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Mountain Bicycle Wheel Size Choice

Tags: Jamis wheel size 26", 27.5" , 750,

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Mountain Bicycle wheel size 26, 27.5 (650b), 29”?

Advantages of 29”:

  1. Easier to get over rocks logs. If your weakness is tough terrain even if you are short and or light then this might be the best choice. If your scared of tough terrain best choice! Great for beginner riders scared of tough terrain.
  2. More surface area so better climbing on slick rock.
  3. Lower rolling resistance so faster on roads and straight aways which is important if you have a long road ride before the trails.
  4. Less chance of flats due to larger point of contact.
  5. Quickest acceleration between trees and tight turns.
  6. Really good for heavy and tall riders.
  7. The wheel has lots of momentum so once you get it going fast you just need to keep it up to speed.
  8. Because the bottom bracket is below the axles the bicycle is much more stable.
  9. Great for fast downhill riding - lots of stability.
  10. Perceived feeling of more stability because of the gyroscopic effect of large wheels with momentum.

Disadvantages of 29”

  1. Longer wheel base so slow around corners. And tough through tight winding tree slalom trails.
  2. Slow acceleration and deceleration.
  3. More expensive then 26er bicycles.
  4. Heaviest of the three so tough for long climbing. Not as bad if it is short climbs that you can keep your momentum up.
  5. More expensive parts if you break a rim or spokes or have a flat tire. But having said that the whole industry has 29ers so this is becoming less significant over time.
  6. Hi Stand over height so if you have short legs might not be the best choice.
  7. Slowest on roads (if your light weight not a big issue).
  8. To get them as light as 26” bicycle you have to spend a lot of money - carbon fibre. If you got the money then sometimes a great choice.

Advantages of 26”

  1. Usually you can get a great deal on an older model so you get the best parts for the money.
  2. Easily available parts if you are travelling and less money for them.
  3. Best for short and or light weight riders.
  4. Lightest of the three bicycles. If you run up steep hills with the bicycle on your shoulder then this is the best choice.
  5. Low stand over height so good if you have short legs.
  6. Best Acceleration of the three even though 650 is close so great on switch back, tight corners and through trees and slalom.

Disadvantages of 26”

  1. Slow on roads and straights especially when you weigh a lot.
  2. Bad traction uphill.
  3. Worst over Rocks logs transitional riding.
  4. Worst for downhill.
  5. Slowest on straight aways and road riding.
  6. Highest chance for flats.
  7. Worst for stability.

Advantages of a 27.5 650b in the Jamis Line up. Jamis is the best to go with as they have the most experience and other lines have hi stand over height and geometry that is not fine tuned.

  1. Same wheelbase so they are as quick around turns.
  2. They are great to go over rock and logs almost as good as a 29er.
  3. They have low stand over heights the same as 26”.
  4. They accelerate around corners the same as a 26” bicycle.
  5. Mid weight maybe a bit more then the 26” bicycle.
  6. As your bottom bracket is below the wheel axles the bicycle is more stable then 26”.
  7. Great on fast downhills.
  8. Great choice even if your short tall or heavy.
  9. Really the best choice of the three wheel size bicycles. Unless you are really tall and heavy or short and light this is the best choice.

Disadvantage of the 27.5” or 650 or 650b pretty much the same.

  1. Can be expensive as it has been out for about 4 years. It is getting put in less expensive bicycles especially in 2014.
  2. Parts can be harder to find then both 29 and 26” plus more expensive. Rim, Spokes, Tires and Inner tubes however less significant in the future.

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