Anyone else go from a 29er to 27.5?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone else go from a 29er to 27.5?

    I test rode a Kona Hei Hei Trail DL today just on a flat cement path and I really enjoyed it. Super light and nimble felt solid as well. I hit a few small bumps I found caught a bit of air and it felt a lot more stable than my 29ers did. I have never had a 27.5 tire bike before. I just felt it didn't seem to roll as fast as a 29er or cover as much ground as fast as a 29er. I then tried a straight up 29er Kona Hei Hei and I wasn't comfortable on it as I was on the Trail DL 27.5 model.
    Will I be wishing I had a 29er or will I get over it? I really like the bike and it was designed around a 27.5 tire as well as the fork won't take a 29er not sure about the rear end. Wouldn't be a cheap upgrade to do it so I kind of want to make the right choice.

  2. #2
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    I'm pretty tall 6'3" and I have a Trance 27.5 and also a borrowed Trance 29er .... I feel much more comfortable on the 27.5 (XL frame).... I haven't ridden a 29er I like more than my 27.5 trance. ... sometimes when I measured I was faster on the 29er but I have more fun felt more confident on the 27.5.

    I'm my view there is nothing wrong with getting a 27.5 especially if you aren't looking to race. 27.5 is super fun and nimble ... some times just steam rolling everything on a 29er isn't that much fun?

    who cares who is running 29ers ... 27.5 is fun ... I am 100% fine with running my 27.5 Trance regardless of who or whatever promotes the 29er bandwagon.

  3. #3
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    I recently sold my Ibis Ripley and got an Ibis HD5. Love the nimble handling of the 27.5 wheels. Even tho the hd5 is a longer travel bike I donít feel like Iím giving any playfulness up from the Ripley. Iím 5í10.5Ē for reference.

    I also have a Santa Cruz Highball 29er hardtail. Super fun bike but totally different. Very efficient but I donít take it on very aggressive trails. More xc stuff.

    I honestly think you should get what you like and donít get hung up on 29 vs 27.5.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, Iíve been both ways. I went from a really cheapo 26Ē to a 27.5. Really liked the 27.5. Then I saw a 29er hard tail XC bike, that was the same brand as my motorcycles. Had to have it. I ďneededĒ it. Great bike. The wagon wheels are fast. Got the itch to build a bike from parts, chose a 27.5. Hardtail again. Love it. My favourite bike so far. Itís a bit longer and slacker than the XC 29er, & you feel like youíre more sitting in it, rather than on it. Still plenty agile, but much more stable on drop offs & really steep descents. Itís just plain good fun to ride. So much so that I havenít ridden the 29er for about 8 months now.

  5. #5
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    When I went from 26" bikes to my first 29er, the original Santa Cruz Tallboy, I was in heaven and thought I'd never go back. Once spooled up, it maintained it's speed and there's no denying 29er's have a small advantage getting up an over obstacles for most people. However, I missed the playfulness when things got dicey so I bought a 27.5 bike as well, the original Pivot Mach 6. Since then, I've pretty much always had a minimum of (2) bikes, a 29er and a 27.5.

    There was a 6 month period last year where I had (2) 29er's but just like clockwork, I missed having a 27.5 on shuttle type trails so I sold my Ibis Ripmo and bought the new HD5. I really enjoyed the Ripmo but the HD5 has been even better than expected. I ride it places I normally would take my 130 travel 29er.

    Nobody knows the real answer to your question though. I will say that the majority of people these days prefer 29ers and they all have their own reasons. I know if I could only have ONE bike, I'd probably get a 140/130 27.5 bike of some type like the Santa Cruz 5010. But since I can have two, I've ordered a new Ripley to join the HD5 in the stable.
    Carpe Diem!!

  6. #6
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    My 2014 Tallboy LT, I guess Tallboy 2, was an amazing bike I loved it so much but I bought it second hand and it was getting kind of old and could have used a new fork and shock at some point so I thought it was time to sell it not realizing how hard it would be to find something that really fit me well.
    That 27.5 was a blast and I could seed how much more fun it would be on trails etc. wanting to catch air anywhere it could and it was a solid bike but I will need to cover ground and it just didn't feel like it would as well as a 29er.
    I believe my problem is solved as a Kona rep has found me a 29er that I saw in a review where it was compared to a Tallboy as the geometry being almost the same aside from the steeper seat tube angle which is fine for me in regards to peddling like a madman and since I am at the bottom of a large size in a lot of bikes the steeper seat tube angle will shorten the cockpit.I will be testing it on Thursday or Friday.
    Can't say enough about the Kona Rep, Stephan Strebel this guy has been way better than any other bike company I have contacted. He responded to me fist thing on a Saturday morning, never pressured me let me test ride the bike as well as made adjustments to it for me 2-3 times. Hunted down another bike, 29er, for me and will pick it up from the warehouse and put together for me to try in a couple days. Always responds to any questions and never seems to get irritated. I am super impressed!! Other companies I have contacted take days and don't really seem to care anywhere near as much.
    I am hoping

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedygz View Post
    Yeah, Iíve been both ways. I went from a really cheapo 26Ē to a 27.5. Really liked the 27.5. Then I saw a 29er hard tail XC bike, that was the same brand as my motorcycles. Had to have it. I ďneededĒ it. Great bike. The wagon wheels are fast. Got the itch to build a bike from parts, chose a 27.5. Hardtail again. Love it. My favourite bike so far. Itís a bit longer and slacker than the XC 29er, & you feel like youíre more sitting in it, rather than on it. Still plenty agile, but much more stable on drop offs & really steep descents. Itís just plain good fun to ride. So much so that I havenít ridden the 29er for about 8 months now.
    Yes if I could have 2 bikes I would definitely have a 27.5 for trails, bike parks etc. But I need a Downcountry bike/mid travel that peddles really well and can cover ground fast.

  8. #8
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    https://forums.mtbr.com/newreply.php...9717&noquote=1
    Thanks and you are right. I don't want to buy something new and be thinking oh I wish it was a 29er. For me the trade off works better for my situation as to what I give up with the 27.5 and gain with a 29er.
    I am proud of myself for not buying it because it was so tempting, I liked it a lot and it peddled really really well, had great components, last one left and was such a great price although more than I should be spending!!! UGHHH It was hard not buy it but it was the right decision for my purpose.

  9. #9
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    I to felt way more confident, safer, stable, fun and nimble on the 27.5 but I need a quiver killer and the stuff I gain in staying with a 29er suits my application of the bike better

  10. #10
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    Want to thank you all for being so helpful. I am not a rich guy and needed to make sure I was doing what was best for my application of the bike. I believe the Kona Hei Hei Trail DL is now sold. The rep asked me first this morning if I was sure before he let it go to a store that had requested it as it was the last one in a large and it was a Demo bike. The rep is so great he pretty promptly found a bike I had been trying to find but couldn't so as soon as he picks it up and puts it together I can go test it!!! Pretty amazing service I tell ya!! Good on ya Kona this rep deserves some recognition!!His name wil be in the Kona Forum.

  11. #11
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    I was thinking about getting a 29er for a year and did demo rides of a whole bunch of 29ers.

    https://www.dirtmerchantbikes.com/sp...-45-yeti-sb100

    I also test rode these bikes:
    • Revel Rascal
    • DeVinci Troy 29
    • Giant Trance 29
    • Yeti SB130


    But, I got a 27.5" Ibis HD4. The HD4 was the best combination of descending capability with retaining everyday handling fun. The shorter travel 29ers didn't seem as capable of handling rougher terrain & longer travel 29ers (Pivot Firebird, Yeti SB150, Ibis Ripmo) didn't seem as fun for more XC-oriented trail riding. The HD4 rides great for all of the riding that I typically do.
    Dirt Merchant Bikes
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  12. #12
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    The other good thing about 27.5's, is that it's easier to get lower gearing if you ride hills a lot. Smaller circumference. It's quite noticeable. When I went from 29x2.25 to 700x40c (which is very close to 27.5x2.2) you could really notice the difference when climbing on the same 11-42 cassette.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grilledcheesetriple View Post
    I test rode a Kona Hei Hei Trail DL today just on a flat cement path and I really enjoyed it.
    People tend to like small bikes and wheels on parking lot test rides. You might feel differently out on the trail.

  14. #14
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    I went from 26" to a Pivot Mach 429, and then to an Intense Spider 275c. When I demoed the Spider I wasn't even looking for a new bike, was just at a festival with free demos. I was so blown away by how much fun it was I just decided to switch. I think some of that is bike, and maybe some wheels.

  15. #15
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    I went from 26 to 29, and recently got a 27.5, in my quest to finally find a bike that actually fits me and my build, which is always in-between sizes on everything. I am a one bike person, never owning more than one bike at a time.

    I really like my 27.5, as it is a good compromise between "rollability" and nimbleness.
    2016 Felt Decree 30

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    People tend to like small bikes and wheels on parking lot test rides. You might feel differently out on the trail.
    Other way around, get some speed under your belt and start moving about the trail, then those big wheels slow down the action and make movements more ponderous.

    At speed I'll take a smaller wheel, esp with new geometry.
    GG Megatrail 27.5 (Braaap!)
    GG Trail Pistola 27+/29 (speedy)
    Pivot Shuttle 27.5 (wife's)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Other way around, get some speed under your belt and start moving about the trail, then those big wheels slow down the action and make movements more ponderous.

    At speed I'll take a smaller wheel, esp with new geometry.
    You missed the point. Has nothing to do with speed or what you prefer.

  18. #18
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    I'm currently in the 27.5 camp. I've tried plenty of each, but like many, I just find 27.5 more playful, easier to manipulate on the trail, etc. But that's how I like to ride, and fits the type of trail I like. To be honest, though, I think bike design has as much, if not more, to do with how a bike handles than tire diameter. Comparing a 27.5" and 29" wheeled bike is rarely apples to apples. In most cases, the two are also completely different frames. Personally, I ignore tire size and just ride the bike. If I like it, it doesn't matter what wheel size it is. Just so happens that my favorites tend to be 27.5's.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  19. #19
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    29ers and 27.5's seem to be running "neck-and-neck" these days.

    The competition is fierce between 27.5 and 29 designers...we win.
    When I first started looking at a new bike 4 or 5 years ago, I had a 26 that I wanted to replace. I REALLY wanted to love the 29ers at the time. Demo'd the 429, Ripley, etc. and really didn't care for them. Ended up with a Yeti SB5. Then, a few years later tried 29ers again and man, did they ever up their game!

    I'm currently on a 29er.

    I haven't tried the new crop of 27.5's but I bet the same is true.

    If you are basing your opinions on either a 27.5 or a 29 based on designs of even 3 years ago, you're doing yourself a disservice!
    Both have improved dramatically, so try each. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  20. #20
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    I switch back and forth all of the time between my Intense Spider and Rocky Mountain Instinct. Both are really fun bikes. Typically will select the bike based on mood/trail. The Instinct definitely feels faster/more efficient and would be my choice for longer rides. The Spider is my favorite for the local trails where it is fun to pop off any little thing you can find and is more nimble than the RM. Lucky to be in the position to enjoy both. To the OP, I'd say ride whatever puts the biggest smile on your face most of the time.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStar View Post
    I switch back and forth all of the time between my Intense Spider and Rocky Mountain Instinct. Both are really fun bikes. Typically will select the bike based on mood/trail. The Instinct definitely feels faster/more efficient and would be my choice for longer rides. The Spider is my favorite for the local trails where it is fun to pop off any little thing you can find and is more nimble than the RM. Lucky to be in the position to enjoy both. To the OP, I'd say ride whatever puts the biggest smile on your face most of the time.
    I'm 6-4 and have a custom 2018 Instinct 140mm DPX2/150mm 36 that I built. I can have only one bike and damn if it doesn't do everything really well. Even in the air, as not a super shredder myself, there is extra stability that I appreciate, tho it takes more effort to swing the backend around. There are certain tight climbs or switchback descents where I would like a 27.5 but it does everything so well as a jack of all trades that I think I'd miss it if I had only a 27.5 bike. One of the keys is that the bike geo isn't super long so it still keeps *some* of that nimbleness a bit while still being able to handle big-ish lines and long rides etc. That being said when I ride with my 2nd grader grom on his 145mm FS 24" sled...he is just an endless Conga-Line of creative side hits in-and-out of the trail/berms/whips etc. My skills (and a bit of the 29er) mean that I'm only getting half of those. In certain chunder sections, he'll pop off and over the bigger stuff and I'll often plow it a bit more. I see the beauty of the 27.5 making that style much more of an option. It'd be cool to have a 27.5 bike as well as the mid-travel 29er. I swear groms have more fun than anyone on the trail, its like the trails are one big skate park.

  22. #22
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    Buy a switchblade and then you can swap! Mine came with 27.5 and I love how they ride (came from only riding 26er) been thinking about buying a set of 29er wheels though to swap back and forth... i'm 5'6" for reference.

  23. #23
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    Get both

  24. #24
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    Rode 26" Ibis Mojo for years...great bike, tons of fun. Switched to an Epic 29er...very efficient bike and made covering ground easier and rode it for a number of years...BUT is was not a FUN bike. Searched for something more fun and included 27.5's in my search... and came down to the latest versions of the Ripley and the 5010 just when they came out. Both great bikes but the 5010 was so much more fun to be on for me. Even as an Ibis fan boy, I went with the SC with 27.5's (wished they had had an updated Mojo to compare with at the time).
    Riding: '91 Carbon Epic Stumpjumper w/a rack on the back

  25. #25
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    I got a Transition Smuggler last year to replace a 27.5 /150mm travel bike mainly because it was a bit too short,430mm reach to a 450mm. I have a 29er XC bike so I'm familiar with bigger wheels but what I found was by the time I fit some appropriately beefy tires (960-1100 grams) on it I had a hard time changing directions quickly and was blowing through corners.Felt more of a passenger than the pilot on some of the tighter trails.

    I had a set of 27.5 wheels sitting around as well as a 27.5 160mm travel fork so swapped them out and installed 2 offset bushing to the rear shock.My BB went from 336mm with 29x2.4 to 332mm with 27.7x2.6 and angles changed -.4 degrees.

    So far I really like the change,a bit quicker and seems to feel like I can move the bike where I want it to go.I have swapped it back and forth just to see how long it takes as it would open up different terrain for a road trip and with a clean bike less than 2 hours.So 2 bikes in 1.Who is to say that you can't have it both ways.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchosdad View Post
    I went from 26" to a Pivot Mach 429, and then to an Intense Spider 275c. When I demoed the Spider I wasn't even looking for a new bike, was just at a festival with free demos. I was so blown away by how much fun it was I just decided to switch. I think some of that is bike, and maybe some wheels.
    I also went from 26" (Yeti 575) to an aluminum Pivot Mach 429. I added a Fox 34 with 120mm of travel and it was an awesome bike that was good at everything I tried ... just about the perfect trail bike.

    Shortly after I got the 429 "perfect", I picked up a Mach 5 to use as a guest bike. I put a 27.5 front wheel on the Mach 5 and the 429 started to sit, and sit, and sit. The 429 was a faster bike with much better parts (full XT 1x11 drivetrain, Chris King hubs with 30mm rims, a Fox 34 fork and a dropper post), but the Mach 5 was just more fun.


    I eventually sold both Pivots and am now riding an Ibis Mojo SL-R with 27.5 wheels front and back. I was in Santa Cruz last summer and demoed the new Ripley back to back with my Mojo SL-R. The new Ripley is an awesome bike. Honestly, it is better at everything, but for me the 27.5 Mojo SL-R is still just a little bit more fun.

  27. #27
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    I went from a 150mm 29er to a 130mm 650b. Most of the trails I ride are multi use, so opportunities to go mach 5 where the big 29er really felt alive were pretty few and far between. I would also echo the earlier sentiment about being the passenger vs pilot at times. The 650b wheels are overall more fun at slower speeds, and easier to place during techy climbs. I built it with similarly burly components and it's a couple lbs lighter, plus the wheels spool up quicker. At 130mm with the smaller tires it's slightly undergunned in some of the gnarlier stuff, but that can also be fun in its own right, but it's immensely more fun on the remaining 90% of trails. Also the frame, fork, and wheelset were pretty cheap to find used because everyone else is going 29er.

  28. #28
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    A lot of the trails here in SFL are mixed/multi-style trails and it's hard to have just one bike in your arsenal to handle it all. My first MTB to get me into the sport is an Ibis DV9 29er (130mm Pike) being that I was a noob I felt a little off balance and a bit twitchy but mostly can be chalked up to poor riding style. Taken my few spills learned new positioning and techniques and it still feels huge but light. I also have a 2018 Orbea Loki 27.5 with 2.5 minions and a fox 130mm fork and I have to say it is so much fun and playful... on the DV9 I'm too worried about where and how to place the bike and the Loki lets you focus on the fun you're having especially on the twisties.

    I'm currently researching on doing a "from scratch" build and I'm looking at the new Mojo 4 now and it will be a 27.5 for sure.
    2019 Ibis DV9 XX1 Gold | Code RSC | 25.4lbs
    2018 Orbea Loki 27 XX1 Rainbow/Black/Grey | Code RSC | 28.11lbs

  29. #29
    kk2
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    My first bike expansion was from 26 SC Blur to 29 Highball. Thank God I never got rid of my Blur as I was sceptical of the 29er hype. Then the Highball was upgraded into a Tallboy but I still ended up splitting my trail riding time evenly between two bikes because I liked the agility of the small wheels. The Blur was getting old so I purchased the 27.5 Pivot Mach 4C with XC/trail geometry, and it instantly became my favorite bike. I think that when it comes to speed difference between 27.5 and 29 it is so minute that it only matters during the races when you fight for podium. Last year I put 2.6 tires on my Pivot and the bike became 28.25er as compared to 2.2 on 29. I love that setup.
    Pivot Mach 4C
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  30. #30
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    I tried a couple 29ers and I just didn't like the feel of them. The only one I liked was the Scott Spark. Very nicely balanced bike. But I sold my 29er HT and got a FS 27.5 Much happier with the 27.5 and I'm 6'1", so depends on what you like.

  31. #31
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    Hi gang,
    Can a Salsa el Mariachi 2016 extra small frame take 27.5 wheels? The max tire wheel/tire size they recommend is 29 x 2.4, and minimum appears to be 29 x 2.1
    Could I get away with 27.5 x 47mm gravel tires?
    It would be a take off from another bike: the wheelset is already built with Velocity Aileron rims, I am not entirely sure of the rim width so I donít know what maximum tire width they would take, currently they have 47mm tires.
    I could not find BB drop info for the 2016 El Mar, but in other yearsí frames the BB drop is 60mm for the 2014-2017 models; 66mm for the 2013.
    The chainring I would transfer to the El Mar is 1 x 35t. They recommend 1 x 32t max.
    Other compatibility questions are (maybe for another thread unless people donít mind answering here):
    transferring the BB and crankset from current 68 BB shell to 73 BB of the El Mar.
    31.8 Co-motion shifter transferred from road bar a MTB bar.
    TRP HyRd semi hydraulic brakes: can they work in a MTB setup? What MTB brake levers can they work with?
    Thanks all! Let me know if Iíve missed anything.

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