Have You Gone from 27.5 to 29er But Then Back to 27.5?

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12/13/2017 2:53 PM



with trail bikes, i'm just curious if anyone moved to a 29er from 27.5 (or even 26 i guess) but then decided 27.5 was better for them and switched back. if so, what kind of trails were you riding regularly and / or what was your reasoning?

(since we're not talking DH bikes, danny hart, brannigan and loris jokes aren't necessary : )
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12/13/2017 3:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/13/2017 3:21 PM

I went from 29 to 27.5, now I want to go back to 29. I liked the bigger wheel size. I thought the bike just fit better and felt correct size wise and didn't seem to have any difficulty with turning, jumping,or any BS like that. It was pretty much the same feeling as the first time I went from 26 to 27.5.

My next ride will be 29 again. Trails didn't seem to matter. Located in PNW, but rode all over the western half of the US/Canada. Big wheels were really fun on high speed stuff like Bend.

*for reference, I'm 6'3 though, so that probably plays a part.

-KT

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12/13/2017 3:21 PM

I have understood the question but think worth mentioning I’ve gone the other way, went 26 to 29 back to 27.5 but now back to 29. I’m not small at 6ft 3 and just feel more comfortable on the bigger wheels

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12/13/2017 3:22 PM

thom9719 wrote:

I went from 29 to 27.5, now I want to go back to 29. I liked the bigger wheel size. I thought the bike just fit better and felt correct size wise and didn't seem to have any difficulty with turning, jumping,or any BS like that. It was pretty much the same feeling as the first time I went from 26 to 27.5.

My next ride will be 29 again. Trails didn't seem to matter. Located in PNW, but rode all over the western half of the US/Canada. Big wheels were really fun on high speed stuff like Bend.

*for reference, I'm 6'3 though, so that probably plays a part.

-KT

EXACTLY the same scenario at the same time. Wow

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12/13/2017 3:23 PM

I went for a Kona P111 to a new Trance. While I really like the Trance, it's light, pedals well, great suspension, I can't help but think it would be better with the big wheels. I love the way the Process 111 handled, descended and I think a lot of that was the 29 inch wheels. It was just heavy and didn't pedal well.

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12/13/2017 4:00 PM

Common guys - everyone knows....once you go black, ya don't go back!

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12/13/2017 4:02 PM

My main bike is 27.5, my other main bike is 29/27.5+ and I still have my old 26er. I have almost everything covered, so I basically just ride what I feel like.

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12/13/2017 4:03 PM

thom9719 wrote:

I went from 29 to 27.5, now I want to go back to 29. I liked the bigger wheel size. I thought the bike just fit better and felt correct size wise and didn't seem to have any difficulty with turning, jumping,or any BS like that. It was pretty much the same feeling as the first time I went from 26 to 27.5.

My next ride will be 29 again. Trails didn't seem to matter. Located in PNW, but rode all over the western half of the US/Canada. Big wheels were really fun on high speed stuff like Bend.

*for reference, I'm 6'3 though, so that probably plays a part.

-KT

AGR97 wrote:

EXACTLY the same scenario at the same time. Wow

I am in the same boat (29" to 27.5" - sold the 27.5" and went back to riding my 29").

Bikes: Evil Following / Evil Calling
Height: 6'3"

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12/13/2017 4:32 PM

Had a 27.5, bought a 29er, now back on a 27.5.

I just buy whatever I get a good deal on, man. Leave the wheel size debates to the dorks and go ride whatever you can.

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12/13/2017 5:19 PM

Rode a 29" in 2013 and haven't been off one since. Every time I ride a 650b it feels slow and on rather than in (BB drop).

174cm.

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12/13/2017 5:24 PM

thom9719 wrote:

I went from 29 to 27.5, now I want to go back to 29. I liked the bigger wheel size. I thought the bike just fit better and felt correct size wise and didn't seem to have any difficulty with turning, jumping,or any BS like that. It was pretty much the same feeling as the first time I went from 26 to 27.5.

My next ride will be 29 again. Trails didn't seem to matter. Located in PNW, but rode all over the western half of the US/Canada. Big wheels were really fun on high speed stuff like Bend.

*for reference, I'm 6'3 though, so that probably plays a part.

-KT

I did the same thing. I was in the market for an enduro race bike, coming off of a Specialized camber 29er. I Demo'ed a Stumpjumper FSR comp 27.5 to get a feel for the wheel size. Seeing that I am only 5'7 I thought I would feel better on the smaller wheel size, but it was the complete opposite! The only advantage the smaller wheels had in my opinion was over jumps and tighter corners. when it came to any chunk or slight uphill, I felt like I was being pulled back down. Im currently in eastern PA so the rocks are, well, everywhere. I found that I hit more rocks with my pedals in one 2 hour ride on the 27.5 than I have ever on a 29er. I eventually settled upon a 2017 Stumpy FSR expert 29er, a little tough to corner on tight stuff, but (in my opinion) better suited to my style of riding.

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12/13/2017 5:43 PM

I was on a 2011 Specialized Enduro Pro (26") for 8 years. Loved it. It was recently totalled in a car / rack accident. Super bummed. I decided to replace it with the new Nomad (actually the Stega as it has a lighter shim stack). I am 5'5" 135-140lbs. I didn't feel 29 was a good fit for me as I like a playful bike (drops, jumps, tech) and I am not very strong, nor very fast. Granted, every bike is a compromise and I may have made a bad choice. I keep remembering Laurie Greenland rode all three wheel sizes prior to Andorra and was fastest on his 26" Summum - he just didn't race it due to some tire / wheel issue - and he is around my size.

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12/13/2017 5:44 PM

I can't really contribute, but as a bystander here, I'm curious to see if there is a trend in this conversation regarding rider height/inseam (I have a theory). Interesting to hear this feedback from the consumer side of things v. the "pro" side of coin (DH, Enduro, or XC).

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12/13/2017 6:06 PM

no, but I did go from 26 to 26 and back to 26 (on a 650b frame though). I think I like the 26 the best and will be sticking with it.

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12/13/2017 6:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/13/2017 7:01 PM

Stuck on 26s. I was thinking about this today, and I've also never had; a clutch derailleur, narrow wide chain ring, boost spacing or more than nine gears. Oh, and anything less than a 20mm front through axle.

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12/13/2017 9:56 PM

I’ll get in on this. I am short at 5’6” I live in the Salt Lake area and ride a lot of smoother singletrack. In the last two years I have owned a Santa Cruz Bronson (27.5) a Specialized StumpJumper 29, a Yeti SB5 and I am currently on a bike I will call my favorite so far, the Pivot Mach 5.5. All bikes in a very similar category. I feel faster, and more confident in nasty, rough terrain, on a 29er. If I were to buy a bike for Moab, Southern Utah, Arizona or Vegas I would buy a 29er for the added roll over in rough terrain. If I were getting a bike to race competitively I would likely lean toward a 29er for its ability to carry speed in all but the tightest of trails. BUT, I have more fun and find the 27.5 wheels to be more playful. So I will keep putting my money into that wheel size, particularly with the 2.6 tires that are popping up. That’s my jam.

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12/14/2017 1:20 AM
Edited Date/Time: 12/14/2017 1:22 AM

AGR97 wrote:

I have understood the question but think worth mentioning I’ve gone the other way, went 26 to 29 back to 27.5 but now back to 29. I’m not small at 6ft 3 and just feel more comfortable on the bigger wheels

Mee too: 5' 8" /174cm:

2011 Santa Cruz Butcher 26 / Speci Stumpjumper 26 -->sold/broken
2013 Speci Enduro 29 comp --> sold
2015 Santa Cruz Nomad C XO1 (27.5") --> sold
2017 Yeti SB5.5 Custom / soon Santa Cruz HighTower Custom (2 bike sharing with girlfriend)

We just feel more comfy and save on 29er.. --> faster

only reason to keep the nomad would be bikepark or shuttle trails




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12/14/2017 1:37 AM

Same here too.

I'm 1,8m tall (5'9). I've been riding a Banshee Spitfire 2015 and 2017 (27,5) for three years and recently added a 29er xc/marathon from Canyon.
It was my first try ever at a 29er and it was an eye-opening experience. Like having your first adult bike. The grip and traction especially in the front wheel when braking is mind blowing. Swap the 180mm rotors straight away to 200 on the front just to match the grip. All my trails feel tame, event with 110mm of rear wheel travel.

I can't even imagine how monstruous it could be on a 140 to 160 mm platform. My Banshee is the best bike I've ever had, but damn those big wheels makes me thinks about a new rig! Having a YT tues, I wonder what would be left of it against a 29er enduro except in the nastiest dowhnills...

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12/14/2017 1:38 AM

Moved to 29 a while back, expected all companies to release sick new aggressive 29ers this years but pretty bummed so many 27.5 have been announced. I borrowed a canyon strive (27.5) for a few days, it felt good, but was slower than my enduro 29 and now YT jeffsy 29.

I would like a bigger bike than the Jeffsy, but there are only a few options in 29 (specialized, trek or orbea look good, but the price is a joke), so almost tempted to get something like the very highly rated radon swoop and put 2.6 tyres on it. It just bums me out thinking it wont be the fastest bike it could be, and that none of my wheels and tyres will be transferable across to the jeffsy.

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12/14/2017 4:44 AM

I rode 27.5 bikes for the last four years and this May switched to a 29er. I have zero intentions of returning to a 27.5. That not say there are not some fantastic 27.5 bikes, but the pros for my riding with a 29 are not worth giving up.

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12/14/2017 5:20 AM

I'm 5'10 had a very light cube stereo 160mm travel 650b and a onone codeine average weight 130mm 29er. Used to(still do ish ha) treat every dh like a race stage so done plenty of back to back testing with times etc and they were pretty much identical on a average trail center dh. Cube would win by a mile on natural trails which half of my riding tends to be on.
That led me to purchase a new 650b carbon tranny patrol over purchasing a newer 29. Test rode a whyte 150 29 a few weeks ago mind and it was easily the fastest bike I've swung a leg over on a trail center, unfortunately i didn't get a chance to ride it on natural trails which gives me plenty sleepless nights haha.

All purchases are based on speed and confidence the bike gives me on a wide variety of trails and so far the 650b bikes I've ridden tick the box's more than the 29s.

As said above the modern enduro based 29ers are mainly from the expensive brands and are silly money for mediocre builds, maybe when YT, Canyon??(29er strive must be on the way......), whyte the 150 is reasonably priced ish although things would need to be changed immediately, make well specked reasonably priced longer travel 29ers ill be in....

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12/14/2017 5:59 AM

Yes. The 29er was a pig in the air. Pretty good everywhere else but I love me some jumps. It was good at landing though, you could land in a rock garden without even a flinch.

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12/14/2017 6:14 AM

Multiple times.

29er's were great on the majority of trail I rode, however I missed a longer travel 27.5 when riding technical/tight trail, so I ultimately landed back on my 160mm Banshee Rune which for me provided the best all around ride for me and my surrounding trails.

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12/14/2017 6:18 AM

It may be helpful if people list their height as well as their wheel size preference.

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12/14/2017 6:40 AM

29er Jeffsy. Im 5'8 and I have no problems jumping, turning (in the non Conor Fearon mortals way) or doing most anything else on it. Have a 27.5 demo and the 29er is noticeably faster. Yes I wish it had a little more travel but this isn't very frequent and definitely isn't such an issue that id consider moving to a different wheelsize.

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12/14/2017 7:34 AM

I tested the bigger wheels on my bike last summer and was blown away with the extra speed and how easy it went over stuff. I didn't find much of difference in handling. The only thing that is on my mind is whether or not strength seeing as I can't run boost on my bike. Will probably buy a pair of wheels for next season. Also I fail to see how wheel size has anything to do with height. You can have long reach bike with small wheels and vice versa.
Here are my stats:
Height: 180cm (5'11")
Reach: 520mm
Wheelbase: 1340mm
Chainstays: 460mm

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12/14/2017 8:01 AM

I just came off a 29er (Yeti SB95) and am now on my first 27.5 (Transition Patrol). I'm 5'11", FYI. The 29er rolled slightly better over rough ground, but the 27.5 just feels right for some reason. The Patrol is longer travel, yet I'm closer to the ground; the bike just feels more maneuverable and natural (I've been riding MTBs since the 1980s, so I was extremely used to 26" wheels).

One thing that was important to me was BB drop; I like the BB lower than the hubs. I never get the feeling of being tossed over the bars. The 29er was good, this particular 27.5 is great (Patrol). I find myself, at 47 years old, doing things I've never done before on the Patrol. Sure, it doesn't roll as fast, but at my age I'm not winning any uphill KOMs.

I'm sticking with 27.5, but won't ever rule out 29ers.

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12/14/2017 8:01 AM

At 5’10” I love riding bikes of every wheel size, still on a Yeti sb66 size med, and this year built up a 27.5 transition Trans Am, large. I’ve rode many bikes of all wheel sizes and my preference is 27.5 for its playfulness an versitility on pumptracks, dirt jumps and so on. But the bikes that changed my mind on 29ers are the transition smuggler, and yeti 5.5, both were amazing and faster for trail riding. That said my next bike will hopefully be the upcoming SBG equipped carbon Transition Scout. Test ride one if you can.

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12/14/2017 8:18 AM

GeorgeFredBobRon wrote:

29er Jeffsy. Im 5'8 and I have no problems jumping, turning (in the non Conor Fearon mortals way) or doing most anything else on it. Have a 27.5 demo and the 29er is noticeably faster. Yes I wish it had a little more travel but this isn't very frequent and definitely isn't such an issue that id consider moving to a different wheelsize.

I was riding a Mega 290 with a 64° HA 46mm offset. The chain stays are 450mm on those so the thing was quite long (1220mm wheelbase on a medium iirc). I am 5’6”. It was great at high velocity as you can imagine. But the high axles, slack HA and shorter offset created way too much wheel flop for my liking (makes me doubt the SBG bikes, especially the Sentinel but I guess if you only ride at Mach chicken then maybe it’ll work). Also hated the gyroscopic effect of the larger wheels in the air (again this is worst at lower speeds, on steeper DJ type jumps. On high velocity booters it can help stabilise the bike in the air though throwing shapes takes more effort).
I would really like to try a 29er with a shorter wheelbase. Agile geometry and big stable wheels could be a great combo. Still think it’d piss me off on jumps but that feeling of taking off into the complete unknown and knowing you’ll be fine was pretty hilarious. The big wheels just roll over anything.

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12/14/2017 8:25 AM

For me it's always back to 29". It's worth noting that I'm 6'5" and i just haven't found a 27.5" bike that was truely the right fit for me and my riding style. Although I do have to mention that at Vital MTB test sessions (RIP) last year, the 27.5" Pivot Firebird had me all giddy... That bike was a true mini DH bike. All the stability of a 29er, and the fit spot on for #ganglymoose like myself.

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