Has anyone debated 26" vs. 27.5"?

PB Forum :: All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country
Has anyone debated 26" vs. 27.5"?
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Posted: Mar 19, 2019 at 11:22 Quote
R-M-R wrote:
reverend27 wrote:
Ya but this is a mtb forum and we ride over rocks and roots so what does "rolling away" on flat ground have to do with it ?

The long board analogy points out your flawed argument.
As long as the ground/ trail are flat and smooth wheel size doesn't matter. But I doubt I'll ever see a long board on my local trail because it's fast on flat surface.
The minute rocks and roots come into play larger wheel is easier and faster.

Had you read the entire thread [NOTE: Relevant material has since been deleted, so never mind.], you would have seen I was responding to someone who was using rolling speed on road as an argument that larger wheels are faster. You would have also read that I wrote "The difference in rolling resistance from wheel size is due to the angle at which the wheel encounters impacts. The larger the obstacle, the greater the difference."

I'm aware that skateboards quickly lose speed - or stall entirely - on obstacles that bikes roll over with ease. We agree that larger wheels are faster over rough ground, all other variables being equal. That said, Seb Stott has done some great work to demonstrate that tire width has an even greater effect (1, 2), even though wheel size is a hot topic, in regards to rolling efficiency, while tire size is less so.

reverend27, I'm assuming you didn't see the now-deleted posts regarding rolling resistance on pavement. Knowing that, if you still attribute the difference to wheel size, I'm curious how you explain 4.3% smaller wheels requiring a rider to pedal hard to keep up with his coasting wife on pavement, despite tests of different road wheel sizes showing nearly zero difference in rolling resistance. I would also be interested to discuss the physics that drive this discrepancy and how they apply to this situation, but not to similar tests with slick tires. If you, like me, feel wheel size is not enough to explain such a difference on pavement, then we agree on that matter and we may also agree rolling resistance on trails is a complicated issue with a lot of variables - and wheel size is only one piece of that puzzle.

The wife has any or many of the following in no perticular order
Better condition bearings
Lower viscosity grease
Lower drag bearing shields
Lower drag freehub
Proper bearing preload
Faster rolling tread design
Smaller frontal area

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 at 13:19 Quote
Sorry guys wasn't into a pissing match, and regretted posting immediately after the 1st reply. Forgot how brutal these forums were.

All things considered, I don't regret owning 26". The upside is much cheaper tires.

To the OP: Consider these things....
Budget, Geometry, Condition of bike, Quality of build and Style of riding.

If you aren't racing, want a nice clean bike at 50% of the price of a 27.5 wheeled bike, find some new old stock somewhere.

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 at 19:20 Quote
cstishenko wrote:
Sorry guys wasn't into a pissing match, and regretted posting immediately after the 1st reply. Forgot how brutal these forums were.

There's a difference between science and a pissing match. Opinions are for things like whether your valve stem should be aligned with your tires' brand name or model name; for everything else, there's physics.


Posted: Mar 19, 2019 at 19:36 Quote
R-M-R wrote:
cstishenko wrote:
Sorry guys wasn't into a pissing match

There's a difference between science and a pissing match. Opinions are for things like whether your valve stem should be aligned with your tires' brand name or model name; for everything else, there's physics.

Some people are incapable of understanding physics so for them opinions become fact, and sience becomes nerd wizzardry


Posted: Mar 19, 2019 at 19:47 Quote
englertracing wrote:
[ ... ] opinions become fact [ ... ]


Posted: Mar 23, 2019 at 6:01 Quote
v7fmp wrote:
nojzilla wrote:
the 26 is dead (and now 27.5 is dead) attitude is laughable
the 27.5 is dead attitude just proves how much MTB is about marketing hype an industry bull shit

Remember, THE most stylish rider there is.. still on 26

i'm not sure the '26inch is dead' is an attitude, its a fact. No mid or high end bikes are made in that size. Yes you can still get super cheap bikes in that size. Yes there are a few manufacturers still making forks and rims in that size, but I doubt it will last much longer.

I am of course talking about the XC/trail/all mountain/enduro/downhill market here. The exception is of course slopestyle and 4x racing.

I am assuming when you say 'the most stylish rider' you are talking about Semenuk or Rheeder etc, which as we know, are slope riders, so don't really fall into the above conversation, as the OP isn't talking about a slopestyle bike.

Plus im pretty sure the above named riders are not using 26inch when competing in rampage?!

Don't get me wrong, I think its a shame that certain standards seem to die out and it is all driven by the manufacturers, but it is what it is, and you have the choice to 'stand firm' and keep with the old stuff, or move on and get involved with the current day tech.

Both are on the Session Park which is 26 inch. And they arent just slopestyle riders, haven't you seen what semenuk can do on a big bike? two time rampage winner - hes not just a slopestyle rider

Posted: Mar 23, 2019 at 7:40 Quote
afforestation wrote:
v7fmp wrote:
nojzilla wrote:
the 26 is dead (and now 27.5 is dead) attitude is laughable
the 27.5 is dead attitude just proves how much MTB is about marketing hype an industry bull shit

Remember, THE most stylish rider there is.. still on 26

i'm not sure the '26inch is dead' is an attitude, its a fact. No mid or high end bikes are made in that size. Yes you can still get super cheap bikes in that size. Yes there are a few manufacturers still making forks and rims in that size, but I doubt it will last much longer.

I am of course talking about the XC/trail/all mountain/enduro/downhill market here. The exception is of course slopestyle and 4x racing.

I am assuming when you say 'the most stylish rider' you are talking about Semenuk or Rheeder etc, which as we know, are slope riders, so don't really fall into the above conversation, as the OP isn't talking about a slopestyle bike.

Plus im pretty sure the above named riders are not using 26inch when competing in rampage?!

Don't get me wrong, I think its a shame that certain standards seem to die out and it is all driven by the manufacturers, but it is what it is, and you have the choice to 'stand firm' and keep with the old stuff, or move on and get involved with the current day tech.

Both are on the Session Park which is 26 inch. And they arent just slopestyle riders, haven't you seen what semenuk can do on a big bike? two time rampage winner - hes not just a slopestyle rider

I stand corrected (said the man in the orthopaedic shoes).... but that still doesn't detract from my point that 26inch wheels are exclusive to a few niche discaplines. Plus the OP was talking about trail type bikes, whereas the debate went off on a tangent because some folk don't wish the accept the industry has moved away from that size (apart from the niche disciplines). Plus we weren't talking exclusively about semenuk. Other riders where also mentioned.

But yes, I have seen what many slope riders can do on 'big bikes'.... it's nothing short of magical.

Regardless of all that... to around 95% of the cycling industry, 26 is dead, and hopefully that info will help make the OP decide on which wheel size he may or may not want to invest in when purchasing a new whip.

Posted: Mar 23, 2019 at 12:21 Quote
At this point I'm less concerned with wheel size and a lot more confused as to where the valve stem (schraeder or presta) should line up on the tire. I was under the impression you mount the tire with the brand opposite the valve, but I've seen people line it up with it, as well as random placement.
Also, frame color hasn't been mentioned yet either which I find troubling. Seems there are a lot of florescent colors but very few pastels.
And what about matte vs glossy?

Posted: Mar 23, 2019 at 19:43 Quote
Ghostintheskin wrote:
At this point I'm less concerned with wheel size and a lot more confused as to where the valve stem (schraeder or presta) should line up on the tire. I was under the impression you mount the tire with the brand opposite the valve, but I've seen people line it up with it, as well as random placement.
Also, frame color hasn't been mentioned yet either which I find troubling. Seems there are a lot of florescent colors but very few pastels.
And what about matte vs glossy?

The truly important questions!

Valve stem:
- Start with what we know: the valve stem is to be located at BDC (6 o'clock). No exceptions.
- Older tires had only one logo, so it was easy to align this with the valve stem.
- With two logos, the obvious case is when you can aligned both logos upright - WTB prints this way, for example.
- When only one logo can be upright, choose the more legible. Usually, this will be the brand logo.

Pastels / muted colours:
They're out there, but not widespread. Some availability from Santa Cruz, Niner, Orbea, Pole, Transition, Specialized (sort of), Kross, Devinci (sort of), Pivot, Kona.

Matte vs. glossy:
Gloss. Easier to clean and makes the colours pop or lets the fibers show.

Now it's your turn:

How "raw" is too raw for a finish?
- If the frame is metal, should it be uniformly finished - ex. brushed or blasted - or should it be truly raw with an uneven finish and all the tooling marks still visible?
-- Is there an exception for steel, ex. fillet brazed or welded with rainbows in the heat affected zones?
- If it's carbon, should it have a cosmetic top layer or should it be truly raw, like the new Stumpjumper Evo Carbon?
-- Should there be clearcoat over the raw carbon or is that no longer raw?

If a headset top cover has two logos, should they be aligned front and back or to the sides?

If a rider wants a low stack, is it more acceptable to have a negative rise stem and low rise bar, or a flat stem and flat bar?

Posted: Mar 24, 2019 at 14:28 Quote
I bought my first full suspension bike 2 years ago it was a 2012 Santa Cruz Nickel 26er. I did my research and found that the geometry was modern enough for my budget, with the 140mm fork slacking it out to roughly 67 head tube angle. It was in great condition and I paid $850 which seems like a steal. Im 6 foot lanky/athletic and at times I do feel I could benefit from some bigger wheels.

But honestly, f*ck it. It does some things that bigger wheels cant do, and vice versa.
It's really agile, I can dust people on bigger bikes in some really tight sections. But in some sections they dust me.

That was 2 years ago, and sometimes I wish I had bigger wheels because they are more efficient. Im gonna wait to see how the industry goes and try to pick up a used 2018 model year bike because the new technology seems pretty cool .

I just picked up a Santa Cruz Chameleon 2007 for $400 in good shape..... Pike coil u turn fork is awesome.... So basically in my eyes 26 is alive. If you want to try it, just try it. You'll probably get a good deal.

PS: I think the bike industry will bring back 26 inch trail bikes Smile few more years just watch

Edit: I wish my rear had a through axle... NBD I plan to keep the bike and ride it for at least another year or 2

Posted: Mar 24, 2019 at 19:54 Quote
I'm not that concerned with the size of the wheels, glossy or matte etc. I just want to know when fades are going to come back because I miss that shit!

To clarify things a bit:
I always thought the tire's name (not manufacturer) should be by the valve. Was I wrong all this time?

Could you imagine a Pastel to fluorescent fade? OMG!

Glossy is the obvious choice. Matte just gets dirty and is hard to clean. Polishing a bike is one of the truly rewarding maintenance jobs in life, polishing a matte frame is without joy.

Raw always looks cool on the showroom floor but it only stays cool looking for long enough to buy the bike and walk it out the door - then it is an unfinished bike that you regret buying every time you see someone polishing their glossy bike. Unless it is Titanium, then it's awesome.

Carbon bikes are too expensive not to be painted. If you are going to pay that much for a frame made in China it had better be your favorite colour!

As for 26" wheels, I agree with everyone who still shows them some love. I wouldn't choose 26" as my daily driver but wouldn't fault anyone who did. They can be super fun, way more in some ways than any 29er. If I was buying a custom build though, I'd choose 27.5 (best of both worlds IMO). If I was getting the same geo and a way better deal on a 26, I'd go for that.

Posted: Mar 24, 2019 at 23:24 Quote
I like you, reedholden. Don't entirely agree with you, but I like you!

Valve:
When the valve is at the bottom and the tire has two logos, usually the model will be beside the valve and the manufacturer will be at the top. WTB makes is easy by printing both facing the same way, so you orient it whatever way is necessary to make everything upright.

Fades: Yep, big fan of long fades and creative geometric / pattern / tessellation fades.

Pastel to fluorescent: Interesting idea! I'm more into raw finishes and metallics, lately, but I'd be willing to experiment with that.

Glossy: Agree.

Raw: I see your point, but I'm a fan. I like to see and touch the frame itself, not to be insulated by an artificial, superfluous buffer. Agree it's a crime to paint titanium; feel the same about rainbows on steel welds and brass brazing.

Wheel size: It's a shame that 32" was never a thing, because then we might call 29" the happy medium or "best of both worlds". Maybe the real best of both worlds is 29" front and 27.5" rear. Either way, 26" isn't bad, it's just not quite as good as other sizes. That said, a great 26" bike would be better than a mediocre bike with larger wheels.

Posted: Mar 26, 2019 at 23:02 Quote
R-M-R wrote:
I like you, reedholden. Don't entirely agree with you, but I like you!


That is the single nicest thing anyone has ever said on pinkbike.
Thanks!

Posted: Aug 17, 2019 at 13:41 Quote
[Quote="Ghostintheskin"]I actually never understood why bike frames come in S, M, L etc but all have the same size wheels.[/Quote

Dude honestly it seems proportionate to accommodate for such larger interests in the sport. It took so much to learn in order to know my own preferences. I would have never known as mullet 27.5x26 I'd be comfortable at 6'4".

Posted: Aug 17, 2019 at 19:37 Quote
a-prufrock wrote:
Ghostintheskin wrote:
I actually never understood why bike frames come in S, M, L etc but all have the same size wheels.

Dude honestly it seems proportionate to accommodate for such larger interests in the sport. It took so much to learn in order to know my own preferences. I would have never known as mullet 27.5x26 I'd be comfortable at 6'4".

Ideally, we would adjust every single component in proportion to rider size, but we have to draw the line somewhere on manufacturing efficiency and inventory management.

To put it another way, it would cost a lot more to have perfectly proportional bikes. For a given budget, would you prefer perfect proportions with downgrades everywhere - tire compound, fork and shock dampers, swap carbon for aluminum, downgrade every component?

The good news is we can still have proportional wheels - and pretty much everything else - just not within a single brand. If you want, for example, dual 26" wheels, someone out there is still making it. 29" front and 27.5" rear? Yep, it's available, just not from every brand. And you have the option to get creative on your own dime and your own time: you can often spec a non-standard fork or shock and preserve your geometry with an alternative wheel size.


 
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