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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:26 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:26 pm
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Location: French Alps
Quote:
the best new tyres aren't coming out in 26 though

That's what the industry wants you to think. However, the major manufacturers are still listing 26" tyres for pretty much all their ranges, but you might not be able to get them over the counter in halfrauds. Bike shops don't want to sell you 26" tyres, they want to sell you a 27.5" bike.


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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:36 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:08 pm 
King of the DuckBoard
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 12:30 pm
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Location: Riding a 26er
tufty wrote:
Quote:
the best new tyres aren't coming out in 26 though

That's what the industry wants you to think. However, the major manufacturers are still listing 26" tyres for pretty much all their ranges, but you might not be able to get them over the counter in halfrauds. Bike shops don't want to sell you 26" tyres, they want to sell you a 27.5" bike.



Agree. Conti make excellent tyres for 26. via crc Race King and Mud King. 'Extralite' sell ultra light 26'' wheel sets for £1000 for V's or disc. eBay is the best for forks. Carbon and light for about £100


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:28 pm
Posts: 1332
Location: Almeria, Spain
In the fleet there is a 1992 26"solid, a 26" long forked hardtail, a 29er long forked hardtail, and a 29er XC carbon whipitt but my go to bike is a 26" F S from 2006. They all get ridden but the full sus is my go to bike these days as it's the most fun and would probably be my answer to "if you could only have one bike". Oh did I mention that it was an Orange? :|

Getting decent 26 inch tyres and straight steerer forks may be a problem in the future though.

I tried a mates 650 Cotic Rocket last week (my first 27.5 ride). It climbed and dropped like it's namesake. Surprisingly it's + size tyres had almost the same diameter as my 29 XC tyres.


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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:26 pm
Posts: 403
Location: French Alps
Industry hype aside, though, I'm almost certain I'm not a good enough rider to be able to take advantage of the differences in wheel sizes.

I did a back to back of my Sunn against a mate's Merida 29er (both semi-rigid, his has a 100mm Suntour XCM up front compared to my 80mm Skarebs) and couldn't really tell the difference beyond weight (his bike was heavy) and component difference - his brakes were better, forks were worse. *Maybe* the 29er went through the big chunky stuff a bit faster, but was that wheel size, tyre volume, slack(er) geometry, fork travel or all of the above? And anyway, when confronted with small, fast bumps his fork shat itself and nearly threw me over the bars more than once. Preferred my Sunn, but it's what I know. He preferred his bike, thought mine felt too small.


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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Porto / Plymouth
To add fuel to the fire, I'll report the preliminary results from my little 'experiment'. This week I rode an identical 22K off road course, with 540 m total ascent, on the same bike under identical trail conditions and very similar (dry, warm) conditions. I even ate the same breakfast and lunch, ate the same food during the ride, and carried the same volume of water in my Camelbak. The bike is a rigid Dynatech MT4 with 3x8 gearing and v-brakes, and a Girvin flex stem up front.

The only things I knowingly changed were the tyres: 26x2.35 Maxxis Ignitor + Larsen TT (33 PSI) on ride 1, and 1.8 Panaracer XC (37 PSI) Fire on ride 2. The resulting difference in wheel diameter is close to 1.1 inches (26.7" vs 25.6"), which is very close to the difference between 26 and 650b for the same tyre width (e.g., 27.2 for 650bx2.1 and 26.2 for 26x2.1).

Of course, there will always be variables that are beyond my control. On the second day I was less well rested, as I'd had only 48s of recovery from the first ride, and I felt I hadn't got fully rehydrated. The tyres have different volumes, pressure, tread patterns, and rolling resistance coefficients.

The route has a mix of hardpack, gravel, bedrock and stones, and the climbs have average gradients of about 7%, with shorter steep sections that are still rideable.

My expectation was that 26x2.35s would be more comfortable, and would climb faster due to their extra grip and their ability to roll over bumps more easily, maintaining forward momentum. I also expected the 2.35s to be faster on the descents. However, the initial results do not confirm all of these prejudices.

Although I climbed faster on the 2.35s (23.27 min vs 23.43 min), I was only 9.6 seconds quicker (0.7%). On flat, pedally sections there was zero difference, and on the downhill sections I was about 4% faster.

This was quite a surprise, because if the marketing hype is to be believed, 26 is pants and 650b is amazing and faster and well worth upgrading to. Perhaps 26.7 really is faster than 25.6, and a number of factors such as tyre traction and rolling resistance have almost exactly canceled out the intrinsic speed differences... but that seems a bit unlikely.

So it's a bit premature to make a definite conclusion, but I haven't seen any really significant speed benefit from having 1 inch bigger wheels.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 8:03 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:13 pm
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Location: Skipton
As I mentioned before, no one size is best and all offer different characteristics. It’s up to you which suits you best. Bigger suits me but i’d struggle to pick one between 650b and 29”.


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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm
Posts: 1721
Location: Porto / Plymouth
My LBS just lent me a half-decent Carbon 29er while they sort an issue on mt Dynatech's drivetrain, so I'll be able to do a couple of speed tests on 29" wheels next week. How exciting for me.


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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 8:24 pm 
GOLD | PoTM | Rider | rBOTM
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Location: Northest North Yorkshire. whippet real good...
Are you moist?


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 Post subject: Re: So is it 26 or 27.5"
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2018 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:57 pm
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Location: Porto / Plymouth
I'm more concerned that a 29er will make me want to give up on retrobikes.


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