Peopel in my area are not even on par with regards to 29er availability. The shops carry little to no 29er tires, it's a shame.
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    I just recently started riding again after a few years away from biking & was surprised that most of the local shops in my area have totally drank the 29'er cool-aid & are actively against 26'ers ... IMHO this is stupid & also means I hardly buy anything local.

    It was pretty funny Listening to the ridiculous sales pitch for the 29'ers 99% of which was total BS .... I do think 29"s have their place ... just not anywhere I ride there are a lot of gullible people out there that buy anything the shops or mags tell them to buy. If Specialized came out with a bike with A 20" on the rear & a 29" on the front, paid a pro to win on it & the mags to say how great it was .... a stunning amount of people would line up to buy it .... scary.

    I have a 2013 Transition Covert 26 BTW can't imagine it being any better with different wheels.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    LOL...my LBS is primarily mountain and a mix of 26" and 29". They are probably the premier bike ship in Atlanta.
    Well, that is pretty cool. There are still a few shops around here that are MTB specific but they are becoming rarer and rarer. Around here (SE PA), the shops seem to support the road/tri market manly. More old guys with money doing triathlons than hitting the trails.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    I'm waiting for the 650b/26 tweener bikes to come into fashion. 27.5 up front and 26 in the back. Seriously if you think about it there's really no need except for aesthetics to have the same size wheels on both the front and rear. 26er in the rear would shorted the chainstay while 27.5 up front would gobble up any bumps. It would be the ideal combination.
    Hi Mr. Lemonaid,

    That is what I said when I added a 650b wheel to my bike a little over 2 years ago. Here is what I wrote about it then:

    Stop Talking…Close the Forum…Keep the Secret!
    Originally Posted by michaelsnead

    Hey Folks,

    Here is my shopping list:

    ZTR Flow 650b - 32 Hole Black - NEW $93.00
    Stan's 35mm Valve Stem With Rim $4.00
    Pacenti Neo-Moto 650b x 2.3 Tire $49.27
    DT Swiss 240s Front 20mm Thru Axle $188.48
    Magura Storm SL Rotor $29.95
    Shipping $18.00
    Spokes $32.00
    Wheel Build $40.00
    $454.70

    Well I finally got this wheel built and rode it the last three days. Those rides included playing on my home grown bike park, a tour of the local XC loop and a classic AM ride featuring a long climb followed by a fast DH run back to the car.

    Based on the benefits I enjoyed on those rides I’m only kidding a little bit about the title of the thread. I’d really like to keep this secret weapon from the hands of my buddies. I want them to think I’ve suddenly acquired some skills instead of having found a technological breakthrough.

    Back in 2005 I said this about the Gravity Dropper adjustable seat post in a review I posted on this site. At that time, to my knowledge, they were the only current manufacturer of a product like this:

    “It is not often that you can say that you were there and participated when a sport experiences a revolutionary jump due to a change in the equipment design or material. It is always a moment when after it happens you wonder why it didn’t happen before the moment it did. If you skied when shaped skis came out or kayaked when planning hulls were introduced you know exactly what I mean. I believe that, with this product, mountain biking is about to go through a similar experience to both of those sports. Shaped skis and planning hulls dominate their respective sports and I believe that it won’t be long before GravityDropper has that same position in the world of mountain biking. The benefits that the product brings to the rider are such that it warrants that level of acceptance. To poorly paraphrase Warren Miller you want to buy one of these now because if you wait you’ll only be a year older when you do.”

    Now, there are 8-10 companies competing with Gravity Dropper and adjustable seat posts are one of the hottest products in the mountain bike world.

    After what I just experienced I’m seeing the introduction of a 650B front wheel to a traditional 26 inch mountain bike to be another revolutionary jump similar to the ones I described above!

    Therefore I propose we keep this secret between us….except for a few friends!

    Because the older I get the more advantages I need!!

    My sincere thanks to all of you who supplied the information and support I needed to play in this sandbox!!!

    Take care, have fun, be safe!!!!


    Here are some pictures of my ride:
    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes-michaels-bike-002.jpg

    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes-michaels-bike-003.jpg

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil View Post
    I don't have a clue how sales on 27.5 are going but I have a feeling many people are not ready for an in-between size that doesn't offer substantial advantages over 26 inches. Given people are slow to change their habits and 29ers have needed a while to take off, I'm surprised most manufacturers dropped their 26inch bikes. My guess is that their sales will go down in the short term, but I'd like to see some real numbers.

    Peopel in my area are not even on par with regards to 29er availability. The shops carry little to no 29er tires, it's a shame.
    I'd argue that the in-between size DOES offer substantial advantages. The downsides are minimal for most people, with benefits that appeal to most people. It makes sense from a marketing standpoint to eliminate the 26" wheel for cross-country and trail applications, since the advantages of bigger wheels lend themselves perfectly to trail applications. Dirt jumpers and freeriders generally don't benefit from larger wheels, so there will always be a demand for 26" wheels. Downhill is interesting, but they will see the benefits to larger wheels in the near future, I believe.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I personally felt 27.5 was the worst of both worlds when I demo'd. Heavier and sluggish compared to 26" but didn't roll noticeably better. I've heard this sentiment echoed by a lot of non-marketing people.

    Of course, many people will let the marketers tell them what to ride.
    I personally feel that 27.5" wheels are perfect for most trail and all-mountain applications. Roll better than a 26" wheel, but retain more agility and playfulness than a 29er. Worst of both worlds? What is your riding style and terrain? Do you log in miles of rolling terrain with a bunch of twisty turns and switchbacks randomly thrown in? You must be riding at the extremes of trail riding... I ride a bit of everything, and 27.5 is a perfect compromise for my trail riding. I don't choose my wheelsize based on marketing, but I won't limit my choices on the opinions of others, either.

  25. #25
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    Different horses for different courses. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who disagrees has not ridden each wheel size enough over different trails. The size of the rider also matters.

    Where will the industry go...

    I'd guess the industry will give the middle of the road, trail bike category, over to the 275. 29" will take over most of th xc realm. That leaves a smaller share for the 26".

    Personally, I really like a 275 out back. On rugged, natural, non-buffed trails 26" wheels do lack roll-over and I find they "spin-down" too quickly in the chunk. I know that sounds cliche but it is true. 29" wheels take a lot less energy to keep rolling through chunky trails but are bit flexy and bulky for AM riding . The limiting factor in an experienced rider's arsenal is usually not skil, but rather energy. Anything that helps buffer that very weak link has a lot of merit. A 275 out back and a 29 up front works well for me, at my size, on my trails. Never tried a 275 on both ends but am eager to do so.

  26. #26
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    Topics like this make me happy to own a single speed...

    Just ride...

    Theres no debate cause no one has facts

    And of you like somthing..... well thats just like your opionin man

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I personally feel that 27.5" wheels are perfect for most trail and all-mountain applications. Roll better than a 26" wheel, but retain more agility and playfulness than a 29er. Worst of both worlds? What is your riding style and terrain? Do you log in miles of rolling terrain with a bunch of twisty turns and switchbacks randomly thrown in? You must be riding at the extremes of trail riding... I ride a bit of everything, and 27.5 is a perfect compromise for my trail riding. I don't choose my wheelsize based on marketing, but I won't limit my choices on the opinions of others, either.
    Pretty standard singletrack. Good flow, LOTS of rocks and roots. Great stuff.

    Look, I know it REALLY hurts a lot of people's feelings when someone tries the latest and greatest and doesn't declare it to be the next coming of Jesus. I just wrote what I felt.

    When I was looking to buy a new bike last year, I had no agenda other than buying the bike that felt the best for my terrain. I took a VERY rare approach to the process: I demo'd all three wheel sizes on my local trails. Yeah, I know, crazy I had no pre-conceived notion of what I wanted because I hadn't ridden since 2006. I had no reason to convince myself that my current bike was the best because my current bike was six years old and barely rideable.

    Actually, I lied a bit. I did have a pre-conceived notion: I demo'd bikes at a bike expo with the thought of proving to myself that the newest technology, 650b wheels, was the best for me. I wanted a 650b bike because I thought it was cutting edge and I've always been a bit of an early adopter (think Onza clipless pedals and RockShox Mag21s...I started riding in the 80s!). So I went out and demo'd the 650b to prove it was the bike for me.

    Just to be sure, I rode a 29er and a 26". Again, I did something that I understand is just crazy: I bought the one that felt best. The 26", 25 lbs, 5" travel trail bike.

    My second choice was the 29er HT. There were parts of my local trails where the 29er felt better but the 26" was better the majority of the time. The 650b NEVER felt like the better choice.

    Sorry, Media, Marketers, and Fanboi's, I chose what I liked.

    If the industry stops making 26" tires tomorrow (not likely...next year? Next decade?) I'll ride mine until they are bare and then *gasp* go out and demo more bikes. Who knows, maybe 27.125 will be all the rage

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Pretty standard singletrack. Good flow, LOTS of rocks and roots. Great stuff.

    Look, I know it REALLY hurts a lot of people's feelings when someone tries the latest and greatest and doesn't declare it to be the next coming of Jesus. I just wrote what I felt.

    When I was looking to buy a new bike last year, I had no agenda other than buying the bike that felt the best for my terrain. I took a VERY rare approach to the process: I demo'd all three wheel sizes on my local trails. Yeah, I know, crazy I had no pre-conceived notion of what I wanted because I hadn't ridden since 2006. I had no reason to convince myself that my current bike was the best because my current bike was six years old and barely rideable.

    Actually, I lied a bit. I did have a pre-conceived notion: I demo'd bikes at a bike expo with the thought of proving to myself that the newest technology, 650b wheels, was the best for me. I wanted a 650b bike because I thought it was cutting edge and I've always been a bit of an early adopter (think Onza clipless pedals and RockShox Mag21s...I started riding in the 80s!). So I went out and demo'd the 650b to prove it was the bike for me.

    Just to be sure, I rode a 29er and a 26". Again, I did something that I understand is just crazy: I bought the one that felt best. The 26", 25 lbs, 5" travel trail bike.

    My second choice was the 29er HT. There were parts of my local trails where the 29er felt better but the 26" was better the majority of the time. The 650b NEVER felt like the better choice.

    Sorry, Media, Marketers, and Fanboi's, I chose what I liked.

    If the industry stops making 26" tires tomorrow (not likely...next year? Next decade?) I'll ride mine until they are bare and then *gasp* go out and demo more bikes. Who knows, maybe 27.125 will be all the rage

    But... dude... that... doesn't make sense...all the reviews... all the hype... how could it NOT be the best?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    But... dude... that... doesn't make sense...all the reviews... all the hype... how could it NOT be the best?
    In my opinion, for most people on most trails, it IS the best. Ride what you want, but physics is physics. I stated my opinion. Just because it jives with popular opinion doesn't make it wrong. People like different things. My experiences have nothing to do with reviews and hype other than my own.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Look, I know it REALLY hurts a lot of people's feelings when someone tries the latest and greatest and doesn't declare it to be the next coming of Jesus. I just wrote what I felt.

    Sorry, Media, Marketers, and Fanboi's, I chose what I liked.

    If the industry stops making 26" tires tomorrow (not likely...next year? Next decade?) I'll ride mine until they are bare and then *gasp* go out and demo more bikes. Who knows, maybe 27.125 will be all the rage
    Well, at least you sound informed despite your condescending attitude. My experiences are much different than yours. That doesn't make you right, and it doesn't make me right. I buy the bikes that I felt work the best for me, just like you. Congratulations if you aren't media, marketing, or a fanboi, although I'm pretty sure you're a fanboi of 26ers. At least you could tell a difference, and actually, 650b's are closer to 27.2".

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Pretty standard singletrack. Good flow, LOTS of rocks and roots. Great stuff.

    Look, I know it REALLY hurts a lot of people's feelings when someone tries the latest and greatest and doesn't declare it to be the next coming of Jesus. I just wrote what I felt.

    When I was looking to buy a new bike last year, I had no agenda other than buying the bike that felt the best for my terrain. I took a VERY rare approach to the process: I demo'd all three wheel sizes on my local trails. Yeah, I know, crazy I had no pre-conceived notion of what I wanted because I hadn't ridden since 2006. I had no reason to convince myself that my current bike was the best because my current bike was six years old and barely rideable.

    Actually, I lied a bit. I did have a pre-conceived notion: I demo'd bikes at a bike expo with the thought of proving to myself that the newest technology, 650b wheels, was the best for me. I wanted a 650b bike because I thought it was cutting edge and I've always been a bit of an early adopter (think Onza clipless pedals and RockShox Mag21s...I started riding in the 80s!). So I went out and demo'd the 650b to prove it was the bike for me.

    Just to be sure, I rode a 29er and a 26". Again, I did something that I understand is just crazy: I bought the one that felt best. The 26", 25 lbs, 5" travel trail bike.

    My second choice was the 29er HT. There were parts of my local trails where the 29er felt better but the 26" was better the majority of the time. The 650b NEVER felt like the better choice.

    Sorry, Media, Marketers, and Fanboi's, I chose what I liked.

    If the industry stops making 26" tires tomorrow (not likely...next year? Next decade?) I'll ride mine until they are bare and then *gasp* go out and demo more bikes. Who knows, maybe 27.125 will be all the rage
    Nice post about your experience right up till you say sorry media, marketer and Fanboi's. You did the right thing, try all three and picked the one you liked best. Other people have done the same, me for one, I tried all three and ended up choosing the 27.5. Just because the 27.5 is the latest thing to come out, by choosing it or by companies marketing it, doesn't make anyone who does like it a ill-informed person who buys only what is marketed to them or a fanboy.
    And by the way, you are a victim of the dreaded Marketers, the fact that you bought a bike means you were marketed too. The LBS having demo bikes is marketing, sponsored by both the LBS and manufacture. But this is a good thing, choice and marketing provided you and others a chance to experience all three and pick what is best for you

    Enjoy your new bike, as I will enjoy my regardless of wheel size.

  32. #32
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    Not sure what will happen with 26er and 27.5" wheeled bikes in the future. I suspect the 26" wheel will be around for a long time but with a decreasing share of the market.

    All I know is that there isn't one 26" bike on my Interbike dance card for this year yet. Maybe I'm a Kool-Aid drinking leming but all the new bikes that interest me are either 650b or 29er.

    Having said that, I should also say that I get to ride quite a few different bikes and have been keenly interested in the 650b since I first rode a Carver Ti 650b Killer B four years ago and a Ventana El Bastardo the following year.....but when I bought a new bike earlier this year, it was a 26" 160mm travel AM/FR bike.

    I still believe that's the best wheel size given current selection of forks and tires for that category. That may change next year (maybe it already has).
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Well, at least you sound informed despite your condescending attitude. My experiences are much different than yours. That doesn't make you right, and it doesn't make me right. I buy the bikes that I felt work the best for me, just like you. Congratulations if you aren't media, marketing, or a fanboi, although I'm pretty sure you're a fanboi of 26ers. At least you could tell a difference, and actually, 650b's are closer to 27.2".
    I didn't mean to appear condescending. I always try to inject a little humor into my posts and some of the snarky comments were more intended to be funny than condescending.

    And I wouldn't consider myself a 26" fanboi. I'm in the process of spec'ing out my next bike and it will be a 29er SS. I have five different trail networks I ride regularly and two of the five are flowing, smooth, and rolling. These trails tend to remain open when it's wet so I ride them when it's raining. My demo experience tells me that this is great terrain for a 29er SS so that's my next bike.

    I wouldn't want that same 29er HT on my favorite trails, as they are tight, twisty, rooted, and rocky, but the SS will be a nice backup bike.

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    you will always be able to get the size you need. None of these sizes are really new. And if wal-mart has it....the industry has to change to feel different. And when wal-mart catches up, they will change again. I love my 29er because it eats up my poor riding skills. Hell...if they made a 32 inch that was affordable, i'd ride it.

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    how much is there a difference between 650b with a 2.3 tire and a 26 with 2.5 tire?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pizon View Post
    how much is there a difference between 650b with a 2.3 tire and a 26 with 2.5 tire?
    Alot!! If you measure in kool factor.

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    Diameter or weight? You could mount a fatbike wheel and come close to a 29er in diameter...might be a little heavy though
    Now that there are more tires available, as well as forks and frames with clearance, this question becomes less valid...IMHO anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    A 650b frame is just a 26er with good mud clearance*, I can see lot's of 'under wheeled' bikes popping up in the near future.

    * I rode a Bronson with 650 then 26 wheels this weekend, honestly couldn't tell the difference.
    Quoted for truth.

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    It's going to be fun to watch when the industry re-releases 26" wheels in 5 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    It's going to be fun to watch when the industry re-releases 26" wheels in 5 years.
    I've had this same thought, but would push the timeline out closer to 10 years. I can already hear manufactuer's marketing departments waxing nostalgic about agility, playfullness, and the rider finesse required of this once dead standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    I didn't mean to appear condescending. I always try to inject a little humor into my posts and some of the snarky comments were more intended to be funny than condescending.

    And I wouldn't consider myself a 26" fanboi. I'm in the process of spec'ing out my next bike and it will be a 29er SS. I have five different trail networks I ride regularly and two of the five are flowing, smooth, and rolling. These trails tend to remain open when it's wet so I ride them when it's raining. My demo experience tells me that this is great terrain for a 29er SS so that's my next bike.

    I wouldn't want that same 29er HT on my favorite trails, as they are tight, twisty, rooted, and rocky, but the SS will be a nice backup bike.
    Gotcha. I think having two different wheel sizes already makes a third size rather pointless... You have 26" and 29", which covers everything that you ride. I have a 26" and 27", and those cover everything that I ride. To me, a 29er would compromise my preferred riding style and trails too much, while a 650b is about perfect for the majority of them. If I could only have one bike, it would definitely be a 650b. Just out of curiosity, what would yours be?

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    I feel we as cyclists tend to be "next greatest thing" kind of people... so I suspect 27.5 will take off pretty quickly. I also think that 27.5 fits well market-wise because a lot of people have been on 29ers for a few years and it's sort of like re-selling them 26ers-but without requiring them to admit 26ers were actually alright. (like if you get used to a 29er and then hop on a 27.5 and say "hey this maneuverability stuff is fun!)

    I don't have any issues with any of the sizes... I just think marketing is a humorous beast.

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    Im not gonna lie if i was rich id own 3 of each size

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    In my opinion, for most people on most trails, it IS the best. Ride what you want, but physics is physics. I stated my opinion. Just because it jives with popular opinion doesn't make it wrong. People like different things. My experiences have nothing to do with reviews and hype other than my own.
    The physics are that a 27.5 tire in the same width and model and as a 26" tire is 5% larger and 10% heavier, and a world cup team claims it is 1-2 seconds per minute faster.

    There is no way in hell that matters on the trail. None. I am not a pro, and neither are you. When I go on the trail, I'm not riding for time and if I were I'd most likely be inconsistent from lap to lap based on first fitness and secondly technical errors. I could never turn in two performances consistent enough for the difference in rolling resistance between a 27.5 and 26" tire to matter. And neither can you.

    Now, some 27.5 bikes have revised geometry. A Santa Cruz Bronson is not a replica of their 26" bike that preceded it. It has a slacker head tube angle, longer top tube, and steeper seat tube angle. It rides different. NOT the tires.

    Today there are many, many more times 26" wheels, tires and forks than 27.5. By next year that won't be true, in part due to any 27.5 fork automatically being nearly perfectly suited for 26" use as well. And in 2 years, no doubt 26" will be on the way out.

    So if you want a new bike and not a 29er, fine, get a 27.5. That is perfectly sensible.

    If you have a very competent 26" bike, however, I utterly reject that the 27.5 tire size alone is anywhere near worth upgrading from 26". A new bike frame could be. A new fork could be. It depends on what you've got now, and what you test/buy tomorrow.

  45. #45
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    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    This interview with Scot Nichol of Ibis about the HDR is a great read, shedding much light on this topic:

    http://m.bikemag.com/news/exclusive-...-new-mojo-hdr/

    Example:

    Scot Nicol: Like all questions related to wheel size it comes down to terrain, riding style and size of the rider. Around our shop 650b seems to be winning. Many of the guys in the shop were constantly switching back and forth last summer, but if you look at their HD’s right now they’re all 650b. We don’t need all the travel for the trails that we ride, but we do appreciate the added traction of 650b wheels. If we take a trip to Northstar to do lift riding this summer most of them will be putting the 26″ wheels back on.
    Also:

    By the way, in the pet peeve department, we keep hearing that the industry is shoving this 650b thing down consumers’ throats to be able to sell more bikes. I think this is a totally misleading statement, we were totally influenced by our customers on this development. There was no “shoving” anything.
    Just one insider's opinion, of course, but certainly putting his money where his mouth is. Same as industry giants, Spesh and Trek, whose lack of 650b bikes in their line ups speaks volumes in itself.

    3 general opinions out there about 650b/27.5":

    1. Sucks and irrelevant. Too close to 26" to make any difference. Worst of both 26" and 29" worlds. All about marketing.

    2. Perfect "Goldilocks" hybrid, best of both worlds, especially for trail and AM uses. Rider pushed development; not industry. Greatest thing since sliced bread. Will eventually push 26" out of mainstream and into niche markets (dirt jump, dual SL, huge travel lift served freeride).

    3. Who gives a crap what anybody else thinks/does? Ride what you like & let your riding do the talking. More choices is inherently good for riders and bike industry. 3 wheel sizes will be around to choose from for foreseeable future. Shut up & ride.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    The physics are that a 27.5 tire in the same width and model and as a 26" tire is 5% larger and 10% heavier, and a world cup team claims it is 1-2 seconds per minute faster.

    There is no way in hell that matters on the trail. None. I am not a pro, and neither are you. When I go on the trail, I'm not riding for time and if I were I'd most likely be inconsistent from lap to lap based on first fitness and secondly technical errors. I could never turn in two performances consistent enough for the difference in rolling resistance between a 27.5 and 26" tire to matter. And neither can you.

    Now, some 27.5 bikes have revised geometry. A Santa Cruz Bronson is not a replica of their 26" bike that preceded it. It has a slacker head tube angle, longer top tube, and steeper seat tube angle. It rides different. NOT the tires.

    I disagree. I can feel a definite difference between the wheel sizes. Just because you aren't in tune with your bike doesn't mean everybody else isn't. I've ridden both wheel sizes back to back on the same bike. They roll and behave very differently.

    Today there are many, many more times 26" wheels, tires and forks than 27.5. By next year that won't be true, in part due to any 27.5 fork automatically being nearly perfectly suited for 26" use as well. And in 2 years, no doubt 26" will be on the way out.

    So if you want a new bike and not a 29er, fine, get a 27.5. That is perfectly sensible.

    If you have a very competent 26" bike, however, I utterly reject that the 27.5 tire size alone is anywhere near worth upgrading from 26". A new bike frame could be. A new fork could be. It depends on what you've got now, and what you test/buy tomorrow.
    I do agree with the last part. It's not worth the average rider selling all his 26" stuff to get the latest and greatest 650b. However, if you're in the market for a new bike, a lot of people, and I'd say the majority of people, will like the feel and performance of a 650b.

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    This is my thought, as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    It's going to be fun to watch when the industry re-releases 26" wheels in 5 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    I disagree. I can feel a definite difference between the wheel sizes. Just because you aren't in tune with your bike doesn't mean everybody else isn't. I've ridden both wheel sizes back to back on the same bike. They roll and behave very differently.
    First, let's take this back to a generic discussion. I take no offense to your statement, but if we start saying that anyone who is on one side of an argument simply has a riding and/or perception issue, that leads to nowhere. Anyone can make a statement like that about any issue.


    That said-- In your test, did you use the same tire model as well, and same width? Did you know which tire was which before riding?

    There are two main issues, and I am speaking generically so as to be clear that I am not criticizing you.

    1. Confirmation bias. If a person believes something, they are likely to be biased in one way or another prior to experiencing it. 27.5 is new and hyped up-- If a person is is excited about it and they believe it is better, they are more likely to have a positive impression when they ride 27.5.

    2. Perception actually can create reality. This is not a controversial statement, when you really think about it. If I think I can climb a difficult hill, I am more likely to do it than if I assure myself that it can't be done. Obviously, belief alone cannot make the impossible possible. But if someone actually does feel a difference between two tires* and they further believe that one is better, then it would not be any surprise that they could perform slightly better on the tire they prefer. If you feel faster, sometimes it does make you faster.

    Technically, a person could construct a scientifically valid experiment to exclude these factors. The first requirement is that the testers do not know what they are testing.

    Let's build a field of ten Bronsons, five with 26" and five with 27.5" wheels of the same model and make sure that all decals are removed from the wheels. If you were to pay Schwalbe to produce a run of 26x2.25 and 27x2.25 Racing Ralphs with no markings, that would be ideal, but if not perhaps you could simply black out the lettering and ask test riders to stay on the bike and not to adjust or inspect anything. Let's find ten riders who are of similar build to where they can ride the same size bike. We will put some sensors and electronics on the bikes and tell the riders we are doing some stress / durability testing and we'll need them to push hard, and to give their impressions of each ride whether verbally or in writing after each run. We ask about handling, speed, etc. And the electronics are gathering metrics about how fast they're going, how sharp they turn and brake, and so on.

    Now the riders go on a trail one after another, spaced out so they have clean individual runs, and thinking they are testing durability. But then we write down what they say after riding each bike, and we look at the data. They ride each bike in random order.

    Then we'd know not only if the tire size mattered for true performance, but we'd also know if riders could tell the difference in weight and rolling resistance.


    Obviously, real life isn't like this. If you like a bike, buy it.

    And my footnote from above-- * I would guess that a rider who doesn't know the difference before riding 26 and 27.5 and goes on feel alone is more likely to notice the difference in wheel and tire weight than in rolling resistance. Just my opinion.

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    Re: Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    Well, besides the increased rollover they would also feel increased traction while climbing, cornering and descending. Lot of them would also feel higher stability at higher speeds.
    They will see as well that the sizes of those tires are different, because they are and it is pretty visible...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    Well, besides the increased rollover they would also feel increased traction while climbing, cornering and descending. Lot of them would also feel higher stability at higher speeds.
    They will see as well that the sizes of those tires are different, because they are and it is pretty visible...
    that is the premise of 29er vs 26.

    but would they actually notice for 27.5 vs 26 if there weren't any labels and you didn't have the 26 and 27.5 side-by-side for visual comparison? we're talking about 5%. a 26x2.35 is the same height / circumference as a 27.5x2.2, excluding differences due to tire model.

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    Re: Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    I believe they would. I can see the difference between 26 and 660b looking at front whheel sitting on my bike.
    Yes you are right, it is the same premise, but you also get better maneuverability comparing to 29 wheels.
    All sizes are different, they all offer different advantages and tradeoffs to a certain point.
    To me, 650b offers the best mix of both. I still own all 3 sizes though.
    Which tires are you referring to?
    I am not aware of any 26 2.35 being the same height as 27.5 2.2... It seems very unlikely considering the same manufacturer.

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    @Colinl. The experiment you sugest would require isolating lots of other variables. Bb height chainstay and wheel base legnth. Also there is no basline control.

    Other then that i agree with the premise....

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    I am not aware of any 26 2.35 being the same height as 27.5 2.2... It seems very unlikely considering the same manufacturer.
    Measure your 27.5 and 26 bikes, and post the diameter and/or rollout (circumference) as you see fit, along with the tire model and width.

    Mountainbike Action and others already did this. I am not pulling the 5% number out of thin air, that is the nominal difference in diameter between a 26 and 27.5 of the same width.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    @Colinl. The experiment you sugest would require isolating lots of other variables. Bb height chainstay and wheel base legnth. Also there is no basline control.
    Yes, I know. I didn't attempt to document the full test scenario because that is kind of pointless, and the post was already far beyond most people's attention span / interest.

    They would be on identical bikes except for the wheels. While, yes, it is true that bottom bracket height would vary a very small amount due to the tire outside diameter difference, it is no different than using a narrow tire compared to a wide one. A 26x1.8 XC tire is considerably shorter than a 26x2.35 AM tire, which is in turn shorter than a 26x2.7 DH tire.

    An additional item of interest would then be to use a 26" tire whose diameter matched a narrower 27.5" tire and repeat the tests, with different riders of course. Then you have two tires that rolls just as well over objects, assuming again they are the same model.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    I believe they would. I can see the difference between 26 and 660b looking at front whheel sitting on my bike.
    Yes you are right, it is the same premise, but you also get better maneuverability comparing to 29 wheels.
    All sizes are different, they all offer different advantages and tradeoffs to a certain point.
    To me, 650b offers the best mix of both. I still own all 3 sizes though.
    Which tires are you referring to?
    I am not aware of any 26 2.35 being the same height as 27.5 2.2... It seems very unlikely considering the same manufacturer.

    You sir, are what marketing dreams are made of. You and dollar signs.

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    Re: Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    You are right.
    As long as the marketing delivers what is being promised and I like it, I will gladly support it's dreams.
    I have ridden 26" bikes for long time, 29er for last 2years and I converted my 26er last december. For now I am keeping all 3 wheel sizes, but I have to say I have been riding my 650 90% of the time since I put it together.
    If I had to choose just one size, it would definitely be 650b.
    Last edited by jazzanova; 07-17-2013 at 02:15 PM.

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    If jazz likes 650b it does me no harm.

  57. #57
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    This is interesting. Looking at it from the perspective of "is there a significant difference going from a 26 to a 275 to make it worth the effort?", makes a lot of sense.

    After moving to a 29er maybe 9 years or so back I find that any bike with a 26" wheel up front feels twitchy and unstable. Even AM rigs with big rubber and slacked HTAs.

    I'm not crazy about a 29" wheel out back for AM-ish riding (not the horse and buggy type). So I've gone 275 out back and really like it.

    I'm very curious as to how a 275, on the right bike, is going to feel up front? Coming back to the original point... Is it too close to a 26" to make a difference and give me the feel I want up front.

    Will have to wait to get a proper demo.

    I speculate that for many, going from a 26 to a 275 may not make enough difference to be worth the "effort/trade-offs". What I'd like to see are production bike with the 275 out back and a 29 up front. You'd do away with the rear travel/chainstay issues that 29ers have and keep the big hoop up front to make a real difference - enough to make the effort of changing from a 26 worth it.

  58. #58
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    Wheel size is just one more variable on a mountain bike that each person should want to optimize for his / her height weight, terrain, riding style, etc, etc, etc. Because we have very limited size options that are mass produced, I guess there is a tendency to divide into camps and argue about which is best. And boy is there a lot of inertia in this market.

    If I was picking, I'd be running about a 31" diameter wheel up front, and 29" out back (mainly just to keep the rear chainstay length reasonable). But 29 on both ends works pretty darn good, so I'll just be glad I got that. Maybe in 5 - 10 years I'll get my wish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JACKL View Post
    Wheel size is just one more variable on a mountain bike that each person should want to optimize for his / her height weight, terrain, riding style, etc, etc, etc. Because we have very limited size options that are mass produced, I guess there is a tendency to divide into camps and argue about which is best. And boy is there a lot of inertia in this market.

    If I was picking, I'd be running about a 31" diameter wheel up front, and 29" out back (mainly just to keep the rear chainstay length reasonable). But 29 on both ends works pretty darn good, so I'll just be glad I got that. Maybe in 5 - 10 years I'll get my wish.
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    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    I say why limit yourself buy a super light sub 24lbs FS XC 100-120mm 29er, a Trail-AM 150-160 mm travel 650b and a DH 200-250mm double crown fork 26.
    Problem solved.
    And if that doesn't suffice throw a SS on to the mix.
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  61. #61
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    29ers and 650b is only popular in the US. in europe everyhting is as usual, 26ers for mtb, and 28ers (700c) for everything else.

    Personally I will never own a 29er mtb because they just look too damn stupid. and 650b mtb?? really? 1cm bigger rim? Maybe I'll pass.
    If it aint broke, convince people it is..
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    Re: Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    You better buy some 26ers now, your options might be very limited next year.

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    Seriously? The frame is the same. I absolutely could buy a Solo C frame right now and transfer everything from my Blur onto it.

    Actually, that's not quite true. I'd need a new headset and front derailleur. If I had a newer Blur everything literally would come straight over.

    Then I'd have a Solo with a quarter-inch lower bottom bracket. Oh god no, not that!

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Do roots and rocks scare you?
    Nope. I ride the chunkiest trails I can find.

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    jazz- I kinda doubt it. since mavics and dts majority of rims are still 26, and so are available tires from the best makers. I don't buy complete bikes.
    I get the wheel size that has the biggest spectrum of available rims and tires, that way I can get exactly what I want. This is whats important.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    29ers and 650b is only popular in the US. in europe everyhting is as usual, 26ers for mtb, and 28ers (700c) for everything else.

    Personally I will never own a 29er mtb because they just look too damn stupid. and 650b mtb?? really? 1cm bigger rim? Maybe I'll pass.
    If it aint broke, convince people it is..
    I dont know about that. Trek released a press relese today introducing thier 650b line up which is only available in europe for now

    Last years red bull rampage only had 1 650b in it. The rider, antoine bizet, got second place and is from france.

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    Re: Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    Colin,

    I just want to know which manufacturers 26" 2.35 is the same height as 650b 2.2, how you claimed before. I find it hard to believe it, but go ahead and prove me wrong....
    Last edited by jazzanova; 07-17-2013 at 04:49 PM.

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    Re: Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    Car bone,
    That all will change by the end of the year.
    Almost all new tire offerings are now 650 and 29. There is virtually 0 innovation in 26er market. What you see is mainly old stock, which is becoming thinner...
    The truth is that most of the Europe is on 26ers, but the option to buy a new 26 is already smaller.

  69. #69
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    warning, lots of scientific word vomit ahead.

    It's interesting that nobody has brought up math/physics in regard to these wheel standards yet. It can easily prove/disprove a lot of the 'perceived realities' floating around. Plain ol' kinematics doesn't have an opinion. The whole 26 vs 27.5 vs 29 thing is no more than a balance of weaknesses vs strengths (as is always the case). Everyone says the 27.5er is exactly between the two current 'standard sizes.' The Best of both worlds. Makes sense, right? But is that really the case? I honestly didn't know. But science does, so I went all nerdy.

    I spent a few nights working out the numbers on a few theoretical tests. Using a series of very basic Matlab simulations, I made a 'Rolling Ease' test, where I simulated the wheels colliding with, then rolling up and over small square edges of varying sizes from 1/10" to 5". If you take a 26er as the bottom of the scale, and the 29er as the top, where would you think the 'Tweener wheel would land? The internet forum experts seem to all say right in the middle, but it was surprisingly not. It was, at most, about 38% up from the 26er. Bear in mind, that this is NOT a 38% increase in rolling efficiency. It's just showing where it lies between 26ers and 29ers. It leans decidedly toward the 26er. As the bumps got bigger, the advantage of both 650b and even the 29er went down to very near the 26er. But that's to be expected. Again, this is all theoretical. But in terms of the 27.5 wheel, it would start to feel very close to a 26er in terms of rolling ease on bumps greater than 3" in height. At the optimal bump size of around 1.3" height, it was about 4-5% better than a 26er at maintaining its forward velocity. Improvement? Yes. But hardly the night-and-day difference the forums suggest, but it is an improvement. For comparison, the 29er was about 11% better at its best. Is that 4-5% improvement enough to toss the 26er in the garbage? Probably not, unless you are unreasonably wealthy and have a penchant for early adoption. But I will add that a small change in tire pressure can make more of a difference to rolling efficiency than going from a 26er to a 27.5er.

    In terms of rotational mass, another test was performed simulating the force a rider must exert over time to accelerate to a given speed. 29ers have a higher moment of inertia than 26ers, since they have more mass farther away from the hub. This, to me, is the single largest downside to a larger wheel. You can most definitely feel it. This larger diameter also makes the wheels more flexy/inefficient, but that's not being tested here. This time, the 27.5er tended to lean a bit more toward the 29er side of the scale. Makes sense, since the addition of mass with an increasing diameter rim and tire is not linear, it's exponential. In laymans' terms, the 27.5er is going to accelerate more like a 29er than a 26er (ie: slower).


    blah blah blah, that was fun. if I were forced to get rid of one wheel size, I would pick the 27.5er. It offers little in the way of true benefits over the others. But 27.5 won't be disappearing anytime soon, since it's the hottest thing since the last new standard, which was the hottest thing since the previous new standard... iPhone5... iPhone 4S... iPhone 4...


    Above all, I've realized that I don't even care enough about the wheel size argument to have put this much effort into it. They are all wheels. They are all round. They all roll pretty darn well. All 3 will be here for the foreseeable future. Go ride your bike. Pedal up hard. Ride down fast. Enjoy it. Don't get too hung up on wheel size, because it doesn't make as much a difference as you'd think.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    You sir, are what marketing dreams are made of. You and dollar signs.
    You sir, are close-minded and ignorant. There is a difference, whether you want to admit it or not. Personally, I want the best bike I can buy for my money. If it's different than what I'm used to, then so be it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    29ers and 650b is only popular in the US. in europe everyhting is as usual, 26ers for mtb, and 28ers (700c) for everything else.

    Personally I will never own a 29er mtb because they just look too damn stupid. and 650b mtb?? really? 1cm bigger rim? Maybe I'll pass.
    If it aint broke, convince people it is..
    Maybe you, like many other posters here, should try it before bashing it. Last time I checked, Europe wasn't exactly cutting edge.

  72. #72
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    Wonderful. So you've successfully downgraded this thread to namecalling. That helps.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    Wonderful. So you've successfully downgraded this thread to namecalling. That helps.
    What, "close-minded" and "ignorant"? That's not name-calling. That's describing the type of poster he is. Name-calling would have been "dense" and "stupid". Saying something is "marketing" and hype without trying it is the definition of being "close minded". That's not name-calling. Ignorant means to be uneducated. The poster clearly doesn't know much about the topic at hand. Again, not name-calling. I'm not sure how I could have been more politically correct. Maybe you were referring to the statement that I quoted. Calling a poster a marketer's dream and putting him at the same level as money isn't exactly bringing this thread to a higher level. In fact, this thread can't get much lower. People claiming something is no different or all hype without any personal experience with the topic other than the possibility that it might be better than what they have is ignorant. I don't know what else to call it. You don't like it? Make intelligent comments. Better yet, don't post them at all.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Better yet, don't post them at all.
    That's the answer! We need never have a discussion again wherein any person is in disagreement with the majority. We'd have quite a forum, and everyone would be thrilled, agreeing with each other and learning nothing.

    I did post numerous comments about 27.5. You did not bother to address any of the technical points I made in them.

  75. #75
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    I love the direction is headed. Getting nice and warm

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    Re: Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    Turner Burner best bike I've ridden so far...

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

  77. #77
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    if it were as simple as choice I don't think there would be this discussion, but we're losing the choice much faster then anyone thought. By next year there will only be a few manufactures offering a 26"frame in the 150mm range. There will be no new frames to put 26 wheels on in the future unless their put on a 650b frame.

    I'm personally tired of hearing the whole physics talk. It seems all forget the neg effects of the same physics that are preached upon. I also fine it funny that after all the years that people who have been converting 26ers into 650b bikes. The bike industry just now decides that this is a good wheel size. I just wonder when the AM and 650b forums will merge.

  78. #78
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    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    Last years red bull rampage only had 1 650b in it. The rider, antoine bizet, got second place and is from france.
    I'm not sure what Bizet rode, but I think you're thinking of Logan Binggeli from UT, who took 3rd riding a KHS 650b.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I'm not sure what Bizet rode, but I think you're thinking of Logan Binggeli from UT, who took 3rd riding a KHS 650b.
    Well i f'ed that all up ...

    Edit

    I was wondering what happend to my memory so i went and looked. But i just mixed up the bikes of second and third place riders.

    I wonder how many tweener bikes we will see there this year.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Maybe you, like many other posters here, should try it before bashing it. Last time I checked, Europe wasn't exactly cutting edge.
    Is reusing at least 50 year old french standards and calling them 29er (700c) and 27,5er (650b) cutting edge you say? Whats so cutting edge about it??

    Wheel sizes come and go and soon every old crap is reintroduced once again and marketed as new and superior. Its all the same shit it always has been.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  81. #81
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    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    29ers and 650b is only popular in the US. in europe everyhting is as usual, 26ers for mtb, and 28ers (700c) for everything else.

    Personally I will never own a 29er mtb because they just look too damn stupid. and 650b mtb?? really? 1cm bigger rim? Maybe I'll pass.
    If it aint broke, convince people it is..
    Two names: Nino Schurter; Nico Vouilloz

    Ever hear of them? Without Nino deciding it WAS broke last year, few people would know about or be riding 27.5" bikes and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Ask Nico how he likes the bike he helped develop for Lapeirre on which he had already won races in the Enduro World Series.

    So thanks Europe for endorsing and succeeding on this wheel size alternative to 29".
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    That's the answer! We need never have a discussion again wherein any person is in disagreement with the majority. We'd have quite a forum, and everyone would be thrilled, agreeing with each other and learning nothing.

    I did post numerous comments about 27.5. You did not bother to address any of the technical points I made in them.
    Having an intelligent discussion is one thing. Throwing out useless and uninformed speculation is completely different. I didn't realize I had to comment on any of your technical points, since I wasn't quoting you.

  83. #83
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    Future of 26" vs 27.5" Wheels for Trail Bikes

    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    warning, lots of scientific word vomit ahead.

    It's interesting that nobody has brought up math/physics in regard to these wheel standards yet. It can easily prove/disprove a lot of the 'perceived realities' floating around. Plain ol' kinematics doesn't have an opinion. The whole 26 vs 27.5 vs 29 thing is no more than a balance of weaknesses vs strengths (as is always the case). Everyone says the 27.5er is exactly between the two current 'standard sizes.' The Best of both worlds. Makes sense, right? But is that really the case? I honestly didn't know. But science does, so I went all nerdy.

    I spent a few nights working out the numbers on a few theoretical tests. Using a series of very basic Matlab simulations, I made a 'Rolling Ease' test, where I simulated the wheels colliding with, then rolling up and over small square edges of varying sizes from 1/10" to 5". If you take a 26er as the bottom of the scale, and the 29er as the top, where would you think the 'Tweener wheel would land? The internet forum experts seem to all say right in the middle, but it was surprisingly not. It was, at most, about 38% up from the 26er. Bear in mind, that this is NOT a 38% increase in rolling efficiency. It's just showing where it lies between 26ers and 29ers. It leans decidedly toward the 26er. As the bumps got bigger, the advantage of both 650b and even the 29er went down to very near the 26er. But that's to be expected. Again, this is all theoretical. But in terms of the 27.5 wheel, it would start to feel very close to a 26er in terms of rolling ease on bumps greater than 3" in height. At the optimal bump size of around 1.3" height, it was about 4-5% better than a 26er at maintaining its forward velocity. Improvement? Yes. But hardly the night-and-day difference the forums suggest, but it is an improvement. For comparison, the 29er was about 11% better at its best. Is that 4-5% improvement enough to toss the 26er in the garbage? Probably not, unless you are unreasonably wealthy and have a penchant for early adoption. But I will add that a small change in tire pressure can make more of a difference to rolling efficiency than going from a 26er to a 27.5er.

    In terms of rotational mass, another test was performed simulating the force a rider must exert over time to accelerate to a given speed. 29ers have a higher moment of inertia than 26ers, since they have more mass farther away from the hub. This, to me, is the single largest downside to a larger wheel. You can most definitely feel it. This larger diameter also makes the wheels more flexy/inefficient, but that's not being tested here. This time, the 27.5er tended to lean a bit more toward the 29er side of the scale. Makes sense, since the addition of mass with an increasing diameter rim and tire is not linear, it's exponential. In laymans' terms, the 27.5er is going to accelerate more like a 29er than a 26er (ie: slower).


    blah blah blah, that was fun. if I were forced to get rid of one wheel size, I would pick the 27.5er. It offers little in the way of true benefits over the others. But 27.5 won't be disappearing anytime soon, since it's the hottest thing since the last new standard, which was the hottest thing since the previous new standard... iPhone5... iPhone 4S... iPhone 4...


    Above all, I've realized that I don't even care enough about the wheel size argument to have put this much effort into it. They are all wheels. They are all round. They all roll pretty darn well. All 3 will be here for the foreseeable future. Go ride your bike. Pedal up hard. Ride down fast. Enjoy it. Don't get too hung up on wheel size, because it doesn't make as much a difference as you'd think.
    Really? You "don't care enough"? That was one LOONG post. I'm thinking maybe OCD rather than " don't care".

    I'm also thinking a certain Rhino needs to demo some bikes and put the PC away for a while
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Is reusing at least 50 year old french standards and calling them 29er (700c) and 27,5er (650b) cutting edge you say? Whats so cutting edge about it??

    Wheel sizes come and go and soon every old crap is reintroduced once again and marketed as new and superior. Its all the same shit it always has been.
    Well, Europeans are generally known to be traditionalists. Look at the evolution of the road bike. They remained relatively the same for what, 30 years? Look at the evolution of mountain bikes in the U.S. Europeans took forever to adopt 29ers, and it took them a while to catch on to mountain bikes. Perhaps somebody should have taken the 650b size and applied it to mountain bikes decades ago. If I want a fat bike or custom trekking bike, where would I go? With the exception of Great Britain, probably not to a European company. I'm not bashing Europe in any way. I just wouldn't call many European companies cutting edge.

    Sure, wheel sizes come and go. That doesn't mean one size doesn't work better for certain applications. Just because 650b has been around for years, doesn't mean it doesn't have advantages. They were never properly applied to mountain bikes, because it was a European standard, and Europe never did much with mountain bikes. Look at Campagnolo, for example. Will it fade away over time? Maybe, as technology advances and wheels get lighter, maybe 29ers will completely take over. Why limit your options because you're scared of change?

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Two names: Nino Schurter; Nico Vouilloz

    Ever hear of them? Without Nino deciding it WAS broke last year, few people would know about or be riding 27.5" bikes and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Ask Nico how he likes the bike he helped develop for Lapeirre on which he had already won races in the Enduro World Series.

    So thanks Europe for endorsing and succeeding on this wheel size alternative to 29".
    Never heard of them.

    The way I see it:
    small rider - 26
    medium rider - 650b
    big boned/tall/large rider - 700c

    OR if you are buying into a certain wheel size for looks.

    I happen to find medium sized bikes looks best with 700c rims if using like 28mm slick tires
    and for 35-45mm tires the 650b size looks most estethic to me, but performance wise, the difference between 26 and 650b?? I don't know there really. I get it that people buy based on looks.

    If the whole industry is abandoning 26inch its only marketing I'm afraid since the performance difference between wheel sizes is always a 2 sided coin, you gain some there and lose some there, a zero sum game.

    The more sizes the better imo but just abandoning one size for sales purposes thats just silly, yeah sure go with 650b but keep the 26er stuff for the people that still want that stuff.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Well, Europeans are generally known to be traditionalists. Look at the evolution of the road bike. They remained relatively the same for what, 30 years? Look at the evolution of mountain bikes in the U.S. Europeans took forever to adopt 29ers, and it took them a while to catch on to mountain bikes. Perhaps somebody should have taken the 650b size and applied it to mountain bikes decades ago. If I want a fat bike or custom trekking bike, where would I go? With the exception of Great Britain, probably not to a European company. I'm not bashing Europe in any way. I just wouldn't call many European companies cutting edge.

    Sure, wheel sizes come and go. That doesn't mean one size doesn't work better for certain applications. Just because 650b has been around for years, doesn't mean it doesn't have advantages. They were never properly applied to mountain bikes, because it was a European standard, and Europe never did much with mountain bikes. Look at Campagnolo, for example. Will it fade away over time? Maybe, as technology advances and wheels get lighter, maybe 29ers will completely take over. To say something is worthless despite the obvious advantages is rather ignorant.
    The reason very few european companies don't go all in on 29ers and 650b is simple, no one would buy it. People here are like this: whats wrong with 26ers?? Plain and simple.

    For utility bikes and commuters of all kinds people ask themselves whats wrong with 28ers?? The traditional non mtb size for all bikes, a 700c/29er rim. And whats wrong with it?? Nothing of course.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    I ride a 26er commuter for one reason, I can find the best selection of studded tires for it in the winter. Otherwise I would be riding a 28er commuter.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Never heard of them.

    The way I see it:
    small rider - 26
    medium rider - 650b
    big boned/tall/large rider - 700c

    Really? You don't think trails or riding styles have any influence on choosing a wheel size? I'm 6' 3" tall and 190 pounds, and I can't stand 29ers on proper trails. Is my preference incorrect?

    OR if you are buying into a certain wheel size for looks.

    I happen to find medium sized bikes looks best with 700c rims if using like 28mm slick tires
    and for 35-45mm tires the 650b size looks most estethic to me, but performance wise, the difference between 26 and 650b?? I don't know there really. I get it that people buy based on looks.

    If the whole industry is abandoning 26inch its only marketing I'm afraid since the performance difference between wheel sizes is always a 2 sided coin, you gain some there and lose some there, a zero sum game.

    If a wheel size offers advantages for certain, and in this case, the majority of riders, how is that possibly "only marketing"? Is suspension "only marketing"? You admit that there are differences. Why should those that benefit from the alternative not have the option? Because you don't like it?

    The more sizes the better imo but just abandoning one size for sales purposes thats just silly, yeah sure go with 650b but keep the 26er stuff for the people that still want that stuff.

    So now the more sizes the better? I thought you said it was "only marketing"?

    You're all over the place, here. Yes, keep the wheel sizes, including 650b.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    The reason very few european companies don't go all in on 29ers and 650b is simple, no one would buy it. People here are like this: whats wrong with 26ers?? Plain and simple.

    For utility bikes and commuters of all kinds people ask themselves whats wrong with 28ers?? The traditional non mtb size for all bikes, a 700c/29er rim. And whats wrong with it?? Nothing of course.
    Of course there's nothing "wrong" with 26ers. Just like there's nothing "wrong" with fully rigid steel bikes, platform pedals, and cantilever brakes. Why deny or ignore the advantages of other wheel sizes that may work better for many people? That just doesn't make sense, and supports my statement that Europeans in general are traditionalists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post

    You're all over the place, here. Yes, keep the wheel sizes, including 650b.
    I'm for more options, not less. And just making one standard disappear is limiting to the customers. Just because a few elite riders go faster on a certain size wheel does not mean its "better" for everyone else.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbiker24 View Post
    Of course there's nothing "wrong" with 26ers. Just like there's nothing "wrong" with fully rigid steel bikes, platform pedals, and cantilever brakes. Why deny or ignore the advantages of other wheel sizes that may work better for many people? That just doesn't make sense, and supports my statement that Europeans in general are traditionalists.
    The problem is that the definition of "better" is non existant. The is no such thing, its only different. And in this case "new".
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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    Wait i missed the part aboit 26er disapering. I just bought a new frame. 26" hardtail and i had lots of options.

    The idea that 650b or 29er will cause 26ers to disapear is based in fear not reality.

    This sport has lots and lots of riders with differnt ideas of what mountain biking is and how mountain bikes should be. More riders means more bikes.

    Stop crying about options..... tell me a sad story about hpw the recubant bike killed the beacj crusier or how fat bikes killed bar bikes or how cycle cross bikes killed treking bikes or how 24" dirt jumpers killed bmx or how a trials bikes killed flat land bikes.

    Tell me a story about 150mm axels killing 135qr. Or a tale about 15mm ta killing 20mm ta.
    Or hydro brakes making cable disks rare and unavailable.

    Go away and cry in the corner people ride what they like nothing is going anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Really? You "don't care enough"? That was one LOONG post. I'm thinking maybe OCD rather than " don't care".

    I'm also thinking a certain Rhino needs to demo some bikes and put the PC away for a while
    But honestly, it is well written and the points are important. With that said, what will survive is what people will buy. If people don't buy 26" bikes, they will disappear. Give the people what they want (works best if you make sure to tell them what they want!).
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    warning, lots of scientific word vomit ahead.

    It's interesting that nobody has brought up math/physics in regard to these wheel standards yet. It can easily prove/disprove a lot of the 'perceived realities' floating around. Plain ol' kinematics doesn't have an opinion. The whole 26 vs 27.5 vs 29 thing is no more than a balance of weaknesses vs strengths (as is always the case). Everyone says the 27.5er is exactly between the two current 'standard sizes.' The Best of both worlds. Makes sense, right? But is that really the case? I honestly didn't know. But science does, so I went all nerdy.

    I spent a few nights working out the numbers on a few theoretical tests. Using a series of very basic Matlab simulations, I made a 'Rolling Ease' test, where I simulated the wheels colliding with, then rolling up and over small square edges of varying sizes from 1/10" to 5". If you take a 26er as the bottom of the scale, and the 29er as the top, where would you think the 'Tweener wheel would land? The internet forum experts seem to all say right in the middle, but it was surprisingly not. It was, at most, about 38% up from the 26er. Bear in mind, that this is NOT a 38% increase in rolling efficiency. It's just showing where it lies between 26ers and 29ers. It leans decidedly toward the 26er. As the bumps got bigger, the advantage of both 650b and even the 29er went down to very near the 26er. But that's to be expected. Again, this is all theoretical. But in terms of the 27.5 wheel, it would start to feel very close to a 26er in terms of rolling ease on bumps greater than 3" in height. At the optimal bump size of around 1.3" height, it was about 4-5% better than a 26er at maintaining its forward velocity. Improvement? Yes. But hardly the night-and-day difference the forums suggest, but it is an improvement. For comparison, the 29er was about 11% better at its best. Is that 4-5% improvement enough to toss the 26er in the garbage? Probably not, unless you are unreasonably wealthy and have a penchant for early adoption. But I will add that a small change in tire pressure can make more of a difference to rolling efficiency than going from a 26er to a 27.5er.

    In terms of rotational mass, another test was performed simulating the force a rider must exert over time to accelerate to a given speed. 29ers have a higher moment of inertia than 26ers, since they have more mass farther away from the hub. This, to me, is the single largest downside to a larger wheel. You can most definitely feel it. This larger diameter also makes the wheels more flexy/inefficient, but that's not being tested here. This time, the 27.5er tended to lean a bit more toward the 29er side of the scale. Makes sense, since the addition of mass with an increasing diameter rim and tire is not linear, it's exponential. In laymans' terms, the 27.5er is going to accelerate more like a 29er than a 26er (ie: slower).


    blah blah blah, that was fun. if I were forced to get rid of one wheel size, I would pick the 27.5er. It offers little in the way of true benefits over the others. But 27.5 won't be disappearing anytime soon, since it's the hottest thing since the last new standard, which was the hottest thing since the previous new standard... iPhone5... iPhone 4S... iPhone 4...


    Above all, I've realized that I don't even care enough about the wheel size argument to have put this much effort into it. They are all wheels. They are all round. They all roll pretty darn well. All 3 will be here for the foreseeable future. Go ride your bike. Pedal up hard. Ride down fast. Enjoy it. Don't get too hung up on wheel size, because it doesn't make as much a difference as you'd think.
    Thanks for the data. Makes you wonder how much benefit there is.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    But honestly, it is well written and the points are important. With that said, what will survive is what people will buy. If people don't buy 26" bikes, they will disappear. Give the people what they want (works best if you make sure to tell them what they want!).
    This is the crux of 27.5 to me. 26" is undeniably dying, completely unsellable in many shops as everyone+dog bought 29ers the past 2+ years. So if 27.5 is the only future for non-29ers, I'm on board.

    What I don't see is any compelling advantage to make me want to replace my 26" with a 27.5." I have a long stem (by MTB standards) on my Blur at 100mm because the top tube is so short and I have unusually long reach for my height. I like the new geometry of the Solo and Bronson. But in and of itself, 27.5 is a footnote for me.

  96. #96
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    I find it interesting that no one mentions gearing when talking about the feel of these different wheel sizes, geometry is mentioned here and there but we slap the same gears on all three sizes and don't think that will make it feel any different.
    “An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” Marco Polo

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
    This is the crux of 27.5 to me. 26" is undeniably dying, completely unsellable in many shops as everyone+dog bought 29ers the past 2+ years.
    I respectfully disagree. Not trying to start a fight, just so we are clear. I don't think 26 is dying simply because it isn't selling well in shops. The people going to shops and buying new bikes want the 'newest thing' and shops are accordingly stocking their shelves with 29 and 650b bikes. But that doesn't mean that 26 is becoming irrelevant or disappearing. If I go to a Mazda car dealership, I won't see many Miatas for sale. They're just not all that popular with the crowd of new car buyers. But look at the amateur car racing scene: It's been full to the brim with cheap but sporty Miatas for two decades. Parts and upgrades are all over the place, even though all sorts of new cars have surpassed it in terms of performance. They are still everywhere. They've even had a strong resurgence in recent years, according to a friend who works at a nearby track. 26ers will dip for a while, but there will be new parts for them for decades to come. And who knows but they might regain popularity at some point if more rigid wheelsets become a fad (again).


    PS- I don't like the Mazda Miata. I am not 65 years old, and I do not have a personalized license plate, so I don't fit their demographic to begin with. The white ones look to me like the Stay-Puff marshmallow man's face when viewed from the front.
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  98. #98
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    There is a perception that 26ers are dying but i just dont belive it. Loads of manufactures are selling them. The fact an lbs doesnt carry somthing has nothing to do with the demand of that product. Alot of people buy bikes and frames online.

    The sky is not falling

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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    The problem is that the definition of "better" is non existant. The is no such thing, its only different. And in this case "new".
    There is definitely a definition of "better" for specific circumstances. I also disagree that 650b is "new". Different characteristics can be better for different people. While I agree that what is better for a pro cross-country racer is likely different than what is better for you or me, the definition of "difference" means that a characteristic might be better applied in a specific situation. I guess maybe I'm nitpicking on vocab, but I thought it's worth discussing.

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    true true. It definitely does change things. I think that with newer, larger span cassettes, 1x11, etc, that this is becoming less of an issue, but it is definitely something to consider. An 11-32 cassette on a 29er will require more force to maintain speed. But my guess is that people simply don't think of that when getting the new bike. It's new, it's super shiny, they got a new jersey for free from the shop, and they are certain they will be a faster rider. And they often are. I think that the 'new bike = go faster' thing plays into it more than gear ratios. Their new bike mathematically will have a harder time climbing hills. But if their mind tells them they are going to be way faster, their legs and lungs will rise to the occasion. Same goes for 650b.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
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