Ask Pinkbike: What to Bring on a Ride, How to Train for Enduro, Should I Abandon 26-Inch Wheels?

Feb 3, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.



I Really Like 26-inch Wheels, But...

Question: DaRoOo asks: in the All Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: So, I have a dilemma. I'm currently building new bike and I have bought new fork for 26-inch wheels. I'm wondering whether it's a good idea? I rode my whole life on 26-inch wheels and now I'm confused. Everywhere, you can see that this is the end of 26-inch (Frown). I'm building my bike intended for Enduro. I put the greatest emphasis on DH and playfulness. I want to build a really good hardtail with new Dartmoor Hornet frame. Maybe in the future, I will buy full-suspension frame and swap the gear, but no sooner then one to two years. What should I do: Stay with 26-inch wheels and have fun, or sell my new fork and invest in 650B? I dont want to waste my money.

bigquotesYou made a good case of why you would be happy with the 26-inch-wheel format, so I'd advise that you stick with what you love. Riders who are passionate about their bikes tend to ride faster than those who buy trends to achieve the same end. The only reason to consider switching up to 27.5-inch wheels is to ensure that your new bike will fetch the highest resale value when the time comes to get a new ride. That said, even if it were a 27.5-inch bike, gravity-oriented hardtails like your Dartmoor Primal are a niche market, and as such, would be a tough sell on the used bike market anyway. Your happiness is assured if you plan on keeping your Dartmoor for a while. Hardtails are not complex machines, so with a minimal investment in spares, you should be able to coax it along for many years of enjoyable shredding. - RC


 RideYourWay video series from Dartmoor Bikes this time with Remek Oleszkiewicz and his friend Aleksander Wieczorkiewicz riding Primals and Hornet 2014

Dartmoor Hornet and Primal hardtails are members of the We Don't Need Rear Suspension for Gravity Club. - Kuba Konwent photo





Switching From XC to Enduro

Question: Cmacca asks in the Fitness, Training and Health forum: I'm a fast rider (when I don't crash), but I'm looking for something a little more fun and fast-paced, which enduro racing fills perfectly. However, I'm at a loss as to where to even start to get into it. I live near areas where BME events have taken place, but I'm not sure I would be safe renting a full suspension bike and just hitting the trail. In that respect, the doubles and wooden features are my biggest worries. The endo is basically my mortal enemy at this point, and I'm trying to learn to shift my weight back on takeoffs, but it's taking some time for sure. I want to see if I can compete in this summer's enduro events in my area, so lots of training will need take place if I can even locate a regimen.So, I pose the question: does anyone have tips on how to get introduced into enduro?

bigquotesI'd recommend working on improving your bike handling skills before anything else. Being fast is one thing, but being able to confidently ride technical trails, sometimes without seeing them first, is a skill you'll need to possess in order to succeed at enduro racing. Luckily, the best way to accomplish this is to ride your bike as much as possible on a wide variety of terrain. Now, you don't want to go charging willy-nilly off every jump you can find and hope for the best - there are easier (and safer) ways to improve your riding skills. If you can afford it, I'd highly recommend taking a lesson or attending a mountain bike skills camp. An instructor will be able to offer tips and techniques that would be difficult to figure out on your own, likely saving you from a bunch of scrapes, bruises, and frustration.

Lessons can be expensive, so if that's out of the question I'd try to find more advanced riders who are willing to take you under their wings with the patience to let you tag along with them on rides. Seeing another rider successfully hit a jump you'd been afraid of, or navigate safely through a menacing rock garden will help make it easier to visualize yourself doing the same thing. Visiting your local pump track or a skills center to practice, practice, practice will also be a big help, but make sure that you're having plenty of fun at the same time - after all, that's the whole point of bike riding.

Most skills parks have a beginner line of tabletop jumps - start by rolling up and over them, paying attention to how your bike's position changes underneath you. Eventually you'll feel comfortable enough to get a little bit of air, and before too long those tabletop jumps will feel less awkward and intimidating. I'm not going to go into step by step details on how to jump, since that's something best learned in real life, but remember to take your time, stay relaxed, and don't worry if you don't figure it all out right away. Oh, and make sure your seat is lowered - it'll make jumping much, much less awkward than if it's fully extended in XC race mode.

When that first enduro race arrives, you'll probably have pre-race jitters and a stomach full of butterflies, but hopefully you'll have gained a little more confidence in your riding skills. There may still be jumps that you ride around, or techy bits that you end up walking down, but treat it as a learning experience, and by the end of the race you'll know what aspects of your riding could use a little more improvement. - Mike Kazimer


Stage one was about one thing today- jumps.

Not all enduro races have man-made jumps, but being comfortable with a little air time is certainly one of the keys to success.





Backpacking, everything but the kitchen sink?


Question: Pinkbike user mtbracer4098 asked this question in the Downhill Forum: I have a couple of all-day Enduro races planned for this season and I'm trying to start getting my gear ready for it. I primarily race dh so besides the basics, what should I pack?


bigquotesWeight will be your primary concern. You only should take the essentials, but unfortunately those can gather weight and bulk quickly (tube, pump, water, tools, food, medical equipment.) I like to get plenty of stuff on my bike and in my pockets, even if I am taking a bag, which I mainly do for back protection reasons. I try to shove stuff onto the bike for two reasons: First, to get the weight lower down and off my person, a day's racing is hard enough without carrying the weight of a baby camel on my back. The second reason is to make life easier and more organized. If everything and the kitchen sink is in your bag, it will be on and off more than your thumb on the Reverb lever, and your stress levels will be rising when trying to find a tubeless patch under a load of junk when you're already late for a stage.

A few of my favorites include: a water bottle on the bike, which alone, will get 750 grams onto the frame. I fix a tube under the seat or tape it to a frame nook, ideally with a tire lever or gas cartridge wrapped inside, so I have them when I unravel the tube. I put some Gaffer/duct tape around my pump or water bottle, and some dates (Gels, if you fancy them) in my pocket, so they're easy to munch on the climbs.

So, what then do you put in your bag? Normally, more food and water, depending on the event. Tubeless patches, a mech-hangar, a spare gear cable, and zip ties are all good options too, and some races require you to carry a foil blanket and a First Aid kit. Tool wise, a good multi and any specific tools for your bike are a must. Some racers take it to the extremes. For example: Jared Graves at the EWS in Finale Ligure last year, when all he had to do was finish the day, carried a spare tire, tubes, derailleur, rotor and god knows what else to cover any eventuality. Whereas, some riders take nothing and hope for the best. At your stage, it really depends on how important the race is to you. If you're within spitting distance of the rainbow stripes, take it all, If you're out for a fun weekend with friends, you can ride a lot lighter. - Paul Aston


for Ask PB

Some people even take a spare bike for Enduro racing...





Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


176 Comments

  • 255 1
 "riders who are passionate about their bikes tend to ride faster than those who buy trends to achieve the same end."
thank you, rc.
  • 126 0
 Also: 26 inch bikes didn't magically get slower or less fun when 650b came out. If you liked it then, you'll like it again.
  • 33 5
 Wow RC - total reversal (and I like it!).

Lessons from RC:
- Any rim under 25mm is outdated, don't waste your time.
- Any fork under 140mm travel is outdated, don't waste your time.
- It's fine to stick with 26" wheels if they're working well for you and you're having fun.
  • 6 2
 i believe that quoted line to apply to all wheel sizes in existence as well as those that are one more marketing focus group meeting away from being brought into existence. to avoid a 300+ post wheel debate. sorry, rc.
  • 28 4
 26" is actually faster:
www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/article/how-does-mountain-bike-wheel-size-really-affect-performance-43481
open video in youtube to see the second part
  • 12 0
 ^crap. fair play. i was wrong in my assumption. i stick with my 26s!
  • 20 2
 "Some people even take a spare bike for Enduro racing…" When you ride an old Kona you need to. JK, jk, jk. Don't take a piss Kona people.
  • 61 4
 If someone asked me what is the best kind of bike to "invest" money in I'd laugh. When buying MTB stuff you can only LOSE money, the only question is whether it will be a lot or A lot Big Grin So do whatever feels right!
  • 53 1
 Yes … Please abandon those useless 26" bikes right outside my house on 33rd and 3rd ave.
  • 32 1
 WAKI, as Stirling Moss famously said "I've made a small fortune racing motorcars. Unfortunately, I started out with a rather large one"


Also-PB staff, I would advise anyone making the switch from XC to lose their narrow bars and 110mm stem if they want to learn to ride technical stuff.
  • 2 0
 To true man!
  • 2 9
flag bonfire (Feb 3, 2015 at 14:58) (Below Threshold)
 pffft. Abandon. Wheelsets and Tires are getting diminished pretty rapidly.
  • 17 2
 I love bikes but I don't like going super fast. I'd rather take my time and enjoy the trails at my own pace.
  • 9 1
 Abandon making false beliefs. ..like anything bigger than 26 is magical
  • 13 3
 bike radar did a test over a xc course. They used hr,watts and speed amongst other things. 26 and 29 were comparable. 650b was the slowest. Hmmm, not the best of both worlds like Giant claims, But the.....
  • 15 26
flag iamamodel (Feb 3, 2015 at 18:06) (Below Threshold)
 ^^ I have logged many, many hours on all three wheel sizes on the same model bike and 27.5 is fastest. As a racer, I want the fastest, easiest bike. I don't know how Bike Rader came up with those results: 26 and 29 the same? Not in my experience.
  • 8 1
 It's good to hear from a talking head that 26 inch wheels are not dead. I was starting to believe all the 26er death-rattle articles.......who spilled the Kool-Aid Smile Lets see if things change as it gets close to the end of the first quarter when the big companies need to make their Q1 projected sales target.
  • 11 0
 That BikeRadar review was really interesting. They didn't do that much analysis on why - but it did look like 29ers were fast because of the better rolling, 26ers were the close next fastest because of the manoeuvrability but the 27.5 were the worst of both worlds.
  • 4 0
 stick with what you have! I rode all three but never felt one gave an advantage over the other but that's just me.

I'm no expert on wheelsize and I did not do any "scientific" test to boot that could substantiate my claim.

it depends on what you ride tho and for what i ride, 26 does the job perfectly.

but i dont mind a bike frame that can accommodate all three wheelsizes for the lol of it.
  • 1 6
flag jbravo (Feb 3, 2015 at 22:14) (Below Threshold)
 Along comes Herbie from 33rd and 3rd...
  • 7 0
 WAKI, I think 'invest' is ok. It might not be money but it's well worth it. My ROI is happiness.
  • 4 1
 conv3rt - I meant that "invest" is not a good word when chosing one product over another with hope of higher resale value because you are still going to lose a lot of money. It's not like you are investing in a property depending on location or in gold. You could invest in one bike over another if you had a particular gain in mind. But money is never in the equation
  • 14 2
 Yeah, its all a compromise. There is no best of both worlds, it's a middle ground. Nothing more crazy than stating that a bike climbs like an xc bike and descends like a dh rig. Bullshit. I call bullshit. An xc bike climbs like an xc bike and a dh rig descends like a dh rig. Anything else is a compromise. 27.5s will always be a 'bit of both worlds', nothing more, nothing less.
  • 7 1
 Amen @tobiusmaximum! I love it when people go anal whether this and that suspension system on 160 bike is more efficient than on another, talking how well Enduro uphills, zooming into argument so much that they forget that there are bikes like Epic. Even if you put "enduro" wheels and tyres on it, which you can totaly do, it will still outclimb latest 160 bike. Just as same rider on Demo is going to get evidently better results on rough downhill bits.

I think the biggest part of the progress we experienced in MTB is how close 120-160 bikes got to XC bikes at climbing and DH bikes at descending, in 2005 AM bike pretty much sucked at both. These days it's much better BUT it comes down to rather simple inventions not some tiny super expensive adjustments. If we take that Epic, beef the fork to 120 with better damping, then add slightly wider and tougher rims, 2.3 tyres with bit more aggro knobbs, toss in dropper post and most importantly wide and short cockpit, that bike is just going to descent realtively well.
  • 7 0
 And here I am with a Glory DH and a simple hardtail, both 26". I have tried the other sizes, I have seen the promise land and I can live without it Smile My hardtail I put together out of the purest need to have something I can ride everywhere and the case is, I ride it more often in the woods than my big bike. I have a 100mm DirtJamSL and I am hitting every jump, drop, log, roots, whatever and I feel as comfortable on it as I will ever be, because I built it to MY likings and understandings and I cannot be happier. The same goes for my Glory, I have built it based on MY experience and joy derived from what I know and have felt, rather than praise the trends and there actually hope for the best. Also, the feeling of being faster and ride a better line on you hardtail while having a blast compared to someone on the latest Audi Renduro Turbo is a feeling only LSD can top. Stay true to what you know and what makes sense Smile
  • 12 0
 Best investment and performance: invest in your own health! Lose weight, proper diet, consistent exercise program, and steady riding schedule! It will cost you more discipline than cash but in the long run whatever your bike that you are currently riding will magically turn soon much faster! Losing 10 pounds of body weight beats any wheelset, frame material upgrade, etc you can do.

Bottom line............jus' ride!!!

Long live any size mountain bike!
  • 3 1
 Love my 29, it's spool fast on the local trails, exactly the tonic for my 26er, now everything is warp speed and I love it. Depends on the trails you ride. Short travel 29 all the way for me. Huge hucks are still on, just got to be super precise! Lol
  • 3 2
 greame187 - and wait this split second more on those drop offs Big Grin It always freaks me out on a 29er that you get close to the edge off the drop off, you go lower with your body, push on the bars forward and where you'd be already flying on a 26er, the rear wheel of a 29er is still there Big Grin It's so confusing for me because then I get to a corner and I have to begin turn earlier than on a 26er Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Right on, handling on a 29er is a little waki, I can still ride the gnar with less travel and larger wheels but next bike I think I'll shrink the size back down just to get a little better trail feel. I'm sure I'll miss the wagon wheels in high speed rocks though.
  • 1 0
 @waki I'm 5'7 and simply love it. Took a couple of months for it to fully click, countersteering is the easiest way to get it to dip into corners I've found. I'm exclusively riding the 29 off-road now so its become second nature (for me at least). It's definitely different but after 15 years riding downhill a challenge of something new makes the trails come alive
  • 2 0
 What I mean is that it is hard fror me to frequently switch between 6er and 9er, although it seems easier to adapt to smaller size. But if you ride one type all the time then there can't be any issues.
  • 1 0
 You're right exclusivity of wheel size is key, although last time I jumped on a dh bike it found it feel pretty similar
  • 4 2
 Ratboy won the wc on 26" when everyone else was on 27.5" they can't exactly be slow
  • 1 0
 @Conanangus on steeper more DH stuff they're not slow, its just on flatter trail type riding on the bigger wheel in some situations you catch up with people like they're riding with their brakes on.
  • 1 5
flag AlexArmanetti (Feb 7, 2015 at 11:02) (Below Threshold)
 Well, this year he won on a 650b Santa Cruz V-10c so I think you might be confused...
  • 2 1
 No he didn't the 650b version just came out
  • 2 2
 Conangus - they were on 650B since the end of July 2014. Nevertheless I am more than certain that he hucked it to flat on World Champs explusively due to having larger wheel size, more inertia means less chance to scrub and whip - It's simple physics! You can't deny science. After a night of wet dreams my panties smell of lemon... I need help... please...
  • 1 2
 Yeah, he did... Look it up.
Also, what Waki said ^^^^^
  • 59 0
 That last picture is me with a spare bike on my back. Crazy story behind that Picture
  • 32 0
 Let's hear it
  • 24 0
 Pics or it didn't happen...oh wait
  • 6 0
 OP deliver
  • 4 0
 Well bring it on!
  • 3 0
 yes explain lol
  • 58 0
 Erin's first DH crash course. She broke her wrist on a gnarly section, riding my old Kona Coil-Air(xc). Joe and I ran up to where she crashed and wrapped her wrist in a Calastoga water bottle we found on the side of the trail. Motorcyclist Mikey gave us the shirt off his back, used it for the splint. Erin rode down with him. Joe then looked on the ground at the mangled Kona, picked it up and said,"you want to ride the handlebars?" Not thinking, I jumped on and had the craziest ride of my life, on the steepest trail, leaned back as far as I could with both of us overloading the air suspension meant for a 135lb rider, barley uni-cycling the front tire around corners, hauling ass, jokelingly I told Joe to let up off the brakes, and he did wow we should have wadded up, but survived. We were now looking at the ground at three bikes in the middle of a 5 mile trail. I strapped the frame to my backpack, the rims to Joes and we hauled ass down the trail faster than we normally would. I was straddeling a giant rut at top speed and the fork hit a tree on my right side, it pushed me in to the rut, i pulled up and over the foot deep rut to the left-hand side. These pictures were took by Fil, at the halfway road where Erin & Will were waiting to go to the hospital. Wow what an experience, and I am amazed that Erin stood with it!
  • 20 0
 you're one crazy motherfucker
  • 22 1
 Ha ha, yes! There's more to that story, My buddy Will @watogreen was driving up there in the morning got a speeding ticket. We had to navigate my Chevy through 4 feet deep of fresh snow to get to the top of the mountain. After we met back up at the picture we had to drive back up through the snow to get to the top we then drove back down having to navigate through one quad two bikes and a Ford pick up that were all stuck blocking our path down! I ended up having to take my shovel and dig the Ford out of the snow to get him to move out of the way so that we can get my girlfriend to the hospital as soon as possible! Luckily where she crashed there was some trash, a empty watter bottle, I cut in half wrapped her wrist in a shirt tight the wrapped the watter bottle making a great splint! It worked the five hours it took us to get back home!
  • 29 0
 I haven't been able to get rid of her since
  • 41 0
 You're never getting rid of me! Wink
  • 4 0
 Hehehehe good story and picture.... I am glad that you two are still together!
  • 38 8
 26 for LIFE!!!!!
  • 1 18
flag jumpman2334 (Feb 3, 2015 at 16:48) (Below Threshold)
 for real.. 'should i abandon 26 wheels?'

no, but you should abandon your cycling career would have been my response.
  • 7 1
 BIKES FOR LIFE
  • 28 3
 Here, I drew something soft regarding wheel size debate!
www.pinkbike.com/photo/11875680
  • 1 0
 WTF Waki? Go do some work....... very creative though.
  • 2 1
 Screw you, I've been counting bicycle stands, baby stroller places and storage rooms then trying to fit them into a basement of a freaking apartment building. It was more excell and puzzle than creative work, so cut me some slack or sone Swedish pensionaire is not going to have a place to put his electric commuter bike, or worse - a storage to put antiques in, which would otherwise finance her grandsons studies on Stanford, where he was supposed to mary an American gorl called Suzanne and they'd have a son called Jonah who will invent Fusion!
  • 3 0
 Two of whatever waki had, please.
  • 4 2
 I am like that all the time, damn it! I am a shaman, spirit whisperer, I am the night!!!
  • 1 0
 I'm confused.... you win. Back to work for me now......
  • 24 0
 Keep her pinned, smile and smoke a few lads on carbon Bronsons whilst on your 26 Hornet. Recipe for success!
  • 1 0
 I used to do that against an Ibis Mojo HD Smile
  • 21 0
 Don't let marketing dictate what you like. If you like your bike with 26" wheels, then there you go. Run what ya' brung.
  • 20 1
 Steps for making your 26" bike work like a 6fiddyB: A) Buy wide ass rims. B) Buy wide ass tires. C) shred. D) give no hucks and kick everyone's butt.
  • 2 0
 Couldn't have said it better @looeythedog
  • 7 0
 Huck one, huck all, and to all a hucked up night
  • 11 0
 Thanks guys. #26forlife!
  • 4 0
 26 for...a few more years lol
  • 17 2
 I will never understand why wheel size makes people so angry and confused. If you haven't tried a size and you are getting a new bike sure, ask around for advice on a size or better yet test ride if you can. But if you loved your 26er then it doesn't make much sense to buy a 29. If you loved your 29, why get something else? I switched from 29er cross country hardtail to 27.5 trail rig and I gotta say I'll probably get a 29er next bike. But I wouldn't tell someone to switch to a 29er just because I liked it. Ride what you have the most fun on.

There... Did I settle the wheel size debate once and for all with one comment? No? Damn...
  • 4 2
 Great comment! I think there will be quite a big difference between different 29ers even in same travel/class so... if you want to spread even more love, stop mentioning the wheel size at all Big Grin
  • 4 1
 Gotcha, how about this? Bikes are cool, there are lots of different kinds so test ride some and find out what is your favorite and ride it.
  • 26 3
 We are being forced to throw away our 26ers, as there's less and less parts for them, and that is why people are getting angry and confused.
  • 13 1
 I agree with pako313 being only 5"5 I'd like to stick with 26" for my next bike witch will be a enduro, but don't plan on getting one for a few year since I wanna finish upgrading my dh bike. As of right now I can only find two 26" enduro bikes I'd want and I'm sure by next year they could be discontinued. It'd be nice if they wouldn't push 650b on us but instead just give us options.
  • 7 0
 I think thats it exactly. Its not that there is a new wheel size (options are great), its that the 26" wheel is basically being phased out very quickly and its likely going to force many people into having to buy a new bike if they want the latest components.
  • 4 3
 No one is making you throw your bike away. There will always be a market for 26" frames. Many manufacturers are now making adjustable geo to fit both 26 and 27.5. I have ridden all three wheel sizes and my next bike will be a 26". Lets cool it with the hysteria shall we?
  • 4 3
 Just toss 26" wheels on a 275 frame, add high stack bottom cup to the headset, some bigger fork aaaand off you go! Adventure awaits
  • 7 0
 already becoming hard to find tubeless rims and tires for 26", ill be making a order for 10 ex823's and 10 og high rollers tubeless, if i can find them.
  • 4 0
 @whitebullit you nailed it. I run 2.7 Maxxis Minions and they are getting very scarce!
  • 10 0
 After years of the most fun I've ever had on a bike, I had to get to get rid of my 26er because it was getting small and expensive to maintain. I walked into my local shop looking for a light, fast, super playful bike (I was looking for 26) and the guy said they didn't have a single 26er in the store. I visited 4 more shops, and all were the same story. I ended up getting a 27 inch remedy, and after a few months riding it I have gotten used to it, but I can still feel the difference. I respect 27s and I know they're a good option, but I miss how playful my old bike was. I miss 26.

(I lived in boulder when I bought the bike, so that probably factors into why I couldn't find one)
  • 13 0
 I am pretty sure even if there is a nuclear holocaust /zombie apocalypse ,there will be bulletproof Kona Stinkies still Keeping the shred alive for all humanity.....
  • 1 0
 ^can also be used as a catapult
  • 3 0
 ^yeah game! Those were the dayz! Loved watching those monster drops followed by a catapult otb. I can see this bike having a place in the new Mad Max movie.
  • 15 1
 It's nice to see so much 26 love.
  • 10 0
 Doesn't everyone know by now that if your not riding a 27.5 and awwwww who gives a crap anymore. Between wheel sizes and concept stores I'm going to buy an old Kona stinky and just remember when mountain biking was just about hucking your nuts and not giving a crap about TREND!
  • 17 5
 If you think you're a fast rider you're most probably not a fast rider. Sorry about that.
  • 19 0
 I know I'm not a fast rider, does that mean I'm actually really fast?!
  • 6 1
 i agree with pana, so many self centered tards out there. just ride and have fun, regardless if your going 'fast' or not
  • 5 0
 I'm really slow Wink
  • 4 0
 It's quite funny when you meet someone new and they always assume they are faster than you. Giving you tips and advice like you're a newb.
  • 6 0
 l always assume everyone is faster than me…and l am usually right.
  • 1 0
 Pana.. meeting loads of people that think they're better than you? In Australia!? That's almost unimaginable.. Razz
  • 2 0
 Middle OP here.

I agree with you fully. That's why I put that crash note in there. I'm relatively fast (top 26/100) in XC, but I also crashed twice. Though last year was my first season, it was still great.
  • 3 0
 My bike's clean, my kit is brand new......
  • 2 0
 I've never been to Australia.
  • 2 0
 Damned empirical flags. Sorry about that. Hey I gather you guys and Fiji are voting to remove the British stain from your flags, best of luck.
  • 15 3
 26" is fun as hell and loves to be thrown around.
  • 13 4
 "Lessons can be expensive" - Mike Kazimer

Really, come on Mike? Spending a few hundred dollars for a great coach to improve you, the rider, is the cheapest and most reliable upgrade you can make to a bike.
  • 4 1
 Totally agree KhyberRye! So many folks will happily drop hundreds on a new derailleur, yet balk at actually paying the same amount towards lessons and gaining real skills. Sorry folks - new gear is nice, but NOT a shortcut to being a better rider.
  • 18 0
 I feel like you're taking my words slightly out of context, @KhyberRye. The preceding lines in my response say, "If you can afford it, I'd highly recommend taking a lesson or attending a mountain bike skills camp. An instructor will be able to offer tips and techniques that would be difficult to figure out on your own, likely saving you from a bunch of scrapes, bruises, and frustration." Plus, the question was asked by a 16-year-old - I don't think I could have afforded lessons at that age, which is why I suggested alternate ways to improve build skills.
  • 3 0
 I am amazed almost every day at the number of people I see who have great natural ability but no real technique.
Normally they also have no fundamental understanding of how what they do on a bike makes them fast (or grip or safe depending on the mindset).
If they hit their limit on natural ability they are then stuck on how to improve as they cannot analyze their own technique and work on improving the areas where if can make a big difference.
Even some pretty amazing riders have commented on how a lesson (or two) has taught them a technique or two that has made a difference in the way they ride.
Money spent on a good lesson is an investment for your lifetime of riding, money spent on the latest wheel size or wider bar fad is fun but not really money as well spent. Even better if you are able to do both (pay for lessons and nice gear). Happy trails.
  • 5 0
 Just go buy the book 'Mastering Mountain Bike Skills'. It's 30 bucks or something and you have it for life.
  • 2 0
 PMBI has no fail component at the first level - you pays your money, you gets certified. This is why there are a couple of PMBI certified instructors running around my area that are teaching people their own poor skills, like this one:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp_CuPXapgs
  • 1 0
 I guess I run around and coach kids and adult alike my own poor skills... But everyone has to start somewhere... But hold on. I am not running around but riding along! Peace man!
  • 12 1
 Never abandon 26 ,just get more bikes with bigger wheels if you want .
  • 14 2
 26 for fucking life!!!
  • 9 2
 If you enjoy riding, smaller wheels are actually more fun. If you just want to get from point a to b as fast as possible, 29ers are marginally faster. 26ers allow you to ride up more technical terrain, like wood stairs or really steep roots. I find they're also grippier and more maneuverable on tight switchbacks and really steep gnar where you don't have any runout. 26er wheels fit better in the pockets of dirt between wet rocks n roots.
  • 12 2
 NEVER ABANDONE 26" WHEELS !!!!!!!
  • 13 3
 26 for life - Never will go 27.5 for DH
  • 6 1
 Why would 26" ever go away? Slope is the biggest thing going & that'll never change. Why the f*ck would any idiot go from 26" to 27.5" for slope? Just run 26" wheels on w/e your favorite frame & fork is. It's not like we use rim brakes any more.

Realistically all that's probably happening is a shift from what works fine to something that doesn't work as well & makes no sense just so that after the industry is done hard fvcking everyone with one needless & senseless change, they can then do it all over again when they bring back what everyone really wants in the first place.
  • 4 0
 choice is good but im glad for the
www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/article/how-does-mountain-bike-wheel-size-really-affect-performance-43481
video which shows 26" wheels in there testing was faster than a 27.5......simply for the reason that perhaps with more of these opinions it might just keep 26" wheeled bikes an option......sure there will always be someone saying that 26" wheeled bikes will still be around but i dont want them to just be supermarket style cheap bikes....

i personally dont like 29ers but i have to admit they kinda do make sense so my opinion of them is changed but i never did like the inbetween size. If you do thats completely ok as well i just got so sick of hearing people typing nonsense statements like " it will climb and have the role-ability of a 29 and descend as well as 26 with a 27.5" when people replied to the what bike should i get questions.....i mean how can it be the best of the 29 and the 26 with being somewhere inbetween. thats crazy to think that....but if you want something that is a tiny bit slower than a 26 in the descents and really twisty tracks and not quite as good as the 29 on the climbs and flatter courses then sure get a 27.5. I mean after all it is a compromise is it not.....not a bad one either but it is what it is so stop trying to tell me its got the best of both as it simply has not. but as others have said its mostly the rider anyway but i never did like the way the industry kinda just took a dump on 26" bikes. i brought a bike from commencal as they and a few others still support all 3 sizes and i appreciate that.....let the customers choose. sure give us more options but i hated the way some complanies said if you want a new bike you better take a 27.5 as 26 wheeled bikes are no more.
  • 7 0
 finding decent AM/DH tyres for 26in bikes is getting harder where i live!
  • 2 0
 You find your tyres?!
  • 5 0
 You usually learn what to bring on a bike ride...when u get shitty for not having it when u wanted/needed it LOL
  • 7 1
 26" is the g spot of wheels sizes
  • 2 0
 The only time "investing" in bike parts actually works out is when you can predict what will be in demand a decade or two decades later, that you could afford to buy at the time it was new. Examples that spring to mind of now vintage MTB parts that command high dollars among collectors or other folks doing restorations...

- Tioga tension-disc wheels
- White Onza Porcupine tires (original MSRP was about $40 in 1991, NOS examples today can fetch nearly a grand each)
- Fat City Cycles Big One Inch rigid fork, Syncros Powerlite Rigid forks, Answer Accutrax forks, Tange Switchblades, IRD or Bontrager rigid forks, etc. Any good condition examples of the good $200 (1990-91) rigids today easily command double or triple that on ebay.
- Original WTB brakes, Westpine brakes, Cook Brothers Cranks, Topline and Grafton parts, bling colored parts from Ringle or Kooka, etc. All worth more now.
- Suntour XC-II Beartrap pedals

After seeing that Hans Rey interview a few days ago with the photo of his garage, I can just imagine what RC's garage looks like, considering he was a major bike designer and framebuilder himself twenty five years ago. Probably a few good years of retirement money in vintage parts.
  • 2 0
 My friend and I are a good example of what you say about "riders who are passionate about their bikes tend to ride faster than those who buy trends to achieve the same end.":

In 2010 we bought our flashy new 2011 26" Stumpjumper FSR, his S-Works and mine the Elite version. After 1 and a half year he sold it and bought a 2012 S-Works Enduro. Some months ago his frame broke and had to change it for a 2013 version. Now he has it on sale in order to buy the 27.5 version. Meanwhile, my Stumpy and I have rolled thousands of happy and trouble-free kms, with the only changes of a dropper post and a wider bar. I have no plans about my bike but keeping enjoying it as much as I can.

Guess who's faster?

Ride de bike you love? If you choose wisely when you buy it, yes. Love the bike you ride? Absolutely yes!
  • 4 2
 Bigger wheels are less flickable, i.e. manoeuverable, but faster on the flat when you get up to speed but they take more effort from initial traction to get up to speed. I can see no point in a 27.5 or 29 on a mountain bike unless you are very tall and need a bigger bike generally. If you want speed on flat terrain get a racing bike. Simples.
  • 2 0
 Best ways to train for enduro: weightlifting, time trialing trails, stretching, and HIIT. When you time trial, you will (most likely) find your powerful XC sitting down and hammering muscles do you very little good. Quads will weaken, lower back will buckle. Fix this with lunges, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts. Also, add in chops for cornering (and holding straight lines when it gets rough). Go rally a descent (one that takes ~7-10min) sprint and stand as much as possible. What failed you? Work on that first. Also, hip mobility, hula hoop, yoga, anything to get those hips loosened up is ideal. Last is HIIT training. Sure you can do fancy moves for your core when you are rested and breathing and a nice pace, but consider stressing both balance and cardio at the same time: Jump lunges, box jumps, clap pushups, and other plyo moves will teach you to maintain balance when you are winded and will engage every last muscle fiber.

Now you just gotta find a balance between building power/strength and honing your bike skills. At least sign up for the Snowmass leg of the BME, it is certainly the most mellow (tech wise) of the 4 offerings.
  • 5 0
 Enduro in not "fast-paced"...pack some beer while your at it!
  • 1 0
 +1 For taking a riding lesson. Helps your riding tremendously, much more than a new bike.

Might also suggest doing interval/sprint training as well? First stage race I did, the lack of anaerobic training was the first to show up
  • 1 0
 For what to pack for endro. bring any spare parts that would be hard to get an exact replacement for,hangers pivot bolts ect in your over night bag and then ride with the standard (co2, tube, first aid kit, and multi tool) plus cleat bolts, chain ring bolts, quick link and all other things that brake once in a while. In rare cases there will be a rock that brakes the same part for tons of riders then if you can try and bring that part with you especially if the stages are back to back. and food never hurts.
  • 4 0
 Looking forward to doing my first Enduro this year on my wife's "old school" 26" Stumpjumper Evo.
  • 1 0
 I am not a fan of weight on the frame. Weight on your back is like your body. It is more sprung (both suspension and legs absorbing shock) than the frame and easier to deal with. When you ad weight to the frame to get rid of the benefit of the lighter frame and shock.
  • 1 0
 I ride a 1999 santacruz bullit everywhere. I am perpetually stoked every time I ride it, yet I don't feel like I have missed out on anything with all these advances in the last couple of years. I see all these guys on shiny new rigs, with weird helmets and goggles up in my local hills, in groups of 10 or more, measuring each others dicks at the bottom of trails, looking grumpy as hell. Why do these plebs feel the need to talk about their wheel sizes, who actually cares? Ride whatever makes you happy, and if worrying about how much your bike will be worth when you want to sell it, buy second hand...
  • 1 0
 +1 for bike specific tools, I once hiked 10 mi with a turner dhr strapped to my back because I neglected to throw a 15mm wrench in my bag, had everything else to fix the break, just not that one wrench.
  • 3 0
 "Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right." ...ride, smile, pay it forward.
  • 5 2
 I can save you reading this drivel. Here are the answers:

1. Your bike, 2. On your bike and 3. Yes.
  • 1 0
 Gotta give props... it made me laugh.
  • 1 0
 The spare tube under the seat is a great tip. If I can stuff a c02 cannister and reservoir in my pockets + a multi tool, that should be enough to ditch the pack for lift accessed riding. Can't wait for this season!
  • 2 0
 i am really considering buying a lighter pair of wheels for my dh bike but why are enve wheels so expensive is it worth the extra cost
  • 1 0
 For pure lightness, not really, there are several Aluminum wheels that are plenty light and even lighter than some carbon ones, plus that small loss of grams might not even be noticeable on your DH bike. But carbon is stiffer than Al and that can speed things up for you and you might like how they ride better. There are many carbon wheels less expensive than Enve's, but your question might be best directed as, "do I need carbon wheels and if so, is the extra cost of Enve's worth it?" The answer to this question is two questions itself: can you afford them and do you race? Being a fraction of a second faster down the hill will not be noticeable riding with your friends. Plenty of the top WC riders still ride aluminum, both wheels and frames.
  • 5 1
 Relax guys. Wal-mart will never give up on the 26er.
  • 2 0
 26" is great for me, becouse I have chosen that by myself and no one told me to do so becouse that is TREND. It was free choice and free choices are the best choices.
  • 8 7
 personally 26 is fine, but i do prefer the increased stability of the 27.5 wheels, although they noticably do not corner anywhere NEAR as well in the tight stuff
  • 12 3
 26" is a more FUN wheel size. Bigger sizes might be a little bit faster.
  • 10 2
 But who really cares about a little but more more speed when its not as playful
  • 9 4
 24" is an even more fun size. It accelarates quicker, turns faster and is even more playful.
  • 6 0
 Bmx? Scooter...
  • 7 0
 racers do :/ if it was up to me everyone should stick with 26...
  • 5 2
 HutchJR - just get a 26er with lower BB and slacker HA. Increased stability of 275 comes only from BB drop. Inertia keeps it on straight better as well but that's not that good when you need to turn or brake, or accelerate.
DarrelW - there is not such thing as playful bike just as there is no faster - you make things playful or faster, no matter if it's 16" or 32".
  • 3 1
 Try taking a 20 inch bmx to the shore. It's the most fun I've ever had.
  • 5 5
 I've owned, trained on and raced the same bike (Giant Anthem) with all three wheel sizes. For XC and Super D, even the odd local Enduro. 29 was faster than 26, and then 27.5 is faster than both of them. Obviously I'm riding XC trails and racing not-too-gnarly descents, but hey, in Australia we don't have The Alps at our door. If the Anthem came in all three wheel sizes, I'd choose the 27.5, hands down. The original question posed was whether 27.5 is better than 26 for enduro racing, and the answer is choose 27.5 (the fastest option for the same rider on the same bike).
  • 5 1
 26 aint dead
  • 1 0
 enduro is to determine a kind of race. when you go ride a bike you do mountainbiking, whatever you ride a dh bike or a xc bike.
  • 5 1
 29er for life? Big Grin
  • 3 0
 So when can we expect to see 26" options on the showroom floor again?
  • 1 0
 That's the golden question
  • 1 0
 If DaRoOo have a Hornet, a 26" tire will fit better in the frame than a 27" one. (even if it is advertised for 27") So if he want big tires, he's stuck with 26" wheels.
  • 1 0
 YES i will stick with my 26Smile Thanks PB for putting this issue on the main page Smile ) This + all comments allow me to believe it is a good idea xD
  • 1 0
 I wonder what my 26er Yeti ASR5c would be like if I installed a 27.5er fork, rim and tyres while leaving the rear standard 26? Anyone care to lend me their 650 front end?
  • 2 1
 I got a Sticky Pod to organize my hydration pack. Haven't lost a patch kit since.. Sticky-Pod.com 26'' for life.
  • 1 0
 Not to take a shot at Kona, but...it's funny to me that the spare bike photo is a Kona. Just saying...
  • 4 0
 Read the explanation behind that picture.... nothing to do with durability. Those old coilairs where actually super tough, back when kona was right up there around 2007.
  • 2 0
 I think it was a 2007 Kona Coil Air. It was the closest to a do it all bike I could buy back in the day, but it didn't climb or downhill very good. Thanks @medievalbiking
  • 3 0
 @DangerousCrew no one shit talks my first freeride bike from when I was a little grommy >Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Ha ha, it was a well rounded bike. How's that. I think all of our friends started off on a Kona. Those bikes were awesome for the punishing we handed out to them. At the time it seemed like Kona was the only company that was trying to keep the downhill fun in a xc bike. Now a days every bike company it trying to do what Kona was doing back in the day, kinda a head of its time. Like Palmer @medievalbiking
  • 2 0
 26" full suspension on the reg, 29" rigid single for the casual days
  • 1 0
 Look at those comments. I think this the longest comments that i've ever see on PB
  • 1 0
 Kazimer is right...a lot of XC riders interchange "fast" with "fit". Or even worse, "Strong".
  • 2 0
 So Specialized was right after all?
  • 1 0
 S is always right..... historical writing says godlike riders as S. Hillus and B. Faircloughus had influence on the company
  • 3 2
 I never gona change my 26" mountainbike
  • 1 0
 Advise on how to train for enduro: train for downhill.
  • 1 0
 Turn down for what?
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