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  1. #1
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    The Good Ol' 26er?

    In the bombardment of new wheel sizes 27.5-650B, 29er.... So many choices, so much to look at and so many new bikes on the market...

    As i get on my 26er i feel the tires have shrunk since the last time on the trail! But as I roll off into the wilderness and gett in to the zone i am struck; man are they fast and man they carve like crazy!

    Has anyone else found that amid all the wheel size debates the good old 26er is still a heck of alot of fun?

  2. #2
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    the wheel size debacle is 100% BS. run whatever wheel you have. I only need 1 ride to get comfortable switching between 29 and 26. whatever I ride twice in a row, is what I am fastest on.

    it is 100% pure bullcrap that you need some specific size. run what ya brung.

    variety is good and fun, but 'need' ???? no one needs anything other than a working bike. how it is built is all up to personal preference and available funds.

  3. #3
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    I still fondly recall riding, I think, Stanley Gap, GA on a rigid 26er. I was totally "in the zone" that day and I was riding with other guys equal to myself, albeit slightly more fit. One guy had an early 29er, and everyone had suspension of one kind or another. The whole week stands out in my memory, but that day still ranks near the top of my all-time great rides. I doubt wheel size had anything to do with it, though.
    But yeah, the idea that a 26er "can't" or "is no longer relevant" is absurd.


    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  4. #4
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    Re: The Good Ol' 26er?

    I feel owning and riding both a 26er and a 29er is similar to when I cruised on my longboard and shredded on my skateboard. Each is fun in its own regard and each have their own feel.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvrbreeze View Post
    In the bombardment of new wheel sizes 27.5-650B, 29er.... So many choices, so much to look at and so many new bikes on the market...

    As i get on my 26er i feel the tires have shrunk since the last time on the trail! But as I roll off into the wilderness and gett in to the zone i am struck; man are they fast and man they carve like crazy!

    Has anyone else found that amid all the wheel size debates the good old 26er is still a heck of alot of fun?
    Contrary to what bike industry propaganda would have you believe, 26" is BY FAR the dominant mountain bike wheel size, due to installed base. 29er's have only been outselling them (fractionally) for about 18 months or so. 650b is still virtually non-existant.

    Sales of 26" wheel mountain bikes will recover strongly in the next year or so, and they will once again become the top seller by 2016.
    29er = Hybrid Bike.

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  6. #6
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    The worst thing going for the 27.5 "standard" is that bike prices have shot way up in the past couple of years, so I'd venture to guess that volume is going to go down as well. Granted, I don't know the bike industry financials, but it's going to be a lot harder for the industry to prop up another wheel standard (as well as the accompanying parts) when a decent new bike starts at $2000+.

  7. #7
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    I still love my 26ers and prefer the way they feel. I like the "other" wheelsizes but i still ride my 26ers everywhere.
    2006 Litespeed Niota -- 1994 Univega Alpina 5.5 -- 1995 Specialized FSR -- 1988 Schwinn Prologue -- XMI IP-106 Carbon 29er

  8. #8
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    The Good Ol' 26er?

    The sad thing about the whole wheel size argument is how the bike industry is using what they shoved down our throats as BENEFITS of 29ers as the reasons 29ers are now obsolete.


    Watching videos of "industry reps" telling us that 650b wheels are 'quicker, lighter, and stronger' than those big, bulky unwieldy 29ers they sold us 2 years ago while barely able to keep from smirking is a joke.

    Oh, and how much easier is it to design frames around 650b for small riders? Really? The same small riders you spent years convincing would be fine on a bike with 29" stand over and a -25 deg stem?

    And people believed every word.../boggle
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  9. #9
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    I was debating a similar topic with a friend on one of our last rides; when you're discussing bikes on the net, looking at catalogues, comparing geometry, wheel sizes, suspension designs, handlebar widths etc etc, it all seems so important and drastic and confusing, but get on any half-decent bike and get some dirt under the wheels and for the most part it disappears. I'd love to try out one of these new 650b slack and long 'all mountain' bikes, and I'm sure it would probably give me a slight boost in confidence and speed on my favourite trails. But at the end of the day I still really enjoy riding my 26" wheeled 5spot with its old-fashioned geometry, not because it is (or isn't) a great bike, but simply because riding bikes is fun.

    Riding a new/expensive bike might make you faster, but unless your current bike is seriously lacking it isn't going to make you have any more fun.

  10. #10
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    The Good Ol' 26er

    Still my "other bike" no plans to get rid of it......2008 Trance X2 pushing 6,000 miles now and going strong..... Just have to get used to it again after riding the 29ers!

    The Good Ol' 26er?-image.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post


    Sales of 26" wheel mountain bikes will recover strongly in the next year or so, and they will once again become the top seller by 2016.
    Please don't hold your breath on regards to that comment, I can pretty much guarantee that won't happen.

    What one poster said, ride what you got, they're all good!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by borbntm View Post
    Still my "other bike" no plans to get rid of it......2008 Trance X2 pushing 6,000 miles now and going strong..... Just have to get used to it again after riding the 29ers!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I know what you mean. Rode my 7 year old Blur yesterday for the first time in a while. Still love that bike, even though I have been mostly riding the newer 29er. I could never get rid of the Blur.

  13. #13
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    My good ol' 26er's better be fun. They are very good bikes and certainly old and the only mtb's I own. I'm ready for a new bike next year after a decade or more on my current rides and I'm pretty sure at least one ol' 26er will be gone and replaced by, gasp!, 29" wheels.

    Whatever and wherever I ride is fun though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Please don't hold your breath on regards to that comment, I can pretty much guarantee that won't happen.
    Well, in that case, I guarantee you are wrong. So there!
    29er = Hybrid Bike.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    when you're discussing bikes on the net, looking at catalogues, comparing geometry, wheel sizes, suspension designs, handlebar widths etc etc, it all seems so important and drastic and confusing, but get on any half-decent bike and get some dirt under the wheels and for the most part it disappears.
    Best comment in this thread.

    When I was building up my current bike in 2012 (a 26", too, gasp!) I created a spreadsheet for each and every component. That spreadsheet included the published weight of each part. I spent hours agonizing over whether this carbon bar was worth the $19 more to save 40 grams. CRITICAL DECISIONS right?

    Ha! Not even close. Half way up a 45 minute climb in the North Georgia mountains and my handlebar choice is the LEAST of my concerns. Wheel size is similar.
    I live with fear and danger every day. And on the weekends she lets me go mountain biking.

  16. #16
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    Great post:
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    The sad thing about the whole wheel size argument is how the bike industry is using what they shoved down our throats as BENEFITS of 29ers as the reasons 29ers are now obsolete.

    Watching videos of "industry reps" telling us that 650b wheels are 'quicker, lighter, and stronger' than those big, bulky unwieldy 29ers they sold us 2 years ago while barely able to keep from smirking is a joke.

    Oh, and how much easier is it to design frames around 650b for small riders? Really? The same small riders you spent years convincing would be fine on a bike with 29" stand over and a -25 deg stem?

    And people believed every word.../boggle
    Bike industry can get away with that because mountain bikers are SHEEP!

    Riders will agonize and debate with one another every little detail on their bike. This is after all the internet, where everyone is an EXPERT.

    Then they get on the trail where they are just another mediocre rider who cannot actually tell the difference in ride between 26er and 27.5, between 32mm stanctions vs 35mm, or any number of other choices they wasted so much time and effort on.

    But no doubt they they get right back on the internet after the ride to tell everyone how much difference that upgrade made and give themselves a big pat on the back for making such an awesome choice.

    SHEEP!

  17. #17
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    Even though alot of us are still holding onto and riding our 26ers, I wonder what percentage of people are buying them at this point. Also, what can we expect in the next 5 years or less for a 26? Extinction or just a lack of parts available?

  18. #18
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    1. It's a good time to walk into a shop with cash (!!) on hand and hard bargain for 26er stock. You can get a lot of bike right now, and most shops are eager to unload their 1-2-3 year old 26er stock.

    2. The bike industry never really fell in love with the 29ers and was dragged into mass producing them kicking and screaming (in one of the greatest 'grass roots' consumer movements in manufacturing history…think of all the nearly defunct small companies that had a brief second life when the Big Companies dragged on meeting big wheeled demand).

    3. Quite differently (and surprisingly) from the 29er movement, the bike industry is eager and overboard with the 650b designs (and not because of an overwhelming grassroots demand). I mean, companies like Giant, completely scrapping whole lines in one season and releasing dozens of 650b bikes? I am quite stunned by how quickly all the major players have gone 'all-in' with the middle wheel-size, especially when I think of how sullen they were about offering up serious 29ers with quality components just a few short years ago.

    As to what is better or not and if the 26er is still relevant: All wheel sizes can produce a great ride under a great rider…scooping up 'unwanted' 26er bikes might just be the deal of the decade.

  19. #19
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    My worry with the trend of the bike companies taking the 26" models off their lines, new tires, forks, wheels, etc. not being released in a 26" variety. That I am going to be forced to replace the bike I love, with a new one, because I can't get replacement parts. I hope the resurgence of the 26" only takes 2 years, but I don't think it is going to move that fast. Since I don't buy bikes very often, my current bike is a 2002, just replacement and upgrade parts, shoppers like me don't have much of an influence on what the market is going to do.

  20. #20
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    My tires should last a while, just need inner tube availability, and if my fork goes down, another fork.

  21. #21
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    I bought 10 sets of 26" tubeless ready nevegal pros. A few hoops from stans. And I'm future proof until my frame gives out. Got some incredible deals online due to the trend shift. Built a xtr level rig for 1 grand less

  22. #22
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    turbodog, I'll bet you one reputation block I'm right, but we'll have to wait a year or two I guess.
    Just don't take it too seriously though.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin_Federline View Post
    I bought 10 sets of 26" tubeless ready nevegal pros. A few hoops from stans. And I'm future proof until my frame gives out. Got some incredible deals online due to the trend shift. Built a xtr level rig for 1 grand less
    Your concerns are the same as mine. I am not worried about the availability of anything but tires, and maybe rims. However, just make sure you store those extra tires properly. You don't want them dry rotting on you. Ten sets is a lot of years, and that 9th or 10th set might not be all that great when you get around to riding them.

  24. #24
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    Probably 4 years or less. I put 1400 hard miles and 5000 easy miles a year

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    Contrary to what bike industry propaganda would have you believe, 26" is BY FAR the dominant mountain bike wheel size, due to installed base. 29er's have only been outselling them (fractionally) for about 18 months or so. 650b is still virtually non-existant.

    Sales of 26" wheel mountain bikes will recover strongly in the next year or so, and they will once again become the top seller by 2016.
    First paragraph = yes. Second = wrong.

    As was noted above, the major players have already shifted production away from 26 and tooling is in the process of being changed across the board. 27.5 and 29 will dominate, for better or worse. What will get difficult to find soon is straight steerer tube forks that are actually worth purchasing. If you think you'll need a new fork in the next two years buy it now.

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