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Thread: Why 26?

  1. #1
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    Why 26?

    I have the chance of a couple really nice equipped 26Ē FS MTB, or basic components 29er. The 29er even cost more vs the 26erís. Anyone here regret their 26 vs a 29?

    Thanks

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    I normally ride a 29er rockhopper. Honestly I'm faster on it because of the mechanical advantages it gives. Better drive train ratios, larger tire allowing sustained higher speeds, ability to roll over an obstacle when I neglect to float to the front. That said I'm still a novice and a lot of seasoned riders pass me on their "old" 26er. Technology will never replace the rider, but it sure seems to go a long way in making you look like a better one. Fwiw my son picked up a used kona hahanna and on easy portions of trail has no problem keeping up. When things get rough though the modern bikes seem to just walk away.

  3. #3
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    I tried 700 wheels and never liked it , the wheels weights more if you compare with similar products and that reflects in the handling , acceleration and deceleration.

    If you absolutely want want something "newer" or "new trend" , I would go with 650 wheels wich is almost the same thing as a 26''
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

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    I have an ibis HDR set up 26 and a yeti sb66, they are fantastic bikes. While 29ers have gotten a lot better, a mid range one isn't going to be better then a high end 26er. It also depends on your trails, the less twisty and jumpy your trails are the more the 29er is going to be faster. What bikes are you looking at?
    Looking for a Medium Scott Scale frame, preferably a 2012 in 26.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mypupdaisy View Post
    I have the chance of a couple really nice equipped 26Ē FS MTB, or basic components 29er. The 29er even cost more vs the 26erís. Anyone here regret their 26 vs a 29?

    Thanks

    Man you've been posting hard!

    You already know my opinion...


    26 and 650b are functionally the same size, but what tires/rims/forks are available is different. 650b tires are typically more refined than the 26" options (although there's enough awesome 26" tires available that it's not a problem). Same goes for frames- the good geometry is almost always 650b.

    So... you can have a 26" bike that gives up nothing to 650b, but that requires an expert's understanding of bikes. Much easier to buy a 650b bike, where on average they're significantly better.




    29 is a real change and so you take some real advantages with some real flaws. I suspect if you're ~5'9 and <200lbs they're unequivocally superior, but if you're heavier or smaller it's not so clear cut. Shorter riders can worry about toe overlap, poor handling, and the tire buzzing their butts, heavier riders have to worry about more flex. If you're really tall you can have a ponderously long bike... a new phenomenon.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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    So I bought a Pivot Firebird XX1 26er after riding today. It looks perfect. Very few scuff marks at all. There is a guy locally here who is stationed at my local AFB who has the same bike and put 650bís on his. He said it fit fine. He has provided for me the wheel/tire combination that fit. I will ride it for a while and get a good feel for it and watch for the wheels on eBay. Then convert it out. Canít beat the price. $1k

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    Quote Originally Posted by mypupdaisy View Post
    So I bought a Pivot Firebird XX1 26er after riding today. It looks perfect. Very few scuff marks at all. There is a guy locally here who is stationed at my local AFB who has the same bike and put 650bís on his. He said it fit fine. He has provided for me the wheel/tire combination that fit. I will ride it for a while and get a good feel for it and watch for the wheels on eBay. Then convert it out. Canít beat the price. $1k
    Wow, nice, post some pics!

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    @Honda Guy: I posted pics on th thread below.
    (btw - I'm a Honda Guy also. 2001 Honda CRV EX with 80k miles)

    https://tinyurl.com/yaf9869e

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    Quote Originally Posted by mypupdaisy View Post
    So I bought a Pivot Firebird XX1 26er after riding today. It looks perfect. Very few scuff marks at all. There is a guy locally here who is stationed at my local AFB who has the same bike and put 650bís on his. He said it fit fine. He has provided for me the wheel/tire combination that fit. I will ride it for a while and get a good feel for it and watch for the wheels on eBay. Then convert it out. Canít beat the price. $1k

    For 1k I don't know why you needed to ask. No one would regret that kind of a deal. As for running 650b on a 26" firebird. I wouldn't do it. The BB is already high with 26" wheels. The BB drop won't be dialed in either. Plenty of people did it to their 26"ers, but that doesn't mean it's an upgrade of any kind. If you want 650b, buy a bike designed around it. Don't half ass it, you'll just end up regretting it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    As for running 650b on a 26" firebird. I wouldn't do it. The BB is already high with 26" wheels. The BB drop won't be dialed in either. Plenty of people did it to their 26"ers, but that doesn't mean it's an upgrade of any kind. If you want 650b, buy a bike designed around it. Don't half ass it, you'll just end up regretting it.
    Not necessarily true. In 2014 Pivot marketed the Firebird with 650b by only changing the fork to accommodate that wheel size. I know, I own one and its a great bike for park rides and enduro as well. I can also say that 2.3 tires are all that will fit in the rear as you will a mm or less from the frame. Is the BB a little high? Short answer is yes, but that does not impact handling from what I can tell. Also ride a Rocky 26er and a Niner HT.

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    why not? If that bike fits you best then it's the clear best choice (for you).

    would a 27.5 or 29 be a better fit for you? Only you can answer that question. So many variables...terrain you ride, skill level, your size/weight, etc.

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  12. #12
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    That is a fantastic bike man. Glad you found something awesome!!! Ride it like you stole it.!!
    Looking for a Medium Scott Scale frame, preferably a 2012 in 26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrumGeek View Post
    Not necessarily true. In 2014 Pivot marketed the Firebird with 650b by only changing the fork to accommodate that wheel size. I know, I own one and its a great bike for park rides and enduro as well. I can also say that 2.3 tires are all that will fit in the rear as you will a mm or less from the frame. Is the BB a little high? Short answer is yes, but that does not impact handling from what I can tell. Also ride a Rocky 26er and a Niner HT.

    I do remember when Pivot said you can run 650b. You can run 650b in just about any 6" 26" frame. Nothing special about the FB in that regard. The OP bought a dedicated 26'er no more set up to run 650b than anything else in its class.

    The facts are you are doing more than just raising the BB which IMO is a huge negative considering it's like 14" with 26" wheels! You're also changing the BB drop which just makes converted 26"s feel off. If you're ok with that then fine, anyone can put 650b's in their 26'ers if they want, after all 650b is actually 26.99", just letting the OP know there are negatives. IMO, nothing is more important than geo. I've run 650b in an HD which is pretty similar to the FB. Rode like dog shi!. BB height and drop is probably identical to your FB. Geo trumps wheel size all day long. If you prefer 650b, Sell your FB and get a 650b bike with dialed in geo and thank me later.

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    Thanks, i will. Woot!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimat99 View Post
    You're also changing the BB drop which just makes converted 26"s feel off.
    Curious about this - if the front and rear wheels are the same size and therefore both axles remain at matching elevations, how does this affect BB drop? Yes, the BB would get slightly higher off the ground, but it's still going to be exactly as it was with regard to it's position relative to the drop-outs/axles, which is what determines BB drop. Changing wheel size won't change the frame geometry (unless you only change one wheel).

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Curious about this - if the front and rear wheels are the same size and therefore both axles remain at matching elevations, how does this affect BB drop? Yes, the BB would get slightly higher off the ground, but it's still going to be exactly as it was with regard to it's position relative to the drop-outs/axles, which is what determines BB drop. Changing wheel size won't change the frame geometry (unless you only change one wheel).

    What you're saying makes sense. I assumed the static BB drop would remain the same, but at sag and when deeper in the stroke it's different. I noticed what I attributed to a different BB drop the most when comprising the rear before hoping. If BB drop is a wash what I felt could be attributed simply to a higher center of gravity.

    My HD with 27" wheels and 27" fork which was taller for the same travel took my bb from just south of 14" to a hair under 15". Completely changed the feel of the bike all for the worse. Pretty amazing what 1" of BB height does to a bike especially when going past the 14" mark.

    There's good and bad bikes in all wheel sizes. Putting 27" wheels in a 26"er is a good way to turn a good bike into a bad bike. Each to their own though. We can all get used to funky set ups and ride just fine. My advice is do it right. Buy a 650b if that's what you want. There's a ton of them on the used market now.

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    Yep great score! Ride it like you stole it, cause you basically did

    I wouldn't do the switch to 650b though. Put $$ into better suspension or tires, skip the wagon wheels. I don't notice enough difference between my 26" Mojo HD & Process 153 27.5. Same tires on both DHF 3C's and I still prefer the HD due to better suspension. Can't beat coil baby!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by eshew View Post
    I wouldn't do the switch to 650b though. Put $$ into better suspension or tires, skip the wagon wheels.
    Possibly this ^. I've a very nice 26er that I run with a 27.5 fork. Having a quality and current model fork is nice. The head angle is slackened a tad, which probably improves the ride, and I don't mind the 26er wheels at all. Though I do run 2.3" wide tires, the widest that will fit, so my outer diameter is probably more than 26".

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    Instead of 650b rims, get wider 26" rims. 30-40mm makes a big improvement, and go tubeless if it isn't already.

  20. #20
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    Just don't be a slave to the bike industry (bikes, wheels, rims, tires) who need to boost sales once in a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    boost sales
    i see what you did there
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    I have a Pivot Mach 5.7 that I tried to run 27.5 on when I first got it. It wasn't bad, but the BB was pretty high and I didn't like being limited to a 2.2 tire in the back. I still run it that way from time to time as it is a fast ride that way, but I eventually settled on running a 27.5 up front and a 26 in back. The bike was designed around a 150 26" fork so running a 140 27.5" keeps the geometry closer. It is probably changes the HTA less than a 1/2 degree, which I like anyways.

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    There are no problems with 26ers I have all three bike sizes, 26 fullsus, 26 hardtail, 650b full, 29er hard tail, no bike is better than the other because of the wheel size. Geo trumps wheelsize. Tires also makes great difference. get a good pair of maxxis and you feel the comfort, grip, awesomeness etc.

    I have a santa cruz chameleon 2 (2002 frame) and a 80-130 adjustable fork. itīs amazing how bad and how good adjusting the fork to the intendent size matters to handling, being spotless around 80-100mm as designed, and front end washouts at 130mm.

    Found a great deal on a 2008 stumpjumper fsr and got it for me, swapping the parts from the SC into the SJ, and the bike in numbers is nearly identical to my wifes camber comp carbon... big 26 tires are almost 27" making the bike looking awesome.

    Owned a 2011 KHS alite team, 26" and the handling was spotless for me.

    I'm 1.66 around 70kg and 26ers puts smiles on my face.

    speedwise, suspension and tire rubber makes more difference than wheelsize. 29er can compensate bad suspension as it roll overs best. but my wifeīs camber comp carbon 650b with 2.6 nobby nics just eats small and medium rocks like potato and is just soo much faster on rough terrain.

    for the same rim/tire, 26 will always be faster than 650b which will be always faster than 29er. for the energy equation, which is Inertia times rotational speed, the size of the wheel is canceled and the mass is what remains to determine the snap factor. so if you have a heavy 26 rim/tire it will be worse than a lightweight 29er. but a light 29er will not be snappier than a light 26 as there is less mass being rotated.

    Also, closer to 20mph, aerodynamics play a much bigger role than anything else I can tell because I stall at this speed no matter my drivetrain (1x11 1x12 2x10) or wheelsize. The only way to go faster at high speed is crouching yourself.

    So, if you like the hype, go 29ers, if you want the goldilock wheels, get a decent 650b, if you want a good bike for less money, get a high spec 26er and be happy with it. I bet in a couple of time there will be a hype for going back to 26ers so Iīm considering my bikes investment lol

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    Was sick through Christmas and New Year with the flu. Finally getting around to posting an update.

    The Pivot arrived. The previous owner included the original bottom bracket, crankset, cassette, derailleur, complete front and rear hydraulic brakes. These were all upgraded a little over a year ago with new XX1 components. There was a bill in the original owners manual for $1,680 for the new parts. He had won two golds and two silvers in World DH with the 26Ē tires. Told me donít worry so much about the tire size, itís more about learning skills. At 62, he is now moving to road racing, thus why he sold me his Pivot.

    It needed the front brake to be bled, so I ordered a Magura Hydraulic disc brake bleed kit from Amazon and now itís as good as new. The Specialized dropper post was sticking, so I released the air, took it apart, cleaned and lubed it, then put it back together and it works great. Nothing else had to be done. It has some scratches, but I could care less for the price I got it for.

    How does it ride? I had read a few reviews and they said it really wants to roll... they were not kidding. Once it starts rolling, it is amazing. Iíve never had a bike ride so smooth and just wants to GO. Iíve been riding some simple trails because my lungs wonít take much after the flu. Need to build them back up. Probably wouldnít be so bad if I wasnít 55, but I will get back at it. Although, today I accidentally headed up the wrong path at the Mountain bike trail I was on and realized I was on an advanced trail (the little marker was either dark blue or black, hard to tell. Iíve been riding the green oneís). Once at the top looking down, I was highly concerned of going head over heal. It was very steep and chunky. I had hiked down this trail many years before and it was hard enough walking, let alone on a bike. I clinched my bottom, squatted back and down low and headed down. There was some rear tire skidding as I braked but finally let the bike go and do itís job and rolled over the chunks to the bottom with no incident. Once at the bottom, I checked my front fork and from the lack of dust on it, I could see where it had travelled 4Ē during a few of the drops coming down. Kind of scary but was a blast. Canít wait to return.

    Iíve never ridden a bike that performs like this. Someone mentioned that the bike will make me a better rider. They were correct. It helps build confidence. Canít thank everyone here enough. I see many years of fun ahead.

    As far as spills? Well, here in Arizona, the trails Iíve experienced so far are full of loose dirt and gravel. I started up a pretty steep hill that raised about 30í and my lungs started hurting and gave out near the top. I locked up the disc brakes but that didnít help, I started sliding Downhill and gaining speed, so I laid it down verses where I would end up at the bottom. My knee is a bit scraped up, but quit bleeding before I started beck down the hill. If thatís the worse I ever get, then I will live. If I had remembered to put my knee pads on that were sitting in my truck, I would be in better shape (DOHH). At my age, I canít forget those things.

    Here again, thanks so much everyone.

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    Forgot to post a pic. My Wife took a video of me riding today, but it didnít turn out well, so you get a still in front of my garage.

    Why 26?-3c35c366-5003-4193-a49d-b40dc2c9b10f.jpg

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    ... and what my view of going down looked like. Just ran out of breath. Lungs hurt and had to stop... just at the wrong place. You can see the edge of the top there. I was so close.

    Why 26?-1d0dd0d5-3c03-4da4-8146-4ad8fca27684.jpg

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    Bike looks nice! Thanks for circling back and posting the photos. Your trails look a little more intense than what I find in my neck of the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mypupdaisy View Post
    I have the chance of a couple really nice equipped 26Ē FS MTB, or basic components 29er. The 29er even cost more vs the 26erís. Anyone here regret their 26 vs a 29?

    Thanks
    A little late to the thread but I have to say I took advantage of the unpopularity of 26er and built 2 very high end 26ers for less than the cost of 1 high end 29er.
    All parts were brand new from the wheels to the frames and the forks and components in the box. After a year of riding do I regret it.... Not one bit... infact I can't wait to get on them I even managed a KOM on a local trail with my hardtail last fall.
    My hard tail weighs in at 21 lbs and my full suspension is 24 lbs as you see them both all carbon with full xtr 2x10 both with high end carbon wheel sets . 2 for 1 can't beat it.
    To give a little perspective I built these bikes almost identical to the spec Trek and GT sold them as they are both 2012 frames and they were asking just under 8,000 dollars each. Pretty sure a similarly spec 29er would cost me at least that today. I love them both but like the hardtail a little bit more. It's so responsive and very very fast up or down. They are comfortable, and both lots of fun to ride.
    The tires on both measure 26.5 inches in diameter so they both are damn near 650b.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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    Wow, good job on the builds. I still have a HT and thinking I may replace it with buying a carbon frame on ebay and build out a 1x11 with 26er carbon wheels. Might be my next project.

    Thanks for the post!

  30. #30
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    Nice to see 26'ers still getting love! My 26" Heckler has been awesome AM/trail bike...totally rocks with Maxxis 2.3's running tubeless. Guys on 29" bikes have been chasing me for 3-4 years on that thing. Just got new Kona (27.5) but keeping the Heckler...converting to 1X9 so it will be ready for action soon.
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    Because I'm 5'4'' and I like my bike playful. I do have a 29er for xc racing but when I want to have fun I go back to my 26er because I can throw that around much easier. I'm sure if you're pretty tall (like 6ft or taller) then throwing around a 29er is no problem at all but unfortunately I don't have that luxury.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfast View Post
    Because I'm 5'4'' and I like my bike playful. I do have a 29er for xc racing but when I want to have fun I go back to my 26er because I can throw that around much easier. I'm sure if you're pretty tall (like 6ft or taller) then throwing around a 29er is no problem at all but unfortunately I don't have that luxury.
    same here, also 5'4" and I do have a 29er but on the more technical terrain it just doesn't work well. I do have some 26ers to compensate that and I will keep them (some are even retro)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor1977 View Post
    same here, also 5'4" and I do have a 29er but on the more technical terrain it just doesn't work well. I do have some 26ers to compensate that and I will keep them (some are even retro)
    I love my "retro bikes." I got an old
    School Bianchi Martini Racing (Chromega) bike and a Yeti Homegrown (factory xtr) with of course the bassboat red scheme. Old but still awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scaryfast View Post
    I love my "retro bikes." I got an old
    School Bianchi Martini Racing (Chromega) bike and a Yeti Homegrown (factory xtr) with of course the bassboat red scheme. Old but still awesome.
    Wow those are two nice bikes for sure.
    I love my Cannondale M800 BOTE and Delta V too, both from '93. Also have a Trek 950 singletrack and Panasonic MC 4500 (pink one). But only the delta has suspension so these will kill you on techy terrain hehe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor1977 View Post
    Wow those are two nice bikes for sure.
    I love my Cannondale M800 BOTE and Delta V too, both from '93. Also have a Trek 950 singletrack and Panasonic MC 4500 (pink one). But only the delta has suspension so these will kill you on techy terrain hehe.
    I always wanted the Beast of the East, with the coda cranks. That's a classic!

  36. #36
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    Don't like the geometry of the new bikes. At just over 5', my 26er will work for me till I'm dead.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Why 26?-fullsizeoutput_2fc.jpg  


  37. #37
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    I have all three wheel size bikes in high end configuration. I started with Santa Cruz Blur XC carbon. Then I drank 29er cool aid and got Tallboy 2 Carbon. Just a year ago I build a Pivot Mach 4C. The reason that I got Mach 4C was that the Tallboy even thou a great bike is just not as fun as the 26er Blur and the Blur was ageing. So the closest bike on the market to the Blur was Mach 4C. I still think that 29ers were more of a hype than substance. Sure they might be fractions of seconds faster than 26ers or 27.5 but I like tight twisty single track. Last season my Tallboy was the least used bike on the trails. There is absolutely no reason to think that one can not enjoy a 26er. A heavy 29er is the worse. And btw the difference between 26 and 27.5 is 3.8% and between 26 and 29 roughly 11.5%. So 27.5 vs 29 amounts to 7.7%. Hard to believe that it makes such a huge difference.

    Forgot to mention. I am 6' tall and 150lb light

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by k^2 View Post
    ...There is absolutely no reason to think that one can not enjoy a 26er. A heavy 29er is the worse. And btw the difference between 26 and 27.5 is 3.8% and between 26 and 29 roughly 11.5%. So 27.5 vs 29 amounts to 7.7%. Hard to believe that it makes such a huge difference.

    ...
    Indeed, 26 are more than fine. And to put it differently: there is 10-12 mm difference in wheel radius between a 26 and 650b ... changing tires has more influence than that!

    And to answer the original question: do I miss my Ibis Mojo Classic (it was stolen): yes! I would love to have my Ibis HD3 in 26. Everything would be slightly lighter and more agile!

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    Like mentioned by a few others, I'm short (5'5) and the 26" seems to fit me quite well. I have a Kona Stinky, Trek Fuel Ex8, and a Giant Yukon all in 26" and I'm pretty happy. I would love to see what the 27.5/29" rides would be like at some point, but I cannot afford the prices of new rigs right now.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davide View Post
    Indeed, 26 are more than fine. And to put it differently: there is 10-12 mm difference in wheel radius between a 26 and 650b ... changing tires has more influence than that!

    And to answer the original question: do I miss my Ibis Mojo Classic (it was stolen): yes! I would love to have my Ibis HD3 in 26. Everything would be slightly lighter and more agile!
    I know so many people who were warrantied into 650b, but your story always makes me sad. You didn't even get to break it!

    Life isn't fair.

  41. #41
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    I love my 26in bikes!! I have had a good time on a 27.5 Rocky Mountain Attitude and a 29er race hardtail.
    Looking for a Medium Scott Scale frame, preferably a 2012 in 26.

  42. #42
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    I put together a 29er last year. It is a boring ride. It is faster..also boring. It sits in the shop all dusty. I guess I'll put on road tires and use it on the bike path.

    Reminds me of the change to 4 stroke outboards from 2 stroke..talk about a boring ride..
    lean forward

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1niceride View Post
    I put together a 29er last year. It is a boring ride. It is faster..also boring. It sits in the shop all dusty. I guess I'll put on road tires and use it on the bike path.

    Reminds me of the change to 4 stroke outboards from 2 stroke..talk about a boring ride..
    interesting, when you're on the 26 do you once in awhile find yourself unable to clear something or almost unable to clear something and then wish you had the 29er?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPL65 View Post
    interesting, when you're on the 26 do you once in awhile find yourself unable to clear something or almost unable to clear something and then wish you had the 29er?
    Everything that's cleanable on a 29 is cleanable on a 26.
    Everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Everything that's cleanable on a 29 is cleanable on a 26.
    Everything.
    This is true, it might just take a bit more cleaning solution...But back to the clearable debate, most everything might be clearable on the 26", but with more concentration and effort than the 29er...

  46. #46
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by fokof View Post
    The little more effort you gave on the 26'' to clear that obstacle was gained in the hour you spent climbing before. At the end of the day , you gained more with lighter wheels than what you (Maybe) lost in obstacle energy.
    True in some cases, but thats a specific scenario where some have to climb. Not everybody has hills to push 29ers up, and even so with the proper gearing and conditioning it shouldn't be that big of a deal. I'm not necessarily repping in the 29ers corner over here, I love 26" bikes just as much if not moreso. Just clarifying that each situation can be different. In a relatively flat, flowy track with a few obstacles, rock gardens for example, I would still pick the 29er.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Everything that's cleanable on a 29 is cleanable on a 26.
    Everything.
    Exactly right!!! People have been doing it for decades.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    I know so many people who were warrantied into 650b, but your story always makes me sad. You didn't even get to break it!

    Life isn't fair.
    And she was such a beauty:
    Why 26?-1.jpg

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHolc View Post
    This is true, it might just take a bit more cleaning solution...But back to the clearable debate,
    It's cute when people who don't know what they're talking about try to correct those that do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    It's cute when people who don't know what they're talking about try to correct those that do.
    I'm just content with you thinking I'm cute. Made my day...

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHolc View Post
    I'm just content with you thinking I'm cute. Made my day...
    Well, I have been drinking a bit...
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Well, I have been drinking a bit...
    Must of had an effect on your 26 vs. 29 perspective as well.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHolc View Post
    Must of had an effect on your 26 vs. 29 perspective as well.
    Nope.
    Anybody that believes you have to have a certain wheel size to clean trail obstacles simply lacks skill, experience, and the ability to separate marketing BS from reality.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Nope.
    Anybody that believes you have to have a certain wheel size to clean trail obstacles simply lacks skill, experience, and the ability to separate marketing BS from reality.
    Wheel size is just a red herring, you need a DROPPER.

    Poof! Now you're good.

    Oh wait, did I say dropper? I meant new geo. Plus tires? Tapered headtubes. Oops, I meant wider hubs... Second thought, let me get back to you on that.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zowie View Post
    Wheel size is just a red herring, you need a DROPPER.

    Poof! Now you're good.

    Oh wait, did I say dropper? I meant new geo. Plus tires? Tapered headtubes. Oops, I meant wider hubs... Second thought, let me get back to you on that.


    Funny thing is, I have multiples of all of those things, and them some!

    I'm just not enough of a sucker to think any of them are 'needed', and ridden with too many riders who are actually talented to buy into the whole gear-weenie/shop-my-way-down-the-trail mindset.
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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post


    Funny thing is, I have multiples of all of those things, and them some!

    I'm just not enough of a sucker to think any of them are 'needed', and ridden with too many riders who are actually talented to buy into the whole gear-weenie/shop-my-way-down-the-trail mindset.
    You have a shop with a trail in it?
    That sounds like fun.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Nope.
    Anybody that believes you have to have a certain wheel size to clean trail obstacles simply lacks skill, experience, and the ability to separate marketing BS from reality.
    You are basically just saying what I originally said to begin with, I never said that obstacles weren't clearable on a 26er, just that it takes more concentration and effort. I never once said it was impossible on a 26"... But thank you for reiterating my point.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHolc View Post
    You are basically just saying what I originally said to begin with, I never said that obstacles weren't clearable on a 26er, just that it takes more concentration and effort. I never once said it was impossible on a 26"... But thank you for reiterating my point.
    You're welcome.
    And you learned that 'cleaning' is and has forever been commonly used interchangeably with 'clearing' when it comes to riding over obstacles too!
    Win-win!
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  60. #60
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    you two should totally hook up.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  61. #61
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    Reasons for 26"
    1) fit. People under 5'5" would have trouble fitting onto 29ers, and long travel 275. Everyone is under 5'5" at some point in their life (as a child).
    2) stop-and-go courses. Frequent heavy braking and acceleration, tight turns, etc. that favors lightweight and compact bikes.
    3) slow pace riding. More opportunity to fit in fun by popping up on obstacles. Can ride with slower beginner riders and children and get more of a workout and enjoyment compared to if you took a bigger wheeled bike.
    4) stiffer and stronger. At the same weight of comparable bigger wheeled equivalents, 26" versions are stiffer and stronger.
    5) style and thrill. Compared to bigger wheeled bikes, you can look cooler and look like your having more memorable moments

    Reasons for bigger wheels
    1) racing. Easier to ride at a fast pace, especially over modest sized obstacles, with less risk.
    2) industry support. Latest product designs optimized for the wheel sizes used in competition.
    ... people like new stuff? Innovation/modernization? Aesthetics (proportional look)? Following the marketing wave and social acceptance trends (being part of the majority/sheeple)? Ego/self-confidence and an unsuppressable will to compare to others?

    I'm struggling to come up with objective reasons. Those 2 reasons are pretty big though. The rest is all subjective. I think the reduced chance of injury, considering my appetite for progression, was the big one for me personally. Just moved away from air and more to just riding through chunk and general XC racing style speed.
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPL65 View Post
    interesting, when you're on the 26 do you once in awhile find yourself unable to clear something or almost unable to clear something and then wish you had the 29er?
    Here is what is interesting..the best climbing bike I have had was my vintage Catamount so I might not be the one to ask. I'm 58 now..if I can't step over it I aint riding over it.

    The 26 is just more fun at this time in my life. When I was younger sure..faster is always better..and then I grew up and slowed down enough to enjoy the ride.
    lean forward

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    you two should totally hook up.
    Pshhh, he couldnt handle this ride, even on a 29er... ;-)

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    Thanks guys. I'm relatively new to mtb and I'm ready for an upgrade and this was a lot of good info, for me to think about.

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    I have a 29er and recently built a mid range 26er and i love it, i feel more confortable on it (i'm 1.62mts tall) and it is easy to handle.

    It is slower than the 29er, but i love it anyway, i feel good.

    As the other said, you have to find out what fits you better, but that will happen only riding em.

    i don't regret having a 26er it is really fun for my ( i'm a all mountain rider)

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Nope.
    Anybody that believes you have to have a certain wheel size to clean trail obstacles simply lacks skill, experience, and the ability to separate marketing BS from reality.
    So does that mean all the skilled riders can all go out and buy 20" Bmx bikes to do chunky trail riding? After all, wheel size is not important so why not buy a $300 kid's BMX bike instead? That would be pretty funny to see. That size tire on a chunky course would look like a Japanese game show, with ambulances ready and waiting to take away everyone who could not finish standing up.
    "A $1700 bike is not fit to be hucked from a curb"
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    So does that mean all the skilled riders can all go out and buy 20" Bmx bikes to do chunky trail riding? After all, wheel size is not important so why not buy a $300 kid's BMX bike instead? That would be pretty funny to see. That size tire on a chunky course would look like a Japanese game show, with ambulances ready and waiting to take away everyone who could not finish standing up.
    Never heard of trials I take it? Watch and learn:



    I'm not all that skilled of a rider myself, but I can get up 30+" vertical retaining walls and over similarly sized logs on a 26" wheeled bike, not to mention the endless chunky granite that litters New England trails. If you can't handle some trail chatter on a 26" bike, it is definitely NOT the wheel size that's the issue.

    I've actually done some trail riding with people on BMX bikes a few times in the past. You'd be very, very surprised what a skilled rider can pull off.
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  68. #68
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    Slapheadmofo...Ha,Ha good one.....sometimes I get the feeling that some peeps are puffing too much crack-pipe....U would think, instead of bashing one anothers ride, they would realize that we all ride, and would just promote bicycling as a one unit, good for all humanity....

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladljon View Post
    Slapheadmofo...Ha,Ha good one.....sometimes I get the feeling that some peeps are puffing too much crack-pipe....U would think, instead of bashing one anothers ride, they would realize that we all ride, and would just promote bicycling as a one unit, good for all humanity....
    Yup, and that skill is a whole lot more important than buying the 'latest and greatest' equipment when it comes to getting down a trail.
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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Never heard of trials I take it? Watch and learn:
    Okay I watched that, now you watch this:


  71. #71
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    And...?

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  72. #72
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    Those are much smaller steps. They look about 2" shorter.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSnow View Post
    Those are much smaller steps. They look about 2" shorter.
    And he flew up them without even pedaling with enough speed to bang a 360 off the top one.

    What's your point? The more time you spend with your ass glued to the saddle and the less skill you have, the more you need giant wheels to negotiate small obstacles?
    This kid has no problem with 26". Don't understand why some people can't manage.

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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    This kid has no problem with 26". Don't understand why some people can't manage.
    LOL, if you can't see the difference the equipment makes between those videos, you are blind.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudSnow View Post
    LOL, if you can't see the difference the equipment makes between those videos, you are blind.
    Of course I see the difference: yours depicts a goofy, awkward giant-wheeled sit'n'spin-in-a-straight-line machine that trades slightly better rollover for a complete and utter loss of handling so a rider who has no bike handling skills whatsover can more easily navigate basic terrain. Mine shows that a little bit of skill lets you negotiate the same terrain without having to be stuck with the MTB equivalent of a garbage truck, just in case you want to ride any trails that are actually interesting.

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