Pinkbike Poll: If Racing Does Improve the Breed, Will You Trade up to 29-inch Wheels?

Apr 27, 2017 at 23:14
by Richard Cunningham  
Santa Cruz V10 29 Photo Santa Cruz Bicycles


To be sure, 29-inch wheels are not going away on the World Cup Downhill circuit. Santa Cruz is in, Trek is following shortly, and Specialized won't want to be one-upped in a genre that it has invested so heavily in. There are others lined up to play and the 29er rumor mill is on fire. Plenty of support from suspension, wheel, and tire makers is available to race programs, and major players who are not yet present will be launching forks and wheel-goods later this season.

It takes a lot of time and money to bring a new wheel size to professional downhill racing. Tire and rim development is a given, but frame geometry and kinematics must be prototyped and thoroughly tested before teams will sign off on such a significant departure from the norm. With the top five racers often crossing the line on the same minute, nobody with a real shot at a podium finish would risk an unproven mount. The bottom line, however, is when heavy hitters like the Santa Cruz Syndicate show up to the World Cup with 29-inch wheels, they are not guessing.
Big wheels need big tires - Santa Cruz have had a busy winter not only producing the V10 29er but pushing partners for new components to go with it.

Big wheel downhill bikes could fail miserably. Great ideas often do. But, if 29ers do start winning World Cup downhills, there can be no doubt that they will enter production shortly after. Understandably, unless you are contesting for points or podiums, your existing wheel size is probably more than enough to float your boat, but could you live with the knowledge that your technology is second rate?

So, today's question is:



If 29er downhill bikes dominate elite-level competition, will your next DH bike also be a 29er?






327 Comments

  • + 130
 If I was racing DH yes. Be stupid to ignore an advantage like that. I think DH is finally approaching a formula one level. What works for the top guys on race tracks alone won't work for 99% of riders, especially those who only want to ride park and trails. Imy XXL 27.5 V10 suits all my riding.
  • + 72
 This. I fully understand that WC racers want to try a 29er, but will it be more fun for the average rider? I am 37, and I sometime wish my 27.5 DH rig wouldn't go that fast. Love DH though!
  • + 11
 I think it really depends on rider size and style. For me 29er suit my riding style and size. For some guys they wont. Brendog made a very interesting point on wheel size in that if all riders are using the same the playing field is level. Maybe more regs are needed like F1 but I still don't think we are at that point yet.
  • + 8
 @fartymarty: I agree. I am 6ft 6, very neutral on a bike. A 29er would make me faster without a doubt. I don't think I'd enjoy hitting big jumps for the first time on it, trying my best to get it sideways and failing or maintaining a more fragile wheelset. It falls under the 'ethos, image and direction of the sport' debate. Lycra was undoubtedly faster, but we didn't want it as that's not mountain biking. Maybe it's time to have that discussion about wheel size and tracks. Let's be honest though, we are not amoungst the top 300 bike riders in the world, and have never been under pressure to deliver results on a track like a rider and team are.
  • + 55
 How are we even supposed to know if it's an advantage? People are so obsessed with parts and wheelsizes that they are forgetting about the most imporant factor: the rider.
  • + 23
 @tabletop84: Because when teams go testing, they don't invest large sums of money with sponsors developing a slower product with no potential.
  • + 12
 All I see is a marketing priming machine gone rogue... nothing is there yet... none race ridden and all kinda new products are ready to be shown to the public....
What if, what as, would it, might be....
Btw are we timing our DH runs? Who cares if you are faster....
  • + 13
 @thestigmk1: good point about formula 1, no matter how game one might be, even a very experienced driver couldn't push an f1 car fast enough to actually benefit from it, top gears Richard Hammond demonstrated that in one Tg episode.

I personally don't like 29rs and I've ridden a few, they just don't compliment my riding and what I want out of mountainbiking, to just have fun, I found I made a lot more mistakes on them, missed my lines more and the feel too cumbersome, if anything I want to go back from 650b to 26" on my next bike, I just know it will be hard to source a decent 2nd hand 26" bike here in Oz when the time comes.
  • - 3
 @fartymarty: True, but the two sports are incomparable (@ Brendog).
  • + 2
 @Andy-ap: They are very difderent but F1 is the pinnacle of "man / machine" sport. Either DH goes the F1 (highly regulated route) or goes the unregulated route. It would be an interesting debate for the industry as to which is better for the sport and development of bikes. IMHO I think there is still a lot of development left until things need regulating.
  • + 9
 29 DH seems like forumla1....we are talking a 6'3 minnaar trying this thing...maybe if his younger and smaller teammates do well it might change views....Maybe seeing Gee on the 29 Session that's big enough for him (that XL session looked tiny for him last year) will show big skilful dudes need these.

I enjoy my 29 HT and AM bikes...but the Mega 290 XL already feels like a monster downhill, the momentum and loads they generate are massive and I still don't feel totally on top of it....riding a 29" DH may be well beyond my skills...I think XL Phoenix 27.5 is enough for me....I reckon you need to be tall and or really skilful to get the most out of a 29 DH..
  • + 0
 So true. Also the pros do have so much money to burn, which I don't.
  • + 10
 I already ride on 29" (previous I ride 26") and it's realy good stuff so I'll stay with it! Wink
  • + 4
 That was not the question. Ths big question is: If and when you trade bikes, will you go for a DH29er?
  • + 4
 @Travel66: I am amazed how capable my 29HT is. The thought of a 29DH bike is truly scary but for those with the skills it is the right tool for the job. If I were racing I would take a 29DH anyday.
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: guess racers would have to.....Canyon must be p*ssed...I don't think the Sender hasn't even had a WC run yet and 29 pops up
  • + 1
 @fiatpolski: erm. The pros get given bikes and told what to ride....please try and keep up ????
  • + 3
 I don't think it's principally a matter of "either" "or".

In most comments ot sounds like a 27.5 (or 26 for that matter) wheeled bike is by definition more fun to ride, and better suited to park riding than a 29er. But I've ridden al lot of bikes that had the same wheelsize and still felt very very different.

A pro will want a bike that inspires confidence and handles well. Not generally bad traits for the average rider, too, I'd think.

And current WC tracks still differ quite a lot, as do riding styles, even of the riders at the absolut top.

I think that is still a big difference to Formula 1 (since some people already made that comparison) where all tracks, with only Monaco as a main exception, demand the same qualities from car and driver.

It's not as if in DH racing all tracks were ultrasteep, without any tight sections or jumps, whereas park or "average rider" tracks were the exact opposite, so that a bike that handles well on one type of course couldn't on the other.

Since, for example, some manufacturers are now designing their 29ers with chainstays as short, or even shorter, than the ones on their 27.5ers, I would not want to predict how these bikes will perform.

We will see this season if specifically designed 29er DH bikes are superior to ones with smaller wheels, and if so, if that's the case on all types of tracks. And if that happens we can try in the year after that, if they also feel better in the park.
  • + 28
 My 160mm Wreckoning is already faster than my last Dh bike in 95% of situations.
I laugh as most people commenting are all just about " having fun" and dont care about being as fast as they can be....
....are the same people calling for UCI regulations on wheels size. Wtf is wrong with you?!!
You dont HAVE to ride these things. In fact you benefit from cheaper prices on used bikes from people who might move up in size.
You are not a RACER. You are a rider.
Theres nothing wrong with that,but please dont beg the overlords to put rules and constraints on my sport just because you cant get past your "29ers are gay " bias.
Go ride your bike, Im watching World Cup racing.
  • + 1
 @scary1: I think you connect different subjects and make the wrong assumptions ... go ride my friend... and have fun.... get your score on Strava and be proud on it...
  • + 3
 @fartymarty: the main difference is: If a good racecar-driver has a bad car he has no chance of whinning while in dh Aaron Gwin in top form could still win a dh race on an inferior/outdated bike or even without a chain Smile
  • + 1
 @tabletop84: It's easy. Just take a 29 wheel and a 27.5 wheel and roll it down a hill, see which one is faster. Case closed.
  • + 1
 @tabletop84: Track conditions also make a huge difference. Danny Hart in Champrey is one case I can think of. This is why I love DH as there are more factors that come into play than say F1 and it is how the riders and teams adjust to the constantly moving goal posts.
  • + 1
 @Trailstunter: what assumptions that im making care wrong?
And..yes ,I see most things as connected . Nothing operates in a vacuum and to make emotional arguments devoid of any larger thought is what children do.
I may not hand walk my points along for everyone, but dont have time to think for everyone, too.
  • + 2
 @dudeism: it depends on the ground conditions: the rougher or softer tge faster the 29 will be. On a perfect hill the 27.5 ir 26 would be faster as they have less inertia and accelerate faster. But rifing is not only speed. Sometimes speed is fun in natural trails as it allows you to hit thungs faster and jump further, but you miss the more raw ride of the smaller wheels where traction can be quicker on off and can be controlled more by handling the bike. Also quick acceleration can allow you ti hit stuff fast. It is really difficult to say which is more fun. Depends a lot on the course and even then. So the evil trick is that they keep us in confusion and we can never settle. I like both my 29 and 26 but when it is time to upgrade stuff you never know which one first.
  • + 1
 @thestigmk1: I agree, however in a DH only rig with no weight concerns don't you feel they can produce a very strong durable wheelset? I don't ride downhill so I don't have a dog in this fight. I am a bigger guy too though and left the 29er being for that reason.
  • + 4
 It's funny that everyone is freaking out and assuming that 29 will be faster, because Greg Minaar said he's faster on it, that the race in Finale last year convinced him that they had to go 29. He finished 61st in that race. Let's see what happens this season. The guy always has a couple of wins or podiums in him every season in DH, lets see if that increases this year or not before everyone loses their shit over this.
  • + 5
 Like it or not the evolution is on. We should embrace innovation & stay open minded. It's one of core caracteristics of mountain biking - It has served us quite well considering the quality of bikes we now ride and the incredible experience they offer.

Personally I resisted 29ers until I fell in love riding one - And I am 5'10''. A well designed long travel wagon wheeler can actually be loose in technical terrain and incredibly fun to ride. + Any experienced rider will be able to whip it, scrub & enjoy quality airtime once the learning curve is conquered.

Santa Cruz assumes its leadership position again with this piece of work. Their innovative attitude and the ability to go from experimental to refined bikes is impressive as always. Props to Roskopp's crew for pushing the limits of our sport as they have done in the past with creations like the Tallboy LTC a few years ago and the Nomad in 2005.

Now that door has been opened obviously others will follow suit and I'll bet that most of the major players are working on prototypes right now.

If I was going to invest in a new DH bike right now I'd take a pause for a few months and see how this goes before spending my cashola.

That said riding your bike and having a blast is the goal. Who cares what size wheels you ride - Whatever puts wind in your sail...
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: F1 is the pinnacle of man and machine?!?!.....Ok if you say so.
  • + 4
 @scary1: Here is the problem: If 29'er get too popular the bike industry will actively kill the other wheel sizes.
Everyone "Will" be forced to ride clown wheels if they want anything new.
  • - 5
flag Rider656 (Apr 28, 2017 at 8:48) (Below Threshold)
 I own a e29 and that thing is a beast. It wants to find the biggest jumps and steepest tracks. Really fun if you want to step up to big boy riding. I do miss a smaller wheel set and only get mad when a 27.5 beats me cause I know he had more fun doing it (agile). The sweet spot would have to be 170 -190 mm travel in my opinion. I have 160mm
  • + 6
 @Trailstunter: "Marketing priming machine gone rogue"......that sums it up perfectly. And the consumer sector has trend fatigue I might add.
  • + 6
 @scary1: if you're as fast on a 160mm rig as you are on your DH bike (on a PROPER dh track), regardless of wheel size, something is wrong bud.
  • + 3
 @tabletop84: the riders literally time themselves on the same track on different bikes with the same setup (to whatever degree possible). When you have factory support behind you, you can get two $10,000 rigs built and tuned to your exact needs.

www.pinkbike.com/news/its-alive-santa-cruz-reveals-the-v10-29er-2017.html

"Greg practically forced me to try the bike," reveals Loris Vergier. "I tried it once in testing, but went straight back to my original 27.5 inch bike because that's what felt fastest across the length of the test track. But Greg insisted I give the 29er another shot. So I did, and I felt like it was still slower. The clocks don't lie though, and I was consistently posting quicker times on the new bike compared to the old—and this was on my local track! That's when I realized the new bike was deceptively quick."
  • + 3
 Well size small with 26" suits me just fine, retired from racing 15 years ago and enjoy riding mostly jumpy bike park so the 26" is where the fun is either on my DH bike or my slopestyle.
  • - 2
 @nvranka: im referring to local dh training spots,against the clock.
You could be right though, I never did get out of Pro class
  • + 1
 @fartymarty: F1 also dictates the tire choices for the field. Same with MotoGP. Could be interesting to see who gets awarded the contract to provide tires to everyone, but i highly doubt tire companies would like that.

I was going to keep going on this topic, but slowly went down the rabbit hole of having to then dictate things like axle widths, tire widths, wheelbases, etc etc etc.

What a world though if it was that heavily regulated!
  • + 2
 @raditude: that's one reason I wouldn't yet like to see it heavily regulated. It will stifle the progression of a young sport. Once DH has matured (maybe another 10+ years) then it may not be a bad thing. At the moment the average punter is reaping the benefits of all this new development.
  • + 1
 I am actually surprised this is the first we are seeing of this in regards to the physically larger riders. I noticed a big difference moving to 27.5 it just felt right after very little getting used to. With that said I am 5'7" and ride a medium frame. So for guys on xl and XXL frames it is like they just moved to 26 from 24. I think this will just lead to more appropriate sized bikes for bigger guys.
  • + 1
 @scary1: that was the bike that changed my mind about 29rs took all.of about 2 mins on a decent
  • + 2
 @scary1: you're 47...so your "pro class" underhanded comment is meaningless.

And I stand by what I said...if you are shaving seconds by riding a 160mm bike, you aren't riding a proper DH track
  • + 1
 @ctd07: Have u tried the new geo 29ers tho.. I find I'm just better now on them.. More confidence, mistakes are easily corrected and hucking sideways only takes a bit of reconfiguring riding style.. For me it just works!
  • + 2
 @scary1: you're not going to get faster watching! You gotta be on that damn rig full time brahhh!
  • + 2
 @nvranka: turned pro at 39 ,stopped racing at 45. When you grow up,try doing that.Let me know how easy it is.
Since, ive raced nearly every big course in the us,you should just stop now.
  • + 2
 @nvranka: also, if you havent noticed the dramatic progression in trailbikes in the last 3 years,theres not nearly the difference in performance there used to be. And, if you havent ridden a Wreckoning, you have clue what you're talking about.
  • + 2
 @scary1: when I grow up, hah. If growing up means being delusional, I think I'll pass.

This has now become a circular argument. Good job going pro at an older age, you must love the sport, which we have in common.

I'm heading to the trails, enjoy your weekend
  • + 1
 @nvranka: unfortunately, i gotta work all weekend. Have fun cuz...Its the last day for 27.5 in downhill dominanceWink Wink
  • + 1
 Down hill is reaching a formula one level lol. Ahh thanks man. You made me chuckle. It's true that like in F1 when something works, bringing a time advantage, other teams follow. But, F1 level is far fetched.
  • + 2
 @scary1: my geomatron 175mm rear and 180mm front is slacker (61.5 she head angle) and 25mm longer than my large demo was. Trail bikes are most than capable now a days. So I believe you can be faster riding trail bikes, as well I am on mine. But then again it also has wayyy better geometry than my spec DH DEMO did Wink
  • + 1
 @Trailstunter: who isnt timing their runs --- Strava-- its a disease
  • + 2
 @mikeyb76: it's also entirely innacurate, I rode the same dh trail as my mate who is slower than me at the same time, he also got a puncture half way down and walked the bottom half. He uses an iPhone and I use an android and when we checked strava at the end of the day it says he is 1 second faster on that trail... If people are basing their r&d decisions off the back of strava results then mountain biking is in trouble
  • + 0
 @ctd07: Amen....

All Strava is about is ego boosting!
  • + 2
 @tabletop84: Not only are they faster they have more traction due to more surface contact. The only challenge bike companies have had with 29 is that they haven't been able to figure out the ideal geometry, until now. There has been top 29ers in ews for a few years, its just simple (r)evolution.
  • + 2
 @trailbuilder: well played..just ride, smile, drink some beer.

The reality is that free ride/dh 29ers require more skill to ride or they'd up feeling bulky to some people. They are faster into corners and have more contact surface to have better traction through corners. And if you buy the right one they are super nimble, everywhere.

As long people are having fun, who cares
  • + 1
 @bmck: my argument still stands: if its possible that a rider can outrun the field by nearly ten seconds we are not talking about technology being the main factor in winning a dh-race. The margin might get smaller but dh is still mainly a head-game Wink
  • + 80
 I'm not racing anyone but my friends, I'm not interested in the fastest bike, I want the funnest bike. For me that means lively handling. In my experience, smaller wheels are more fun.
  • + 4
 Remember there's a time you were faster on training wheels. Then your bro decides to take them off and push your limit.
  • + 19
 @slashnasty Agreed. Freeriding is an art. To me style is more important than speed. I want my DH bike to have as much snap and agility as possible, especially coming off my slopestyle bike. I have no interest in any wheels larger than 26 inches on my DH bike.
  • - 9
flag FuzzyL (Apr 28, 2017 at 3:42) (Below Threshold)
 There is a lot of factors that go into the design of a bike and affect it's handling that are at least as important as the wheel size.

If it's designed to do so, a 29er can be much "snappier" than its small wheeled predecessor.
  • + 8
 Horses for courses, but seeing that I can't afford 2 bikes, I'll just stick with 650B which gives me the best of both worlds.
  • + 5
 I've had back to back to back rides on my two 26" bikes (both 160m) and my Canfield 29" (140mm). This "smaller is more fun" doesn't make sense to me. My 29er is MORE fun ~ more poppy, playful, agile. The geo is dialed and the bike is just as capable as the longer travel 26" bikes I own. Its just as easy in the air too. Folks had me concerned about this prior to buying but it's not the case at all. I also have a 26" DH bike that I don't plan on replacing anytime soon, but if I were to then 29" wouldn't be selling myself to the devil....
  • + 7
 @mayha49: Well we're talking about freeride DH bikes here, not XC trails. I have a 27.5 Evil Insurgent, and it's still pretty fun, it rolls over a lot, holds a good line, but when I'm ripping high-speed berms at the bike park and whipping over 40 foot tables, the smaller wheeled bikes are way more agile and fun. There's no place in freeride for 29 inch wheels.
  • + 13
 I just love the dichotomy of it all. And I really cannot wrap my head around how flustered it has got so many people. So much to the point that they are throwing their hands up and saying "Put them in a different class!" All the while they are saying "Those wheels handle like a turd! I hate them! They're Weak! " If you step back for a moment, the reactions legitimately sound Scared more than anything.
All while nobody has even raced a 29" DH bike yet! Let alone proven over time whether or not they will provide Any consistent amount of an advantage across such varied conditions present in every track. Even in XC and Enduro, 29" bikes are not unanimously sweeping the podiums all day every day. And people are so concerned that they all of a sudden lost an edge in DH!?
Even just 2 years ago, if you wanted to race a 29" DH bike people would have pointed and laughed and never taken the concept seriously. Now all of a sudden people are saying its not fair!? Come on. It's Gravity, and a bike, and a rider. The comparison to motorized sport regulations and engine displacement would be more like different gravity classifications, as other than your legs, that's the only place acceleration is coming from. So maybe we should put people in different "wattage" classifications since we cannot alter gravity.
If you've ridden a longer travel 29er, you will know that it is still a bike. It works very well in some situations, and not the best in others. Particularly when the trail is steep and rough and requires dynamic movement over the back wheel, and when the trail demands sudden changes in direction and acceleration. There is just not as much room to move around and absorb terrain through your legs without that wheel coming up and making itself known, and its more rotating mass to slow down and speed up. Especially as the travel gets longer, the trail gets steeper, and the impacts get bigger. My point? I think 27.5 DH bikes are still going to be perfectly competitive, and 26/27/29 will each have their own advantages from one rider to the next. But it will all still come down to the rider no matter what wheel size they are on.
  • + 10
 @Metacomet: That's a great philosophy if it weren't for bike companies no longer producing 26 inch wheel options.
  • + 0
 @cmkneeland: That's absolutely true. And it is a bit of a shame. Do you really think this will happen to 27.5 as well? I can't see it happening since many people just don't really get along with 29" wheels regardless. With 27.5 thee was Barely a perceivable change from 26, which is what frustrated so many people with the introduction, but at least people were not forced onto something they completely could not possibly get along with. 29" really feels different overall though, and as long as enough people do Not want to ride 29" due to that different feel, there will be a demand for 27.5. It is tough though. It is the OEM that dictates the adoption of this stuff, and if all OEM becomes 29 then yeah, even 27.5 will very unfortunately fade away. I'm holding out hope that that will not be the case.
  • + 2
 @Metacomet: definitely true, but greatly depending on the course. My 29er buzzes the shit out of my ass when i come down something steep and gnar
  • + 5
 It feels like we have had this conversation before...now we all ride bigger wheeled dh bikes and love them.
  • + 2
 @Metacomet: A custom bike is released for WC DH racing ONLY and people think an entire subset of mountain biking will permanently change wheel size?

#screwlogicihaveanopinionbasedonnothingbutfear #trumplogic
  • + 3
 If smaller wheel are more fun, why not a BMX, or a 16-inch pit bike?
  • + 2
 @CaptainSnappy: It's happened before. They killed the 26" bike. For profit.
  • + 1
 @dorse: Bike companies dont sell nearly as many dh bikes though
  • + 2
 @mayha49: Agreed I'm on a trek fuel ex 9.9 and that thing is way more fun than my 26 or 27.5..The new geo makes it so on these rigs.. Bike agility is a non issue at this point!
  • - 2
 @bohns1: A Fuel EX is an XC bike. You're not seeing that thing riding A-Line or the Claymore course.
  • + 2
 @CaptainSnappy: you must be new here, welcome to pinkbike
  • + 2
 @cmkneeland: what are u on dude! Have u seen the new fuels? They are basically the old remedies! The thing hucks man.. No issues on the shore!
  • - 2
 @bohns1: When I see one at FEST then come talk to me. And I own an old Remedy. Comparing that to a Freeride bike is a joke.
  • + 2
 @cmkneeland: where did I compare the fuel to a free ride bike.. I simply debunked your statement of it being an xc bike, which it most certainly isn't! I don't give a shit if they're at fest or not.. Bottom line is they can be shred hard in capable hands.
  • + 31
 Bike media just fkd it this time. You guys at Pinkbike along with Dirt and few more just went WAKI on mountain biking, that is you blew it out of proportion. @vernonfelton had an excellent chat with DVO using sentences going more or less like: even for me as a journalist this is fkng too much, what the hell is going on, why would you do that for fks sake?!". For a moment I believed in journalism, that even a site like Pinkbike can step out of the "industry". But this is just silly. This is pure manufacture of hype regardless of intentions.

Wheelsize on it's own does little, there's many variables that must come into place for a rider to achieve whatever his goal is - in this case Winning a World Cup race and World Cup overall. Every single racer including Minnaar said it to Steve Jones.

Now as much as wheel size matters little on the clock or fun meter, it matters a lot for the wallet and for waste generation, particularly when it comes to tyres. It also takes more space in warehouses in shops all over the world. Simply because you need new frame/ fork and wheels.

What bike media just greatly helped manufacture can simply be summed up by few lines from "Men who stare at the goats":
- Mind control project was just a scam to make Russians believe we work on mind control
- So why do you keep on working on it, and why do we spend so much money on it?
- because Russians started their own mind control program in response and now we cannot stay behind
  • + 8
 @WAKIdesigns That Men Who Stare at Goats reference is just brilliant! Could not be more pertinent to this tire size thing in DH, well played.
  • + 1
 oh hey alex jones, I hope you find a new job soon
  • + 1
 I agree with you WAKI that no matter the bike you ride, riding trails in the woods and mountains is tremendous. How and what it is, what size its wheels are does not matter.

That being said, if you are spending money on a NEW bike, you might as well at least consider a platform or product that might make biking in said forests and mountains smoother, better or in some other way, more fun. One could argue that good and plenty suspension reduce the fun factor on one level. Certainly at slower speeds. On the other hand, a 29" tired downhill bike might roll over even BIGGER piles of roots and rocks. And that to me sounds like MORE fun!

So what is the issue with more fun again? Cause, mountain biking is pretty much the summation and definition of "Fun".
  • + 2
 @boxxerace: I congratulate you, for the first time in history of Pinkbike I read someone say that bulldozing over stuff is his idea of fun. Hi Five!
  • + 20
 Already ride bike parks and DH on a long travel 29er, and have done for 2+ years... so much fun. I have a 27.5 DH bike too, but often reach for the 29er just for the fun.

People who are shouting loudest against 29ers in DH really should try one, they'd be surprised at how much things have moved on in recent years...

'Haters gonna hate' I guess.
  • - 1
 I also like my short travel 29er but I'm sure a 29er DH bike can't be that much fun anymore.
  • + 3
 I had the opportunity to try a rental 29in full suspension bike in Rotorua NZ and I loved it!

Where I ride DH most of the time (Mont-Ste-Anne, Canada), most trails are really rough, steep and technical. I think I would love a 29in DH bike over here. It would be awesome to float over these rocks and roots a little easier.

I don't agree with this statement we hear everywhere ''29in are faster but 26in are more fun''. I think that for some people and some places, 29in can be more fun. I think it's good to have different options.
  • + 3
 @t1000: I have great fun on my 29er HT. so much so that I'm likely going long travel 29er for my next bike.
I rode a Slash 9.9 in WBP and that was a blast
  • + 18
 There isn't a "I'm not really bothered" option.

Like, I've ridden 26" wheels for 10 years. So I have no compulsion to change. I just want to keep riding my bike.

As and when I come to buy a new bike, and something pops up at a good price and happens to be 29" then I'm not going to be all like "Ew no." I'll just buy it and see what it's like.
  • + 14
 The market shouldn't have to follow what a few top level DH racers prefer.
Bikes make a tiny difference compared to rider talent so id say setup and rider preference to make them feel as confident as possible is more the advantage then the wheels themselves so if a few feel comfortable and therefore faster on them then go for it but don't think that it now means everyone has to go 29.

its classic "he beat me with 29 wheels so 29ers must be faster" nah hes probably just a faster rider
  • + 4
 Sensible attitude. Shame there's not more with a similar mindset.
  • - 1
 @Bustacrimes: Very true. i'm actually surprised there isn't much 29er hate going on in here yet. Maybe they're finally chillin out and realizing there must be something about them if Minaar is willing to ride one.
  • + 1
 But what if the rider's confidence stems from the changes that a 29" wheeled bike brings?
  • + 2
 The only thing that worries me is will the bike industry phase out the 650b as fast as the 26" . I just don't want to be limited to buying leftover wheels and tires for my 650b dh. Bike in 2 years .
  • + 11
 I stand 196 cm in socks. So that's about 6'5" in the old money. I've ridden 26" 27.5" and 29". But you know what? I just rode the bike. I'm never going to be famous. I'm never going to have a podium. I just loved what I was riding at the time.

That being said I love the 29er it just feels right for me with my proportions. Would I jump on a fad? No. Would I ride what feels good? Yes
  • + 2
 This entire forum is more focused on a tribal reaction instead of looking at the physics of it all. Rider size/weight and frame size should be a much bigger factor in choosing a wheel size.

There was no answer in this survey that said "I'll try it and give an honest comparison". Fan the flames!
  • + 1
 Well said, that's totally how I feel, having ridden a 29er Stumpy for 2 years and now on a 27.5 Nomad, they are both good bikes, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. I was lucky to test a Slash 29 recently, and that was so much fun. Anyone who says 29ers aren't fun needs to actually ride a dialled one! Maybe smaller riders struggle with manouvering the bigger wheels about, and this is where a lot of the negativity comes from? Perhaps the l, xl & xxl's will get the big wheels, and the smaller sizes get the 27.5.
  • + 8
 Maybe too much being made of this before any racing has even been done? Minnar and Peaty are like the giants from Game of Thrones. I have stood shoulder to groin with both of 'em so I know that much for sure. From what's been said they are doing it because it's more comfortable for them which equals more raw speed so it makes sense .29DH bikes will not suit everyone often based on the stature of the rider alone so let us not start tooting on about 26 and even 27.5 becoming "second rate" aye
  • + 3
 To be fair there has been a good level of assumption that the Syndicate are gonna be 1-2-3 this weekend on these bikes. If they are then we all know the answer to the question, and it will be funny to watch other frantically scratch build big wheelers.

Dont think I will be seeing Brendog on one anytime soon, also, I cant see how they would be nimble enough for "fun" DH riding like bike park stuff, fair enough if you just wanna go mad fast but not everyone does
  • + 5
 @usmbc-co-uk:
I'd be hella surprised if Shaw makes the jump from "frequent top ten" rider to number three just because of wheel size. There's a lot of talented guys out there and the 29er advantage isn't enough to beat a Danny Hart, Aaron Gwin, Gee Atherton, Troy Brosnan, etc. And that's not even considering the other fast top ten/top 20 guys like Brayton, Brendog, and so on.
People give wheel size and bikes in general way too much credit. For gods sake, Gwin won Leogang without a chain and that is not a strictly tech track where you wouldn't need it.
At this point all the V10 29er does is make those guys feel confident in their bikes, which is a good thing. Everything else is just speculation.
People are already claiming this race will prove or disprove the 29er advantage, but that is ridiculous statistically. They've put 3 of the worlds top ten/20 riders on a bike not too far from what they used before. If they win, that only proves they are in that elite list for a reason, not that they won because of the wheelsize. Now if 3 lower ranked top 50 guys kept winning 1/2/3 that may be an indication they are onto something.
  • + 1
 @Loki87: All true, its not even like you could ever quantify the effects of wheel size. There are so many other variables such as rider skill, traction, track conditions, weather, mechanical hold up, fitness etc.

That said it seems to sell bikes, tbh I am more interested in how 29 will play out in trail bikes. Will it ever be as good as smaller wheels at longer travel "thrashing" bikes?
  • + 2
 @usmbc-co-uk:
Yeah, just like you say.
For all i know there's a lot of pros out there who theoretically do not even benefit from 29ers.
I do not see the likes of Sam Hill get on too well with big wheels, because it'll most likely just hinder their style of riding. I see how they definitely will benefit a guy like minnaar because of his size and riding style of (smoothly) ploughing through everything.
As even the syndicate stated, it's horses for courses and that goes for the rider as well as the bike.

I think the EWS has shown us something very important. The top guys will choose wheel size based on feel, not on cold hard physics theory. 29ers have not started dominating there in any way, so i'd say that's to count for something. And diversity is great for the consumer.
My personal fear is just that they will streamline and make 29ers a new "standard".
  • + 11
 I want to remind you all that basketball is not for midgets
  • + 2
 Unless you are Mugsy Bogues and one of the greatest players of all time.
  • + 4
 Tell that to all the 5-foot guys using 800mm handlebars.
  • + 1
 Michael J Fox was pretty good.
  • + 6
 29ers are rad! Trust me, ride one. Evil Wreckoning & the Trek SLash 29er are ace!

BUT! I wouldn't buy a DH bike of ANY wheel size until the industry has settled itself down.
Industry big wigs said they'd run 26 along with 27.5 and then shortly after they abruptly made 26 obsolete and deliberately pulled a load of stuff off the market so we can't buy. Then made out "there's no market for it" to force everyone to buy 27.5. Horse sh*t!
Fair play, 26 had a good run but imo it was a shady, insidious move by many in the industry and it's left a bad taste in people's mouths right into the present day.

For example I remember buying my Evil Undead and then being pissed at Evil for abruptly pulling the bike off the market, no official article/newsletter, nothing. It was only this month I discovered how smaller bike companies left out of the information loop work to survive when things like this happen, what changes & decisions they have to make. (Check out the Q&A with Bryson Martin @ DVOSuspension - Apr 24, 2017).

So....now after only a few seasons racing 27.5, here we go again.
Yet again the army of sanctimonious clowns are back telling us to stop being so butthurt. Like oh yeah, because most are just fed up about actual wheel size, we just don't wanna change wheel size....right.
It's all about the money and it's all it ever was. If bikes were more affordable / if salary's matched inflation /if money grew on trees, people wouldn't be so pissed off about all these new standards in & out the revolving doors. That real world situation tho.
  • + 2
 Great post and I can relate on a level or two. Have you ridden a 29" DH bike yet? I've not, but I have to wonder if the wagon wheeled clown-mobile does not have some measurable benefits.

And yeah, still riding my 26" Evil....
  • + 7
 I went full 29 years ago and never looked back. Tried the 27.5 thing once and didn't care for it. 29 all the way now, except for the DJ bike
  • + 0
 Are you going to try a 27+? I think that might be my next bike. I'm sized for a 29er, and I've owned one before. I liked it a lot, but it was 6 years ago (maybe more now), and they were limited to crappy tires, bad geo, and flimsy parts. It seems like they're a lot more sorted now.
I want a 27+ because I can run a 2.8" tire and have almost the same diameter as a 29er, but stronger wheels for cheaper (i'm heavy).
  • + 1
 Me too, more grip, more corner speed, easier to maintain speed, I'm still having fun because hey, riding bikes is fun
  • + 3
 @Leppah: no, I've tried it and I don't care for it. I find I have plenty of grip with a 2.4/2.5 minion. I race xc and enduro and plus tires definitely take a toll on your time when racing, especially climbing
  • + 5
 I am behind the 29er thing if it is faster, because developing to gain more and more speed is a good thing as it requires investment and show the thoughts behind it. It doesn't matter to me if it was bigger wheels because of tamer tracks or small wheels and more travel because everyone as gone 'bender' style on the tracks - I just love seeing the development of bikes at the cutting edge.

I ride a 26" V10 but I am not a racer just like to play in the woods, so I probably wouldn't buy one but I love that people are.
  • - 12
flag Theeeeo (Apr 28, 2017 at 1:19) (Below Threshold)
 Go watch xc then
  • + 2
 This^ who cares about a slightly bigger wheel? Do we really want all the bikes to be regulated like the roadies have to be, and have no more cool suspension designs and tweaky bits? Not me, I'll gladly see the bikes improve year on year, pushing the riders harder and faster.
  • + 5
 I'm still riding a 26" dh bike. And it's not because I'm a 26" for life kind of guy or that I have anything against 27.5, it's because they are just too expensive for me. When I do buy a new dh bike it will be just like others have said, I'll get the bike/wheel size that's the most fun.
  • + 5
 Keep putting oil in the fire pinkbike Big Grin

On a serious note, I dont get why theres so many people saying its unfair to let 29ers in if they are faster, and that it should be regulated. E.g. being better for bigger riders and giving a disadvantage to short guys. So what? In every sport ever genetics have played a role. If your body doesnt build a lot of muscle fast you probably will not make it as a professional bodybuilder. Look at basketball players, should the NBA start with a height restriction because bigger people are in an advantage? Thats life.

Everything in pro MTB is performance oriented, suspension setup, tyre profiles and compounds, frame size is chosen by different people how they like it best for their use. In DH racing its for speed. Rampage maybe sturdy and controllable for big drops and playful for tricks. XC is probably more about weight and efficiency. Why should wheel size be an exception. Let the sport evolve
  • + 3
 Between dirt and these guys they will have to rent an oil tanker to keep the flames going. Loves the hype
  • + 6
 The arguments sound familiar to the original 26 vs 27.5 debate, and look how that turned out. Welcome to the #aintdead club 27.5 ')
  • + 4
 I'm not at all against new 29DH steeds showing up, but there are so many factors that would go into this decision; depends on track, rider, do you even race, etc.
I wouldn't go 29DH because I don't race, and any big bike I'm on it's just having fun or goofing off with friends--for that I'll take the smaller wheel sizes to keep things playful. So I answered no.
  • + 6
 There are some sweet deals on 26 downhill bikes now, barely used ones. Those deals are only going to get sweeter, and if you're not racing, who cares. 26 is stronger and more fun. Factor in the price and it's a no brained for shuttle
  • + 6
 @jaame: I'm wondering, if 29ers become the choice for racing (as they seem to have in Enduro, and are possibly going to in dh) and 26 is still the choice for jump/slope, freeride, 4x, slalom and are generally regarded as more fun, where does that leave 27.5? I mean if 650b isn't as fast as a 29er, and isn't as fun as a 26er, isn't it a bit redundant?
  • + 3
 @alexhyland: that is an interesting point. I am keen to see how it pans out. There could be a push back to 26 for anything aimed at fun. As soon as the power players are satisfied 26 is dead and the customers have moved on, it would not be a surprise to see them pushing it again, perhaps under the 26 plus idea. Already more tyres and wheels are coming out over 2.5".
  • + 3
 @jaame: Agreed. I think as frames get much bigger there will be a place for 26" gravity sleds. I'm currently on a Process167 with a DC and love the combo of the big frame and small wheels, and I'm 6'2.
  • + 2
 @FindDigRideRepeat: I would guess that racers only make up a small percentage of riders. I'm never going to race dh again honestly.

Value is the most important thing to me. For a shuttle bike I would probably go for a 26" aluminium bike, such as a Wilson or Pulse.
  • + 4
 I can't believe how twisted up people are getting about this. Oh wait, yes I can. I think it's exciting, I'm not even answering this question because it's loaded. I won't purchase my next DH bike based upon how well 29's do in general. I have one 29 in my stable, and I can readily see the advantages. But I'm 5'8" and my 27.5 bike is already big under me. Will I never buy one? Can't say that either. What I can say is new equipment experiments in DH, the pinnacle of our sport, excites me.
  • + 5
 Do I want something heavier than I already have? No

Do I want something that has a higher center of gravity? No

Do I want a wheel size that is further away from the axle? No
  • + 1
 Do you want something smoother than you ride? Yes.

Do you want something that rolls over bigger Knar than what you have now? Yes.

Do you want something that looks like gang bangers "
rolling down the street, smoking Endo, sipping on,"... nevermind that, no.
  • + 4
 I'm still rocking 26ers, but i hope to upgrade to 650b wheels soon. The problemi is that if i change bike at the end of this year, then there's risk of many brand beginning production of 29ers DH sleds in 2017 , leaving me whit a brand new but "outdated" bike. I'm talking about racing, i think 650b bikes will still be batter forma freeriding and bike park riding
  • + 2
 may as well wait...there is still the boost flange width and 20mm axle at both ends stuff to come and who knows what else!...maybe something wider than 157 rear end?...maybe frames/forks that accommodate 220mm discs...mega-metric shocks
  • + 4
 Racing: Yes.
Other: I'll wait to buy until after they work the bugs out and made quality more affordable.

If they keep up this incremental improvement thing, I'll be fine waiting out multiple generations of revisions before making another buying decision. Lets see if my vow to skip Boost and 11/12 speed holds out.
  • + 3
 ha ya no Freeking way we already let them phase out the 26" making buying a new 275 bike seem needed by many newcomers. this also created a market witch quickly raised the prices as the companies new many of us would trade in our 26 just cause. that is exactly what this is.

if bike companies build 29" DH dont price us long term bikers who keep bikes longer out, not everyone can afford or wants the " new shiny". new shiny stuff remains a mystery until years later when they find problems, like konas head tube issue, evils frame failures and more. new DOES NOT mean instantly better.
  • + 3
 I'm waiting until 2020 when high wheelers come back in style. Nothing like ripping DH with a 6 foot front wheel. Besides, All the hype is obviously true and giving in to fads and trends will make you .0000000000000000001 faster.
  • + 3
 not much point to this poll...the industry will give us what they want (SRAM and their Boost idiocy comes to mind) to ensure bike sales, end of story. if they see an opportunity to outmode an existing standard, it will happen. just my cynical but completely true 2 cents...
  • + 2
 Exactly,that's what it's been about since 27.5 $$$$$$$
  • + 3
 Loris Vergier. "I tried it once in testing, but went straight back to my original 27.5 inch bike because that's what felt fastest across the length of the test track. But Greg insisted I give the 29er another shot. So I did, and I felt like it was still slower. The clocks don't lie though, and I was consistently posting quicker times on the new bike compared to the old—and this was on my local track! That's when I realized the new bike was deceptively quick." - I don't want a bike that feels slow. I feel slow enough already cheers. Guess it makes sense for racing but I want a bike thats a laugh to ride.
  • + 2
 To quote Tracey Mosley "If you want to win races, go 29. If you want to have fun, go 26 or 27.5." I asked her the wheel size question at an event she held and that was her answer. I know she is more of an enduro rider but its still broadly the sameish. Take what you want from that. I guess its a very personal thing...
  • + 2
 If I was racing then the most likely answer is yes, I would convert to a 29er because the goal is to get down the hill the fastest , right? For day to day riding though, I'm happy to stick to my 27.5 bike!!


Btw I'm super excited for this weekend....can't wait for the racing!
  • + 2
 only been "back" in the sport for 5 years, brought my 26" wheeled beast right as the 27.5" fad kicked off. I have watched DH go through its phases over the years, even way back when bikes ran a 24" on the rear for "Better acceleration".....that died quickly!! While the tweener size IS faster, for a guy who just wants to ride and have fun, I am more than happy until the bank balance builds back up so I can buy a tweener. Until then, I will keep playing with my 26", super fun to ride and the old girl does the job just fine,after all, I race just for fun and also to best MY last time, not the guy ahead of me. I am more than happy at nearly 37 to still be riding, having fun on my bike and still going sideways!
  • + 2
 A 29er DH bike seems like a really crappy bike for just about anything other than bombing down a World Cup track. In almost any other setting it would be sluggish and unwieldy. 27.5 DH bikes are probably much more versatile and a better buy.
  • + 2
 ...or 26!
  • + 2
 Interesting seeing the thoughts of some of the actual pro riders on a Dirt feed from the pits...Fairclough was clearly unimpressed and made the argument that constantly changing spec is hard for committed amateur riders to keep up with. It's a shame then that so many wannabe pros are following the industry line of "this is quicker therefore better" and that they'll adopt. Bit like roadies these days - it's about keeping up with the joneses and being seen on the latest kit.

Boris summed it up in my opinion.....for all the media talk and massive build up, only two, YES TWO pro teams will be riding them at this first race.

Keep drinking the kool aid - share holders are relying on it for this years 12.5% increase in dividend payments :/
  • + 5
 I'm still on 26" mate and can't afford to upgrade to 27.5" yet... so probably no haha.
  • + 2
 Being realistic, if it will actually be faster, I wouldn't be surprised if 29" would eventually become the new standard. Just like with XC everyone was a bit against it in the beginning, but now the big majority rides 29ers.

In the end we want faster bikes. Else we'd still be riding the same bikes as we did in the 90ies.
  • + 2
 Yes and no. Progress is nice but unlike the pros I do not need to win races. For me it's about the fun. And I have to pay for the stuff.
  • + 2
 @fiatpolski: just wait till all your friends have 29er DH bikes and you want to upgrade as well because you don't want to be the slowest
  • + 0
 @Mattin:
But what if i can keep up with my friends on my non 29er just because we don't time our laps and the advantage for an unskilled rider only makes about 0.001 seconds.
Or maybe you know, i see it as a personal challenge to beat 29ers, because let's face it, if i was to put in a little more training that would by far negate the 29er advantage in any recreational rider out there.
So, while at the elite level equipment may matter, in a recreational environment there's just so many things to improve.
Heck for all i know my buddies ride with badly setup suspension and wrong tire pressures. I'd say that'll more than make up for me missing a little bit of tire diameter ;-)
  • + 2
 @Loki87: Yeah, I love being the underdog, folks don't expect a 26 inch, 150mm rear / 140mm front to catch them up on the track! Granted, it is my local track Smile
  • + 1
 @Loki87: I know. It's also not my personal opinion, just one that I see a lot from (most) riders around me. I'm still riding my 2004 Cannondale Gemini in case you want to know.
  • + 2
 @Mattin: 2007 Specialized Pitch Pro...still going strong.
  • + 1
 @Mattin:
Don't worry, i got that Wink
I was referring to those people who allready claim it's only because of wheelsize.
  • + 3
 It's a foregone conclusion. If manufacturers decide I'm going to ride a 29er, I'll have little choice at some point...

While we're at it, can we add another $2500 to the cost of a new bike, just for grins.
  • + 2
 If 29er DH bikes are successful, it will finally show that 29ers are for racing (all racing) and that rolling speed trumps maneuverability. 27.5 (& 26) will still be around for fun, playful riding. I just bought a Pivot Firebird over a Switchblade for that exact reason; I wanted a play bike (not the Switchblade isn't playful, I've just ridden 29ers for a long time and wanted something different).
  • + 2
 I guess all people complaining about 29 wheels run full rigid or hardtails or even steep short travel full suspension bikes, am I right? Because big wheels make things much easier but extra slack and long travel bikes don't?

Guys let's be honest. I get it that some people don't like 29ers (I don't have one either) but let's just stick to this and don't try to invent lame excuses when most of us run super slack long travel bikes and go crazy about PRs and KOMs in Strava.

As for Sunday let the best rider win!
  • + 5
 I'll wait until the e-bike 29er downhill bike is available
  • + 0
 The world will change after first e-bike wins a WC
  • + 1
 Just went from an XC 29er to an AM 27.5. Find the manoeuvrability better on the 27.5 better but have noticed more hang ups on a couple roots, but nothing that can't be solved by riding a big faster. For XC I'd go 29, anything else, probably not.
  • + 1
 I built a 29er down hill bike like maby 6 years ago and I have to say speed is the difference i saw it coming but with all the engineers playing a row it's going to get ready crazy can't wait . And thanks again to pinkbike.com
  • + 1
 I think 29er's will perform well. I do believe with Greg Minnaar's skills and the bigger wheels he will podium (if he doesn't have an unexpected crash or mechanical failure)

He's a taller rider and he may feel very at home with the bigger tires and as we all know bigger tires roll over bumps better. Along with their VPP suspension he'll have good traction and braking compliance. Just my hunch.

Who'll win the first race of the season is still anyone's guess.
  • + 1
 The think is we will be riding what the manufacturers say we have to unless there going to start selling modular frames where you buy the front triangle and rear triangles separately giving a choice of 26 27.6 or 29 rears

For example I need to buy a complete new bike as I can not for the life of me find a new fork that's 1 1/8th. Everything is tapered now
  • + 1
 I can't help but to think about off road racing... 37" tires were the norm then everyone jumped to 39's. Then they started expirmenting with 42's and found out they just cause more problems and broke lots of parts... is this the future of big wheel downhill?
  • + 1
 I wont go 29 on my DH bike for a couple reasons. If I do get a dedicated DH bike, it will be pretty entry level. I love bike parks, but I don't ride them enough to buy a top of the line DH rig. From what I can tell 29 DH bikes will be pretty premium for a few years, putting them out of my price range. Further, enduro bikes have gotten so great, I don't know if I'll ever get a dedicated DH bike. An enduro bike is more versatile, and is plenty capable of the riding I do. Ironically, if I get a 29er enduro bike then the question kinda comes full circle.
  • + 1
 All this talk of regulating to sport. What the hell is wrong with you. F1 is boring as hell! Mtb is exciting because teams do different things, change different parts. That's is what makes the sport exciting to watch and the build up exciting as your constantly guessing what may happen. Regulating to sport would actually destroy what makes dh racing good!!!
  • + 1
 from my personal experience, i can state, that 29ers do have advantages on some tracks. I also have a 29er Trailbike with wich i'm nearly as fast as with my dh rig on some rocky sections. But... if i imagine the wheelbase of a dh bike with 29er wheels.... well.... no whips today, or at least a lot of tracks need to be rebuild.
  • + 1
 29" for minnar makes sense but for troy or bruni it doesn't make sense.....
you can all ways go with 29" front and 27.5" rear or like i do this days (due to a rear 27.5 repair)27.5 front and 26 rear, i found that i was able to save it from crashing easier then both 27.5
  • + 5
 i think wheel's size should be fit to riders height!
  • + 2
 The bike frame is always in the same place though.
  • + 3
 I would agree, I'm not very tall and I've had a go on 29" wheels. On the ups is was noticeably better but when it came to going down the bike just feel right, I felt very high and the wheels felt like they were bigger than me.It was still fast but it felt like i was riding a bike two sizes too big for me and as a result didn't feel comfortable pushing it. But when it comes to taller riders I can definitely see it working well.
  • + 1
 @Gobble-de-Goop1: I'm 5'8.5 and ride a Tallboy 3 29 and fits me perfectly, I've had customers who sit on a 29 and say it's massive, it's all in their head as you're not sitting any higher up on the wheel are you!
  • + 2
 @lee-vps-savage: Your right but if a bike feels strange then you are not going to ride to your full potential. It's down to individual preference at the end of the day.
  • + 1
 When you lift up a pick up and keep the stock wheels, looks horrible. XXL frame on 26 or even 27 looks off to me. I've been on xl stumpy 29 for a few years now and lots of people look suprised when I tell them it's a 29er, just looks proportionate. Spec sells certain types of bike with the small and med frame 27.5 and l,xl on 29
  • + 1
 I switched to 29r in 2012, what's all the noise about over this? Sheeple buying into whatever hype the bike industry is spewing this week. Keep what you have properly maintained, get a mobility and fitness based training program take some skills clinics and ignore the schyte the industry spews to sell you more schyte.
  • + 1
 I do believe it will improve racing and full on speed of the riders, I do ride 27.5 and a 29 trail bike and really on trails I prefer 29, would steep tech tracks not be hindered by 29 wheels, I think for the general market though 27.5 will be the way to go, for racing 75% of the time I'd say 29.
  • + 1
 The Syndicate themself said the 27.5 V10 is garbage on Instagram, why would I ride garbage... (great joke fellas, makes it easy for those shop guys to sell the 2017's...)

If 29 is best for DH then the last 3-4 years of 650 DH bikes have been a complete scam. There was no reason for them to exist.
  • + 1
 yep cant wait to see the complete 360 turn around the industry will do to spin this. They just talk complete shite to push whatever gets the most bikes sold. The only scientific look into all 3 sizes showed that 29 was best on everything except dh were 26 was best and 27.5 was the worst of the three. Heck i remember an article from here a few years ago that stated 27.5 should not be used to surplant 26" yet a few years later thats exactly what hapened.

check out the closing comments of this......

www.pinkbike.com/news/26-vs-275-vs-29-Wheels.html

im just glad i didnt get a new 27.5" bike as it looks like next year these will face the same fate as my preferred choice of 26" wheels.
  • + 1
 I'm 5'10 with a motocross background. I used to say 29ers were gay, clown bikes, Test them with a negative attitude and say they sucked.. However, After constantly getting passed by them I decided to cave in and buy one 4 yrs ago. Im not full blown downhill but I get rowdy/air and for me there is no way I could ride anything other than 29er. There's An adjustment period for sure but once your used to the 29 inch wheel, the benifits are undeniable. Ive discovered it's just a faster and more stable platform and that's across board.. I earn my descents so throw in the climbing aspect and 29 inch is simply a no brainer!!
  • + 1
 Since i dont race, speed is not that important for me. I like to ride a bike which is fun to ride.

No hate against 29ers, i have a Jeffsy 29 and love it, but not because its fast (my current model Giant Reign is much faster), but fun! That said, looking at a racer like Minaar, 29" Wheels look like they fit him well so why not?
  • + 1
 I kinda have a feeling they'll be trying out the 29ers this season, then somewhere in the near future, they'll be swapping in some 27+ wheels and tires for the extra grip, cush, and because the 27+ is barely smaller than the 29er diameter.
  • + 2
 My next DH bike will be someone else's used Dh bike. It might even be 26". But, I'd love to try a 29" wheeled one! I ride 29" on my trail bike and quite like them so I can imagine they'd be good on a big bike.
  • + 3
 Poll is strange. What does fastest race bike have to do with what I want to ride? I ride to have fun. If 29er DH is more fun, i'll ride it.
  • + 1
 As a short, 5'6" rider, I'm going to watching closely to what the women end up riding throughout the season. It's possible Rachel Atherton may be one of the few women on the circuit tall enough to ride a 29 DH bike. For everyone else, there could be problems with seat / rear end rub when you combine the big wheels with 8" of travel.

With 29" Enduro bikes, The Following recommended minimum height is 5'8, and while I realize that the Slash and Specialized fit shorter folks like myself, these bikes have 2" less travel than DH rigs. I predict that most of the women's field this year will remain on 27.5. Maybe smaller riders like Danny Hart and Troy Brosnan will stay on 27.5 as well. Who knows?
  • + 1
 Wheel size should not become a regulation. If the rider's height plays such a strong factor (as we see with Minnarr) towards the relevant wheel size, let it be. I am 5ft6 and a 27.5 suits me perfectly. Wheel size is just another sizing dimension for the rider. Everything has trade-offs, mechanically.
  • + 1
 It's not that I want a 29er it's the fact that if it proves to be faster and more company's go down the road of 29er dh bikes then for any racer it is the way to go to stay competitive.

is a shame as it drives the price down on 26 and 650b bikes, is us as buyers that loose out and for what??

Don't see bmx/mx/road racing changing wheel sizes, still as fun and competitive as it always has been.... Like Brendan said its all a level playing field if everyone has the same size wheels.

Just making it less accessible for us, as it is bike industry has way to many standards I'm not keen on another one
  • - 1
 +1. This years "must have" product judging by the media shiz storm. Yet Brendog laughed it off and just said so we will all be three seconds faster and riding the same line....so what's the point. But let's be honest, he's not your usual industry paid monkey who gets trotted out to sell the latest new fad....I am looking at you, you Ebike shilling paid lackeys.
  • + 4
 If your main concern is the value of your assets, I strongly suggest that you don't invest your money in bikes.
  • + 1
 Bmx is actually changing wheel sizes- not on the whole, but 22s are out now.
  • + 1
 @R-trailking-S: ..BUT you can still buy 20" Not the same argument. We only want choices!
  • + 3
 @bikebike69: kids bikes would greatly benefit from quality 24s and 26s- without new riders, no one will come around to buy mountain bikes. Maybe someone should remind the industry of that...
  • + 2
 @caistor-bmx: certainly not investing my money in bikes, is a stinger how quickly they de-value and with the introduction of new wheel sizes as seen with 650b your 26inch bike is now worth peanuts not the thousands it cost a year or two ago.
  • + 1
 Just think of how freaking heavy your 29er DH wheels will be if you have anything but super expensive carbon wheels....maybe we will start seeing $4k carbon 29er DH wheels. ...2019 complete DH race bikes now starting at $9,599. 29ers DH wheels drive the costs up and reduce the fun factor....my only hope is that manufacturers find a way to build frames that will accommodate both wheel sizes. Due to the relatively low sales volumes of DH bikes, it's unlikely that we will see many brands with two DH bikes in their lineup.
  • + 1
 I think just as most major components on a bike, it's about fit. I'm 6'3" and find 29ers tend to fit me better (of course I learned only after heavily investing in my 27.5 rig, that I'm still perfectly happy with regardless).
  • + 1
 I don't race and only get to do "real" DH park a few days a year so I'll stick to my AM/Enduro ride. That said, I still have no real interest in moving up to 29er. I'll keep my 27.5 for the foreseeable future and if I'm looking for a new bike I'll likely stick with 27.5 so I have consistency...and spare parts, within my family's fleet of bikes.
  • + 4
 Who else is feeling just a little smug about not wasting any of their cash on a brand new 650 dh bike?
  • + 1
 The tracks will decide the wheel size in the end. Every wheel size has its merits in my opinion. Once they have dialed in the wagon wheel bikes they will now be able to decide which bike will run the fastest. The only pitfall I see to that is for the riders that can't afford the larger hoops. They will be left out in some events.
  • + 1
 29ers for downhill racing will undoubtedly provide benefits for straight-line speed and downhill acceleration as well as rolling earlier though rock gardens, but they come at a heavy cost for the average consumer and bike manufacturers need take note. For most people who use their downhill bike for non-race applications, the loss of 'fun factor' is not worth the performance trade-off. Most people aren't riding World Cup level downhill tracks, so riding a 27.5" or dare I say 26" wheel will actually make their same local trails comparably more difficult. Lastly, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think we need to look at wheel sizes like we look at frame sizes. A smaller, lighter rider is going to experience a 29" wheel differently than a taller, larger rider. In race applications, smaller riders might be willing to sacrifice comfort for any slight performance gains, but for the average consumer an appropriate frame/wheel balance is arguably more important.
  • + 1
 29er DHs like all 29ers can be used better if they correlate with frame sizing, like smaller frames using 27.5, and larger frames using 29er, so the bike will fit the rider better. but hell no would i be getting one. unless all large DH frames come in 29er.
  • + 1
 This is a fairly stupid question. What EVRYBODY seems to NOT GET is that we the general buying public. Don't gives two shits about what the pros race. We want to have a CHOICE when we buy what we ride! The argument here is that the industry is NOT giving buyers a choice. The same thing as 27.5 The industry is NOT trying to give you BETTER bikes. They are trying to tell you that this is what you will buy!
Ask yourself honestly, If the industry actually provided different sizes in all models 26,27.5,30 What do you think would sell more? Of course some bigger guys are going to opt for a bigger wheeled bike. But if actually given choices the 26 would still be dominate in the average buyers market.
  • + 1
 Vote with your wallet!
  • + 1
 It's amazing how most people's knee jerk reaction is to say no to something new. Whether it be new standards, wheel sizes or even e-bikes.
The same negative arguments were made for 27.5 DH bikes a short time ago but now there perfectly acceptable and (fun ) now that dudes are riding rampage and doing free / ride park shit on them.

Just say yes, enjoy the ride and don't follow the f*cking herd.
  • + 1
 I only got a 27.5 cos 26 frame cracked couple of years ago 27.5 was everywhere so that's what I got .so I'll wait to break this onemail then see what's about not getting rid just to get on the bandwagon. already have a short travel 29er hardtail .
  • + 4
 still on 26. no plans to change until i'm 100% forced to. (no decent rims or tires available).
  • + 1
 I don't think i'll ever move to 29ers, I'm a bit too short for that noise. I took the plunge on some 27.5+ wheels and my hardtail's started to look a bit big on me (I'm 5ft 9). I can imagine I'd still have as much fun on a 26er simply because its easier to shift the weight about more.
  • + 2
 I cant believe we are arguing about wheel size again. We need to unite against the real problem in mountain biking, e-bikes ????
  • + 2
 I'll switch to 24" or back to BMX before I ever go 29"... But i'm not a racer. If 29" developments comes with a loss of 26" options then i'm against it altogether.
  • + 0
 i think we should have a new wheel size standard each year around the same time as the new i phones are released. I love spending thousands of pounds on new tech that improves my life diddly squat cos im rich......oh actually no im not so i hate new standards.
  • + 1
 I just want a refund from Santa Cruz. I bought a brand new XXL v10 2 weeks ago and now its obsolete?! Great. Should have just gotten a long travel 29er and admitted to myself that DH is dead.
  • + 0
 Who cares? Wheel size is not based on what other people want, it's based on what you want, and how you ride.

So what the MTB world is offering up different sizes? Getting in a snip over 29ers is like getting upset at pants that are sold in a waste width other than 32.

People need to get over it, you don't like? Don't ride. I rode 26 inch wheels for 25 years, after 1 season on a 29er I would never go back to smaller wheels. But you can, you can do what floats your boat. 27.5 is not going anywhere either, its just offering more choice to more riders.
  • + 1
 The argument is over having a choice! More aggressive riders would mostly prefer a smaller wheel not a larger one. Yes let the rider have a choice what to buy.
  • + 1
 @bikebike69:

But, there are plenty of aggressive riders on 29? I don't feel that's a fair assumption.

Let's say "short" Aggressive riders.

Look at Josh, the last worldcup he won was on a 26' V-10 long after the rest of the team went 650B. 2 weeks ago Rat's doing a bike check with a 29 Hightower which he seems to be enjoying on his 50to01 highjynx.
  • + 1
 @Allmost: your perception of aggressive is different than mine! I'm looking at freestyle, DJ scene. I'm sure if you gave the pro freestyle guys a 26 choice they're go for it! Much like the DJ guys
  • + 1
 I planned to get a 650b DH for park riding this season. Now I think I will wait until they are being dumped in price by the end of next season. By late summer next year people will be desperate to sell.
  • + 2
 That probably won't happen. There are so many people that are better off riding 27.5 because of their size. A 29er DH bike is mostly going to be for taller riders. They aren't going to faze the 27.5 DH bike out. There will always be more of the 27.5 DH bikes around.
I won't lie though, I'd love an affordable 29er DH bike. I'm 6'1" and 29ers fit me well. The only issue I'd worry about is the 'affordable' 29er DH bikes will probably have some flimsy wheels. Syndicate doesn't have to worry about it because they ride the best wheels around, ENVE.
  • + 3
 Few years ago 75 % said will stick with 26 too... so guess many people lie in this poll Razz
  • + 4
 We have no choices in 26!
  • + 4
 Marketing priming machine working on full speed last week....
  • + 2
 Or just another thing that makes you faster. I rather have a "marketing machine" 2017 bike than still be riding on the same bike people did in 1990.
  • + 1
 @Mattin: I think we talk about different subjects here... but go ahead... start throwing your cash at your screen....
  • + 4
 Back to square one once everyone is on 29's. Then what, 30's?
  • + 2
 That's what I been sayin since 27.5. these idiots will buy whatever the industry tells them to.
  • + 1
 Havent even won a world cup let alone dominate in enduro how they would be expected to given the hype on here. But here we are with polls and absolute statements about pace. Let the peices fall and make judgements then.
  • + 2
 New to next year the championship will be split into two wheel size races and 'weirdo' class for those that CBA with wheel size BS.
  • + 4
 I'd rather stuff a golf umbrella down my japseye and click the open button
  • + 1
 I ride a 29er for enduro and it is great but jumping is its weakest point so for a bike that it is going to be used in the bike park mainly i can sacrifice some speed for fun
  • + 1
 I've been racing dh on a 29er Evil Wreckoning for almost a year now, and if companies make stronger wheels, I think 29ers could be great for dh
  • + 3
 All the guys running 26" still be like PREEEEAAACCHHH
  • + 4
 You're goddamned right! 26 for life!
  • + 2
 @bikebike69: Covert 26 & TR500 26!!
  • + 2
 @bstill30: that's great but NOT what I want. If intense had made a new M9 26 I'd have bought one.
  • + 2
 @bikebike69: It's not for you, it's what I ride.
  • + 2
 I'd like to see this question put towards people that don't race, that just ride for fun.
  • + 2
 But that's irrelevant. Nobody buys expensive shiz cause "Joe Bloggs" says it great. There's already enough uneducated media drivel repackaged and regurgitated by 'people that don't race' as sound bite quotes about what is and isn't cool. We don't need more of that.

If your point is about pros that don't race, they'll all tell you that 26" ain't dead....but the majority don't want to hear that, especially the industry and the media. Many of the best non racing pros still ride DJ and have an all round skill set far above your average "grip and rip" DH rider.
  • + 1
 @Bustacrimes: I think I understand what you're saying.
My point is more so that I can't relate to pro level/elite riders (either racers or freeriders).

It'd be great to see a review from weekend warrior style riders, that are just enthusiastic mountain bikers.
  • + 1
 For me the question should really be will I every buy a dh when trail bikes are so capable? Not hateing dh bike but where I live in the uk there is not much point
  • + 1
 My V10c is the sickest DH bike i've ever owned. Why do I feel the urge to go this route now? damn pro's, always making me want new shit.
  • + 3
 Fastest race bike does not equal funnest bike to ride!
  • + 1
 Yes, You sir are awake. Perfectly stated.
  • + 3
 I'm honestly here just for the comments
  • + 2
 Feels crazy having bought a brand new bike in 2014 and being already two wheel size behind...
  • + 3
 I'm not a racer, so goodfuntimes matter more than speed, 27.5 is fine.
  • + 2
 Can I ask what was wrong with 26
  • + 2
 Nothing 26 is still fun to ride too! They are all bikes and they are all cool in my eyes!
  • + 1
 @Theeeeo: peer pressure :'(
  • + 2
 That kind of sucks when you feel like you have to upgrade or change just because all your friends are doing it. I have always thought, if your friends are talking down to you for what you like or have, maybe they aren't good friends, walk away and be free in your own personal gusto as you remake like minded friends! Razz
But, I full understand!! lol
  • + 1
 @nikoniko: I was joking Razz
  • + 2
 lol Sorry mate!
I personally haven't had the opportunity to try bigger wheels yet but at the same time my current 3 bikes are still a blast to shred! Shhhhh they are all 3 26"!!
RideOn bud! Smile
  • + 1
 @nikoniko: I'm telling everyone you have 3 26" bikes. Don't Shhhh me ????
  • + 3
 stoked to have just bought a new 27.5 demo.....
  • + 1
 Hey at least wheels and tires should get cheaper if 29ers do become a thing.
  • + 1
 You guys should definitely upgrade for sure. And then sell your old CRAP 27.5ers while you still can. Seriously no one is going to want them in 6 months so price to sell!!
  • + 1
 I am 6'6" tall, and I weigh 230 lbs, I am excited about this. Anything that will allow me to have a bike that honestly fits is a good thing. Looking forward to riding one!
  • + 1
 Racing fuels development & we all benefit from the trickle down in one way or another.

All this bollox is what pushed me away from MTB & back into simple BMX.
  • + 2
 I'm just gonna put on my tin foil hat and say everyone will let Minnaar win because that'll boost 29er sales.. lmao
  • + 1
 Who cares what wheel size you are on . Grab your bike and go for a ride . If your not having fun its your fault . Wheel size had nothing to do with it .
  • + 1
 Skipped 27.5", and was just about to start upgrading my 2010 Session. Looks like I'll wait till the 29 comes out to satisfy me for the next 7 or 8 years.
  • + 2
 Is it just me or is that poll a bit stupid? There is basically 3 options for 'no' there.
  • + 2
 Lol. You weren't supposed to see that.
  • + 0
 Entertaining to see all of the "no's". Always that way when something new happens. Would be interested to check back in with those folks in a couple of years.
  • + 1
 You mean when no one has any other choice?! That's the issue!
  • - 1
 Love seeing a 29er v10 but when your buying your own bike or parts it has to be smaller wheels. More strength and durability. It'll be 10 years before most people can afford a strong durable 29er DH bike.
  • + 1
 Lourdes is the perfect track for 29ers. Roll over the rough stuff. Mud and all.
  • + 2
 Where the hell is the bracket with "still riding 26"? Big Grin
  • + 1
 I think the wider hubs, "Super Boost" or whatever, should answer the wheel strength questions for DH29 bikes.
  • + 1
 Can we just forget about all this and go back to 26" PLEASE! We don't all race mountain bikes, you know.....
  • + 1
 Thank you. You actually get it!
  • + 2
 I have been ready to ride a 29er in every discipline for way to long
  • + 1
 be interesting to hold the same poll AFTER the race results come in
people voting yes like Minnar has allready won Smile
  • + 2
 I get more pissed off at the comments than the new standards coming out
  • + 1
 One team brought a new 29er and your acting like every other bike ever built just fell over and cracked...???
  • + 1
 Where's the " I'm holding out for 36er+ freeride! " option....it's the future man!
  • + 2
 No - Pick a size and STFU
  • + 1
 How much did the manufacturers pay Pinkbike to write this piece? I withhold my vote.
  • + 2
 I'd still be on 26" if i could.
  • + 2
 "If you could"....

So there's a reason you aren't riding 26" wheel that is out of your control? Please elaborate?
  • + 4
 my NEW DH bike is 26.......
  • + 2
 @Bustacrimes: because hardly anyone makes a 26 now! If I could buy a new updated M9 26 I would but I can't! Do you really not understand the argument people have with the whole wheel size debate?
  • + 2
 I won't 'trade up to 29', cause I already ride 29.
  • + 1
 FUK 29", I'm short at 5'6".
Trying to keep us out of the DH game, conspiracy(sick, bad people!)
  • + 1
 Here's 2 bikes to race. This one is faster.

Which you guna choose?

It's a no brainier
  • + 2
 I have more fun and it takes me longer
  • + 2
 I`il give a s*** about it i`m not a racer......
Monetary rip-off !!!!
  • + 2
 all looks proportionate but the rear shock, looks tiny.
  • + 1
 intense cycles have been testing 29er DH bikes for long not a new idea. www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwokHqjU7oY
  • + 1
 Waiting for 30. Then ill get back to you.
  • + 1
 Im only 5'4". Enough said.
  • + 1
 Minnarr is currently 14th in practice. So... well see Smile
  • + 1
 Nah. I'll probably just buy a Commencal Furious.
  • + 1
 No! do I look like a millionaire?
  • + 1
 Wyn masters instagram now!! thats all im saying!!
  • + 1
 I got a question.. in a frame 27.5 works 29" wheels?
  • + 1
 The tires look flat in the photo of the wheel set????
  • + 1
 I say bring em on! I'm 6'5" and would love a bike that actually fits!
  • + 1
 Just think of the Strava possibilities Big Grin
  • + 1
 No but if they put 26 Plus or 27.5 plus tyres. That would be interesting.
  • + 1
 would I buy FIS downhill skis...no. Maybe not an applicable comparison...
  • + 0
 I´m looking forward to some proper DH tires for 29ers, other than that i´m not too interested.
  • + 1
 It's a conspiracy to start making 27.5+ DH bikes
  • + 1
 If they use them at rampage then I'll buy one.
  • + 0
 As soon as I have the money, I'm buying a fox 49... no doubt about it! It's awesome.
  • + 1
 Wagon wheels?
  • + 1
 you guys say no now.....
  • + 1
 27.5 isn't dead yet !
  • - 1
 I said I'm not interested as I'm not interested in buying a dh bike whatever the wheelsize
  • + 2
 maybe pinkbike is not for you
  • + 3
 Pinkbike is for mountainbiking. Not DH purely
  • + 5
 +1, this website is full of trail / enduro content. Same (main) reason why I'm here.
  • + 1
 Exactly, we are all bikers there should be no scrutiny!!
If you're having fun for yourself then keep doing what you're doing! Razz
I personally have never owned a proper DH bike but I have rode tons of DH! lol
  • + 2
 @rrsport: you are right, my apologiesSmile
  • + 2
 @Mattin: ...wait there's no xc or e-biking here??
  • + 1
 @sjdeweese: never said there was? There is some coverage about some of the biggest XC races though every now and then. Not much though.
  • + 1
 @Mattin: sorry, I was being sarcastic. The comment avove about "maybe PB is not for you" implied that if you not into DH or enduro, which majority of PB content is, then you don't belong here. Personally I like to see all biking content. Wouldn't mind seeing BMX on here. I was just ruffling feathers as the XC and E bike thing is in the uncool catagory
  • - 1
 you only ride 29 if you want something big black and rubber bashing your back door in
  • + 0
 Ban 29. BMX has a standard tire size so should DH.
  • + 1
 would I fuck.
  • + 1
 This is were you say no
  • + 1
 29ers are gay!
  • + 1
 No
  • - 1
 I want a wheel size based series or class...
  • + 0
 It costs well, well into six figures to put on a race and you are proposing a DH race series based on wheel size. #aproblemthatisnotaproblem
  • - 1
 29ers are still bikes wearing clown shoes. I will never surrender.
  • - 2
 If the wheels don't explode, I'll blow my load
  • + 1
 Tested by the GOAT for months, but you still doesn't think they'll make it down the hill. Sure about that?
  • + 1
 Wide spaced 'super boost plus' hubs should make the wheel plenty strong. . . .
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