What size MTB wheel to get

Hi everyone

I would like to get a rough terrain bike, mountain bike seems the most rugged.
I want it for Forrest roads, littered with loose stones, gravel and muck, but pot
holes are my worst issue.

I don’t want to spend a lot, seeing bikes with 26, 27.5 inch wheels in the second hand market,
are any of these wheel sizes hard to get to obsolete, so I can avoid them.

I like a smaller wheel to save weight on both tyre and rim material and even frame,
not climbing a hillside or going in a swamp so the smaller wheels should do me well.

Any advise welcomed, thanks
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Valhalla
No danger of 26 becoming obsolete for decades. If you find one that tugs your rug don't be afraid to go for it.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Yes people rode around on 26" wheels for 30 years before the industry persuaded them they were no good and bigger was better.
 
OP
S

Shadow121

Guest
Thanks @Drago and @Globalti
Thats good news, I like to keep weight down and really don’t want to spend
the money on a nice light bike, as it’s only for the next few months and maybe
again next winter to keep me fit till better weather shows up.

How about taking it to the extreme, would a wide 24” be common,
I ask as my daughter had one I was going to modify until she reclaimed it,
did like riding it though, just needed a bit longer seat tube.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
No if you're an average-sized adult, look around for a bike that's the right size for you. A 24" wheel bike is for smaller riders and you'd be constantly messing around with things like that seatpost, a proper can of worms.

If you want something affordable to mess around on, have a look around for bike recyclers as they will have a big selection. I don't know where you are but there's a household recycler in Wigan, which has a massive selection of refurbished and recycled bikes going for small cash.

Whatever you do, don't go and buy a £99 supermarket special. Cyclists call them BSOs or Bike Shaped Objects because they're so appallingly bad they don't qualify as bicycles.
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
I'd look for something second-hand - you'll get a better bike for your money if you choose well. I have picked up a couple of bikes for around half their new price where both were barely-ridden and box fresh.

26" wheels are losing favour to some extent, although as above they aren't going away any time soon. This shift in fashion may help depress S/H prices.
 

Threevok

This space available to rent
Location
South Wales
I only ride 26 and build mine myself.

The only shortages I am finding are :

New frames : although there's been an emergence of frames that have sliding dropouts, that can take 26 or 27.5 wheels. I got my eye on one right now. Mrs V will kill me :laugh:

Tyres: some specialist brands and models are hard to get, although you can usually get an equivalent tyre from another supplier. I had to shop around to get a replacement Ice Spiker Pro Evo Snakeskin tyre at a realistic price. I could not get a Panaracer RiBMo in 26 at all, so I switched to Lifeline Essential Commuter (and saved a bundle to boot).

Forks : some newer models are not available in 26. You could still run 26 on them, but the look and rake may be a little odd. I've actually seen some kids round here ride 27.5 up front and 26 rear :eek:

Some extras like mudguards can be a bit tricky to find. I took me ages to find a second set of Top Peak Defenders for 26. Although I'm sure the ones for 27.5/29 would have been OK, if not a bit odd looking
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
From what you want it for it sounds like the bigger the better, however as others have said 26" is historically common as muck and will be around for a long time yet. While it'd be nice to buy a brand new 29er I suspect this would be disproportionately costly compared to buying something older, used and with smaller wheels.

Tbh I was sorely tempted by a £60 Gumtree steel-framed rigid 26"-wheeled Dawes MTB near me recently; just to allow me to get out on the trails... fortunately(?) it was a bit big as the mrs would probably kill me if I added another to those already in the kitchen!
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
27.5 and 29 are the current standard. Tyres are now harder to find in 26" - ie. you'll have to do with what you can get, where you can get what fancy dandy tyre you want in the bigger sizes.

Then there is the wider back ends of through axel, and of course boost.

For keeping costs down, but getting a good machine, try and keep an eye out for 90's classic MTB's with no suspension. They will do what you want without the added complication of suspension to look after, and cheap suspension is rubbish and heavy.
 
OP
S

Shadow121

Guest
From what you want it for it sounds like the bigger the better, however as others have said 26" is historically common as muck and will be around for a long time yet. While it'd be nice to buy a brand new 29er I suspect this would be disproportionately costly compared to buying something older, used and with smaller wheels.

Tbh I was sorely tempted by a £60 Gumtree steel-framed rigid 26"-wheeled Dawes MTB near me recently; just to allow me to get out on the trails... fortunately(?) it was a bit big as the mrs would probably kill me if I added another to those already in the kitchen!
Like a fool I sat till a Specialised was sold beside me, I even knew the owner,
but allowed the hybrid I have would do, but another hit and run leaving a cyclist in
hospital on my road led me the woods this past months, walking as it would destroy
my rims which only have 30mm tires, road tires, and my frame is currently unmarked,
thus my reason for something with much wider tires.

All my current bikes are second hand, but am finding the Cube brand here in Ireland
to be well priced in comparison to the second hands so far.
 
OP
S

Shadow121

Guest
27.5 and 29 are the current standard. Tyres are now harder to find in 26" - ie. you'll have to do with what you can get, where you can get what fancy dandy tyre you want in the bigger sizes.

Then there is the wider back ends of through axel, and of course boost.

For keeping costs down, but getting a good machine, try and keep an eye out for 90's classic MTB's with no suspension. They will do what you want without the added complication of suspension to look after, and cheap suspension is rubbish and heavy.
@fossyant what is this boost thing, I see it on the adds, also see a + mentioned.

I don't plan on spending much on a 26” bike, given the newer sizes will be easier
to get wheels for, so far the only ones I see are too expensive for what they are,
I too don’t want a front suspension, which narrows the availability even more,
a good fat tire will keep me happy.
 
OP
S

Shadow121

Guest
From what you want it for it sounds like the bigger the better, however as others have said 26" is historically common as muck and will be around for a long time yet. While it'd be nice to buy a brand new 29er I suspect this would be disproportionately costly compared to buying something older, used and with smaller wheels.

Tbh I was sorely tempted by a £60 Gumtree steel-framed rigid 26"-wheeled Dawes MTB near me recently; just to allow me to get out on the trails... fortunately(?) it was a bit big as the mrs would probably kill me if I added another to those already in the kitchen!
Seems cheap for a Dawes, at least there would be something to build on.
 
OP
S

Shadow121

Guest
I only ride 26 and build mine myself.

The only shortages I am finding are :

New frames : although there's been an emergence of frames that have sliding dropouts, that can take 26 or 27.5 wheels. I got my eye on one right now. Mrs V will kill me :laugh:

Tyres: some specialist brands and models are hard to get, although you can usually get an equivalent tyre from another supplier. I had to shop around to get a replacement Ice Spiker Pro Evo Snakeskin tyre at a realistic price. I could not get a Panaracer RiBMo in 26 at all, so I switched to Lifeline Essential Commuter (and saved a bundle to boot).

Forks : some newer models are not available in 26. You could still run 26 on them, but the look and rake may be a little odd. I've actually seen some kids round here ride 27.5 up front and 26 rear :eek:

Some extras like mudguards can be a bit tricky to find. I took me ages to find a second set of Top Peak Defenders for 26. Although I'm sure the ones for 27.5/29 would have been OK, if not a bit odd looking
I am a fan of mudguards, would rather have odd looking than none.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Boost is wider front and rear. Front has moved from 100mm axel's to 110mm, and boost rear can be 148mm. Normal MTB is 135mm or 142mm with through axels. Loads of standards at the moment, so stick with an older bike.
 
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