27.5 or 29er???

JoeWakefield03

Active Member
I’m looking at getting a new bike. I’ve been riding 27.5 wheels for all of my mountain biking timeline and am still very fond of the 27.5 wheel bikes just because I like the size. I’d like to know if there are any advantages or disadvantages to 29ers likewise for the 27.5 sizing? Any answers would be greatly received, thanks
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I own mountain bikes in all 3 common wheel sizes, and firmly believe it's all down to taste and personal preference. The advantages of each are minor, and usually countered by disadvantages, so it all comes down to what you personally prefer.
 
OP
JoeWakefield03

JoeWakefield03

Active Member
I own mountain bikes in all 3 common wheel sizes, and firmly believe it's all down to taste and personal preference. The advantages of each are minor, and usually countered by disadvantages, so it all comes down to what you personally prefer.
Cheers mate
 

Kajjal

Veteran
Location
Wheely World
Having been mountain biking since the early 1990’s on 26 and 29” bikes the main difference is 29” wheels for me are smoother, maintain speed and have better grip climbing, the 26” are more manoeuvrable and accelerate faster. Both ride fine for me but I prefer 29” wheels for my natural trail riding and the occasional trail park. Every summer I take an mid 1990’s hardtail up into the mountains and it is no problem at all with 26” wheels, v brakes, elastomer fork and 3 x 8 gearing.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
Ah, that's a bit different. I'm no MTB expert so If you say they ride differently I'll have to believe you :smile:.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I don't think they're completely different. In fact, the difference can be quite subtle between a 27.5 on plus size tyres and a 29er on regular profiles.
For a very obvious reason, run them both on the same tyres and you will feel it.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
For a very obvious reason, run them both on the same tyres and you will feel it.
But no one conveniently sells all these different bikes with identical tyres, so that's a moot observation.

The point is they're all different, but more often than not it isn't marked. In fact, jn my experience of all the the biggest attributes are negative, and apply to the 29er:

1. Bigger wheels are flexier, noticeably so for a heavy rider. Like for like, you need to spend more to get equally decent wheels.

2. Bigger frames aren't as stiff, particularly at the rear. Again, highlighted by me being a heavier rider, managing to make a Boardman 29 frame flex so much I could make the rear tyre brush the frame on the power stroke.

3. 29ers are a nightmare muddy conditions. as the extra circumference provides additional surface area for a couple of extra kilos of mud to stick to, very, very noticeable over a 26.

But that aside, none of them inherently do any one thing so much better than the other that the losers have become obsolete. The 26 climbs a wee bit more lively, the 29 descends more steadily. The 29 rolls a touch better (although always having owned road bikes as well I've never felt the way in which they roll was revelatory), but the 26 gets up to speed with more snap. Unsurprisingly, the 27.5 is largely in the middle. Ultimately they all get me round my rides with aplomb.

Nevertheless, my ride times are much the same no matter which of my 5 MTBs I plump for, suggesting that the biggest difference is in feel. That leaves taste and preference as the decider.
 
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Levo-Lon

Guru
Well these new 29ers have wider rims and slacker head angles.
They look so much better and ride better than early offerings, better bikes.
I love my new 29 and have sold most of my 27.5 bikes.

You dont catch your shoe on the front wheel anymore and a 29 goes over rough ground so much better.

Ride a few then get a 29
 
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