Video: Freeride Hits on 26" Wheels in 'Keepin' it Casual In Quarantine'

Jul 28, 2020
by derek mccuiston  
Views: 6,026    Faves: 63    Comments: 11


Ian Austin bringing us back to the good ol' days; style, jumps, 26" DH bikes, t-shirts and vans. Please enjoy this short video and these photos that we had a blast creating!

Video/Editing: Derek McCuiston
https://www.instagram.com/derekmccuiston/

All Photos: Donovan Francis
https://www.instagram.com/donofrancis/

Photo taken by donofranics

Photo taken by Donovan Francis

Photo taken by donofranics

Photo taken by Donovan Francis

Photo taken by donofranics

Photo taken by Donovan Francis

Photo taken by donofranics

Photo taken by Donovan Francis

Photo taken by donofranics
Photo taken by Donovan Francis

Photo taken by donofranics

Photo taken by Donovan Francis

Photo taken by donofranics

Photo taken by Donovan Francis

Photo taken by donofranics

Photo taken by Donovan Francis


100 Comments

  • 66 13
 The campaign to kill off 26 has failed and PB just can't seem to understand that that. Spoiled by "the latest and greatest" culture of getting free stuff all the time. Theres a massive amount of consumers who don't go running out to buy a new bike every year, all still ride 26. It's industry propaganda to try and make people buy new bikes with new standards. Stop being nostalgic about 26 inch wheels, they're never going to go away, no matter how much the industry tries.
  • 38 1
 Looking at new bikes... that can run 26"...
Cheers Banshee!!
  • 9 2
 @nojzilla: been eyeing the Spitfire for a while now
  • 25 2
 #26ain'tdead
  • 10 0
 @isaacfx: Mine arrived on Friday Smile
  • 28 11
 Sure I will be down voted into oblivion, but can you reference any article Pinkbike published saying discard, get rid of, you can't ride, you shouldn't ride, or 26" doesn't work anymore? Pinkbike is an online magazine who depends on advertisers from a relatively small industry. They report on what the industry builds and supplies them with. Pinkbike can't demand Specialized (or any other company) to build or keep building any model of bike or wheel size.

Is my comment above unpopular? I am sure it is here and will be invisible due to down votes within the hour. As a full disclosure, all my bikes except my DJ are 27.5, no 29's. Kudos to Banshee btw. Rubber side down folks
  • 14 2
 True. Its not appropriate to call 26 inch old school. The industry shuld be more about variabilty. Not what is modern what is old.
  • 15 0
 @jlawie: Got a Spitfire a month or so ago. Granted, I'm on those new-fangled 27.5 wheels, but I was stoked I could run my antiquated 142mm wheels. #142aintdead Props to Banshee for modular design.
  • 5 1
 Are we still allowed to talk about 26" wheels... Rolleyes
  • 7 0
 I've been so happy with my Spitfire! Ran it as a 27.5/29 mullet for a while with my old fork, then I got a new 27.5 fork three weeks ago. It's a blast to ride either way. I'm also excited to own something that's also 26" compatible! I might try it with a 26 rear some day Smile
  • 10 0
 YEP! Still riding 26 and have no plans on changing any time soon. Have 2 2011-2015 RM Slayers and 2 2002 Cannondale Jekylls that are all 26.. Also like 5 other bikes LOL
  • 4 8
flag snl1200 (Jul 28, 2020 at 12:01) (Below Threshold)
 Eesh. Enough with the "campaign to kill 26" ideas. Pinkbike, consumers, brands are all moving with demand. I would love to see lots of options out there and am happy to see some are still there (though admittedly the availability of 26 inch wheeled bikes seems to be dwindling). However, to suggest it is some gross clandestine movement by the illuminati and Pinkbike, or by brands, or anyone else is a bit silly IMO. If everyone that commented on Pinkbike about 26 inch bikes bought new ones then brands would likely make more- cause that makes them money and that what companies do. But they don't, or not in the same numbers as other products that they sell.
  • 2 0
 @mikenettleton: FYI, if you need a bombproof brand new wheelset with the latest engagement and no goofy "adapters" I'm on 142mm spacing and have been beating the new 2020 Nukeproof Horizon wheels in 142 rear/110 front on my Kona Process. SUPER HAPPY!!!
  • 13 1
 @bman33: there most certainly were articles promoting 29” & 27.5” products 6-7 yrs ago where PB said 26” would be gone soon. Or articles suggesting bigger wheels were “so much more” efficient that 26” would be gone soon. They were DEFINITELY promoting this myth in many articles years ago. PB is supposed to be the voice of the mtb community.......but in this case, they were the voice of the corporate bike industry disguising themselves as the average mtber. They sold out 26” bikes
  • 3 1
 @SirWonky: True, but not a single one said we 'can't ride 26" bikes'. Guess what folks, ALL companies selling products and services are out to do just that....sell products and services. That goes for 'Bro' brands as well as corp big brand such as Trek and Specialized. The vitriol is laughable.
I am out to ride my 26" wheeled DJ. Rubber side down folks.
  • 4 0
 Love that 26 never went away too... so I can get my kid a 26er in a few years!
  • 4 0
 @SirWonky: but no one is stopping manufacturers from making a 26 inch wheeled bike. The market is. If the market for them is as large as is assumed in the comment section of Pinkbike, then a smaller company would have gladly dove into the 26 deficit left by the big companies fleeing the scene and done really well with it. Maybe one will- I would love to see a company do just that. However, no one is at this point though and maybe it's because the masses have been brainwashed by an evil marketing conglomerate but more than likely it's because a lot of consumers chose big wheeled bikes when given the opportunity and those are the bikes that were selling. At 6 feet and with long legs I hated initial offerings of 29 inch bikes but once geometry caught up have loved them. They work for me. I didn't think that is because I was brainwashed (which I get is something someone brainwashed would say)- but I ride bikes pretty much every day and both of the bikes I primarily ride have big wheels cause it works better for me. Then I have my 20 inch BMX and will likely add a 26 Dirt jumper as that size seems right for me for that application. I'm not saying right for everyone- that's just what I want and what I will buy and vote with my dollars.
  • 9 3
 @snl1200: the REAL question is: Which came first? The marketing push or the consumer demand ?

I firmly believe the (brilliantly designed) marketing push (— motivated entirely by Corporate Sales projections) came first. Then average consumers gradually read “paid for” articles such as ones on Pinkbike and over a few years, we have what we have today...... no more 26in bikes or parts.

It reminds me of the Terms of Usage Agreements we all sign to use Apple, Google, Facebook or even TikTok. Any apps basically today all say in legal jargon: We will do whatever we want with your data to “improve your user experience” But really it is a way to get a blank check to get filthy rich off of what is more or less ........a lie
  • 3 0
 I ride with about 8 others on occasion, and literally all of them are on 26 inch. I'm the only one with 27.5. And my wife loves her Spitfire Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @derekr: Just bought a sweet Whyte 405 26" for my ten year old!
  • 4 1
 @SirWonky: ^Spot on.
  • 5 1
 @SirWonky: maybe it was because many riders are tall enough to ride bigger hoops! Back in the day My size XL 2001 SC Bullit had some pretty goofy geometry. So nice to have more choices!
  • 3 0
 @snl1200: but it's pretty hard to buy a new 26er when there hardly any brands making them.
  • 1 0
 @rabidmonkfish: No debate there, 26 frames, wheels, tires can definitely be tough to find
  • 1 0
 @shredjekyll: thing is, the difference between 26 an 650b is so minimal 650b bikes with tight numbers can be run with 26
  • 5 4
 @snl1200: BullShit!
There are 3 kinds of people.

1: Normies that buy what they are told to buy ( vast majority)
2: Fan boys & girls that have to have the latest shit no matter what it is
3: People that actually know what they want & are unfazed by market hype & nonsense. (most that still ride 26)

26 was artificially obsoleted!
  • 1 0
 @VtVolk: Nice looking bike! My 6yr old will be on a 24" next year... I assume she'll be on the same schedule as your kid as well and will be on adult hoops a few years after.
  • 3 0
 Brandon Sloan at Specialized plainly said they had no intentions of making 27.5/650b because the reasons to move up a small increment just weren't there from their testing and feedback.

They were fully planning on doing 26" and 29" but he admitted that the market demand drove 27'5" to the forefront, so they had to devolve into producing those models to satisfy demand.

I'm always a late adopter because anything I've jumped on board with out of the gate had growing pains that I have no patience for. Glad that I waited out 27.5 and got one once it was dialed, the tire selection was dialed, etc. I'm still behind with the 142mm rear spacing, but like I said, Nukeproof was nice enough to make their new wheels with devolved clients in mind.

I intend to stay in this groove for as long as the market demand will let me. Big Grin
  • 2 2
 @blowmyfuse: "Market Demand" lol

Bike Shops, Online Magazines & real magazines for that matter have pushed anything but 26 for years now. ... of course the "Market Demand" changed.
  • 3 1
 @blowmyfuse: you are just cheap, not 'devolved' It's ok, we still love you just the way you are Big Grin
  • 4 1
 @Darknut: Okay- but as someone who lives in a biking community in an area well respected for it's trails and rides many times a week within a fairly large culture of riding... that is not at all what I have seen. I don't know anyone in my core group of riding friends riding 26 on anything other dirt jumpers or DH bikes (Those with newer DH sleds are likely on bigger wheels though). Maybe we are all brainwashed and trend whores- but I know we are regularly amazed at what we are riding on our "trail bikes" these days as that stuff used to be clearly in realm of DH bikes. Maybe a 26 with modern geometry could do the same- I don't know as I haven't tried. Your observations or beliefs may be correct for your own circle and sphere but it is not accurate within mine. I've never said 29 was better or 26 was worse. I have no emotion in this game as I'm happy to ride what works best for me as a lanky tall'ish (6'0-34 inseam) dude and let others do the same. I just said from what I've seen, those bikes aren't selling around here. In a perfect world you could pick any size of wheel you want but I would guess the market isn't there for that or someone would have done it. I just don't necessarily see the market conspiracy thing. I think in the start there was a hype train and it did benefit brands but behind that hype train was the assumption that these products would sell because they genuinely were of interest and met the needs of a lot of riders (I'm not saying their motives were altruistic). I rode 26 way longer than my friends because I was waiting for the geometry to catch up- it wasn't till the numbers for the Sentinel came out that I dove into the 29er market- I knew I would though well before that as I always felt cramped on 26 inch bikes.
  • 3 2
 @snl1200: Thank you for the logic and perspective. Ride what makes you happy. Still plenty of places to find brand new rims, tires, and even forks for 26" if that is what you like.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: I have 14 & 16 year old daughters. Everything I have to buy, I have to buy FOUR of. Both today looked at me and said "Our iphones are lagging. We need iPhone 11's"

I'll tell you who is cheap. Brent is cheap. He moved to Bentonville and hasn't invited me once to ride cause he knows he'll have to buy me tacos and beer!!! Beer
  • 3 1
 I'm sayin. I just bought a 26in freeride bike at the start of this season. As capable as any of my buddies 29er endeuo bikes and I'm keeping up with them. People get the wrong ideas in their head these days. #26ain'tdead.
  • 13 0
 The only problem I have with my 26" DH bike is finding good tires. The only option seems to be ordering them online. Tried a few LBS this year and not a single one carried a 26" tire suitable for DH. Thank god Maxxis still puts out the DHF in a tubeless 26".
  • 3 0
 Truth, but it’s worse than that now. I can’t find my favorite WTB Vigilante tough/grip even online anymore.
  • 1 0
 I have a ton of 26" rubber located in North Van
  • 2 0
 To be fair even what I thought was still a common size (27.5x2.5) yielded almost no results at my LBS.
  • 1 0
 Trek had a big load of G5 tires a while back. Apparently Vee still produces them (not vouching for them though). heh...
  • 1 0
 I need a local source for 2.35 Nevegals!
  • 3 0
 I have a 275 bike and several 26 bikes that I regularly ride. I dont plan on selling the 26 bikes or stop riding them so the supply of tyres in 26 will eventually be a big issue - so I've started buying tyres and storing them.
  • 2 0
 @VtVolk: AliExpress has them. Even 2.5 as well.
  • 2 0
 Michelin just released a brand new one for this “season” as well.
  • 17 1
 Great ad for 26, but where can I buy one?
  • 9 0
 this is a Banshee Darkside. Good pedaling stout frame
  • 5 0
 @getsomesy:

Mine only lasted three years, bought new.

m.pinkbike.com/photo/17663354
  • 2 0
 I seen this happen to a few of these frames . @turco999:
  • 1 0
 @turco999: yeah I guess I have seen similar banshee snapped in my country.
I haver ridden darkside couple of days, nice frame btw, everything brakes
  • 7 0
 Hilarious how people act like 26"wheels were ridden 30 years ago.its only been a few years and 26" bikes still exist (maiden and Darkside). I ride a Scott gambler and only swapped to 27.5 wheels last year because the BB was too low in 26 mode.
  • 7 0
 Had a conversation with some guys in Asheville 20 years younger than me, 2 of them mechanics , and their next builds were going to be 26's- they actually wanted to experience what it's like to whip around a nimble bike, as if they'd never really done it before. The market for 26's is going to start growing among younger riders who are tired of flow bikes.
  • 9 1
 Couldn't get a 26" trail bike, bought a Trek Ticket S and slapped on a 11-36T cassette & dropper post. Climbs like a dog but oh so much fun.
  • 4 1
 Why?
Couldn't you find a nice used 26" bike?
  • 2 0
 Transition Triple with 7 speed dh set up. Love the thing, so much fun !
  • 2 0
 You can run an NX cassette for eagle. It will fit.
  • 1 0
 @ThunderChunk: I wanted to stick with a short cage derailleur. And the current limitation is fitness, not cassette range!
  • 1 0
 @isaacfx: haha fitness is my limitation too. I die with eagle and a 28T chainring!
  • 9 0
 long live 26
  • 4 1
 If the powers that be decided to push 26 again & the top racers were on them & the marketing machine was in full swing... 75% of you f*ckers would be on a 26 next year talking about how awesome they are.
  • 1 0
 I think there is an opportunity for some talented people to create a cottage industry based around 26" bikes. Sadly I do not have the skills myself but I think the market is there. I am coincidently just setting out for the bike park with my 140mm 26" shredder Smile I think a lot the non marketing dissatisfaction with 26" was down to the tyres. I bought my 26" bike in 2013 and the dhf and dhr I ran were garbage. Stuck some shorties on it and wow. Its fun again.
  • 4 0
 what bike is that? banshee?
  • 4 0
 @chrod: thats what i thought it looked like. always thought that was a good looking bike
  • 4 1
 love this.......i still prefer my 26er for tight turns and berms over my 29er
  • 4 0
 Great video guys! Ripping that hip ????????
  • 2 0
 ???????? = failed emoji for thumbs up
  • 1 0
 @Padrone3: tup

: tup:

Remove space between 1st colon and t
  • 5 3
 love 26" but unfortunately song choice was a bit disconnected from video. Should have gone with some punk rock shit. Would have made it 10 times better. Good riding though.
  • 4 2
 Also also every shot was cropped really tight around the rider, could barely see the terrain
  • 2 1
 yeah some fall out by would have been sick
  • 2 0
 Ian Austin hanging it out high with that funk. This gets is the root of this sport, in my eyes. More of this ish in 2020, everyone ride like this now!
  • 4 1
 not to mention TLD, also one of these design relicts;-)
  • 5 1
 26 ain't dead?
  • 17 1
 never was
  • 6 0
 @nevertoofast: Never t'will be.
  • 4 0
 Business casual Cool
  • 2 0
 This video brings back good (bad) memories of my beloved Jamis XAM. Less steeze, more crashing though.
  • 1 0
 Still have my Intense Uzzi VPX on marzocchi 66 rc2x; only problem is sourcing internals for this fork or getting another 180mm single crown 26er fork
  • 1 0
 TOTEM
  • 2 0
 I love my 26" Banshee Legend MK2.
  • 2 0
 Can’t tell what bike he’s riding it’s too sideways!!!
  • 2 0
 nice, and the pan shot is dope
  • 2 0
 Still ride and love my 26” bikes, (Uzzi and M9). 26” for life!
  • 1 0
 I have absolutely no plans to replace my 26" DH bike. Though a new 26" DH fork would be nice...
  • 2 0
 100% YES!
  • 2 0
 Yes
  • 1 0
 Freeride aint dead! Long Live 26ers
  • 1 0
 26 ain't dead! still rocking mine!
  • 1 0
 Love it
  • 1 0
 Ever heard of sarcasm?
  • 3 0
 have you heard of the reply button?
  • 2 0
 @DaFreerider44: Just figured that out now. Maybe I should spend less time riding and more time on here??
  • 1 0
 @slope: Why don't we take our talents and start roasting the xc 29er community? And I'm always down to ride dawg Big Grin
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2020. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.022142
Mobile Version of Website