Burning Question: Are Mixed-Wheel Bikes Here to Stay?

Jun 24, 2021
by Henry Quinney  


Is mixing wheel size a golden ticket or mere sticking plaster? It’s now been well over two years since Loic Bruni and Martin Maes announced the potential of the mixed wheeled bike to the world at large at the opening events of 2019. In the subsequent downhill season we also saw Loic Bruni take his maiden overall World Cup win while riding a mulleted Demo. These of course were not overnight successes that were decided upon last minute but, as we’ll find out by talking to Bruni, they were the result of careful planning, foresight and a team willing to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of speed.

Over 24 months on and more bike companies are rolling out production bikes that have been built around the mullet platform.

There is no reason that bike design should be held back by something so arbitrary as both wheels needing to be the same size and, after a raft of everyone putting smaller wheels, bigger wheels and seemingly just about anything that would fit, on either of their bikes, we take stock of how we got here and wonder whether this was inevitable due to the way we design and sell our bikes? And, is there a divergence between the need of the racer and rider? Might you suit a mullet better than you might have thought?

I spoke to some of the great and the good of mountain biking, each with their own unique insight into their own experiences with the idea - both the earlier adopters as well as the skeptical.

Photo by Saskia Duggon
Never. Stop. Tinkering.

Firstly, I spoke to Mr Geometron himself, Chris Porter. Chris has probably forgotten more about bike design than most ever know so he seemed a very good place to start.



Chris, what were your initial thoughts when you heard about people slapping in smaller wheels?


I tested with Jack Reading and his team with 29 front and 27.5 rear at the Fort Bill BDS in 2016. They were all faster with the 29 front wheel, and in fact Jack matched the Danny Hart head-cam winning run time to the deer gate in training with the big front wheel, the lead and the neutral gear! But they didn't race on it because stupidly one of the team asked the UCI whether it was legal or not... No-one would have noticed!

Nicolai and Geometron now offer a mixed wheel bike as well as mutator chips - is this a long term trend? Can you see the flat 27, as we’ll call it, being culled out altogether?


I see this set-up working for more people than the full 27.5 pairing but it will take a long time to filter through to production because production managers will find it difficult ordering two different sized wheel. Oh well… We designed the G1 to be able to run the hybrid (mullet) set up from the off. I have been using it for 5 or so years non-stop and the way the bike steers with this set up just suits me. So we wanted to make sure we could cover full 27.5, hybrid and full 29 in our design…

Do you think it’s possible to make a good job of a mullet without substantial changes to the frame?


Most 29er bikes have too high a bottom bracket and too steep a head angle so hybrid really sorts the handling out. I remember Steve Jones doing this on a Trek years ago and loving the resultant Frankenbike.

The reason it works is the rear wheel tends to steer more when the head tube/front axle is higher than the rear. In my mind it means that the bike is still steering in the middle of the turn and doesn't require too much steering from the front tire to finish the turn. It won't suit everyone and really good riders will just adapt their weight shift and steering to make the bike work with whatever wheels are on there! For an old dog the new tricks come with set up.



Loic Bruni on the last dash to the line.
Loic Bruni on his winning run at the first round of the 2019 World Cup season.

Is it a man? Is it a plane? Is it a racer with a keen eye for UCI legal sub-clauses and a love for a Patrick Swayze’s luscious 80s hair? No, of course, it’s Super Bruni. Loic Bruni, in fact, if we forego crowd-adorned-titles. He instantly felt that the mullet platform had a lot to give, but he was well aware of the issues around racing legality. I spoke to Loic earlier this year during the off season.



So Loic, in regards to refining the wheel size idea, how much difference is there from the first experiment compared to your current bike?


Not much difference, we totally adapted the geometry to this wheel size setup before we even started riding the new Demo. We readjusted a lot the winter previous to 2019 to be ready for World Cup 1 and since then we are fairly close to the first experimentation. I was against full 29er, not so fun and not fitting my style. So it was the perfect choice for me.

What was your initial impression and who's idea was it to change? If racing was off the table what wheel size would you be on?


My mechanic had the idea to change for a while but this UCI rule was in the way. I could feel that Specialized was pushing the team to hop on 29ers, so I really pushed Laurent to work on the “political” side of it and have the rule removed. This rule was useless for our sport and I saw the opportunity to get a compromise and come up with something new. Even though Specialized did it ages ago with the BigHit, it was new in racing and I wanted to be one of the pioneers. Specialized was seduced with the idea of showing up with a brand new bike made for 29/27.5.

I’m pretty happy the UCI was smart enough to allow the withdrawal of this rule and push the sport a bit further. I think we shook up the industry when I see what most of the brands sell now.

If it wasn’t for racing I would still run a mullet I think. It’s such a good mix of everything. Efficiency and fun. I’d be curious to try a full 27.5" again to see. But the grip and the stability the 29 front wheel brings is insane in the brain.



3rd for Vero Widmann
Widmann had her best season to date on a full 29" setup.

So, if Bruni was so convinced of the benefits of a mullet, I wondered if it was a one-size-fits all solution. Somebody I immediately thought of was Veronika Widmann, who enjoyed multiple podiums as well as third in the overall aboard a 29er, in a year many of her rivals were mixing wheel sizes. It seemed somewhat peculiar that the 29 inch downhill bike, initially talked of as bringing a bazooka to a game of conkers at the start of 2017, now seemed the more conservative platform. So, I wondered what it was about it that made Widmann feel so comfortable? I spoke to Veronika during the off-season as announced her move to Madison Saracen.



Veronika, Despite not being in the 180cm plus height bracket, you seem very at home on the full 29. What do you put this down to? And what’s the feeling you achieve that you couldn’t on the smaller wheels?


I am 170 cm tall. Of course first I was a bit skeptical about the full 29 but trying it out I soon felt at home on it. Of course on some tight switchbacks it was different and maybe a bit harder to maneuver around, but on the rough stuff the bike felt smoother and I had the feeling I have to put less physical work into simply holding the bike. The fact that in these days World Cup tracks are getting faster with bigger jumps ect, the full 29 bike also felt in favour for that. I also have to say at that point I never tried a mullet version but the 29 definitely suited me more than 27,5. However, there are more factors to a successful year than just a wheel size. Confidence is a big factor, and the more you spend time on a bike, the better you feel and the faster you get. That year I spent more time on that bike than in previous years, also in the off-season.

You spent a lot of time on a 29er (a YT Tues) - did you suffer from any of the issues associated with tire to backside clearance? And, if so, what did you do to alleviate these?


I guess you get used quite quick to the bigger wheels and adapt your body position on it. I would also say my natural position on the bike is more over the front, so backside clearance has not been a big issue for me.

You can't stand still in the arms race of racing and the search for the best setup is ever evolving.

Over the winter you must have a lot of time to ponder your new setup. Do you have a curiosity about the mixed wheel setup?


I am feeling very good and completely recovered after my injury. I will ride the Saracen Myst with 29" front and 27.5" rear. I am still in the early process of adapting and figuring things out, so I don’t feel I can say too much about it just yet. The first feeling definitely felt really good which I was surprised at given two years on full 29. As I said, I’ve never tried a mullet setup before so 29 felt good to me, but this new setup might even be better. At the moment I feel that the stability of 29 is there, but under turning the bike is more nimble and also feels like it pumps better when getting up to speed. I guess this could also be down to the Saracen though.




Will You Be Riding A Mullet in a the Near Future?

Riders like Bruni and Widmann are elite athletes, and maybe their demands differ from ours - but what about us mere mortals? Not everyone goes out to go as fast as possible. Some of us just enjoy the age old pastime of dragging brakes and casing jumps.

The racers will always do what they think is fastest, but it is of course the masses that decide what trends hold sway over the course of time and stick around in a broader sense. I’m curious to know, are we, the great unwashed, actually interested in taking brands up on their offer of mixed-wheeled-nirvana?

Modular design could hold the key to more versatile bikes.

There does seem to be a genuine interest from the consumer and that is of course vitally important. Bike brands can often occupy themselves in our minds, as well as our hearts, with both fondness and sentimentality, but whatever it is you feel about a brand ultimately they’re not philanthropic exercises and they do need to clear the books in order to function.

I think that we’ve gone through the early teething stages of, as Chris Porter alluded to, “‘kin hell, let’s get that head angle back in line! Somebody, pass me a small wheel!” and then saying that the bike that was perfection a couple of years ago is now magnificent and cutting edge again if only reincarnated.

I like the idea of modular design within brands, and if done correctly it could make bikes cheaper and increase their versatility. I also like what some brands are doing by making separate, mixed-wheel specific rear ends, although combining multiple travel platforms as well as mixed wheel sizes might get a little complicated. Changing the bike with aftermarket kits might not always be cheap as you would hope, but I’d like to think that the cost saved by the brand would filter down the consumer in terms of initial retail pricing.

I'm very excited to see where the production versions of the mixed wheeled setup takes us.

But, what about those mainstream brands? What do they think and what have they got in the pipeline? I got in touch with Lars Sternberg at Transition, a brand that is known for progressive bikes and often being on the right side of development history, about where they see the mixed wheeled platform going in the long term as well as what it means to their customers today.



As a company that supports a variety of riders, you certainly have different demands to satisfy. Do you think that we’re going to see a divergence between the bike of the racer, these big brutish 29ers, and the bike of the customer, who may well not desire the same characteristics?


Not only do we have a wide variety of riders we support, we also have a diverse mix of riders within the walls of Transition. We have employees out racing regularly, in fact, one of our employee's John Richardson is over in Val Di Fassa racing the EWS this weekend. We have other employees that just like to get out and enjoy riding without any racing. The same could be said for the variety in our customer base as well. As to whether a certain type of bike is better for the racer, weekend warrior, etc.. is for them to decide. So for sure, we will continue to make bikes that we want to ride and we will continue to have a variety of options for our customers.

If we look back on the past decade, Transition has been relatively quick to cater to the demand for each wheel size. It wasn't so long ago the industry was awash with plus tire compatibility. With mixed wheel bikes, do you feel this is initial curiosity or something longer-lasting?


Our recently launched Patrol is our second foray into mixed wheel territory, and time will tell if the mixed wheel options will expand within our model line. Thankfully we haven't had to eliminate any plus size models because we felt all along it wasn't for us. That said, we certainly aren't expecting to have to get rid of any bikes with the mixed wheels. We live in a great time as mountain bikers; there are so many great bikes to choose from, and all sorts of different configurations to serve all kinds of riders.

In your 2021 range you have included mixed wheeled bikes, are you seeing much interest from the consumer?


Absolutely. There are definitely some folks who feel like it's not for them, which is fine. To each their own. In those cases we have dual 29 and 27.5 bikes to choose from, the more options the better in our eyes. We have had great response to the Patrol updates, as well as the Spire which has the ability to be ridden as a dual 29 or mixed wheel bike.

It could be argued that the coming of 29 inch wheels was largely customer-led, as opposed to 27.5 which perhaps got a leg up from an industry push - where do you see this change coming from? And do you ever see the full 27.5" bike going the same way as 26"?


That's a great point. I will also add that the customer's interest in 29 wheeled bikes was aided by a major industry-wide revisit to the 29 chassis and geometry. A lot of bike brand's current 29 bikes were revamped around a similar time period with big improvements in handling. There are most definitely customers who still prefer a dual 27.5 bike, there might not be as many as say 3 years ago, but they're still out there. We're seeing a trend for less sales in larger size 27.5 bikes, but increased sales in smaller size 27.5 bikes. To the question, I'd say we don't see 27.5 bikes going the same way as 26.



There you have it - four different perspectives on mixed-wheel setups. Pinkbike tech editor Seb Stott recently did a round of testing with a 29" vs. a mixed wheel setup - if you haven't seen it, be sure to check that out here.



What wheel size would you prefer for your next bike?




343 Comments

  • 119 28
 I’ll be very surprised if 27.5 is even around in a couple of years...the industry will “discover” another new gimmick by then.
  • 52 2
 28.25"? Kind of how 27.5 was marketed as the middle between 26 and 29.
  • 34 3
 Maybe my dirt jumper will become irrelevant because the industry makes 27.5 the new DJ standard.
  • 51 1
 @HB208: I feel 26" will live on for dirt jumpers. They've been that way for forever and I don't think it'll change soon.
  • 65 1
 Mullet but 32" front, 29" back. That way everyone who's already on the mullet train will still have a reason to upgrade once again. Then when the whole industry is mullet, some progressive company will bring out the insane idea of same size front and back.
  • 5 4
 @Kamiizoo: It was a joke haha
  • 3 1
 @DylanH93: I don't know. I feel like the main reason to get a mullet is for more butt clearance, and for those shorter riders, I don't see how this would be a compelling upgrade option. If anything, it would be the riders on full 29 upgrading for the bigger front wheel.
  • 10 1
 @HB208: 27 DJ would handle like total shite. I've only ever seen one an that was custom made for a 6'6" rider
  • 5 4
 @nojzilla: Again, it was a joke haha.
  • 8 2
 @DylanH93: 36er fork on a spesh hotwalk carbon. thats what i want to see
  • 8 10
 @Kamiizoo: 10 years ago everyone said 26” will live on for everything. They have been that way forever....
Trouble is 10 years ago, 26” dirt jump tyres were all that existed for everyone. Now a tyre brand needs to retain 26” for a tiny minority of the sport all the while doing 27.5, 27.5+, 29, fat tyre and then different casings, different rim width casings, ebike versions, etc. It not cost effective and tyres are costing crazy money all ready.
The whole 26 aint dead is looking tougher and tougher economically. What ever we may or may not want to think.
  • 3 0
 @HB208: you got that right.....
  • 3 1
 @DylanH93:

"There are definitely some folks who feel like [the mullet] is not for them, which is fine. To each their own. In those cases we have dual 29 and 27.5 bikes to choose from"

the fact that they're already calling bikes that have the same size front and back "dual" makes your statement sad reality vs. a joke.
  • 9 0
 Here comes almost the same but it's metric...
  • 4 2
 @DylanH93: makes sense. 29" is quicker for WC DH so it's stupid not to try a step further and find where the optimum wheelsize lies.
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Why WTF, been out for years.
  • 1 0
 @ilovedust: Sadly probably true. But now the only 26ers brands make are pretty much dirt jumpers only and it still seems to be going decently. Maybe a different story in the future. Hope not.
  • 4 1
 @DylanH93: 36" front/32" rear, don't limit yourself!
  • 20 2
 @Kamiizoo: That's because dirt jumpers are basically BMXers at heart, and have an innate ability to smell bullshit bike marketing a mile away.
  • 8 2
 Many manufacturers are already phasing them out. Was speaking to one big popular manufacturer in the last day who confessed they have zero 27.5 bikes in next years line up - mixed wheel is as close as they will come. Crappy news for my 5 foot nothing girlfriend, that's for sure.
  • 5 1
 The next trend will be 32" wheels front and rear, and people will be getting buttock reductions to allow for larger wheels without buzzing their ass over jumps.
  • 5 1
 @privateer-wheels: That would suck for her. imo the best way to go is 27.5 for xs and s, mixed for m, 29 for l and xl. that way most people wont be buzzing their ass or have wheels too big or small for them. Along with that i'd also want more brands to do scaled cs lengths and steeper sta as the sizes get bigger. Just my opinion though.
  • 2 0
 @Kamiizoo: methinks no
  • 1 0
 They have, its called high pivot ( facepalm )
  • 1 0
 @numbnuts1977: why whut??
  • 7 1
 Sram has been rumbling about 28.99 inches the new dub wheel
  • 3 0
 @mnorris122: that and the difference in spin tricks and tailwhhips between a 20" and a 24" wheels is huge, 26" is even more.
I've never 360 a 27.5 but compared to a 20 I can't imagine....
  • 1 0
 @Kamiizoo: Ideas too good to be used....
  • 3 1
 I think the industry is more focused on trying to sling as many ebikes as possible than changing much from 27/29.

Generals always prepare for the last war. The next one won’t be on wheel size.
  • 3 1
 I'd be surprised if the 29er is still around in a few years, after all 29 inch wheels have been around since 26 wheels were popular, kinda outdated, the industry is going to want a change.
  • 1 1
 @DylanH93: for taller riders (6ft plus) I think it will happen at some point. I'm 5'11 and comfortable on a full 29. The longer I ride 29 wheels, smaller the wheels feel somehow. Its amazing how well the human body can adapt once you get used to something.
  • 2 0
 @mnorris122: lol extremely this, saying 26 will die for DJ is like claiming forward geo and larger wheels is going to take over BMX. Different sports with different goals. The accuracy of these predictions probably has something to do with tarot cards becoming trendy again smh
  • 1 0
 Dirt jump tyres need their own mould, no point in changing them, rims are extruded so not a huge deal.
  • 4 0
 Would be sad if 27 5 dies. I love mine and it works so darn well..
  • 4 1
 If zero 27.5 happens, it's another sign of a male dominated sport. Sure, most men are big enough that it would be fine. The average height of a woman is only 165cm. In the future, will the only women riding be Gehrig twins sized?
  • 1 0
 @dlxah: comes with 6” platform pedals in a size medium.
  • 7 0
 Also Pinkbike will predictably and undoubtedly hump the leg of whatever trend keeps its readers attention spans and satisfies the fake trend of the week to try to sell you a new bike!
  • 2 0
 @nickjaco19: 32in. wheels will come standard with ass cheek spacers.
  • 3 0
 @Kamiizoo: hopefully, but here in the UK 24” wheels were the norm on jump bikes for a long time until the bigger companies (mainly US) made a push to kill them off.
And example was banning 24” at the Cowan Backyard Jam which was one of the biggest DJ events back then.
And a lack of suspension forks in that size.
  • 2 0
 @Kamiizoo: To that point, I wonder if 27.5 will live on for freeride marketed bikes. Most of the guys at the big fest-style events seem to be on 27.5 or 279 bikes. Commencal and Banshee both sell "freeride/park" bikes with 27.5 wheels. I certainly hope this trend continues because my opinion is that 29" front wheels are a lot of gyroscope hanging off the front end when you're flying through the air.
  • 4 1
 Just my hunch, but I, too, will be surprised if mullets are a thing in a couple years. They’ll go the way of plus-sized tires.
  • 1 0
 @justinc5716: also not forgeting the other most of them that are on custom 26ers..........
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Wait...what? Custom 26ers? Show me this magic you speak of.
  • 2 0
 @justinc5716: common knowledge. A lot of the big mountain/ fest/ freeride guys are still on 26 Lacondeguy,Semenuck etc etc
  • 1 0
 @nojzilla: Huh...how did I miss that? Looks good: www.pinkbike.com/photo/17897752

Guess its time to do a 27-6 mullet on my Wilson!
  • 1 0
 @justinc5716: I had 26/7 on my old HT trail bike an it was good. Super playfully. Awesome pumps,pops, carves an manuals. Was gonna do it on my new Scout but getting too many pedal strikes even with 27 and going down to a 170 crank. I like the Scout but, it all honesty 27 in back kinda feels like I'm towing a trailer :'D
  • 1 0
 @justinc5716: I hope some companies keep smaller travel 27.5 bikes too. Stuff like the Banshee Spitfire and SC 5010. And I haven't jumped 29ers much, but I agree from the bit I have jumped. I'd love to try a 24" dj one day, just to see how it compares to a normal 26" one. I have a hunch it'll feel great.
  • 2 0
 @Kamiizoo: I have been thinking about switching out my 29" trail bike to a new Banshee Spitfire. I LOVE that bike.
  • 1 0
 @Kamiizoo: funny you should say that :'D I have a 24 for pump track an skate park. It's a perfect mix of jump bike stability an bmx tweakyness...
I found at my age BMX is just to tweaky for me now Frown
  • 1 0
 @Kamiizoo: I had an Occam that I rode last summer. It was my 29er experiment. Every time I rode my 27.5 DH bike I was reminded of how much better the small wheels stopped and turned. In the air my 40 lb DH bike would hip and whip easier than the 29 lb trail bike. On the positive side, the big wheels are very fast and I totally understand why they are the way to go racing. In the air, its another story. They just wanna go straight.
  • 1 0
 @justinc5716: I still have a 26" mtb so it just feels like a heavier dj that cant pop as well cause of the suspension lol.

@privateer-wheels: My next bike i'd love a Spitfire too. Perfect travel for being able to pop well but still able to handle gnarly shit super well.

@nojzilla: I use my 26" dj like a bmx. I don't ride a bmx because they just feel too small and twitchy. I might have to look into a 24" dj in the future.
  • 1 0
 @Kamiizoo: I am currently evaluating selling my 29" trail bike for a Spitfire. I agree with your evaluation. Amazing trail bike.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: we are currently building a 27.5 bike for my GF that is barely taller than yours at 1m59. The other option was kids bikes since these are starting to be decent in geos and components nowadays. Main issue was delivery times which is why we opted for second hand 27.5 so she can ride this summer.
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: she has a pretty good bike at the moment, but it's getting older. Kona Hei Hei trail 27.5, in XS. But I worry for the future as it was Kona who said there won't be much in way of 27.5 next year. Nothing in high end 27.5 I gleaned from my conversation with them.

I imagine women's brands like Juliana and Liv will keep 27.5 in their lineups at least. Or I hope so anyway!
  • 1 0
 As they say on youtube : Plot twist : 27,5 will disapear and 26 will make a come back by taking over the party in the back duty, and for XS & S sizes.
  • 1 0
 @privateer-wheels: even the current Liv offering is very much oriented towards 29ers but they have the decency to offer 27.5 or MX on XS and S sizes, lets hope they continue to do that. Below 1m60 riders on 29er is simply ridiculous the wheels are hips height for them like ...
  • 1 0
 @the-one1: and yet it is actually smaller than 27.5 and closer to 26 then most realize.
  • 52 2
 Everyone knows that 32 front 29 rear is the future, and only nba height riders will be competitive.
  • 19 4
 This, but not joking.

Greg Minaar would 100% be on board with riding a 32" front wheel. He just hasn't cuz there are no good dh tires for such wheels.

As soon as he can get proper suspension, tires and wheels he'll be on a 32" front wheel and winning.
  • 5 17
flag c-radicallis (Jun 24, 2021 at 13:27) (Below Threshold)
 Danny, Troy and Bruni can forget about winning any world cups. They're already a bit limited by the 27.5" wheels.
  • 1 0
 Can’t wait, maybe I’ll finally get that ews call up I dream of
  • 1 4
 @toad321: Don't get your hopes to high. The mountain bike industry is slow as f*ck. You'll prolly be past your peak by then.
  • 1 0
 @c-radicallis: Well that's correct for a certain type of track. When there are tight turns, tight berms it should be a disadvantage.
  • 2 0
 Yeah…but it’s going to be 36” then 32” then we’ll come back to 36”!
  • 2 0
 @c-radicallis: my peak is very low so won’t make too much of a difference
  • 1 0
 @IluvRIDING: they have gotten rid of those....
  • 1 0
 I also, no kidding, would really like to try that.
  • 37 5
 It's quiet frustrating and annoying at the attempt to kill off full 27.5 bikes.
  • 32 1
 27.5 is only half-dead.
  • 13 2
 It's selling 29" wheels to people who don't want 29" wheels.
  • 11 0
 @Buggyr333: I'm loving my 27.5 V3 Bronson with 455mm reach in size L, and 65 degree head angle. I'm sure there's something else I could go faster on but tbh I really don't want to go any faster than I do now as a crash would already be catastrophic.
  • 6 27
flag jaame (Jun 24, 2021 at 23:14) (Below Threshold)
 275 is shit though. They are killing it off because no one wants it. If you ride a 29er or a mullet for a couple of years and then get back on a 275 it’s feels like crap. You find holes in the trails you never knew were there. It rolls like shit. That’s why 275 will die soon.
  • 11 0
 @jaame: sounds like you should buy a penny farthing, the ultimate mullet.
  • 3 2
 If it was a profitable endeavour, more companies would make 275 bikes. Apparently the demand isn't high enough.
  • 9 2
 "Specialized was pushing the team to hop on 29ers, so I really pushed Laurent to work on the “political” side of it and have the rule removed" This tells you all you have to know, along w the industry dog whistle 'journalists' love to chirp. Include some bogus unscientific, anecdotal "tests" and we should have our next dumb wheelsize soon.
  • 11 2
 @jaame: you sound like you can't ride a bike. Fitting opinion as such....
  • 3 8
flag chakaping (Jun 25, 2021 at 4:25) (Below Threshold)
 @atrokz: You wot mate?
  • 5 10
flag jaame (Jun 25, 2021 at 7:27) (Below Threshold)
 @atrokz: that’s right. I can’t ride a bike. I absolutely haven’t been mountain biking since 1990 and I didn’t just do three years on 29ers and mullets, then jump back on a 275 and wonder where TF all the holes in my local trails came from.
It not any of that. It’s just that I can’t ride a bike. Good deduction!
  • 5 4
 @jaame: cool story bro
  • 4 1
 @atrokz: you’re awesome
  • 2 0
 @BenTheSwabian: that's a biased reasoning tho. I currently ride a Force29 muleted because, 1. I want to be able to sell my bike easily at the end of the season, 2. GT doesn't offer the Force in 27 like many brands their 27.5 offering has declined. Many people who buy new think about resell value and when it is time to make a choice keep in mind whatever journalistic BS is in vogue soit resells easier.
  • 33 1
 Where’s the god dang poll?
  • 147 4
 It's in there now - pick your wheel size and be nice about it.
  • 3 2
 There is a god dang poll here in the article but there are no 26" and 24" options. I'd say that's insufficient for a proper pull but maybe it is enough for a god dang poll.
  • 8 0
 @mikekazimer: where's 27/26 mullet option?
  • 8 0
 @nojzilla: and 26"/29"?
  • 1 0
 @vhdh666: what ever floats your boat
  • 4 0
 @nojzilla: Trek used to have a Trek 69 hardtail before 27.5" was introduced. But I'm not sure how much it matters even. I've got a 26x2.4" Conti Trailking in the front. Someone else had something from Schwalbe, 27.5x2.25". Difference is next to nothing (in diameter). My inner rim width is 29mm, not sure about his.
  • 4 1
 @vinay: an back in the day cannondale had an xc bike with a 20" rear wheel. I recently went mini mullet, 16mm difference in wheel size, what I'd like to know is how the industry is pushing 16mm as a inch an a half...?
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: It was a 24" back wheel on that first Cannondale.
  • 1 1
 @nozes: there was deffo manufacture that had a 20" rear back in the day...
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: Would be interested trying a 22/20" f/r combo on my BMX on these gravel pumptracks.
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: probably some shit like 26" is rims diam whereas 27.5 is wheel outter diam so including the tire. I know that in BMX racing they've done some shit lile that with standard 20" wheels and "true" 20" or whatever it is called. Cycling industry is good at this sort pf shit lol
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: I did read that 26 is closer to 26.2 so rounded down to 26. 650 wasn't getting enough sales in the early days as riders where weary after the introduction of early, bad 29ers. So, measuring at 27.1 they rounded it UP to 27.5 despite it being closer to 27....
Because..... marketing
Whether there's any truth, who knows but, it was an article on the state of the bike industry an the coming introduction of Ebikes.
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla:
they are called 26/27,5/29 inches
but are actually 27,2/28,2/29,7 inches

bansheebikes.blogspot.com/2013/10/wheel-size-facts-part-1-dimensions.html

this article is 8yrs old
  • 1 0
 @vhdh666: so around (depending on tyre size) 1 inch between 26 an 650 not 1.5 inch as stated......
An people wonder why I think the bike industry is full of shit.....¿
  • 2 0
 @nojzilla: that's why it's just a little step from 26 to 27,5 and a big one to 29

the bike industry isn't just full of shit but some stuff is superfluous like 35mm bars and 28,99 crank axles IMHO
  • 1 0
 @vhdh666: Truth!
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: my wheel size choice is 29. Front 27.5 rear with a non crank bending bottom bracket height. Something that is meant for off camber single track and alpine riding. Not just a half assed patrol only made to hit blue velvet
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: From my experience bicycle and unicycle rim diameter in inches is typically the "supposed" outer diameter, which implies it pretty much never is what it says it is. With cars, motorcycles etc indeed the diameter is rim diameter. Bicycle wheel diameter in mm though is probably the rim. A BMX rim for a 20" tire is a 406mm rim.
  • 15 1
 This debate defines the ridiculous mindset of mountain bikers. Who gives a shit about what anyone thinks. Try it. Be that 29er or 27.5 or mullet. If you don’t like it. Don’t buy it. I never used to read Pinkbike comments. But now that I do I have a birds eye view of the sport. This is one tough crowd. Lol. Ps. Mullets rule. Lol
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Dangerous to convert one rig if you're at the point in your life where u can have a quiver. You'll end up mulleting every rig u own.
  • 1 0
 @ranke: Kept the HT and the 120/130 on full 29, only the bigger bikes on mixed wheels Smile
  • 6 1
 I dont give a shit about what anyone else thinks and rides, I give a shit about what the vendors and industry as a whole thinks. Not all of us care about "rolling over everything" or racing. I still prefer 27.5. When every single new bike on the market is 29 or 29/27.5 mullet its worrisome to the future of the wheel set up I prefer.
  • 4 0
 @yoimaninja: ya. Fair enough. Never really thought about 27.5 going away completely. But your right. If 27.5 is your preference that sucks because less R and D will probably go that route in the future
  • 3 0
 @vanman: Fingers crossed it doesnt! Just give us the options. You want a 29er u got it. You want 27.5 sure thing. Everyone's happy.
  • 18 5
 I very much doubt it. It's likely just another silly trend that will be dead in a few years, leaving people with mullet bikes having a pain-in-the-ass time trying to keep their bikes going due to part issues.

Meanwhile, we'll probably have boosty-boost sizing, leaving everyone pissed that their frames don't have easy-to-find wheelsets (remember the days when 135 used to be common?)
  • 12 1
 Is this media attention just because UCI dropped the ban on racing different wheel diameters or is it because the mainstream brands picked up again? Outside racing people never stopped mixing wheel diameters and complete bikes from Liteville were delivered as such. "Is it here to stay?" Well it was here already for decades and it never went away. So yes, probably.
  • 4 0
 Main stream brands only picked it up because the uci dropped the ban. Anyone know why it was banned in the first place? Probably some nonsense that came over from roadie rules.
  • 5 0
 @kcy4130: Yeah I think it indeed came from road cycling. Time trial bikes used to have a smaller front wheel to achieve an even more "aero" position. UCI has a division with a sole focus on creating rules that limits how much of an aero tuck riders can get. I think they recently introduced a new rule. Pretty sure that if more people are pulling Supermans in their DH race run (or if Cedric Gracia returns to racing, or if UCI starts sanctioning slopestyle too), they'll ban those too. They have a quotum, see. If they don't come up with a new rule every so many months, the UCI starts cutting their funds.
  • 5 0
 @vinay: yeah, it was time trial and track. Both wanting to use a 650 or 26 front wheel to lower the front end, and also get a couple of inches closer to draft the bike in front.
UCI, true to form, created a blanket statement/rule that achieved their aim (bikes and body position that kind of resemble what bikes looked like in the 1920s), without considering the consequences to other disciplines.
  • 4 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Actually there was a good reason behind this. I don't know if you have ridden one of those small front wheel tt bikes but I can tell you from personal experience they are deadly. The UCI got tired of some of their biggest stars crashing out of the big tour's and losing them for months at a time. Time trialing is still dangerous because of the extreme aero position the riders hold while blasting through turns at full speed, but it's a lot better than it was. I think if you talk to top level road cyclists you'll find out that no one misses the "funny bike" era.
  • 1 0
 @danger13: Yeah, but as the introduced it as a blanket rule, how would running a 26" rear wheel behind a 27.5" front wheel (or whatever "mullet" configuration) make a bike more dangerous? They create a rule, then forget why it was in the first place, then introduce it for all disciplines. They almost even introduced it in unicycling...
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I agree that it doesn't make mountain bikes more dangerous. I was strictly speaking about road time trialing. I personally think that mountain biking should have its own federation, just as we used to have here in the USA. I thought that mountain bike racing definitely took a step down when it was taken over by the road cycling honchos, first the USCF and then the UCI.
  • 1 0
 @danger13: Yeah, it is just the blanket rules which don't make sense. At the end of the day what matters is set the rules so that they help you achieve what you want, not by some detour. If you want so set a maximum saddle to bar drop then just set it as such. It wouldn't have hurt any other discipline and definitely not mountainbiking. But just taking a massive detour and define it as requiring the same rim diameter front and rear (outer diameter with tire fitted will still differ depending on tire choice) just doesn't help anyone.
  • 8 0
 I'm still on 26" wheels, but the month I bought my bike (in 2013 I think) all the major brands dumped 26" wheels and went to 29" or 27.5". I predict that which ever wheel size is on my next bike will immediately become obsolete!

Should I buy 27.5" or 29"?

Incidentally, I'll probably never buy a mullet bike because I really like being able to switch tyres around, and having mixed wheel sizes makes this a lot harder. I'll be either 27.5/27.5 or 29/29 for sure!
  • 7 0
 I'm 188cm tall so proportionally 29ers are a great fit for me. And yet my bikes are full 27's, including a new dh bike I built this year. For how I ride and how I want my bikes to behave 27 makes the most sense for me, even as a front wheel. I'm concerned that when the time comes for a new bike 27 up front will no longer be an option for larger frame sizes.
  • 1 0
 I think you can always just go longer fork and 27 wheel on most MX bikes. I do wish they would keep making fully 27 bikes though
  • 8 0
 Mullet bike or mixed wheel as they are calling it now is Not really a new concept. Used to have a freeride hardtail w 24 x 3 out back and a 26×3 up front
  • 10 0
 Isn't high pivot technically a recycled idea too? Seems like we just go round and round in circles. They sure know how to get us to spend money haha.
  • 9 0
 @weebleswobbles

Your comment is going to be a Big Hit…

Signed,

Old sixty Niner…
  • 2 1
 Those didn't work very well. A 24" sized wheel is really small and the difference between a 24" and a 26" wheel is quite a bit bigger than the difference between a 27.5" and 29" wheel. Which is part of the reason why 27.5/29 mullets work so well.
  • 6 0
 @DylanH93: That's the nature of the beast. It's like that in all industries. Essentially they're constantly trying to progress. 1 to make money and 2 just to progress. So they try new things. Some succeed some don't. Some things are the right idea but something is holding it back so it's the wrong time. Those things tend to circle back.

Look at any old car over the last 100 years and you'll see cases of this.
They started making electric cars in the 1800's but gas was easier and more efficient at the time.
Automatic headlight dimmers. Headlights that move with your front wheels. Doors that slide into the front fender. Hidden door handles or gas caps.

Same goes with any industry and same goes with this one.

They try something like a high pivot and technology isn't quite there yet so things break and/or just don't work as well as other options out there that are simpler to produce and maintain. Now... now technology seems to support it a bit more.

I wonder how long it'll be before inverted forks start making more appearances again.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: actually mine worked great until a friend who borrowed it left it unlocked for someone to steal it. I've never loaned anyone a bike since then
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: great point and interesting to think about. It's the right idea, just the wrong time. Definitely looking forward to the future of mtb. As much as people dislike it, I think there's going to be a lot more electronics integrated into bikes.
  • 8 0
 All the wheel sizes and combinations are here to stay, nothing is 'dead' trends come an go and come back around again. FK the industry and bull shit marketing
  • 2 0
 The marketing is nauseating, but there sure has been progress in the past 30 years. Just a lot of chaff, and not much wheat.
  • 7 0
 Has Pinkbike or any other bike news website done an article on how we got to these wheel sizes? Was it a dart board approach or was there some testing and/or science involved?

A quick google didn’t turn up much.
  • 4 0
 They're existing road bike sizes. The expensive part about making a new tire is the bead. 29" is the same diameter as 700C (being the most common size), 27.5" is the same diameter as 650B (predominantly used on kids bikes). Don't ask why they're called that - I used to know but have long forgotten. 700C isn't 700 anything. it's 622mm.

FWIW the next easy size up is 32" and 36" which are found on some unicycles. If there is no current bead size, it's really expensive to get started. www.pinkbike.com/news/interview-treks-travis-brown-on-experimenting-with-32-and-36-wheels.html
  • 1 1
 They are wheel sizes that have been around forever. 29 is just an adapted road wheel.
  • 3 1
 @mbuse @Mike-Jay 700C (aka 29) and 650B (aka 27.5) comes from a defunct French wheel/tire sizing nomenclature. The number portion, 650, 700, etc. was the inflated tire diameter. The letter specified the tire width.

At this time, bicycles came with different sized inflated tires for different height riders who could theoretically install the wheel size that corresponded to the tire width for the type of riding they were planning. A tires were for road, ~30mm; B tires were for touring, ~33mm; C tires were for unpaved surfaces; ~39mm; and D tires were for utility, ~58mm.

However, it wasn't long before this system was abandoned. Some of the first to ditch it were roadies who wanted an A size tire on a 700C size rim. The thought was that the larger diameter 700C rim with an A tire would roll better than the 650A but have better handling and acceleration than the 700A combination. Once 700C rims got to be popular all size tires began to be available for this rim. Eventually, this gets us 29ers.

650B remained somewhat popular as a touring size after many of the other wheel sizes from this system disappeared. The use of this size was definitely in the decline, but I know that Raleigh made a touring bike circa 1990 using this size wheel. Some of the early mountain bike designs had 650B size rims with Nokian off-road tires. The size held on to just enough market share to be reborn as 27.5.
  • 9 0
 26 better make a come back as child sizing - im running out of parts
  • 6 0
 I think 26 is rebounding a bit thanks to pump tracks and more legit kids bikes. But generally speaking the full on trail bikes for kids jump from 24 to 27.5.
  • 7 0
 Surely they can’t go bigger than 29” It’d be like riding a penny fart thing !
  • 3 0
 the ultimate mullet
  • 1 0
 You could always ride a 36er hahah
  • 1 0
 r/boneappletea
  • 4 0
 within M/L sizes that will be in place, XL/XXL will go full 29'

Norco just Lead a trend of size specific Geo, so I would Assume in 5 y or so, majority of brands will offer size specific option for XC/Trail/Enduro/DH

with geo's number will interchange;

Using same frame molds with adjustments based on link's or so
  • 2 1
 Norco's been doing size specific geo better than most other brands for like 8 years at this point and not that many other companies give a shit but maybe things will change as Norco seems more relevant than ever
  • 3 0
 @j-t-g: Things are already changing. It seems like most of the bikes coming out this year have at least size-specific chainstays.
  • 1 1
 @dlxah: I'm more so responding to the above "Norco JUST lead a trend", I know it's happening more now. They can't just start leading it if they've been leading it for almost a decade.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, but liteville have been doing this for years

Nicolai have been also specifying smaller wheels on their custom sizing for shorter riders

Must be a Germán thing ?
  • 1 0
 @j-t-g: they did chainstay only ( and were ahead) now they introduce more size specific variables, so they are leading again with size specific geo
  • 23 19
 Controversial opinion: I think full 29ers are going to outlast mullets. Gary Fisher called this long ago, I don't really know why we're still clinging to 27.5" wheels, mullets seem like yet another half-measure in the slow transition to full 29ers for most riders.
  • 2 0
 I think for Jr's the Mullet makes a nice transition from 27.5 and up. My son is one of the top DH jrs and full 29 was too big for him but the Mullet is a great transition which he is currently on at this time. So for kids I think they will stay.JMHO
  • 6 0
 Thinking mullets are a way for manufacturers to keep their 27.5 bikes viable. Look how many have gone that way already. I prefer mullets on my long travel bikes because I'm almost 5'11, yet have a 30.5 inseam and get a lot of tire buzz.
  • 8 0
 I think both will stay in 1 form or another. On certain types of trails a 29" rear wheel feels like a handicap. At least to me.

I currently have a full 29er and a mullet. The mullet is set up in a way that I can easily swap the rear wheel out and run full 29. Some days it's better one way. Some days its better the other.

I honestly think that both will stay for quite some time. 29er I don't really see going away ever to be quite honest. Mullet maybe at some point it'll go away but I don't think any time soon. Especially with E-Bikes gaining ground. Mullet E-bikes are where it's at... at least right now.
  • 8 2
 Nope. Small riders can't handle bikes with 29" rear wheels. Mullets are here to stay.

Expect even larger wheels to be the standart for racing, and for gravity disciplines to become a tall person sport.
  • 10 1
 Hey, I've test ridden this new wheel design called Plus sizing (not my underwear). Get this, you take a 27.5 rim, but slap a lightweight, thin walled 2.8 inch tire on it, and now it has similiar rollover to 29, but with traction for days! Its going to take the industry by storm. Everyone will be riding one, and "small" tire sizes will go extinct. No way will this just be a passing fad.
  • 8 0
 im 5'2 and a 29er would be amost half of my height
  • 16 3
 I don't like the way 29er handle, so I've no interest in a mullet or a 29er. I don't care how much quicker over x,y or z it might be.
  • 11 0
 @kingtut87: exactly this! For some of us fast is fun which is great, 29er or mullet, but for some of us fast isn't the priority. I resent the industry removing my options! I'm currently looking for a new bike and even with covid issues taken into account the list of available alloy 27.5 bikes in the travel range I want is literally like 4 bikes long! Its BS
  • 4 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: Having the industry design bikes that don't sell at a high enough volume makes all of their other bikes more expensive. My guess is that most will move to having mullet bikes that you can also run a 27.5 wheel on the front (similar to what Evil did with the insurgent). That way they don't have to have three bikes at a certain travel category.
  • 1 0
 @HB208: Or include flip chips/links that allow you to run full 29er/mullet....
  • 2 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: I wonder how many people on the poll above have said they want a mullet have ridden one a know they like it, have ridden 29ers and need more clearance vs people that are just curious/ want the latest and greatest.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Yeah, for sure. I think bikes will just be more adjustable over time.
  • 2 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: How we ride the bike matters, so you are right there. I can say that I was pretty damn satisfied with my higher end 26" bike. It did what I wanted, I had a great bit of fun on it, and had no desire to go big wheels. Then it broke.
It broke at a very wrong time for me, and I weighed my options. A 26" didn't have good choices, and it would be an old well used bike. In 27.5 I had more options, but was 27.5 just a temporary thing? Then a good deal on a 29" swayed me.
That 29" bike rolls over everything. I get it now. But being on the smaller side, I can't manual and bunnyhop it as well, so I got a 27.5 rear wheel. I don't see me changing again.
  • 2 0
 @oldmanjoe: I have a Transition PBJ that I love for the jump park and pump tracks, but would not want it on any trails. For me, a bike being super "playful" isn't worth giving up having a stable bike I can feel confident on. There is a balance point, which is why 27.5 exists, but 29ers work well for me. I am also tall, so maybe a 29er feels more natural anyways.
  • 1 0
 @mior: so is my wife and she’s been rocking 29 for the past year and isn’t looking back.
  • 4 0
 @Starsky686: i perfer the control and flickability for the trails i ride
  • 3 0
 @jwestenhoff some of us like 27.5
  • 2 1
 @mior: Same. My hardtail is 29 and I think on a short/no-travel bike it makes sense as the rollover helps compensate for the lack of suspension, but that rear wheel literally kicks my ass on every steep downhill. My full sus is 27.5 and--on a trail bike--I've no desire for a bigger wheel fore or aft. Being an average schlub who's more concerned with fun than speed, I feel like the small(er) wheels make the handling playful without being twitchy. For a DH bike, I'd consider a mullet, but on a trail bike for a tiny human I think the stack height would be pretty weird unless a lot of thought was put into the geometry (which on XS frames, I feel like it usually isn't).
  • 1 0
 I don't thik that's a controversial opinion, that's just the status quo.
  • 1 0
 @ryetoast: yeah i ride tech on my cheapo hardtail and have never had a tire to the bum
  • 4 0
 I am 6'1" and I will never ride a full 29er, if I got a race DH bike I would go mullet but that's it. Loving my v3 Bronson and plan to get a revel rail the next time I get a bike. Riding isn't all about going fast, and I like to have a bike where I can do all sorts of jibs, 360s, etc. And the way a full 27.5 bike corners is just too fun.
  • 1 0
 @TAXIKO: My brother is on the same bike and he's the same height. Dude loves that bike.
  • 7 0
 No matter what happens, what you have now won't be compatible with a bike 5 years from now.
  • 5 0
 Mullets are absolutely legit for shorter riders and they handle quite well. It is funny how some riders are triggered negatively by them. Nobody is forcing anybody to buy or ride them. Lol.
  • 4 0
 As the recent comparison backed up I think wheel size should be less about performance or speed and more about fit so both sizes and mixed have a place. Rear wheel travel and rider height are the defining factors, i have a 29er 150mm bike that I love and if you are comfortable with a big wheel why not, however I know that the rear wheel can buzz me sometimes on the steeps so add another 40-50mm of travel and on a DH bike I don’t think I’m tall enough (177cm) for a full 29 without sacrificing the family jewels so I’d go mullet. I also know shorter people who really need 27.5 to stay a thing, some probably even need 26 to come back.
  • 6 0
 This is an interesting perspective. Perhaps traditional bike sizing S, M, L, XL is now more related to the horizontal plane, and perhaps wheel size the vertical plane?

Can you even get a S, or XS 29er... or the better question, should you?

Example... Long torso, average leg guy might prefer an XL 27.5 bike. Long leg, short arm guy wants a M 29er...
  • 4 0
 Mullets work. I've played around with them, and I'm really tall. I'll still buy a full 29er. Just the mullet gave life to my 27.5. It really did corner better. Anyway, the elephant in the room is this, it's not your wheel size anymore. It's your pivot point. Freakin' hilarious.
  • 7 1
 Hockey players still sport mullet, even after decades of more practical haircuts.

So I think it’s here to stay Wink
  • 7 0
 we need more 26\27.5 mullet bikes
  • 1 0
 Yes! The only obstacle is it's hard to find a prebuilt 26" boost wheel.
Signed, someone who did.
  • 6 0
 Mullet makes sense for rear wheel clearance... 95% of riders don't have terrain where that matters...
  • 4 1
 Well I have been riding a Foes Mixer for about 7 years and I love it!! I also think Brent was way ahead of everyone with this concept because he did not just slap a smaller wheel on a 29er but did a total redesign of the frame so that it would ride the right way and as far as calling it a mullet does not make sense to me because with a mullet the hair is longer but with the bikes the wheel is smaller? So the name mixer makes way more sense to me just my 2 cents!!
  • 1 0
 I always thought butt buzz was worse 4 tall guys cuz u gotta squat down lower than shorter guys to get ur CG lower 2 stop u going otb on the steeps. . .
  • 1 0
 @respect-my-authorita: the distance between the pedals and their butts is smaller for short ppl than tall so their butt reaches the rear wheel sooner .
  • 6 0
 The main reason i don't want a mullet bike at home is simply i'm too lazy to get different sized tires etc.
  • 5 0
 That's not lazy - that's convenience which equals clever. We have enough mechanicals as it is - why introduce another layer of headache.
  • 2 0
 Just moved from a 10yr old 26" bike to a brand new Mullet 130mm trail bike.
The small and medium came in Mx and the L/XL full 29er.
Makes sense to me to be a height based option too.

Thankfully though, it came with the 29er suspension links in the box incase this does all blow over!
  • 2 0
 In my opinion, 90% of the performance in the case of downhill / enduro cycling is given by the skills of the rider. In a large part of the cases, the industry and its marketing benefit from people's hopes that a certain product will take them to a point they are unable to get to on their own.
Probably I will stay with 27.5 for life haha
  • 3 1
 I'm 6'4" and bought a Revel Rail (27.5) to complement my Megatower last year. For shits and giggles, I took the front of the Meg and slapped it on the Rail. I haven't gone back. I sold the Megatower and bought a 29 er fork and wheel for the Rail. I LOVE the way this bike rides - better than the high end, long travel 29ers, and better than the Rail as a full 27.5. But then again, WTF do I know?
  • 2 0
 An argument against mullets, for me: spare parts. When I go on a long (full day or multi day) all mountain ride I bring a spare outer tire in case it tears up beyond trailside repair. I also bring spare spokes (both my wheels use the same size left and right). Wouldn't want to have to carry around two spare tires. Also, I have a 36" inseam so buzzing a rear tire is the last of my worries. And it's not the bike that is holding me back, it's my self confidence and training level.
  • 2 0
 I am 165 cm tall and I transformed my 27.5 bike into a mullet, I am happy with the choice, but I think it is a personal choice, which can be useful for short people, like me, there is no wheel size that is, absolutely , better than the others, it depends on many factors, even tests carried out by sector magazines, on the same track, have given conflicting opinions and times, more according to the tester than to the format.
  • 2 0
 I was in a dilemma what answer to pick up. Honestly I prefer going full 26", because it's definitely what I want to ride. But as this no longer exist in the enduro/DH I used to be put in the DJ group voting like that. So I picked up full 27,5" trying to save at least that. I don't want to ride 29ers and I think mullet is a dumb idea at all. Make the normal wheels great again.
  • 2 0
 How aboiut all the wheel sizes? Love my 29er bruiser, 27.5 hardtail and 20" pump track bike. Variety is the spice of life. My next bike is likely to be a 27.5 small travel thrasher dualie. Won't replace the 29er but might displace the hardtail.
  • 2 0
 People need to stop linking tall riders to 29" and short to 27.5". I'm 6'5", long legs and arms, and can't get on with 29" at all. I recently brought a full 29" bike after saving for ages and sold it in less than 2 weeks losing a ton of money. Having tried others before I should have known better, but for me personally I couldn't get comfortable and was noticeably slower.

In my opinion it's down to personal preference. For racing, for me 27.5" is quicker. I'm testing mullet set-ups this summer so will see how that is, but currently I feel way more comfortable on the smaller wheels with shorter reach than what is being pointed too that I should have (sweet spot for me is around 475mm, way less than what I being told I should have). Others will prefer bigger wheels, longer reach etc. The industry just needs to stop pushing long reach 29" bikes, it's not right for everyone.
  • 2 0
 There is no single "perfect" wheel size that will satisfy everyone. Having choices that include varied wheels sizes is great and there is no smoke and mirrors behind why a mullet 29/27.5 is a great option. The moto world has had "Mullets" for years and for many good reasons. I don't want to see 27.5 or 29 only go away and think any bike brand that isn't developing their bike with the ability to switch between wheels sizes with a flip chip is doing themselves a disservice. When it comes to sales just having the customer know they can make the switch is often the tipping point to the sale being made even though most will unlikely make the change. It would save the bike brand from needing two different frame designs and as long as they are not compromising their design to make it convertible I think all higher end bike brands are crazy if they don't have convertible bikes that come 29/29 or 29/27.5.
  • 6 5
 Ive tried these out over a couple of years and conclusions are
- 27.5 up front is crap compared to 29 up front
- rollover is miles better on 29 but really only matters on front wheel
- positioning'into' the bike feels sorted on a mullet setup

The only factor against a 29/27.5 mullet is that an27.5 on the back gives you nowhere near the climbing or generally pedalling performance. A 27.5 spins out on a steep climb much quicker but also gives you a quicker take up.

If you want an all day , all terrain conditions bike 29er is probably best.
If you want more fun, better cornering and still maintaining front control, a mullet will do it (not bothered about losing climbing)

I see mullets being a really viable option especially if you can switch your 29 to a mullet for certain rides. That has to be cool right?
I dont see how a 27.5/27.5 is as good as either a mullet or a 29er.

Also - slap a 27.5 on the back of your old 29er and it will reinvigorate it for a reasonably low expense.
  • 3 3
 I agree. I have experimented with mullets on three different bikes. 29 on the front is better for roller and stack height. 29 in front is just more enduro bro. 27.5 is better for me (shorter rider) because of butt/nuts buzz (especially when jumping). The only negative I had with my converted mullets was the climbing was definitely not as good. Tougher to keep the planted on steep climbs and just not as good climbing. With a mullet specific geo, the newer mullets should be much better climbing.
  • 2 3
 I don’t really get why 29 is any more all day than 27.5? It is gonna to cost you what like 0.1 percent more effort?
  • 2 1
 I too have tried all 3 variants at some point

My observation would be that unless you are riding downhill or fall-line enduro tracks only every time you ride then equal sized wheels are better. Full 29" carries speed considerably better than a mullet (I timed my runs) and 27.5" is definitely more nimble. Mullet has its place on trails where pedalling is not required.

1. XC - All mountain and riders over 5' 6" can ride 29"
2. Enduro/DH/Weekend mini DH blasters of any height could cope with a Mullet
3. Shorter riders + guys that prefer nimble, playful bikes over stability at speed on 27.5"

All of these suggestions are my subjective opinion so don't take them too seriously!
  • 2 0
 @iantmcg: Like the mullet setup might not be obviously faster on descents but just "feels better" to a lot of people, I think full 29 just "feels better" for covering ground XC kind-of rides. And it probably is demonstrably more efficient (but don't ask me for a link or anything).
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: I’m not denying there is efficiency gains. I’m just saying they are minimal. Like a lockout lever on a long climb, sure it is nice but you are saving yourself like 30 seconds of effort on a big grind
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: I mean I know plenty of guys that go on all day rides with thick tires and inserts. That is way more inefficient when competed to a light XC tire than the 29 to 27.5 difference is
  • 1 0
 @iantmcg: Including me. Never knowingly under-tyred. Or insert-ed.
But to clarify on the efficiency thing, the real benefit of the 29er rear is that it doesn't hang up over rough ground so much. Quite noticeable in my experience, definitely more than 0.1%.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: yeah, but how much efficiency that gains is gonna depend on what you are riding. Where I ride on the west side of the cascades in Oregon it is up and down. So getting hung up on rough terrain isnt an issue as you are either carrying good speed or climbing. I could see the 29er being a smarter choice for a place like Bend Oregon that is pedaly with lots of small bits of tech that is hard to carry speed for.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: my local rides are pretty much all fire road climbs to long descents with minimal pedaling. So in my case 0.1 percent extra effort may be accurate. But I think the UK is quite a bit different from all I have heard.
  • 1 0
 most people just dont need that much rear tire. rollover is more important than sidewall. works for moto, just not worth the trouble here.

"best of both worlds ahh" okay. how bout 2x '28.25' wheels then? wouldnt THAT be "the best of both worlds"?
  • 3 1
 Mixed wheel isn't here to stay in a mainstream way. I do think it will show up any time there is a new tire size to transition into. 32" front 29" rear could be a future size.
  • 1 0
 When my brother and I switch bikes, from my gen2 Kona Process 153 27.5 to his gen YT Jeffsy AL Comp 29, it always feels like a barge to me. Being short, the smaller rear wheel helps but truthfully, I just like less angular MV.
  • 1 0
 Currently riding a mulet only because finding new bikes in 27.5 is very difficult and if you find one it will be impossible to get rid of. So opted for a 29er that I muleted and next bike will probably be that too or MX from stock but at heart I would buy a full 27.5.
  • 1 0
 It’s easy, manufacturers just need to design in an adjustable rear drop out on all their 29ers. Instead of moving the wheel back and forth, just have a vertical one which lifts the back of the bike up if you fit a 27.5” wheel. The Rocky Mountain Maiden DH bike had this for switching between 26” and 27.5” wheels.
  • 1 0
 I have an MX guerrilla gravity, they use a single front triangle for all their bikes with a different lower cup on the headset for 29 and 27. Just need to switch the cup if you want to mullet their 27.5 bikes
  • 1 0
 If your not racing, which the majority of us aren't, just pick the wheel size that's most fun. I reckon Commencal has their bike range sorted with having 29er and mullet bikes for their enduro and dh race bikes while also offering the furious and clash for bike parks.
  • 1 0
 not for taller people, however I definitely think that mixed wheel sizes will stay around for the shorter riders.

While 29 all round is faster (if you are big enough to handle it), the larger tyre size really does get in the way.. tyre buzz is real. I even notice it at 175cm tall, granted Im not a tall person but Im definitely not the shortest of riders out there.
  • 1 0
 Poll results are interesting. Just slightly over half of people would prefer something other than dual 29. Yet many brands are going 29 only and citing consumer demand. So someone is lying here… or perhaps PB polls aren’t an accurate reflection of MTB community in general.
  • 1 0
 Wheel size is absolutely dependent on size to some extent, if 29er are ideal for riders 190cm, then they probably ain't for anyone 165 cm. If bigger wheels are faster across the board how about those tall guys try riding some 32ers before shoving 29ers down my throat in front or rear.
  • 5 1
 This will have some mixed opinions, and mixed results.
  • 1 0
 If I remember correctly the first ones to use mixed wheel sizes was Arrow racing not Specialized. They had 26" front 24" rear. I think other small manufacturers tried it as well before the big S.
  • 3 0
 I suggest dumping the mullet term or reverse mullet term and using "green machine"
  • 2 0
 Mixed wheels were a thing when when I started riding in the early 2000s (24/26). I don't imagine they'll go a away, they might just get bigger.
  • 4 0
 I selected 26-24 for nostalgia
  • 2 2
 I think teams will continue to test and find that full 29er is slightly faster. Mullet's will go away and then all race bikes will be full 29. I'm 5'8" and ride a full 29 with no issues. I don't understand why people complain about "butt buzz" so often. The trails in Bellingham / Seattle are plenty steep and gnar and I very rarely buzz my rear tire.
  • 1 0
 I think tire buzz also greatly depends on your riding style and body proportions. I am 168 cm and I occasionally buzz my butt on my 27.5 bike. There is no way I am getting on with 29 at least not on long travel bikes.
  • 3 0
 WHEN IS THE 20'' FRONT AND 18'' REAR XXXL DOWNHILL BIKE COMING OUT???????
  • 1 0
 Running different wheel sizes on motor cross for over a few decades of my life and my bikes have been since 650b came out and I could stuff one on front..... I like a bigger approach and smaller rotational mass on back
  • 2 2
 Remy Metallier sees NO advantage in a mullet setup and his riding is...

You get my point. Tall dudes, full 29er. Short dude (dudette) with short inseam (28" like mine) will greatly benefit to a well designed mullet setup.

Years ago, we thought 29er was a fad until 26er disappeared...

Get with the times, Bikes are fun!!!
  • 3 0
 I think that 'the industry' is a bit confused. What most consumers seem to want is to ride their bikes, not buy a new one.
  • 4 0
 This industry is a clown show.
  • 1 1
 LOL, I remember 20 years ago when everyone was convinced 29ers couldn't even be raced in XC because "the wheels are too heavy". Then 10-15 years ago it changed to "they'll never work for DH because they're too flimsy/clumsy/don't handle quick enough".

I actually built a 29" DH sled back in 2005 or so (so did Alex Morgan who was actually fast, I think he raced Mt. St. Anne WC on it). It was awesome, except that I had to cement inner tubes into the casing of 2.3" XC tires to make tires that wouldn't immediately flat on any real trail. At the time nobody was interested in making a 29" DH tire, so that bike got given away and is now probably gathering dust somewhere.

Truly, though, we should just have 26 and 29. 27.5 is too close to both to be useful for bike designers and a waste of resources to support. 26 is great for smaller riders and kids, 29 is great for bigger riders, and there are really not that many people right in the middle where 27.5 is worth having. With 26" dying out, the gap between 24" and 27.5 is huge for really small folks/kids.
  • 2 1
 It'll stay as long as brands continue to try to sell it... but when interest flags, they'll rediscover 29'ers as the hot thing and drop the mullets
  • 1 0
 Just like full-suspension bikes, I know deep down in my heart it's just a fad. Ridgid fixies for life. People hat options and things that are different.
  • 4 2
 I want my wheels the same. Why mess with having two different sizes when it doesn’t make a difference.
  • 2 0
 Yep. And you can go off to a race and take one spare spare rim / tyre / tubes / reduced set of spokes = no problem. Rear tire wears out but the front is okay? Put the front on the rear and put the new tyre up front (been doing this for probably three decades). And it was probably time to redo my sealant, so time to get that tire off anyway.

Note my mixed spelling of tyre and tire because that's as close as I'll get to mixing anything to do with my MTB wheels.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: I don’t race but for those same reasons I will never have mixed sizes. I really dislike needing different sized spare things if I don’t need them.
  • 1 0
 @klazzymoto: Sure - replace 'race' with 'trip', 'park day' etc.
  • 3 0
 Didn't stick around last time, won't stick around this time.
  • 1 0
 I believe the musical group Cake answers this question with a question in their song Rock and roll lifestyle. "And how long will the workers keep building him new ones"...
  • 2 0
 28" wheels will be coming. It only makes sense. As a tall rider and early adopter of 29" I would probably slap one in.
  • 1 0
 Plot twist: The German tire brands (Continental and Schwalbe) already call their 700C road tires "28 inch"... because... reasons.
  • 2 0
 @barp: That is the most un-German, and at the same time German thing to do.
  • 1 0
 My current bike is 27.5F\26R - I just WISH Schwalbe would make 26x2.6 Rocket Rons so I can have a decent rear size... >.>
  • 1 0
 So if a mullet is business up front, party in the back with a 27.5/29, my 26 front and rear bike must be an absolute homewrecker.
  • 2 0
 This fad is so ridiculous - 2 different sizes? WTF. Just Pick 28.25 as the correct size and then be a dick about it.
  • 1 0
 According to the poll, the people bitching about mullet bikes and wanting everything to be 27.5 are in the very vocal minority.
  • 2 0
 I find it unacceptable that the option of 27.5 Front wheel and 29 rear wheel is not offered. I prefer the reverse mullet.
  • 2 0
 What if there was options and you could just choose your preference instead of all bikes being the same
  • 2 0
 Its just hot. Just like fat, then plus, gravel and downcountry. Whatever sells bikes.
  • 2 0
 coil air, long short, low high, 26" 27" 29"
The future is going to be in adjustable bikes
  • 1 0
 Mullet set ups seem so old school to me. Being vertically challenged I opted to go mullet to gain clearance. That must have been 98 or so.
  • 1 2
 29“ sucks and the mixed wheel setup sucks, too. A racer can not understand this, so let me explain my point of view.

Mountainbiking started with the small 26“ wheels. The small wheels were rock solid and lightweight. The whole bike was. Around 2012 we had really good full suspension bikes with 120mm of travel at 10.5 kilograms. Those were awesome bikes. Those bikes were built for riding, crossing the alps, carrying to the top of the mountain - up the hill was the way to go. The bikes were light, strong and cheap (compared to current mtb prices).

Then the cross country racers kicked in with 29“. Faster lap times became possible and soon 29“ became the only option for xc racers (not mortal people/non racers).
But with 29“ also the bad things showed up. Boost had to be introduced to build wheels the same quality like 26“. Of course heavier - more material was needed. The fork and the frames had to be improved and redesigned to work with 29“. The. bigger wheels need also more space for more travel - things one can hardly achieve with a diamond shaped frame.

Long story short: We started we lightweight, strong and affordable bikes in 2012. Incredible capable for 80% of the riders. Now the 29ers weigh at least 15 or 16kg and those top of the line models hitting 10K $ easily.
The new SC Bronson with mixed wheels is a heavy beast and hits your account with 12K$.

My 2019 27.5“ Bronson V3 with complete Fox Factory came in ar 12.5kg and 6.5K dollars. And it is an awesome machine to ride. So what didi we achieve with 29“? Mtb scene seems to go completely nuts.

I for myself ordered myself a nice gravel bike. It feels like I‘m back in the early mtb days. My Gravel is about 9kg and was 3K $. And it is 9kg of pure fun.


Funny fact:
27.5” - light and strong
29” - heavy and strong
MX - heavy and strong??? - this looks like a failure.
  • 1 0
 why is the industry trying to kill fun bikes? Not everyone wants to race, it's becoming near impossible to find something that isn't a stupidly slack 29er...
  • 2 0
 Why not bring back 26 for mullets?
  • 1 0
 Done, it's definitely my preferred wheel size for trail an DH
  • 4 1
 My favorite color is ham
  • 1 1
 feel like its a gimmick as far as pushing mixed wheel production bikes. However I have not rode one or a full 29er since 2018 so my opinion holds little weight.
  • 6 2
 It's not a gimmick. Racers don't do gimmicks unless it makes them faster.... then not really a gimmick...
  • 16 2
 @onemanarmy: Right. Racers don't do gimmicks. Only proven tech like...like...Axxios' magic vibration dampening stickers.

www.pinkbike.com/news/bike-check-amaury-pierrons-prototype-commencal-supreme-enter-the-matrix.html
  • 2 0
 @abbottt1: True. But you know smaller rear wheels are not a gimmick because you can see the tire marks on the ass of all the shorter riders.
  • 2 0
 @abbottt1: $600 for the full set of stickers!!!! That's totally insane....
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: who test pilots all this stuff... race teams.
  • 3 0
 @abbottt1: Google for "whataboutery". Mullets are a rider-driven trend, not an industry one. For once.
  • 2 0
 @chakaping: Why 'for once'? 29ers were definitely rider driven, it took years for the industry to pick up on that. 26" was industry driven, the main reason for it was that 26" wheels were officially kids' bikes parts and so there was less import tax on them. At least that is what Lennard Zinn told in an interview I read once. He was working for Ritchey at the time this decision was made so I guess he should know.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: Yes 29ers were rider driven but it felt like the industry didn't really want it to happen and was trying to push 27 instead.
  • 1 1
 @RonSauce: I'm aware. I've got a test tire on my bike right now.

Here's my thought process to be clear... definition... gimmick is a novel device or idea designed primarily to attract attention or increase appeal, often with little intrinsic value.

These riders are not testing things for the purpose of attracting attention or adding appeal. They're testing things that could potentially make them faster or lead to developments that will improve the bike in some way. You think Tomac liked wearing spandex racing DH back in the day or those fools liked the way those giant disc wheels looked? Nope. But it made them faster so they tried it.

So it may just come down to the fact that I have a different definition of gimmick than some others. Could be no one is wrong...
  • 2 0
 Bring on 28.25 rims. I'd like to try that.
  • 4 3
 The 29 Front / 27.5 Rear should be called "Tellum" (i.e. reverse mullet)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tellum
  • 1 0
 Mullet is a meta-definition. It doesn't literally mean bigger at back than front coz obviously that doesn't make sense.
Mullet and therefore wheel sizes are business at front (29/short neat) and party at back (27.5/let it grow out)
  • 1 0
 I ride Skullet
  • 3 0
 @suspended-flesh: road tire up front assegai in the back?
  • 1 0
 I'm down for 28" / 27"s Did you hear that industry? Don't just take my money, take my soul!!
  • 1 0
 "dragging brakes and casing jumps"

Whew, whats that pain in my chest. Can someone get me a Tums
  • 1 0
 I’m interested in the wheel size & type of riding of those who selected “other” in the poll.
  • 1 0
 44-635 for life!
  • 1 0
 Don't tempt me to lace one of my 20" bmx rims to my mtb hub, toss it on my whip and then really stir this pot.
  • 2 0
 If you have an eagle mech, would it be scraping on the ground?
  • 1 0
 I'm glad to see people using the term Mixed Wheel or MX, instead of Mullet.
  • 1 0
 Mixed wheel = Awkward, wordy, unacceptable.

MX = Already a type of bike, confusing, unacceptable

Mullet = clear portrayal of business in front, party in back. The only sensible choice.
  • 1 0
 Mullet set ups will follow the same trend as oval chainrings. Fade away come back another generation.
  • 2 0
 Mullet is the new 27.5 plus.
  • 1 0
 Mixed Wheels are New? I remember my first race in 1996 being on a mixed wheel bike. 26/24 Was and Still is Faster.
  • 2 0
 I will seriously consider a mullet for my next MTB.
  • 3 5
 This article is great. Brent Foes invented the mullet and ships it in general production from 2014 to 2021 as the Mixer. Pink bike interviews everyone who had nothing to do with inventing it. No one notices. Invention is a tough business.
  • 2 0
 The big hit mullet was in production long before 2014, maybe even before 2000 I can’t quite recall but it was awesome
  • 1 0
 Foes definitely did not invent the Mullet. But neither did any of these people.
  • 1 0
 @thisspock: I think about 2000. I found a 2000 model, but not 1999. I looked very hard at one at the time but no - I like to be able to swap tires F-R.
  • 3 0
 "Invented" is a tricky word to use. I built up a 'mullet bike' in the 90's with no outside influence and nobody mentioned me. I guess its kinda like when Columbus invented the new world.
  • 1 0
 @thisspock: I don't think the big hit was a 27.5r 29"f trail bike with a dropper.
  • 2 0
 @Mtmw: Sure it's wasn't, but the first 29er wasn't a dual 170mm high pivot idler carbon enduro bike, but you wouldn't say that Norco invented the 29er mountain bike with the new range.

ie Foes did not invent the mullet
  • 2 0
 I voted 26 because why not
  • 2 0
 "Pick a wheel sizes and be a dick about it."
  • 2 0
 This thread is wheelie mixed up Good thing bikes only have two wheels
  • 1 0
 Mullet bikes are all about selling 29" wheels to people who really don't want 29" wheels.
  • 1 0
 I remember riding Gary Fisher 29ers when they first arrived. All the other companies said they never make one lol.
  • 2 0
 Mixed Kebabs are here to stay.
  • 3 0
 Who cares actually?
  • 1 0
 As long as my bike has a 250w motor, I'm not overly bothered by the wheelsize.
  • 1 0
 Most of us would be a lot faster by upping our nutrition and focusing on improving some skills.
  • 1 0
 Forget wheel size. We’re due for a new head tube standard. Or perhaps a new boost wheel spacing.
  • 1 0
 As long as you know how to use an Allen wrench or turn a skewer counterclockwise they are.
  • 1 0
 It’s a great time in history
So many wheel sizes to choose from
Just pick ONE or 2 & Phuque U to all others *
  • 1 0
 Need more 27.5 options please. Tired of all my fav 27.5 bikes moving to 29”
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Like Thumper's father said - If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
  • 1 0
 Only if they are from here on to be known as...MX bicycles.
  • 1 0
 It stayed forever in mx...
  • 2 2
 i liked 27 inch wheels for the playfulness but for the way i ride, 29ers work for me
  • 1 0
 I have a Status on order, I'll let you know...
  • 2 1
 36/26 is the way forward. You heard it here first.
  • 3 1
 Trash
  • 1 1
 Garbage!
  • 1 0
 The inexitable answer to the burning question is 'no'.
  • 1 0
 Others? I want to talk with these 16 voters right now
  • 1 0
 So, i'm 5.6...how long i have to wait for the Specialized Enduro Mullet?
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: yeah, already checked it...i was just curious if Specialized was thinking of it, if there are any rumour about it
  • 3 0
 @Caveirex: ahh gotcha. I would assume so
  • 1 0
 Well, for me, they were never a thing… sooo, nah.
  • 1 0
 Why not 29 front, 26 rear?
  • 1 0
 Where's the option for 29 front 26 rear?
  • 1 0
 I want a 32/29 100/100mm XC bike.
  • 3 5
 I can hear the keyboard warriors furiously typing away already... Quick everyone, choose an opinion and make sure everyone else knows they are wrong...
  • 1 1
 If you're not a fan of the exact setup I'm currently riding then clearly you're a terrible rider and you should just throw your bike away in shame!
  • 1 0
 I believe the phrase you're looking for is "Pick a wheel size/ combination and be a d!ck about it"
  • 1 0
 Yes
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