26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Idea! 26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures

    While lurking around the site, I've seen so much arguing over wheel size. While, for me, the jump to 29" was wonderful, I am open to the idea that different people like different sizes and different geometries and trail types can influence your decision and preferences. There's room for all of it in our sport and those who want to argue are doing nobody any favors. I am convinced there is no wheel size that works for everyone in all conditions.

    With that said, I've seen people say that the 650b is stupid because they could just as easily run a fat 26" tire and it would be almost the same. Well, here are some pictures that show the differences.

    Here are the 26 x 2.35" Schwalbe Hans Dampf on Stan's Crest, 27.5 x 2.1" Pacenti Neo-moto on Stan's Flow, and 29 x 2.25" Schwalbe Rocket Ron on Bontrager Mustang.


    Up against a concrete wall





    So, then I started thinking that I should compare the 26 x 2.3" to the old 26 x 2.1" Panaracer Fire

    Wow, that is quite a difference.


    more to come.....
    Last edited by DougNuts; 09-30-2011 at 12:56 PM.

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    All 4. I can only assume that a 27.5 x 2.3" Neo-moto would be in between the pictured 27.5" and 29".








    I hope this helps, rather than hurts, the discussion about wheel sizes.

    Regards,
    Doug
    Last edited by DougNuts; 09-30-2011 at 07:58 PM.

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    Very nice. Theres a few things that stand out. First is that the 29 is A LOT bigger than the 26. Second a 650b is not really 27.5, or at least it is not halfway between 26 and 29. Third is that you would need one massive 26" tire to have the same diameter as a 650b, maybe like a 2.7 or something.

    What would be nice though would be if all 3 tires were the same like a 2.1 Nevegal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post

    What would be nice though would be if all 3 tires were the same like a 2.1 Nevegal.
    I think the 650b is pretty close to half way between 26" and 29" when you aren't comparing the 26 x 2.3" tire in there.

    Keep in mind, that 29" tire is a 2.25" compared to a 2.1" 650b. I mean, just look at the huge difference between 2.1" and 2.35" on the 26" wheel!

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    You need to put a 2.35 neo or 2.2 WTB Wolverine in the mix...

    That Hans Dampf looks good, and has gotten rave reviews.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    You need to put a 2.35 neo or 2.2 WTB Wolverine in the mix...

    That Hans Dampf looks good, and has gotten rave reviews.
    I had intended to order the bigger Neo-moto for the 650b, but apparently I ordered the 2.1". The 650b and the Hans Dampf are both for my wife's bike. I've dropped ~4lbs off her bike while going to an X-fusion fork with 650b (Neo-moto/Flow) front and Crest/Hans Dampf rear. She hasn't ridden the new rear wheel, but she loved the upgraded front end.

  7. #7
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    YOur wife provided good assistance by holding all those wheels for the photographs. Great visuals for folks to see. Thanks for the thread!

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    Where's the 36er?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    Very nice. Theres a few things that stand out. First is that the 29 is A LOT bigger than the 26. Second a 650b is not really 27.5, or at least it is not halfway between 26 and 29. Third is that you would need one massive 26" tire to have the same diameter as a 650b, maybe like a 2.7 or something.

    What would be nice though would be if all 3 tires were the same like a 2.1 Nevegal.
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidandmelinda/6140686532/" title="IMG_4977sm by Melinda and David, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6169/6140686532_d0db85e498_b.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="IMG_4977sm"></a>

    this is a 26er rim (large marge from surly) and a surly larry 26x3.8 it is a little shorter by about 3/8" or less than the rear Intense System 4 2.1 29er tire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidandmelinda/6140686532/" title="IMG_4977sm by Melinda and David, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm7.static.flickr.com/6169/6140686532_d0db85e498_b.jpg" width="1024" height="683" alt="IMG_4977sm"></a>

    this is a 26er rim (large marge from surly) and a surly larry 26x3.8 it is a little shorter by about 3/8" or less than the rear Intense System 4 2.1 29er tire.
    Your bike makes me think a Fat Front Salsa Ala Carte with a 650b in back would be pretty damned fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    <this is a 26er rim (large marge from surly) and a surly larry 26x3.8 it is a little shorter by about 3/8" or less than the rear Intense System 4 2.1 29er tire.
    How much does that front tire weigh? It is massive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougNuts View Post
    With that said, I've seen people say that the 650b is stupid because they could just as easily run a fat 26" tire and it would be almost the same.
    That logic always bugs me. By that logic, people who want 29ers should all just buy 26er Pugsleys and run four-inch wide tires.

    Not everyone wants to run a fatter tire. And I I do want to run a fatter tire, maybe I'd prefer a fatter 650b tire.

  13. #13
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    "26" inch wheels with 2.1 tires are typically 26.5 inches, sometimes slightly less.

    The Neo-moto 2.1 and 2.3 are in fact 702mm in diameter, a half-hair over 27.5". They both use the same casing and the wheel diameter is the same using either tire. Only the knob width is the difference in the Neo-moto 2.1 and 2.3 (please correct if I'm way off, I don't have a 2.1 to measure). Compared to most 26x2.3 tire casings and height above the rim, the 2.3 Neo-moto has an small casing, and short height, only 2.0 in diameter (see attached Neo-moto 2.3 spec drawing), but it in fact 2.3 inches wide every time I've measured one on Velocity Blunt rims (28mm outer width).

    The pictures do clearly show the huge difference between 29" vs. both 27.5 and so called "26" inch wheels and tires.

    Riding the same bike on the same trails, it is amazing to feel how well the 27.5" wheels roll rocks and track in corners better than an equivalent 26" wheel and tire. The difference is most noticeable going back to the 26" wheels on the same bike, and feeling how slow and harsh and looser in cornering traction 26" rides in a very close "apples-to-apples" comparison with 650b.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith View Post
    Second a 650b is not really 27.5.
    Actually, it is almost exactly. Excuse I-phone photos, but this is a Neo 2.1 mounted on a WTB Laserdisc Trail



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    Good post, pics really do show where things stand, an honest and reasonable outlook from the OP.

    There really are some silly comments on some of the post here.

    I have mostly been looking at the 69r stuff.

    Comments like the front wheel writing checks the back wheel can't cash, clearly the person has never ridden a 69r. I went from 26 to 69 to 29 and then back to 26 (loaner bike), now I am back on the 69r (rigid) and have cleaned more steep drops on the 69r then any bike I have ever ridden. Granted some of that is likely do to my riding more steep trails in the last 2 years. But none the less I have yet to get stalled in a drop do to the smaller rear wheel.

    On the FS side, say some one wants to put a short travel 29 fork on a long travel bike like the Heckler. Some one will always say it's going to be off balance. Duh, it's a 69r it's an off balance beast from the start but that's what makes it work. The fact that the bike will have two different travel lengths seems moot. Have these guys ever ridden a hard tail, must be a real off balanced bike those hard tails. FS bike with more travel in the front then in the rear not as common as they used to be perhaps, but then there are forks like the Talas that give the option of decreasing front travel. The loaner bike had that set up some times I felt it rode better with the front end lower even if it had less travel then the rear. I never noticed it being off balance.

    Clearly it is human nature to knock that which you don't understand.

    The OP's pics really help to see where things stand in the line up of what is currently on the market.

    Thanks for sharing.
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    I was thinking, what would be really cool to see would be 3 of the same tire on 3 of the same wheel. Like a 2.1 Nevegal on a Stans Crest wheel in all 3 sizes. Then you could also weigh all three wheel and tire combos and get comparative weights. But I guess no one is going to have all that, but I can always hope.
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    Bumping this back up for educational purposes.

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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZTtripper View Post
    Good post, pics really do show where things stand, an honest and reasonable outlook from the OP.

    There really are some silly comments on some of the post here.

    I have mostly been looking at the 69r stuff.

    Comments like the front wheel writing checks the back wheel can't cash, clearly the person has never ridden a 69r. I went from 26 to 69 to 29 and then back to 26 (loaner bike), now I am back on the 69r (rigid) and have cleaned more steep drops on the 69r then any bike I have ever ridden. Granted some of that is likely do to my riding more steep trails in the last 2 years. But none the less I have yet to get stalled in a drop do to the smaller rear wheel.

    On the FS side, say some one wants to put a short travel 29 fork on a long travel bike like the Heckler. Some one will always say it's going to be off balance. Duh, it's a 69r it's an off balance beast from the start but that's what makes it work. The fact that the bike will have two different travel lengths seems moot. Have these guys ever ridden a hard tail, must be a real off balanced bike those hard tails. FS bike with more travel in the front then in the rear not as common as they used to be perhaps, but then there are forks like the Talas that give the option of decreasing front travel. The loaner bike had that set up some times I felt it rode better with the front end lower even if it had less travel then the rear. I never noticed it being off balance.

    Clearly it is human nature to knock that which you don't understand.

    The OP's pics really help to see where things stand in the line up of what is currently on the market.

    Thanks for sharing.
    You make some valid points, my new Rocky Mountain Element 29er is a great example of what you are talking about. The Element 930 and 970 both have 95mm of travel front and back. The 950 has 95mm out back and a travel adjustable fork from 95-120mm. When I set the travel at 120 it in no way feels unbalanced, it feels quite awesome actually, yet the bike geometry is designed around 95mm.

  19. #19
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    Great pics. You see that 650B is more like a big 26" than a small 29".

    I was one of the first batch of riders to put a rigid 29" front in my 26" hardtail. Just to experience what a 29" wheel really meant as a difference. There were two or three 29" tires on the market at the time.
    I had extensive prior 63mm front travel hardtail and rigid experience with that bike (VooDoo Bokor).

    With the large front wheel mounted in the shortest fork I could get (410mm Dimension Disk), I was able to keep my bike's fit geometry as it was.

    The difference with 29" was night and day. A little bump in the road my hands failed to notice, became a harsh kick up the budt. It became really hard to wash out the front of the bike, which was standard reality of all my riding experience til that day.

    Yes, with the 650B in the middle, 29" seems big. It's a friggin' 10% though. would you even notice in your male member would grow that much overnight? Although a larger wheel can enhance riding quality tremendously, really it's not much. Within a riding riding group, rider height will vary more than that between shortest and tallest, unless you're friggin' quatriplets. If anything, bike wheels should be proportionate to a rider or tuned our of phase with the mean bump/hump size and shape on a particular trail. In my experience, for XC type of riding, in practice the largest that fits your bike without significantly affecting the way you sit on the bike or it fysically fits on a trail, is best. Don't give me no rotating weigt nonsense please. 10% more wheel is 10% more weight THERE. Which was maybe 25% of the bike itself, which was maybe 15% of YOU. And you're hauling it all around the trail. You're revving it all up. Even if XC riding was a drag race, the biggest fitting wheels would be best, thanks to the way rolling resistance has an inverted relationship with size, and RR being a significant factor in a bike at any speed.

    People zooming in to bike wheel size, mentally consider 26" as the baseline, like "1", and 29" as the top line, "10". That's a humongous difference alright. Until you take your nose off the rubber and step back a bit. 26" was never determined to be big nor small. 29" just stands a slight bit taller. Not much of a range when you hang out with adult riders between 5' and 6'8". Yes, a 33% range. Where the short lady already prefers the 29"er. Go figure. Be sure to check your male member or boop size tomorrow morning. You just might not notice the adjustment from 26" to 650B unless you were told about it beforehand. Oops I just did, but congratulations anyway.

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    The Hans Dampf is a taller, higher volume than the Neo, so it is a bit deceptive.
    A comparison between 2.25 Racing Ralphs, which I believe is available in all 3 diameters is a much more controlled comparison.
    I am hoping the rumors that there are 650b Hans Dampfs in the pipeline is true.


    RE: the differences when riding...
    I just went back to the 650b bike after 3 months on 26" wheels.
    I question anyone who says the difference is not significant. Now that I have a suitable wheelset for aggressive riding, it is even more pronounced.

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    Great pics, thanks! As an ideal, I'd like to see them lined up with the same width etc tires, but this is cool.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    Great pics. You see that 650B is more like a big 26" than a small 29".

    I was one of the first batch of riders to put a rigid 29" front in my 26" hardtail. Just to experience what a 29" wheel really meant as a difference. There were two or three 29" tires on the market at the time.
    I had extensive prior 63mm front travel hardtail and rigid experience with that bike (VooDoo Bokor).

    With the large front wheel mounted in the shortest fork I could get (410mm Dimension Disk), I was able to keep my bike's fit geometry as it was.

    The difference with 29" was night and day. A little bump in the road my hands failed to notice, became a harsh kick up the budt. It became really hard to wash out the front of the bike, which was standard reality of all my riding experience til that day.

    Yes, with the 650B in the middle, 29" seems big. It's a friggin' 10% though. would you even notice in your male member would grow that much overnight? Although a larger wheel can enhance riding quality tremendously, really it's not much. Within a riding riding group, rider height will vary more than that between shortest and tallest, unless you're friggin' quatriplets. If anything, bike wheels should be proportionate to a rider or tuned our of phase with the mean bump/hump size and shape on a particular trail. In my experience, for XC type of riding, in practice the largest that fits your bike without significantly affecting the way you sit on the bike or it fysically fits on a trail, is best. Don't give me no rotating weigt nonsense please. 10% more wheel is 10% more weight THERE. Which was maybe 25% of the bike itself, which was maybe 15% of YOU. And you're hauling it all around the trail. You're revving it all up. Even if XC riding was a drag race, the biggest fitting wheels would be best, thanks to the way rolling resistance has an inverted relationship with size, and RR being a significant factor in a bike at any speed.

    People zooming in to bike wheel size, mentally consider 26" as the baseline, like "1", and 29" as the top line, "10". That's a humongous difference alright. Until you take your nose off the rubber and step back a bit. 26" was never determined to be big nor small. 29" just stands a slight bit taller. Not much of a range when you hang out with adult riders between 5' and 6'8". Yes, a 33% range. Where the short lady already prefers the 29"er. Go figure. Be sure to check your male member or boop size tomorrow morning. You just might not notice the adjustment from 26" to 650B unless you were told about it beforehand. Oops I just did, but congratulations anyway.
    Interesting observations, and I appreciate your position on this. However, the gradual and subtle differences in height of wheel/tire combos are noticeable to most riders who are in tune with how their bike handles...and no, I'm not saying that you're not in tune with your bike. Using wheel/tire height percentage as a method of measuring handling influence and effectiveness may not be the best method of assessment. I'm sure that you can think of many other mechanical or physical comparisons other than the "Johnson" where a small amount of percentage size increase/decrease makes a very noticeable difference.

    I often go back to another 2-wheeled conveyance, the motorcycle, for a decent comparison to the mountainbike...and often to the great irritation of a few here for some reason. Small wheel and tire changes can make dramatic impact on handling, stability, and other feedback issues. They're probably more noticeable because of speed, weight, and other factors, but the underlying impact will be closely the same on a bicycle. And when you consider dirt motors to mountainbikes, things are more similar than you might realize.

    It's odd...or maybe not so much...that most dirt motor front wheel/tire heights are about 27.5". Rears are usually around about 26.5". It's funny that a common 26'er setup is about 26.5" and a 650B is about 27.5". Dirt motor riders don't want to run any shorter front wheel/tire setup than they have to...usually for many of the same reasons that MTB'ers don't because of cornering and rollover qualities. They even tried 23" wheels for a short time, but it had too much negative effect on travel reduction, an ideal geometry, and cornering in tighter terrain. The 23" dirt motor wheel and tire was very close to the height of the 29'er MTB setup. Now, the 29'er MTB doesn't suffer from this as much because speeds are not as high and the MTB's wheelbase can be shorter than the dirt motor.

    OK, not trying to get too deep into this height issue, but small changes do indeed make noticeable differences in handling and rolling performance...almost always. The issue of someone not really noticing it doesn't negate that. Heck, many riders have no clue how to set up their full suspension bike mainly because they have no feel for the influences vs. the tuning their think they're trying to accomplish.

    Personally I run a 650B front with a 26" rear on an '08 Stumpy FSR and Nomad. I like the acceleration of the 26 rear wheel with the improved rollover and cornering of the 650B front. I like that I don't lose any travel from the front forks I've used...140mm and 160mm. I work at a bike shop and ride with many other riders who like 29'ers. I get the 29'er. It works extremely well for many riders in many conditions. Personally I like the 29'er as a front wheel for a bigger hit AM bike with a 26" rear. I've built one up in this configuration. It worked great, cornered great, rolled great...until the terrain got noticeably nastier. At that point, a longer travel fork with a 650B had better performance IMO. Everything's a compromise. The 650B is just the compromise between the two standards we've all become accustomed to. To suggest that one wheel/tire size would be the only solution for all riders in all types of riding doesn't strike me as very logical.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    Great pics. You see that 650B is more like a big 26" than a small 29".

    I was one of the first batch of riders to put a rigid 29" front in my 26" hardtail. Just to experience what a 29" wheel really meant as a difference. There were two or three 29" tires on the market at the time.
    I had extensive prior 63mm front travel hardtail and rigid experience with that bike (VooDoo Bokor).

    With the large front wheel mounted in the shortest fork I could get (410mm Dimension Disk), I was able to keep my bike's fit geometry as it was.

    The difference with 29" was night and day. A little bump in the road my hands failed to notice, became a harsh kick up the budt. It became really hard to wash out the front of the bike, which was standard reality of all my riding experience til that day.

    Yes, with the 650B in the middle, 29" seems big. It's a friggin' 10% though. would you even notice in your male member would grow that much overnight? Although a larger wheel can enhance riding quality tremendously, really it's not much. Within a riding riding group, rider height will vary more than that between shortest and tallest, unless you're friggin' quatriplets. If anything, bike wheels should be proportionate to a rider or tuned our of phase with the mean bump/hump size and shape on a particular trail. In my experience, for XC type of riding, in practice the largest that fits your bike without significantly affecting the way you sit on the bike or it fysically fits on a trail, is best. Don't give me no rotating weigt nonsense please. 10% more wheel is 10% more weight THERE. Which was maybe 25% of the bike itself, which was maybe 15% of YOU. And you're hauling it all around the trail. You're revving it all up. Even if XC riding was a drag race, the biggest fitting wheels would be best, thanks to the way rolling resistance has an inverted relationship with size, and RR being a significant factor in a bike at any speed.

    People zooming in to bike wheel size, mentally consider 26" as the baseline, like "1", and 29" as the top line, "10". That's a humongous difference alright. Until you take your nose off the rubber and step back a bit. 26" was never determined to be big nor small. 29" just stands a slight bit taller. Not much of a range when you hang out with adult riders between 5' and 6'8". Yes, a 33% range. Where the short lady already prefers the 29"er. Go figure. Be sure to check your male member or boop size tomorrow morning. You just might not notice the adjustment from 26" to 650B unless you were told about it beforehand. Oops I just did, but congratulations anyway.
    Maybe you should stop measuring your member and get out there and ride some 650b bikes. Then you can actually feel the difference instead of just running around with your measuring stick measuring crap.
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  24. #24
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    One should compare the same tire. Racing Ralph 2.25 for example.

    But indeed, in 650b one could run a smaller, lighter tire, that will roll and grip as well as a larger 26" tire, without changing the bike geometry as much as 29" one does.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    Great pics. You see that 650B is more like a big 26" than a small 29".
    Except he compares different tires. Rim diameter is rim diameter.

    622, 584 and 559. Jumps of 4.4% and 6.5%. Bigger jump from 27.5 to 29, but saying that 650b is not sufficiently different from 26" is silly.

    With the advantage being that 650b will fit in long travel frames much much better. And there is no replacement for suspension travel.

    This whole argument - why not upsize to 29" as long as you are upsizing is odd. If pants of size Small are too small, I do not buy Large instead. I would get Medium, because that is what fits me.


    P.S. ..maybe they should have resurrected 650A instead. That would be almost exactly in between at 590mm. But then we would not be able to retrofit 26" frames, which is how the idea caught on...
    Last edited by Axe; 04-11-2012 at 04:29 PM.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    It's a friggin' 10% though. would you even notice in your male member would grow that much overnight?
    Yes, please, and thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    Great pics. You see that 650B is more like a big 26" than a small 29".
    Well, I think what you're seeing there is a big 29" tire and a really big 26" tire with a smallish 27.5" tire. The Hans Damp are huge - barely fit in the frame on my wifes softail Trek.

    I agree, the same tire on all three would be great, but that's all I had at the time. I'll redo the pictures if anyone wants to donate some tires.

    I think the first picture in the second post says a lot and shows how big the Hans Damp tire is!

  28. #28
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    I have a variety of theories why riders, me included, perceive a smaller wheel as accelerating quicker. The scientific foundation, unfortunately, is not there. It will be near impossible, with a human in the mix, to measure acceleration differences between commercial wheel sizes. The range for the 3 is 10%, and rotational weight barely represents any part of the acceleration calculation mix compared to the rider's own and bike weight.
    In practice also, I found that if anything, I was taking advantage of 29" in race starts. Yes, from zero to over 25mph on grass and dirt without holding back.

    If you do the actual math on how much quicker a 26" rear wheel is vs 650B, using convervative rolling resistance advantage for 650B and all the weight difference you can pick, for an 80kg rider on a 12kg bike exiting a corner at 10mph and accelerating to 15mph before the next at say 20% above threshold power output, you're going to wonder if you didn't put the comma wrong. A laser speedgun is not going to be able to tell.
    Not even with full-on 29" vs 26". But if you place the laser guns at the entry, apex and exit of a corner, you will be able to tell. 1mph exiting quicker is 1 mph higher starting speed to that little acceleration from 10 (now 11) mph towards 15mph. Not saying it WILL be 1mph difference, but it's a decent ballpark figure, according to my experience in competitive racing. People just didn't hold my rear wheel in 90 corner infested races. they found themselves sprinting back to my wheel after corner exits, to a much greater degree than I was used to. and I was even riding pretty random 29" tires, where were only a few on the market at the time, none of the quality of the 26" bikes I'd usually pick. there is was cruising the turns not lifting off at all, and the fitter racers on the brakes and out of the saddle to stay in the same group. It was a nuisance actually, as I didn't have the legs to bridge the gap to the next group, and I was killing the guys in my group due to the accelerations needed to get back in my (popular) slipstream. I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.

    It's really to bad we cannot snap out fingers to make a competitive quality 32" wheel and tire setup to happen. Slight proportions variations don't always offer significant measurement output. Increase wheel size more, and you get to see the effects more pronounced. 36"er unfortunately now still have moped rims/tires, which indeed DO add enough weight to get in the way of snappy acceleration, and not making up with rolling resistanc either due to the moped tire carcasses.
    I know in heart that a well built 32"er (I have my ideas on that) can be amazing to ride. There will be a sliding scale of rider size and degree of trail tightness that will still offer advantages over 29" and smaller, but it's not a lost cause for anyone over 6' or so, and even shorter. 5' riders can prefer 29", so 32" could have a 5'6" cutoff for general XC application.

    If a child with rich parents could switch wheel sizes as it grows, by 5' sure;y it would be on 26" and thus by 5'6" on 29". But that if the kid makes it to 6'? Still 29". Explain me that!
    Braking stutter bumps on the trails are now globably transforming towards 29" resonance. 29" is less effective that it was 10 years ago :-) Enter 32", that'll offer some relief!

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    Cool pic's, thanks for taking the time.

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    I think cloxxi and DC are one in the same.

    Anyone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki View Post
    I have a variety of theories why riders, me included, perceive a smaller wheel as accelerating quicker. If you do the actual math on how much quicker a 26" rear wheel is vs 650B, using convervative rolling resistance advantage for 650B and all the weight difference you can pick, for an 80kg rider on a 12kg bike exiting a corner at 10mph and accelerating to 15mph before the next at say 20% above threshold power output, you're going to wonder if you didn't put the comma wrong. A laser speedgun is not going to be able to tell.

    It's really to bad we cannot snap out fingers to make a competitive quality 32" wheel and tire setup to happen. Slight proportions variations don't always offer significant measurement output. Increase wheel size more, and you get to see the effects more pronounced. 36"er unfortunately now still have moped rims/tires, which indeed DO add enough weight to get in the way of snappy acceleration, and not making up with rolling resistanc either due to the moped tire carcasses.
    I know in heart that a well built 32"er (I have my ideas on that) can be amazing to ride. There will be a sliding scale of rider size and degree of trail tightness that will still offer advantages over 29" and smaller, but it's not a lost cause for anyone over 6' or so, and even shorter. 5' riders can prefer 29", so 32" could have a 5'6" cutoff for general XC application.

    If a child with rich parents could switch wheel sizes as it grows, by 5' sure;y it would be on 26" and thus by 5'6" on 29". But that if the kid makes it to 6'? Still 29". Explain me that!
    Braking stutter bumps on the trails are now globably transforming towards 29" resonance. 29" is less effective that it was 10 years ago :-) Enter 32", that'll offer some relief!
    I like that recovering couch potato bit - me too.

    My analysis of the wheel sizes is purely experiential... I naturally ignore all math claims until an actual working mathematical model is available for peer review, right?

    For me, there is most likely a bell curve of "best riding experience" delivered by wheel size, which would vary from person to person to a small or large degree based on a hypothetical norm of mid-height, mid-weight, mid-riding style, whatever all that might mean. According to this model, folks in the 'DC' camp argue that the bell curve's center is found somewhere to the north of 29... such as 32, 36, etc, and 26 is probably a standard deviation away from the top of the curve. I don't think anything larger than 29 is ever going to happen, but that's of course just an opinion.

    My personal experience delivers a bell curve chart where the top of the bell curve is around 27.5, or 28. 29 is perhaps heading back down a little bit on the far side of the bell curve, and 26 is even lower down on the near side of the curve. In a purely theoretical sense, it's too bad we can't snap our fingers and make competitive quality 28" and 28.5" wheel and tire setups happen for comparison.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    I think cloxxi and DC are one in the same.

    Anyone?
    Similarity is uncanny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    I think cloxxi and DC are one in the same.

    Anyone?
    Well, not in my book. While Cloxxi can be irritatingly opinionated to some degree, he's more capable of making the argument with some degree of reason and example. DC is a pure ideolog and seems incapable of seeing other options, regardless of logic. I'm more than happy to wade through some of Cloxxi's comments, because they at least have some substance in reality despite the subtle chest thumping and superiority attitude...LOL! Don't worry...he's definitely not correct in all his assertions...just like the rest of us mere mortals...but he makes a better case.

    If they are the same person, it's one of the most amazing split personality examples in the arena of psychology I've seen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    I think cloxxi and DC are one in the same.

    Anyone?
    His writing is much more articulate, and really not offensive... could DC restrain himself?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC View Post
    While Cloxxi can be irritatingly opinionated to some degree, he's more capable of making the argument with some degree of reason and example. DC is a pure ideolog and seems incapable of seeing other options, regardless of logic.

    If they are the same person, it's one of the most amazing split personality examples in the arena of psychology I've seen.
    I'm thinking of the cloning episode of South Park that features Stan Marsh's clone. Ba-chomp, ba chewy chomp, ba chewy chomp.

    Ba-Chomp Ba Chewy Chomp (Season 1, Episode 5) - Video Clips - South Park Studios
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    I think cloxxi and DC are one in the same.

    Anyone?
    Judging by his avatar, he skate skis in winter the trails he rides in summer. Of which I approve, which makes him cool by me, and which gives him a pass on DC resemblance
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Right

    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Judging by his avatar, he skate skis in winter the trails he rides in summer. Of which I approve, which makes him cool by me, and which gives him a pass on DC resemblance
    My bad. Alter egoerhaps?
    Last edited by JMac47; 04-13-2012 at 02:22 PM. Reason: typo

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    Just out of curiosity: what's the biggest diameter (and probably widest) 27.5" tire out there?Because if the Neo-Moto 2.3" is about as big as it gets, there really isn't much of a difference in that respect compared to tall 26" tires.A Maxxis Ardent 2.4" is quite close to Neo-Moto's diameter with 697 mm (I might be off by 1-2 mm each way, but it's not significant).The weight is close enough to not make much difference either, I think (Neo-Moto 750 g, Ardent 825 g).
    The only more significant(?) differences could be less rollover with the lower profile Neo-Moto and more cushion and better grip(?) due to the possibility of running lower pressures with the bigger volume Ardent.Which of those advantages is more important?I'd say it's mostly down to the terrain you ride.
    Are there any other differences between the two sizes I forgot to think about?

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    697mm sounds a bit generous for Ardent 2.4's. Shiggys site puts them at 688 mm which is similar to Big Betty 2.4's that I ride in 26". A neo 2.3 matches BB's in cornering grip and leaves them for dust in stabilty.

    Don't forget the new generation 650B specific forks will alllow for an Ardent 2.4 profile in 650b. I suspect current tires were made to sneak into 26" forks.

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    I'll measure it once again, but I don't think I was off by that much.It probably depends on the rim a bit, too.
    I'm aware of the fact there will probably be wider/higher 27.5" tires available in the future, I was just curious about pros and cons in current selection of tires (which seem to be comparable in outer diameter despite different rim sizes).

    edit: I remeasured the tire using the "scientific" method of putting the wheel horizontally next to a wall and using a right-angled triangle on top of the tire (with one side on the wall) and I got 694-695 mm.

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    Last edited by problematiks; 04-21-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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    You will still find a difference, especially in stabilty. The larger dia rim displaces the centre of the mass of the tire further out from the axle more than just using a taller tire. You notice the difference at the apex of loose corners where a 26" tire shakes it's head a bit and the 650B pushes through in a more controlled manor.

    Shiggy measures tires that are a consistant age and stretch etc. You can see the relative dimensions with his measurements.

    How We Measure the Tires
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    Rewind to the pictures that started this thread. They are great at showing the different size wheels, albeit with different tires as have been discussed akready.

    We should however be a little careful fixing these images in our heads and use them as a guide - "wow, such large size differences must have a significant impact on ride performance - I need a new bike". The handlebar is only raised by 12.5 mm going from 26" to 27.5", and the difference in "angle of attack" between wheel and ground is extremly small.

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    Sorry if unclear. The difference in diameter is 25 mm, the radius increase by 12.5 mm. The pictures show the wheels standing on the ground and you get a vision of the diameter difference, not the radius.

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    26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures

    My calendar says 2014. Wheel size debate is SO 2013, old news, discussed/argued more than any topic on MTBR including flats vs. clipless and tubed vs tubeless. The horse is long dead, futile to keep beating it.

    2013: pick a wheel size and be a dick about it.

    2013: my wheel size is optimum, yours sucks because: ...

    2014: pick a wheel size, ride your bike, and who gives a crap?

    My New Years resolution, anyhow.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    My calendar says 2014. Wheel size debate is SO 2013, old news, discussed/argued more than any topic on MTBR including flats vs. clipless and tubed vs tubeless. The horse is long dead, futile to keep beating it.

    2013: pick a wheel size and be a dick about it.

    2013: my wheel size is optimum, yours sucks because: ...

    2014: pick a wheel size, ride your bike, and who gives a crap?

    My New Years resolution, anyhow.
    +1 Well said dwt!
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    I measure in "fun"

    that said, the visual is exactly how I expected it.

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    27.5 IS mainly marketing

    <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-formatther; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-formatther; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> </style> I have been demoing a lot of 29" full suspension bikes the last few months and regardless of each bike's strengths and weakness the advantage of the 29" wheels for me was consistent across all the bikes. For my bruiser style of riding they simply slam through and roll over the rocky stuff that would slow down, or try and grab, the 26" wheels on my Epic. I can carry a noticeable amount of extra speed downhill in the sketchier sections. The larger wheels also across the board gave more traction on the loose or bumpier stuff uphill. I also noticed, across all the bikes, that the larger wheels are a little harder to get moving from a stop. Some of the 29ers had more of the "in the bike" feeling than others but something not delivered by the one 27.5" or any of the 26" bikes I have ridden. And except for Specialized, the 29ers all offer limited granny gearing.

    Of most interest to me was that the 27.5" bike I rode, a Yeti 575, the wheels seemed remarkable similar to 26" wheels. I was surprised how little difference the wheel size made. I noticed a tiny rollover advantage but nothing close to what the 29ers deliver. So here's my take on this. I totally get riders who want to move their bike under them a lot preferring 26" wheels and understand this can be more fun/playful. I think 29ers on everything but downhill stuff have the potential to be faster and smoother. I am also over 6 feet tall and I think 29" wheels just feel better and more proportional. I think 27.5" wheels are mainly marketing. I have been in marketing and advertising for decades and I can just "see" the conversations at the bike companies. "Hey, now we have something new to sell." New is news, it has always sold. I do think there is one possible exception to 27.5 being mainly marketing and that is for small riders who want a little extra roll-over but a small or extra small 29er doesn't exist in their brand of choice, or it fits poorly.

    Net, net. I am in the camp that 27.5 is a jack of all master of none basically. Unfortunately it seems more obvious each day that 27.5 will basically replace 26" wheeled bikes. LBS can't afford to carry inventory for three sized wheels.
    Last edited by teck13; 03-18-2014 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Post cut off

  48. #48
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    26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by teck13 View Post
    <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-formatther; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-formatther; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> </style> I have been demoing a lot of 29" full suspension bikes the last few months and regardless of each bike's strengths and weakness the advantage of the 29" wheels for me was consistent across all the bikes. For my bruiser style of riding they simply slam through and roll over the rocky stuff that would slow down, or try and grab, the 26" wheels on my Epic. I can carry a noticeable amount of extra speed downhill in the sketchier sections. The larger wheels also across the board gave more traction on the loose or bumpier stuff uphill. I also noticed, across all the bikes, that the larger wheels are a little harder to get moving from a stop. Some of the 29ers had more of the "in the bike" feeling than others but something not delivered by the one 27.5" or any of the 26" bikes I have ridden. And except for Specialized, the 29ers all offer limited granny gearing.

    Of most interest to me was that the 27.5" bike I rode, a Yeti 575, the wheels seemed remarkable similar to 26" wheels. I was surprised how little difference the wheel size made. I noticed a tiny rollover advantage but nothing close to what the 29ers deliver. So here's my take on this. I totally get riders who want to move their bike under them a lot preferring 26" wheels and understand this can be more fun/playful. I think 29ers on everything but downhill stuff have the potential to be faster and smoother. I am also over 6 feet tall and I think 29" wheels just feel better and more proportional. I think 27.5" wheels are mainly marketing. I have been in marketing and advertising for decades and I can just "see" the conversations at the bike companies. "Hey, now we have something new to sell." New is news, it has always sold. I do think there is one possible exception to 27.5 being mainly marketing and that is for small riders who want a little extra roll-over but a small or extra small 29er doesn't exist in their brand of choice, or it fits poorly.

    Net, net. I am in the camp that 27.5 is a jack of all master of none basically. Unfortunately it seems more obvious each day that 27.5 will basically replace 26" wheeled bikes. LBS can't afford to carry inventory for three sized wheels.
    Sounds like a fairly standard and normal take on the wheels.

    Another thing about 27.5" being very close to 26", is that they are easy to get moving from a standstill. That's the biggest knock against 29" IMO, as well as tough in tight switchbacks

    As far as 29" gearing, I converted mine to "ghetto 2X10" by removing big ring and replacing with bash, and swapping stock middle ring with 30T. So now 30T is my "big ring". That low gearing is fine for me. I still never spin out 30:11 so I'm happy going up and down.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by teck13 View Post
    LBS can't afford to carry inventory for three sized wheels.
    They would not. 27.5 will be the main MTB wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Another thing about 27.5" being very close to 26", is that they are easy to get moving from a standstill. That's the biggest knock against 29" IMO, as well as tough in tight switchbacks

    As far as 29" gearing, I converted mine to "ghetto 2X10" by removing big ring and replacing with bash, and swapping stock middle ring with 30T. So now 30T is my "big ring". That low gearing is fine for me. I still never spin out 30:11 so I'm happy going up and down.
    It ends up being about what tradeoffs one values the most. I will take the increased rollover ability and momentum of a 29er for the sacrifice of a little extra rolling resistance from slow speeds/stopped. The "ghetto 2X10" comment makes me smile. Hell, I don't even have my new 29er yet and I am having my LBS create a brand new "ghetto 2X10" (22-36) with bash" because the 29er lower gearing choices, using Shimano, are pathetic.

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    Wow, 32k views on my post! I was looking through a mtb magazine tonight and showed my wife some pictures that looked just like what she helped me take a few years ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by teck13 View Post
    <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-formatther; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-formatther; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;} @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page WordSection1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;} --> </style> I think 27.5" wheels are mainly marketing. I have been in marketing and advertising for decades and I can just "see" the conversations at the bike companies. "Hey, now we have something new to sell." New is news, it has always sold. I do think there is one possible exception to 27.5 being mainly marketing and that is for small riders who want a little extra roll-over but a small or extra small 29er doesn't exist in their brand of choice, or it fits poorly.
    I think you're right, 29 is generally the best size wheel, but 27.5 is a great wheel for long travel and short people bikes. 26" will probably fade away. My wife is 5'4" and she was ecstatic with the feel of her bike after adding the new fork, 27.5 wheel up front and big Hans Dampf in the rear. Unfortunately we had a son a year ago and haven't done much riding, but that should change soon.

    For those worried about raising the front of the bike, you could always get a shorter fork. Her original fork was adjustable from 85-130mm, so I just left her x-fusion at the shortest length and it didn't deviate from the original geometry range at all.

  52. #52
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    29 is generally the best size wheel
    No it isn't. Well, not for me anyway.

  53. #53
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    Funny, "29 is generally the best wheel size" whaaaat? The best wheel size is what works for you, right?.
    In the past I have talked of all the virtues of why 27.5" bikes work so well, I still believe in those virtues, but others will talk about why a 26er or 29er work well also, and if it works thats great, if you haven't given a fair appraisal to the other sizes, maybe you should, you might find that your riding the wrong bike.

    I'm 6' tall race Cat 1 XC, ride mostly xc and trail off road, and 27.5" is the best size for me, sure, my friends who ride 29ers told that 29ers are faster, not true, said they climb better, not true, downhill better, not true, said they roll over stuff better, well maybe true. My answer to them was " so if I get a new 29er, instead of my 27.5er, and they are faster, as they all say, then you probably wouldn't want me to get a 29er, because I'd really kick all your asses and probably most of the riders racing pro" and besides, if a 29er does roll better, aren't we always looking for the smppthest line anyway? I know that not always an option, but I always do and its amazing how many 29ers Ive passed taking the rough line.

    So after initially riding 26ers, as most everyone has done if you've been riding for more then 10 years, then riding 29ers, then trying a 27.5er back in 2009, I know I made the right choice. I still own bikes of all the wheel sizes, but some are just collecting dust.
    My race bike is a 2012 converted large Santa Cruz Blur XCc, full SRAM XX, AM Classic wheels and Schwalbe RR's. I'm going to hate the day that/ if this bike breaks, gets worn out, etc. Ive ridden other 27.5ers and some have been awesome, but my Blur is just incredible.

  54. #54
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    Hurricane Jeff, I will just say that fast/strong riders are going to be faster/stronger on any wheel size (as you seam to be in your group). Also fortunatly you converted one of the best
    26er to 27.5 that there is, good for you! I'm getting older and I find the benefit to larger wheels size to help me out. That said, I am riding my 27.5 more than the 29er. It has more suspension.
    And it's actually a Niner WFO converted to 27.5. So the very best of both worlds!
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by blcman View Post
    And it's actually a Niner WFO converted to 27.5. So the very best of both worlds!
    My Atlas is much more fun with 27.5 wheels, even with that crap-tastic $199 Talas. Is it better? Don't really care but it comes off the storage hooks more often now.

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-100_0185.jpg

    I my favorite was as a B9er but couldn't quite get the fit right before I broke the front rim (seat angle too slack.)

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-100_0095.jpg

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flip D View Post
    even with that crap-tastic $199 Talas.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Guess what I have on the 650B WFO, that same crap fork. But mine is converted to a 160mm Float and recently the updated the newer CTD damper. About $585 total for a pretty good fork.
    What's your BB hieght anyway? Mine about 13.1 and hardly a pedal strike (unless I get lazy or in-attentive)
    Last edited by blcman; 04-02-2014 at 09:39 PM.
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  57. #57
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    I've just been too lazy to order the parts. I run mine full time at 120mm and at 150 for some of the downs. Haven't ripped the head tube off yet.

  58. #58
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    I find the Blur a better bike with the 27.5 wheels then it ever was with the original 26" wheels.
    As far as age is concerned, I'm 52, so I hear you with the age thing, but for my riding style, 29ers just don't work for me.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I find the Blur a better bike with the 27.5 wheels then it ever was with the original 26" wheels.
    As far as age is concerned, I'm 52, so I hear you with the age thing, but for my riding style, 29ers just don't work for me.
    Here you there. The 27.5 bike gets most of the ride time lately. 29er will be for very long epic rides or if I feel lazy and still want to ride! lol
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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I find the Blur a better bike with the 27.5 wheels then it ever was with the original 26" wheels.
    As far as age is concerned, I'm 52, so I hear you with the age thing, but for my riding style, 29ers just don't work for me.
    So was my Cannondale Rush. Kinda wish I'd kept it! I'm 51, if it matters. I do have one 29'er, a Soma Juice set up SS. I have mixed feelings about the thing--if I rode SS more, I think I'd get a B-side or something similar. My only 26'er these days is the fat bike-don't think those really count.

  61. #61
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    Old vs New (26 vs 27.5)

    Hi guys and gals,

    Came across a preview article of the 2014 Nomad 27.5 where SC had both bikes almost side by side in their reception/foyer.

    Personally I think the previous gen Nomad looks nicer as it has 'swoopier' lines whereas the Nomad 27.5 with its straight tubes looks more generic.

    So...if you are like me and like the look of the old, but prefer the 27.5 size on the basis that it is the best of 26ers and 29ers then I have a solution. A REALLY BIG 26' wheelset/tyre combo that almost takes you up to 27.5 size.

    Ladies and Gents I present to you the all new old Nomad C (You can all thank me later)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-santa-cruz-nomad2-nomad-3.jpg  

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-2-side-flat.jpg  

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-2-side-.jpg  

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-2-side-oblique.jpg  

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-2-side-lhs.jpg  

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-front-wheel.jpg  

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-rear-wheel-detail.jpg  


  62. #62
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    Meh......you've stated your case. But, truth be told, big oversized lumpy "wannabe" 27.5" tires don't cut it anymore.

    Nice bike btw!

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    What the hell is going on with those head spacers on the nomad???

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    26" with 2.5s vs 650b 2.2s & 2.4s

    I didn't see this pointed out here, so sorry if I missed it but, 650b is not 1.5" bigger than a 26er. It's 1" bigger, while a 29er is 1.5" bigger than a 650b which is why 29ers seem to have a bigger difference over a 650b than a 650b has over a 26er.

    I run 2.5" tires (about 850g) on my 26er which gives me diameter of just over 27" and low psi.

    I was down at my lbs to order a part for my fork and decided to take a close look at some 650b's. I looked at the trek slash 7 and 8. Very nice bikes. The shop was running 2.2" rear and 2.4" front. The wheels did not seem any bigger than my 26er wheels, so I went back to the car and grabbed my tape measure. The rear wheel with 2.2s was about 27.25" and the front wheel with 2.4s was about 27.5" diameter.

    I don't think .25" to .5" in diameter is going to make that much of a difference for roll over and as far as contact patch and weight...

    The 26er 2.5" tire might weigh a little more then the 650b 2.2" tires, but the 26ers smaller wheel weighs less than the 650b wheels so that's probably a wash in weight. However, rolling with a 27" diameter and 2.5" wide tires gives the 26er better traction with a larger contact patch and less psi than the 650b with 2.2s. The 650b 2.4s have a slight .5 inch advantage in roll over, but will weigh more than the 26er wheels with 2.5s. The 650 with the 2.4s will probably have a similar contact patch as the 26er with 2.5s or maybe just a bit larger. However, the 26er has stiffer wheels.

    As for 29ers, stiffness along with sluggish handling and increased wheel weight is why every lbs in Tahoe does not recommend 29ers for ridding here. These attributes matter a lot when going from 6.5k to 9k, then to down to 7k on a 4 mile DH black diamond singletrack, then back up to 8.5k and back down again to 6.2k on 6 mile black/double black diamond singletrack (my favorite ride). I have heard from 3 different lbs in the area that they get a lot of weekend warriors, who do not realize how rough tahoe chunk is, how many tight corners there are and how much climbing there is, that come into the shop with very warped 29" wheels that need to badly be trued.

    I am looking to get a new bike, probably a 650b, but will hold off until there are more options for tires, wheel and forks for that size wheel. Currently there is very little choice for these things on a 650b (like tires larger than 2.4"). 26ers dominate the parts market and will continue to do so since it is by far the most common size wheel ridden and that will not change for many, many years if ever. Because of that, I will not be selling any of my 26ers.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    I didn't see this pointed out here, so sorry if I missed it but, 650b is not 1.5" bigger than a 26er. It's 1" bigger, while a 29er is 1.5" bigger than a 650b which is why 29ers seem to have a bigger difference over a 650b than a 650b has over a 26er.

    I run 2.5" tires (about 850g) on my 26er which gives me diameter of just over 27" and low psi.

    I was down at my lbs to order a part for my fork and decided to take a close look at some 650b's. I looked at the trek slash 7 and 8. Very nice bikes. The shop was running 2.2" rear and 2.4" front. The wheels did not seem any bigger than my 26er wheels, so I went back to the car and grabbed my tape measure. The rear wheel with 2.2s was about 27.25" and the front wheel with 2.4s was about 27.5" diameter.

    I don't think .25" to .5" in diameter is going to make that much of a difference for roll over and as far as contact patch and weight...

    The 26er 2.5" tire might weigh a little more then the 650b 2.2" tires, but the 26ers smaller wheel weighs less than the 650b wheels so that's probably a wash in weight. However, rolling with a 27" diameter and 2.5" wide tires gives the 26er better traction with a larger contact patch and less psi than the 650b with 2.2s. The 650b 2.4s have a slight .5 inch advantage in roll over, but will weigh more than the 26er wheels with 2.5s. The 650 with the 2.4s will probably have a similar contact patch as the 26er with 2.5s or maybe just a bit larger. However, the 26er has stiffer wheels.

    As for 29ers, stiffness along with sluggish handling and increased wheel weight is why every lbs in Tahoe does not recommend 29ers for ridding here. These attributes matter a lot when going from 6.5k to 9k, then to down to 7k on a 4 mile DH black diamond singletrack, then back up to 8.5k and back down again to 6.2k on 6 mile black/double black diamond singletrack (my favorite ride). I have heard from 3 different lbs in the area that they get a lot of weekend warriors, who do not realize how rough tahoe chunk is, how many tight corners there are and how much climbing there is, that come into the shop with very warped 29" wheels that need to badly be trued.

    I am looking to get a new bike, probably a 650b, but will hold off until there are more options for tires, wheel and forks for that size wheel. Currently there is very little choice for these things on a 650b (like tires larger than 2.4"). 26ers dominate the parts market and will continue to do so since it is by far the most common size wheel ridden and that will not change for many, many years if ever. Because of that, I will not be selling any of my 26ers.
    Can't quite figure out your pro/con wavering between the 26 and 29 wheels vs 27.5, only that you seemed to end up with the tweener as your next bike purchase. Interesting......

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    As for 29ers, stiffness along with sluggish handling and increased wheel weight is why every lbs in Tahoe does not recommend 29ers for ridding here.
    Bold statement. I have bikes with all 3 wheel sizes, and it strikes me that a bike like the Ripley or Mach 429c would be perfect for rides like Rose to Toads.

    -D

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Can't quite figure out your pro/con wavering between the 26 and 29 wheels vs 27.5, only that you seemed to end up with the tweener as your next bike purchase. Interesting......
    Ya, I was more or less listing observations I have seen regarding the different wheel sizes. I didn't want to outright say one is better than the other since it ultimately it depends on what attributes are the priority to an individual rider, like rollover, weight, handling, stiffness, upgrade options etc.

    I would go for a 26er over a 650b, but as others have noted, there are not too many new bike 26er options available right now which is why I am leaning to the 650b "at the moment". But like I said, I will not pull the trigger on a new bike unless part options like tires and others for the 650b at least gets in the range of the selection of a 29er. Which I am not convinced will happen anytime soon so I will wait to see. If new 26ers go by-by, which is the way it is looking right now, then I will be forced to by a 650b which is why I said I am leaning that way.

    If manufactures go back to making 26ers I will be all over that since a 26er that can fit big tires have almost the same attributes of the 650b, but an entire world of more options for upgrades as well as greater stiffness, better handling and the option to put smaller tires on to reduced weight for better acceleration and easier climbing if wanted.
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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel~ View Post
    Bold statement. I have bikes with all 3 wheel sizes, and it strikes me that a bike like the Ripley or Mach 429c would be perfect for rides like Rose to Toads.

    -D
    Correction, 3 out of 4 bike shops in tahoe don't recommend 29ers for the trails up in Tahoe. I stopped by Paco's in Truckee today and asked them about 26ers vs 650b vs 29ers for Tahoe riding. I always forget about Paco's since they moved, but I shouldn't as they are one of the better bike shops up here IMO. A salesman and a tech both said 29ers are the way to go for Tahoe type riding. I always like talking to the techs as well, since they work on the bikes that have been on these trails and they generally ride a lot also.

    Paco's staff was pretty much in agreement that there is not that much of a difference between a 650b and a 26er, and almost none if the 26er has large tires, but since 650b is the way the industry is going that really doesn't matter.

    They said that yes there is more flex in the 29er wheels, but they have come a long way in just the last couple of years and it should be minimal on a new bike. They mentioned something about a large hub that you can get that shortens the spoke length which will make it stiffer if that's an issue. Also, pointed out that now there is more selection in parts, like lighter tires and wheels, so weight can also be lowered if that is needed. They also said the geometry is much better now as well for better handling and they showed me the new specialized enduro with chain-stay shorter than some 650bs and close to 26ers. I like!

    They argued that having a variety of different options with the ability to increase the stiffness and lower weight with a full 1.5" to 2" diameter increase over a 26er with large tires or a 650b makes them a great choice especially when you consider the lack of options for a 650b. They pointed out they currently only carry 2 different 650b tires, but plenty of 26er and quite a good selection of 29ers. They did say that will most likely change once more people start ridding the 650b and demand for parts increase.

    This was refreshing insight as I have always wanted to move to 29er, but had reservations from what local shop where saying about flex and weight. I have demoed a few 29ers, but that was 2 years ago and a demo doesn't let me know how the bike and it's parts like wheels will hold up. Also, I am large so the flex was a big concern. Might need to revisit and demo some new 29ers this summer. I'll through in some 650b as well.
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  69. #69
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    Interesting I hear the "there's no selection of 650/27.5 tires to choose from" all the time. There's actually quite abit out now. How many different types/brands of tires does one need or use on a regular basis in 26/27.5/29 for that matter. Let's be real we're creatures of habit and most of us stick with a couple styles we like for the trails we ride. What a shop "stocks" is usually limited by a buyer, not so much the demand. I think they are a little behind the times with that. Don't want to turn this into an "lbs vs online store purchase" thread but if you don't want to wait, or your shop won't order for you.....there's plenty of a range of 27.5 tires for your liking out there. Just my opinion.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    They would not. 27.5 will be the main MTB wheel.
    That's right. The industry is making that decision for us. By model year '16, most of the mainstream manufacturers won't have 26" bikes in their lineup. It will be interesting to see if it's the 27.5 or the 29 that becomes the "standard". The typical bike consumer who walks in the front door of our shop has never heard of 650b/27.5. I think it's still relatively unknown but would love to hear what others think.

  71. #71
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    26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Funny, "29 is generally the best wheel size" whaaaat? The best wheel size is what works for you, right?.
    In the past I have talked of all the virtues of why 27.5" bikes work so well, I still believe in those virtues, but others will talk about why a 26er or 29er work well also, and if it works thats great, if you haven't given a fair appraisal to the other sizes, maybe you should, you might find that your riding the wrong bike.

    I'm 6' tall race Cat 1 XC, ride mostly xc and trail off road, and 27.5" is the best size for me, sure, my friends who ride 29ers told that 29ers are faster, not true, said they climb better, not true, downhill better, not true, said they roll over stuff better, well maybe true. My answer to them was " so if I get a new 29er, instead of my 27.5er, and they are faster, as they all say, then you probably wouldn't want me to get a 29er, because I'd really kick all your asses and probably most of the riders racing pro" and besides, if a 29er does roll better, aren't we always looking for the smppthest line anyway? I know that not always an option, but I always do and its amazing how many 29ers Ive passed taking the rough line.

    So after initially riding 26ers, as most everyone has done if you've been riding for more then 10 years, then riding 29ers, then trying a 27.5er back in 2009, I know I made the right choice. I still own bikes of all the wheel sizes, but some are just collecting dust.
    My race bike is a 2012 converted large Santa Cruz Blur XCc, full SRAM XX, AM Classic wheels and Schwalbe RR's. I'm going to hate the day that/ if this bike breaks, gets worn out, etc. Ive ridden other 27.5ers and some have been awesome, but my Blur is just incredible.
    This. Well said. Cat 1 XC gives you cred on issues of speed. As you say, there is no "best" wheel size for everyone , just as there are different frame sizes and mm of suspensionto suit everyone. therefore, the best everything is the choice that suits a particular rider ( experience, talent size & strength)in particular terrain for a particular purpose

    26&quot; vs. 27.5&quot; vs. 29&quot; Tire size comparison - with pictures-imageuploadedbytapatalk1396975211.985120.jpg
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Schwalbe RR's
    Are these your go to favorite tires? I know they're fast, but have seen/heard mixed reviews on them (I know just like everything else we yack about on here :@....). Maybe there are OEM runs of lessor quality? Would you get them again?

  73. #73
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    26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by Twinkie the Kid View Post
    That's right. The industry is making that decision for us.
    False. In fact, Kirk Pacenti patiently extolling the virtues of the "tweener" size plus readers and riders of MTBR converting 26'ers and posting enthusiastic reviews gradually influenced more of the industry besides small potatoes Jamis, KMC and Haro, to make purpose built 650b's to fill a growing demand. Forks & rim availability preceded frames. Frames then tire availability followed. Nino Schurter winning WC XC races greatly helped publicity early on. So it was "if you make it, they will come." Not if we make it we will kill the 26'er and force people to buy. Not even close. First more little guys like Intense, Norco Tuner and Ibis got into it, joining Jamis and KMC. They were quite successful, so early hater Santa Cruz finally caved when customers who were converting SC 26'ers demanded purpose built bikes The dam broke when Giant went all in. Then finally Trek and only recently the last hold out haters, Specialized and Cannondale caved.

    If that is industry driving the market, then I'm a pro DH'er. Au contraire it was rider demand sparked by Pacenti, this forum & Francois on MTBR ( seriously) lighting little fires that spread into a raging inferno over 3 years. 650b lovers got the brand, suspension etc choices they wanted, never imagining that 26" would get hurt in the process, being the industry standard for 25+ years. If 29'ers got hurt, too bad, nobody likes smug elitists or cool aid drinkers.
    True, 650b could become the next hated mtb product for the same reasons.

    Oh well.
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    Sorry, this is old, but why are we all fooled? Look at the original picture - yes, the 29 is obviously larger and so forth. But, there is also an illusion at play. With regards to rolling resistance etc., it is obviously the radius, and not the diameter which is relevant. To measure from the ground up (diameter) which has been done on so many photoes is simply a mistake. The relevant differences are half. And so, the small diff between 26 and 650 is much, much smaller than you should think from looking at pictures like these - exactly half.

  75. #75
    dwt
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    26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by AxelH View Post
    Sorry, this is old, but why are we all fooled? Look at the original picture - yes, the 29 is obviously larger and so forth. But, there is also an illusion at play. With regards to rolling resistance etc., it is obviously the radius, and not the diameter which is relevant. To measure from the ground up (diameter) which has been done on so many photoes is simply a mistake. The relevant differences are half. And so, the small diff between 26 and 650 is much, much smaller than you should think from looking at pictures like these - exactly half.
    It's 2014, and by now most riders have figured out what size wheel they like best, no matter what the micrometer says, and NOT be a dick about it.

    Nobody but you cares, or should care, what brand bike you ride, what size wheels you prefer, how much the bike cost, what color it is, whether it has a dropper post, tubed or tubeless tires, flat or clipless pedals, plush or no suspension, 1X, 2X or 3X drivetrain, low or high gearing, slack or steep HTA & STA, whether you call the bike XC, trail, or AM, etc, etc, etc.

    As the saying goes, "shut up and ride".
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    What rolls faster, a 26 x 2.1 or a 650b x 2.3?

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    26" vs. 27.5" vs. 29" Tire size comparison - with pictures

    Quote Originally Posted by MarinMtBike View Post
    What rolls faster, a 26 x 2.1 or a 650b x 2.3?
    650b x 2.3. Wider tires can actually have less rolling resistance, and larger diameter has less rolling resistance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    650b x 2.3. Wider tires can actually have less rolling resistance, and larger diameter has less rolling resistance.
    +1....
    I switched from a 26" 2.1 tire Giant Anthem to a 650B 2.25 tire Giant Anthem this year. The 650B has less rolling resistance and better traction. You need less effort to get over rocks and roots.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougNuts View Post
    So, then I started thinking that I should compare the 26 x 2.3" to the old 26 x 2.1" Panaracer Fire

    Wow, that is quite a difference.


    more to come.....
    That's quite a difference in sizes. I have an old (14 y.o) Cannondale SuperV700SX. So it has 26" wheels. So when I get the next set of tires I'll go for the 26 x 2.3". Last week when I was at the trail another rider was showing me tires like that on his 26"er. He said they were almost as big as a 27.5". So until I get a new bike (maybe next year) I can do that.

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    nice pics

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    I run a Maxxis 2.7 on the front of my DH bike. The newer ones (if you can find them) actually only measure a hair over 2.5, but the cool part is they are a little over 27" in diameter. I have ridden a dedicated 27.5" on the front of one of my other bikes, and I gotta say I prefer having more rubber than a bigger rim. Plus, being able to run very low pressures is a huge benefit for DH, and it still pedals pretty good to boot. I run a standard 2.5 (which actually measure closer to a 2.4 (26.5" diameter)), and it slacks it out a little bit as well; yet another added benefit. Weird how Maxxis all of the sudden changed their tire dimensions when 650b hit the scene...

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