Pinkbike Poll: Are You Scared of Change?

Nov 29, 2013 at 7:05
Nov 29, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
 
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As mountain bikers, we have a tendency to be skeptical of change, wary that what's familiar and comfortable will be taken away, or that new technology won't be as good as the old. For instance, if you're relatively new to the sport, you probably take for granted that most mountain bikes have disc brakes. This wasn't always the case, and there was a time when mountain bike magazines were full of comments about how disc brakes would never catch on. (This was back in the dark ages, when debates took place on the printed page instead of in internet forums). The same thing happened with full suspension bikes – there was an initial uproar about how they were too heavy, too expensive, and downright unnecessary. As time went by, the fury subsided, and the technology that was once scorned and derided became commonplace.

Wheels. Kindling for internet flame wars since 700c.

Wheel size is the most recent hot topic that has fanned the flames of distrust and suspicion, creating worries that what's comfortable and familiar will be taken away forever. It's an issue that still raises the hackles of some, but those last bits of bitterness and rage are sure to fade away as well, replaced by another momentarily divisive technological advancement. And that's the funny thing – in the heat of the moment, nothing seems more important than whether or not V-brakes are superior to cantilever brakes, or whether Rasta colored cranks are better than ones that are anodized blue. But as the seasons go by, it's comical to look back and see how trivial and fairly meaningless these arguments become.

 No this is not a good town for psychedelic drugs. Reality itself is too twisted. - Hunter S. Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Ok, this type of change is scary.

And while we're talking about fear of change, it's worth acknowledging the conspiracy theorists, those who shake their fists at the sky and warn the nameless marketers to “stop shoving (insert name of current trend here) down our throats.” Sure, there are advertising and marketing deals happening behind the scenes all the time, but the bike industry is nowhere near organized enough to hatch up some diabolical plot to take the fun out of mountain biking. No one's forcing you to buy anything, and no one is coming to your house to take that stack of wheels you're hoarding. Heck, if you really wanted to, with a little sleuthing on eBay you could pretty easily piece together a vintage bike with like-new components from 1985 and hit the trails, modern technology be damned.

Now, this isn't to say that all new products and trends should be embraced without question. Skepticism is healthy, and if you try out a product and find that your suspicions were correct, by all means, announce it to the world. But don't forget to step back once in a while, to get outside and actually go for a ride. Because that's what it's all about, remember? We're all in this together, a motley band of misfits that share the same addiction to spending time on two wheels. We're an opinionated bunch, but I think everyone would agree that once those knobby tires hit the dirt it only takes a few pedal strokes for all the worries and concerns to fade away, replaced by the simple excitement of riding a bike.



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280 Comments

  • + 181
 Very well written Mike, and I almost completely agree with you. Bike companies wouldn't really push a new technology or trend if it didn't have some benefits to riders- their goal is to sell bikes, and if some people (especially those who review bikes for a living) ride them and go, "This ___ is not making my ride any better," then they won't sell. They may seem like huge, evil conglomerates but everyone really just loves to ride. I don't formally ride DH (in a bike park with a 200/200 rig), so I may be wrong, but if 26" really is more agile and more fun than 650b, then the companies won't push it- they'll just keep making what people will buy. If there really was no market for 650b, then the companies would have thrown out the big wheels a while ago. But obviously some enjoy riding them, and that's what it's all about.

In the end, it doesn't matter what you're riding, as long as you are. I'm only 14 and I developed all of my skills on a piece of complete shit Mongoose hardtail- so I know a good bit about riding on a bad bike. If you're reading this and you have ridden $6k+ dream bikes for all of recent memory, then go out to a local shop and rent a sub-$500 hardtail, preferably with v-brakes and no suspension adjustments. I guarantee you, you'll still have fun. If you're used to riding full DH rigs, go rent a single speed, rigid 29er. You'll still have fun. The development of the bicycle and it's different breeds sure make riding a little better, but regardless of what wheel size, suspension system or drivetrain you're running- we still all love to ride.
  • + 16
 Word
  • + 31
 Very insightful, and so young
  • + 5
 ... and pretty : S
  • + 36
 PB would suck without 80% of it members b*tching about things they "don't" have to buy. I for one love reading about new products and don't care whats on the market as long as I can buy what I want.
  • - 8
flag legatotek (Nov 29, 2013 at 1:21) (Below Threshold)
 word
  • + 12
 the problem is we don't have the choice....

i like o have v_brake on the rear of my stp.. why not?but i cant because company decide too buld only dick frame,,,
my girl friend is 155cm height,,,she hardly using a s trek remedy7 26... how can she go for a 27.5?
if a want too buy e new bike i love 26 bikes but i have too buy a 27,5... and i will because i have too ride...
I'am ok with 9 sped bat i have too buy a 10 speed...what is 10 speed for?ooo because we nead Larger gear for 29 and 27,5
they chang things for good?it is getting worse for me,,..
all i need is a choice....
  • + 27
 Sure they wouldn't make stuff unless there was some advantage, but I can't help but feel that they blow stuff out of proportion some times. Also I'm fairly sure if a company like giant decides to go to a new standard they know they are big enough to force a market change, regardless of how much real world benefit the consumer actually gets. Not scared of change, just suspicious.
  • + 20
 Im with you on this for the most part, But companies DO bring in new "standards" just for the hell of it. The 1 1/4 headset thing is a prime example. This shit annoys me!!! Its unnecessary and it makes life harder for cyclists, for shops and for manufacturers.
  • + 34
 @mfbeast12, I borrowed a good 29er once... Didn't have fun. Before you guys start going on about how we don't have to buy something and can still buy 26 is we want to, have a look at the new intense or giant range and find a good 26" am/xc bike. Oh no, wait, those are out dated, guess I'll HAVE to buy a 650b now.
  • + 21
 Too much of the advantage is based on speed and fashion, less on fun or comfort. Too much on proprietary products and tooling costs, less on widespread compatability.
  • + 39
 I have no problem with change until it costs me a fortune.

If you were looking at changing your frame the problem you'd have is a shrinking number of frames available for 26" wheels in short and medium travel categories of bikes. All because 650b "rolls better" and "it's progress". Well, I can't afford progress if it means I'd have to replace the fork and wheels/rims.

I understand that the bicycle manufacturers would incur higher manufacturing costs by making the same frame for two different wheel sizes but this way they expect us, the customers to incur higher costs so we can keep doing what we love. By eliminating choice manufacturers are forcing this on us and that, I feel is why most people are p****d off.

Naturally this isn't a problem if you can afford to buy a full bike. I can't. I built up my bike with parts I wanted over a period of 3 years and to get a new bike with similar spec would cost well over €5000. Something I won't be able to afford any time soon.
  • + 3
 Frankly, the article seems a little childish. You clearly didn't put much thought into writing this which is obvious by your use of the word "scared" in your title, right off the bat... that's called a scare tactic. Your comparisons are off to say the least and you replace valid, factual arguments with emotional swindling.

As somebody absolutely enamored of my 26" wheeled trail bike (because it rails corners like it's nobody's business), who doesn't blame the bike when a section of trail is tricky, it sounds like bullying.
  • - 26
flag goflowz (Nov 29, 2013 at 5:49) (Below Threshold)
 FATbikes are for gays,
  • + 8
 You might look at us as haters but I am so sick of wheelsize evangelists telling me what's better as the industry kills off something I'm really enjoying.

I don't go around telling everybody else that they should really be riding the same wheel size as me because I love it so much... "each to their own". We're all different and moves like this tend to divide an already small community and alienate good people who know what they like and aren't particularly interested in changing it for the time-being.
  • + 2
 Can't we all just ride a bike? Can't we?…… Yes, we canSmile Pick one, two, three, ect or however many u have cash for! JUST RIDE^^!
  • + 5
 My greatest fear is that we will lose exactly what this guy originally said - we all simply love to ride. Biking in increasing in popularity. I want to keep it like it is, our exclusive group that is still always welcoming. I just don't want it to spread to everybody, or else I fear that it would become like football, or baseball. They all aren't there because they love to play, don't get me wrong some of them are. An I'm not saying all of them are bad dudes but if you've ever played a "normal sport" than you know how unfriendly everyone is.
  • + 8
 I like to see technological innovations; I like options. What I don't like is having difficulties finding the parts I need in my LBS since they don't want to overstock with the various options, and rightly so.
  • + 7
 I guess it's what they call : "re-inventing the wheel"
  • + 1
 That's very impressive that a 14 yr old is so articulate!
  • + 4
 ""This ___ is not making my ride any better," then they won't sell."

mfbeast, I think A LOT of people buy things they don't really need, and say it's awesome because they need to justify the money they spent or they are getting the placebo effect when really lot's of things don't make a huge difference
  • + 6
 just wait until the aero road bike fad comes to downhill "with these dimpled bars and deep wheels you can save 12 watts at 40km/h!"
  • - 12
flag Reignonme (Nov 29, 2013 at 19:08) (Below Threshold)
 Uhhh Kaveh... Here in the good old North America we have what some would call--we have our God given right to choose and you can just suck on that. What do you mean you don't have the choice? Do you have internet??? Duuuuuuude, you can buy awesome 26 inch frames/bikes for your lady...and guess what?! They'll even mail it to you! Hot damn!! God bless us, everyone--Tiny Tim. He died I think.
  • + 0
 I love change. I just wish I could afford it!
  • - 2
 14, really?
  • + 0
 Sorry if I offended you(work harder)...
  • + 1
 reignonme,,,can you show me a new remedy 7 26 17.5 on the net who can post it too me?
call them and you will see that is not available and they don't sell the remdys online... Big Grin

+remedy 7 is 2500 $ remedy frame is 2000$...
  • + 3
 Reignonme - you mean that god which created flat earth 6000 years ago? Because it is the only one I can think of that gives rights to people. One I met couldnt giva damn about it, and if he did, He'd be so pixxed off that We'd have Texan Ocean instead of US territory. So a hint for you: you might have ended up in a wrong paralell universe, this one has been evolving for much longer time, probably NSA experiment... If you se a lot of fat and dumb people around, called consumers - it might be it.
  • + 3
 Ha! Struck some cords with that sarcasm. You two are historically the most butt hurt commenters on this site. Quit being so easily offended. I ran into a rider like you today on the trail. So uptight. Sheesh. You're mad at your dad, not me. Improve your social skills and life shall take you far.
  • + 3
 Nobody is afraid of change but tired of aggressive same same marketing and attempted brainwashing: www.pinkbike.com/photo/10374352
  • + 1
 @ Reignonme

way to feed the stereotype.
  • + 1
 @NORTHender

Just playing my part. You offended as well now?
  • + 1
 Not at all. Had a good laugh.
  • + 54
 Do I fear change : No not in the slightest, innovation is essential

Do I appreciate it when change is forced on me by bike companies : No, not really

I think my main bug bear is the likes of Giant and Spesh going on the record saying things like "Sure we will be killing off 26" wheels as soon as we can". I used to have a lot of respect for both these companies, I currently ride a Glory for example. But the whole notion of change being forced on the masses because some pseduo science wheel size graph extols its virtues stinks of nothing more than a cynical marketing gimmick

Am I a dinosaur : No, but I am probably labeled as one for thinking the above.
  • + 18
 If you're refering to the silly explanation of giant of the advantages of 650b vs 26"(when talking about graphs), then I'm 100% with you. Some of their explanation are wrong, impossible and even contradictory. I had so far never seen a marketing team of a bike company taking us for such idiots. 650b surely has and obviously has some advantages vs 26" but they really overdid it.
  • + 16
 bansheebikes.blogspot.com/2013/10/wheel-size-facts-part-1-dimensions.html?m=1
Here is a great unbiased review of the pros and cons of wheel size, coming for a mechanical engineer. It is only part one of three. Pinkbike would do well to have these articals on the main page.
  • + 3
 i dont like the changes because i buy most of my parts used and its starting to become very dificult to find parts
  • + 0
 Specialized never said they were killing off 25". In fact they said the opposite.
  • + 1
 Thanks g-monster, good article. You're right, PB should be posting this blog or something like it. It's rare to see and tests/comparisons/shootouts concerning strength and durability of different wheel sizes. Definitely looking forward to the next installment.
  • + 2
 Mieszko, check elsewhere in that blog post for parts 2 & 3.
  • + 1
 Mieszko, check elsewhere in that blog post for parts 2 & 3.
  • + 28
 Not scared of change, but very FKNG pissed off with having to buy a whole New gear system/ steering/ braking wheels tyres an what ever else the new technology brings, because old reliable systems become near obsolete an impossible to get hold of
  • + 15
 One example that really pisses me off is the clutch rear derailleur that is only produced in 10 speed. I have a 9-speed Saint drivetrain and every time I replace a rear derailleur I would love to put a clutch one on, but I would have to replace my shifter, cassette and chain too. That is forced obsolescence, and that's the side of "progress" I can't stand.
  • + 2
 I can't find a clutch derailleur for my 6 speed drivetrain either. What the hell are they thinking? Wavy rotors don't fit on my v-brake wheels. WTF? Forced obsolescence!!!!!!
  • + 2
 As long as you use a shimano shifter, a 10 speed derailleur will work with a 9 speed cassette/chain. No issues. The ratios for 7-10 speed are the same. If you were to use a 10 spd derailleur with 8 spd, you'd have to change the pulleys to 8 spd pulleys.
  • + 2
 I agree with you. But you can't expect companies to make every new development backwards compatible forever. They can't go on supporting old stuff indefinitely. And besides, how many of us keep bikes for more than 3 years anyway? It seems like that's the interval where enough worthwhile new technology becomes available to make it worth getting a complete new bike.

There are some things that are nice but I wouldn't buy a new bike to get (internally routed dropper posts, 142x12, PF30BBs, 10spd/11spd, whatever the last disc brake mount standard is, etc) but I enjoy them on my new bike. Some features were worth it hands-down to get right away (clutch derailleur, dropper post, the Pike that replaced the low end OEM Fox, EXO tires).
  • + 5
 @oldschool43: Unfortunately, Shimano did change the pull ratio on 10 speed from the standard 2:1 to something closer to 1:1 so using the new deraileurs on 9 speed spacing doesn't work. I hear that you can rig a Sram 9 speed shifter to work with a Shimano 10 speed mech, but otherwise 10 speed stuff (both Sram and Shimano) is not compatible with other systems.
  • + 4
 @oldschool43, I tried it last week, it didn't work. I thought the same thing, but it only shifted up to the 6th cog on the cassette. I want a god damn clutch on my 9 speed, is that too much to ask? f*ck!
Anyone know the details b-mack is talking about using a SRAM shifter?
  • + 1
 I read that you can make a little plate to move the cable atatchment a few MM to convert the mech
bu,t
cant remember where I read it
sorry
Frown
  • + 2
 The 10 speed shimano has a pull ratio very similar to SRAM. I read somewhere that 10 speed shimano and 9 speed SRAM are almost the same ratio and can be made to work together.
  • + 3
 Exactly some change is excellent, some pointless. All the technology STOPS me wanting to buy. I wait for everything to settle down before I see which way the wind blows.

Crank technology is a great example what's the point of these hideous integrated BB's and why does the industry use four bolt not 5? Then someone comes along and says 'if everyone thought like you we'd all be riding bikes from the 90's'. Utter BS change is good if it is equally reliable and better performing if unproven please no, and please don't exaggerate the benefits of new tech.
  • + 2
 They must of made the change when they developed the shadow plus. I'm running 10 speed XT shadows (non-clutch type) with my Saint and XTR 9 speed shifters. I bought the shifters days (4) before the first 10 speed spy photos were released to the public. They still work, cassettes and chains and rings are still available. Thought of a 10 spd upgrade and was ready to order, but then Sram came out with 11. Shimano should be releasing the 2014-2014.5 spec soon. I know there is a new XTR pedal coming, I'm sure something else is coming, they usually have a handful of other new things.
  • + 1
 @jhenterprises, I looked it up, Dyna-sys is the new ratio, in XT-XTR, they aren't compatible with rapid fire plus. Rapid fire plus is still in the Saint, Zee, STX lines. However, if you were using a Saint derailleur, there is a short mode (DH), that only goes to 6 speed max. Don't know what derailleur you are using, but if it is a Saint, check what mode it is in.
  • + 1
 @ jlhenterprises: The Sram 9 speed 1:1 ratio is almost identical to the new Shimano ratio. Guys have been running a 9 speed set up using a Sram 9 speed shifter and the new Shimano 10 speed clutch derailleurs. Apparently it's close enough to hit all the gears reliably.
  • + 25
 There's a line, I think - and it gets crossed from time to time. Like tapered steerers - added stiffness is a good thing, in the main - and old forks are compatible with new frames, and headsets can make it all work - but it's very quickly got to a point where a finding a company still making a 1 1/8 steerer trail fork is a rarity - and at that point, you're being pushed towards a new frame by the industry. I guess that's progress, but at times it's hard to swallow. What's worse is companies pushing that even further - Giant's "Overdrive" setup - a 1.5" lower, and 1.25" upper - so you have a fork, stem and headset that's compatible with nothing else on the market - that's a standard for standard's sake - I'd never buy a Giant with that setup.

650b is the other big push happening now. I guess it's an improvement, but one that makes (with some exceptions) the three most expensive parts of a bike obsolete. And manufacturers are running with it to such an extent that 26" is disappearing from ranges even faster than the 1 1/8th steerer did.. Not surprising people feel a bit sore when there's a sense that loads of their still new, perfectly good kit is being seen by the industry as obsolete, and that next wheel or fork upgrade that you're saving for might now mean a whole new bike, because American Classic, Fox or whoever no longer make 26" kit.

My bikes have always changed over time - upgrading parts when I find bargains or break stuff or just really want something new, eventually swapping out the frame and transferring the parts over, 650b will probably mean I won't change much for a long time though - eventually I'll change frame forks and wheels together, but I'll be a lot slower to do so. It probably suits folks buying whole bikes, but for me it just means less choice, and ultimately more expense.
  • + 2
 Great arguments - you and Mike fialy forced me to write this:
waki-leaks.blogspot.se/2013/11/what-grinds-my-gears-conspiracy-of.html. Whenever you have time...
  • + 5
 Can only agree whit you. The old slogan is true in this indusry as well, "Don't think, consume!" Oh today is the best day to do so.
  • + 12
 The only change that concerns me is PRICE. The sport I love has quite frankly become unaffordable, very quickly. When the MIDDLE is north of $4K, I have to turn and walk away from my LBS. Find a frame and start scouring the online deals for parts at reasonable prices. Warehouses are full of recent new unsold and rapidly depreciating tech, all over the globe. Success is measured against what is sacrificed to achieve it. Who cares if the new tech is better, if less and less people adopt it. The price/demand curves are scary....
  • + 10
 Agreed 110%

PRICE is the biggest change in the industry that concerns me. I just bought a 650b $4+k bike this year and the spec was shockingly bad at best. In addition to shelling out $4+k I find myself replacing just about everything on the bike. The industry has gone insane when it comes to price. Profit at all costs seems to be the de facto modus operandi now a day especially at your Local Bull S#!t artists. Good value buys are harder and harder to come across even online. Online deals have become very scarce compared to a few years ago.

While prices have skyrocketed, good customer service has plummeted. Standing by by the crappy product you put out has become optional (FOX!).

Now I am in the market for a fat bike. No suspension just a simple frame big heavy wheels and a butt load of hype, the prices are absurd and outright insulting. There is no way in hell a basic rigid fat bike with mediocre components should cost any more than $1k and yet the prices start out at north of 1.5k. The thought of a 4k fat bike just boggles the mind.

I welcome any online and overseas retailers who can undersell the absolutely bogus msrp prices the bike industry is shoving down our throats.
  • - 3
 Bikes are better, more reliable, stronger, and cheaper than ever.
  • + 5
 And lighter, and sometimes better performing. But the cost truly is astronomical, especially with such a high percentage coming from overseas, not just frames. 1500$ for a fat bike is unreal, especially if its not gonna cary tippy-top spec. And from what I gather from reading articles and others' comments is that upgrading your ride every 3 to 5 years normal, or what I should expect from my frame. Bullshit! I picked up my first full-
sus in '07 and it's been everywhere, lots. I'm not the smoothest rider either. I don't hit the big-boy stuff, but I still go down the same trails. Paid 2000$ and got a helmet to boot. Friends thought I was crazy for spending that much on a bicycle (with low-end spec too), let alone expecting to do it again within 5 years. So far the frame still looks good, and I'll keep riding it until it shows signs of failure
  • + 1
 I agree with AMJunky on the hideous price of fatbikes, hopefully that's just a sales-volume problem and with a bit more uptake they'll come down in price. Wallmart sell a crappy 'mongoose' fatbike for $200, so it isn't inherently expensive to put wider wheels on bikes. (Compare generic walmart bike with fatbike and they're similarly priced).
  • + 1
 @AMjunky - it is thanks to you that they become some much more expensive - the re-sellers (that for some reason called manufacturer - though they only re-brand the junk for China) realizing that every idiotic change that is being pushed by "bike journalist" is then being consumed by people who are willing to pay any price to be fashionable - where the prime example is the city bike wheel size that offer no advantage what so ever. now for the wheel manufacturers, tire manufacturers, suspension manufacturers and others who really need to support all these new standard it does cost more and someone needs to pay for all these differences in manufacturing. So if you really think that 1 inch bigger wheel really makes you a better ride, please pay the price and stop complining about a situation you help creating. As for the rest of us who that think that we are getting less I think it about time to help pushing those re-sellers out but stop buying those under developed and over price fashion driving products
  • + 2
 cgzasv - I am assuming you are butt hurt over the introduction of 650b and 29er wheels? As much as I want to accept the blame for the introduction of 650b wheels I am afraid I cannot. After serving me faithfully for 7 years I rode my 26er into the ground. So I was already in the market for a new bike, I chose to drink the Koolaid and got a 650b bike. Honestly I am glad I did, the benefits of 650b are tangible and cannot be denied though they might be small and insignificant to some. I think I made the best choice available to me at the time, having said that the choices could have been a lot better. My gripe is with the quality of performance of the components on the bike, which does not reflect the price I paid for it.

Yes, early adopters do have to pay more for “innovation” however it is thanks to our feedback that products get better and manufacturers are held accountable. So you are welcome for helping inform potential customers and helping deflate overpriced and overhyped products. I will keep speaking my mind and complaining about the faults I see in the industry until I am blue in the face. The more people do the same the better. For those that do, do not be discouraged by the tired “stop complaining you crybaby” industry insider shill response.

We will never be able to push the big manufacturers out, that is an exercise in futility. What we can do is develop and promote cheaper alternatives and suppliers. QBP has a near monopoly as a distributor to bike retailers, this need to be shattered to little pieces. New distributors who can sell to retailers cheaper is most welcome.
  • + 11
 I'm fine with parts and extra gears, all that, the parts today are built to last. The biggest issue with the 650b change, is it will cost me to change. A change for a "better" wheel size would set me back a minimum of $1800. That's a mid-low tier fork, hard tail frame, rims, spokes and 1 set of cheap tires. I have 43 26" tires. A spare rim for each wheel set. Forks that should last a while. I just serviced my cartridges and they were mostly clean after a year. I don't have a lot of disposable cash laying around. Even the above would take 4-6 months to save up in cash, as long as my truck and motorcycle don't need a major part replaced.

I just don't think a pick of 26" frames and forks will be available in a few years. That's the part that I'm getting from manufactures, is they are gonna stick with 2 wheel sizes and 26 isn't one of them. Maybe it will be like wide rims, every bike had 30mm+ rims in the early 80's, caused to many pinch flats, so manufactures moved to narrow rims. "The rims to have are preferably 20mm wide" and now, 28mm might be the norm again. I do have a nice set of syncros DS28 in 26", oh yeah, they aren't fast and you can't climb with them. I'll bet in 10 years that someone will review a fancy, custom frame builder's 26er and be blown away at how it handles and accelerates and how fun it is and all this stuff will come back around.
  • + 3
 Oh and the disc brake thing, having worn thru 4 rim sidewalls in my life and crashing because my brakes were wet or snowy, I couldn't wait for disc brakes. I gladly paid a bit more, cuz the oak tree let me off easy after I hit him at 20mph.
  • + 9
 "I'll bet in 10 years that someone will review a fancy, custom frame builder's 26er and be blown away at how it handles and accelerates and how fun it is and all this stuff will come back around."

This is exactly what will happen...what's new is better, and what's old will be new again.
  • - 5
flag Willie1 (Nov 29, 2013 at 11:25) (Below Threshold)
 Wouldn't 24" or 20" be even better then? Why stop at 26"?
  • + 1
 Actually when I worked at a bike shop in highschool, we put the assembled bikes in a huge basement. We would have races around it on 12" kids bikes when the owner went to play golf. Those things got up to full speed in about 3 crank revolutions. At basement speeds, those things flew and handled the corners. I wonder how they'd do in a rock garden?
  • + 3
 This is my exact concern. After several articles, reviews and shoot outs there is no compelling facts that show that the larger wheel sizes provide incremental gains in handling, traction or cornering proportionate to the huge cost of making the switch. Let's be honest, by the time you swap wheels and a fork, assuming your read end has the clearance to handle a larger wheel, you're a good way into covering the cost of a whole new bike. I get the benefits, but also understand from many sources that they are subtle, essentially unnoticeable to all but the most discerning cyclists. So is it worth a few grand to switch? nope. Btw, want an 11spd and larger wheels? forget about upgrading, you'll shell out 2x what it would cost to just get a new bike.
  • + 1
 Quick question, how many of you have ridden a 650b or 29er?
  • + 1
 I have, and several of my riding buddies have had time on various wheel sizes. The consensus is that the benefits between 26 and 27.5 are marginal and mostly gained "on the edge"… when you're really pushing it or the terrain is challenging. The rollover and cornering gains are more noticeable on a 29er (as is the slightly more sluggish steering response). Is there benefit? yes. Is it worth a couple grand in upgrade? Not for me, I'll just wait to inherit new tech when it is time for a new complete bike.
  • + 1
 I own a 650b ibis mojo. Significant improvement over 26". I'll never buy a 26" bike again. It's a much bigger difference than the armchair engineers will admit.
  • + 10
 As long as I keep finding a reasonable amount of improved parts for my precious 26", I don't mind. Juste don't make 26" disapear .
  • + 6
 If there was any debate about discs brakes first time round it was because they were a) horribly expensive b) not very good and c) forks werent strong enough to accept them.

No one would've contested that having better brakes, in all conditions was anything but a good thing.

So no relevance to the current wheel size 'debate'.
  • - 1
 No one would contest better traction, better ride quality, or better rollover as improvements. No relation to wheelsize huh? The downsides are the same as the 650b debate: Old equipment isn't compatible, its a bit heavier, they are an expensive upgrade. I find it interesting that people contradict themselves so easily.
  • + 12
 Comparing the disc brake revolution to 26 v 650 is dangerous. The former is more like the difference between a model T and a Zonda, the latter, more like like the difference between 30 and 25 psi in your Minions.
  • + 1
 HEadshot nailed it!
  • - 3
 That's the point, in the olden days, people complained there wasn't enough advantage in a disc brake to outweigh the weight,complexity, potential for failure, and cost to justify the switch, not to mention the lack of backwards compatibility. In hindsight, they were wrong. Sounds familiar?
  • + 2
 Some of it sounds familiar on the surface but doesn't stand up to closer scrutiny. I wonder if Jerome Clementz could have won the Enduro world series on V brakes?
  • + 2
 On a rainy day he wouldn't have a hope. On a dry day he might have been fine. A good set of v brakes actually works well when set up properly.
  • + 3
 Headshot just wrote my new signature on MTBR!
  • + 6
 That second pic of the girl on the fat bike, there are ALLOT of things scary there that start at her head with here neon green triathlon helmet and just keep going from there. I also like how the girl in the chair in the background is looking at her like WTH.
  • + 4
 It looks like her seat is about 3 inches to high.
  • + 3
 If she rocked into my store like that, I'd scream I was going to lunch and never stop running.
  • + 2
 That is almost certainly a demo day at a major show, she came to test TT bikes but thought she would have a go on a fat bike while she was there.
  • - 3
 @Clarkeh: This is why the LBS is a dying model.
  • - 1
 I guess judging and insulting the appearance of customers is a good way to stay in business?
  • + 1
 Pointing out why the LBS model is dying results in neg props!!!! Whoooo Hoooo!!!! When you are done whining about how online sales screw you over, go back to this discussion and see where the real problem lies. You might have to lift it from being neg propped into oblivion LOL!!!!!
  • + 8
 I won't buy 29 or 27.5 ever ...... If 26 goes away I'll just ride old bikes.
  • + 1
 AMEN BROTHER!!!
  • + 5
 I am terrified of what will happen to long-travel full suspension bikes. I call it the roadbikification of downhill bikes. Racing is destroying everything, bikes are becoming weaker, tires are getting skinnier, front ends are getting lower, suspension travel is becoming less and less.
I don’t know what roadies want with long-travel full suspension bikes but I wish they would leave their influence far away from proper freeride machines.
  • + 1
 ^^^^THIS!!
  • + 5
 A good point made about female riders. The same thing would go for younger riders or anyone under the 5'6" status. Try finding a 27.5 or 29" wheel bike that will fit someone with a short inseam. My wife is riding a 26" Giant Anthem in an XS frame. It just barely fits her and we had a hard time finding anything with more than 5" of travel. The bigger wheels will make it just that much harder.

I will most likely end up building some 24" or 26" hoops to put on a bike for my son when he is tall enough to move up to an "adult" sized bike. At least we are still sticking with 32 spoke hubs so it's an option to put smaller wheels on a bike designed for bigger ones.

Next poll: how many spokes for your wheels?
  • + 1
 I think 24-28 spokes for carbon rims, and 28-32 for aluminum.
  • + 5
 All the Bicycling industry comes down to is progressive change to eventually make older technology obsolete so the consumer is forced to continuously purchase new "innovations" and the old stuff either ends up in a landfill or in my back yard it seems.... Give me a six speed cassette, a full rigid frame, and a set of infinite adjustable canti's any day!
  • + 4
 I am not scared of change. Matter of fact, I just got my first carbon fibre bike. But I did have a CHOICE between other materials. Before that I had an aluminum bike, but again, I had CHOICES. Chromoly was my first bikes material. Could have chosen aluminum. This wheel crap is not about change its about profits...
  • + 7
 I'm not afraid of change for the better. I'm afraid of idiots steering the direction of change.
  • + 4
 I am sticking with my 26" wheels (just bought a SB66C). I can afford anything I want. But 27.5 just does not make sense when the entire issue is examined. 26 is lighter(unsprung and rotational) by significant margin when you factor in tires, 26 is stronger.Period.
26 offers far better gearing options for us old guys and less than WC fit types. 27 rolls over stuff a little bit better.
I know and love change when it is truly of value. Suspension,disc brakes, clutch derailleurs,tubeless tire /wheels. I was the first on the bandwagon for all of these.
This one is hype and BS because it doesn't stand up to objective evaluation.
  • + 2
 "Choose your wheel size, then be a dick about it."
  • + 1
 Hahahaha awesome. 26 motherfucker
  • + 4
 I don't like 29rs, do like 650s but they both are undergeared for me. a 11-42 single speed or double cost too much for me. I still love my 26Yeti 575 wth triple front rings. but I'm 67 yrs old and in the minority so who cares what I like; p
  • + 4
 Ok upgrading brake systems or improving suspension technology is one thing, but new wheel sizes being a huge evolution? I grew up riding around a BMX bike and a rigid mountain bike that I finally put a terrible small travel front fork on. The bikes made even in that price range are far better now, but I almost always preferred to ride my BMX bike except for on trails. Small wheels mean it's a lower center of gravity bike, more playful, and you could jump off of most anything. I think that big wheels have a place in mountain biking, but eliminating 26 inch wheels is stupid and it's not really with good reason. I prefer to ride smaller wheeled bikes because I prefer them for jumping, tight sections with corners, pumping and popping off of little rocks and I ride for descents not just to pedal. Personally I think there are just way too many XC nerds with money buying up these bikes thinking they're a huge improvement for rolling down a trail slightly smoother and maybe faster with less effort. I however enjoy throwing a smaller bike around with smaller wheels. Bring on the big wheels but killing off the 26 is just plain stupid, as I won't be riding anything else until I can't buy them. Then I'll be forced to ride 650B just like the old guys with nice cars decked out in spandex with a cardio monitor on them.
  • + 4
 I have rode bikes since I was a kid, love everything about bikes and have experienced a lot of variety. What I am going to say is my own opinion and nothing more. I've tried all three wheel sizes by demoing bikes and riding them all on the same trails. My take: if you have skill built up from lots of riding the 26" wheel is the most manipulatable size and therefore offers the most fun. When I rode the 29" wheel the feeling made me wonder, was this wheel just created to get people with less riding experience/skill on bikes and increase the market from actual riders to everyone who has a wallet? It just felt like I was along for the ride, not much was required of me the rider, it felt like being in a monster truck driving over a pump track, it completely tamed the trail and made it more like fire road than tech single track. It just rolls over everything and u feel like ur just along for the ride. It makes riding easier, not more fun. So when 26" was the standard, was there just not enough open wallets for the industry? I'm all for marketing and making money, just please don't forget about the people who ride 26" bikes because they ARE the most FUN to ride. I've had a nice chunk of cash saved for my next bike for about 3 years now and have tried a lot of new models/27.5 and 29, my money will go toward a 26", even if I have to buy used because of the non existent market these days. To each their own.
  • + 5
 From a professional standpoint I fear change because it means I will have to get all new tools and learn new back-asswards ways of working on 12 and 13 speed drivetrains that companies cut corners on to make work.
  • + 4
 I don't mind all the different wheel sizes, but why are companies like Trek getting rid of 26" bikes (other than the session) completely when there is clearly still a demand for them??? I have a remedy 9 2013 (26") and would totally buy another one.
  • + 1
 Save the 6ers Save the 6ers Save the 6ers....
  • + 3
 The comments on this site prove that there is still good demand for 26" bikes. Makes me wonder if some manufactures that still offer 26" models have recorded more sales than previous years because of this. Anyone know how well the 26" versions of the stumpy and enduro are selling?
  • + 1
 panaohhonic@
like,,,
it will be hard when you can't find a good tire and rims and forks for it...
  • + 4
 This biggest problem I have with change is ME. Really, who gives a shit if the bike companies are constantly making new stuff? I should be able to just build a bike that allows me to maximize the enjoyment of the trails I ride, and not fret the hype of new instead of questioning my current set up and wondering if things would be better if I only had this year's ________. We live in a consumerist society and it affects the way perceive the things we own. Life feels better when we've got something new, regardless of how good that old thing may be. I try hard to just appreciate my bike(s) as is (it's f*ckin' way awesomer than what I had 10 years ago!), but it's hard. So I try to build bikes that are as timeless as an MTBs can be, without missing out on some of the best innovations which really improve ride quality and/or durability.
  • + 4
 So long as the industry standards don't change very fast and leave me with A) Limited options in component choice B) Hard to replace/find parts when I am stuck in a rut. For example breaking a part at a bike park or out on the hike trails.
  • + 7
 There is only one true mtb and that is a 26er. If your not on a sixer then your just pretending.
  • + 3
 Marketing tries to find the biggest market and suit the product to that market. Most people on bikes should be on 700c/29er wheels since they seldom ride anywhere technical, or even off road. A large portion of mountainbikers never really get their wheels off the ground, preferring to roll over instead of hopping most of the time. These folks need good 29ers.
There is a smaller niche that needs pop, prefers to hop, and something else that rhymes with op. These people need 26.
I need to try a 650b to know what it is for.
  • + 3
 Being cynical, a 650b is to make the people who need 26 buy new bikes, because they won't buy 29ers.
  • + 2
 Seems like overall sales would remain the same though. It is not a big enough change to send people to the store for a new rig. I believe it could make a difference. I think if you like a long low build: 6" of travel, low bb, something fast and curvy, but also want something you can occasionally take to the park and whip off the big jumps without big wheel resistance then maybe 650b is the sled for you.
I was drooling pretty heavy over the Norco Range, until I realized that at the end of the day it was going to ride exactly like my Mission, except a slightly better axle path and small bump absorption and slightly harder wheelie. My mission was long and low and fast, but wanted to keep it's tires pinned to the ground, making it a chore to get lift. When I thought of that I decided the range wasn't for me, and moved another way. Some people will want that great smooth trail hug: super grippy, but still whippy for the park. I always wanted more pop out of my bike though.
This sounds like my breakup letter to my bike. "You're great, baby, it's just, I need more pop..."
  • + 3
 Perhaps the same "profit" driven motives of bicycle companies pushing 27.5 wheels is the same motives that will keep the 26" wheel alive. Disc brakes, drivetrains, and any other "incremental" changes were part of the mountain bike evolution we now enjoy today. The wheel size variations don't just change the shoes on the hores but changes the whole horse. Profits will drive entrepreneurs to fill the gap. There is a very strong following for the 26" bike. And once the dust settles on 27.5" somebody will fill the void and manufacture parts for 26" to turn a profit on that very large market. Once the feeding frenzy begins fox and sram will dust off there 26" tooling and make components for that market again...perhaps.
  • + 2
 Mountain bikes were not invented by some corporate giant. Mountain bikes were created through innovation. The innovation is still strong.
Some peoples eyes glaze over in lust when the new part comes out. Then they whip out the credit card. That's why we have so much choice in what to buy, what to ride.
Are we cautious about shelling out hundreds of dollars on something new? I like to think so.
  • + 2
 You're all missing a key point - the change in "technology" (from 26er to 29er to 650b) is to attract NEW people to the sport, and expand the customer base.

Like many riders, I can easily see past all the marketing BS about how 650b 'makes the trail come alive' (etc, etc), but this is the type of thing which newcomers lap up - and spend their cash on the latest shiny technology (mostly through ignorance).
  • - 2
 Gotta disagree there dude, i ride dh but once had a 29er built for commuting, on the hills it hammered alot of shit better than the dh bike, the geo was all wrong, but i still saw potential in a larger w size. Im normally the first fuckr to had on capitalist marketing schemes, but mostif not all bike co's have riders at the helm..... go figure
  • + 2
 So a new rider to the sport will become attracted to it due to a new wheel size?
  • + 5
 No, a new rider will be the one buying the magazines, reading the reviews, trying to read up on as much information as they possibly can about their first "proper" bike.

If all they read in the media is "650b is the future, it brings the trail alive", then that's what they will believe - due to ignorance.

I'm perfectly happy with a fairly old 9sp 26er, yet apparently I *need* a 10sp 650b......
  • + 4
 The change from 26 to cartwheels is about perceptive obsolecence. 29 is about insecurity not technological advance. Hell niners ride like an arthritic horse. What`s to like about that.
  • + 6
 Woot Woot. Arthritic hoses should of course be put down. Thats humain. Save the 6ers! You support terrorism if you ride anything larger than 26
  • + 2
 I bought a $6000 Yeti SB95 last week with the intent of flipping it because I got it for $2500. The thing is all decked out and just needs fork seals. I put it together and rode it and it was WEIRD. Actually made me dizzy being so tall trying to do wheelies on it. So I figured I'd take it on my local trail I ride 4-5 times a week to see how it rides. It was definitely different. Felt slow and cumbersome at first. It reminded me of when I used to race BMX bikes and and then riding on a 26" cruiser after would feel about the same (we called them cruisers back then, a 26" BMX bike).
After about 10 miles on that trail and after a few steep DH sections it actually felt normal. Even looking down at that big 'ol tire in front of me seemed like I was looking at my 26" bike. I did put a DH cockpit on it to help me ride this thing (800mm bars and a 40mm stem). It has Hans Dampfs on the front so It looked very familiar and the traction was incredible.
I was worried I would feel awkward riding my 26 afterwards, which was the case if you jump from bike to bike. But after a few hours rest, I went back out to the same trails with my 303RDH rig and it was no problem adjusting back to my 26" bikes again. I was thinking how I saw Arron Gwin at Sea Otter this year win the DH on a 29 and how it is possible to be proficient on different wheel sizes. So after only one ride I am considering keeping my new purchase and using it for different types of rides, mainly longer distances.
I love the exploration of new trails and I think this bike might be a good choice for all-day adventures once in a while.

So I guess I don't mind change that much. I still want to be able to get tires, wheels, forks for my 26" bikes when I need them, but adding a new cruiser to my stable has become a pleasant surprise. At 6'3" tall, they all feel like a BMX after a while anyway.
  • + 2
 At 6'3" tall, try being under 6 feet lol. im not all that tall and kind of sucks. because I get what your saying and i completely agree. I tried a couple different bikes this year and the 29er was amazing for cross country and I am thinking of grabbing one next year for that exact reason (the longer rides) am i agree 100,000% that they should keep making the 26' wheel. there are trails here i wont hit on the 29er there is no way, to tight and twisty and really steep. tires are just to big to make the turns. and being shorter i find it harder to adjust to a bigger bike. even with 26' wheels if the frame is to big i would have to kind of hop on to the bike at first. so if you toss a 29' wheel on it i wouldn't even be able to get on the bike. hahaha heck my friend is even way shorter then i am and he cant fit on my bighit because its to high and its got a 24' on the back and a 26' on the front. hate to see the 26' to go away poor guy wont be able to ride at all if that happens.

so im with you on this one, except the closing statement lol. a big bike feels like a big bike to me. not like a BMX. and i owned a 26' BMX when i was a kid, loved that bike. was the only thing i wanted for Christmas for like 3 years but yea my bighit even my Norco six dont feel the same as when i tried the 29er, was different but in a positive way. i'll still keep my 26' and i will have to wait and see what happens. 'but they will never make me get ride of my 26' wheel never lol' i love it. its so dependable.
  • + 3
 So I just got back from a ride at Rocky Peak to see if it could handle it and It was Sketchy! It starts out a long climb to the top and it really didn't make any difference going up the hill. My buds were on 26ers and we were all at the same pace we usually do while climbing.

Coming down Chumash Trail at the end was where it got sketchy, not even full DH stuff at all, but real technical for the first 1/2 mile. It was hard to maneuver the rocky obstacles I usually blast right over. Then it gets really flowy and that part was pretty fun. Towards the end it's loose golf ball size rocks over sand and rock and man it was all over the place. Maybe I'm just not used to it yet but I'd rather be on a 26 for that stuff. You are right about the limits a 29 has, and I just found them. I could be my size that is a factor and the higher center of gravity, but when I am on a 26 I barely use the brakes on that trail, I was all over them with the 29 to stay in control and went slower than ever in the loose areas. Lots of wheel flex like I always thought there would be too.

So it seems the 29 is really just for more intermediate trails and longer rides, for me at least. There are plenty of trails around here where I can see it will shine. Its like a XC bike you can thrash around, but I can't see it out performing my 26 AM bike at all. Bottom line: I have way more fun on the 26" bike for that trail today and anything gnarlier would be just scary. But I admit I need more time on it to really see if I can improve my riding the 29 over technical stuff too.
  • + 3
 Another good thing that has come out of this 29 "experiment" I've just started is: I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT a 27.5 / 650b will be a complete waste of time....for me at least....!

So its back to building jumps, shreddin' the gnar and getting some sick air tomorrow!!!
  • + 2
 I think that comparing wheel size "innovation" to disc brakes is way off, it's like comparing traction control in a modern car to parking sensors. In a way both minimize the risk of scratching your car isn't it?

So let me ask you this question if you are reading it and bother to reply: let's say you go 15 years back in time and you are allowed to take only two things from todays bike - what would you take to boost your fun levels on 1998 bike? I take my saint brakes and a dropper post. A person who takes the modern frame and fork providing geometry adapted to "larger" wheel sizes (that all existed back then) or a modern drive train - raise your hand
  • + 1
 I've still got a '97 Santa Cruz heckler, my pair of 2013 parts would be my slx brakes and a rear shock with pro-pedal or similar. They would transform the heckler from knee a killer to a go almost anywhere and do almost anything bike. Everything else I'd be happy to have from 1997, in fact a lot of parts on it are from around then anyway! Modern parts might enable you to have a bit more fun on the bike and potentially spend less fun fettling and you certainly get more for your money these days. However in terms of usability i dont think a lot has really changed in the most part and there is nothing you can't get now that you could back then. I could kit my heckler out with all brand new parts today if I had the cash, apart from the swingarm doesn't have disc mounts. I'll wager that in another 15 years I'd be able to do it again too if the frame is still up to it.
  • + 3
 I'm with you on that matter WAKI. Hydraulic disc brakes is a big improvement compared to v-brakes. 27.5 wheel size is nothing.
If you put a man on a bike and close his eyes, and tell him to ride like that (imagine for a moment it's possible to ride with closed eyes Smile ) he will always tell you what kind of brakes is he riding. I'm sure 99% of the people, if not all, will not make a difference between 26 and 27.5" wheels.
  • + 2
 What bothered me back then were weak rims and weak frames, as long as I have round(ish) wheels and a solid frame everything else don't really bother me! .
  • - 1
 Weak rims, weak frames? - 6kg 1999 Kona Stinky, rims like Mavic D321, Sun Double Track, Alexrims Supra V?
  • + 1
 Good point ,but back then all of the above were non existent where I live, didn't have the internet ,so what was available and known were cheap aluminum rims and crappy sub walmart quality frames. (me at age 13 = had a suzuki rv50 and was dreaming about a CR500R).
  • + 1
 I think it is difficult to separate the innovations. Disc brakes become much more important when you factor in the speeds that quality suspension and grippy tires allow you to obtain now.
  • + 0
 If you are extremely tall you might appreciate 29ers more than other innovations in the industry.
  • + 1
 Even tallies shouldn't ride 9ers.
  • + 1
 I'll take back modern frame/fork geometry. I remember racing bikes in the 90's, and those frames were just straight up scary.
  • + 2
 Potential top comment:

"I f*cking hate change, all of those new stuff doesn't make any sense to me, I love my bike and I'll stick with it. It still does shred like hell: tinyurl.com/7u7eg4s

Do I look like scared of something?"
  • + 2
 It's not new technology or change that scares me, it's the "new tech zealots" that jump on every new bandwagon without even questioning it. It's their often unjustified enthusiasm for a new design/wheelsize/shiny thing etc. that fuels the fire of unnecessary change. They are the ones that rush out and purchase the new big thing, creating the illusion that it's successful and desired. I know way too many of these guys... they scoffed at the riders on 26" when the 29er craze started and now they look down their nose at your 29er from the seat of their new 650b rig. Fortunately, it's not the initial votes of this small number of consumers that decides what tech wins out in the end, but yeah..it can be scary to watch them drive it down a road that isn't always good for the rest of us.
  • + 2
 I think a lot of people are annoyed by increasing lack of choices not scared of change, especially when they are spending hard earned money I don't really want to buy a 27.5 bike, I don't feel the need to change, I like the bikes I have, however when the time comes to buy a new bike the choice has already been made for me because they are no longer selling 26" trailbikes, that's not really the way I like to make purchases, I like options and choice. It's the same with new cars and the dwindling options, you either get this package with everything we decided you're getting or nothing, and don't you dare ask for a standard transmission. That's it for me, I don't like big companies dictating my purchases, and that's what it feels like these days. 1"1/4 headset, why Giant, because it's stiffer than the current tapered standard? then use 1.5". How about Qr 15, nothing against it but it is a new useless standard, it's not better than 20mm, so why is it hard to find a trailbike fork with 20mm now. Big companies need to provide options so that people can feel like they have a say in what they are buying. Make new stuff but don't get rid of the stuff people have come to love.
  • + 2
 In the past 20ish years this sport has only done a few things reliably. Change is on the ery top of that list. I can recall saying I would never wear spandex or clip in shoes (then raced xc in its prime and found out that spandex and clips were needed) I then recall stating that rear suspension was stupid... well Ive been eating those words for 15+ years now. Then I declared that pads are for pussys (and Im still kinda on that one... ;-) The point is ride what you like and turn up the headphones if you hear others scoffing your dream bike.

Seeing as opinions are like a$$holes, everyone has one no matter how much theirs stinks to you it's still all theirs so dont touch it, smell it, or gobble it down... if thats not your thing.
  • + 2
 This sounds like something written by someone twirling on the dicks of their sponsors. You didn't bother to point out any of the failed gimmicks like linkage forks, or Biopace chainrings. There is a big difference between change for the sake of change & change for the sake of improvement. Bigger wheel sizes & smaller axles, are not technological advancements. They are the same technologies, in different sizes. A 15 mm axle is in no way an improvement over an established 20 mm standard, so shove it up your ass. Claiming that the bike industry isn't organized enough to conspire for increased profits is exactly what I'd expect such an organized group to say. Not that I'm saying it's true, but governments do it all the time, conspire for one reason or another, lie for the sake of going to war, kill for it & then claim to be too stupid to pull it off, to make it believable. I'll give you one thing, I agree that the mountain bike industry is populated mostly by stupid f*cking idiots whose engineering abilities cease to have any value beyond anything as simple as a bicycle & many of them either can't even do that right, or have to do it wrong just to keep it "new".
  • + 1
 Re-invention caters to the "always want something new" crowd & pretty colored junk with short life cycles makes the $. No one forces anyone? I like using the internet. I like Windows XP. You tell me, can I use both at the same time on the same system 2-5 years from now? The same shit happens here, & no corporate dick sucker will convince me otherwise. There are too many obvious flaws in this industry that get ignored & make no sense, yet things that work perfectly fine change over & over. You think fat bikes are scary? I think they're a fad, but I can still argue more value & advantages to those than 27" or 29" wheels, or 15 mm axles or any kind of derailleur. Suspension & disc brakes? Those were your chosen arguments? Only the stupidest of fools wouldn't have seen the benefits there. Still, if all you have access to is disc brakes when your rim brakes are at the end of their life, what could you do about it? GM tried to force shit on people that they didn't want, & rather than rightfully float tits up, our governments stole from the poor, just to feed those rich f*cking a*sholes even more money!!! Voting with your dollar is bullshit, so save it! This kind of shit flies here because the SPORT, is way too f*cking awesome to be stopped, despite how awful its INDUSTRY is, & they know it.
  • + 0
 Ummm the bad ideas left the market quickly didn't they?
  • + 2
 The Bike that I current was Made in 2004. everything about this bike I have watched the market slowly grow to that point. this was my dream Bike and after It arrived i felt as though that was the height for me and that I would need nothing more. 3.0 tires, hydraulic Disks, 10" travel front and rear, Six pivot rear suspension, 36 pound frame, handlebars curved just right, contours on the frame just right. Right sized and comfortable Azonic saddle, double wide rims. I haven't seen a bike since that could top or even compare to this one and I believe ill carry this one to my grave.
  • + 2
 I have to look at this a couple of ways. On the one hand I am genuinely upset that Giant is pushing 650b so hard and incorrectly calling it 27.5. The only reason they are doing this is to piggy back on the huge marketing success of the 29er. In my opinion the 29er is a legitimate argument for a lot of different riders and that's largely why it became so popular, now there's a group of the market that ripe and ready for wheel size options and Giant is jumping on the opportunity to give it to them. I rode a 26 for years and honestly found a big improvement when I finally moved up to 29 for my cross country bike this year. I've spent some time testing 650b as well and quite frankly it just doesn't make any sense to me. The other side we need to consider is that we've really only been mountain biking for about 40 years and a look back at the 80's and 90's shows just how drastically far things have come. It's logical to assume that there are still big improvements to be made both on the fun side and the performance side and that it may be a few years before things become really established. Road bikes and automobiles have been around for considerably long so while we see them go through an evolution, the mountain bike may still be looking at a revolution. This is just how I look at the situation, but we haven't seen the industry go backwards yet and I'm at least confident that we will be able to keep having as much fun as we always have.
  • + 2
 i'm worried about 26" wheels beeing completly replaced by 27,5" and 29er wheels in near future.(I remember some tire-manufacturing-dude mentioned something like that). Many bike manufacturers already sell their bikes 650B and 29er only by now. I dont mind if people believe the hype and buy those sizes but to be honest I don't need any other size than 26"wheels. I've been riding on them for 20 years and now I have to worry about them getting taken away!? Just because it's a mature market?!
PLEASE KEEP RIDING, SELLING, BUYING 26" bikes so they don`t die
  • + 1
 650b, I refuse to call it 27.5" seeing as it's not even 27", may well be slightly better than 26" but, a whole swathe of industry has been created in one fell swoop by the industry/magazine (they are one of the same as they rely on each other) forced demise. Millions and millions of £s created and jobs secured is no f*cking accident, I hope that Pacenti chap is getting royalties out of every 650b bike sold...........Conspiracy theory my arse, it's the feckin truth. ;-)
  • + 1
 What a stinking load of pollyanna pro-consumerism bull. Some change is shitty. I am fearful of bad change. The sort that is presented by all these options can be bad. The marketing undermines our social networks to promote itself. The arguments created by marketers distract us. Some dudes are so poor in spirit because all they do is idolize the latest equipment trends. I don't like that change.
  • + 1
 I can appreciate advancements for the sake of performance gains or lighter weight, but what about some improvements in durability and reliability? That would allow for more time riding and less time wrenching. We need components that strike a balance between performance and simplicity/durability/affordability. Dropper seat posts for example are overly complex, overpriced and unreliable.
  • + 1
 Being in the market for a new frame makes me a little bummed that I can't make the switch to 27.5 because I can't afford it right now....so my only beef with new stuff is make it backwards compatible... Tapered steerer's are great I'm sure.... I dont know cuz I have a strait 1 1/8th head tube... So long as they still allow older (mid to early 2000s get shiny new parts I'm happy)
  • + 1
 changing is good and is bad... its like the new marzocchi 380 it fits 650b wheel size and it also fits 26 so for now its an ok change and for saving wheight im always ok with it since that it can last for ages for marzocchi is known for... now 29 wheel size for downhill bikes... whell... on old days they used 24 inch wheel on the back for more lower bb height and better control since the rear is shorter... its like 26 is less flexi than 29ers so hangs on better with whips but 29ers roll better on bumpy surfaces... and for dh do you really need 9 speeds? seriously i only use from 4 to higher... and i use 8 speeds... so why? for enduro and xc it makes the diference... but for downhill?
  • + 1
 Where was the option to vote for "love change but only if it's good"?
Stop assuming because people don't like big hoops that they aren't itching to try out the next bit of good innovation. Look at the response narrow-wide chainrings have got for example.
  • + 1
 Last year I bought a 2013 giant trance x1 26 and Im glad I mustered the money to do so, because its not available anymore. Everyone says there no difference in the handling, but I ride mine 3x a week and I know exactly how 26 feels. I went to a giant dealer to feel the "new and improved 650b trance" and its a plain lie to say they feel as nimble and corner the same because they simply do not. Obviously the people that review bikes get paid to do so, and it would make no sense for them to rag on a shitty handling 650 or 29. I understand where they are coming from, but it makes me mad that ill never be able to buy a new spec mid travel 5.5 inch 26 ever again. From here on out its used and adding new parts to the current build. I just wish marketing and standard big box bull%$#@ wasnt such a large part of our "small community" and "holistic" sport.
  • + 1
 ohhhh change ohhhh 26" ohhhhh 650b ohhhhhh 29". Shut the hell up people who gives a damn. This site is retarded all you ever see is the same damn article about people scared about bs. sit on whatever you god damn got and SHUT UP ABOUT IT. Pinkbike wake the hell up and stop reposting all this scared about change bs

Thanks
  • + 1
 Why do you think Giant and other manufactures stopped making frames for 26" wheels. It's a money grab. Drink the kool-aid if you wish. But the marketers are screwing with you, so they make more money. Vote with your wallet. Pivot is still making a few great 26ers.
  • + 1
 The "industry" has done a good job of letting consumers know the benefits and drawbacks to recent wheel changes or other new products. The bike magazines in particular are very good at being fair with their reviews and buying advie.. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I recently switched from 26"-27.5" faster, more rollover maybe not quite as nimble. Both bikes are fun. Nothing has been hidden or bikes pushed on to the consumers. I will say that the 1x11 is a bigger benefit on new bike. Change is good. If you look at an even simpler product...skis, it is amazing how much they have changed in the last 20 years. The sport is simply evolving.
  • + 1
 Your words may echo your experience, but being old enough to remember fully rigid, v brakes.
You are talking fantasy stuff in your opening statement.
The girvin flex stem was a thing of absolute desire, canti brakes were sex, then xtr brakes were the closest thing to a night with your fav girl.
Toe straps, girving flex stem, bramah bar and grips on my trek antilope 850.... taking her from rigid to some damping, she was my first mtb when I was around 14. Before that it was off road on touring bikes. My first off road must habe been around 1979, my dads first off road mountain experience around 1957, they just called it touring, there was not roads between bothies and hostels back then.
When elostomer suspension came out, then klein put perlescent paint on frames, these were the things of dreams.

As for 29" wheels.... some might like the current manufacturers attempt to sell us something, but I am not sold, biking is about fun, and it is true that smaller wheels are just more fun.
I can see the draw for 650b for xc, with light low profile tyres, it is not far off big tyres on a 26"bike.
If you want 29 to go fast up a hill..... you better train hard, coz I here that is where speed comes from Smile
  • + 1
 In the words of a DH world cup racer (that had to race 650b against his will last season) " 26" corners fantastic, 29" rolls fantastic so lets make a wheel size that doesn't do ether well" End of the day teams raced 650b at worldcup and national level and 26" won every round, hell the biggest race of the season in the world of big wheels unduro was won by a guy on 26".
  • + 2
 I'm all for change for the better, but I just can't accept 29'ers. Sorry but those bikes just look way too goofy and having ridden on them, I still find 26" to be the best overall wheel size. Plus it just looks better too Wink
  • + 1
 I've been out of the mtb scene for a few years now, and boy have there been changes! When I had to sell my downhill bike, everyone had 26" wheels. Everyone had regular derailleurs. Everyone had a single ring front and 8 or 9 in the back. There were 29ers around but they hadnt caught on. It was the time of the 20mm thru axle and 1.5 head tubes.

Now there are 4 or 5 'standard' wheel sizes, new types of derailleurs, gear setups, and more. I like the derailleur changes since derailleurs need to be improved no matter what. The 27.5, 650b, 29er, and other wheel sizes seem strange to me. Maybe they offer improvements but the highest i'd go is a 27.5. 29 seems like it would be unwieldy and make a bike less flickable and trickable. As for gearing, im happy with a single ring front and 9 in the back.

Basically I like the changes going on in the bike world, i'd be worried if we just stayed int he same place out of ignorance. I don't like the wheel size changes, but mountain biking is so popular these days that i'm glad its receiving lots of attention. I know i'll buy a DH/FR bike in the next few years, i'm glad I can wait to see what catches on and what is just a gimmick.
  • + 2
 oh god you wouldnt catch me in tights and a fatbike in a million years!,, i wonder if people realize how ridiculous they look in all that atire. unless ur on a road cycle than the tights are acceptable.
  • + 1
 Change depends on the segment of the cycling industry. I'm all for technological progress when it comes to MTB stuff. But I'm not convinced that anything really beats a lugged steel road frame.

It's interesting that there are no retro grouches in the DH / free ride / DJ categories, but immeasurable number of them in the roadie world.
  • + 2
 oh and i forgot to mention that 27,5" was the original "MTB" wheel size standard back in the day i think, so there had to be a reason why they changed it to 26 inches for mountain bikes then...
  • + 1
 This article straight up depressed me. I LOVE 29er haters. I totally get off on it. I wanna get a tattoo that reads 29er for life, except that I know the article is true, people will get over the wheel size thing and it will be no thing. None of it is as big as the hatred toward snowboarders form skiers back in the day. So sad that these times change. Peoples idiosyncrasies are so much fun. 9er Lyfe Baby!
  • + 1
 To be totally honest I think 650bs look shit on bikes....makes me look like a little kid on a massive bike again...not what I want sorry, but to me its like making mtb bikes look like road bikes....forget the performance literature how do they perform strength wise.
  • + 1
 My biggest and main concern with the new changes to biking is PRICE. All I ride is pre-owned, found on CL stuff. I have a 2009 Spesh P1, and a 1998 GT LTS-2 because these are some of the only things I could afford. I can't fathom what makes a new Trek or Giant $5k better than my trail bike, other than the name branding.
  • + 1
 I thought MTB riders were of the pro-active and non-conservative type? At least I am, I welcome change. Although my wallet doesn't so much. Maybe that's the reason for this article? People only have so much money to spend on bike stuff, they cannot afford a new bike every year.
  • + 4
 lol silliest poll yet...it is the industry which seems scared they may miss a trend...fingerless glove poll results in yet?
  • + 3
 Fingerless gloves are for Villiage People
  • + 1
 I was in the hospital a few months ago after am injury where I broke a couple bones and hurt my spleen. After bed rest for a week, a guy comes in and tells me that were going to go for a walk,, my first one since the injury. As were walking I'm telling him how I got hurt. He says, "hey, have you ever tried a 29er? They're so great, you should get one?" THEY CANT BE EVADED
  • + 1
 There is some diabolical plot to sell us 650b crap bikes that take all the fun out of mountain biking. So stop shoving 650b down our throats!!! I think everyone would agree that once those knobby tires hit the dirt it only takes a few pedal strokes for all the worries and concerns to fade away, replaced by the simple excitement of riding a bike. Unless its 650 tires haha.
  • + 1
 Innovation that moves us in a direction of improving the sport is great, we compete in a sport that is about the clock and as trails get harder and riders more competitive we need to keep up. Anything that takes away from the sport in that it makes the riders job too easy or forces the sport to change I feel is wrong though. Example I'd hate to see dh tracks been built towards 650b bikes rather than just building. Trails need to be built and its upto the rider and parts to adapt. We don't want to adapt the trail for the bike or the rider. We are at a point now with dh in the if we develop trails for 650b the 26er will become obsolete if however we develop trails with a mix we will open up riders options between two wheel sizes which personal I feel is best. This makes racing more exciting, it opens up strategy and bike option and throws another factor into the mix, along with bike set up but wheel size choice.
  • - 7
flag legatotek (Nov 29, 2013 at 1:09) (Below Threshold)
 yea look at Petersmarrrristburrg South Frica , Graves making podium on a Niner..Game changer. Its like having the right tool for the job ... you just gotta know how to ride all of them !!
  • + 6
 Actually graves was on a 26.. It was ropo that was riding a niner..
  • + 5
 Graves rode a 26" sb66... Ropelato (probably spelt wrong) rode a enduro 29er and binned it in first corner, not saying he wouldn't have done well if the pressure hadn't got to him but just to clear up the error. No one was on the podium on 29.
  • - 1
 The above users are right however I think it was clear the bigger wheels were the strongest choice for that trail though. I think the guys who won are just on another level of athletic performance and were able to off set the gain of the bigger wheels on the pedal by limiting the damage in the pedal and making up in the tighter sections. There were clear improvements in the big wheels during the pedal stints. I think this is important though its about choosing the right tool for the trail along with set up. I think progression is natural eventually one bike will standout over the others as the better choice, most riders can only afford one bike for a dicipline so I'd expect we will see more 650b dh bikes over time, this will eventually lead to Bigger wheel dominance and therefore the trails will be built with such in mind. Not on purpose but when we build we tend to build what works and if we are riding bigger wheels the trails natural progression will develop towards bigger wheels. I think progression is great. Right now It seems inevitable that the bigger wheels will take over if the wc riders go that way. Its just evolution of riding. But I definately think this evolution should be a natural progression from riders and sport not forced upon us by manufacturers. As for Mitch I had him pegged for the win, I don't know if I was pressure that got to him, my mate races that day in Jnrs and that too corner was crazy washed out and just loose. I think he just had some bad luck with it.
  • + 8
 "We are at a point now with dh in the if we develop trails for 650b the 26er will become obsolete", I'm sorry but this is so laughable, for years it was globally recognised that unsprung weight on an MTB i.e wheels, were worth twice the amount as any other weight saving. Now all of a sudden bigger wheels and naturally more unsprung weight is better? 26" compared to 650b has a circumferential difference of 17mm at the point of contact, about the same width as your little finger nail

26".........obsolete........really?
  • + 0
 Hellz yeah. 26 is the only true wheel!
  • + 2
 Did a 29er or 650 make any podium finishes in WC this year?
  • - 2
 @tripplec

The issue is progression.
If more people begin to buy larger wheels what will happen?
The trails will inevitability begin to develop more towards the larger wheel size. If we are riding bigger wheels, trail builders will design a trail that takes full advantage of the bikes we ride. Look at it from an extreme, we don't build dh trails like xc trails because the bikes have different characteristics, the larger wheel size has different characteristics again from the 26. As the trails begin to be skewed towards these characteristics the riders choice will be bigger wheels because they will be faster and they will suit the trail more, eventually there will be no benefit going to a 26er because the trails have developed in such a way that they are not needed.

This means the larger wheel will become the better choice and over time eventually buying a 26er will be seen as the lesser choice.

Now what will dictate this change is the trails. If we maintain trails that need or where the 26 offers benefits then the smaller size will not become obsolete but there is a big chance of the flow of the sport going bigger and in which case yes the 26er will become "old technology", whose going to buy a bike that's slower and not ideal for the trails?

The future of wheel size in downhill is going to come down to those who build the trails.

@choppertank3e
Not sure if we had any larger wheels on the podium however that's a poor measure, there are too many variables in downhill more so that parts are a very small part of the equation, equally this season we still have 26er trails essentially, the trails like SA where the trail is more big wheel happy there were clear gains in those sections with minimal lose in the others. Listen to what the riders are saying though most feel the larger wheel is better.
  • + 2
 With all modern technology available now, all wheel size characteristics can be simulated using 26" as a baseline without even going to production (as in shock / fork) or on the trail.

Once justified as a true improvement and actually backed up by data then I'm sure most folk would buy in to the improvement. However no such data exists to support the benefits of 650b / 29" over 26" wheels, in fact using Math it comes out at a disadvantage i.e.
"For any given forward speed of a bicycle, the energy required just to get the wheel up to speed is greater for larger radius wheels. And this relationship is linear, e.g. a wheel that is 50% larger (in radius) will require 50% more energy to reach the same speed (note that this is only wheel rotation energy, not the much larger amount of energy needed to accelerate the bike and rider)" Pulled from here: - www.tomsarazac.com/tom/opinions/wheelsize.html

I see benefit for roadies but not for MTB.
  • + 0
 There are other advantages of the larger size though that you're not taking into account, you mention the extra force it takes the wheel to move, this force also increases momentum, the larger wheel also improves the ability to roll over things with less negative force slowing down the wheel. the larger wheels roll better and maintain that speed better. larger wheels hit obstacles at a lesser angle this makes the bike roll over and carry speed easier again, smaller wheels take a more acute or direct hit and therefore are subjected to more force acting against the tire slowing it down. Further that they also fall less into holes which again improves their ability to stay up and out of the holes and bumps and maintain speed. They also have more traction over the small counterpart due to larger contact area with the ground and increased tire volume. The bikes are more stable too which tend to lend themselves to higher speeds with more control. These advantages are proved with physics, its just downhill parts are such a small thing while they can make a big advantage there is so much variation, the best evidence we will see is as riders adopt the bigger sizes. As the worlds best see an advantage in the larger size and we know they do timing all the time during practice. that will be enough to know that yes this wheel size now offers advantages. Its not a change that will happen abruptly as it will take time for tracks to change and develop over time but give it 5 years and I reckon the 26er will be much less common with most guys riding a 650b in dh. I may be wrong but I think its the way the sport is going.
  • + 1
 You are correct in certain aspects, however on suspension bikes the above is not quite as clear cut as you think. This is because Wheels are unsprung mass and therefore nearly all of that extra momentum will be transferred to the suspension. This may be why the larger wheels "feel" better as there is more mass to overcome stiction, although they do not technically bring anything better as you can achieve the same by adding weight to other areas of the bike.

Its also worth remembering that every time you use the brakes the energy lost needs to be replaced on acceleration, as per my point above, you require more energy on larger wheels.

I honestly dont think that 650b / 29" will make much if any impact on Pro cycling (XC/DH) as these are driven by results and not by market forces. If there was tangible benefit you would have seen it already on the podiums.
  • + 0
 What you are saying is right but it doesn't exactly disprove what I was referring too either or complicate it. The wheel size factors and angle of hitting obsticles have nothing to do with the weight. The momentum and force does yes but that does not change that, the momentum driving forward on these wheels is still greater. How does adding weight to a 26 bike achieve the same benefits if we are talking weight yes. But The increase traction is down to the tire contact patch and volume it has nothing to do with weight. The bigger wheels again is what causes the improved rolling due to lower collision angles and less falling distance into holes again weight has nothing to do with this. Those advantages are there regardless of weight. The increased weight of the wheel I agree adding weight in other places would achieve a similar momentum improvement in the aspect but it cant make up for the improved momentum of the larger wheel above separate from weight. However you need to than take into account the rotational mass in that rotational mass produced more momentum than stationary mass. However as you did point out this comes with slower acceleration, breaking is more complicated while it does assume more momentum to slow down the increased volume and contact patch would add to the ability to slow down the bike.
  • + 0
 Continue

That's my point though about pros, xc we already have seen may guys on larger wheels and they do make the podium often. For dh the concept is still pretty new, why we haven't seen more riders on them goes back to m previous point. Trails will dictate it. The trails the guys race have been built in the era of 26wheels. SA if you look at the times and splits there are clear gains for the larger wheels (riders who don't ussually have that ability on the pedals were doing very well. If the trails get to the point where the riders chose the larger size this will drive not only market production but public purchases. As this happens more trails will be naturally adapted to the new wheels.

The 26 will be around for a long time. But I can see two situations happening.
1.ideally we have trails that have a good mix in where no one bike stands out and it comes down to personal choice and rider choice.

2.trails begin to be better ridden by larger wheels in where slowly the market will be crowded out with the new standard as trails develop that way.

I hope the former is true. But there is the possibility of the 26er been out dated in a few years.
  • + 3
 im not afraid of change. i just dont like,want or need a 29" wheel bike,

but would like to sill be able to buy a 26" one thats what gets my goat
  • + 1
 I have no use for 29ers: not enough steep or rough stuffhere AND they don't look that good.
650B looks awesome but too expensive at the moment.
11 gears are way too much for me, up until last year I did everything on a 6 speed steel hardtail.
And Lycra... Well lycra is... as they put it in "Generation Kill": Homosexual Country music Special olympic Gay.
  • + 0
 Down with those cotham 2 9 er tarts!
  • + 1
 tech has a place if warranted. that said, I still prefer down tube shifters on my road bike. sorry Pinkbike, I rode bikes before there was MTB. But anything that can keep me on two wheels since my sicknesses (overspending included) is very welcomed!!
  • + 3
 I have absolutely no problem with change however, my wallet takes a huge hit when major changes to the bike industry come. thats why i am somewhat anti-change
  • + 1
 I wonder..... how far could you push a full suspension FAT bike???
Could this mean taking on such downhill features as a rocky, boulder sized 'big' mountain side????
Im sure it would take a lot to get used to, perhaps there is not even such a thing yet.... but i do ponder, (not having actually even seen one .. ok maybe once i saw one ride past).. How far could you push a FAT bike? What is it capable of? As this article says, full suspension was once hard to grasp, now we can boost any rock garden presented to us, huck to flat etc, but if that rock garden was full of alien volcanic murder rocks.. The old Minions might not like that shit too much...AAAAND, like rumblefish said above, that girl on the fatbike looks scary, quite futuristic one might argue.2999 is the year of the fat bike hahahaha what a spiel !
  • - 1
 I wonder..... how far could you push a full suspension FAT bike??? they made a fat v10c

I take a fat bike over 650b anytime. If they shove fatbikes down our throats instead of 650b world would be a better place.
  • + 1
 They did !As in a Santa cruz v10?! wholly sheeit man
  • - 2
 Waki - that is just dumb. Other than snow and sand, where is a fatbike anymore than a novelty? I apologize to all the haters, but 650b is better than 26 if you are looking for outright performance. Is it as great a jump as V-brakes to hydro discs? No. But when you go back to the 26" wheels after the 650b, there is no question. 99% of the haters on 650b have never ridden one.
  • + 4
 Stop claiming 27.5" wheels are better than 26". They aren't. They have pros and cons like all wheels do have. There is no such a thing like better wheel size. They are just different... slightly different.
  • - 1
 I have personally seen a fat bike shred in the Santa Cruz mountains. Demo Forest to be exact. I would also add that the Enduro World Series proves you're wrong about the bigger wheels being better.
  • - 1
 Reformedroadie: because a fat bike is really a different animal, just as 29er is a different animal to a smaller extent, but much more practical. I can find use for a fat bike like riding extremely rocky terrain. It might also work well on super tough virgin descents, like those Vertriders do in Alps. Fat tyres conform to the ground better and provide tons of braking grip. 26er can be made stable and climb like a goat, then 29er can be made nimble and jumpy - what else could anyone need? why go there? i am sure one can make a bike with 650b wheels that rides orgasmicaly well, but so could you probably make a 30" or 25" bike. I don't appreciate shades of gray and hate beige.
  • + 1
 Saidrick, you really think the fact that the top two in the EWS being on 26" makes them better? Really? Nothing to do with rider talent? I never said they were Earth shatteringly better (the opposite, in fact)...not enough to trump the rider. Steve Smith could show up at your local DH race and smoke everyone there on a hardtail.
Cannnodale and Yeti did not have 650b bike available for there riders. Yeti does now; Cannondale doesn't, yet, though Clementz wouldn't deny they were't testing it. Barel, Nico, Lau, etc. have all made the move to 650b, and they had their choice of wheel size from their respective bike sponsor. I would be shocked if Graves didn't do the same next season.

Waki, are you talking about riding extreme terrain like a trials rider, or a DH rider?
  • + 2
 Pro's ride what they are told to ride( see Brian Lopes interview on why he raced a 29er).

Talent helps a lot( however at my local races Mark weir might show up, so the hardtail might not be a good choice).

But what helps the most is full suspension. The short comings of the 26" get minimized or eliminated with full squish. That's why they're the fastest on the roughest courses( DH and Enduro).
  • + 1
 The major problems with fat bikes and all big wheels is the weight of the rubber and the inherent weakness of bigger wheels. That and the need for longer stays and steeper HA. Better technology can overcome some of this hence you can get a stronger lighter wheel in UST for 26 that can out do a 24. The bigger the wheel the better it can roll over stuff and carry momentum and be a little more stable. The smaller the wheel the lighter and stronger it is and the shorter the chainstays can be for snappier handling easier bunnyhops and manuals. Which jumps better I cannot say. A bigger wheel will catch more wind and be harder to manouver but, may have some increased stability too.
  • + 1
 Fat bikes are nowhere near being as good as any other wheel "kind" in terms of performance, they are freaks, but I assume that they must be super fun to ride in their own way, so they bring something new to the table, just as 29ers did. I don't know what 650b can bring other than best features of 26 and 29 along with worst of both IF(!) they are made well. Companies like Cube or Norco made mediocre 29ers and 26ers, then suddenly they led the march into new era as if their bikes sucked because of wrong wheels.
  • + 1
 Sick! Thanks for the link
  • + 2
 Stevie's lap times will decide our 26" dh future. If he is faster on 650b, and wins, we won't be given a choice. What wins on Sunday, sells on Monday...
  • + 2
 What sells on Monday is only determined on what the customer can afford.
  • + 1
 For myself working in a shop, from a service standpoint, the only thing I can't stand is internal cable routing! For the love of god keep housings accessible!!!! Other than that I'm good Smile
  • + 2
 Bikes have gotten more expensive with lighter parts that are less reliable and require way more maintenance and/or replacement.
  • + 3
 If they would just quit slapping "Enduro" on every new product I'd be happy!
  • + 2
 More frame manufacturers should design frames that can use multiple wheel sizes. For example the Banshee Rune V2 bansheebikes.com/rune can use 26 or 650B wheels
  • + 0
 I ride a 2014 Giant Trance 1 27.5 after spending years riding 26" DH bikes and it is an amazing bike, feels no different to a 26" it is just a damn good bike. Wether it would or would not be as good with 26" wheels, who knows.
Get out and ride!
  • + 0
 I completely understand bringing in bigger bikes that can run bigger size tires and having way more gears to choose from while riding the trails. as we all no as riders especially if you live in a town like mine where you have to find the trails or make them, can get a little rough or even impossible to ride around with a dh bike. I got a 05 bighit I bought off here a few years back and bought a 05 Norco six at the beginning of this summer because of the bighit just being to much, then I got to try the 650b during a demo this summer and was like cutting ice with a hot piece of steel so easy to ride. and so was riding a Devinci 29er the wheel size just goes over pretty much anything. my Norco don't come close to comparing. and the norco is not even all that bad to hike and bike with it just don't climb over logs and as easy. but I did find the 29er really sketchy going down hill and annoying when it came to really tight and narrow sections. anyways my point is, to bring in different kinds and sizes of bikes is alright bring it on, but to cancel out another kind of bike completely. its kind of a big slap in the face kind of move in my opinion. why they cant just introduce a new style bike and keep the older style market going makes no sense at all. it would give them more room to market stuff and get even more kinds of rides out and biking. rather then ignoring the fact that not all people are going to like the newer style bikes. well maybe my dad he's like 6'2 very tall guy but me on the other hand not so tall so the bigger wheeled bikes feel off setting and not as comfortable as the smaller wheeled bikes. all in all im sticking with my 26' tires. it allows me to do all the kind of ridding I like to do.
  • + 3
 I'm just scared of the planed obsolescence, and the stupid consumerism it brings...
  • + 0
 One of the BEST articles I've read on Pinkbike.com

The nature of any sport that involves technology will forever change. From film to digital cameras. From Palm Pilots to iPads and manual shifters to paddle shifters. Change is inevitable. Some for good and some for naught.

I do feel that generally most of the time the best technologies will prevail and the hype of others will fall and die out.

The debate over wheelsize to being on a hard tail vs. a full suspension bike is nice to debate about. Challenges the way we think about something and sometimes leads to better ideas. However, bashing or being a snob about it is, IMHO retarded.

To all those people who kept hating on everyone riding a 29er....well, that wheel size proved you guys wrong. It's here to stay. (I ride a 26er but eventually will move on to a 27.5 wheel size)
  • + 1
 Sometimes companies don't listen though. Take Fox for example, people are asking for a non tapered 34 fork that has a 20mm axle. There is a market for it but they just don't seem to care. Change is good, if done right.
  • + 3
 any one looking for a good 26" all mountain/xc bike check out the Yeti SB66
  • + 0
 Every time I’m on the trail and I pass (a 9er will never be able to get enough momentum to pass me) someone on stupid twenty nine inch wheels I get so angry I just want to break off a branch and jam it in those big dumb wagon wheels. Did you know 29 inch wheels do more damage to the trails, that larger contact patch chews up the hard work of good 6er folks. I say we ban 9ers all together, or let 9ers build their own trails.
  • + 2
 Does anyone else find it funny that the girl wearing the time-trial, super aerodynamic helmet and lycra, is riding a fat bike lol?
  • + 3
 She's like, "They told me at the LBS this was the latest thing, and this helmet would make me faster, so I bought it, But I didn't have any money left for a Camelbak so I got this bag-thing."
Friggin' hilarious.
  • + 0
 Waki, I would take my disc brakes and my 68 degree head angle for my do it all bike. Put those on my 1993 fisher paragon and I could be happy. The only thing that really scares me is getting too old and the depressing a*shole I might be without my bike. But that's another poll, right?
  • + 0
 Larger tyre track, no larger carbon footprint! Those 2 9 er riders cause extra greenhouse gas emissions due to the extra heat involved forging those absurdly long spokes. Not to mention the open pit damage they do to mine that extra steel, and the rainforest destruction 29ers are responsible for to harvest of the lavish extra rubber they use to skin those hopes. I am all in favor of an environmental tax imposed on each and every one of them. They are riding on our children’s very future.
  • + 0
 Gawd. Look at that picture of the 36 inch wheel too, disgusting. Next thing you know those 29er riders are going to want their own village. Its not right. Its fine that they ride these freakish bikes but they should at least do it in private. What am going to tell my kids when they see this?
  • + 4
 Fads are bad...change with purpose can be good!
  • + 3
 Don't know how i feel about change, but i love reading angry comments. Keep up the good work.
  • + 1
 I rode a fat tire bike not too long ago, and to be honest it was fun, but I would not use it as my everyday bike. 27.5 - 29 still SUCK on corners!
  • + 1
 Change = more options which is a good thing. But I'm still going to ride what I like, Not what the manufacturers tell me is good for me.
  • + 3
 I just like bikes in general
  • + 1
 Wheel size debates were so 2012. What we should really be up in arms over is mandatory press fit bb shells in new frames. Not much compaining yet.....
  • + 3
 no shit, what the f*ck is that all about anyway?
So I gotta buy some $200 tool if I want to work on my own bike after 2013?
Utter bullshit.
  • + 0
 I am scared of change and really limited in my riding interests, but I always love to see the new stuff. I have 7 different styles of bikes and still have room for a few more when I get the $.
  • + 2
 have you seen the new press release today? they are bringing out a new 32" wheel set next year
  • + 3
 If only we had a new wheel SIZE
  • + 2
 Actually, most wheel sizes are decades old.
  • - 1
 I’m not afraid of change. I embrace change. But riding a wheel size other than a 6er is not change it is just plain dumb. All of you people on this forum complaining about the cost associated with change have it all wrong. Change doesn’t cost money. Prices have escalated because of the 29inch wheel. We are funneling money to paramilitary groups every time a wheel is purchased that is larger than 26 inches, the costs are not directly applied to the wheel they are hidden in the other costs associated with new technology. If it weren’t for the 29 inch wheel all this new cool technology would actually cost less than the year old kit your riding right now. If you love your country and democracy then you ride 26. If you want to fight to make your country a better place you might even consider dropping down to a bmx....

The free world is no country for 29inches.
  • + 1
 I like tech ..... I also like pictures ... This article needed a few more , and then there is whiskey and women in yoga pants ... I like those as well !
  • + 1
 No, the industry will not shove unnecessary stuff down our throats only to achieve sales. If this ever happens, it will be a change I will gladly accept Smile
  • + 1
 There is a company making a 42 tooth gear for ten speed cassettes. Hundred bucks..........Am I scared to change to a 42 tooth rear cog? No I want one.
  • - 1
 I like change but most of the so called "changes" or "advances" in MTB is just marketing hype designed to cream another buck off any punter that will listen. Putting 5" wide 10lb tyres on a HT as in that photo above has no meaningful benefit to cycling at all, it's just about niche.
  • + 4
 Snow and sand need bigger tyres. Not so much for maintained trails but for just general overlanding or all terrain biking.
  • + 0
 Aero helmet and fatbikes. More signs of the impending apocalypse. In five years people will be riding fixed-gear 30 inch carbon full-suspension fatbikes in skinny jeans. I'll probably take up playing golf at that point.
  • + 3
 we are scared of Industry Greed in seek of profit...
  • + 2
 I like biking how it is right now. Hope it stays this way, still true, but with a good rig.
  • + 3
 I´m just worried how change affects my pocket....

xD
  • + 2
 Specialized Fat Boy rulezz
  • + 1
 In the cycling industry its hard to make a profit so they keep on trying to re-invent the wheel.
  • + 1
 I'm definitely a bit scared of that fat bike picture. Wow that kinda shocked me into my morning!
  • + 2
 Non of the above, I can't afford change.
  • + 1
 the more they change shit the cheeper the older stuff gets, not like that stuff doesnt work just as good
  • + 1
 I just like looking at bike parts I'll never buy. frames with a permanent silicone layer to reduce clinging mud?
  • + 1
 Polls - that's what I am scared of! I'd like for once to read any article etc. without a Poll!
  • + 1
 My issue is that l spent a crap ton of money on my 26in. The Jones'es, l must keep up with them.
  • + 1
 What's with the paragraphs..
  • + 1
 You know the worst thing about owning a fatty is right.....?...?.....
  • + 3
 not having any fire?
  • + 2
 How long it takes to pump up the tires?
  • + 2
 Spark it up Bitches!
  • + 1
 You know the worst thing about owning a fatty is right.....?...?.....

Nice and warm in the winter lots of shade in the summer.:d
  • + 1
 blah blah blah go ride your bike and smile!
  • - 2
 I'm 57 have been riding since 1985 and have been fortunate to see and ride the progress of innovation in the Mtn biking industry.I say bring change on! I ride and own all three wheel sizes....change is good!!!
  • + 2
 as long as you can keep getting the other wheel sizes yea. and you'd be the best to judge this then since you would have seen the introduction of each wheel size. do you in any way think they would just drop the 26' wheel and stop making them?? because if so that change isn't all that good for the people like myself that aren't all that tall and well really do need that size rim. it would be like all the shoe companies no longer making my size. i'd have to go to small or to big and would never be all the comfortable.
  • + 2
 Reading racing, sure there is a place for all three, tell that the manufactures though. Trust me, when I'm your age if I'm still able to ride like you ill probably want a 29er to keep the old body feeling good, my style will have changed due to father time and would dictate the style of ride for me, but I'm not that old yet and I'm not done jumping and laying into sharp corners at speed, you know the stuff that made you want to ride a bike in the first place. 26ers are still the most fun by FAR!!!!! This is just my opinion
  • + 0
 I ride what I buy and that's my choice.
  • + 5
 Agreed. I'm sticking with my 26" wheels because I can't afford to buy a 650b frame, fork and wheels
  • + 2
 And I get neg proped for my opinion.
  • + 0
 fat bike + time trial helmet = ridiculous
  • + 0
 Hate to break the news, but people generally don't pass up careers in finance and real estate to make their fortunes in the bike industry.
  • + 1
 But have fun and passion while doing it! And with the chick on the fat tired bike…seat a tad too high?
  • + 1
 I had replied to the post about corporate greed with bike companies...not sure hat happened.
  • + 0
 Tech is cool I'll just get whatever I believe to make a difference
  • + 2
 word
  • + 10
 I love change. But I hate the fact that a women or smaller rider will have a harder time finding a 26". Everyone knows that this is the funnest wheel size, so why block new riders from enjoying them? Especially when there is smaller people,... like do you expect someone to buy their newbie wife a 650b? There is a obvious problem in this industry about what people need and what the bike markets feed them. I love this sport, but clearly the market strategy people have no clue and are doing more damage to our sport than good.
  • + 13
 because all the fat coportate bosses making these decsions that can afford to also buy all this new stuff have no real riding skills so need the extra roll over ability because they suck so bad a decent line choice
  • + 1
 Well said Sith, just a correction though, 24" is the funnest/best size.
  • + 1
 agree with the 24 wheel coment from freeride-forever Wink

and i agree they are making more bad than good... keep it simple and better... like specialized created the m4 aluminium... like spank created OohBah rim profile... like maxxis reinvented the high roller... like the low friction stanchions for boxxer... now these are new things that came to be better instead of diferent!
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