Will 2016 Be the Year of the 29er? - Opinion

Feb 24, 2016 at 19:12
by Mike Kazimer  
Spinning Circles column Mike Kazimer

RC's op-ed last week about the split between enduro and trail bikes got me thinking about the future, specifically the bikes that we're likely to see announced over the course of 2016. Mountain bikers can be a contentious bunch, especially when it comes to wheel size, as silly as that seems, but the optimistic side of me likes to think that we're starting to get past that. We might not quite be at the gathering 'round the campfire and singing 'Kumbaya' stage, but I like to think that as a whole, we are starting to realize that having more than one wheel size option isn't necessarily a bad thing, although 26” wheels (R.I.P.) may have served as the sacrificial lamb for us to arrive at this point.

In any event, 2016 is shaping up to be another year full of new bikes and components, and with the season beginning to gather steam it seemed like an appropriate time to take a take a look at the past and the future of the much-loved and much-hated 29er.



I was working at a small bike shop in Colorado when the first wave of 29ers began to emerge in the early 2000s. Customers would roll their big-wheeled bikes in for a tune-up, an air of superiority wafting in the door behind them, convinced they were in possession of the one bike to trump all others. Those early 29ers were certainly different, and many of them were expensive, custom rigs created in garage workshops by small builders, but I wasn't convinced. Part of my skepticism was due to the fact that I'd just discovered how much fun it was to huck off cliffs and blast downhill as fast as possible on a full-suspension bike, feats that those new-fangled 29ers simply weren't equipped to handle. They were cross-country machines with geometry closer to what you'd find on a road bike, and the handling to match. I was perfectly content with my 26” wheels, thank-you-very-much.

Fast forward to the present day and there's a much different landscape, one where 26” wheels and tires have been relegated to the discount bins, 27.5” enduro bikes are all the rage, and now there's this new 27.5+ size trend creeping in. It's enough to make your head spin, especially if all you want to do is ride without needing to get into mind-numbing conversations about rim and tire profiles. Hell, it's my job to geek out over this stuff, and even I get sick of it sometimes. But bear with me here, because I'm pretty excited about the future. My crystal ball isn't always correct, but I have a strong suspicion that we're about to see a resurgence of 29ers hit the market, and these new rides are going to be more capable than ever, and even further removed from your dad's sketchy road bike on steroids.

Fran ois Bailly-Ma tre no stranger to multi-day racing and no stranger to speed. On route to first place overall.
Francois Bailly-Maitre took the win at the 2016 Andes Pacifico aboard his 29" wheeled BMC Trailfox.


The groundwork was set for this next generation of 29ers a few years ago by bikes like Kona's Process 111 and Specialized's Enduro 29, two very different machines, but both aimed at riders whose preferred trails tended to be rough and technical rather than smooth and sanitized. Kona's entry prioritized geometry over rear wheel travel, while Specialized went big, equipping the Enduro 29 with over six inches of travel.

Those two bikes were mainstream examples that proved 29ers could be much more than machines for cross-country bandits, but there was one factor that prevented every bike company from rushing to roll out their own boundary-pushing 29er: the growth (perceived or real) of enduro racing. All of a sudden the market was flooded with slack-angled 160mm bikes, and it seemed like there must have been some sort of massive tectonic uplift that created mountains from molehills around the world, since previously there hadn't been that many places with terrain to warrant riding such burly bikes.


Kona Process 111 Photo by Amy McDermid
Kona's Process 111 opened the eyes of skeptics, proving the 29ers didn't need to have awkward handling.

That enduro-fueled wave has receded slightly, leaving a bumper crop of incredibly capable 160mm mini-downhill bikes in its wake, and room for slightly more well-rounded rides to get their time in the limelight. There's a reason Trek's Remedy 29 earned Pinkbike's 2015 Bike of the Year award – it's a shining example of a bike that absolutely rips up- and downhill, a bike that makes unleashing your inner speed demon incredibly easy. It was also the first bike to usher in the much-derided Boost standard, but for as much hate as the wider rear wheel spacing generated, 2016 looks like it's going to be the year where it starts to become the norm, as designers take advantage of the new standard to roll out bikes that have room for wide tires, appropriately sized chainstays, and enough stiffness to hold up to aggressive riding.

Santa Cruz's new Hightower is a prime example of the possibilities, a bike with 135mm of travel, a relatively slack head angle, and the ability to accept 29” or 27.5+ wheels. It's that versatility that makes it appealing, giving riders a choice between wheel sizes, something that was lacking when 27.5” wheels arrived to push 26” wheels to the wayside. There are other new-school 29ers in the works as well, and the details should start showing up over the course of the next few months. The Taipei Cycle Show kicks off next week, and Sea Otter will be here all too soon, events that will provide the first glimpses of what 2016 and 2017 hold in store.

What about 27.5+?

Plus-sized bikes, which use extra-wide 27.5” rims mounted up with tires measuring 2.8” or greater to create a wheel that measures almost (but not quite) 29” in diameter emerged last year, and continue to gain traction (no pun intended). At the moment, the main limiting factor is the lack of tire options - many of the tread patterns currently on the market are best suited for cruising on hardpacked or sandy trails rather than taking on steep, technical terrain, the type of trails I'd imagine a large percentage of Pinkbike readers enjoy.

Better tires are on the way, but at the moment the lack of suitable rubber is the biggest drawback when it comes to plus bikes. That's one of the reasons I see 29ers poised to step up to the plate in the near future – there are already plenty of excellent tire options, and in many cases it's not abnormally difficult for a company to make a bike that can be adapted to work with both 29” and 27.5+ wheels.



Ibis Mojo 3 review test Photo by Paris Gore
It's the lack of suitable tires that is currently preventing plus bikes from achieving their full potential.

Now, this isn't a ploy to get you to buy a new bike, or to sow the seeds of uncertainty that your current ride is somehow sub-par. As long as you're getting out and riding, it doesn't matter in the slightest what wheel size you're on. But if you do decide to get a new steed this year, by the looks of things there will be more choices than ever, and many of them will be rolling on 29" wheels. Having more options isn't always better, but I'm eager to see what this new generations of 29ers looks like - I have a feeling that they'll be well suited for going fast and getting sideways, two of the reasons many of us started mountain biking in the first place.



500 Comments

  • + 522
 Pinkbike's editorial staff meeting yesterday:

"You know, our comment sections have been way too friendly lately. How could we rile things up? Should we write about how great boost is? Maybe review a fat bike? How about a feature on XC racing?"

"No, we have to go bigger."

"But what could piss off our commenters more than those articles?"

"I'm going I declare 2016 the year of the..."

"..."

"29er!!!!"

"GASP!"

Evil cackles all around.
  • + 225
 Next up, "The Future of Mountain Biking - The E-Bike"

Bricks will be shat!
  • + 127
 I'm here for the comments. Popcorn is ready...
  • + 4
 @aoneal ...three knife battles; two tomahowk and three sword fights happened in the first two scenes...
  • + 2
 well, although i think it's sad, that "mtb ebike year" is in a near future, most major companies are already at work
  • + 56
 I eagerly await the boost equipped 29" enduro ebike. It should signify the end of the world.
  • + 2
 29er e-bikes wont be long away off
  • + 10
 I was honestly thinking about this during my ride. I realized that all pinkbikers get along so nicely. Then pinkbike releases something like this and shit hits the fan so hard it goes through the roof and next thing you know there is a war of three wheel size teams. Also the two struggling fat bike/plus size lovers. But its always pinkbike starting stuff.
  • + 3
 Good, I'm looking forward to getting older and lazier. My joints are too tired for long rides these days
  • + 13
 This used to be the place I would go to Escape the bickering and politics that seemingly have a death grip on the rest of life. Oh well.
  • + 8
 @randybadger First the droughts, then the locusts, then the boost equipped 29" enduro ebike. Hug your family, the end is nigh!
  • + 8
 These bikes are already here. New school 29ers are nothing new at all. Lenz Linchnox, E29, Trailfox, Stumpy Evo... have been here for a while. New Hightower, Smuggler, Following, Wreckoning are just the next wave of an ongoing trend. It's just that the tires are here, finally.
  • + 28
 HEY PINKBIKE: Is there an option to hide the comments? I can't help myself, I just have to read them...and then I'm depressed.

It's like I'm a cutter. Please help me protect myself from myself.
  • - 39
flag DragRider (Feb 25, 2016 at 11:36) (Below Threshold)
 i ll get the negative, kill me but 29" is too GAY Smile
  • + 5
 Just wait for eDoping your pinion, it's more addictive than 29er Carbon crack
  • + 21
 Certainly 28.25- is the answer! Not big enough to complain about, not small enough to really make a difference. Most riders would feel no difference between either but there would be a whole new realm of possibility. Down-cross racing? The downhill isn't timed. Only pedaling up the hill matters for winning. But you can't go up the hill if you can't make it down first. For down-cross racing, nobody can argue that 28.25- wouldn't be PERFECT! I don't think I even need to mention the weight you would shave off by avoiding 29" wheels. They are soooo heavy!
  • + 2
 The Man is everywhere now. Must buy new things.
  • + 5
 I'm so glad the BLM has already put e-bikes into the same category a motorcycles here. Susan Powter would be proud.
  • + 8
 This title is nothing but clickbait! C'mon PB, this is like throwing a bunch of chickens into a cage with a starving pack of wolves.
  • + 4
 @aoneal I'm here for the comments too.. I read the title and scrolled right past the article to the comments. Queue the music.
  • + 1
 Just so everyone knows. There will be an mtb e-bike race at sea otter this year..,
  • + 0
 If your average new bike buyer had 10 grand to spend on a new bike, could afford to take the loss/sell and replace if they didn't like it or was just adding to their quiver of modern mountain bikes. Then sure; it could be the year of the 29er...? If you got the money to throw around, especially at the rotational mass to keep it light and strong there are some great 29ers out there.

BUT in the real world, if your comparing a 29er that costs what some wheel sets cost against a similar priced 27.5 or even against spending that money upgrading the 26er you already own. Other than mowing over stuff at speed, affordable 29ers just don't "feel" as good or ride as "fun" for most of us. Even if they truly are faster?

And then on 29ers being faster. For instance, as great as the Enduro 29er apparently is, it sure wasn't' any kind of a "Game Changer" for Enduro racing like I kept reading it would be. Horses for courses, and for sure there are a few riders who obviously excel on the wheel size for Enduro. And you do see riders switch back and forth.

But big team riders mostly have their pick of bike and wheel size. Again, a few are very successful on them. But if you got beat by someone on a 29er, had access to a team supported 29er you know DANG well you'd be out there testing it. And "if" it was truly faster then as a racer you'd switch... and "overall" there is not a "trend" of Enduro riders switching to 29ers?
  • + 1
 I can aIready see the Pinkbike editoriaI staff with popcorn and soft drinks Iooking at the comment section go up in fIames, man this is intertaning !
  • + 5
 DOH... my bad, it is the year of he 29er. Because all the companies with 29er frames sitting around collecting dust are now selling them as 27.5Plus... ya got me! Smile
  • + 2
 All jokes aside, the Evil Wreckoning looks like a bike I'd be keen to demo and never give back.
  • + 11
 When will everyone just come to realize that you should ride the tire size according to your HEIGHT and RIDING style!? Some 5 foot 6 bloke with a just emptied wallet will be struggling to muscle around his lanky 29er, while another (comment section) hardened freerider will be still trying to plough through everything on his chunky 26er?

If you are TALL get a LARGE wheeled bike. If you are SHORT get a SMALL wheeled bike. And if you don't want or can't afford to, stick with what you got. Simple.
  • - 1
 @freeriderayward A bit of a sweeping statement.

My wife is 5ft 4 and rips on her small rocky mountain 29er. Also keep an eye out for Katey Winton this year in the EWS on her small trek remedy.
  • + 2
 He's not too wrong, there are exceptions, but for the most part if you're over 6 foot, you're going to have an easier time on a 29" than a shorter person.
  • + 3
 Can someone please recap. I saw that it was the year of the 29er and mikeeps wife rides a rocky and then I just lost interest.
  • - 2
 You were so disinterested you made the effort to comment Smile
  • + 2
 Its always been year of the bike worldwide
  • + 1
 Randy.. are you the Randy we used to call the douche'.. same sense of humorous...
  • + 1
 Let the props decide
  • + 3
 It's pretty sad that a 43 year old judges himself by imaginary internet points by god knows who...
  • + 6
 Since when are internet points "imaginary"? Maybe you just don't know what their used for?
  • + 3
 haha.. maybe. Will try and use them at lbs later today,
  • - 3
 I was just pointing out that whinny I lost interest at blah blah blah is neither informative, funny or enlightened. If your sole aim is to write negative bullshit well done. Your a winner
  • + 3
 you too buddy. your arguing with a stranger on the internet about nothing that matters. well done.
  • + 108
 No , no , and NO...stop feeding me marketing crap Pinkbike.I ride 2.5" tire on my DH cause anything bigger corners and ride like ass so I see no reason why I'd want to ride anything bigger than 2.3 on my trail bike .29" wheels are far to weak to handle the abuse...They may be alright for some riders but certainly not everyone so 2016 wont be the year of the 29"It has nothing to do with the bike geo, wheels are just too soft.

27.5 was already a bit far fetched...I miss my 26" !
  • - 13
flag molloser (Feb 25, 2016 at 8:08) (Below Threshold)
 Why did somebody neg prop this guy, he's right!
  • + 2
 What wheels?
  • + 12
 Ride what you like. Bike company's want this buzz! Buy! Buy!
  • + 26
 'Ride like ass'
  • + 24
 Stopped reading after you said you don't run anything bigger than 2.3 on your trail bike.
  • + 9
 Soft wheels? Where and how hard are you going to ride a 130mm 29er?
The wheels aren't the soft part - I can attest to this. You'll run out of suspension travel WAY before you can experience "soft" wheels.

The Mavic Crossmax wheels with their big thick aluminum straight pull spokes are easily the stiffest wheels I've ridden...Regardless of size.
I've ski hilled my 29er MANY times already dusting 160mm 27.5 guys, and the #1 downfall is suspension travel.. Not wheel strength.
  • + 9
 Boo hoo
  • - 29
flag lawnweenies1 (Feb 25, 2016 at 8:37) (Below Threshold)
 26 is dead
  • + 39
 A bicycle all comes down to personal preference to what you ride. If your happy with your bike go out and ride it. Rip up the trails and let others scratch their heads as to how you are able to do this on SO CALLED OUT OF DATE COMPONATS. Its because you are a rider. Riders can shred on anything n don't need the latest n greatest to do it.
  • + 3
 Bang on, u my good sir have said what everybody is thinking.
  • + 5
 Those big brands are going to throw 26.725" after reading the top comment.
  • + 18
 Leov and Mosley's wheels seemed to cope...
  • + 8
 The mix is coming. Mixed sets soon.
  • + 13
 Majority of us started when 26" was really all there was in mountain biking. But times change and new things are developed and they are sticking for a reason. Its definitely personal preference on what you feel is comfortable. Saying 29er wheels are weak is damn wrong though.
I love the shit out of my 29er and coming from a strong DH back ground it has not been a issue with the right equipment.
  • + 28
 Aw shit! 26 is dead?
An here's the UK 4X season set to kick off this weekend
Basically
f*ck you
  • + 90
 At birth, baby elephants weigh about 250 pounds, making them the biggest babies on earth.
Right after your b*tch ass.
  • + 29
 @tuumbaq First, that was not "marketing crap" because he's not 'pushing' a product. That was an MTB writer speculating that 29ers will not simply be relegated to the XC racing crowd.

Second, there were weak 26" wheels too. Remember Rhyno Lites with old 135 hubs? One rim shot with a semi-soft tire and you were replacing that POS rim. I was snapping J-bend spokes every month. Do you really think 26" were 'bomb proof'? Are you kidding me? Oh and now where are axle standards for DH bikes? 153? And why? Stronger wheels. And where did Mike say you have to ride 29" wheels on your DH bike?

Third, stop whinging about how '26" was the best wheel ever' because if it truly was the 29" or 27.5" wheel wouldn't be around today. Even DH is 27.5 now because most companies can't afford to support THREE wheels sizes and 27.5 cover them all to a larger extent. So you think 29ers have been pushed on us without us wanting them? Please. That's insinuating there is no 29er market and since they've been around for 16 years there obviously is.

Do I find all this technology change frustrating? Hell yes. Do I think my 2001 26er HT or my 2008 26er dually is a better bike than my 2012 dually? Hell no. It's more than wheel size that has advanced.
  • - 39
flag SirWonky (Feb 25, 2016 at 8:56) (Below Threshold)
 Dear 29er Wheels, Nobody likes you, please die Thanks, Mtbers
  • + 2
 Urgh.
  • + 2
 Speak for yourself
  • + 12
 Roval Fattie Carbon 29 rim and a magic Mary super G 29. Your argument is now invalid @tuumbaq
  • + 1
 Really diggin my mix setup!
  • + 3
 He's not addressing just the escalator crowd so much as the people who ride both up and down. Try riding to the top of a closed ski hill on a 26" DH rig then feeling fine pointing yourself downhill. A well built 29 will let you ride all day regardless of the angle you're on, and Boost stiffens up the hoop so it can handle the abuse. He also didn't relegate any riders to the side lines but allow for a demographic that wants a quiver killer and this tech is providing.
  • + 10
 Uh, why compare a 29er to a DH rig. I can do exactly what you say on my 26er trail bike. Quiver killer indeed. And no need for Booooost or any of that high $$ stuff.
  • + 3
 a demographically marketed and adjusted quiver killer. marketing of physics and the physics of marketing.
  • + 3
 Next they will bring out 26+ tires but you'll need a 27.5 bike with Boost ! IMO, for All-Mountain, a 140-170 travel 27.5 with 25-35mm wide rims will be the sweet spot for many riders, for many years to come and the rest is all a bit niche. That's why I think a 27.5 Boost bike will eventually be the next sweet spot. 2.2-2.5 tires for All-Mountain, 2.8-3.x tires for backcountry, baby boomers, winter (fat biking)...
  • + 0
 @jclnv Actually, you can thank Leov and Mosley for Boost (and plus bikes in general now) because they both complained to Trek that 29er wheels were too flimsy, lol.

The only thing stopping 27.5+ from killing off 29ers completely is that bike shops are extremely hesitant to carry them yet.
  • + 2
 @tuumbaq I've got a 2013 Kona Process DL with your name on it if you ride an XL...
  • + 6
 I ride(DH, a bit of XC)..on 26 cuz that's what I still have. Fine. When it comes time for something new...I don't give a shit that I'll probably have to get 27.5. There just isn't enough of a negative thing about them to give a shit. I'll buy it and have just as much fun. I don't think the move from 26 to 27.5 was/is necessary, but meh. I don't ride enough XC to care about 29 either...and it'll never be on a 8" DH bike...so again...not worried about it
  • + 11
 In my case, he is correct. I'm 230 without gear. Add 3 liters of water and all my gear and you get a rather hefty rider. Twenty nine inch wheels are simply not strong enough for my aggressive riding style. As of now, my trail bike is a downhill bike with a full range cassette. I like to send it, not mend it.
  • + 1
 Bullshit are the wheels too weak to take the abuse, anyone who can't ride a decent 29er as hard as its 26 or 650b equivalent is probably just shit
  • + 8
 The older I get, the slower I go, the less aggressive my bike needs to be, and the easier it is for me to afford upgrades.

When I'm shopping for a new trail bike, comfort is just as high on my list as any other factor. If I was still 27 years old, I wouldn't want 27+, but I'm not. I'm older, slower, more risk averse, and increasingly interested in just being outside to enjoy the day, and not so concerned with shredding. 27+ or 29 makes sense to me, because my priorities have changed. when I was young, fast and broke, companies didn't make much money off of me. Now that I'm old, slow and financially secure, I'm a much better customer of the bike industry.
  • + 0
 26" 4LIFE!
  • + 1
 The wheels 26 " won the World Cup DH and EWS in 2014. Why change to 27.5 or 29"?
  • + 7
 Because 27.5 wheels won the World Cup DH and World Championships and 27.5 and 29" wheels won the EWS in 2015. And probably will again in 2016.
  • + 3
 Didn't Syndicate switch to 27.5 mid season in 2014?
  • + 13
 Yes they did. But let us never forget that the very last time 26" wheels were raced by anyone in contention at a World Cup DH race, they took 1st and 2nd place. I have made the switch to 27.5 but I'm still not convinced. A quick spin on my friends SB66 today reminded me of how much I prefer the handing of 26. Without the brute force marketing of 27.5 I would not have made the switch and if modern geo combined with a 26er comeback I would be right back on board.
  • - 3
 @kram you know why that was the last race they used 26"? Cause those top athletes work with people these people who wield a thing called science and computers. They did a thing called a test and it resulted in a thing called data. I'll let you finger out which obviously yeilded the best results...
  • + 1
 @JimmyMcgarth are you willing to run a carbon 24 spoke front wheel with a 240lb rider weight limit? The aluminum 29er fatties are listed as having no rider weight limit. I ran the ALU 29er fatties....until the front wheel potato chipped on me in a corner and put me face down in the dirt. There are some bomber 29er wheels out there. The Roval wheels just aren't one of them. The spokes on both the aluminum and carbon wheels are road race/xc spokes.
  • + 1
 I ran the carbon 29 at mtb nationals in mammoth, on the DH track, worked just fine lol. Folding a wheel is usually rider error @rjdelly. They put a weight limit on the carbon so they wouldn't have to give replacement wheels away to bad riding
  • + 0
 @rjdelly also if I recal a national title was also won on those wheels
  • + 1
 So because I'm at the weight limit means I'm now a "bad rider" when the wheel breaks? What defines "good riding"? Time is time.
  • + 5
 @jimmy condescension doesn't look good on you.
The only real collection of scientific data that I have seen to be able to review found 27.5 to be the slowest as someone referenced above. If you want to think race results count for naught on the subject, and results of tests you're not privy to trump all that, it's your prerogative. Doesn't change the fact that I prefer the handling of a 26er despite owning three 27.5s. Like I said, if 26 shows that it has a future again at some point I will be back in 100%, but at this point it looks to me like tires, forks, frames and rims have given up on them so I have too.
  • + 2
 Oklahoma? Hahahaha! You're opinion is now invalid.
  • - 2
 @kram why would they release their data that cost thousands of dollars lol. Where do they send all their data? A place called production
  • + 4
 Sorry. Your. I was laughing too hard at somebody from Oklahoma having an opinion on riding.
  • - 2
 And @kram, no ones telling you what wheel to ride. You are allowed to like w/e you like. Don't get butt hurt because you got corrected. Just trying to help clear up your confusion
  • + 3
 26" won every event for the last 20 years, these other wheel sizes have a long way to come...i have to agree with @tuumbaq 650b is really quite flexy compared to 26, boost might fix that but the larger the tyre size the lighter the tyres are becoming, now most oem tyres can barely hold up to normal rocks and roots and once you upgrade the rolling resistance increases hugely.
The glaringly obvious point the Op missed is that plus size bikes come put with hard compound and fast rolling (low grip) tyres as if they had softer compounds and good tread patterns with decent sidewalls they would be heavier and roll slower than dh tyres, you cant have both, you can compensate for durometer and appropriate tread pattern by increasing contact area, but you cant change that dynamic or you will have a slug to ride... This point was obvious to me from the outset and why 3" tyres never kicked off 10 years ago...
  • - 1
 @azryder if youre at 240, yes you should adjust your technique to compensate for the increase load you'll be putting on your designed products
  • - 1
 @AZRyder google my boy Ronnie Mac and see how we ride in Oklahoma
  • + 2
 I don't always change my opinion based on what people say in the PB comments, but when I do I make sure they aren't condescending know-it-alls from Oklahoma.
  • + 0
 @kram it's not a matter of changing your opinion. It's a matter of you being anecdotal IN your opinion, lol
  • - 1
 You mean like magically make myself weigh less when I ride? Must be an Oklahoma thing. I'm glad you guys have fun riding each other. Gives your mom a break. Again, must be another Oklahoma thing.
  • + 0
 Lol @AZRyder, no need to get all butt hurt guy, the weight wasn't even directed at you, no need to get offended. I know people who are +250 is get by on wheels they shouldn't be getting by with. You're getting worked up over nothing, relax
  • + 0
 @AZRyder, and yes, there is a technique when you ride a bicycle that is called "unweighting the bike"
  • - 2
 I'm making fun of you because you're from Oklahoma and you think your opinion on riding actually has value. Is there somebody more intelligent there? Put your mom on here, wait, nevermind.
  • - 1
 @AZRyder, go google "Jimmy McGarth" !!! Holy shit, thought you would catch on to the site by ATLEAST now. Bahahahaha
  • - 1
 The satire*!!!!!!
  • - 2
 @AZRyder, but seriously got watch those videos, they're really good ????
  • - 3
 @AZRyder of course they are all videos of Jimmy McGarth Jr. My son. I'm too good to film. Go check out Jr

m.youtube.com/watch?v=_tkLbzdkWMk

m.youtube.com/watch?v=izbzB1R2Q1A
  • + 3
 @JimmyMcgarth Ropelato did win Nationals. I'd be willing to bet his wheelset didn't have xc spokes, the same way that the bikes the supercross pros ride might say "Yamaha," or "KTM," or "Kawasaki," but you are not walking into a dealer and picking up a pro rider spec machine. I LIVE in Mammoth. I am quite familiar with our DH trails. Rovals didn't make it through a couple weeks. Think of it like dog years. 1 Mammoth weekend is like 7 Oklahoma years. Current 32 hole wheel set has been on for 9 months now with 0 complaints.
  • - 2
 @ridelly you tried so hard to come up with a comeback because you're so butt hurt that you missed the satire. And yes, I know who won, I was racing against him. Just because you live in mammoth and blow out your wheels doesn't mean you are being any less anecdotal lol! Stop trying so hard to insult me and just use your common sense lol, you're making yourself look silly
  • - 1
 @rjdelly all this is coming from some jackass riding a pro rider spec built bike at the pro level, sorry that I'm trying to help clear up your confusion.
  • + 4
 @JimmyMcgarth Not butthurt. Not trying to insult either. Here is Jared Grave's words "In the past, I haven't been too shy to say that I'm not really a fan of carbon rims,'' a fact that he's previously mentioned here on Pinkbike. ''There's definitely a time and a place for it. For sure, they're unreal in certain situations, and if you can get away with it on the terrain, they're awesome. But here it's just square-edge rocks at 60 kph, and people are just blowing up wheels left and right." in reference to the Thredbo, Australian DH course.
Regarding the wheel build "The hybrid wheels feature the less expensive aluminum Roval Traverse Fattie rims but high-end hubs, and they're laced up with thicker gauge spokes than standard." I guess the road bike spokes weren't cutting it.

If you have a pro mechanic on hand to mend your wheels, then good on you. Most people don't.
The bummer is most people find out the hard way their wheels are underbuilt.
  • - 1
 @rjdelly you are still proceeding to argue with a fictional character, after trying make fun of a fictional characters state because they challenged your opinion. either you're butt hurt, or don't know the meaning of satire. You literally said that people in oaklahoma are like dogs. Lol like holy shit how hard are you going to get trolled tonight
  • - 1
 @rjdelly and you do realize you literally don't know the meaning of being anecdotal. You are using your first reference from a world champion on a DH track going 60 km into square rock. Thus resulting in your conclusion the carbon wheels aren't good. Then you refer to normal people's riding also being too hard for this said wheels that I personally race on and are just fine.
  • + 1
 bye Felicia
  • - 1
 @rjdelly you keep telling yourself that babeh
  • + 93
 Our Process 167 says:"No, thanks."
  • + 23
 What does your process 111 say?
  • + 19
 It says, ''Please 167, stop kicking my ass, it hurts and I don't have much travel back there!' At least that's what it says in my mind...
  • - 1
 But what does the fox say?
  • + 1
 Your Explosif 27.5 should say, "Yes, thanks," to 26+. That's real question for this article, for me: what about 26+?
  • + 9
 The cow says: "MOO"
  • + 3
 @biking85 Well, interestingly, from my own experience, the Honzo AL with 29" wheels is much more fun than Explosif. I think it might because of the short chainstay on the Honzo (415mm compare to 420mm of the Explosif). And the Heihei DL Trail is also of great fun with the 120mm fork in the front. But I always love the style and simplicity of the Explosif.
  • - 3
 Chow chow chow chow chochow!
  • + 0
 Ah, I can hear you. Is that the only way you can make sound? Can you "woof"?
  • + 76
 Did we just go back in time a few years back or something?
  • + 89
 just you wait, next year will be the year of the 26er
  • + 3
 @tim-from-pa: A couple weeks ago, I would've thought that was funny. Now it seems likely with all the "new 29er hype."
  • + 7
 It's like the Chinese new year but for bikes.
  • + 75
 Step 1. Pick a wheelsize. Step 2. Be a dick about it.
  • + 7
 @moefosho Yeah, true to a point. But the Industry is hyping the sh!t out of things that really aren't all that great. People deserve to know this.
  • + 10
 It's only a wheel for fuck sake.
  • + 6
 way back when wheels were wheels.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/13204396
  • + 1
 Nah, couple of years yet @tim-from-pa, they will wait until it is almost completely phased out. I just hope that I can still buy decent tyres before they do bring it back because I am not going to be able to afford a new bike any time soon.
  • + 2
 But i'm calling it here, they will bring it back. It'll be "more playful, snappier handling, faster accelerating etc etc". Not that I have anything against other wheel sizes, I've been intrigued since on-one were selling their codeine 29er with a ccdb for around £1600. And the new nukeproof mega 29er looks very nice too.
  • + 1
 @alexhyland "But i'm calling it here, they will bring it back. It'll be "more playful, snappier handling, faster accelerating etc etc".

Snappier handling has less to do with the wheel size and more to do with bike geo. Bring a 20 yr old 26er against a new Evil Following and my money's on the Following. Read the reviews

www.bikeradar.com/mtb/gear/category/bikes/mountain-bikes/full-suspension/product/review-evil-bikes-the-following-16-49922

If you compare a 20" BMX wheels to 26", it accelerates even faster. So why bring back 26" then? 24" was a thing in the late 90's (Arrow Racing) all based the very same logic. The thing was the market was too small... much like where most of the wider 26" market is going because 27.5" is seen as having more advantages for the wider market. Was it needed? That's another discussion...

26" making a comeback? Hey, you never know, but guess who's going to cover that cost of producing three tire, wheel, fork sizes? You and I. Careful what you wish for.

Is the Bishop custom? Resembles an older Marin...
  • + 1
 Ha, yeah no doubt! I'm saying that that is how they will market it.

The Bishop is, alas, dead now. Swing arm snapped the other week :'( But was an 18 year old Marin. And prone to wandering (and being a hinge pig) on the flats and ups and understeer on the downs. Still worked pretty well considered tho. Has been replaced with a 2010s Titus El Guapo. Which, it has to be said, is better in every respect.
  • + 70
 Does anybody still like to play on their bike anymore? Or is it all about speed and I am the fastest? I like to hop and jump up logs, jump, whip, etc. 26" does this the best as I can tuck the bike under me. 27.5 and 29" dont do this as well.
  • + 110
 Bro, do you even Strava?...
  • + 6
 Err..

www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6yk67LgiTE

Count the number of 26ers for me.
  • + 10
 I strava(ed) once was 3 seconds up on KOM then lost 25 seconds in the last few hundred metres. Looked at the map and saw that all the "top" (wankers) bushwhacked at path that straight lined around the last section of switch backs and had I didn't want to play that game stop I haven't used its since. I don't really get why you would want to have a KOM I if you had cheated for it. There were people on that list that I know who are faster than me and Id feel like such a loser if I cheated to get a kom I didn't deserve
  • + 16
 @steelpolish - people like different things, but even for those who like playful bikes, some 29ers make a lot of sense for some riders. A Process 111/Transition Smuggler/etc. requires a wee bit more effort to whip/hp/jump than a 27.5 or 26 intended for similar terrain and use - but for a big rider, that difference is rather minimal. The rollover, however, is huge. So for me, at 6'1" and 230#, a playful 29er makes a lot of sense - and most smaller wheeled bikes just feel really weird to me. For my SO, at 5'6"/120#, however, a 29er is unwieldy, so she can't tap into playfulness on one - but she can on her 125mm 27.5 trailbike.

The thing that gets me here is that the rider size/strength issue is totally ignored. It's a similar thing with bike weight and such. People are paying huge premiums for lightness. So the base builds then skimp on strength, because they don't want to be too heavy. People are ragging on the Process 111 for being heavy, for example. But that is a stout build. And at my size/weight, a small difference in bike weight (especially on a bike like that, where so much of the mass is down low with that really low toptube) is not that noticeable. A slight decrease in strength/stiffness of wheels, stiffness of forks or rear triangles, or beefiness of brakes (small rotors) has a huge impact on my enjoyment. For a lighter rider, that all looks very different.
  • + 27
 "America is all about speed. Hot, nasty badass speed".

--Eleanor Roosevelt

-1936
  • + 1
 And here I thought, like a dummy, it was Ricky Bobby.
  • + 3
 when learning quad whips, it is even easier to break out the 20"
  • + 1
 Most of the kom's in my area are set by roadies too sick of being run down by cars riding bikes like this fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/singlespeed/827583d1377689813-niner-one-9-rdo-2014-niner-one-9-rdo-carbon-singlespeed-29er-mtb01.jpg

If you want to have fun get suspension and smaller wheels, plus size tyres just don't have a place either way
  • + 0
 @steelpolish Where does the article say 29ers are the new SS and DJ bikes? Oh right, it doesn't.
  • + 1
 @CaptainSnappy - I am not talking about SS and DJ. Those will always be there at 26". I ride an Enduro in 26". I have not liked testing the 650B or 29" version of the Enduro, and there is no longer a 26" version.
  • + 1
 I'm with you dude. I got a couple of old 26ers that I love. Blow through tons of gnar on them. Just built them up with good components and I keep on ripping. My wife's 29" rides like a truck.
  • + 56
 Most people haven't even ridden a good 29" so they're just arguing from ignorance.

Up to 150mm travel 29" destroy other wheel sizes. Beyond that the suspension begins to negate the advantages. Note I said begins. There are trails were an E29 will eat any 160mm 650b.
  • + 28
 Exactly! I can't tell you how many people I've talked to who said they hate 29ers. When you ask them what bike they rode (and based that opinion on) it tends to be either a 2008 full suspension XC bike with poor geo, or a newer $800 MSRP hard tail that wasn't made to be ridden aggressively, whether on local trails or at the bike park.
  • - 15
flag jaydawg69 (Feb 25, 2016 at 8:58) (Below Threshold)
 The Specy Enduro riders prefer the 650b's over the 29ers.... fact. Gravy on the 650b www.youtube.com/watch?v=US-4PQV48w4
  • + 3
 Jclnv@ I totally agree. I ride a 29er but I am old so my opinion don't count. But my son has been on a specy 29er and just loves it. With the right suspension and setup they are pretty much faster every where.
  • + 30
 When are people going to understand that it's a matter of preference? There is no absolute, statements like "at X travel, X wheelsize is THE best" are almost exclusively wrong (EVERY UNIVERSAL PROPOSITION IS WRONG! get it? ;-) ).

Yes, at around 130mm travel, 29er do have a lot of good things going for them, but so do 26ers - just OTHER things (like playfulness). This is not my saying 29ers can't be playful or anything, just that 29er are NOT AS playful as 26ers, and 26ers are NOT AS well-rolling over obstacles as 29ers. It would be stupid to say 26er CAN'T roll over stuff - just as stupid as it would be to say 29er can't be playful. All a matter of perspective and ultimately preference.
  • + 11
 Enduro 29" owner here. I haven't found anything yet that it hasn't handled as well as my capability.
Big bonus is how much smoother rough stuff feels when you plough right through.
Surprised my wheels are still straight.
Do have to re tension the spokes pretty regular though
  • + 12
 I agree. I have a very playful 120mm 29er hardtail. I can manual for days. Jump it. Blow out berms. Climbs like a beast. I'm short, so my small frame 29ers all have a degree less head angle. I have about 67 degree HA and the thing just goes where ever I point it. Run e*thirteen rims that are near indestructible so far and weigh less than 500 grams. Even with a 2.4 tire (single ply, TR) it goes where I want and with authority. Also that tire/rim combo is lighter than my old 26er setup. Let me also say, I rode a Gary Fisher back in the very early 00's and I swore I would never ever own a 29er. Today's 29er is a very very capable bike and other not being able to stand over my tire, I can't say my 29er is much different than my 26ers and I'm actually faster on the downhills compared to the old 140mm 26er hardtails. Can't imagine what a capable 29er FS would be like. People should try one out, they are a lot of fun.
  • + 6
 My favorite bike I've ever ridden was an intense carbine 29. And that's coming from an intense tracer owner. It felt super stable at speed and turned pretty good too. If I were to race an EWS I honestly think my choice bike would be a carbine 29
  • + 7
 Jaydawg, Graves will run what he's familiar with. Who are we to argue?

Leov would've walked the EWS last year if he didn't get injuried.

On a 140mm 29"....
  • + 0
 have to disagree on Leov... Rude is too strong and Graves/Jerome were hurt. 8 out of the top 10 next year will be rolling 650b... the other 2 wish they were.
  • + 5
 @jclnv "Most people haven't even ridden a good 29" so they're just arguing from ignorance."

Welcome to the Pinkbike comments.
  • + 0
 If pros are choosing 650b over 29ers (giving the choice), who's the ignorant one?
  • + 4
 Even if you do disagree regarding Leov, equipment in the EWS to beer league is like comparing a WRC drivers choice of suspension settings to your daily driver.

The fact is 29" has more grip. 650b+ has even more grip. The average guy will benefit from either.
  • - 2
 not sure how 29" has more grip... contact patch has a slightly different shape but cp in general terms is defined as weight and tire psi. Doesn't matter on tire circumference.
  • + 2
 Circumference does matter!
  • - 2
 not in regards to contact patch, the ground doesn't know. For rollover yes.
  • + 1
 @jcinv - I doubt your claim that most people have not ridden a good 29" - most people I know tried it, but its not better than the 26". You cant tuck a 29" under you the same way as you can with a 26". I suppose they are faster and roll over things better, but are they FUNNER?
  • + 1
 The contact patch is longer, there is more BB drop, the roll centre is higher so they're less pitch sensitive. Shall I go on?

I don't know what you mean by "tuck under"? You mean you tuck it under you when you go over the bars?

I guess 26" is more fun in the same way going on an amusement ride and removing a few bolts on the ride is.

Did you guys see that vid of Brosnan in Tasmania? Looks like he's having a really shit time on that 29" Stumpjumper eh?
  • + 3
 he would definitely have more fun on smaller wheels and shorter stays.... :-0
  • + 0
 there is benefits to 29 the same way there are benefits to 27.5". Contact patch being the same, tire to tire, means you have more weight at the end of the circle, so to speak. The 'roll center' as you call it means nothing when it comes to bikes since it's not a car and isn't calculated the same (the cars suspension is what alters the moment arm and moment center, not the same on a bike, since you *lean* the chassis. it's actually called "roll pitch"). What you mean to say is "roll moment of inertia' and "pitch moment of inertia" and "yaw moment of inertia" all of which play a factor in the 'handling' of bike, aka "roll pitch". The higher the values (as is the case with a bigger bike for instance) the worse the handling is. The greater the centrifugal force, the worse the handling is. These are physics facts. The benefits come from a slightly increased contact patch, and better 'roll' over objects. The downside of larger centrifugal mass becomes a benefit when stability at speed is concerned. There is also slower acceleration by way of physical size, and mass. So there are no 'perfect' sizes, some just suit certain riders more than others. Nino smoked the field for XC (where 29" is supposed to shine) on a 27.5 narrow tired bike, two years in a row... 26" was winning enduro and DH events untill they pulled them. 27.5 wins more enduro races than 29" in 2015. Clearly the pros and cons start to wash out when it comes to real world riding and we should pick what we ride based on our expectations and terrain, style, etc. None is technically 'better' than the other *overall*. Each presents different attributes.
  • + 1
 Errr. *contact patch being nearly the same.
  • + 1
 Roll centre longitudinally not laterally as in a 4 wheeled vehicle. As you know roll centre trajectory is based on contact patch location, axle centerline and CoM. If the mass (the rider) is lower than the axle centerline due to the extra BB drop, then the less the suspension is actuated when riding up steep inclines or steep descents and also under braking.

The centrifugal forces are relatively minuscule and arguable inconsequential to bicycles stability.- www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~hemh/gyrobike.htm

Nino is an anomaly. Remove him from the equasion and 29" dominates. Would he still win on a good 29"? Obviously. By even more? Maybe. I stand by my statement that upto 150mm 29" is superior to 650b on real trails. I guess that's backed up by the Trek guys beating 650b riders with 30mm less travel.

If you look at the wins 29" has had in Enduro relative to the amount 29" bikes in the field I'm sure they would stack up very well ratio wise. I would 100% agree with your last sentence if we're talking 160mm.
  • + 1
 Since a motorcycle or bicycle is a single track vehicle, it doesn't have a roll center as defined by SAE or F1 terminology (instant center, moment arm, moment center, etc) when it comes to turning. "The point in the transverse vertical plane through any pair of wheel centers at which lateral forces may be applied to the sprung mass without producing suspension roll". Unless you mean fore and aft but even that isn't the correct use of terminology for bike lean angles. I see what you're getting at though, just the terms are throwing me off since they aren't used typically.

I think most guys would do fine on a 27.5 imo. But yea, horses for courses and we all prefer different things. I've tried 29". didn't appreciate what it offered me as my style of riding tends to be more playful and picking it up for hoping over sections, etc, but for some guys it's all they want. Then there's guys out on 26" bikes keeping up no problem. At the end of the day it's like we're debating what wheels to run on the car whist ignoring the powerplants. Along comes some club car running 14" wheels with an LS1 and smokes everyone.
  • + 33
 As a taller rider I switched to an E29 as soon as they became available. It brought me a level of proper fit I never had before, probably pretty close to what most people experience with 27.5 or 26. I've got a Wreckoning on order, which should do nicely.
  • + 7
 I think I bought your old (2010) enduro so I'll be curious to hear how a tall guy does on a Wreckoning. That seat angle, with full extension, seems like it would have you way off the back.
  • + 2
 The Wreckoning looks mint - if I had to make a switch right now... 100% this would be the bike.
  • + 3
 As a shorter adult, 29" wheels make me look Hobbit-sized.
  • + 4
 The bikes geometry, not the size of the wheels, makes or breaks a proper fit. I'm tall too and for years had to listen to people that I needed a 29-er because of that. Only in the last couple of years 29-ers actually fit better, before that it was a case of 2 bad things coming together; larger 29" wheels in short Norba style frames. It's longer front centers, progressive geometry, that we taller riders really benefit from right now.
  • + 8
 Here here. Big bikes for big people. My personal best time down Boondocks at Northstar was racing my E29, not my 650b Demo. Makes me sad to see my DH sled collecting dust in the garage...
  • + 1
 @adpeters82, what type of trail is that Boondocks?, I am looking to purchase an Enduro bike as a do it all bike, from XC racing up to steep and rocky DH, my only problem is that the 650b doesn't come on a XL version, at 6'2" I would need to purchase the E29 to fit my height, and I think that with a E29 I would compromise a lot on the DH, I might be wrong though.
  • + 5
 @Narro2, Boondocks is a rocky DH run with high speed sections, tech sections, big drops and jumps at a lift served park. Just about everyone rides full DH rigs on it. I have ridden both the 650b Enduro and the E29, the 29er is definitely faster on the DH stuff when the trail gets rough. I also find the E29 to be plenty nimble and flickable. I think the only place the 650b feels better than the E29 is on buffed "flow" type trails. If you are big enough to need an XL, definitely go with the bigger wheel size. BTW, I'm just about to put my XL 2014 E29 up for sale. PM me if you are looking for one.
  • + 2
 @powderturns - my 2010 carbon S-Works? Damn that was a great bike.
The stated STA numbers for the Wreckoning have steepened a bit. Not sure if that's just a change in how they got the measurement or what. The Wreckoning is worth considering if only for the stack/reach/ETT numbers. It's a huge bike and they seem to have realized that XL people relate to stack differently than small people. If the STA is actually problematic then I might drop 10mm of fork travel, or maybe even go to a TALAS cartridge since there's no shortage of extended climbs around here.
  • + 1
 @Powderturns - That is what makes me worry about the Evil bikes too...dead sexy bikes but for taller riders I think the ST may be too slack.

I absolutely love my Banshee Prime and have been looking at replacing it (no real reason...just because I am a whore) but I just can't find any bike that looks better...maybe a Lenz or a Canfield Riot, I hope some of the new 29ers have a little more travel, slack HA and steep SA that come out in at least a 21" size.
  • + 1
 if i wasnt racing, my 26 dh bike wouldnt be up for sale.
  • + 1
 @pedalhound - I was looking seriously at the Riot too but that CS is ridiculously short for a taller rider, even with the steep forward offset seat tube. The CS on my E29 is already borderline too short; taking another 15mm off just doesn't make any sense. I bet it works great to make a 29er ride nice and compact for smaller riders though.
  • + 1
 @alexsin yup - the 2010 s-works enduro. what a ride. still have it, with a custom monarch plus on the back and a pike 650b fork up front. bit of a frankenbike, but I really like it...
  • + 1
 Alexsin....What is it about the short chain stays on the Riot that turn you away? It corners amazing and pops off lips with ease. This bike is not unstable, so I'm just curious where your thoughts are on this...
  • + 1
 @alexsin
@mayha49

Tall guys with long legs end up with there ass over the rear axle at low climb angles if the CS is short .

This basically mean if your all or have long legs you end up wheeling up hill if you have short chain stays...

I have 37" legs and I just got a 29er bike with 450mm CS and 75.5 STa and I can now climb without wheeling!! That means once I get to the top I'm not cream crackered and can hit the fun stuff with plenty of go!

I think it would be great if manufacturers either had frame size dependent CS lengths or adjustable length CS (like on my Kona Honzo). But maybe that hoping too much!

@pedalhound - I thought the prime I trued was awesome - shame I couldn't get an XL....

@alexsin
@mayha49
  • + 23
 I love my 26" and was just able to pick up some awesome wheels for cheap. The hype around 27.5 and 29 has saved me some cash. Thanks!!
  • + 7
 Hahah me too!

I'm happy digging in the "discount bin" thank you please!
  • + 2
 Go on ebay I have some excellent pretty much new maxxis tires for sale!
  • + 2
 @panzer103 Hey thanks! Im good on tires though. Smile
  • + 19
 I'd choose a 29er if most of my time was spent riding longer loops with a lack of steep or tight terrain, but I like to ride the harry, burly trails. I borrow my dads Enduro 29 here and there. The bike shreds when the trails are high speed and straight, definitely a great option for longer rides with variety of terrain. Its a first world problem when I cant decide which $5000 bicycle to take to the trail. When things get tight and technical I prefer my Spartan. But I get smoked on the gnarliest of trails by guys on Enduro 29ers. It seems like the best all around option out there. The Evil Wreckoning is going to be a good competitor from the looks of it.
  • + 1
 I completely agree with your pros and cons of the Enduro 29.
  • + 6
 I raced an enduro 29er last year and it is an incredibly capable and fast machine but just does too much work and sucks some of the fun out of riding a bike. Great for racing where times are important but funwise, smaller wheels are more fun.
  • + 4
 "somismtb" nails it. No doubt more Enduro wins are coming for 29ers. I have (3) 26ers and (2) 29ers. The 26 is still more fun, but I can haul ass on that hardtail carbon 29er. racing will drive the ultimate fastest setup, no doubt. We all get sucked into that from a marketing perspective. I've ridden the 27.5s and not really that noticeable to me as a novice. Definitely not the year of the 29er! I'd prefer to see the year of the Affordable solutions - probably with Gwin -- it'll be the year of YT.
  • + 5
 The resale value on my E29 just skyrocketed
  • + 15
 Tell me what you want but I'm not buying a new bike until the market has settled on what will stay and what won't.

In the meantime I'm enjoying a wide range of tire-choices for 26in bikes, cheap 10-speed replacement parts for my drive-train and of course that bit more peace of mind of not having to worry about "wants" and "could haves" Smile
  • + 4
 It's a god thing you're enjoying your current setup then, as it may be a while yet until the market 'has settled'...
  • + 2
 If you like to settle, be a hippie.
  • + 18
 #TwentySixWillNeverDie
  • + 23
 *rolls eyes*
  • + 3
 It is dead just like 150mm dual crown forks. You just haven't come to terms with it, that is called denial!
  • + 19
 Actually, he's pretty correct that 26 will never die (never being not in the near future). There's simply too large an installed user base around the world. You think all those (literally) millions of bikes with 26 wheels are suddenly going to disappear and get replaced by 29ers? Guess again. You'll be able to buy 26 tires for at least the next couple of decades. You probably won't see many new designs but I'm sure existing tire designs won't be hard to get at all.

Tire options for 26 are still light years ahead of 650b or 29er... Currently on CRC- 26" = 286 in stock options, 650b = 119 in stock options, 29" 114 options.

Same for rims- 80, 55 and 51 respectively.

I'm happy riding 26 and if someone else is happy riding another size than power to them! At least they are riding...
  • + 7
 And to you I say... 26" and 9-speed 4 lyfe.
  • + 8
 #CantileversWillNeverDie
  • + 5
 #QRaxles4lyfe
  • + 8
 I said that once... then I rode a 29er. - E29 owner
  • + 1
 Let's not forget that Kona has just release a 26 park bike. A lot of companies seem to like to copy Kona (especially in the outforked trail bike dept.).
  • + 15
 This is the debate bike companies want us to have because actually, riding is free.
  • + 11
 I remember the day of 26" wheeled bikes with GAZZALODI's 3" tires 26"plus bikes. Dam i'm old!
  • + 2
 You're are not old or alone on that! I still have one in my shed on the wall!
  • + 1
 Me also. It weighs a tonne.
  • + 3
 Nokians on 24" Sun Double-wides 4 Lyfe
  • + 8
 I honestly think it comes down to how you want to ride. A 27.5 or even 26 will be more snappy, more for hopping or placing your way down a section of trail. Might not be faster, but if that's how you want to ride, then ride those. If you want more consistent traction, less small bumps, and more speed, then sure get a 29er. Personally, I like 27.5, they match the way I ride (DH) and I will stick to those thank you very much.
  • + 8
 The thing with 29ers is that i can ride "energy inefficient" (poping manuals and finding bunnyhop gaps) for longer before my lack of stamina makes me ride like a roadie.

While smaller wheels make individual moves easier balanced over a 2-3 hour ride I have more fun totally on the bigger wheels with a more flowy ride.

For real tech I have a bmx.
  • + 2
 Yeah see my 29er might distort my idea of what they are, especially since my 27.5 is a dh and my 29er is a trail bike. Because of this I tend to just move around more on my 27.5. Although I would totally take a 29er on a big mountain ride. And if someone gave me one I would take it no question. I still want a 27.5, a 26 and 29er ahaha
  • + 3
 Just about to race a downhill race this weekend on my 29er.... should be sick
  • + 11
 26ers are going to make a come back!
  • + 3
 I have tall tires on 26ers that have a bigger circumference than 29xc.. Wake up peeps its all in the tire.
  • + 9
 I'm not hating on 29ers, but I am fully satisfied on my 27.5 160mm bike. Not saying that I will never own a 29er but right now a 27.5 is good for me.
  • + 9
 I'm barely used to my 27.5". It's a rewind year for me: back to 26" when I buy a slopestyle bike. I had more fun on my last slopestyle bike than any bike I've owned.
  • + 9
 I am so looking forward to the comments on this...So many people refuse to embrace the present...stuck in the past.
  • - 2
 Great article BTW...I love you Pinkbike!
  • + 15
 It's not just people on the internet. I like it how Giant said that you can't make a long travel 29er because chainstays get humungusly long if you want to fit wider tyre and larger chainring. Then they said that 275 is sooo good si it will kill not only 26ers but 29ers as well
  • + 9
 Yup, but there are more and more companies that push radical geo on 29ers. Kona being the first one. Honzo IMHO was a big milestone (at leas for me) in accepting 29ers.
  • - 3
 First radical geo 29er was the devinci atlas I would say...at least the first one with sub 17 inch chainstays.
  • + 0
 "So many people refuse to embrace the present...stuck in the past."

@diego-b Sometimes you need to have something to stuck on a.k.a ideology.
  • - 4
flag anchoricex (Feb 25, 2016 at 8:05) (Below Threshold)
 because not riding a damn 29'er is a rejection of present/future tech? Yeah go into a skatepark and tell everyone to hop off their skateboards In favor of electric boards
  • + 11
 @WAKIdesigns : Giant said the 29er chainstays are too long with big travel .... yes Because They Do not Know how to do a good 29er . Their 29er are the worst I ever ride ... Look at the Specialized Enduro chainstays ? Is that too long ?
  • - 13
flag molloser (Feb 25, 2016 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 29ers are not the future. The big wheel can't take the abuse. But the industry has one single thought in its head: bigger wheels. When will they realize that bigger isn't always better? My dad still runs a 2000 Kona Caldera and the thing absolutely shreds. Proof that the industry is going down the tubes and people don't know where and when to stop with bigger wheels: www.the-rise.com/2016/02/introducing-39-mtb-wheels.html
  • + 4
 @anchoricex I thought Giant decided to focus on the smaller wheel size as the majority of their sales were in Asia where riders are smaller and therefore more likely to favour 27.5
  • + 5
 Send me a Following. I will ride it, reluctantly, and report back. Wink
  • + 3
 It is only after going too far that you can learn the limits. Honda came out with a 23in front wheel (that is 29er in mtb terms) back in 1979 for MX. Then in the 00s they messed with "plus" tires by going down to a 20in front rim instead of the standar 21in.

motocrossactionmag.com/news/the-20-inch-tire-revolution
  • + 2
 Madevilts, yes I know, I was laughing at it in my comment. They are out of their mind.
  • + 4
 @molloser you do realize that's a render right...as in not real? Just a thought experiment. It's false that 29er can't take the abuse or else guys wouldn't win EWS rounds on them. Have you seen World Cup XC? They've got rock gardens and obstacles that they plow through with carbon everything, and the wheels survive.
  • + 2
 Why doesn't the Devinci Atlas get more attention? I find it to be the perfect trial bike. 115mm rear travel, and a 140mm fox 36 on the front. Maybe a bit of a mullet, by I love mine. @diego-b
  • + 3
 @littlefisheries i think you want to say "Trail" bike.
  • - 1
 @A-lg you should be riding cantilever, steel bikes.
  • + 3
 @littlefisheries I don't know, I had one for a while and loved it... Then I demoed an E29 and sold the devinci and my pivot firebird for the E29...If I had the money I would deffinetely consider getting another Atlas...it was ahead of its time...no doubt.
  • + 3
 "All aboard!" Dudes, OMG, brilliant idea, send all the leftover 26" wheels to the 24" kids bikes and we will create a master race of 29er slaying adults!!!
  • + 6
 Switched from a Yeti SB66 to an E29. This 29er makes everything easier for me. I ride 4-5 days a week, but I'm not that skilled and I don't spend much time airborne (on purpose). I'm in Tahoe, some of our trails are pretty tight and technical I think, I've never once felt my E29 was harder to maneuver than my Yeti (5'8" 160 lbs). The bike just gives me confidence, which makes me ride better, which makes me more willing to push my limits - not everyone needs that kind of help but I do. Also it's less tiring so I can ride do longer harder rides. And yeah, I do care about my strava times compared to my friends, I'm shallow like that.
  • + 6
 Ride a Boost equipped 29er before passing judgment, truly amazing how solid the wheels feel and how nimble the bike rides. I was a front of the line boost hater and but after demoing the Remedy and despite the fact the 29ers are still stupid I replaced my 27.5 Slash with a 29 boost Remedy 9.8 because it's faster and more fun to ride then any bike I've ever owned.
  • + 6
 Owning a 29er - i'm obviously FOR the trend.
The bike inspires confidence, allowing me to ride faster and harder with less effort.
All i'd ask for is 10-20mm more travel, and a hair more relaxed geometry.
29" wheels and sticky 2.5" Minions is an excellent ride.

It isn't for everyone, and I don't think Pinkbike is shoving it down our throats.... Rather opening the eyes of perspective buyers.

Choice is a good thing, as long as the LBS can properly match the rider to the bike.
  • + 10
 29" Remedy have been a great daily driver in Colorado.
  • + 5
 I hear ya. I jumped from 26 to a new Remedy 29 and I ain't lookin back out here in the PNW.
  • + 9
 No mention of The Following? Thats a more important bike then the Hightower
  • + 4
 I want The Following. I've been riding around on my new slacked out 29er hardtails lately, a pedaling, light weight, desending AND climbing capable 29er FS seems like it would be the ticket. Wish I had the cash...
  • + 1
 I might agree with that comment IF all the other companies went around copying Evil and not SC. Nomad came out in what, 2007?
  • + 9
 Still on 26 here. Got 5 of them... why change.
  • + 5
 29ers are all about efficiency and are not meant to do 360s mid air or to replace your 650b or 26er weapons. Those who don't give a damn should just be cool about it coz no one is forcing a 29er on you. 29er will most likely stay as a niche size outside XC. IMHO, one of the reasons on why the 650b can replace 26 so fast is mainly because they are just an inch apart really. Some dudes on youtube actually came up with a study that showed that 650b was the slower of the bunch. Cheer up n ride more. Like the 29er, only continuous demand will save 26er, not hate.
  • + 0
 IIRC that little "study" was done on a SC chameleon? Which had both a 26er and a 29er version, but not a 650b version. Not surprising that shoehorning wheels onto a frame not meant for them didn't have the best results.
  • + 2
 This is another one... youtu.be/vhS1HfvBeYA Smile
  • + 6
 This is the year we get all the great 29er traill bikes we would have got 2 years ago, if manufacturers hadn't been rushing around creating 650b bikes and components to not miss the wave.
  • + 4
 my thought exactly.
  • + 8
 "As long as you're getting out and riding, it doesn't matter in the slightest what wheel size you're on." Spot on.
  • + 5
 What I find to be really interesting is all the love that the Trek Remedy has received from the MTB media, yet three of the main GEO specs are nearly identical to the SB95c. Top tube both around 24" in large, chainstay 17.5", headtube 67.5. And the MTB media absolutely loves Yeti bikes, but yet the SB95c is rarely talked about and when it was its been said that its chainstays were too long. Its a bit funny to me that all of the sudden this "new style" of 29er is the bike of the future, and here I am riding a 2014 model with the same GEO. They keep trying to tell you that a 29er with chainstays longer than 17" or so is too long, yet the Remedy at 17.5" is one of the most loved bikes of 2015. I don't get it.
  • + 1
 The rear Penske designed / Fox manufactured rear shock is the best climbing rear shock in the business. Go ride one and you'll understand
  • + 2
 Not to mention, it's just a completely different suspension design. As an owner of a Remedy, albeit a 26, (and a Fuel too) I can attest to the competency of the abp set up. Just because two bikes have similar head angles and chain stay length does not mean they will ride identical.
  • + 1
 I don't disagree. However, when considering the SB95, I was put off by the lack of a 36 on a complete bike, and I also wanted a bit more travel than the 95. Additionally I dig the simplicity of the walking beam design. I had an SB66 before my Remedy and it worked great but it just came down to these few spec issues. So far the Remedy rips. Way faster than the 66. I'd give a Yeti another shot if they brought out a longer travel 29er.
  • + 5
 I've ridden all the wheel sizes and prefer 29 for trail\and xc. My Process 111 rips. The trails I ride are rocky and the big wheels help, but the bike is playful and can jump also. I sold my 26' DH bike a few years back after getting hurt. I take my Focus SAM 160mm 27er to the bike park and play on that. For me the 160mm is too much travel for trail riding, but good on easier DH trails.We MTBikers are luck to have so many good bikes to ride these days!!!!!!
  • + 4
 I ride a 29er Chromag hardtail with a 160mm travel and your buttholes would be puckering if you followed me on a majority of the trails I rip on.

All it's going to take is some well known pro featured in a gnarly video killin it on a 29er before some of you realize that wheelsize isn't as big of a deal and you make it seem.

Just shred the wheelsize you like!
#endofstory
  • + 2
 but how big are your biceps?
  • + 4
 26 ain't dead, it's just moved to being used on fun bikes and cruisers, instead of the all rounder it was known for, and i'd only acknowledge 26 being dead when there's a slopestyle frame designed around 27.5 and 29, and i doubt that'd happen as slope, 4X and freeride bikes seem perfectly happy with 26 inch wheels.
  • + 4
 Random thoughts:

* I've noticed a trend towards less travel these days. At one point, it seemed like everything was going 160mm. Now 140-150 seems the norm.
* Why does no one ever mention the Intense Tracer 29er as one of the first long(er) travel 29ers.
* My bike is a rolling dinosaur -- 2010 Specialized Enduro, 26-inch wheels, 2x9 gearing (with a bash guard!). This bike took me from clean groomed trails to handling all the gnar that could be thrown at it. It's old an outdated, but I love this bike.
  • + 8
 Sold the Bronson. Bought The Following. Never look back.
  • + 9
 Ride your bike.
  • + 6
 I said this months ago that 2016 would be the year of slack(ish) 29ers. I'm seriously considering my next bike to be (another) 29er, especially if this trend develops.
  • + 4
 I don't think anyone is saying you need to rush out and replace what ever your current bike is with a specific wheel size. However when it comes time for a new ride an open mind and actual test rides are probably the best way to go about picking a new bike.
  • + 3
 HTSteel 29er's to boot, mark my word, every brand will be making one very soon, 29er frame's with the clearance for 27.5+, the past is the future my friends embrace it Wink
ex: Kona, Trek, Chromag, Scott , Rocky the big S .....
  • + 4
 I just picked up a Cotic Solaris made with Reynolds 853. Can plus it with 27.5+ but with a 2.4 front/2.35 rear 29er tire, I don't need more traction. Short enough chainstays to manual with. Can jump it and blast corners with it. It handles great, very light steering. New aluminum rims have finally caught up. Less than 500 grams and can take a good beating. Have an On One Inbred that loves to be flogged too. With so many 29er haters, it's like my own little secret about how fun these bikes are. I still don't know if I'd plus it, but if I do, might try a rigid fork 29+/27.5+ Keep the head angle about were the suspension fork would be. idk.. I can't find anything wrong with the 29er wheel size yet. And I came from 20+ years of 26ers and will never race cross country. Never thought I'd like them.
  • + 5
 No mention of the Yeti SB-95 or SB4.5C? or Evil The Following or.... The Endure 29er or Process 111 are hardly the only awesome, rippin' 29ers available...
  • + 3
 I mentioned it in my comment on this thread, got some flack for it.
  • + 3
 wheel size, wheel size , wheel size.... how about a real discussion on why boost 148 should just be 150mm, I mean come on 150mm is already a standard so why screw with everyone and make 148mm? money! sales! consumerism! this industry is really starting to look like others that are only fueled by profits rather than innovation and technology. go ahead and argue that boost 148 is innovative technology but really how innovative is it when 150mm standard already exists. how is a person supposed to not feel like this is a cruel joke on the consumer? if and when i get a bike using the boost 148 standard you can bet I'll just squeeze my 150mm hub in that tight bitch. wheel size options are cool but hub width standards have to stop changing by a few millimeters every other year. it's really getting ridiculous and it only pisses off the newish mtn biker who doesn't know all the freaking standards
  • + 1
 Totally agree with you...!!!!
  • + 5
 Fact is 29er trail bikes have been great for several years now - even without the newer trends in geometry. Glad to see this size format will stick around...
  • + 7
 2016 will be the year of the 26'' for me.
  • + 3
 Bike companies don't know what wheel / tire size bikers want and honestly neither do a lot of riders anymore now that so many options are offered to them -- especially anyone new to the sport, which is precisely who buys a 2016 bike. Selling new bikes means finding new niche segments to differentiate and plus tires are the new niche, but no one really knows if plus size tires are really all-that (are they?). However, neither the bike companies or buyers want to be left behind so now everyone is hedging their bets and trying to make or buy bikes that accommodate multiple wheel and tire sizes. Maybe that versatility is ultimately a good thing but it's clearly a state of disarray that may take a few years to shake out
  • + 4
 No mention of Evil's The Following or The Wreckoning?

I've only heard positive things about both. Surely they're somewhat responsible for 29ers becoming "cool" trail bikes as of late...
  • + 2
 I ride a 29er hardtail and from my few rides on 27+ they are very dissimilar. Maxxis Chronicles have terrible self steer and are heavy. if you pump them up enough to get ride of the selfsteer they are bouncy. My 29er dampfs/nic combo are wicked and have lots of grip and feel way better at speed. I'll keep rolling on wagon wheels...
  • + 2
 i wish all companies would make all models of bikes in 26, 650b and 29 wheel sizes and then we could all be happy buying what we wanted......i like choice but killing off the 26" wheel size isnt really the decent thing to do. I also don't want to see others who enjoy riding other wheels sizes missing out either. In all the models of bikes these companies make i think it would be great if they could offer this but not just 26 for small sizes and 29 for xl etc.
  • + 2
 Can't wait. I'm a tall guy, been waiting for the perfect frame. I would like to see a xl frame that really is tailored to taller riders. A little taller stack and steeper SA. Short travel with aggressive geo I think is the ticket. Bring on the new wave 29er!
  • + 2
 I have 2 new 29er hardtails that would love to say I hate, that steer like I'm running a flat front tire and climb like I snagged a deer in my spokes, but I can't. I did in fact take one of the very first mass produced 29er's for a trip around my trails in the early 00's and it was miserable. But after taking my commuter 29er I built last year (slapped some off road tires on it just to see) off road, I was amazed by it. Fully rigid with 28psi and tubes, it was almost as fast as my 140mm 26er bike. A month later, put a 120mm fork on it and I'm just as fast down those hills, amazing how it is in the rough. I can blow out berms, manual, wheelie, jump, take 3 foot drops. My e*thirteen rims weigh less than 500 grams and I use a single ply 2.4 TR tire, a lighter combo than my old 26er and I have yet to damage a rim or cut a tire. I can climb just about anything short of a wall. I'm a bit short legged and 5'8", but I'm thinking I will stay with the 29er. Oh and both hardtails will take a 27.5+ if I ever get the need to try something different. I can't even imagine how much faster I'd be with a full suspension 29er.
  • + 2
 I guess here is my thought (and no, I didn't get through all the comments so maybe someone else said the same thing). I come from a BMX background, still ride that bike more then anything else. I have a slope bike and a DJ bike and both are on 26" wheels, I can't imagine having anything larger. I like the way 26" wheels feel for jumping and just ripping around the woods. I bought a 27.5 6" travel bike last year, and even though it was fun, it just behaved kinda funny. It wasn't as fun. I don't care if I'm the fastest guy out there, I want to have fun on my bike. I'm currently working on getting together a DH bike and to be honest I don't want any wheel size other then 26. For people who want a flickable bike that jumps well and is a blast to ride in the woods (and don't care about their time and how they stack up against others) there is nothing wrong with 26s. I'm just bummed that sooner then later we won't have that as an option and I'm gonna be flying off the trail cuz I can't get my wheels around corners and a constant skid mark on my bum from the big ass tires hitting me when I get remotely close to a tuck. I realize I'm probably not the norm, but that being said, I like companies like Banshee that are offering dropouts that can be swapped out to create a bike that is what the consumer actually wants. How hard would that be?
  • + 5
 Riding a Yeti SB4.5C. I am 6'3 and the XL with the 29er wheels feels great.
  • + 6
 Uh yeah...the Banshee Prime beat out Specialized and Kona by a year.
  • + 2
 Well , I'm spoiled, I have one of each wheel size . ALL the bikes I thoroughly enjoy riding, and for an almost 51 year old, I ride pretty aggressive . The " wagon wheel" Evil rides beautiful, I probably ride 95% of the trails that I ride on my Spartan . It's faster over all on the trails !......Whistler , Prevot , Mnt. Work , Maple , Tzou. , Galbraith , .....all good!!
  • + 2
 I am rolling the dice......just bought a slack aggro 29er that fits me (gasp) and selling my 27.5 enduro rig (double gasp)

I think wheel size is a factor for different size riders. PB and other review articles comments about handling should be in the context of rider size...end of story
I think frame geo is still mega important.....end of story
I think so long as it works for you it doesn't matter what you ride.....

My prediction for 2016 is 29ers will see a big pickup as loads of trail travel (less than enduro) 29ers get bought by tall dudes and loads of 27+ riders give up and convert to 29 wheels...and YT make them cool

My prediction for 2017....chain stays will get longer as enduro riders will realise a 400mm chain stay with bugger all tyre clearance results in them falling backwards when riding uphill... (this is why enduro helmets cover more of the back of the skull)

My precaution for 2018....more than 3 bike co's will realise that designing stack heights is not about "how small can you make the headtube without it snapping so the bike looks good in marketing pics?"
  • + 2
 2016 is the year the industry regroups, and drops the number of "standards." Surely diversity, disguised as innovation, is killing parts maker's margins? Finding NOS parts for vintage road racing bikes feels easier than finding parts to repair many modern mountain bikes. I see friends putting off new bike purchases as long as possible to try to avoid getting stuck with old rare tech.
  • + 5
 If this is the year of 29" wheel then this is also the year you stop jumping.
  • + 6
 If you're on a 27.5 with fat tyres you're not that far off a 29er anyways.
  • + 21
 If you're on a 27.5 with thin tyres you're not that far off a 26er anyways.
  • + 4
 youre all slowly being directed onto 29ers, one inch at a time
  • + 2
 Well on the flip side, it'll probably also means small niche 26er manufacturer will flourish in near future... which would be awesome!
  • + 1
 I am shopping 29ers because I am 6'4" and feel like a damn circus bear riding a tricycle on my old 26". I do not care about Boost. I care about a solid pedal ability. I do not care too much about overall weight. I can get fitter. I am pretty sure that I am going to be picking up a Banshee Phantom as it just fits me better. Marketing is just that, marketing. Buy and ride what works for you. Or follow the trends as they break. That just gives me an opportunity to buy your lightly used gear and save me money.
  • + 1
 I just went 29...no more polar bearing for me...

go for it @jmhills
  • + 1
 "Will 2016 be the year of the 29er?" What has the year got to do with a damn thing ?!?

It's a toolbox not a fashion parade, my three year old short travel 29er all mountain is still going strong, as is my 26" DH rig. When I need a new bike, I'll look at what I need - I just hope someone somewhere is still making what I want, that they sell enough of them to keep the price sensible, and that enough 'standards' remain that I can swap a few parts over.

I'm going riding, by time I get back manufacturers will be telling me a 700C unicycle is 0.00000000000001% faster on certain trails, and I won't give a damn, 'cos I suck on any trail/bike combo but still have a blast.
  • + 3
 mm with what they re sayin of it I d like to try that Kona now !! i wont miss the occasion at the next test day at my local shop kona seller Big Grin
  • + 2
 Hopefully 2016 will be the year, when wheel sizes just don't matter anymore, and a bike will not be judged by it's wheel diameter, hub width, or head angle, but by the way it rides.
  • + 1
 That would be great. I cant understand, how someone can get so mad about wheelsize. Some of these comments tells more about the writer than actually bring something sensible into discussion.
  • + 3
 No, it really isn't for me. Bought one of the last 26 inch DH bikes at the end of the year last year, so as to be able to have one for as long as possible.
  • + 1
 Honestly, how does increasing wheel sizes incrementally ever make it to public discussion? The manufacturers should just find the wheel size that the top riders prefer, then sell bikes to the public that are similarly equipped. Why are they making me care so much about things, when they can clearly do tests, and get usable data themselves. If my wheels are 30.3925" because John Bikeman from the top spot on the Downhill circuit 11 years running set the best times with that size, I'd have no qualms.
  • + 1
 If you have gravity on your side then why would you ever ride a 29er?

BUT - if you are like me and ride flowy trails where you actually have to pedal once and awhile to enjoy the stuff then a 29 is just a faster bike.

If you like to ride fast then you choose the fastest bike.

It's not about what's better and anyone that actually knows bikes knows this already and doesn't need a PB article to tell you.
  • + 1
 Although I'm on a 26" ht, I admit the 29" short travel trail bikes I've tried were very capable, at home in most situations. For general XC and light AM they're a pretty good single bike solution. The carbon Camber I test rode once wouldn't feel out of place in an XC race either. A head angle around 68 degrees seem like a very good compromise between agility and confident descending.

My only problem is that I'm short and 29" wheels with a 120mm+ fork can result in tall stack heights. Then it feels like I'm riding a city bike.

The other thing is that with 29ers, light, stiff wheels are super important, and such wheels are pricy. 26 and 650b can get away with heavier hoops without feeling dead.
  • + 1
 was given a fancy intense carbine 29c to ride and snap some pictures of for a shop owner. i normally ride a commencal meta sx (26" wheels, low, slack, endurbro bike).

the 29er is stupid light and really fast in a straight line but super not fun when it gets twisty or ultra techy. great for the rolling tame trails around my house. kinda sucks when i get out in the big mountain east coast rocks.

its super cool you believe the 29er will make its "second coming" this year but 29ers arent for everyone. i'll keep my 26" and its inefficiency at rolling over stuff just to have more fun in the turns or air.
  • + 1
 How about 27.5 mid plus?
27.5 X 2.5 to 2.75 tire size to add more selection?
Wait. More selection! Noooo. Don't you hate capitalism for all the choices we get. We complain so much having so much to choose from. It really sucks. Back to single speed stamped steel 60lb bikes on steel 28" skinny tires made in East Germany gor all of you!
Smile
  • + 1
 The industry is going to push 29ers since now a lot of people got 27,5" bikes, so that they can sell new bikes and parts. They might as well add a new standard between 27,5 and 29 "giving you the benefits of both worlds".
History is repeating itself and cassettes are constantly getting bigger 6-7-8-9-10-11......
  • + 1
 I don't think the progression of gear count to be a very good comparison... We dropped triple cranks and moved to a few more gears then dropped doubles for single ring set ups and we gained a few more gears. That's innovation, wheel standards are a different kind of change all together.
  • + 0
 Except that 'we' didn't all do that...
  • + 1
 @gtrguy Im not disagreeing with him on the constantly updating standards I was just saying that I dont think gear count was a solid comparison. If it makes you feel any better I still ride a steel hard tail with 26"wheels 135 qr rear and a 1x10
  • + 1
 @Shredthenoob No worries man, as long as we have fun riding whatever we ride it's all good. I just meant that not everyone is influenced by or follows industry trends. Some of it makes sense but a lot of it is simply to keep the big companies selling us stuff.
  • + 1
 Certainly 28.25- is the answer! Not big enough to complain about, not small enough to really make a difference. Most riders would feel no difference between either but there would be a whole new realm of possibility. Down-cross racing? The downhill isn't timed. Only pedaling up the hill matters for winning. But you can't go up the hill if you can't make it down first. For down-cross racing, nobody can argue that 28.25- wouldn't be PERFECT! I don't think I even need to mention the weight you would shave off by avoiding 29" wheels. They are soooo heavy!
  • + 1
 Are you over the age of 40? Has your aggressive mountain bike career ended years ago and now you are seeking to enhance your riding performance with the use of technology? Do you ride slow as f*ck yet consider yourself an active rider. Does your weekend warrior lifestyle go slightly further then the couch? Do you consider a 5 km loop to be the pinnacle of your weekend ride? Have you forgotten about the idea of railing corners? Look no further, 275+ and 29+ have got your micro brew drinking fat ass covered.
  • + 7
 No doubt! But I'm 42 and still ride 26" downhill. It's not the age as much as the mindset!
  • + 0
 So copying and pasting down voted comments is now a thing? Strange.
  • + 6
 stick to 26
  • + 1
 26+ for life.... or as long as possible. Almost certain they will make more 26+ tires in the future, but for now I have the one of the burliest tires ever made on my 26er with massive volume. The Duro Leopard. 1800g's of shredtastic. I also have a 26++ (the largest available fat bike) tire that nears 29+ rollover capability around 31-32" diameter. I also don't need boost to run 2x with my 3.0 rear tires, though I have to pay more a little attention to the chain line when shifting due to an offset crank.
  • + 1
 I've ridden a few 29ers, mainly because everyone keeps telling me that they're getting better every year. I just don't see it. Against my better judgment I took out a Process 111 at Whistler, and even after giving it a fair shake I was right, I hated it. The Process 153 I rode beforehand blew my socks off. Each to their own, but not for me. I love my 27.5 trail bike and my 26 park bike, and they won't be getting replaced any time soon.
  • + 1
 Own one of each is best option, currently my Fuse Plus size is my go to bike, even though hardtail I can still do drops an jump lines, more forgiving then you would expect and overall a blast to ride.so much fun.In comparison I have a Pivot Mach 6 and a Trek Superfly 29 fully, like them both a lot but am going to sacrifice on of them for a Plus size fully.
  • + 1
 Hahaha! Man I love this stuff. I used to be a die hard 26er. Then I bought 27.5 and tried some 9ers in the process of shopping. Seriously I think they just so this so everyone can sit naked in front of there computer screens reading the comments and eating cheetos.... Swear I'm not doing that right now.
  • + 1
 Another two thumbs up for Intense Carbine 29. Coming from an SC gen2 Nomad, I was a bit skeptic of big wheels and longer chain stay on Carbine. It takes an aggressive, strong rider to unleash what it's capable of. It's super stable at speed and I have no issues with tight singletrack. I dropped 160mm 36 to 150mm and paired with a Float X, it's perfectly balanced as a trail bike or Downieville ripper! I demo'd the BMC Trailfox, SC Nomad and Bronson and they all rock, but I know that I made the right choice with the Carbine! I'm 6'2" and ride a L.
  • + 1
 No other "technical advance" has brought so many controversy to the mtb community...If bigger wheels were a clear advantage for everyone, we wouldn´t be arguing about that every day. Nobody says "oh I want cantilever brakes back...disk brakes are just an invention of bike industry to sell us more stuff" (well maybe there´s one guy somewhere...)...But with wheel size people seems to be not so convinced. The advantages of disk brakes or suspensions, for example, are much more clear...there is no debate...but there is a big debate on wheel size. Why? It seems that bike industry has the ultimate truth...they killed 26", now enduro 29rs will be the norm, now we will see 26+ in few years (this one from the DT-Swiss guy sounded like a joke) and they just seem to ignore what is happening, they ignore the debate...
  • + 1
 It is because disc brakes are superior in every category compared to cantilever, but 29 isnt superior to 26 in every category and vice versa. And 26+ already exists. Check out Surly, they have 26+ AM hardtail.
  • + 1
 I have an enduro 29 expert, process 111 and a nomad c. The enduro is as good as they say and as fast as you can imagine. It never feels dead or too much travel. The nomad is also as good as they say but not quite as breakneck as the enduro 29. Good for DH parks. The process 111 is the bike way more crap talkers should ride. It's the standard for fun.
  • + 2
 I don't care what all of the Pinkbike keyboard jockeys say.. 27.5+ bikes are damn fun. It's not just marketing fluff. Ride one and see.
  • + 3
 Kona Unit with boost 29er with sliding dropouts for single speed and room 3.25" tires.
  • + 3
 2016 was the year of the 29er for me. Got the Evil Wreckoning and have not looked back!
  • + 2
 The new 29ers look more proportional than a large 26er... I came from Bmx background and its taken me 30 years to like big wheels.
  • + 0
 re that article of RCs and Mikes thoughts, while the USA has some amazing trails and regions, in the main what Im reading and seeing is that it is not about the bikes as is the focus here, its really about the mass focused trail, eg trail focused for the masses, dirt footpaths and if that is the main trail devide then 29er is the future for you couch surfers! Lance Armstrong once said its not about the bike and for once he was right, as usual humans are the issue and the pendulum of first world problems of never ending not satisfied Americans with anything will continue, saying that If could have 2 bikes right now a Following and a Strive would be number one! but I could never just have a 29er and Im still not convinced the bigger wheel is for all people in longer travel, re durability stability and stifnesss, a 29er wheel is never going to be as strong as a 27.5 or die hard 26". People will qoute Tracey Mosely success etc, But remember shes was a pro, how many wheelsets or rebuilds did she get a year, tire reliabilty etc, plenty of flats in 29ers still in EWS for example, hence why I say everyday man or everyone, but for some still good chop. btw a Following here is just stupid money and so wont be buying one! An X01 is 11k, X1 is 8.5k rather buy a new WR250f
  • + 0
 No thanks. More gyroscopic effect, slower acceleration, easier wheel collapses... They may roll over obstacles a bit easier, and take a bit less effort to keep at speed, but where and how I ride, the negatives don't outweigh the positives. Then there is the subjective category of esthetics...27.5 maybe....29 no thank you.
  • + 1
 I'd just hold off, You know as soon as everyone has their old 26" their hyped 650b and now an aggressive 29"er, Industry marketing will push us forwards/backwards/forwards again towards a 24" inch wheel'd trail slayer.
  • + 3
 Oooh, some superbly talented riders win on 29er trail bikes. They could win on a kids bike. Enough BS already..
  • + 4
 I guess writers need something to write about, don't they?
  • + 1
 Finally, someone with a valid comment
  • + 1
 Very keen to try the Process 111, since I loved how the Honzo rode, only I'm better off with a fully due to my back.

But until my 26" trail bike doesn't get completely ruined I won't be making the switch.
  • + 4
 This will be the year of the mid-fat 26"
  • + 1
 I think 27.5+ is going to be the big thing this year and next. It promises people easier climbing and it means a new frame so bike companies will push it.
  • + 1
 27.5+ (wheel and tire) is a final diameter around 29".

26+ (wheel and tire) is a final diameter around 27.5".

A 26+ which now has the operational diameter of a 27.5 is an awesome prospect! Lots of extra grip from a wider contact patch and FAR MORE compliance which means even more grip.
  • + 3
 I'll keep riding my 26 until I can get a amazing deal on a 650b+ with the spec I want all whiling hoping 26 comes back alive
  • + 4
 tl;dr just ride your bike and be happy
  • + 0
 Yeah, I don't think PB is where you're going to find many riders looking for a 29er. I do have a Niner Air 9 hardtail that has 2.1 tires that is me "road" bike for my once a week high mileage ride. I'm older than the standard PB poster and went thru a 29er phase a few years back but didn't like the "on top" feel of the ride and feel much more comfortable with the slacker angles on Pivot Mach 6.
  • + 2
 Intense Carbine 29...it's been around for a few. Love that it takes the Remedy or the Hightower to bring up that 29ers will rule the stage.
  • + 4
 Well, there is a 29" DH out there
  • + 3
 how about 29 for tall cnuts, 26 for short cnuts, 27.5 for anyone in-between...
  • + 1
 perfect
  • + 5
 No.
  • + 4
 Just picked up 2X 26" machines... so the answer is NO
  • + 2
 Of course it will - new year means another new industry switch to something that's been around for years!
  • + 1
 Citing Betteridge's law of headlines, NO.

Also, how comes these "opinion" posts always have a cuestión as their title and those lousy "poll" ones don't?
  • + 2
 I think I already saw this discussion before... but where? Hum.... Deja vu moment!!
  • + 2
 This article must be a joke....

This year i'll get a serious 26" wheelset at best price thanx to that 27.5"/29" madness.
  • + 3
 I hope Rampage is won on a 29er
  • + 2
 Lets just say, YES! Cause the bike industry will push hard for it so they can sell sell sell!
  • + 3
 Isnt there already an xc forum called Mtbr.com ?
  • + 1
 Im getting rid of my wheels today. Totally.

Just gonna posthole in the mud.

And you dont get that "tired" feeling after a ride.
  • + 2
 I live near Highland. My short answer: Nope!

My long answer: Don't really need one.
  • + 2
 Why short chainstays on a 29er? I thought the idea of 29ers was to go fast..
  • + 3
 2016 sucks...not about biking
  • + 3
 Guarantee that we will see a 29" DH bike this season.
  • + 2
 Err... looks like a Session...?
  • + 1
 Yea and other brands have got 'irons' in the fire as well.... Carbon prototypes being tested now...
  • + 1
 My 26 keeps myself happy. In few more months they will realise a 30er and you will get confused once again as you're now. Be content or be unhappy. It's all about profit!
  • + 3
 I thought that was back in 2011?
  • - 1
 Sure, keep f*cking us with wheel sizes, we really love this stuff...
Meanwhile Giant, YT and Canyon will continue to take over with the best bikes on the market...
Why? Because they don`t care about wheels, they care about building nice bikes at reasonable prices.
  • + 3
 Giant don't care about wheel size? Really!?!
  • - 1
 Well they at least have picked a wheel size to go with. Not driving up cost by having to design a 650b and 29r version of every bike.
  • + 0
 Giant makes the bikes for one of the leaders in 29er development. Giant doesn't have to make their line like that. They are already making money from Trek and other brands 29ers.
  • + 3
 Will 2016 be the year of Hyperbole?
  • + 3
 And that is that. Time for a dirtbike.
  • + 0
 Niner WFO has been out for years now and its a bad ass 29er. This is old info another ploy to make us think boost spacing will make us faster. who cares as long as you ride on two wheels. The rider makes the bike go.
  • + 2
 still riding a 140mm Norco Shinobi 29er and loving it great trail bike
  • + 1
 Answer to this is no! As when your a half pint like me 29" makes no sense what so ever !..
  • + 1
 The 275/275+ (2.Cool -mojo3, may be more popular than a bike that requires two diff wheel setups.
  • + 2
 I turned 29 in 2016. Now I'm scared!
  • + 1
 Year of the 29er? That's why SRAM are dropping the Roam60 in a 29" wheel size, because of lack of demand.
  • + 2
 Dear Santa! How about an Evil The Following.
  • + 1
 I still ride 24" x3" Nokians so this plus tire shit is just coming back around
  • + 2
 Its the Following all the way for me. No looking back!
  • + 2
 I have my suspicions about that no pun intended dsiclaimer.
  • + 1
 agree on lack of Plus tire choices...best I know of is a Nobby Nic. Which is a Nobby Nic. There'll be more.
  • + 1
 Give me G2 or give me death! - Patrick Henry, Virginia Convention circa. 1775
  • + 1
 That sound you're hearing PB, is the door slamming shut as we all head over to another website to get our bike kicks...
  • + 0
 Let all the close minded PB reader's go to another site, that's awesome.
  • + 1
 26" 27,5" 29"... year 2025 ➜ 44" ? Oh God,just take your bike go out and bomb the hills!
  • + 1
 I think we've been here before pb?! Mr burns from dt Swiss said 29 is niche!
  • + 3
 Yawn.........
  • + 3
 I cant wait for 32ers
  • + 2
 still goin on 26(enduro and freeride) and 27.5(xc)
  • + 2
 When will we see the 29+ movement?
  • + 1
 Pls get me a 29 with 170 mm travel, long TT and 65 ha.
  • + 1
 Trek making 29er dh bike look at fontana pics
  • + 0
 Aaaaa...Pics don't lie negative propers doo or no they would never?
  • + 2
 There were two at the nationals
  • + 0
 All this does is make me want to ride my beater 26" steel Hardtail even more.
  • + 1
 Short travel 29er....yes.
  • + 1
 I really wish there are more 27.5 and 26ers, namely freeride.
  • + 1
 All freeride bikes today are 27.5 or 26. Most of them are 27.5
  • - 2
 This whole wheel thing is what made me stop riding.... 29 whatever.. 27.5 and something else 27.5 what ?? f*ck it.. I'm out.
Who else gave up riding because of all the consumer madness ?
Can I have some popcorn ??
  • + 4
 Nobody, that's just a bad excuse. Ride whatever you want but just have fun,
  • + 1
 Its winter in the northern hemisphere and there's not a lot going on?
  • + 1
 Straight to the comments section
  • + 2
 LOUD NOISES!!!
  • + 2
 Pinkbike action??!
  • + 0
 I just like riding any mountain bike, regardless of the wheel size. Size doesn't matter, as they say.
  • + 1
 News flas for Pinkbike--29ers have been ruling since 2008-2009ish...
  • + 1
 oh boy somebody call the wambulance
  • - 2
 The only way 2016 will be the year of the 29er is if I aged 30 years over night and became an old man who rode boring bikes. Can't get that rad on a 29er, and I like to get sendy for the boys.
  • + 0
 I do believe you have a 29r for sale on your profile. Sooooo maybe they have some applications after all.
  • + 2
 and why do you think he's selling it... jk
  • + 0
 Boost is for 29ers and plus. Boost makes them ride way better.
  • + 0
 Nice, I already have my 29er so I am set for 2016... Haha
  • + 0
 52"+ wheels triangle chain ring 3x20 gearing or gtfo
  • + 0
 How about No?
  • + 0
 Yawn
  • + 0
 31.75ers for the win!
  • - 1
 Never a 29' wheel will I buy
  • + 0
 really?
  • + 0
 party like it's 1929er
  • - 1
 Response: ONLY IF YOU'RE BUYING!!!!!
  • + 0
 Nope. I'm good as is.
  • + 0
 No...... just, no.
  • - 1
 Shit. Out of popcorn for this thread. Someone hook a brother up!
  • - 2
 meh, marketing
  • - 2
 NO0o
  • - 2
 Nope
  • - 2
 Meh!!!!!!
  • - 2
 no
  • - 3
 ...not reading a single comment but... HELL NO! goodbye.
  • + 0
 yeah. scroll down the comments quickly and they become shorter and shorter, presumably as people get more bored with it all. Probably a similar phenomenon with a lot of posts but what is it about the wheel size debate?
  • - 2
 ...i start to puke...
  • - 2
 Oh my Lord no!
  • - 3
 2017 will be the year of the 36er!
  • - 2
 nah... im not 45
  • - 1
 Lame article
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