Neko Mulally Has Been Testing a 27.5 / 29 Wheeled Frankenbike

Dec 28, 2018
by Daniel Sapp  
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27.5” rear wheel / 29” front wheel / 200mm travel. I haven’t built a Frankenstein bike in a while, and Ben and I talked about trying this for a while. I started with my prototype 29er Tues and swapped to a 27.5” rear wheel. This dropped the BB about 20mm and slackened the head angle, so to bring it back up I got a longer shock. The bike takes a metric 250x75mm shock, so I got a 10.5x3.5” (267x88mm) and reduced the stroke 10mm making it a 257x78mm shock. 7mm at the shock moved the rear axle enough to put the BB back up to stock height. My theory was that the bike would do everything that you can argue is better on a 27.5” bike or 29er in one bike. The 27.5” rear wheel would give you more clearance to get over the back of the bike without getting buzzed by the tire, turn quicker, accelerate faster, and have more brake power. The larger front wheel would roll over square edges better and get more grip with a larger contact patch. I’ve made homemade modifications like this in the past that were a good idea in theory, but the execution was pretty janky, and you could feel that when you rode it. This set up was solid. After two days of riding, I felt that all the advantages I mentioned above were hardly noticeable. The one thing that stood out was that it was much easier to scrub/stay low on jumps and hitting jumps in general felt much more natural. Whenever I thought that the 27.5” rear wheel would turn quicker, I’d switch back to the 29er and feel like I could ride it just the same. Normally when testing wheel size, you are on 2 different bikes, so there are a lot of variables, but with this set up I could change the shock/rear wheel in about 5 min between runs. Riding the same bike both ways brought me to the conclusion that the wheel size didn’t make as much of a difference as I thought it would. I’m tall and have long legs so I don’t really have a problem riding the 29er. For shorter riders or women, I could see this set up working well with the clearance advantage. It’s fun trying this stuff. Whether it works or not you always learn something. Next time I ride I’ll do some timed runs to see if there is an advantage one way or the other. Thanks for reading!

A post shared by Neko Mulally (@nekomulally) on



If you're in tune with World Cup DH racing and follow the news here on Pinkbike or are one of the poor souls who tracks every change to the UCI rulebook, you may have seen that there was a recent amendment that allowed DH racers to use different sized wheels. Neko Mulally, it seems may be the first pro to take this to the next level.

If you follow Neko Mulally on social media, you'll see that he recently took a 29" Tues frame and paired a 29" front wheel with a 27.5" rear wheel and a longer shock. He did back to back runs at his bike park, Windrock, near Knoxville, Tennessee to test what, if any advantages the mismatched wheel size offered. If you spend more than a few minutes talking bikes and tech with him, you'll realize that Neko is more knowledgeable in product development and how things on a bike work and feel than a lot of riders and many engineers employed by top bike brands and he's not afraid to take a drill, saw, or Dremel to a bike so this isn't at all surprising to see - a couple years ago we featured his modified Genius LT slalom rig.

I met up with Neko for a ride a few weeks ago before his latest post and we got to talking about what, if any, advantages two different wheel sizes on a DH bike could have and the informal testing he had been recently doing.

One thing that was reiterated as we debated the potential benefits of one wheel size versus the other was that it was really difficult to tell the difference between the two. Neko said, "I changed rear wheels almost every run and at times would forget which wheel I had on while I was riding. I would rail a turn and think, man this 27.5 wheel turns fast and then realize I had the 29er on." Using the stopwatch confirmed that it doesn't make much of a difference in the conditions he was testing in.

bigquotesMy theory was that the bike would do everything that you can argue is better on a 27.5'' bike or 29er in one bike.

Whether we'll see similar set-ups commonly used in competition is yet to be seen but I wouldn't be surprised to see more people trying out various combinations related to wheel size in the future.

To further add speculation, is this a sign of what’s to come with Mulally and Gwin? I would bet that they have a place to call home for next season but amidst rumors ranging from Trek and Specialized to Intense or Commencal, nothing has been confirmed. What size wheels will the Americans be on? Will they be experimenting with set-ups like this or sticking to convention? Time will tell.


170 Comments

  • + 421
 *lifts dust sheet off Big Hit as light pierces the dark garage - nods in silent contemplation

"It is time"
  • + 136
 *NWD thrash metal plays in the distance*
  • + 32
 Reaches for the Rocky Mountain RM7.... and then stops himself
  • - 29
flag endurocat (Dec 28, 2018 at 3:32) (Below Threshold)
 Not an experiment. NS Bikes sells the 2019 Nerd on 3 different configurations. The HD model has 180mm of travel. They are here and they are for sale.
  • + 19
 Hucks to flat never stood a chance
  • + 6
 @Clarkeh: you've been to my house?!
  • + 4
 Hell yes.... Oh forgot I snapped all three of my big hits. But the memories with those frames in les gets.... Or am I just getting old
  • + 5
 Mine was a lenz sport pro descender. I miss that bike so much. If anyone around Vermont has my blue and yellow pro descender I’ll buy it back from you!
  • + 3
 @Keit: 3 car accidents that sucks!!!
  • + 3
 Uncovered is the Shiver dual crown up front
  • + 35
 A message: I've been a PB member since 2001 and nothing has come close to the feeling I have now of seeing that many upvotes to one of my comments.

*Looks at 8month old daughter

"Sorry"

(I'm joking, she's my second daughter- she never stood a chance anyway)
  • + 1
 @nug12182: nope. They all snapped being used as an mtb. The 2nd gen.... Seattube broke off and the head tube changed shape on a larger drop. Still I got about 1.5 years of riding out of each frame.
  • + 1
 @Keit: NICE
  • + 1
 Slow claps
  • + 296
 Pick two different wheel sizes and be a dick about them...
  • + 5
 Why is this not the top comment?
  • + 20
 28.99 or gtfo!
  • + 25
 ive very much enjoyed laughing at the top comments this morning. so good!

PB NEEDS some type of "comment" of the year or "comments section" of the year in addition to all the industry recognition. the community/comments section is what keeps me coming back to PB!
  • + 13
 @ccolagio: We've talked about this idea many times...
  • + 10
 @Zhehan: because another comment has more upvotes
  • + 68
 "Changing the bike will make it handle differently, but a good rider can adapt to that quickly" - At last, someone talking sense. It's one element that seems to be missed in most reviews I read.
  • + 14
 True, but most people buying bikes aren't good riders! I know that comparing myself to a factory team pro like Mulally would be like a toddler going up against Usain Bolt :p

Let's be honest, most people can't ride a good bike particularly well, let alone ride around the deficiencies of a bad one. Then the most relevant observation from the article may be that the 27.5" rear made jumps a lot easier, not that a rider as good as Mulally can make both bikes fast.
  • + 4
 that reminds me of the begginings of rocker snowboards. They handled so different and owners said they were so much better for some stuff. I tried, but didn't like them. Even tho I could've adjust my riding, I didn't feel any need to do so cause I like camber's feel and there's so much choice that nowadays you can choose the board that suits your preferences instead of the other way around. Ultimately, rocker didn't kill camber at all, and now there's all possible combinations of them. I guess mtb goes there too.
  • + 0
 "a good rider can adapt to that quickly" this is gold. There was a football game on the other day and the kick off kicker was sidelined for some reason. The punter filled in and had to do a drop kick for kickoff. I was thinking to myself... This overpaid pro athlete couldn't adapt to kicking off a tee?! This is part of why extreme sports are so amazing! Athletes must always be adapting whether it's mother nature or there equipment, and the ability to do so is what makes them great!
  • + 2
 @DamnitJuice:
Or they had a kicker with a skill no one expected, or was ready for, that was within a small margin of his place kicks. The two travel very differently.
The difference in most mtb racing is that the race is the person and their equipment vs the track, with the timing the challenge. There is a bit of psychology but mostly it’s one on one.

Until Gwin turns up with that full sus penny farthing I don’t think mtb will be stepping backwards too far
  • + 1
 I agree, to this comment as I did that to this, I have a large 26" frame trek session 88 2009 with fork for 26" wheel, but I installed 27.5" wheels, the bike is fast and I have to adopt accordingly, but before, that I have an Intense 951 FRO 27.5 frame installed to it, all the bike parts I swap on the Session, these two bike frames behave so different, the Intense is heavy and jumpy and sluggish while the Session is poppy and light and sensitive on corners and fast.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/16722011

16722011
  • + 62
 The Mullet Bike ... Business at the front, party at the back
  • + 9
 I can picture a Kona Mullet
  • + 1
 Yes!
  • + 51
 No love for the 27.5 front / 29er rear combo eh? Guess I'll keep the advantage to myself!
  • - 7
flag ashtarsharan (Dec 28, 2018 at 6:55) (Below Threshold)
 i rode that for half a year.. moving ashamed.. then bought yari 2018 which developed bushing play in 2 months
  • + 0
 I though about that making much more sense. Why is it not a thing
  • + 14
 @fluh: Because it makes no sense. Basically takes away all of the 29er wheel benefits (rollover, traction) and replaces them with the disadvantages of the 29er wheel (less strength and agility, and slower sprints).
  • - 9
flag rrsport (Dec 28, 2018 at 10:14) (Below Threshold)
 I disagree (not that I’ve tried it). A 29er rear would provide more traction and rollover benefits when it comes to pedalling
  • + 5
 For those aero gains
  • + 2
 27.5 at the front for better cornering agility and lighter weight for manuals and manoeuvring the front end over obstacles, 29er rear for enhanced stability and braking traction, lower bump damping frequency on the shock = less heat build up and more predictable damping....

So yeh came up with a retarded sounding idea then threw a bunch of common marketing terms at it to make it sound legit, will probably be the next big thing now - I should get a marketing job at Sram!
  • - 2
 There could be some truth to this for cross country. Bigger wheel in the front = better for descending. Bigger wheel in back = better for ascending??
  • + 0
 My idea would be that the front end is much more riden, while the back just rolls over things. So you have a playful bike that keeps the speed high in the rough.
  • + 0
 If 27.5 is good enough up front, a 26er would be even better. That with some new form offset standard and we got something special.
  • + 30
 I'm running 27.5 in the front and 26 at the back of my cove shocker. Remember 26 inch? They used to be a big thing back in the day.
  • + 6
 Same. Knolly Podium w 27.5 F / 26 R.
  • + 3
 yeah I´ve heard some oldster´s stories about that size too Big Grin
  • + 2
 I'm glad you like it...I'm currently building a Scapegoat with a 26" rear and 27.5" front. I'm excited to try it.
  • + 5
 @mykel: My Podium feels great with the 27.5 front and 26 rear.Been running that setup for a couple years now since I saw Nekos Scott Gambler with the 29FX27.5R at Windrock.
  • + 4
 Me too. Jedi w/ 26 R / 27.5 F and coil sprung 888's that seem to work well with either dimension tire - I believe the Canfield Bros did it BITD before Jedi's came designed for 27.5 F+R.
Gives new life to an excellent sled and it rides like a dream, the 27.5 tire just eats up the techgnar.
  • + 1
 Same here. Prod. Privee Shan with 26” rear, 27,5” front and a 27,5” 130 mm travel fork. A little steeper and less travel than the recommended 150 mm but much snappier and playful on the trail.

As some already mentioned, Liteville has offered mismatched wheelsizes for many years now, so it’s nothing new or spectacular...
  • + 3
 @matlamb: you can run 27.5 in your Triple 8?
If that's possible that looks like I can upgrade my Iron Horse 7point and rune to 27.5 because I'm rocking the Triple Eight and a 66 on those
  • + 1
 @chickenlassi: It seems to work fine - I measured it and I'm pretty sure that the tire won't strike the arch of the fork - I've been running it one season so far and bottomed out a fair few times and so far so good. YMMV.
  • + 1
 Mojo SL 27.5 front / 26 rear over here. Brings the front end up a bit (I'm tall) and slows down the steering nicely.
  • + 1
 @chickenlassi: 7 Point?...and Rune?...and considering 26/27.5? Very Nice! I'd love to try either of those bikes, especially with that setup!
  • + 1
 @chickenlassi: Don't just check whether the tire rubs the arch. Also fully compress the fork and check whether the tire stays clear of the fork crown. Obviously with the 888 you can slide the stanchions down but in the 66 you can't. Indeed some forks have a wide arch for mud clearance but that doesn't mean you could use all that room for the tire.
  • + 1
 @vinay: You are totally right - sorry I meant to say crown rather than arch - its pretty obvious the tire didn't hit the arch - but when I compressed it it didn't hit the crown either. As a precautionary measure I clamped the crown closer to the top of the stanchions giving a bit of extra clearance. It appears that there is space available.
  • + 15
 what's the RAD?
  • + 5
 It's either Radius Arc Dimension or Ridiculously Addictive Diameter....I can't remember.
  • + 7
 And the inevitable marketing for 2019 begins......
The UCI change the rules so that racers can use two wheels sizes (Or is it not the huge cycle manufacturer’s giving back handers to get more sales!!!!)
2019 will see DH, Enduro and Ebikes having two wheel sizes
The one flaw to the corporate plan is if you run 27,5 you can just change your forks and run them lower it with less travel to accommodate 29er wheel.........
  • + 1
 Year, it‘s all just a marketing ploy, let’s go back to 130mm stems, square taper bottom brackets and rim brakes. Stick with what’s proven, don’t try anything new....

I started out as a roadie, so I know that attitude well, but I really wonder when it took hold in mountain biking.
  • + 3
 @FuzzyL: 10 years ago when we moved to square BB to ISIS BB everybody did welcome it as we were sick of either breaking the splindle or rounding the square splin. But ISIS showed some bearing weaknesses, you wouldn't end up with you pedals on the ground during a landing but it may not spin so well anymore. Then they introduced external bearing and fixe axis on one arm which solved all the problems and everybody was happy, once again it was a new standard that was aclaimed by everybody. Then they decided to give us pressfit BBs that were not solving any problem and creating some new problems, then BB30, then Boost, then DUB all of which have made our lives more complicated, killed the second hanf market and didn't bring anything new or usefull for the rider. So to aswer your question, roughly after 2010 Mtbiker started to reject so called innovation. The problem is that not many problems remain to solve, bikes are as reliable as possible nowadays.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: I don't get the hate for DUB. From what I see, most of it stems from the 28,99mm spindle and not really anything else. If you don't like it, you don't have to upgrade, but if you're looking for new cranks, you just get the appropriate BB for your bike and you can switch the cranks around with your other bikes. Boost on the other hand is a bit crappy, as can't use your 142mm wheel on a 148mm frame. Superboost improves upon that by letting us use our old 157mm wheels with a spacer for the rotor in a superboost frame. If a company wants to make a new standard, it should be reverse compatible with older stuff.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: See, that‘s exactly what I mewant, at some point people started to see all new developments as negative, while before they were happy to try something new, even so most of it turned out to be crap in the long run.

And no, it isn’t as if all that new stuff was an immediate improvement back then. Had I judged disc brakes by the first incarnation of that Sachs Powerdisk that I tried (yes, I’m that old) I would still be on rim brakes. But it was new and exciting, just because it had not been there before. And the introduction of disc brakes rendered all second hand forks and frames obsolete at once, and nobody really cared.

And when external bottom bracket bearings were introduced, those were also far from an immediate improvement, suddenly alignment became an issue, and a lot of those first generation of bearings died within half a season.

Nowadays people - at least it seems that way to me - don’t want to try almost anything any more, just because it’s new. That adventurous spirit seems to have been replaced by great suspicions against anything new, like, “will that really be a big step forward, otherwise I won’t even bother to try it” and even attitudes we would have considered ridiculous back in the day like “oh no, a new standard, what will that mean for the resale value of my bike?”, hullo, are you all kidding me?
  • + 2
 @FuzzyL: take another example front fork axle we had 9mm and 20mm. Somewhere somebody deceided 20mm was to "heavy" for enduro, brought up 15mm which ended up not being strong enough to end up with 15mm boost. When all this could have been fixed by using 20mm axles and letting us use our DH wheels on our enduro bikes, quite usefull when you like to have a set of spikes already mounted on mud wheels. Same goes with rear axle. Why not go 150x12 instead of 142x12 which was shit and then go 148x12 instead of admiting it was shit and just accept to go 150x12. And believe me I love innovation long time believer in gearboxes, anything suspension related and all but this type of BS made me quite sudpicious.
  • + 1
 @Balgaroth: I thought 15mm was caused by SRAM having a patent on QR20, but I might be wrong.

However, why would going to boost 150 instead of 148 made a big difference? Yes, even wider might be better, but with some manufacturers now trying 157 we will see what eventually works best for most people and bikes. Just staying with what we have in order to keep the same standards alive is not the solution.

Sure, it would be great if manufacturers could immediately arrive at the best final solution, but with so much stuff constantly changing I don’t see how that should be possible. Talking of boost 148, 1x drive trains allowed shorter chainstays, 29ers became more popular for downhill oriented riding, and a lot of people switched to wider rims and tires... suddenly wheel stiffness and tire clearance became issues were they weren’t before. On the other hand, in the meantime a lot of people have come to the conclusion, that they do not want +sized tires etc... we will see where it all ends. Just assuming development will keep moving in the same direction will not help, or does anyone believe the next generation of bikes will be slacker and longer than where Nicolas is today? Yes, in some cases it’s back and forth, and always will be...
  • + 12
 29 rear, 36 front.
  • + 1
 What is this ancient garbage? All the cool kids are riding 39ers!
  • + 8
 Makes sense. I grew up riding my Brodie 8 ball and Specialized Bighit with 24" rear and 26" front. Felt amazing. Actually..... I might just do that again.
  • + 1
 My Spec P1 has this too. It always made sense. It may just got out of fashion when Trek tried their 69 hardtail (before 27.5 was a thing). The difference was just too big. But companies like Liteville have also always been mixing wheelsizes as they considered them ideal. My mtb frames (BTR Ranger and Cannondale Prophet) are also 26" specific though I may experiment with 27.5" forks and front wheels someday. Actually, I believe that now that the mixed wheelsize has finally been allowed in UCI competition, I do expect more manufacturers will go with 26" in the rear again (with 27.5" in the front). Especially as they can market it as the next big thing.
  • + 2
 I never got a chance to try those bikes with a 24” in the rear but have recently become interested in the idea again. Thanks to Neko and the UCI rule changes (like everyone else I guess). I’m a short rider and while I’m ok with 27.5 and 29ers having a 26” at the back again with a 27.5” would open up a bit more manoeuvrability for twatting about. Although 26-27.5 is closer than 27.5-29 I can still feel the benefit of the slightly larger wheel up front and also the extra ease of manualling etc with the 26 at the back. I just haven’t tried both on the same bike yet. I was kinda worried about the whole cornering arc thing and that id look like a dork. But I look like a dork anyway and Neko doesn’t seem to think the radius thing matters much. Got to be time to try
  • + 6
 not many people are so consistent that they put down the same run every time. I usually fluctuate 2 seconds per minute on a race run that I have fairly dialled so the wheel size will give a very minor advantage. Your better off being comfortable on the bike you already have
  • + 2
 Absolutely yes. These kind of things require long term tests to see which one you are consistently faster on.
  • + 5
 Some daft comments on here. Motocross bikes have been running smaller rear wheels for years now - better acceleration from a smaller wheel at the rear, but the rollover advantages of a big wheel at the front. I doubt that there's much difference in speed between a 29er and 27.5 on most courses. Sam Hill could have ridden a 29er Mega but he didn't, and still won the EWS overall twice. For bigger riders they make more sense, but they're not a panacea. JP
  • + 1
 ehm, motocross wheels are different because they run massively different tire sizes, total wheel diameter is pretty much the same, so no rollover advantage here, sorry. The simple fact they spend a lot of time accelerating hard over bumps is enough to make front wheel roll over bumps better as it is in the air a lot. For bikes it makes sense to use hybrid, again nothing new here, till uci banned different wheel sizes we had it here 10-15 years ago and it worked back then just fine.
  • + 5
 I've been running my Chromags (Rootdown BA and Primer) 29 x 2.3 in the front and 27.5 x 2.8 rear for the past 2 years or so now. I didn't like the 27.5 x 2.8 in the front, but love the traction and bit of compliance for the rear on a hardtail. I loved the 29 up front for better rollover, speed, and precision vs. the 27.5 x 2.8
  • + 4
 All bikes works the same if you don´t find their limit. Up to there less is more.. but then if you bring more challenging situations then you start to see what you can´t count with... it´s thersold limit... So I see 29ers into the most technichal rought situations as an advantage, so you reall should bring the toughtest tracks to see difference.
  • + 4
 I used to get made fun of for running a single front chainring on all my bikes. I used to get made fun of for having 3" wide tires. I used to get made fun of for having two different wheel sizes. How ya like me now? The bike industry should just come to me for the next big thing. Seriously, I even have bike design doodles from high school (1997 to 2000) of a bike that "looks like a session" complete with the rear piviot on the rear axle and the floating shock.
  • + 2
 Been doing this for 6+ years. I built a 27.5 front/26 rear Iron Horse 6 point with 160 forks in 2012 and rode that bike on El Prieto, Sam Merrill & Sunset Trails for a year plus before taking it back east to TN, AL, NC. I've since purchased a Pole Eno 140 29" but plan to try a 27.5 on the back of that. It has worked very well for me and rides just as Neko says, the best of both scenario.
  • + 1
 fitted 27.5" front wheel and fork to my beloved 5-Spot,ride is just as playfull and can handle rougher trails,slacker Head angle and longer wheelbase are a win/win for me. No longer need to buy a very expensive replacement bike.
  • + 1
 I did something like this a couple years ago. Ran a 27.5 front with 26 rear. It rode really well. I had the v10 for 3 seasons before selling it off. I loved every minute I was on it. Fast and ate up the rough stuff, but also easy to maneuver on jumps
  • + 1
 I have been doing this to all my bikes for a while. 1 1/8 steerer forced me to go 27.5 up front on my old 2007 enduro. I recently got a new Enduro 29'er. A few months after getting the bike I bought a 27.5 wheel for the rear and flipped the chip. I felt the larger rear wheel was slowing me down. Once I did the swap, my strava times instantly went up by a noticeable amount. Not just a few seconds. Minutes shaved off a 10 mile ride. 20 to 45 seconds a segment. Some segments were just a few different but every segment was beat. It was nice to see such an improvement made by a few small changes like this.
  • + 1
 I've done 29er / 26" combo's on lots of hardtail frames --
- I have an old Breezer Lightning right now I use for casual riding. it rocks.


Didn't Trek try their hand at a two different wheel size combo once? it was a full squish of some sort

ask me, it makes total sense -- larger front, small rear tire. plenty of motocross out there doing it and the motor cycle industry actually know what they're doing
  • + 1
 Never tried the 29/27.5 combo, but on my Santa Cruz Driver 8, I have a 27.5/26 (B6er) combo. I switched to an internal headset to offset the larger front wheel. I've been riding a B6er combo since 2013. The most significant advantage I notice is that the bike corners better. It feels like the bike just dives into corners. The disadvantage that I notice is that the bike wants to corner more. If you hit a jump slightly off balance, the two different wheel sizes seem to exaggerate that. The bike seemed less likely to stay in a straight line.
I did a B6er combo on my Santa Cruz Nickel and took it to the local dirt jumps. It felt like if you weren't totally centered on the bike, you would get sent sideways. I switched the front wheel back to a 26 wheel and it felt more predictable on the tight dirt jumps.
For all out DH at the local DH park, I enjoyed the better cornering performance. However, for tight dirt jumps, I preferred running a full 26 combo.
  • + 1
 I have tried it for a few months www.pinkbike.com/photo/15728791 and I really liked it but since then I have moved to a full 29er and I like it better. In my opinion it is worth trying it if you have either a 27.5 and looking for the 29er benefits or if you have a 29er that you would like to further slacken it.
  • + 1
 Sun Ringle should release either Double Tracks or Mag 30's in 27.5in and 29in. Also Nokian should bring back the Gazzalodis. I would do this in a heart beat if this happened. Bring a little bit of 2003/2004 into the future of 2019 and forward.
  • + 1
 Why not start with a 27.5 bike and add a 29r fork and wheel, if you have enough room drop the triples the make up some of the gain in the front(.75") Obviously tire clearance would vary depending on the frame.

Easier and cheaper for the average joe
  • + 1
 I set up my ht29er as a 79er, 29 front/27.5 back. It works better for precise handling and smoother backwheel roll over; it does mean I get to pedal more but the 27.5 is easier to pick up speed in a pinch, however, nothing beats a 29er when it comes to maintaining momentum.
  • - 4
flag Lotusoperandi (Dec 28, 2018 at 7:54) (Below Threshold)
 "nothing beats a 29er when it comes to maintaining momentum."

Except for a 27.5 plus (2.8's)
  • + 0
 Downvote me all you want pikers. You can't handle the truth.
  • + 2
 @Lotusoperandi:Until the tires roll off...
  • + 1
 @Glendmcc: When?

Been riding 27.5, 29, and 27.5 x 2.8 and haven't had a single "roll off". And I've been riding since the early '90's. Ride a new bike every year, sometimes two, sometimes three, and after having tested all three formats for years now I have to say that 27.5 x 2.8 offers me the best of all worlds. YMMV
  • + 1
 @Lotusoperandi: never tried a midftat tire ( 2.6"-2.8" ) but I can see where you're coming from; almost the same diameter as a a 29er and more cush to boot, that would definitely constitute an advantage over rough terrain for maintaining speed and silencing the trail chatter, definitely a bonus for a ht.

Anyway, as far as the Maxxis tires I go for, a 2.4" in a 27.5er is definitely narrower than a 29er, the smaller tire spanning more like a 29er 2.25". Having tried an Ardent 29er 2.4", I can say that is too fat for my taste, so, for the front, I wouldn't go fatter than 2.25-2.3", however, for the rear, a 27.5x2.8 that measures more like a 29x2.4", as far as width goes, might prove a winning combo.
  • + 1
 I too have been riding since the early 90s, racing norba nationals, collegiate racing etc. I,personally, can’t ride tires that wide on anything packed and fast. Even with 2.5 on 30mm rims at 25psi (front) the casings roll. 2.8s just wouldn’t do.
  • + 2
 Being a medium size human I feel the 29/27.5 combo could prove itself best for me. I reckon Larger peeps like Neko can handle the dual wagon wheels. Looking forward to testing this myself.
  • + 1
 A while back (10 years maybe) there was a Gary Fisher 69 - a hardtail with a 29er front and a 26er back wheel - everyone laughed at it more than they laughed at the Big Hit. Now they are laughing on the other side of their faces right?
  • + 0
 trek 69er? Whatever it was, pure aids
  • + 3
 @zyoungson: Naa, the 69er was a good bike. I had 787 bars, a 40 mm stem, and a dropper on mine. Super fast spin up, and had great rollover. I would do a 27.5 in the front now with a little beefier/higher travel fork.
  • + 1
 I think that if you have a bike that is built for 29er putting a 27,5 rear on won't give any benefit.
I'm curious however to putting a 29er front on a 27,5 bike. Has anyone tested this properly? As in preserving geo and all that neko did.
And tested with proper 27,5 tires not plus.
  • + 2
 Liteville sells Bikes with different Wheel sizes, depending on frame size you can geht bikes with 26"/27,5" or 27,5"/29", vor you can get the same size Front and back.
Bht i think as well that just putting a 27,5" wheel on a 29er frame won't cut it, because the chainstay length doesn't change, so it's probably like a awkwardly long rear end...
  • + 1
 you could have 29er you ride in your local trails and swap to 27.5 rear for the ocassional bike park trip. Stronger wheel to take the beating, lighter to throw around and a bit lower-slacker bike
  • + 1
 You are not going to get to preserve geometry though are you? To get the head angle right you need to jack the b/b. It could only work on a 29" frame.
  • + 5
 Foes is making mixed wheel sized 29/27.5 for several years now. mbaction.com/foes-mixer-enduro-test
  • + 3
 putting 27.5 rear wheel in 29er bike is better way to go as it will slacken HA and lower BB height, which both can be corrected quite easily by offset bushings or custom lenght shock if needed. If you do it the other way around, it will slacken HA but raise the BB and you cannot correct both with the same simple mod. If you want to correct HA you will lift BB height even more, if you want to lower BB to where it was before you will slacken HA even more. Pretty simple.
  • + 1
 Been running a275 plus2.8 dhf n a2.5 275 dhr in back usually both around 18psi ..ha slackens a bit...bb comes up a bit ..keep flip chips in. Low setting rock gardenss and pedal strikes kinda go away.been riding 25years just long stroked my shock this beast killss it...way more controlled n fun goin down
  • + 1
 2004 -- 24 inch in the rear and 26 inch up front worked great....Kona Stinky, the good old days. This bike is the big brother of the old school.....I like changes like this. Not for me though.
  • + 0
 A lesson in terminology:

29" front + 26" rear = 69er (Yes, we all know about that Trek)
26" front + 24" rear = Specialized Big Hit (A bike we would like to forget about)
27.5" front + 26" rear = 67.5er

29" front + 27.5" rear = 79.5er
  • + 12
 52" front + 16" rear = Penny-Farthing (the best combo)
  • + 2
 just like too try different wheel sizes, so this is interesting, but without racing at high level this does not matter?
Also different riders may get different results
  • + 1
 I think that is a very smart idea. Best of both worlds. More traction on the front wheel, smoother feeling, less pain on the arms and hands, and more clearance to ride on the back.
  • + 3
 Well...nothing new I would say, Litteville is doing this also few years now
  • + 4
 cool ,26 rear and 27.5 front ! Smile Smile Smile
  • + 2
 It's called a 67.5er Wink
  • + 1
 I’ve been rocking this combo on my last two bikes and love it! Definitely the way to go for descending orientated intermediate riders. Better for jumps and rough steeps by far.
  • + 2
 phewww...Windrock in the pouring rain it was difficult enough to ride when it was just a little wet. Love that place
  • + 2
 I built my new @transitionbikes Scout with 26” wheels. They aren’t fast, but they are incredibly fun.
  • + 2
 Running 155mm cranks on that low-rider??
  • + 1
 Loved seeing this. My 79'er hardtail was designed and built to be that way, and while its my favorite bike ever, I'm kinda biased.
  • + 2
 Triathalon brocore. The next legitimate qualifier
  • + 1
 Gotta go 26 in the back to make a difference, and it will be faster on the steepest trails only.
  • + 1
 Finally! I cant wait for this to catch on! My short legs are happy with this development.
  • + 1
 NS has a version of their NERD set up like this. Looks fun to me.
www.ns-bikes.com/nerd-hd,385,pl.html
  • - 2
 29ers they make huge difference on enduro when you have a rought trail not too steep where is difficult to get the speed. 27,7 gets in to the holes and can´t get the right speed, then 29ers get better average speed rolling easier on the stuff.. but at certain speed rithm this difference erases.
I noticed this racing against my competitors, clearly the kind of trails that favored them...
  • + 6
 You're leaving out the most important part of the argument...26" wheels help you to bunny hop over those ruts and holes. You have to get out of your seat though Smile
  • + 1
 Am I right in thinking that in the new uci rule change, the biggest wheel size in dh allowed will be 27.5 though.
  • + 1
 29" mud tires could put a lot of hemorrhoid surgeons out of business
  • + 1
 29 up front 26 on the back. Business up front party on the back FTW
  • + 1
 Remember that Canfield abortion of a hardtail with a 29/26 combo? ugh
  • + 1
 Foes Mixer? been at that a while hasnt it?
  • + 0
 Do you think onday the 27.5 will become the 700mm and the 29er 740mm? Shudder at the thought....lol
  • + 1
 We'll transition back to those bikes from the early 1900s...huge front wheel, tiny trailing back wheel. Basically a stabilized unicycle. I'm getting ahead of the curve and making one now.
  • + 1
 No 69ers resurfacing on new frames anywhere?
  • + 1
 Thats some pretty Intense testing being done.
  • + 2
 Liteville
  • + 2
 mic drop!
  • + 1
 XC people should consider 27.5 Front and 29 Back then.
  • + 1
 And minus 45 degree stems
  • + 1
 Frame look like a YT Tues...
  • + 1
 28.25 Front / Back with bunker buster poligrip dh 5 compound.
  • + 1
 The future is high pivot 26 inch rear, 29 inch front wheel bikes.
  • + 1
 Am I the only one who already forgot Neko used to rde Scott? Big Grin
  • + 1
 20" and 29" is the future!!
  • + 1
 Haha, I had a finger BMX, and I put a broken finger motorcycle front end on it.(handlebars, front wheel, and suspension)
  • + 1
 Wasn't the stab primo the first to do this? 26/24
  • + 2
 Cannondale was doing it in the eighties.
  • + 2
 26 back, 27.5 front.
  • - 1
 All bikes made are from an opinion other than yourself. They are really not good, but you just adapt to it and mentally feel good about spending $10k on a shitty bike.
  • + 1
 Foes mixer
  • + 1
 So Moto....
  • + 0
 Wha about Nemo from the matrix. They don’t compare right
  • + 0
 Not an intense experience tho...
  • + 1
 Prognarcore
  • + 1
 660.4 for life \m/
  • + 2
 What you did there, I see it.
  • + 0
 Pointless
  • + 0
 Who is neko mulally?
  • + 1
 Current U.S. downhill national champion. Welcome to the discussion.
  • - 2
 0.4s is still quite a gap considering the world Cup results
  • + 9
 Yeah, but there are so many factors on a 2 min run that I can´t believe that you´re able to precise the difference to 100% on the wheel size...especially in wet conditions. And even if you are, maybe its just on this special track.
  • + 12
 Right, but if you did the same run on exactly the same bike twice you would probably end up with more than 0.4s difference. Slightly changing you braking points, or having the rear wheel drift out a little extra in one turn, or getting on the pedals a little later or less intensely could all easily account for the difference.

Which is his point: the bikes feel a little different, but the times are equivalent, so don't lose any sleep over wheelsize...
  • + 2
 LOOK AT THE TIME!!!
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