Trek Session 29 vs 27.5 – First Ride

May 25, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  



It's never been much of a secret that Trek was working on a 29” downhill bike – pictures surfaced as far back as 2009, but it was always presented more as a concept bike, rather than something intended to go into production. That is, until now. The Session 29 is finally a reality, with a frame, fork, and shock package set to become available this October.

The bike has a full carbon frame and 190mm of travel, and will be available in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The same frame features that are present on the Session 27.5 are in place on the Session 29, and, in fact, the two bikes share the same carbon front triangle.

Trek Session 29 Details

• Intended use: downhill
• Rear wheel travel: 190mm
• Fork travel: 190mm
• Wheel size: 29''
• OCLV carbon frame
• 62.1º - 64.4º head angle (adjustable with headset cups, Mino Link)
• 12 x 157mm rear axle
• 450mm chainstays
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• MSRP: $5,000 USD (frame, fork and shock)
• Available: October 2017
www.trekbikes.com, @trek


Trek Session 2017
Cole Picchiottino put this alloy mule to the test at multiple DH races in order to provide feedback to Trek.
Trek
This is the final test mule that was produced before making the switch to a carbon frame.


History of the Session 29

Trek began considering a 29” wheeled downhill bike in 2009 when they created an aluminum framed bike with a 64.5-degree head angle, 440mm chainstays, and 180mm of travel. That project convinced Trek's designers that the larger wheels held plenty of potential, but unfortunately there weren't enough components available at the time to bring the bike to market.

More recently, Cole Picchiottino was enlisted to test out newer versions of the frame. Picchiottino is an elite-level racer, but he's also a key test rider for Trek, someone who's willing to head out on unproven equipment and report back his findings, even if that could potentially mean a less-than-stellar race run. That's something that a top-end World Cup racer wouldn't be willing to do; at the highest lever of our sport, winning is the absolute focus, and switching things up in the middle of a race season simply isn't in the cards. With Cole, however, it's a different story, and he was able to provide invaluable feedback to Trek as the potential for putting the bike into production began to increase.


Trek
The aluminum prototypes are welded by hand at Trek's Waterloo, Wisconsin, facility.
Trek
Because the front triangle is the same on the Session 27.5 and 29, all that's needed is a rocker link and rear swingarm to make it possible to fit the bigger wheels.


In fact, Trek almost pulled the trigger on rolling out a 170mm DH 29er two years ago, one that was based on a 165mm bike they'd worked on with Cole, but other projects ended up taking priority and the big wheeler remained on the back burner. That delay may have been a blessing in disguise – had Trek took the leap at that moment, the lack of available components could have caused that bike to flounder, rather than coming in on the crest of this year's wave of other downhill 29ers and components. During that time period, they released the 150mm Slash 29, a bike that provided even more motivation to get a DH 29er out into the world.

Buy what exactly makes 2017 different from years past? Why are we now seeing scores of 29” downhill bikes appear under the sport's elite riders? The biggest reason is that there are now components available that can handle the rigors of World Cup DH racing. Tires from Schwalbe, Maxxis, and Bontrager, among others are on the way, and with a major player like Fox stepping in with a production 29” downhill fork, the stage has been set for a major shift in the world of downhill.



Trek
The 27.5" version of the Fox 40 made it possible to experiment with bigger wheels once the arch had been modified (don't try this at home...).

Fox 49

The 27.5” Fox 40 deserves credit for helping push the development of 29” downhill bikes forward. As it turned out, with a little modification to the fork arch it was possible to fit a 29” wheel, something that hadn't been possible with the 26” version. That ability to start experimenting with big wheels was the spark that helped light the fire under Fox to start looking into creating a 29” wheel-specific 40.

Once the word was out the Fox would be going to production with a 29" DH fork, there was no shortage of phone calls from race team managers and bike manufacturers trying to procure one for pre-season testing. Even for those lucky enough to snag a fork, there was one more hurdle to overcome - the fork uses Boost 20x110 spacing, which meant that for those without dedicated hubs, adapters had to be created to shift the rotor over into the correct position.



Session 29 Geometry

Session 29 geometry




Trek's headquarters are in Waterloo, Wisconsin, but they also operate a suspension R&D facility located just north of Los Angeles, California. Housed in a small industrial park, the facility is headed up by Jose Gonzalez, Trek's director of suspension development. This is where prototypes are sent for additional testing and analysis, a sort of skunkworks laboratory for bringing concepts to life. It's also where the most current iterations of the new Session 27.5 and Session 29 were housed, so I headed down to spend time on each of them before their public debut.


Trek
The LITPro device in installed in preparation for the day's testing.
Trek
Everything from tire pressure to suspension settings was recorded for each lap.


Day one was dedicated to back-to-back testing using LITPro, a highly accurate GPS tracking device that's about the size of a deck of playing cards. Originally developed for the motocross world, LITPro's high accuracy makes it possible to break each lap down into smaller sections that can be used to compare speeds and times with much more precision than you would be able to with a typical GPS. The track we'd be riding was the same one the Atherton's had been on a couple of months prior, one that contained the ideal mix of tight berms, rock gardens, steep sections, and high-speed straightaways.

With the LITPro velcroed to my helmet and a scouting run out of the way, it was time to start laying down some top-to-bottom lap times. My first laps were on the new Session 27.5, which is an impressive bike in its own right. It didn't take long to get comfortable, and soon I felt right at home diving in and out of steep turns and plunging into the track's awkward rock gardens.


Trek
Trek


With three laps on the Session 27.5 under my belt, it was time to switch over to the Session 29. I'll admit that I was a little bit nervous about what would happen when I hopped onto that XL 29er. In my head, I had visions of rocketing down the trail, unable to turn or control such a seemingly massive bike. I'm confident in my bike handling skills, but I'm no World Cup racer, and being allowed to ride the Session prototype felt like being allowed to hop into the driver's seat of a Formula One car.

All of that faded away once I dropped in - the difference between the two bikes was noticeable from the very first turn, and any trepidation I felt instantly dissolved, replaced a sense of giddy excitement usually reserved for lottery winners or kids in candy stores. I could tell that I was going faster, but the bike felt calmer and smoother than the 27.5, and there was less need to make little micro-corrections to the steering.

The straight line speed of the 29er is impressive, but the way it felt in steep corners was even better. There's was no skittering or wobbling, just a rock-solid, locked in feeling that allows you to let off the brakes and use the bike's momentum to carry you through the turn. Looking at the LITPro data confirmed this sensation — the calm handling of the 29er allowed me to brake less, which in turn led to faster cornering speeds. The data also verified that the Session 29 was faster than the 27.5” bike – to the tune of nearly 5 seconds on a 2:20 course. On both bikes, my times improved on each lap as I got more familiar with the course, but when I switched back to the 27.5” bike from the 29er my times slowed down, illustrating that the bigger wheels made a significant difference.


Trek


It's faster, feels more stable, and is wickedly fun to jump and to slap through corners... So what's the downside? Honestly, the only slight knock against the Session 29's performance that I encountered over those two days of riding was the fact that that the rear tire buzzed my shorts a couple of times. Once was while I contorted myself in a strange position in order to make it over an awkward hip jump that probably wasn't built with downhill bikes (of any wheel size) in mind, and the other was when I got too far off the back in a rock garden.

The 'bzzz' sound of rubber hitting polyester let me know that I was a little too close for comfort, and I was able to adjust my position in time to keep my backside safe. The closer proximity of the rear wheel is something to be conscious of, but I honestly don't see it as being much of an issue – I bet after a few more days of riding, the number of instances would be reduced even further once I got fully in tune with the bike.


Fastest 27.5" Lap vs. Fastest 29" Lap

Views: 581    Faves: 2    Comments: 0


Session data



bigquotesAfter two solid days of riding, I'm firmly convinced that 29" DH bikes have massive potential, and not just for elite riders. The idea that a 29er is somehow less "fun," and therefore only for racing only doesn't hold water, at least when it comes to the Session 29.

In fact, I'd be completely content to ride one as a park bike – I don't have any flips or spins in my bag of tricks, which are really the only things that I see as being a little more difficult with the bigger wheels. The concept of a 29" downhill bike may still seem sacrilegious to some, but I can see the opposition starting to crumble once more riders get to actually spend time trying one out in the real world.
Mike Kazimer



505 Comments

  • + 486
 I got 29 problems, but wheel size... Ain't one.
  • + 24
 I just upvoted you, and that makes 29 upvotes. Coincidence?
  • + 190
 @Endurahbrah: this upvote counter stayed at 29 almost as long as Trek keeps the axle width the same...
  • + 8
 It's now at 69, as good as your post was therage43, I have to deny you this upvote.
  • + 4
 @Endurahbrah: illuminati at work
  • + 30
 so the next big thing will be 29er dh bikes with actual dh travel? Give us the whole thing at once ; ), first there will be no need for more travel as the extra size bla bla bla... then.... booom back to 210 travel with 29 er wheels, cause it´s faster?
  • + 32
 Cant wait to convert one to 27.5 plus.
  • + 15
 I think all the nonsense will stop when we realize that: drumroll: "it all depends on rider height".

Short people will get clipped in the ass by the 29er.

Greg Minaar on the other hand will be going fastest at fort william on his XL 29ER because it suits him better.

wait and see.
  • - 3
 this data acquisition and snake oil stuff won't make want to sell my custom giant glory advanced 27.5. sorry but not sorry.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: yeah how am I supposed to run hope hubs on this thing? Not buying it
  • + 7
 Trek 27.5 first look article followed by trek 27.5 and 29" comparison, trek session 29" 3.50% faster = no one buys session 27.5".
  • + 1
 @stefanfresh: So True!
  • + 2
 Short people ain't got ........short people ain't got..........no reason to live........@kolya:
  • + 3
 @stefanfresh: It would be super difficult to put 210mm travel on a 29" wheeled bike using Trek's current suspension design. There just isn't room without making the chainstays super long. You'd be buzzing the seat, your arse and the BB would be scraping the floor.

You might be able to make it work on XL frames where you have a lot more room to play with, so 6'0+ riders could be in luck. Otherwise though you'd have to completely redesign the suspension design and ain't nobody got time or money for that. Trek, who are a huge company, don't even want to invest in a custom front triangle for these 29 bikes, never mind redesign the suspension design completely. They just won't sell enough of them to recover the R&D and tooling costs.
  • + 1
 @Endurahbrah: coincidence.....thats joincidence with a c.
  • + 5
 That bike looks alot like a...oh...wait, that is a Session
  • + 1
 @kolya: This is true whether its a world cup DH bike or an entry level hardtail.
  • + 2
 @kolya: Thats kinda the problem tho. The big tall riders will have an advantage because they can fit bigger wheels that roll better. 27.5 may fit smaller riders better but if its not as fast they won't be competitive unless they switch too. So really we are kinda giving the advantage to taller riders while the smaller racers will be forced to try and make big wheels work or get used to being slower. Also if you look at bikes like the new v10 29 only the largest size retains full 200mm travel, smaller sizes drop to 190 or 180 i believe so again burn for shorter people.
  • + 4
 @kolya: you clearly havent seen that danny hart is on a 29er and is bloody hooning.
  • + 1
 @FinnCable123: When shit gets steep, like val di sole, being short on a 29er is a hazard.
  • + 3
 @nismo325:Tall bulky riders already have the advantage they have more gravitational pull, the sport is already biased.

Take motoGP marquez is the best because hes 5 foot and light as a feather, gets extra horse power and aerodynamic profile.
  • + 3
 @kolya: Danny Hart, a short guy, is gonna be riding a 29er at fort William. Even if your short they are faster, it won't matter.
  • + 7
 29" wheels, shmeels - I think that Gwin is testing with Shimano with nano technology. A remote controlled self opening chain link. You pedal out of the gate, press the DHi2 nano lever and chain drops, freeing your suspension. After dropping chain in Sea Otter again I no longer believe that Leogang was an accident.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Nooooo , they can't help themselves .
Now I need Session +
  • + 0
 Session + E
  • + 1
 @heavyp: yeah man I was thinking this, it´s pretty dumb... or clever, maybe the 27,5 was never coming out anyways ; )
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: I was thinking this.... it sounds an intersting...
  • + 1
 When I see articles like this it makes me think Sam Hill got out of DH right before it went down the toilet, kinda like people that sold their homes at peak value before the recession.
  • + 1
 @partsengineeringbikes: I would watch Minnaar, Gwin, Hart, Brayton, Laurie and the rest of the amazing circus even if they were racing on E- fat bikes because I love looking at this amazing show of bike handling skills. Also my personal MTB riding experience, what I get from riding a bike in the woods is not conditioned to any higher degree by any wheel size or shoe/ pedal interface or shock type. I do it because I love rolling on two wheels through the terrain and challenge myself in all sorts of ways. Above all, I love learning and experiencing the state of flow. Not even a new chain link size standard can change this and take it from me.

Have you ever considered that some of your ways of thinking are taking away the joy from your riding or watching racing?

Chill out bro, peace!
  • + 0
 When I watch them race, I look mainly for sick moves they make, sick lines they take, speed they can carry through sections. I was more stoked for seeing how Danny straight lined ridiculous sht than for the fact he won, which was a cherry on the pie. I don't expect you to look at it in the same way, hell no. But most of you weird whiny Wendies could try to see through all of this tech stuff of which most is stupid, and look for the good stuff. There's plenty of good stuff around. Appreciate what you see around you more, because it is THE best time to be a mountain biker in himsn history and it just gets better. I lost 1000$ on being forced to change to 27,5 from 26, but I look at it few years later and realize that in the end, it doesn't matter. I can ride an awesome bike on awesome trails.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Session + rEvolt
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I am a small frame manufacturer hoping to grow my business. I come from a background in fabrication and when the industry changes dimensions/standards it requires tooling changes. Time spent machining and making new fixtures is time not building bike frames. Also if there is a new trend being pushed forward whether it's actually improving bikes or just because some a website writer says its 'improving' bikes to be successful you need to have that available to cater to customers. Right now I am in the designing/tooling portion for my first DH frame and it is troubling how turbulent changes are with DH frames. I have to buy new components that have changed and get feedback from riders/myself who test the bike (on a whole new test mule). So yes, if I just rode bikes then maybe I would be whining but for me it's making it costly and frustrating for the growth of my business.
  • + 2
 @partsengineeringbikes:

It's a bitch but it's just the nature of the industry. You have to be able to adapt and move with the times and the trends or you're going to get left behind.

The great thing about this industry is that it's always moving forward. There's always a competitive advantage to be had and a new idea to pursue. Bikes from 5 years ago are junk compared to what you can buy now. So much better than working in a static, traditional, over constrained industry.

Also, with things like boost, geo trends, different mounts etc you don't always have to comply if you don't think it's useful. There's still tonnes of kit about to fit all standards. There's no way I wouldn't buy a bike just because it wasn't boost.
  • + 2
 @partsengineeringbikes: Plus, your advantage as a small guy is you can very easily react and retool or do custom jobs. Much harder if you have a whole factory operating on a standard and you have to change everything, retrain staff, have a huge stock of the old standard etc
  • + 1
 @partsengineeringbikes: I wish you all the best of luck man but you don't sound like you have a grip on the situation... butt hurt won't land you a good company. A - as tom666 say: adapt or die, just like DVO with boost 20x110, anticipate shit. B - don't follow trends make them, even if it is as fkng ridiculous as Kirk Pacenti and his silly 650B.

Take my advice and make a 160mm 275 plus bike accepting 29" wheels. And don't do DH bikes... wonderful sport, terrible clients...
  • + 0
 @tom666: Right but not having capital that large companies have greatly limits how much retooling a smaller company can do. I am all for progression of MTB technology but right now the sport is evolving at a much quicker rate than say 5-10 years ago. Like you saying bikes have gotten much better in a very short span. With that being said bikes are lasting longer than they used to, which if you are a large company that's great but you need to have something to make customers come back sooner than later.

A good example would be the automotive industry, if you build a car that can last for years with tons of miles that's great for brand loyalty but you need to come out with something that will bring those customers back (i.e. little changes and improvements that make you second guess whether your now not so new car is up to snuff)
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: One of the top things I hear from my customers especially as of recently (and I'm sure companies large and small do too) is how tentative they were/are about pulling the trigger to buy a new bike. For reasons I was explaining to pinkbike member tom666 it's hard to get people to spend their hard earned money on a big purchase like a high-end mt. bike. I don't believe 'butt-hurt' is the right term as I was simply commenting for reason of expressing frustration with the current DH market. This is currently shared with customers that don't have money to blow every year on a new bike and smaller frame manufacturers.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: i think the bicycle companies do it exactly for that reason as well their products have become ridiculously expensive, more than a new MX bike, say ktm, yamaha, huqvarna honda. They wanna keep you on your toes maybe so you cant compete with them.

but all BS aside i think 29 is faster and better.
  • - 2
 @kolya: bicycles are often more refined in details and material use than motorbikes for the same price. A comparably refined costs muuuch more. Just check out pricing of MTB suspension by Öhlins to their moto and automotive stuff... a set of MC shock and stanchions from Öhlins can cost more than S-Works demo and thus whole regular KTM moto.

A funny thing to mention though is that all motorcycles come in one size... and big mouthed, outraged people on pinkbike are eager to go rabble rabble on wheel or axle size but they are the first ones to demand geometry refinements and talking bike fit without calling it bike fit, so... mhmhmh...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: lol that's quite the shitpost. MTB less refined than a motorcycle. ohlins gear is quite common on street rides and not crazy expensive. back in the day motorbikes had plenty of wheelsizes and yeah, they still do lol.
  • + 1
 @kolya: Yep completely agree, there are some other factors like niche markets (such as DH) and also cost of manufacturing to keep things light but strong (no motor to help out with extra weight) which makes MTB as a whole a fairly expensive sport.

For the advancement of the sport it's exciting to see how well the 29" wheel will perform on the WC circuit this year. As for bike design (from a company owner) it would be nice if things were a little more mellow. I think ideally offering both 27.5 and 29 options for a DH bike would be great. Not necessarily a frame that excepts both since you lose the simplicity of a design (by having to make geometry adjusting features) but I do think having the option for taller riders would be beneficial by giving consumers a choice.
  • + 1
 @Coldspringer: just built up my session 29 with hope pro 4's what areee you on about?
  • + 1
 @hastyyy: I really have no idea--must have been very tired. I think I read that axle size wrong and thought trek came out with a new standard
  • + 1
 @kolya: Please don't erroneously cite physics. More mass does not accelerate quicker.
  • + 191
 Does anyone else secretly wish YT is late to the party at Ft. Bill and Gwinn blows the doors off everybody? You know, for old time sake?
  • + 67
 Gwins gonna win on a 27.5.....
  • + 20
 Yeah because it's not the rider, it's the bike that get's them the win. Eye roll.
  • + 20
 @CaptainSnappy:
I could ride a bike with a motor and would still not even qualify. But at that level when there are at least 10 guys within seconds every little bit helps and they want what ever potential advantage they can possibly get. I'm pretty stoked to see the results.
  • + 38
 Isn't that what happened the last time anyone of significance raced 26" DH bikes in a WC, when the rest of the field was on 27.5? Minnaar and Ratboy took the top 2 spots.
  • + 5
 @kram: The difference between 26 and 27.5 is smaller than 27 and 29. (559 to 584 is 25mm 584 to 622 is 38mm) It will be interesting to see if that is enough to make a real impact on times.
  • + 6
 "old"...
  • + 55
 If you can win without a chain, you can win on 26" wheels and uncool reach.
  • + 2
 Yes, but let's keep it a secret. I'd like to see that happen just to throw a temporary monkey wrench into the gears of a machine that will soon crush the 27.5 market.
  • + 7
 Going by Gwins average winning margin, the rest of the field still won't be fast enough with 29ers to beat him,assuming they perform to the same ability as the last few last seasons Big Grin
  • + 11
 Gwin could win on a Raleigh Burner to be fair
  • + 0
 With tenths or even hundreds of seconds dividing the riders at the top, dropping in a 5 second advantage is the only way anyone could catch him. 29er's basically split the field into Those Who Have One and Those Who Are Gonna Be 5 Seconds Back.
  • + 4
 @Thustlewhumber: Take "5 seconds" with a grain of salt. Watch the syndicate vids, was a coulple seconds up for 2 of the guys, one didn't see that much of an advantage but still ran them (the shorter of the three.....). Word on Dirt is Rachel is still running 27.5. So yea, it's not an immediate 5 second advantage, it probably varies depending on rider.
  • + 7
 @atrokz: So, wait.. the 5 second difference here is the rider, not the bike?
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: combo of both.
  • + 4
 @atrokz: the best stay 27.5!!!!! A.G./R.A.
  • + 0
 @atrokz: Now that we have seen the world cups, yeah... 29ers add at least 5 seconds.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: I hope you're joking. 1st (Bruni) and 2nd (Gwin) splits, and Gwin slid out and lost several seconds. Gwin was faster over 3 minutes into the sub 5 minute course, so whats that about 5 seconds over two minutes? All this race showed was actually nothing if you actually bother to analyse the data. Oooo the guy who's won here more than anyone, won more races than anyone, on any bike, won again! after being slower in the two spots 29 was supposed to be best and slower over a greater length of the run! great analytical deduction. If anything it's fractions across minutes for these guys, not 5 seconds. What allowed Minnar to win was Minnar, attributing it to a wheel size is a bit silly. dissect the data better.
  • + 2
 I realize that tone was crusty I didn't have my coffee yet. sorry...
  • + 1
 @atrokz: All good man. The results would've been massively different if everyone was on the same wheel size though.
  • + 1
 @Thustlewhumber: no they wouldn't be massively different if everyone was on the same wheel size. You people generate this hype bullsht, not companies. You fkng deserve 50 axle standards, crappy carbon paets because you are freaking clueless
  • + 155
 @MikeKazimer I appreciate you posting all of your data. Since you opened the door, I nerded out and did a statistical analysis to compare the times of the two bikes. What I found was that the difference between the bikes was insignificant. Perhaps with many more trials you could tell a difference, but there's more variation run-to-run than bike-to-bike. When controlling for run #, I found there was a significant decrease in time with successive runs, even with the slight upwards bump when switching back to the 27.5. It's possible that since you were getting faster with each successive run, had you switched back to the 29 again it would've gotten even better (or maybe you would've just gotten tired and it may have looked slower). But more data needed to distinguish the bike type from the rest of the variation.

Sorry, I mean 26 4 LIFE! or BRRAAAAPPPPP!!!!
  • + 10
 @hardcore-hardtail I totally agreed with your post until I saw this. @feldybikes makes a great point about the difference run-to-run versus bike-to-bike. We simply need a larger number of tests to be run before we can make any conclusions.
  • + 5
 @grant-a: Agreed. While the 29 shows promise of being faster its also going to depend on other factors. The data set to state that 29 is the faster of the two is very incomplete. It would need to be shown across different riders, skill levels, tracks, maybe even weather conditions (a bit of a stretch).
  • + 5
 Do they run a statistical test at the end of the track? 0.01 second may not be statistically faster, but it still can be the difference between 1st and 2nd. I taught college-level stats for years - there's knowing when they are appropriate to apply....and when they are not! Smile
  • + 16
 A tip of the hat from one stats nerd to another @feldybikes
  • + 6
 This is great @feldybikes - "statistically insignificant" means something here, especially with a really small sample size. While Kazimer may have a point, I'm sure statisticians would have a field day with the results.
  • + 8
 @FatTonyNJ: You're right, races are won by the smallest of margins but wouldn't you want to know of all the many variables that contribute to the variability in outcomes, which ones are significant? I think some regression models (if there was enough data) could be generated to determine which of the factors are significant. I'd be curious to see if wheel size was one of them.
  • + 13
 Agreed, based on the data you can't statistically say the 29er is faster. That being said I wouldn't bet against it.

Two-sample T-test for 27.5 vs 29

N Mean StDev SE Mean
27.5 4 141.93 6.69 3.3
29 3 137.64 6.68 3.9

Difference = μ (27.5) - μ (29)
Estimate for difference: 4.29
95% CI for difference: (-9.88, 18.46)
T-Test of difference = 0 (vs ≠): T-Value = 0.84 P-Value = 0.448 DF = 4
  • + 8
 @Nezfuma: Yea, I'm sure Santa Cruz only ran a few tests before making that huge effort getting the 29er ready.
  • + 10
 @Jnicholz: Because of the small sample size you wouldn't meet the assumptions for a two sample t-test (in this case I believe it's the normality assumption but I've been out of the stats game a while). You'd actually have to use the non-parametric equivalent (Mann–Whitney U test) which rarely finds any differences. Really there's no point in doing stats at this point unless you have like 10 riders putting in a minimum of 3 runs on each tire size.
  • + 2
 @AlbinoBlacMan: was about to say this. I like statistical analyses. It would be interesting to see what stats @feldybikes used. You can't do much with just three samples for the 29er in any test really, it's simply not enough data to give any power. I'd argue it's almost pointless unless you only work on the 27.5 data alone. Possibly some kind of random non-parametric permutational analysis would work for a comparison but even then you are pushing it.
  • + 2
 @MikeKazimer Would it be possible (if not this side by side test, but another) to get side by side PoV video? A good example is how MotorTrend does it for head2head as the real time comparison in subtle ride traits can immediately be seen as time gains in key segments, but also give some realism about how big those gaps are for somebody who isn't clawing actively for tenths against the clock.
  • + 0
 of course they're faster. they've always been faster. the angle of attack for the wheels is smaller. physics brosef. we don't need statistics and timed runs for this mystery, cuz science.
  • + 0
 @feldybikes, when it comes to mountain biking, statistical analysis is one thing, actual experimentation in real world is another: when was the last time you jumped from a 275 bike to a 29" bike back to back? Because I can tell you based on actual life experience that if Mike rode session 275 for a full day and then got on session 29 for a second day, the time gain for 29er would be even bigger... with all the respect to Mike's ability to ride different bikes back to back...

Theory falls short on mountain bikes, especially on DH tracks. just because Boost is X% stiffer doesn't mean much to times. Just because USD fork has less unsprung mass and looks better on paper doesn't mean much. Just because Fox 40 is stiffer than DVO, doesn't mean much either... 20mm axle is stiffer than 15mm axle. In a lab. 15mm axle clamped with real clamp is going to create a stiffer fork than 20mm axle being just screwed in like a Maxle. Carbon frame will not be faster than a heavier aluminium frame. Bike Radar tied 3kgs to a frame and found that heavier frame by average rides down faster. Just because plus tyre seems heavier and slower rolling doesn't mean it makes a slower bike up a hill than a XC 29er. The list goes on and on.
  • + 4
 Minitab screenshot or it didn't happen
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: so what you mean is,if he rode 27.5 all day Monday then 29 on Tuesday,he'd catch himself up?
Like 29hog day?
  • + 1
 Impossible to conclude anything statistically with those sample sizes. But an ad-hoc power analysis (1-betta) would be possible to do and that would be able to provide the correct sample size for this.
  • + 3
 How are people upvoting this so much? The statistical test is literally meaningless because there isn't enough data. All these self-proclaimed 'stats-nerds' clearly aren't nerdy enough to know that a sample size of 3 is not enough to give any kind of meaningful result. If you loved stats so much this comment thread would make you feel a bit queasy. Also the 'experiment' doesn't control for one massive factor, which is rider variation. It might be genuinely faster for @mikekazimer but we can't make wide ranging conclusions for wheel size based on him alone. @leelau @feldybikes
  • + 5
 @bentown: To show how I've become accustomed to how poor bike reviews are from an objective point of view even this tiny sample size is better than most. But point taken

Another massive variable is temporal (ie changing conditions) Also rider fatigue crosses over into both the rider and temporal aspects if you want to get into massive geekout mode
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I think @feldybikes did a statistical analysis of the actual experimentation.
Did you mean, "statistical analysis is one thing, intuition is another"?
  • + 3
 Dh results are based on time, not how you feel on a bike. Statistical analysis is perfectly valid way to measure differences since the goal is a shorter time on a course. Not enough statistical power from this set of data.
  • + 1
 @leelau: Exactly! that's why you try to control for those variables with plenty of replication.
  • + 2
 @FatTonyNJ: Great point. Faster is faster. How much faster is an irrelevant data point to determining what is faster.

For example: Even though there is no statistical difference in speed between a plane A that can travel 500 mph and plane B that can travel 515 mph, plane B is still faster and you cannot say plane A is as fast as plane B because the difference in speed (which is a measure of time) was not statistscly significant.

So what matters is simply what is faster, not by how much. So, do a bunch of runs and if all or a very nigh percentage of runs are faster on a 29er, then one could say 29ers are faster.
  • + 0
 @djpamg: no I mean that sitting in front of computer and riding a bike are different things... for once I can school someone on that. If you took a 29er after riding a 275 bike and rode it just like that, you'd be off in half of the corners because they turn in differently. To make it a good test, Mike would need to spend at least 2 more runs on a 29er. Was the track drying up? Was he getting fatigued, or instead more familiar with the nuances of the track?

Where is that reflected in your data?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: ah-- that makes sense.
  • + 1
 The times are all over the place and then... Woop! Suddenly pieced together a run 8 seconds faster than any other 29r run...

My theory regarding bigger wheels, based from my experience riding them, is that they are harder to manoeuvre pricesly, at a pro level this could be the difference between nailing the perfect line or losing speed; destroying your wheel on a rock or narrowly avoiding it...

If you take a fair assessment of the data presented, disregard the first two runs, irrespective of the bike, as 'learning the track', you're left with the 3 best runs feom each wheel size. You have a 7 second variation in times with 650b and a 13.3sec variation with 29. This part of the data is huge, it confirms exactly what I always thought, 29ers might be ultimately capable of a quicker run, but due to being cumbersome and awkward, they result in far more inconsistent runs times and ergo, more chance of crashing, flatting or breaking a wheel.

Really dont know how many pros, in a sport that measures overall performance throughout a whole season, are going to trade consistency over pot luck.
  • + 0
 @ctd07: everything is cumbersome and awkward for the first few times. Even vagina.
  • + 3
 26 for life!
  • + 0
 @ivankvkharkiv: Its going to be short. Enjoy it while you still can!
  • + 1
 @gumbytex: in a straight line.
  • + 64
 What happened to the trek guy chatting shit about how their 29er bike was much better than santa Cruz's one, how they hadn't just thrown on a different rear triangle and hoped for the best, before doing exactly that and using the same front triangle!
  • + 16
 Trek has been known to go back on their word for quite a while now. For years they were saying how no one needed 27.5" wheels and how 29" wheels were better at everything.
  • + 25
 I read it like he was saying SC slapped a new back end on an old front end whereas Trek redesigned the front end to take both rear ends.
  • + 54
 I can't believe they release a 29er DH bike and there is no XL frame size. It seems taller riders would be the first to jump on board and they don't have a proper frame for them.
  • + 7
 @seraph: that was the feeling at a few companies but the market didn't jump on 29 outside of xc bikes... So they had to do 27.5 to not lose the sales... But they always thought 29 was better... Finally it's coming around...
  • + 6
 @badbietz: Tall riders have never been a priority for Trek and this is no different. Though the irony is awesome.
  • + 4
 @badbietz: Stick that Fox fork on a Wreckoning, whose XL is suitably massive.
  • + 3
 @seraph: Member full floater?
  • + 11
 pretty sure that was Intense's owner...
  • + 2
 I feel like inside Trek there has to be some sort of internal power strugle between the guys that thought Gary Fisher was right, and the ones that want to milk market trends. They seem to have always love 29ers, but at the same time they came up with excuses why 27.5 was also ok. An example would be that RETARDED time when they claimed it depended on the riders height.
  • + 7
 @alexsin: Haha they just updated the article to include XL so we stand corrected, they do have an XL
  • + 10
 @badbietz: Doesn't the article say, "I hopped onto that XL 29er"?
  • + 2
 @badbietz: on top of that is clear that trek bikes era short on reach so even worse
  • + 5
 #26aintdead
  • + 4
 I love 29ers, I love how Trek bikes look and ride, I love their athletes, Gee, Rachel, Emily, Casey Brown, Polish Pete, Emily, T-Mo, Emily... ehm... Trek Bicycle Store is a freaking awesome bike shop in my town (like MTB/SKI Store Razz ) but I will never forget the Boost thing... or how layup and joint of Madone 9.9 looks like after cutting through... this image, it will always be there, in the back of my head, no matter what they do. Like my wife cheating on me with a LARPer... I feel cheated, in a really bad way...
  • + 2
 @piersgritten @clunchpowers: That's what I thought too. That was Jeff Steber that said that in this article:

www.pinkbike.com/news/first-look-intenses-new-29er-dh-bike.html
  • + 4
 @WAKIdesigns: Yup. Feel the same way. I got burned on a Madone. They lost me as a customer.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: Originally they didn't list XL under frame size and in the article the line I hopped on a XL 29er could be read XL referring to the wheel size.

They updated it of course and I saw some geo charts on some other sites so the XL lives.
  • - 1
 Don't believe its the same front end when both the teams 27.5 race bike and the new 29 edition did not have Full Floater lower shock mount. The production 27.5 you saw online still had it until recently. Looks like they've decided to remove it from the 27.5 update as well.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: @Dustfarter you both mad ones now?
What happened with the Madone? I was between Madone and TCR, went TCR in the end for different reasons.
  • + 1
 @alexsin: Seen Strobel's Wreckoning in the DH race in Port Angeles? Right on par with your (great) suggestion!
  • + 1
 @badbietz: Think it was a typo as the article as Trek has XL's listed on their dealer site for pre-order, and it says the tester was riding an XL further down...
  • + 1
 @boxxerace: He ran the Wreck+40 a year or two ago at a NW Cup race.

I was going to go up a frame size to get more Reach out of my frames, but it appears the latest gen of frames have increased the Reach so I'm unsure what to do now.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: this image, it will always be there, in the back of my head, no matter what they do. Like my wife cheating on me with a LARPer... I feel cheated, in a really bad way...

LOL....quote of the day.
  • + 1
 @Tmackstab: Ahh... you might want to rephrase that, most of us pervs are taking it out of context
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal - not much really, other than if the tip top model of a Trek looks inside like this:

www.instagram.com/p/BRAEcqijim2/?taken-by=luescher_teknik

I see no reason why not buy a carbon Canyon costing less than that super deluxe frame. Why would I think that Session 9.9 is made in a better way since it used same technology (not monocoque, but glued segments)

Just like every owner of ENVE rim who have seen this picture:

www.instagram.com/p/BNRBHoED5JK/?taken-by=luescher_teknik

should feel a bit of anxiety which rim is Light Bicycle and which is ENVE...
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: which one is the enve?
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin the one with voids... unfortunately...
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Neat. LOL @ people not believing ultrasounds. I'm getting the idea that QC and NDT isn't a huge thing in the cycling industry?
  • + 1
 @RRMonster: I love 26 and both my bikes are 26, but I'm sure it'll be dead soon unfortunately. Every branch of racing will soon be 100% 29er
  • + 1
 @gonecoastal: the best thing Raoul posted was a youtube video about "misconception and misleading in bike tech". Apart from other gems he went like: companies come to big shows like Eurobike or Interbike and present cutouts of their carbon frames, and most of them are shit! Why are they showing off shit?

He is brilliant, he also kicked the crap out of roadies for being against disc brakes.

Check out his youtube channel, the guy is ace

@JonnyPollock - small wheels should be banned then, they are dangerous
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: I assume Raoul is Luescher Teknik on youtube as well? I'm giving him a subscribe.

That Enve rim is just plain embarrassing.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: 10 thumbs up, haven't heard the word LARP in years.
  • + 1
 @alexsin: I like big bikes but the Wreckoning XL, at least on paper, is scary big or is it the future? As in Mondraker long and low and raked out like crazy?
  • + 2
 @badbietz: just got an xl 2018 session 29ner? dont know what yer talking about man
  • + 1
 @hastyyy: Wow trolling comments from 15 months ago, well played. If you read the entire comment thread you will see that when this article was first posted the geo chart didn't list an XL which I thought was odd being a 29er. They then updated the article to include the XL in the geo chart, there are a few comments on this including ones from myself. I would guess if you are reading through year old posts you have time to read all of them lol cheers.
  • + 47
 A simple statistical test will tell you there is no significant difference between those times....
  • + 42
 Recording 50 laps on each bike would be more like it. Mike's statistics professor is probably shaking his head right now.
  • + 66
 You're right, to be statistically significant I should have camped out and done a week's worth of testing. For what it's worth, the Athertons and other Trek athletes have done just that, and came up with similar results.
  • + 47
 It'll be a cold day in Hell when the bike industry gives us quantitative/numerical data on any new product's performance. The line between journalism and advertising is pretty blurry on the ol' Pinkbike.
  • + 8
 @dirtworks911: Problem with that, though, because there's cumulative impact over that many runs that will affect the results. Yep, with each run, you'd expect a bit of learning to improve things, and you'd expect that at some point fatigue will set in. There's no way you can ever get large enough numbers of runs to do any real testing of statistical significance.
  • + 8
 @Jubbylinseed: What numbers are you interested in other than what's included in the article?
  • + 25
 Also, does one ride faster when they believe they're on a faster bike? i.e. could it be placebo rather than wheelsize that makes the difference? Impossible to know without a waaaaay larger sample size in a blind test. Blind mountain bike testing...sounds exciting.
  • + 4
 @mikekazimer: That sounds like an excellent pitch to Pinkbike's accounting department justifying the budget for an article. As in, you'll have to spend at least a week each at something like three or four different lift or shuttle served DH tracks, with a small support crew taking care of mechanic support, physio, nutrition, etc. so you can get the most meaningful data possible for your readers. Hard life, but hey, someone's gotta do it Wink
  • + 21
 @mikekazimer:I want to see a non-industry tester. No offense, but you're a politician here, whether you feel it or not. It's hard to take a representative of a website sponsored by Trek seriously. Show up at a trail center with both bikes and blow Joe Schmoe's day by letting him test.
  • - 3
 @PhatBrett Statistics are for nerds. pfff...stupid numbers.
  • + 1
 I'm not sure what type of statistical analysis your doing but a simple average of the three fastest 27.5 times and the three 29 times listed shows a reduction of 1.27 seconds. Any mathematician or engineer would tell you that that number is indeed statistically significant given the somewhat limited dataset. Although a much larger dataset is desirable, these numbers show a strong correlation (correlation does not equal causation) between larger wheel diameter and overall reduction in time. More data is needed but the findings from this small dataset are promising and definitely warrant more research.
  • - 2
 Was the 29 version 5 seconds faster per run?
  • - 2
 @PhatBrett The statistics look good to me. Trying to understand, what do you see that I don't?
  • + 4
 If we are being fair, takes more time to get used to a bigger bike than a couple days. I suspect over time the margin would in fact grow.
  • + 7
 @hardcore-hardtail: I don't think you know what statistically significant means. run a t-test
  • + 1
 The best test is to ride one yourself and see if you have more fun on it.

the second best test is what pro riders (who are in a good position with their sponsors, and can dictate their own terms) choose to ride.
  • - 2
 @dirtworks911: Doesn't matter it's obvious the 29 is faster.. The arguments are dead.
  • - 2
 @Jubbylinseed: how much more do you need?
  • - 1
 @Jubbylinseed: Why would they publicize quantitative data on their product for other competitors to see? Just because you can't have access to it does not mean it's BS. Asides from that, it's whether you have the access to the data inconsequential because no one's holding a gun to your head forcing you to buy a 29er DH bike.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Props for asking the proper follow up to the typical pinkbike complaint/comment.
  • + 1
 @bohns1 @mikekazimer from this data, the only thing you can conclude is that you tend to improve your time when you train more. We can also observe that you stopped while you were still improving, which is too bad, because the only way you could say one bike is faster is too reach the plateau phase.
  • + 5
 @grant-a: @PhatBrett is pointing out that we need a lot more observations (laps) in order to be able to confirm that there really is a difference between the average lap times on each bike. We want to be able to say something along the lines of: we are 95% certain the average lap time on the 29er is faster than the 27.5 average lap time, based on a t test for the difference in lap time means. With just a few laps on each bike, we can't say that because our sample size-deflated standard errors, which are key in determining whether two means are different, are going to be huge relative to the difference between average time.

What these statistics are getting at is that @mikekazimer could have had some of his best possible times on the 29er and some of his worst possible times on the 27.5, given that there is randomness in lap times.
  • + 2
 @jcc0042: you could also ask, why is 27.5 faster than 29 on the first segment?
  • + 5
 @jcc0042: This is kind of ridiculous that all this debate has been dug up. Dirt magazine and other have done a lot of comparisons and riding, testing on the "big wheel" format - with trail and enduro bikes- and it seems to everyone, to be faster. I know that for a long time the generally accepted notion was that for DH, the travel requirements and overall size of the machine as a result, would be problematic. I would argue that with the current level of geometry refinement this is no longer the case. Tires and wheel stiffness were other concerns. I have recently purchased my first 29 trail bike, a hard tail, and having ridden similar bikes with smaller wheels I have to say- thing is fast. You ride it in a different way perhaps, and there is a bit of a learning curve for truly aggressive cornering due to the wheelbase. These traits you overcome as you learn how to ride the machine. The basic physics however don't lie, the bigger diameter wheel will flatten out the trail in front of you and love it or hate it... these modern big bikes rip.
  • + 4
 @DARKSTAR63: I completely believe 29ers will be faster in DH. I'm just giving details to what others were alluding to: this article proves nothing statistically.
  • + 5
 Keep in mind there is a huge difference between statistical significance and practical significance
  • + 1
 @jcc0042: I agree with that.
  • + 2
 PValue or gtfo.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I really like seeing the data, thanks for including it. 5 runs each in random order would be a great starting point to establish a good base for analysis, not much more than what you have here.

It would be really cool to pit bike reviews head to head to head in a design of experiment format where you could actually separate out the bike effect from the rider and run order. I'd be happy to provide the design and analysis if you guys are interested. It can be difficult to really extract meaning from reviews when every bike seems to ride well.
  • + 3
 @Griffinrw: That's true, but usually it goes the other way: something statistically significant may not have real world significance.
  • + 0
 @zede: The pros are consistently beating their own times! All of my personal times are bested on my 29 vs 27.5 on my favorite loops.. Its really I need to know..
  • + 1
 @DARKSTAR63: Amen to that man!
  • + 2
 @dthomp325: p-value = 0.4431 so not statistically significant difference but mainly due to sample size and lack of normal distribution.
  • + 5
 @Jimmy0: I don't think the t-test is the best method for evaluating this extremely small dataset for several reasons which you should understand given your firm grasp on statistical analysis.

The best conclusion that can be gathered from the above dataset is that the hypothesis can be neither confirmed nor denied and requires further testing. I assume the fine people at Trek made these same observations, performed a lot more testing and came to the conclusion that the benefits were enough to begin production on new carbon fiber molds (not an inexpensive endeavor by any means) and release a production version of this bike that they can give to their racers to be help them ride faster than the competition. Along with several other major bike manufacturers.

With this being said the laws of physics point to one of these wheel sizes being faster than the other which is hard to refute. I guess you don't think that these companies do their homework before creating production level products.
  • + 3
 @hardcore-hardtail: you made a lot of assumptions muchacho.
  • + 2
 @Jubbylinseed: calling annoying in the media these days a Journalist is an insult to the English language! They are all paid advertisers or campaign managers!
  • + 1
 @Jubbylinseed: YES!!! Thank you for distinguishing the industry and journalism/publicity versus actual numerical data!!! Bothers me that it seems SO MANY people are missing this point in this whole 29er fiasco!
  • + 1
 @skylerd: Great point! I believe the same thing happens mentally when one snaps a chain (no Gwin reference intended). You know you can't pedal, so you lay off your breaks more. Thinking you'll roll over things better (I'm sure) instills greater confidence.
  • - 1
 @shaun-ridefast-michael: During testing of the 29er DH, one of the Syndicate riders described the new bike as
"deceptively fast" and "confidence inspiring" which can only be a good thing considering how rough certain sections of track can be. Can't wait to see them rolling at Ft. Bill!
  • + 36
 It's the 29er PB Haters ball!

Srrsy, whats the problem here? Should the bike industry apologize for trying to make bikes better? Or is the issue here that the 29er's showed up, then 650B and now we are back to 29? I understand that 27.5 was easier to make it work better, where as since there is a much larger delta between 26, and 29 so it took a while to get right..

No one is getting forced to trade your old bikes in, if you like 26 then duke on. But don't hate simply because it's different or better/faster.

I remember reading the internet looking at these goofy wagon wheeled bikes, then seeing my old 26in hardtail, thinking these big-wheeled bikes are getting pretty silly.. Then I was forced to ride one, and now I wouldn't give it up. I feel cheated for riding this long and now after 25 years I finally get a bike that fits right.

Sorry kids the 29ers are the future, look at XC racing, its 29' or why bother, and soon DH will be a similar tail. Nobody is going to sit around when there are valuable seconds sitting on the table for free.
  • - 18
flag nvranka (May 25, 2017 at 9:11) (Below Threshold)
 Oh god...did you just try to draw a parallel between XC and DH?

The 29er crowd is out in full force
  • + 15
 @allmost: you kinda do get forced into riding something new if new parts aren't made for 26. Mostly rubber, wheels and forks. New standards don't help either. I think your wrong on that point.
  • + 17
 It's not about the industry trying to improve things; it's completely about consumers being annoyed and frustrated by different standards and approaches that are being foisted upon them. I get it: it sucks spending $5k or more on a new fancy carbon bike, and finding out 2 years later that it's outdated. I've experienced this with 26" bikes myself, to the point where it's hard to even find tires, hubs, rims, etc... at any LBS.

Basically what it boils down to is that mountain biking is an expensive sport (for reference, my math shows it costs me about $20 / ride on bikes and bike parts), and constant change and evolution in the industry causes it to be more expensive. For that reason it's easy to understand why people hate on the change.
  • - 4
flag bohns1 (May 25, 2017 at 11:13) (Below Threshold)
 @nvranka: the 29 crowd is taking over! Doesn't matter the discipline of the sport.. I personally wouldn't be surprised to see a 29 at Rampage in the next couple year's.. Just sayin!
  • - 1
 @ldhbaker: I stopped hating and put that energy into getting a better job! Much easier that way...
  • - 1
 @h-beck83:

I was forced in the terms of my LBS owner making me try the 29 before I knew I wanted it.

I've got lots of extras for my 26, and they are going to last considering how much I ride it now.

And standards are important, they make things better and cheaper for the masses, they don't exist to make people buy new bikes. If you worked in engineering, manufacturing or design you would understand how stupid that statement is.


Also, I rode the same 26 bike for years and years, past the first 29 trend, then 27.5 then back to 29, then with carbon frames, air suspension and every other change in this industry in the last 10 years. And instead of ranting on the internet about how air suspension is the devil because everyone know coil springs are best, I just rode my bike and didn't worry about it. Then I made a choice based on what felt right to me when upgrading, not what the internet was telling me.
  • + 3
 @h-beck83: @h-beck83: ABSOLUTELY!!! The people who keep saying "continue riding 26" if you want to..." are NEVER the ones trying to find parts for the older bikes; they're always the people with the latest and greatest and the money to purchase it all....
  • + 1
 The problem is that the bike industry isn’t trying to make bikes better. They’re just trying to sell as many bikes as possible.
  • + 20
 Props to Kazis and to Trek for putting up data (for what it's worth) showing that the time differentials between wheelsizes are statistically insignificant.

What remains to be seen is quantification of fun factor in wheelsizes. @mikekazimer I suggest a biopsy or (less invasive) blood samples to meter endorphin flow differentials between the different wheel size platforms. Your choice but remember that the universe of Pinkbike commenters will microparse your methodology.

DISCLOSURE _ I own bikes in all these different wheelsizes and somehow manage to have a blast riding all of them
  • + 5
 I think with the attention to detail in both experiment methodology and analytical techniques required to satisfy Pinkbike commenters there could be a Nature publication here: "Quantification of enjoyment levels across various wheel sizes".

I propose we test this in an animal model first to illustrate proof of concept that a living being can have fun on a 29er before we review a human trial study with the ethics board, does anyone have a canine specimen that can shred? I can't imagine how huge the impact would be on civilization if we could prove riding any wheel size is fun (or any bike for that matter).
  • + 2
 @leelau If you're having fun on all these wheelsizes...you're doing it wrong. It's impossible. Smile
  • + 24
 still looks like a session

*ill walk myself out
  • + 1
 Ingenious.
  • + 1
 @CaptainSnappy: original at best
  • + 1
 I was trying to find somebody that said it. I figured this would be at the top.
  • + 3
 Damn....beat me to it. I was scrolling to make sure no one got to it first.
  • + 21
 Yeah I don't believe you anymore. After all the praising on 650b and admitting it was bs, I am not buying your shit
  • + 22
 This site is great for many things, but it is clear that they just push the bike industry agenda in their reviews at the expense of their readers. I am just going to skip over their product reviews from now on and enjoy the other coverage. I am boycotting new bikes until everyone gets their act together and the old bikes ride just fine anyhow.
  • + 9
 ^this
  • + 8
 @josebravo, I'm not entirely sure who you're addressing, but if it's me I can assure you I've never "praised 650b and then admitted it was BS." I've got nothing against 27.5" wheels, but this new 29er was seriously impressive, and I know that others would want to at least get an idea of what it was like to ride.
  • + 15
 @retswen: just buy a frame and build it up... Oh sorry, I forgot, your current hubs are probably 0.5mm too narrow
  • + 2
 @zombiejack33: I'm wondering if you're not being a little harsh on them. Yes, there's a bit of boosterism. But think about the profile of someone who makes a living as a bike journalist. Chances are, they're just seriously overflowing with stoke about all things bike. And when they get to try something new that works, and that seems even a little better than the thing they tried before, they'll get very excited. And they're in a bit of a bubble - testing new bikes all the time, all with high-end builds, on awesome trails. So don't be surprised if they're acting a bit like kids in a candy store. Don't expect them to be the sober voice of reason. I know that if I were riding that much, always on the latest and greatest, I'd probably lose a bit of my skepticism as well and start chanting the theme song from the lego movie Wink
  • + 0
 @retswen: Not to be a jack@$$ - how is this pushing the bike industry agenda? Are you anticipating a wholesale push from 27.5 to 29, with 650B components becoming outdated/no longer available?

It seems that in the Trail/AM world that the 650B and the 29er each have their place in the industry today and it doesn't look like that's changing, since they both achieve the same goal in slightly different ways... Why would DH be any different? The only gripe that makes sense to me is people complaining about the jump from 26 to 650B as a new standard. They are so similar... But 29 and 650B are pretty different, so I think they can both be great options for people.
  • + 18
 @snowwcold55: I am 100% fine with change, but I basically jumped in at the worst time in 2013. These incremental changes should have been done all at once instead of making frames obsolete for upgrades every year since 2013.

2013 - 650b
2014 - boost rear
2015 - boost front
2016 - metric shock
2017 - 29 DH
2018 and beyond - might as well wait until they get their act together before buying your next bike/frame
  • + 5
 @retswen: lol. You don't understand how anything in this world works it seems. This site and the thousand others like it are just supposed to exist with no money coming in? It's your job as a human being to know when you're being advertised to and to make decisions accordingly. You do it every day driving down the road. That billboard for the new Lexus on the 55fwy didn't immediately suck you in to the dealership, and you didn't feel the need to boycott all Lexus vehicles because they, shockingly, made a new one this year....
  • + 15
 @mikekazimer: I think that the 27.5 revolution is actually the thing that is pissing off many people (including myself). I don't think 29er DH bikes are an issue at all, I have a problem with how the industry force fed us the useless 27.5 a few years ago selling it as the greatest thing in the world. 27.5 was not the great compromise between the 26 and 29er, its was barely bigger than a 26 and did not nearly offer enough benefits to warrant the entire industry converting to it overnight.
  • + 4
 @rewob: The new Lexus will share parts with the same model for at least 4 years and will have resale value when you are ready to move on to something newer. I enjoy this site for a lot of things and I hope they stay in business. However, I don't think objective journalism is incompatible with that and that should be the main goal of all news outlets and magazines, including online ones.
  • + 11
 @mikekazimer: I think the main issue is the bike riding public are getting jaded with the "latest big thing" every year. There are lot of people on here that spend a hell of a lot of hard earned cash every year on bikes to find that their investment is very quickly not only obsolete but worthless when they decide to sell on.
i've not long upgraded both my sons and my Downhill bikes thinking at least when we need to replace them we can recover most of the investment. I now feel I may well have flushed most of my money down the pan.
i'm seriously considering turning my back on mountain bikes and heading back to Motocross. I may suffer huge deprecation on buying the bike but at least in three year times it will still be reasonable competitive and have some residual value.
  • + 0
 @snowwcold55: They are different for sure. And I'd think that rider size and riding style/preferences will mean there'll always be demand for something a little bigger on the wheel front for people who like that, and something a little smaller for people whose size or riding style benefits. If I remember correctly, Specialized and Trek were trying to do 26 and 29 and were late to the party with 650b, whereas others really pushed 650b as the new one-size-fits-all. That latter approach really hasn't worked out so well - look at Giant bringing 29ers back for their XC bikes (and expect them to eat crow and forget all about all that marketing copy telling us that anything other than 650b was a bunch of shit).
  • - 2
 No one is asking you to buy the bike, just an opinion piece with some facts to back it up.
  • + 2
 @retswen: you forgot 110 boost
  • + 11
 @snowwcold55: DH bikes are a small piece of sales for companies, to the point where some don't make them anymore. When 29" DH bikes catch on, that's the only "choice" you'll have. Very few companies have the resources to offer 2 different DH bikes, so I'm not sure why people think they'll have all these choices of DH bikes.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: I meant pinkbike, not you specificly
  • + 3
 @retswen: I'm with ya!!! ^^
  • + 1
 @retswen: I've never understood all this complaining about bike companies making last year's stuff obsolete. I've never had a problem getting parts for an older bike. You can still buy 26" stuff, 9 spd, etc. Heck, you could go old school and install non-indexed thumb shifters if you wanted. They still sell them. Nobody says you have to sell your bike just because something new came out. Ride what you have and enjoy it while it lasts. By the time you actually need a new bike you've magically skipped through several incremental steps. The ones I feel sorry for are the bike shops. It creates a lot more inventory risk/burden for them.
  • + 7
 @retswen: You forgot 142mm dropouts before the Boost (they used to be 135mm)

I'll guess that the next change is about head tube sizing. That's the place where most of the flex is now on the trail bikes and actually a straight 1.5" inch steerer tube would make sense. Handlebars are stronger than the steerer tube. This would help stocking bearings as well... Although I think that's too convenient so someone will think of something in between sizes Wink

www.mountainbikesdirect.com.au/assets/images/Steerers.jpg
  • - 1
 @g-42: what about the pros testing these as well and singing praise? This is everyday for them.. Atherton been trialing this hike for a good three years now on prototypes..
  • + 0
 @retswen: Naaa cuz then you'll be that much older!
  • + 3
 @mikekazimer: I think he's referring to Mr. Levy in Tuesday's Ask PB and the "29er Downhill Bike Hate" response.

Admittedly, I've used his assertion that we have "the non-existent need for 27.5'' wheels" for my own sarcastic enjoyment a couple of times now.
  • - 1
 that new Lexus is going to loose half its value faster than the new Session DH29 will. And the Session 29 shares way more parts across models than any car ever will. 1980s VW excluded. .
  • + 1
 @MonsterTruck: Other than frame, forks, wheels, the bits that really cost.
  • + 1
 @sino428: you nailed it bro!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: life on PB.
  • + 1
 @retswen:
2018: super boost!
  • + 16
 the strategy is basically the same as a few years ago. first the media is inundated with amazing reviews about the new wheel size, then racers are forced to ride on 29ers, then mike kazimer states 29ers are faster (didn't know that mike), then giant announces its decision to stop making 275 bikes, then as always the other makers follow the leader, finally consumers believe they chose to buy 29ers.
  • + 3
 Can't prop this enough!!!
  • + 15
 Why did the bike industry waste their time making 650b DH tires and forks when it's so obvious that 29er is better than 650b?

Did you notice the difference in the boost front hub? That must really have made a huge difference...
  • + 6
 Hmm, I wonder why?....
  • + 16
 I, for one, really like the crop of 29er DH bikes popping up. They look like they'd be fun. I also think all bikes, even road bikes are fun.
  • + 7
 but not mtn e bikes? right?
  • + 13
 Can we get a track profile? Here, there are tons of switchbacks. All the British DH's I see have tons of high side switchbacks, Australia, Europe, etc.

But every shot I see of these things is on a straight or arcing turn. Heck, Champerey is the tightest of the tight, but still wider than any DH course I ride.
  • + 3
 Ive had no problem on tight terrain & switchbacks at Whistler or anywhere else on an Evil Wreckoning. Had to adjust my riding style a bit from riding a twenty sixer, but it made me a more aggressive rider and a lot faster. Dead issue for me.
  • + 4
 @nsteele: The very idea that the Pacific Northwest is "tight terrain" is silly. I rode Whistler Bike Park on 27.5" DH bikes and the place is so big that I couldn't tell if there was a difference between them there and my 26" bike back home. I'm sure they're faster out there. I'm talking East Coast tight. England tight.

I'm sure there is some twisty tech out there...but by in large, it's so much more open than here.

I got to ride various top of the line trail bikes here in 27.5" and can feel they have to have a larger arc to turn and the wheels take longer to pull up to speed. I'll buy on eventually, but man..I ride a tiny 26" on trails as it is to have fun. My DH bike is still 26" and I am sure 27.5" is faster...but it also takes away some of the desperation turning I can get away on stuff here.

29" DH bikes on World Cup tracks and West Coast stuff I get. I want to see guys like Sam Hill, Marc Beaumont and Danny Hart making 180 degree drop turns in sequence and still clicking them off cleaner and faster.

Call me skeptic. Big Grin
  • + 0
 @nsteele: exactly! Dead for me as well... SIMPLY, I'm much faster on a 29 and the fun factor is amplified.
  • + 2
 @bizutch: we got lots of twisty tech in the PNW. My fav stuff to ride. There's plenty of it at Whistler too- it's not all machine built A Line type.

But OK, I rode same bike at Pisgah Forest, NC earlier this year. Certainly an epicenter of twisty, gnarly East Coast tech. Road the biggest, gnarliest trails they had with a Wreckoning. Lots of twisty too. Had no issues, and was a lot faster than previous times there with a 26er. Yeah, it's harder to tip the big bike over into turns, but once I got more aggressive with body shifts, I don't even notice anymore. Upside is I'm fast thru turns now, and the bigger wheels are way faster on straights and also thru any gnar. Give er a try! I'm sold now.
  • + 3
 @bizutch: Call be biased, but I've ridden both the 29er Trek Remedy and the new 27.5. Honestly I'm faster on my 29er in all conditions and trail types. That's based of Strava so take that as you will. However tight turns and twisty gnarly tracks have never been an issue on the big wheels. The smaller wheels "feel" faster but my actual times are the same or slower. I will say that the smaller wheels are a little easier to get off the ground, but once you get used to a 29er its just as easy to get air born.
  • + 1
 @bizutch: my experience riding 29 vs 26 on tight terrain is that dual crown is always the limiting factor on DH bikes. If you can get around the turn with a dual crown, then it's not tight enough for bigger wheels to be an issue.

If the corner is so steep and tight that you need a single crown, then there is a chance that smaller wheels and wheelbase might be better.
  • + 11
 Great looking bike! but that dataset is almost comical as a '5 second' advantage. Looking at splits, 27.5 is quicker up top, and barely slower at the bottom, and with the numbers all over the place illustrates a rider that isn't a great example to use (sorry mike, I know you rip, but pros are more consistent). Without seeing track and it being a reviewer not a pro racer, it's all with a grain of salt. Prob be quicker for some, slower for others, and the times show 27.5 is quicker in spots.

For a taller guy like me, should work out great.
  • + 8
 If 29ers weren't statistically faster we wouldn't be seeing them on the World Cup tour. It's not marketing hype, it's companies trying to give their riders the best possibility for a win. No one needs to rush out and buy a 29er DH rig unless you actually believe that 3 seconds a lap at the bike park is going to change your lot in life. It's hard for me to get mad at bike companies when I am the idiot who sells my shit at a loss to get the "better" newer shit actually believing that I am somehow going to suck less.
  • + 3
 Until new tires & such start coming in 29" only. Just ask the 26" crowd if they get excited about new tires anymore. I'm looking down the barrel of having a 1 year old bike, that I need to last 5 years or so, & being left behind on any new tires released after the end of this year, if the 26" to 650 change over is any indication. & when I bought my new bike, I ended up having to sell 2 bikes to fund it, because 26" bikes were worth so much less, even last year.
  • + 5
 @groghunter: I actually just had a buddy get super amped over the new gum wall maxxis tires for his 2007 Reign.

He was stoked. We rode together, my bike is 10 years newer and has fancy wheels. We both had the same amount of fun and shuttled the same trails. The world didn't end. Life went on and we enjoyed a beer.

Ride what ya got!
  • + 4
 @WolfStoneD: Good thing for him he wasn't lusting after the ethirteen tires (which are freaking great, BTW.) or any of the WT casing tires from maxxis. Or most of the new WTB tires. Tiremolds /= tire sidewall compounds.
  • + 2
 @WolfStoneD: and ride it like it's stolen
  • + 1
 @groghunter: people ride old tread patterns for years and did things most people on here wouldn't dream of. Who cares if the new one is ever so slightly better
  • + 2
 @WolfStoneD:

You my friend....have hit the nail on the head.

Internet hype is ruining the fun.
  • + 1
 @piersgritten: Glad you're here to tell us that everything new is just "slightly" better. If you weren't here, we might be so silly as to form our own opinions!

The wider rims & tires designed for them? A lot of people(including me) find them to be much more than a "slight" improvement.

So what if better riders did things I can't do on crappier equipment? That doesn't somehow completely negate the advantage of better parts. & having spent several thousand dollars on a new bike, only to not be able to use new, improved, consumable parts like tires, not because they couldn't work on my bike, but because the industry elected not to make them in a size that they were pushing only a year or two ago, sucks. the fact that the bike still works with whatever tires the industry deigns to continue to produce in 27.5 doesn't negate that fact. Not being able to sell this bike for a reasonable price, merely due to it's wheelsize, sucks.
  • + 10
 Since the bike uses the same front triangle as the 27.5 what are the chances Trek offers a retro fit rear triangle for people who want to convert?
  • + 8
 Seriously? Just save your cash and buy last year's bike (when it comes out)
  • + 4
 @piersgritten: No I wasn't really being serious. I'm not expecting them to offer that because that would go against the mission to convince everyone that they have come up with something groundbreaking here.

All this hype about the "development" of 29er DH bikes and all Santa Cruz and Trek have done is give us a different rear triangle that fits a bigger wheel.
  • + 3
 @sino428: I'm not a bike designer - but a different rear triangle and linkage would require a fair bit of testing and probably a number of prototypes to get sorted. Think about all the work they do to refine things in tiny little increments on their existing bikes, and how small the changes are when they actually commit to new geometry for a new model.
  • + 1
 Amen just like ibis does
  • + 2
 @g-42: I understand that. I was exaggerating a bit and did not mean to suggest that there was no R&D done, but at the same time it is still just a bigger rear triangle and an existing bike.
  • + 3
 @sino428: not really. the front triangle got a complete overhaul compared to the 2017 model.
  • + 0
 @xkriegerx: Exactly, "complete overhaul" or just enough of a change so that you can't retrofit the new rear triangle to an older session?
  • + 2
 You can't, the new bike is not full floater. They redesigned the front triangle. Originally they were testing 2 different front triangles but they ended up so close to each other that they ended up using the same triangle
  • + 2
 The chance of Trek offering anything that may be seen as convenient or a possible cash saver are zero. Trek staff parties are them sitting in bathtubs full of cash.
  • + 1
 @sino428: Trek has been prototyping this for 3 years.. Highly doubt it's just a rear tri change up.
  • + 1
 Won't work. New Session frame like the Slash 29 doesn't use Full Floater. New front triangle just both wheel sizes use the same one.
  • + 2
 @bohns1: Well they said it in the article, it uses the same front triangle as the 27.5 version. I understand now that its a new design on the 27.5 as well but at the end of the day the 29er is just a 27.5 with a roomier rear triangle.
  • + 7
 Damn you bike industry for rapidly progressing technology and making faster bikes! **shakes fist at monitor**
I have trouble understanding all of the hate. You don't dis bugatti for consistently making faster cars, what is the difference? ride the bike you can afford, dream of the shiny new bike. Let the racers and people that get paid to advance the technology do their jobs without all of the hate. I guess everyone would rather bike companies not do any R&D and only change models every 10 years. How dare they experiment with faster racing equipment. People have to remember that downhill is called the formula one of mountain biking for a reason, this ain't Nascar! Kudos to these companies pushing the envelope and ultimately making better products cheaper thanks to trickle down technology. All of this coming from a guy that just bought a 2017 FOX performance for his steel hardtail 26er...
  • + 4
 Bugatti basically had the same model from 2005 until last year when the new one came out...
  • - 1
 @wibblywobbly: was the new one faster?
  • + 7
 Interesting that Fox is credited with the "first major production 29er DH fork". The Dorado came in a 29 version in 2012 and was actually in a photograph on the prototype Session 29er in this article. ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb6134143/p4pb6134143.jpg Interestingly enough I searched for that article and found the photo was not there despite the comments talking about the 29er Dorado. I then searched " 29" Dorado Trek" in google images and it pops up with a link to the article it was removed from..

Why did you remove the Dorado 29" photo pinkbike??

Here is the link to the photo for those who might be interested
ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb6134143/p4pb6134143.jpg
  • + 4
 Sorry, this is the link to the original article: www.pinkbike.com/news/trek-tour-29er-proto-2011.html
  • + 3
 @nmontee you could also run the older 2006 dorados with 29" wheels. What was once old is new again! www.pinkbike.com/photo/6970738 hopefully the rear triangles are stronger on wagon wheel bikes this time around.
  • + 3
 Scrubbing the past to make a new future!
  • + 1
 That was a prototype, not 'production' . There is a difference.
  • + 2
 @bman33: you could buy a production lenz pbj 29er back then with production 180mm 29" Dorado.
  • + 2
 @Kitejumping: ok, I stand slightly corrected. That one in the pic was a bootleg prototype. Manitou did have a full production one later
  • + 10
 The degree of butthurt about wheel sizes is truly amazing.
  • + 6
 I still ride 26". If it's good enough for Cam McCaul it's good enough. I'll never be able to ride like him and if I'm 3 seconds faster on a weekend DH run I won't really notice it. At 52yo I think my chances of entering the WC circuit are a bit slim. I like a nimble little bike that I can flick around. That's all.
  • + 0
 Not a single person/company ever said you had to stop riding your current bike or buy a new one. Maxxis still makes new 26" DH tires. Ride your current bike till it falls apart and have fun
  • + 0
 @bman33: When they announced they're going to stop making parts for said bike (i.e. forks, same size rear wheels...) they pretty much said buy a new bike. Or you could just get the new part w/the new standard ...but that will only fit the new frames w/the new standards, and all the other parts that have to go with said frame (new bottom bracket standard, new hub standard..) ...But you can still build it up with the old parts you have left from you original bike that still fit! ...But since that's pretty much narrowed down to a chain and grips, you should probably just buy a new complete...
  • - 1
 @shaun-ridefast-michael: Trek is using the same front end on 27.5 as the 29 DH bike. I can get a cheap or high-end hub in every configuration right now. I mentioned the tires already. You can still find 26" rims even .

We used to have square BB spindles , the Octalink, then 30 mm. Headsets used to be threaded, then threadless, then 1x1/8, now tapered. Bars used to be 25.4, now 31.8, 35. Try finding parts for a 6 year old frame no matter the wheel size. Point is , shit always changes. It's natural.
  • + 8
 "buy more shit, 'cause your shit from last year isn't as good any more!" f*ck you bike industry, f*ck you very much.
  • + 36
 So tired of this complaint.
  • + 6
 @gfowkes: Why are you tired of this complaint? Do you feel that it is unwarranted??
  • + 18
 Maxxis STILL makes 26" tires. I can. Find parts thru Rick Shox for a 10 year old 26" Boxxer. Not ONE person is forcing you to buy a new bike. Ride whatever the hell you have till the paint falls off.
  • + 7
 How about not buying new bikes then?
  • + 5
 Same. Some people actually want to buy new stuff. The smart ones aren't buying new shit every year anyway. Just like I don't buy a new car when they change the steering wheel stitching on the next year model, or a new phone when it's 3mm larger 6 months later. Shocking, but it may be time for people to upgrade after a few years...
  • + 0
 @TerrapinBen: it is, don't like the new stuff don't buy it.
  • - 11
flag E-ROG (May 25, 2017 at 8:24) (Below Threshold)
 Not a new idea but still proves true: The DH Race World needs to have standards like some other racing. I would start with making 27.5 mandatory. Then the bike industry can focus on making current products better and the race venues can focus on making the tracks better. Races time year over year no longer mean anything as the riders are on completely different machines.

And to make Enduro more interesting do one of the following.
-Either have specific races require a certain wheel size (i.e. 29 only for venue "A" & 27.5 only for venue "B".)
-Or have a Weight Minimum, say 28 lbs, and then the industry can focus on creating the best and strongest Enduro bikes within a given spec range.

Regulation would improve both the sports and the equipment as it has done in many other racing sports.
  • + 1
 DH bikes make up a very small percentage of sales to the industry... In fact, the industry has been holding these back for years, it is the riders/racers that have pushed to make them a reality now.
  • + 2
 @E-ROG: UCI already said if they standardize wheel size it will be set at the current size which has been allowed already...ie. 29
  • + 2
 @bman33: You've got a valid point there. I'm much more worried about proprietary stuff than I am about open standards proliferating. Sure, I don't like that I have to do a bit of extra research to figure out exactly which crank will fit my BB, or that I can't just switch wheels between bikes with a buddy in a pinch if one is Boost and the other isn't, but for all those things, I'll be able to maintain my bike for a very long time (and will be able to sell it in a few years to someone who will then be able to maintain it for years to come). But the proprietary stuff (like Cannondale's funky pull-shocks, or the BRAIN shocks Specialized did in the past) can make it impractical to keep an older bike running. I had a hand-me-down for my kid that had a proprietary Fox BRAIN that needed some new seals and damper parts, and the fact that you can't find those anywhere means that this bike that otherwise would have been a great one for him to ride for another couple years had become worthless. And that's not because of the 26" wheels (tires aplenty, forks available if you need them, etc.), but because for some reason Specialized thought it was a good idea to lock people into their proprietary shock designs.
  • + 3
 You do realize you're not the only person in the world that might be looking for a new bike, right? Should the industry shut down for an appropriate amount of time while we all wait for your bike to become dated enough to warrant buying a new one?
  • + 3
 Nobody's making you buy anything. Ride what you have, replace when necessary. Unless you're riding 26... but if you bought 26 last year, that's your fault.
  • + 1
 @gfowkes: Indeed. Things naturally get out-dated and there's literally hundreds of non-industry global political things that could render your bike obsolete or inoperable.

With patience I was able to assemble enough parts to set up my 2012 GT Sensor for a change from diy 1x9 to diy 1x10 for $65 CDN.

#whateveryourideaintdead
  • + 4
 @TerrapinBen: I do. In every sport, especially action sports, progression is the name of the game. Think about snowboarding. Bigger jumps, better equipment = more progression in tricks. Better, more advanced bikes, make for more fun rides. Tired of everyone complaining when something new comes out, that it's just "bike industry marketing" trying to get us to buy more shit. I personally love new shit. It's never fun paying for it, but my new bike rides so much better than the bike I had just two years ago. The bike industry will keep progressing. Whether you buy it or not, is up to you.
  • + 3
 @bman33: Which is what you see when you get off the internet and into the real world. Loads of people local to me are rocking 10+ year old bikes.

They all still have smiles on their face at the end of the trail and the end of the day.
  • + 3
 @bman33: Maxxis still makes 24" DH tires!
  • + 1
 @SonofBovril: Yeah I understand how small of a market share DH is and that's interesting about the UCI, I didn't know that. I don't really care about the whole wheel-size thing, its about preserving the sport. My comments about standardization are more about "Sport' and keeping whatever sport is it "pure" or consistent. Every major sport I can think of has regulations for the "game/event/race", regulations that keep the sport about the athletes/teams and not just the technology. As with other racing sports I think both Enduro and DH would actually strengthen & benefit both in the short term and long term with regulations. We'll see, time will tell.
  • + 2
 Vote with your wallet. The rest is whining.
  • + 3
 @TerrapinBen: I think it is unwarranted for sure. Until the new tech actually renders the old tech useless (which there is no evidence of that happening as of right now in regards to 29er DH bikes, btw) then why complain about it? That's like wishing toaster ovens were still exactly the same design from the '50s even though the new ones are way better and way more efficient at what they do... I think the only valid complaint right now is cost, which I would like Pinkbike to do an expose on. What is the real bottom line, how much does it cost to produce high quality CF frames in bulk, etc. That would be interesting. Otherwise, let the industry giants keep pushing the sport forward. Nobody is forcing you to buy anything, and without innovation, we would have no progress.
  • + 5
 If the results weren't so glowing for the 29er would this even have been published?

No way Trek ever invites you back to ride cool preproduction bikes with all expenses paid if the results don't show the new one is better. How did that bias play in to things?
  • + 13
 Of course it would have been published - there's no reason that I would have hidden my findings. The results are interesting either way.
  • + 1
 @wibblywobbly Ha ha, you cynic, only the other day he said "non-existent need for 27.5'' wheels",
i can't be arsed to scroll through previous articles where he would have been praising said wheel size, `
pays the bills i guess
  • + 5
 Give credit where credit is due, it is pretty damn impressive that Trek can so rapidly redesign, test, and put into production so many full-suspension bikes. 3 wheel size changes, various model year changes. That is impressive given a lot of companies WOULD change faster if they could.
  • + 5
 lol , all those e engineers arguing on Pinkbike completely missing the point ( very much like the f*cking bike industry ) If I were to choose the FASTED tool to get dow a mountain on 2 wheels, trust me, it wouldn't be a f*cking pedal bike .

Racing or riding mtb is and should only be about a rider'a ability to max out a given tool maximizing the fun factor and performance out of it .Its irrelevant to 99.99999% of the riders to be 2.3 sec faster on a 4 min run.Anyone saying then can feel that is a f*cking moron...Sure, smoother but they'd be better learning how to dial their suspensions better...Nothing wrong with 26' or 27'5 or even 29 " ( which will soon be 31'5") This new standard every year BS is only doing one think as far as Im concerns, PISSING me off...Its gotten to a point of a complete farce.Do you see that happening with BMX ?Dirt Bikes ?Even road bikes have had less f*cking around bullshit, how about skis , surf, skate boards?.This is no innovation, innovation would be nano molecules for suspensions like I have in my car, carbon brakes, gear boxes, lighter, better material, hec even e-bikes are more innovative that a f*cking wheel with an extra inch and a 1/2 .

On a wide world cup style track , I bet the bigger are quicker, but then again, who's gets to ride a large variety of WC track in their backyard everyday?Guys like Ritchie Rude are still favouring their 27.5 over 29" ..Until the day their sponsors will force them to ride the bigger wheels.

Dear bike industry, go f*ck yourself, Ive had it with you f*cking bullshit ..Next time I have 12k to spend on a bike it will a used Ducatti or an Aprillia...cause well ,A I have just about a millions places to go ride one of those fast and B it as a f*cking motor on it

Waiting for the land slide of neg prep in 1 . 2 . 3 GO
  • + 2
 Except the UCI rules ban motors. They don't say anything about wheel size.
  • + 2
 I was just about to write the same thing. Once my new 27.5 super rig is dead, KTM enduro bike here I come. For the same price I might add....
  • + 1
 @DrPete: the UCI governs 0.0000000000000001% of the riders, your comment is completely irrelevant, do you seriously think Trek invested a chunk of money just to design a bike for their sponsored athletes?Do you think this Pinkbike ADVERT only targets top racers ?

And you're also missing the point buddy, this non cense isnt going no where.31'5 " will also be faster on certain tracks and 33" might as well be.At one point we'll need to settle and enjoy watching who can get the most out of their bikes.Racing should be about which racers can max out a given bike, once everyone will be on the bigger wheels, what advantage will they have over the other ? None.29er arent more fun, not saying they cant be equally as fun but certainly not more so whats the point of shuffling the whole deck of cards AGAIN ? Manifacturers needs to stop worrying so much about top speed and start designing , better, more efficient bikes for the end users...True innovation, not so marginal crap thats only blurring the line.This reminds me of car manufacturers...A few years ago every one would go out and test their cars at the Nuburgring which in the end , was completely pointless for their customers.Now you see a lot of those guys skipping the whole thing and making cars that are more fun to drive...Bringing back slower , more engaging cars with manual transmission and stuff.We should at the very least all be on gear box bike by now, the tech is there but the industry isnt commiting.Sooo many other areas that can be largely improve on bikes to make them more efficient but instead we're wasting time with stupid shit like that.
  • + 0
 @tuumbaq: No, I'm afraid you're missing the point, but considering the verbal deluge pouring out over wheel size, I can tell that wheel size is just too emotional a topic to be discussed rationally.

Show me on the dolly where the 29er hurt you.
  • + 1
 @tuumbaq: It is kinda fun to replace your wheel sizes with suspension travel though and imagine it's 20 years ago. It's good for a laugh... "Next thing you know they'll be racing on bikes with 200mm travel and it'll no longer be a test of the rider's ability!"
  • + 4
 -2 sample t-test (p-value 0.448 ) NOT significantly different.

-Paired t-test pairing by segment (p-value 0.475) NOT significantly different.


-Linear Regression
Response: Total Time
Predictors: Constant, Wheel Size, and Lap number
Lap number is a significant predictor of the response Total Time (p-value 0.031), Wheel size is not a significant predictor (p-value.22).
  • + 4
 I hardy ever post on here. I find it quite funny that the mountain bike community is just figuring out what the rest of the off road folks already know. Bigger tires and wheels roll over the natural earth better than smaller tires and wheels. Its also really funny that so many on here relate basic physics and mechanics to marketing. If something works better, use it.
  • + 1
 How dare you spout logic on this forum. Ha!
  • + 8
 29ers are the real reason Josh Bryceland stopped racing.
  • + 21
 Yet he now races Enduro on a Hightower...?
  • + 18
 @SonofBovril: Hey, stop using common sense, this is a PB comment thread!
  • + 7
 Dear 29er DH haters, Going fast is fun. 29ers go fast. Ergo, 29ers are fun. Sincerely, XC riders across the world.
  • + 2
 love^
  • + 9
 Take my money!!!
  • + 6
 i hope you got a lot of it
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: He does! He's filthy!
  • + 3
 if semenuk uses a 29er on rampage and it wins ? its going to make 29ers stay!!! I think we should also consider a bikes flickability or how it plays when freeriding is added on the picture

DH racing with 29ers? it should work..
redbull rampage on 29ers? we should test it..
  • + 4
 This is all for naught. We all know now that there is "the non-existent need for 27.5'' wheels".

Talk about statistically insignificant...one of your test subjects is a sham.
  • + 3
 It's interesting to look at the World Enduro tour when considering wheel sizes. Many of the riders have the choice of 27.5 or 29ers through their sponsors for a few years now. Riders seem from an outside perspective to choose wheel size of their choice. I doubt Richie Rude is choosing a 650b bike if he is losing 5 seconds per stage. The technology and components have been out for a while for 29er enduro race bikes. Race results at the Enduro World Cup level seem to conflict a bit with Kaz science. That being said, I would love to try both wheel sizes back to back to help decide next bike purchase.
  • + 1
 It just comes down to rider preference and the conditions that they are riding in. Some riders feel more at home on the bigs while some like the feeling of the small. When you are racing under pressure being comfortable on the ride has a lot of "un-measurable" value towards how well you are going to do.
  • + 1
 @Nathan6209: Agreed
  • + 3
 I got into mtb around 6 or 7 years ago, and it is the greatest activity in the world. Of this I am certain. Went to the mall and got a 29er hardtail for $350 bucks and thought, "this is a lot of money to pay, but at least its new and it looks like a good bike." It was fun, but those full suspensions looked better. Went on ebay and bought a giant trance for $800, but those used suspension bikes only had 26" wheels so I went with it. That thing was fun as hell too, but the industry standard was changing around me, and all them new and shiny bikes were 27.5", so I sold those other bikes, and really splurged on an intense tracer 2014. $3000 and a few points for financing, and I was on my way, sending that thing down every trail I could find. I was sure that I had secured a great bike for years to come, as that wheel size was right smack in the middle of them other two, and for a dude with OCD that makes perfect sense. Why worry about the science of rolling resistance, or gyroscopic effects, when a man can simply have the best of both worlds in one single tire size! And for all eternity be silent, that we have finally reached the sweet spot for tire marketing and consumption. The world will be awash in the 650B as it eliminates the need to CHOOSE between unsavory side effects of minute proportion. The factories will throw away all the old molds, relics of a past when men simply had to vote along party lines, for now, all mankind can ride together, and change parts out freely.
  • + 8
 The time has come...
  • + 5
 ...To say fair's fair...
  • + 3
 ...To pay the rent...
  • + 2
 to pay our share
  • + 5
 This all sounds very interesting but 5000 USD is way out of my reach. I enjoy riding my old 26er anyway, let's just keep doing that.
  • + 3
 Canadian Rip Van Winkle wakes up after 8 years! jk - I totally can't afford 5k / 10k bikes myself, but that's the usual price range of these modern superbikes reviewed here (which I still love to read about / drool over / sometimes joyride at local factory demo events)
  • + 2
 There is a reason many sports mandate types of equipment used. To stop chasing every fad and make it accessible to everyone. Road cycling is better at that, it will take time and preponderance of evidence to make new bits legal. I would say MTB industry would benefit from this, before somebody rolls out on 36ers. Yes, it will make it faster for a sponsored athlete. No, it would make zero sense to push it as a new standard. Just standardize on 27.5. And maybe some other bits such as range of head angles and what not. All sports are doing with formula racing schemes just fine.
  • - 2
 Absolutely F'ing no. So we want MTB to be road now? Hell, the UCI STILL hasn't made a decisions to 'allow' disc breaks on pure road bikes. They waffled on it for CX bikes years after they were available for sale. F the UCI and rules. If the 29" bikes are shit, it will show in the races. Only reason we a bitching is because of a) money or b) it 'reminds' us of the sketchy 29" XC wheels and bikes from years ago. Yes, the hub BS over the last few years is a mess...but that really is a separate issue. Keep the UCI anti-fun, anti-progression old farts out of MTB. If you don't like 29", don't buy one. Maxxis still makes brand new 26" and 27.5" tire right now. I can get parts from Rock Shox for for 10 year old forks as we speak. Nothing is preventing any one from riding their current bikes for the next 10 years.
  • + 2
 @bman33: absolutely yes. If you don't like road, gazillion other sports doing just fine with equipment restrictions for competition.
  • - 1
 @Axxe: and that is precisely why many MTB Riders /Racers like our sport, because the lack of restrictions or rules so many other sports have. Mountain biking was created by people looking to buck that mindset. I don't like 29" either. But that should never imped on another rider/racer who wants to try other options.
  • + 2
 @bman33: lack of rules? Lol. DH dictates what kind of pants to wear.

Rules on equipment for competition would not affect you one bit, except more development focus would be on bits that you do care about.

Many sports no less cool than MTB do just fine with competition formulas.
  • - 1
 @Axxe: you are proving my point with yours. The pants rule is absurd, which is EXACTLY why we shouldn't let UCI impose any other restrictions. It's DH bike racing. Race any bike you can as long as it's human (not electric) powered. As far as development focus, I am 43 , race NORBA nationals and locally for 8 years or so, BMX since I was a kid. That said, 6-inch trail bike would destroy 90% of 'World Cup' DH bikes form 10-12 years ago in every aspect. Tires, brakes, suspension, geometry, component materials (look at all the carbon in DH now) etc. Many 7-inch bikes would crush DH bikes from 5 years ago. Point is development will not be hampered because of the wheel size. Maybe a small pause to fix frame geometry, but suspension, brakes , etc.development won't be affected and may actually benefit all wheel sizes.
  • + 2
 @bman33: balderdash. None of any useful innovations depend solely on racing. In fact, the biggest innovation of the recent years are high volume tires - most entry level hardtails I see locally are plus - and that ain't used in any racing discipline.
All what an equipment formula will help with, it will be less of drastic shifts, and more of a gradual healthy progress.
  • - 2
 @Axxe: Dropper posts trump fat tires for innovation points. Not really used in DH , more so Enduro. Even then, you still contradict yourself. If innovation doesn't depend on racing as you say ...which it actually does in many ways, why worry about regulation? If racing is isolated from innovation , why do you care to force racers into a box?
  • + 1
 @bman33: Dropper post rarely used racing either. And they don't trump it for broader audience, plus tires are now on entry level bikes and make cycling more enjoyable for more people.
  • + 2
 and the reason to isolate racing I have stated quite clearly, if you bothered to read (stretch in this audience, I know). To trim down the useless circus of marketing.
  • - 1
 @Axxe: I have read every line you and the article said. I noted that droppers are rarely used in DH (a rare exception is the South Africa Worlds course a few years ago). Every Enduro racer on the EWS has them without exception, please prove me wrong. Plus and fat tires aren't used in any racing at the elite level (XC, Enruro, DH, etc.). Again, if what you see is important has nothing to do with racing, why restrict riders/racers in a discipline that doesn't affect you and your area of focus? What they ride has nothing to do with what you value in this discussion..ie: non-racers.

Well over half the riders in Colorado and Utah I ride with or encounter have droppers both XC and 'all mountain' type riders. I worked in the industry for years and many of my friends still do. Plus/fat are popular in certain circles , but in no way are a popular as droppers in this case. So 'circus marketing' by your logic is applied to 29" tires in DH racing and not in plus/fat tires? You don't think 'marketing' plays a role in plus/fat tires but does in racing? I find that logic amusing because it doesn't make sense. Marketing is in all aspects of MTB, regardless of discipline.
  • + 2
 Does it really matter? For the pro's at the pointy end of the race results sheet then yes it does as they will take any advantage they can get. Its what they do and what they are paid to do. For the rest of us (that will be 99.99999% of riders) all that matters is which bike puts the biggest smile on your face most often. Whatever bike does that is ride it!!
  • + 2
 The only thing quickly becoming "obsolete" are all y'all's excuses. I'm riding a rig from 2014 with very little currently-hyped-up tech on it and I'm still 1. having a great time on my bike and 2. faster than 95% of people on newer, nicer rides.
  • + 6
 #27point5aintdead

That said, all my bikes are 26"
  • + 5
 Wheel size aint gonna make ya any faster! It's all the dude behind the bars!!
  • + 6
 Looks like a session jokes are actually really funny..
  • + 2
 I would like to see a test form a regular rider not a racer or some sort, may even someone whos not into downhill to much, test a 27.5 and a 29 and tells me after it what was more fun.

I mean im a regular park rider, for me it could be more speed, more fun maybe but thats not the full equation. Im aswell concerned about this test, is it better for beginners, as you may feel a bit safer while rolling over bumps.

thats stuff which interessts me aswell.

Im thankfull for your testing and brining the world of biking forward but im an average guy, would i really have a big differents for me?
  • + 4
 Looks like my next bike will be a 26" hard tail DJ bike instead of a DH bike. Less changes in standards every year to make me cry.
  • + 2
 I'm pretty sure I saw either the new 29er sessions or the new 27.5 sessions last year at Keystone along with what I assumed was a prototype slash. All the frames where completely white and there was no stickers or anything (shock, fork). I would have defiantly said that it looked a lot like this bike to.
  • + 1
 Frankly, I kind of dig the arms race here. Santa Cruz beat the field in Time To Track, but Trek won on Time To Market with an incomplete offering. The industry has to collude a bit so they can support these new offerings, but it actually seems a bit less coordinated and more disruptive. It doesn't do much for me as a consumer, but it's exciting to see things shake up rather than suddenly having something like Boost creep in and f**k up all the forward compatibility. This is beyond that.
  • + 1
 Hey Pinkbike, you should find a gnarly run of street stairs (like in some of those South American street downhill races) and simply just do a rolling test down on the 27.5 and 29er and see how they compare. Could give some insight
  • + 1
 Statistically the sample size is not large enough to draw any conclusion. But as you have to remove outliers first then then clear rogue 2nd section on the 29 trek must be removed as it was not repeatable. Doing this would make the 275 faster than the 29. The text states that from the first corner of the first run that the 29 was faster and smoother but the data doest show this. These tests would be good if you added in the old 26 also to have a true comparison of progress over the last few years or maybe the lack of progress. Who knows.
  • + 1
 Mhm... normally I would call it a bit stretched, since these times on 275 bike aren't really consistent, however in that case, I think it actually speaks for the 29er even more. Unlike 26 vs 275, the 29" wheels tend to feel different, you have to adjust your riding when hopping onto a 29er whereas there is next to no difference 26-275. 29ers have a bit of a steering lag, you need to get them to turn a bit earlier than smaller wheels and they also feel like they need more lean, but once they are there, these mdrfkrs rail corners like nothing else. I personally found 29" wheels to be weird in rockgardens, they seem like getting more deflected by rocks so while they truly bulldoze over stuff, they get bounced sideways by angled rocks in a weird way.

So great stuff Mike!
  • + 1
 Smaller wheels can find more pump opportunity and actually be faster on the right track with a good rider. Different advantages with all sizes though, i feel. I think wheel size could be used as a tuning factor in the future to suit different race tracks. Maybe put a 27.5 on the back to negate the tire to ass issue and steam roll the front end through rough stuff with 29 on front. Its kinda crazy to think of how far bikes have come and the endless options we have. And none if which i can afford ha ha.
  • + 1
 This is all track builders fault. While they struggle to make the track gnarly, big brands struggling their bikes to win races. With UCI's allowance they choose bigger wheels. Next step is dh teams with riders at least 6'5" height because of big frames to handle 29" wheels. Next season tall riders will shine and I'm truly mad about this!
  • + 1
 Nice write up! Good to see that the average Joe is quicker on back to back laps. It's one thing to promote and hype up that a pro did it, but to have Mike be quicker after just a few test laps is incredible data. If 29er DH bikes continue the way they are I might just have to scoop one up for the new season!
  • + 1
 I think all the nonsense will stop when we realize that: drumroll: "it all depends on rider height".

Short people will get clipped in the ass by the 29er.

Greg Minaar on the other hand will be going fastest at fort william on his XL 29ER because it suits him better.

wait and see
  • + 1
 I guess I don't really care about wheel size as long as I can find replacement parts to keep my bike running for a decade or so. What is most annoying though is the hub standard stuff. Impossible to find a wheel set anymore. Find a non-boost one but it has an XD driver, rather just run Shimano. A regular rear with a boost front, a boost rear with a regular front, super boost. There are seriously like 500 possible combos. Guess I just need to get the local shop to build my wheels.
  • + 3
 This is a joke only younger people (mostly teens) would understand: Are component standards memes now? Because they are always changing
  • + 4
 If you race this matters...if not...ride what you want and don't let all this marketing get into your pocket.
  • + 6
 Ha Ha 650b suckers!
  • + 5
 First they made them with the wrong hub size so they could sell them to you twice, now they're just going to stop making them. 27half is dead
  • + 5
 I have no problem with this except the fork. 20x110. F
  • + 1
 I just put in a order for the session 29er. coming from a session 9.9 26er. Will be very interesting, just skipping 27.5 all together. Will be testing them both on all the trails in Whistler bike park to get to the bottom of this.
  • + 1
 i got to think this is a physics question rather than a stats question. Question at hand being what is the optimized wheel size and at what point does it start to show diminishing returns ans why. If the why is just a materials issue, that can be solved.
  • + 3
 So the 650b was used as a stepping stone to the 29 dh - kind've a shame us(public) had to be the guinea pigs for this..
  • + 0
 just the other day i was held at gun point and forced to buy a new frame with all the new standards that none of my old parts fit - true story bro....the amount of negativity towards 29er DH bikes is ridiculous especially considering that nobody is forcing you to ride one
  • + 3
 I know why none of you Keyboard commando's don't want this thing. No water bottle cage for the Hatorade
  • + 1
 The only thing I got from this article is that if I mill out my fork arch I can run any size wheel. Maybe just cut it out completely so there's room for 29+. Offset, rake, & trail be damned.
  • + 1
 Were they so rushed to test the prototype frames that the only solution for a fork was to slice out half the supporting arch on a bike made to be ridden into the ground like that?
  • + 4
 Ctrl+f "looks like a"

Doh! Too late.
  • + 1
 Do you guys ever think about how quickly the money adds up every time you look at a picture of a product on PB? From this article alone from top to bottom there is at least $40k in merchandise. Makes me sick.
  • + 0
 For what reason is all this "statistical data" nedeed. Why dont you just ride one if your so hell bent confused about which is faster. You will be faster on the wheel size you are faster on. And you know what? ....you have 3 f*cking wheel size options to figure it out.
  • + 1
 so as i read all of the comparisons sound so much the same as the 26 to the 27.5 when the 27.5 first came on the scene. cant wait to be able to get my 27.5 parts cheaper now lol
  • + 2
 shorter riders will be able to use a smaller rear wheel next year as uci are going to do a same size wheel rule change. getting more mx, all good then
  • + 3
 I will ride my slash 27.5 until I break it, a bike is as much fun as I can have with it!
  • + 2
 The real question is if Santa Cruz is gonna have a release on the V29 since trek kinda has one.
  • + 3
 The rules states that any bike raced has to be released to the public for sale within 9 months. So the short answer is yes, Santa Cruz will release the v29
  • + 1
 You did the warm up lap, and then the familiar lap, and then the lap while you had been already ???? less fit. You should done with same wheel size on another day to confirm.
  • + 2
 Wouldn't rider height be a major factor to how well each bike (27.5 vs 29) performs?
  • + 4
 Seemed to work well for Danny
  • + 1
 It's interesting how people jumped on the 27.5 version travel increase to 210mm yet no one has mentioned the 29 version travel reduction to 190mm...
  • + 3
 Reptilians and bildemberg want to sell us 29er Make sense hahahahahahaha
  • + 2
 man i cant wait for the DH FATBIKE. then i will be able to corner like my street bike lol
  • + 1
 Am I poor or do I have to get a new bike now cos mine is 27.5 it's what was about a couple years age when I broke the 26 one ,no I'll wait till I break this one then see!
  • + 3
 My 170mm 29er dominates Southern Nevada.
  • + 2
 Here you go sheep. Propaganda served with charts and spreadsheets. Go buy new stuff.
  • + 5
 Read: I wish I could buy this new bike but I can't so I'll cry about industry conspiracies.
  • - 2
 @DrPete: nonsense. I can buy a new bike. But planned obsolescence for perfectly functional systems will eventually be self defeating. Plenty of examples in other industries.
  • + 2
 The use of something by world cup DH teams does not imply planned obsolescence. You don't ride trail on a dual-crown fork, do you? They decided a long time ago that dual-crown was the best setup for DH. By your logic the industry should've shoved those down our throats years ago.
  • + 3
 Who cares, ride a bike have fun before it's all to shit.
  • + 2
 So stoked, now just need to wait a year until they start showing up used on the Buy/Sell page
  • + 1
 Didn't know Jose Gonzales was Treks head of suspension & an international Folk Legend, Does he moonlight as a private detective during his evenings of downtime????
  • + 1
 Sounds like it's Fox's fault we have these titanic 29" DH bike... I mean if they never made that Fox 49 we wouldn't be in this mess Smile
  • + 1
 Got my first 29'er in 2013, and I really like the huge wheels. But with so many 27.5 bikes out there, I was tempted, but not anymore. I'm sticking with the future.
  • + 2
 im holding out for a 30.5'er, im sure its less than three years off and willroll over chunder even better....oh boy
  • + 2
 As we saw with Danny hart, this article confirms the butt scuff has rendered 29ers unusable in DH
  • + 7
 Yet somehow he still managed to pilot it to a win
  • + 4
 @SonofBovril: i thnik it was sarcasm
  • + 1
 How about throwing some more measurements in the mix: how easy it is to jump (height + distance), how easy is it to trick in the air (whip, lay a table etc.)
  • + 3
 I want one just to make people angry
  • + 2
 @trek Can you guys please start selling 26 park frames again? chur
  • - 2
 The UCI should standardise wheel sizes. Races need to be fair and allowing larger wheel sizes means it's not a level playing field.

Plus it means issues for race organisers and uplift providers as it means costly expense for upgrading/managing new bike sizes that will be impossible to forecast numbers.
  • + 6
 @si-paton huh ? so a professional outfit vs a privateer, that's hardly a level playing field in any sport, it's the way it is
  • + 2
 Well Hell, why not standardize the brakes, tires, bar width and so on..... That really dont make sense.
  • + 2
 @si-paton, really? How about you forbid Rachel Atherton to use Redbull coaches and facilites, go to California for training, practice on Dan's trails (whoooopsieeeeeee) that would level out the Women's field a bit don't you think?
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Worked in F1, WSB Si Patons point is valid.
  • + 1
 @chappers998: what?! You telling it to me now, after 1,5 year after it's been proven that 29ers are not uniformily faster than 27,6?! After Cesar Rojo has said on 3 different podcasts that it doesn't matter? And he works side by side with people from F1 and motoGp? F1?! really? I wouldn't be any more impressed if you worked for SpaceX because I don't find it applicable at all.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Dipshit! I meant rules to try to even the field has worked in WSB, F1 and even in Motogp.
If there is no discernable differences why would the manufacturer's and racers say otherwise or even build the clown bikes in the first place.
As well as being one of the top UK riders, Si Paton only ran the most successful National British Downhill series until he retired last year so what would he know compared to a self proclaimed expert on f**k all like yourself.
  • + 1
 @chappers998: Dipshit?! Is that all you have? did you come here to get your balls licked for working in F1? Because F1 regulations have nothing to do with regulations for biking, because a thing that you can't get in your head is ta thing that I mentioned: motorports rely on the car, hence leveling of the field is needed, cycling depends greatly on human factor. Arron Gwin would win on a 26er. Si Paton can defend himself, I didn't attack him at all, so what windmills are you fighting mr White Knight? So... what were you doing in F1? Please make this discussion at least a bit worth for me to continue Mr Newey.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Boy you really are thick as shit! Read my reply.
I said the RULES worked in F1 etc not me. Are you saying the known advantages of better rolling speed and roll over aren't an advantage?
Wheel sizes have been standardised in road cycling for just such reasons. please if you are going to troll come up with a plausible and coherent argument other than Caesar said so.
I've better things to do now than waste my time on you.
  • + 1
 @chappers998: Maybe you should communicate better because I have no fkng clue what are you on about. If you want rules apply to a Catholic boy school in Germany. Meanwhile I regret I answered your comment. You contributed nothing to anything, you may as well dropped dead just before you wrote it.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: now you know how most of Pinkbike feel when you post your standard diatribe. Wink
The Troll has been Trolled.
  • + 2
 Still 26" for life.......or until, I can't find any more new parts!
  • + 1
 The fact that you're getting down voted makes me worried about the future of mountain biking. God forbid anyone prefer a more nimble ride.
  • + 4
 @paradiseburning: thanks, but I'm not surprised at all by it. The average "rider" probably doesn't Dirt Jump or BMX etc... They love whatever the industry tells them too.
They can't even understand the the wheel size discussion so you can't hope to reach them. I'm old school anyway and totally ok with it.
  • + 0
 Every DJ frame/bike out there is still 26" , my current Transition triple included. So what's the point? Maxxis has 26" tires on their website right now new for sale. I can find any hub sized/configuration from $15 junk to Chris King level right now no matter the spacing that will last 10 years. 26" rims are dirt cheap, buy 10 of them. I still can get 26" Boxxer parts from Rock Shox directly. There are several hundred 26" bikes in excellent condition for sale just on this site right now. BMX bikes are still 20"/24" and everyone can still jump/race them as we speak. Not a single person is forcing you or anyone else to buy a 29" bike. No a single person or company is asking anyone to buy a 29" DJ bike. I bet good money all the Redbull Joyride riders will be on 26" bikes this year.
  • + 0
 @paradiseburning: It seems your "26ers are more nimble" argument is falling apart with the latest generation of 29ers. Go ride an Evil Wreckoning.
  • + 3
 @DrPete: Your argument that 26ers aren't more nimble than 29ers is "hey, look at this video, looks nimble".
Rock solid argument.

I honestly don't have a problem with whatever wheel size people think is the best these days.
My problem is that it's all marketing on "these wheels are faster".

We went 27.5. Now it's 29. Why stop at 29? I suspect 30 or 31 inch wheels would be faster than 29.

At what point do you start sacrificing maneuverability for straight line speed?
The answer is probably different things for different people, so I don't know the answer.

I do know this industry will change things up a few years down the road.
  • - 2
 @paradiseburning: Do you not agree that a bike needs to be nimble to do what's in that video? Are you suggesting that Luke Strobel, who could ride whatever the hell he wants, is mistaken in choosing a 29er for the type of riding he does? How much maneuverability does it look like he sacrificed in that video by riding a 29er?

How much more nimble do you need for riding on just about any trail?

The point is that your subjective assessment of the qualities of wheel size stands in direct contrast to reality. You think 29ers are less nimble. There are lots of really nimble 29er bikes out there. The video above is one example of that.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: you clearly don't ride other sized bikes. If you did to any degree you'd understand how ridiculous you sound. If you actually had several bikes available with varied wheel sizes you'd understand. There is no way you can go from one to another and NOT feel how different they are. It really is that simple.
  • - 1
 @bikebike69: I've ridden and owned all 3 wheel sizes. You say there's this huge tradeoff. That hasn't been my experience, nor is it the experience of many who do things on 29ers that people like yourself claim are difficult or impossible. But I'm guessing from how quickly you resorted to questioning my experience or what bikes I own and calling me ridiculous that I shouldn't wait around for a better argument.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: don't feel the need to present a better one. No.1 I never said "difficult or impossible". One can ride most any bike on any trail. And be "good" at it,especially if they're a expert or pro level rider.
No.2 just because you've owned them doesn't mean you're an aggressive rider. Tons of people own top tier bikes for show. Again if you did ride several sizes you'd know the difference between them. Which by your statement you clearly don't.
I also own every wheel size made. I can ride them all just fine. They all behave differently,point being I can tell the difference.

My point is still the same. No I don't think you actually have adequate experience or else you know the difference.
  • - 2
 @bikebike69: OK, so you can tell the difference. Turns out world cup DH riders are aggressive riders, so I'm going to go ahead and accept their choice over your e-wang measuring contest. So you ride slope and use 26" wheels. Good for you. Still doesn't explain why pros riding DH on 29ers hurts your feelings so badly.

So, in your vast aggressive riding experience, what was Luke Strobel missing out on by being on those big wheels?
  • + 2
 @DrPete: You're completely missing the point. Pro DH riders are riding 29ers now because they're faster than 26 or 27.5.
Simple as that.
What I'm saying is I don't want or need a bike that goes faster.
I want a bike that is more fun, and my definition of fun is a bike I can chuck around the trail as best as possible, take to the local dirt jumps, shred in the bike park. If your definition of fun is going 5 seconds faster down your local trail, you'll love 29ers. I'm just not one of those people. I don't want to make any sacrifices to go faster. My problem is the entire mountain bike industry seems to need to conform to what pro DHers want in their bike, and for me, that makes no sense, since my needs are completely different. No one cares though. The sheep will lap up whatever new "technology" the industry throws at them.
  • + 0
 @paradiseburning: So there are different bikes for different purposes. Got it. The world has changed how, then? What's the big deal about DH bikes going to 29" wheels? Give one example of the entire industry emulating pro DH bikes.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: Well you can't buy a new 26" full suspension bike anymore. So there's that....
  • + 0
 @paradiseburning: www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_Triple.cfm

And the P.Slope, and the Ticket. I'm sure there are others and the big box stores are full of them but I'm assuming that's not what you're talking about.
  • + 2
 @DrPete: I'm talking about bikes for bike parks and trail riding with 6+ inches of travel. Not slope bikes.
  • - 1
 @paradiseburning: Ok, so name any 6 inch bike older than 5 years you can easily get parts for if a frame specific (not wheel ) part breaks. A rocker link for example for almost any company's bike will be a pain to buy. I can still buy a hub with any configuration right now (boost, non-boost, 142, 135, etc.) . Rims in any size, 26 a bit more limited but still a decent selection. Tires no issue.

As for new bikes, why if you are buying new do you want 26"? If you insist on 26" There of over 170+ 26" frames for sale on Pinkbike alone, there are over 1500 complete bikes in 26" on Pinkbike alone. Many in really good condition.
  • + 2
 couldn't just use a dorado?
  • + 3
 Pretty sure you could. But I'm glad there's now fox and rockshox options
  • + 1
 people don't want Dorados, they want fox or rockshox
  • + 5
 That would hurt Fox's feelings - Elite riders only ride suspension from their suspension sponsor. I haven't seen Manitou's presence on the Elite WC DH scene, so of course the couldn't go 29er until Fox (or Rock Shox) played ball - I'm pretty sure Fox said something along the lines of "don't even think about running a different brand fork - you're on 27.5" until we decide to make a 29" fork."
  • + 2
 @erikkellison: well yeah. i understand they have the paperwork for teams and events and that sort but if forks were the only thing holding up testing then its a dumb reason. i could see testing with the 40 being helpful but to cut a notch in the arch? you know they didn't race with that thing.
  • + 4
 @demoflight: They did test on a Dorado. There was a article posted by pinkbike a while ago where they went into Trek's HQ and took photos of the test bike. Interestingly enough, when I went back to that article to look at those photo's of the 29er DH bike they had magically diapered. Thought I had the wrong article until I saw that the top comment asked " 29'er DH rig... i wonder if that will ever catch on". So then I searched the photo in google and found the pic of the proto session 29 using a Dorado with the link bringing me back to the article that no longer had the picture!! Pinkbike conspiracy with Fox much?
Article: www.pinkbike.com/news/trek-tour-29er-proto-2011.html
Dorado search: ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb6134143/p4pb6134143.jpg
  • + 3
 @nmontee: I stand corrected. But very disturbing to see the elimination of evidence. Nice detective work!
  • + 1
 @nmontee: wow. yeah i do remember them having that photo in that article. probably is some kind of conspiracy.
  • + 1
 @nmontee: COME ON PINKBIKE REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Jump on the bandwagon...lol
  • + 0
 literally with wheels that size
  • + 1
 man i want some 29's with chrome spokes and nipples so i can put my bike in a rap video lol
  • + 1
 .... GREAT!! The Whistler bike park guys just re built for 27.5 bikes.... Cue up another overhaul boys!
  • + 1
 Review doesnt touch on jumping how do the wheel sizes compare in that area?
  • + 1
 I recon if you'd done more laps on both bikes they would even themselves out time wise.
  • + 1
 Looks like the seatstays on the black one in the first pic are alloy, not carbon. Article says full carbon.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer sorry still dont buy it
Lol
  • + 0
 If indeed faster, what's that gonna do for the WC circuit? How do you race against other people who have a proven advantage? Is it fair? So many questions...
  • + 2
 You put bigger wheels on your old bike! Its fair cuz its not forbidden technology that all teams are not allowed to have.
  • + 2
 Has Shimano already abandoned Saint? It hasn't been updated for 5 years!
  • + 1
 3,5% you say, interesting. Will it whip, manual, endo and skid better also then I'm sold.
  • + 2
 The new Session is such a beautiful bike.
  • + 2
 Almost looks like a session.

Just bigger?
  • + 1
 I have nothing to add to this convo string other than beer is great and I love mountain biking.... 26, 27.5, 29
  • + 2
 Ok, it's out! Let's start developing sth. with plus tires....!
Big Grin
  • + 3
 I care... SO MUCH...
  • + 1
 Bleeeeee Money and Money New frame fork weels tyres more Money and more .... THANKS
  • + 2
 Hahahaha, and I'm still on a 26! Its value is increasing by the day :-)
  • + 2
 Didn't intense make 29er DH back in 2009...
  • + 2
 29 front 27.5 rear, problem solved !
  • + 1
 Dammit. Honda Z50's are the most fun...EVER!!!
  • + 1
 Yawn .roll on fort William
  • + 1
 If you mill out the 29 fork could you fit a 32" wheel.. Moar better!
  • + 1
 TREK Session 29 is still Beta Version. 2.9.190.49 v
  • + 1
 I belive 29er were faster because they are heavier...so more gravity pulll
  • + 1
 Yep.... my bike is the cools. I has most of the funs.
  • + 2
 Ride what you want.
  • + 2
 Well,that's really the argument. You can't "just ride what you want" Because you can only ride what the industry is selling. Access to choice on top tier parts frames is what all the fuss is over.
  • + 1
 @bikebike69: They literally just released a top tier 29 Session and a 27.5 Session at the exact same time.
  • + 3
 @WolfStoneD: you're not paying attention. My statement is response to the "ride what you want" term used in wheel size discussions. Point being....you can't. I can no longer buy a top tier 26 DH bike or frame as the industry is not providing any choices.
  • - 1
 @bikebike69: Have you ever even tired a 27.5" or 29" bike?
  • + 1
 @bikebike69: I hear your point and agree with the sentiment. I almost said something a bit different. I was going to say, ‘ride what you want...if it doesn’t exist, make what you want. You can’t? Then ride what someone else is willing to make.’ People are only going to make what they can profit from (nothing wrong with that of course.)’

And so back to my original statement, ride what you want. If people truly ride what they want to ride, people will want to make a profit and make it. It’s not really fair to expect someone else to make something for me that they can’t turn a profit on. Staying in business means staying ahead of the game and innovating. A stable, fun, faster DH bike is going to be profitable if it’s better.
  • + 1
 @WolfStoneD: yes I own an M16. But if I had a choice I'd rather have an updated 26 Intense or Kona. But again I don't have a choice.
  • + 2
 So many fucking comments
  • + 1
 I DONT GIVE A FAWK HOW BIG OR SMALL THE WHEELS ARE I WILL ALWAYS BE SLOW
  • + 1
 The industry just killed the 27.5 lol I will definitely wait for the 36er
  • + 1
 And then........ mid-fat. Hahaha!!!
  • + 2
 Looks like a sessioniner
  • + 2
 I got fooled by 27.5
  • + 1
 Looks like a SLASH......
  • + 1
 Of course, of course...
  • + 0
 This was a great article! Would love to see more like this in the future!
  • + 1
 we need to go bigger
  • - 1
 Seatstays are def alu and not carbon so the full carbon story is not correct
  • - 1
 Clown bike in DH ... Just Frakking sad
  • - 2
 So they had an XL 29er for this test but they won't be offering it to the public? Sorry tall guys!
  • + 10
 There will be an XL available - you can check out the geo numbers in the chart included in the article.
  • + 1
 Was wondering the exact thing
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: 465mm reach though? Still a little small for guys like me. Oh well, there are other options.
  • + 1
 Don't be mad. XL wasn't listed at the beginning of the article initially. Now it is. Great.
  • + 0
 Looks like a Norco Aurum
  • - 1
 29er's will always be less fun for me. But I jump alot so...
  • + 9
 Sounds like you've never owned and jumped a long travel 29er.. I was going to text you and tell you to buy one of these!
  • + 1
 +1 You sir are on it. The average "modern rider" couldn't handle a 20,24,26 bike on jumps and tight tech trails! Or closely packed kickers. They'd find it too twitchy and lively to handle. They need slacked out wagon wheels to feel confident. Those who ride several disciplines know the real deal.
  • + 0
 @bikebike69: Yeah, because World Cup DH riders don't know the real deal.
  • + 1
 @bikebike69: Look at this guy. If only he knew the real deal. www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VdpWIgmCmI
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