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Thread: 27.5 or 29er?

  1. #1
    XC Hack
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    27.5 or 29er?

    Hi gals, my wife is on a 26 HT and I'm looking into a new bike for her (HT). How many of you are prefer 27.5 vs 29? She's a non-aggressive XC rider and I'd like something to boost her confidence descending or on more technical terrain. As an example, I put a high-volume 2.3 on the front of her bike and she's always telling people about how she can roll over anything with it. I'm not too worried about tight turning limits of the 29er as she mostly does fireroads. There's some flowy ST that she likes as well. She's 5-7, 115 if that helps. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Either. I am 5'7" also. Of my three mountain bikes I love my 29'er the most and ride it the most. No 27.5's in my quiver (yet) but I can see myself on one someday.
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  3. #3
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    Have her get on a bike. Test ride it. If she likes it, get it for her. Wheel size doesn't matter, just as long as she's happy.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with Stripes - just have her try out bikes and let her decide which one she likes best! The wheel size argument is about as useless as the Ford vs. Chevy debate, haha. I've only ever ridden a 29er, so obviously I have a strong bias. Most people will have bias one way or another, but can't decide what is best for someone else.

  5. #5
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    5ft7 as well, never ridden 27.5 or 29, (apart from an old roadbike which would have been 700c so like 27.5?). I did consider going to 29 last year because here in Oz 26" HT's which had reasonable specs are rather rare and 27.5" weren't quite in yet.

    Personally if I had to I'd have gone 27.5 over 29, but I found a nice 26er on sale for half price I've done some different riding in my time (including DH) but currently I mainly ride paved paths to work and home

    I agree with the others, you'd have to let her choose based on the bike she likes, rather than the wheel size.

    If she loves just rolling over stuff do you think it would be worth considering dual suspension 26er (or 27.5) instead of HT??? I know when I had a Giant Trance that was the bike that gave me confidence to try doing some small jumps etc for the first time. And after that I found I prefered HT's for the fun factor though (probably why I prefer 26" now). In some ways if she already has a HT adding a dually to the collection would make sense (of course unless you're going HT because of cost).

  6. #6
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    I bought a 27.5 off craigslist after never really riding one offroad and am really excited about riding it on the trails when the weather clears up. I'm normally riding a 29er and have trouble going back to 26 because it feels weird, but when I got on the 27.5 for a test ride I felt at home. Looking forward to seeing how it does with cornering and stuff vs. the 29er. 29ers always felt sluggish or bulky to me in the turns.

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    I am 5'8" and have been on a 29er for about 5 years...would never go back to 26. It gives me confidence and rolls over anything up or down. Have never felt any sluggishness, slowness, lack of nimbility (is that a word?). Now, having said that, I am looking at enduro bikes and most of them are 27.5 with a few 29. I said I'd never go smaller than 29 and I want to stick with that - going smaller is kinda scary. I guess I will have to test ride!!

  8. #8
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    Some of it depends too on what kind of riding she likes to do. My preference is very tight technical single track and I have found that 29s feel too big to me in tight turns etc. I don't get that feeling with 27.5". If she prefers going really fast on rolling type terrain though 29 might be better for her. Also I am short so 29s feel big to me but since she is much taller it probably wouldn't be an issue for her.

  9. #9
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    As DT says "If she loves just rolling over stuff do you think it would be worth considering dual suspension 26er (or 27.5) instead of HT??"

    that's what I was thinking. Generally speaking, HT have a tad steeper geometry, which is great for all around riding and climbing. The dual suspensions bikes may have a degree or two slacker geo. But yes, just as everyone says, let her try several different bikes and find one she likes. Probably alot has to do with the terrain she rides and what suits it best. Let us know what she decides! But, then again, having 2 different wheeled bikes is just another 'fun' thing to have in the garage and mixes it up a bit too.

  10. #10
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    With her level of riding, I doubt either wheel size would really matter. I ride a 29er and I wouldn't ever go to another size because of the versatility the 29er presents but I have never tried a 650b. Personally, I think the 27.5in thing is a marketing fad and most reviews I read state that there really isn't much difference. I feel the greatest advantage a 650b could possibly give someone would be in racing/downhill. Have her try both and let her decide is probably going to be the best option.
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  11. #11
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    Hi! I've been reading this post because I am also trying to decide between a 27.5 and a 29er. I am only 5'1 and a half. Does that mean the the 29er will be too big and i should go with a 27.5??

  12. #12
    Rock n' Roller
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krenee View Post
    Hi! I've been reading this post because I am also trying to decide between a 27.5 and a 29er. I am only 5'1 and a half. Does that mean the the 29er will be too big and i should go with a 27.5??
    Have you demoed a 27.5 and a 29er? The wheel size matters - but the bike itself also matters. Not just a ride around the parking lot, but on the trials you intend to ride on? Which one felt better? Which one made you smile with glee at every turn?

    To be honest, the wheet debate is silly. It's whatever works for you. I'm 5'1, 105, and I love my 26er. My close friend is 4'9 and loves her 29er. Another friend raves about her 27.5. Don't get caught up in hype. Decide what type of riding makes you happy, find a bike that makes you smile, and go and ride it.

    Make a list of bikes that you are interested in. Go out and ride them, and then decide.

    Happy riding!

  13. #13
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    Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by snowgypsy View Post
    Have you demoed a 27.5 and a 29er? The wheel size matters - but the bike itself also matters. Not just a ride around the parking lot, but on the trials you intend to ride on? Which one felt better? Which one made you smile with glee at every turn?

    To be honest, the wheet debate is silly. It's whatever works for you. I'm 5'1, 105, and I love my 26er. My close friend is 4'9 and loves her 29er. Another friend raves about her 27.5. Don't get caught up in hype. Decide what type of riding makes you happy, find a bike that makes you smile, and go and ride it.

    Make a list of bikes that you are interested in. Go out and ride them, and then decide.

    Happy riding!
    Thanks Snowgypsy! I have not gone out on the trails with either, but I will before I buy. I appreciate ur help. :-)

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I'd got full suspension if you can, if you want to boost her confidence on technical. It helped me a lot.

  15. #15
    Bike Shop Girl
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    Great feedback snowgypsy!

    A lot of this feedback of 27.5/29er has to do with what you are used to and your riding style. If you are new, you really don't have a biased towards either.

    Some of it also may come down to what your local bike shop has to demo and try out. As long as you are buying a bike that you will enjoy and motivate you, you can't go wrong with any of the wheel sizes!
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