Mountain biking, which is the best wheel size for a #mountain bike? The traditional 26 inch, the 27.5 or the larger 29 inch wheel ?
The arrival of the 27.50 (650b) wheel size few year back has added further debate to an already dynamic industry and confusion among consumers. It's a debate that generate fierce opinions, with strong advocates of all three wheel sizes.. Scott was the first big brand to embrace the "in between" wheelsize when it launched Genius trail bike models, followed by Spark and Scale ranges. Iconic American brand GT, Giant, Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Silverback, Momsen.
Few words on the 26 inch wheels..with their smaller diameter and shorter spokes, all else being equal, a 26 inch wheel will be stronger, lighter which makes for snappier acceleration. Handling is usually very nimble with little inertia to get in the way of rapid direction changes. However it tend to clatter into bumps and roll less smoothly than the other wheel sizes. Advantages of 27.5 wheel size over the 29 wheel, stiffer, more responsive frame. Less geometry limitation to allow more suspension travel options. Lighter weight and faster acceleration. Advantages of 29 wheel size over the 27.5 wheel, better obstacle roll-over, bigger tyre traction contact patch.
Ride a 27.5 wheel size if you are small to medium sized, if you like steep or technical trails, race Cross-country or Enduro. Ride a 29 wheel size if you are Medium to extra large sized, you ride marathons and stage races, ride dirt roads and uncomplicated trails.
After all wheel size is like wine it is very personal, "It is like a shoe size. What is comfortable for one isn't necessarily comfortable for another"
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