Anyone find a SCIENTIFIC review of 29 vs 27.5 vs 26 ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Anyone find a SCIENTIFIC review of 29 vs 27.5 vs 26 ?

    I want to find a scientific review of 29" vs 27.5" vs 26" rather then just...
    I feel
    I felt
    .... also the timed races can be skewed like on GMBN yt.

    Has anyone found a scientific review on 29/27.5/26 ?

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    Where have you been? Giant has it all figured out! They have found that the 27.5" wheel is the bees knees!

    https://forums.mtbr.com/general-disc...-a-911204.html

    Sarcasm btw...You're chasing the dragon. The only definitive answer---> Ride what you like.

    There have to be dozens of threads like this.
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  3. #3
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    BTW, that thread I linked to is a huge waste of time....I'm sorry.
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    am i reading MTBR or am i being assaulted?

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    Yeah, there's a bunch in the journal, Nature.
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    Carbon is always best. Science.
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    Pretty sure science concluded its best to cover your bases by having one of each, preferably with the big one in the front.

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    If you want to mechanically dumb down the trails and just sling straight through then 29er
    If you want a mixture of slinging and working the bike on descents then 27.5
    If you want all out lightweight playfullness and where you need tons of skill then 26
    If you want mechanical doping then ebike.

  9. #9
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    I don't need science to tell me I like 29ers more.

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    Science has nothing to do with personal preference.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale-Calgary View Post
    Science has nothing to do with personal preference.


    Yep, kind of like a scientific experiment to find out which flavor of ice cream is best.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Yep, kind of like a scientific experiment to find out which flavor of ice cream is best.
    caramel

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    Apollonius of Perga already solved all your questions in 190 BC, so I suggest hit the books, Chumley.
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    They're still inputting all the data on trail surfaces across every square inch of every trail, rider profiles, bicycle profiles, bicycle set-up profiles, trail condition profiles, etc.

    Hopefully that google quantum computer will be available for use once that's done and we'll have our scientific answer.
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    Some like them with ketchup, i say go helium, the next big Thing.
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    Red is the fastest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    They're still inputting all the data on trail surfaces across every square inch of every trail, rider profiles, bicycle profiles, bicycle set-up profiles, trail condition profiles, etc.

    Hopefully that google quantum computer will be available for use once that's done and we'll have our scientific answer.

    The answer is 42.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    I want to find a scientific review of 29" vs 27.5" vs 26" rather then just...
    I feel
    I felt
    .... also the timed races can be skewed like on GMBN yt.

    Has anyone found a scientific review on 29/27.5/26 ?
    There is this:

    The effect of mountain bike wheel size on cross country performance.pdf

    But the science is pretty bad. And honestly the things like feel and such are more important. Ride and be happy.And also, 42 is the correct answer.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  22. #22
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    Simple, 42.
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Yeah, there's a bunch in the journal, Nature.
    Best comment...

    In a related note, I hear that IEEE has dedicated 50% of their grant funding in 2020 for this very topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    Apollonius of Perga already solved all your questions in 190 BC, so I suggest hit the books, Chumley.
    That might be difficult, considering his writings were all housed in the Great Library of Alexandria and it was destroyed after that date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    That might be difficult, considering his writings were all housed in the Great Library of Alexandria and it was destroyed after that date.
    I thought Nick Cage found that in the latest National Treasure movie. The answer was indeed 42.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    I thought Nick Cage found that in the latest National Treasure movie.
    I missed that one on purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    The answer was indeed 42.
    Well, that goes without saying. But if you're looking for the primary literature on the subject, which it appears OP is looking for, it'll be difficult since he'll probably have to hire TARDIS for the task.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I missed that one on purpose.
    Nice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Well, that goes without saying. But if you're looking for the primary literature on the subject, which it appears OP is looking for, it'll be difficult since he'll probably have to hire TARDIS for the task.
    Either way seems problematic. Are there no alternative sources for science facts we could use in the interim?
    :nono: :thumbsup:

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    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Either way seems problematic. Are there no alternative sources for science facts we could use in the interim?
    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Yeah, there's a bunch in the journal, Nature.
    if WHALENARD could help by narrowing down the volume and issue numbers of these references, it might help the search.

  29. #29
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    But surely its all about feel????? If you like it then buy it. If it feels good then thats the wheel size for you.

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    Wait, people actually care about what scientists have to say?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Wait, people actually care about what scientists have to say?
    Donald?
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    Kind of common sense vs. science.

    If there is a hole on the trail...the 26" tire will drop further into that hole than a 27.5 or 29 tire. Thus the 29 smooths out the bumps and you go faster down the trail

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    Scientists confirm 42 is the answer!



    Well, at least they're wearing lab coats.

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    It's scientifically proven steel is the winner, period.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
    Kind of common sense vs. science.

    If there is a hole on the trail...the 26" tire will drop further into that hole than a 27.5 or 29 tire. Thus the 29 smooths out the bumps and you go faster down the trail
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Well, that goes without saying. But if you're looking for the primary literature on the subject, which it appears OP is looking for, it'll be difficult since he'll probably have to hire TARDIS for the task.
    Once this eBike gets up to 88 MPH, we're going to see some serious shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    Wait, people actually care about what scientists have to say?
    Not here in 'Merica. We prefer conspiracy theories posted on Facebook.

    Also 29ers are a hoax pushed by the Deep State. The wheels don't even measure 29 inches. Get out your tape measure if you don't believe me.

  38. #38
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    Before you could get an answer, what question would you even be asking? The only potential "scientific" outcome would basically be speed if you're eliminating a scientific study of subjective feelings.

    Now the closest thing that you'll get to that is racing testing. Riders from companies that produced bikes in 27.5 and 29 (or were considering the latter) were very much timing themselves on different wheelsize bikes and choosing the one that they were fastest on in training. In DH and enduro, most chose the 29 in wheels, but some of the top riders are still on 27.5, so it either varies by person or isn't a big part of the equation in the end. I think everyone in XC is on 29in wheels.

    But does gaining a second in a race make a bike scientifically "better?" that's a totally different question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Not here in 'Merica. We prefer conspiracy theories posted on Facebook.

    Also 29ers are a hoax pushed by the Deep State. The wheels don't even measure 29 inches. Get out your tape measure if you don't believe me.
    Funny how the Scientists had to form a consensus since there isn't absolute proof. But hey it's happened before, you know when the consensus of 99.9% of scientists knew the earth was flat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Once this eBike gets up to 88 MPH, we're going to see some serious shit.
    assuming he can manage to retrofit a flux capacitor. the real question is, would it work on a 26er or a 27.5er, too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    you know when the consensus of 99.9% of scientists knew the earth was flat.
    Yes, that happened. /s

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    < Patiently awaiting the 42er Bikes forum here on MTBR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    < Patiently awaiting the 42er Bikes forum here on MTBR.
    I haven't even had a chance to ride a 36er, we're already jumping to 42?!?!
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Funny how the Scientists had to form a consensus since there isn't absolute proof. But hey it's happened before, you know when the consensus of 99.9% of scientists knew the earth was flat.
    Y'know, when some people thought the Earth was flat, there really weren't scientists, per se.

    Some philosophers, from thousands of years hence, figured out it was basically a sphere.

    Modern day fools who claim that it's flat. I've got no clue. I think it's 99% troll, and 1% real idiots.
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  45. #45
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    You are going to take over a post like this. It was sort of beat to death about 5 years ago.

    I was pretty invested in this topic at the time myself. The wheel size "debate" happened at the peak of my wife's racing career. She actually has the unique position of being the last person to win the World Cup title on a 26inch bike (2012) and a 27.5 bike (2016).

    2012 to 2016 were really the wheel size debate years. Most racers ended up going with 29 but ironically most of the WC wins were on 27.5. It was in the 2017 season that for a variety of reasons, the primary one being 27.5 XC bikes were no longer being produced, that nearly everyone switched to 29.

    Personally I have done a lot of testing over the years of different wheel size and it just about always was a wash. However, when my wife finally made the switch to 29 I was still on a 27.5 and to me it felt harder to hold her wheel on the descents. The best way to describe it is I was just under more pressure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    You are going to take over a post like this. It was sort of beat to death about 5 years ago.

    I was pretty invested in this topic at the time myself. The wheel size "debate" happened at the peak of my wife's racing career. She actually has the unique position of being the last person to win the World Cup title on a 26inch bike (2012) and a 27.5 bike (2016).

    2012 to 2016 were really the wheel size debate years. Most racers ended up going with 29 but ironically most of the WC wins were on 27.5. It was in the 2017 season that for a variety of reasons, the primary one being 27.5 XC bikes were no longer being produced, that nearly everyone switched to 29.

    Personally I have done a lot of testing over the years of different wheel size and it just about always was a wash. However, when my wife finally made the switch to 29 I was still on a 27.5 and to me it felt harder to hold her wheel on the descents. The best way to describe it is I was just under more pressure.
    That's some great history!

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    Everyone has an opinion and is an expert. I thought it would be easy enough to do a few simple tests that could replicate the exact same terrain/speeds/slope/bumps and compare all 3 sizes, rather then "I feel" then publish or put on youtube.

    Quote Originally Posted by noapathy View Post
    Nice.
    Either way seems problematic. Are there no alternative sources for science facts we could use in the interim?

    What everyone states
    Yeah the 29'er makes sense for brute force over bumps/holes, a larger contact patch on the tread, faster down hills, slower tight cornering.

    27.5 a good comprimise between the 2.

    26'er for tight cornering, climbing to one degree because a smaller diameter wheel means more torque but less contact patch.





    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Before you could get an answer, what question would you even be asking? The only potential "scientific" outcome would basically be speed if you're eliminating a scientific study of subjective feelings.

    Now the closest thing that you'll get to that is racing testing. Riders from companies that produced bikes in 27.5 and 29 (or were considering the latter) were very much timing themselves on different wheelsize bikes and choosing the one that they were fastest on in training. In DH and enduro, most chose the 29 in wheels, but some of the top riders are still on 27.5, so it either varies by person or isn't a big part of the equation in the end. I think everyone in XC is on 29in wheels.

    But does gaining a second in a race make a bike scientifically "better?" that's a totally different question.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Different horses for different courses.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    Everyone has an opinion and is an expert. I thought it would be easy enough to do a few simple tests that could replicate the exact same terrain/speeds/slope/bumps and compare all 3 sizes, rather then "I feel" then publish or put on youtube.




    What everyone states
    Yeah the 29'er makes sense for brute force over bumps/holes, a larger contact patch on the tread, faster down hills, slower tight cornering.

    27.5 a good comprimise between the 2.

    26'er for tight cornering, climbing to one degree because a smaller diameter wheel means more torque but less contact patch.
    Quit taking the science out of my context. I hate it when that happens in the middle of an episode of Oprah and I just start bawlling for no reason at all. Kinda like when Mozart is on and then the UPS guy comes to the door. I mean, I'm glad he's bringing me something but still...it's not science. I will go cry now for the mediocre panda charities that also try their best to feel necessary.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

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    Anyone find a SCIENTIFIC review of 29 vs 27.5 vs 26 ?

    Well, problem with the question is that it is complex (compared how where and with what in mind?)
    If you design experiment to suit you personal interests, or even prejudices, you can get varying results. And here we are talking about fine differences, with many factors that can have significant leverage.
    And also, it would be both not very interesting and expensive for academics to do such research properly (trust me, I have a master degree in sciences, and preparing for doctoral studies).
    On the other hand, I would be highly suspicious about “research” done either directly by industry, or even only just financed by it.
    And I would totally dismiss claims from company’s PRs during new product presentations.


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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    Everyone has an opinion and is an expert. I thought it would be easy enough to do a few simple tests that could replicate the exact same terrain/speeds/slope/bumps and compare all 3 sizes, rather then "I feel" then publish or put on youtube.
    But then it would be dependent on the terrain/speeds/slope/bumps. You could probably design a trail that would favor a 29er and another that would favor a 26er.

    And it's still going to depend on each bike's geometry. My 29er is "old geometry"; short and steep. It's great on twisty trails that a longer bike might not be as great on.

    What criteria would be the scientific "winner" for you, fastest? I remember reading a lot of articles where 26er riders would ride timed laps on 26 and 29. They would think their run on the 26 was fastest but it would actually be on the 29. My guess is that the ride would be a bit bumpier on the 26 and that gave the perception of being faster whereas the 29er was a slightly smoother ride so the speeds didn't seem as fast.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  52. #52
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    It would also need:

    A tall rider for the 29er
    A medium height rider for 27.5
    A short dude for a 26er
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    I need science to tell my why my body measurements are different than other humans.

    Then I will be happy to scientifically explain why one wheel size is better than the other.
    I first need to run a series of calculations of body proportions from other folks to produce a mean value.
    There will be 2 tests, one for each gender.

    On the other hand, I do not want to become a science experiment.

    Sorry that I am unable to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    I need science to tell my why my body measurements are different than other humans.

    Then I will be happy to scientifically explain why one wheel size is better than the other.
    I first need to run a series of calculations of body proportions from other folks to produce a mean value.
    There will be 2 tests, one for each gender.

    On the other hand, I do not want to become a science experiment.

    Sorry that I am unable to help.
    How do you know you haven't been already?

    Anyone find a SCIENTIFIC review of 29 vs 27.5 vs 26 ?-what-if-i-ivqix6.jpg
    :nono: :thumbsup:

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    Scientific test of... What?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Scientific test of... What?
    The wheel size. Just like he said in the OP.
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    Somebody with more interweb skillz than me needs to get busy and post a Thomas Dolby "Blinded by Science" vid in this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Somebody with more interweb skillz than me needs to get busy and post a Thomas Dolby "Blinded by Science" vid in this thread.
    I just know copy paste but see if this works.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
    :nono: :thumbsup:

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    https://youtu.be/PXTE5wAtBzo

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  63. #63
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    This has gone waaaaaay off topic now. Any good, if any info at all.... is now buried.


    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    The wheel size. Just like he said in the OP.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    This has gone waaaaaay off topic now. Any good, if any info at all.... is now buried.

    Did you look at the paper I linked. Do you believe it or do you really not care?
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  65. #65
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    Ok, I got out my tape measure and pulled out my 29er, 27.5er and my 26er. Tape measure says the 29er has largest wheels, 26 the smallest, and 27.5 somewhere in-between, all of which I have recorded. Everyone please do the same and we'll analyze everyone's results and see if they correlate with our hypothesis. Oh crap, we were supposed to have a hypothesis before we started.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    I want to find a scientific review of 29" vs 27.5" vs 26" rather then just...
    I feel
    I felt
    .... also the timed races can be skewed like on GMBN yt.
    I think, no-the science says, my wheel size is bigger, better, faster, looks better and stops better than other sizes.

    No idea how it feels though.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    I want to find a scientific review of 29" vs 27.5" vs 26" rather then just...
    I feel
    I felt
    .... also the timed races can be skewed like on GMBN yt.
    What if the science proves your favorite bike shouldn't feel the best to you?

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt4x4 View Post
    This has gone waaaaaay off topic now. Any good, if any info at all.... is now buried.
    yeah, all the mixed sci-fi references

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ok, I got out my tape measure and pulled out my 29er, 27.5er and my 26er. Tape measure says the 29er has largest wheels, 26 the smallest, and 27.5 somewhere in-between, all of which I have recorded. Everyone please do the same and we'll analyze everyone's results and see if they correlate with our hypothesis. Oh crap, we were supposed to have a hypothesis before we started.
    I measured my 26ers, 27.5ers, but don't have a 29 (or a fatbike). My findings are from smallest to largest: 26, 26, 27.5, 27.5...seems in line with your results so far. Clearly one can only conclude I need a carbon FS 120mm 29er (my only reasonable hypothesis so far). For science, of course.
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  70. #70
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    Name:  science is devil.png
Views: 64
Size:  73.9 KB

    Anyone find a SCIENTIFIC review of 29 vs 27.5 vs 26 ?-science-bro.jpg

    Name:  science dude.jpg
Views: 67
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    Rigid SS 29er
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  71. #71
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    Sorta scientific, and a real hoot to watch:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ssBGbD1ucU

    To paraphrase Tracy Moseley: For me, fast is still fun, so I go with the 29er.
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  72. #72
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    Do you trust the scientific review that says
    reading the scientific reviews is a good thing?

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by 33red View Post
    Do you trust the scientific review that says
    reading the scientific reviews is a good thing?
    if you've learned anything from this thread, it's the fact that just because one uses the word "science" does not make it such. but I'm going to guess you didn't.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ok, I got out my tape measure and pulled out my 29er, 27.5er and my 26er. Tape measure says the 29er has largest wheels, 26 the smallest, and 27.5 somewhere in-between, all of which I have recorded. Everyone please do the same and we'll analyze everyone's results and see if they correlate with our hypothesis. Oh crap, we were supposed to have a hypothesis before we started.
    Hypothesis: My ride today on the Hightower 2 w/29er hoops is going to be a sh*t ton of fun

    Post ride analysis: Yep

    Anyone find a SCIENTIFIC review of 29 vs 27.5 vs 26 ?-20191102_175627.jpg
    2020 SC Hightower

  75. #75
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    If bro science counts this forum has all you need!
    Never underestimate an old man with a mountain bike.

  76. #76
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    When the OP speaks of a "scientific analysis", what are we trying to analyze?

    What is the question?

    Too often, when it comes to mountain biking, we subconsciously, or consciously frame the question in the context of "what wheelsize is faster?"

    Faster where and on what kind of trail?. Faster for how long?, is faster what is most important?


    I must admit, I am guilty of desiring and building "high performance" mountain bikes. I spend the time and money to build bikes that perform very well for their intended role.

    But I will say all out, short distance speed, is not what dictates my build or wheel choice. For example most of my trail riding is now done on very un-groomed, natural featured, rugged, back country hiking trails (legal for bikes, btw). Rides are in the 3 to 6 hour range. My bike builds' focus is on durability. Traction to make steep climbs and not get knocked off line. Maneuverability.

    It is interesting that we probably default to thinking the highest performing bike is the "fastest bike" in a race like setting. Yet how many of us race regularly? How many of us are paid to race?

    I can say that when my main trail bike had quicker, lighter tires I was "faster" short term. But after a few torn sidewalls, 10 miles in, and no cell coverage, I was not faster overall.

  77. #77
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    Good post in an otherwise pretty useless thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    When the OP speaks of a "scientific analysis", what are we trying to analyze?

    What is the question?
    There is no question, that's why this thread is so fun. We just need Science.

    Too often, when it comes to mountain biking, we subconsciously, or consciously frame the question in the context of "what wheelsize is faster?"

    Faster where and on what kind of trail?. Faster for how long?, is faster what is most important?


    I must admit, I am guilty of desiring and building "high performance" mountain bikes. I spend the time and money to build bikes that perform very well for their intended role.

    But I will say all out, short distance speed, is not what dictates my build or wheel choice. For example most of my trail riding is now done on very un-groomed, natural featured, rugged, back country hiking trails (legal for bikes, btw). Rides are in the 3 to 6 hour range. My bike builds' focus is on durability. Traction to make steep climbs and not get knocked off line. Maneuverability.

    It is interesting that we probably default to thinking the highest performing bike is the "fastest bike" in a race like setting. Yet how many of us race regularly? How many of us are paid to race?
    Few. None.

    I can say that when my main trail bike had quicker, lighter tires I was "faster" short term. But after a few torn sidewalls, 10 miles in, and no cell coverage, I was not faster overall.
    ^ truth
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  78. #78
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    I'm pretty sure that Stephen Hawking rolled on 26" wheels, so there's that.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Different horses for different courses.
    You're never going to win the Triple Crown that way!
    I want something good to die for
    To make it beautiful to live
    I want a new mistake, lose is more than hesitate

  80. #80
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    Need to go back about 15 years ago. Some did try to do scientific tests between 29s and 26s when 29s came out. I'm sure for 27.5s too (no actual papers that I'm aware of, just rolling tests downhill and riding trails with same percieved effort).

    I found 29ers better for me, and now the 29+ are better, yet. For me. Faster? I don't know, but I have more confidence on them, so I assume I'm faster.
    Stop in at Element Sports. www.elementsport.com
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    assuming he can manage to retrofit a flux capacitor. the real question is, would it work on a 26er or a 27.5er, too?
    What size wheels are on a DeLorean?

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Rider View Post
    What size wheels are on a DeLorean?
    Front are 14" and rear are 15" so that averages 14.5". Since it had 4 wheels we have to double it to 29" - science!
    :nono: :thumbsup:

  83. #83
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    Well...about 1978 or so in what is called a library I read a book on bicycling. They did a scientifical study on all the wheel sizes available and found the 20" had the most drag, all else being equivalent. Go figure...
    lean forward

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