I realize that I might be opening a Pandora's box of opinions here, and thus a few comments that I can expect, but there are economic reasons for thinking about this question. I'm looking to upgrade with a build or purchase of a new bike and sell my upgraded Santa Cruz Superlight 29'r. However, my wife also wants to upgrade from a entry level hard-tail with 26's. She enjoys all of the attributes that the 26's have to offer, but likes how the 29's rolls and the benefits of they offer with the exception of the slow turning, big feel (she's petite). But she feels like the 29'r handles like a truck compared to her 26's. After trying different wheel sizes, she feels the 27.5's are in her best interest, but her current budget can't support a new purchase. She decided to allocate her toy budget on something else besides a bike.
So she started scheming how to have her cake and eat it too. Knowing necessity is the mother of invention...she asks me: "What if we put 27.5's on the Santa Cruz Superlight 29'r?" Hmmm...that doesn't sound right, but why not? Technically this will work, but what are the trade-offs, if any? What would change in handling and would that be significant or not? What are the issues here? A set of 27.5 wheels, shorter stem and a few minor changes would be cheap compared to a comparably equipped new bike (that she wants).
From a size perspective, she's at the lower end of fitting this frame (medium) according to Santa Cruz as a 29'r. No stand-over problems with the 29's and better with 27.5's. So, frame size is acceptable. She has ridden this bike with no problems, but for her, she just isn't interested in the handling characteristics of the 29'r for her riding style. She has been riding a couple of years and has gained skills and confidence as an intermediate rider still pushing the comfort zone and her personal envelope.
We fully understand some will arguably say, just buy a dedicated 27.5, but it's just not gonna happen now. So, share your thoughts on the pros and cons of this idea. Thanx!
As a note, not knowing where I might get the best response, I have posting this in other forums.
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