Is there any future at all for the 26 wheel?

Titiritero

Retro Guru
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brocklanders023":3gu23rcv said:
Don’t think you all need to worry anyway, you can still buy every part you might need in 26” flavour.

Agreed. At least in Germany shops are still well stocked on 26" stuff. Let's not forget there are 30+ years of 26" bikes going around, while 27.5" is only 4 years old (and we'll see for how long) and 29" is 10 years old. Even now it's not hard to find 27" stuff, a format that disappeared in the early 80's.

I also agree the small difference from 26 to 27.5 makes this size redundant, and proof is that it doesn't sell too well, relegated only to small sizes. Manufacturers probably regret having killed the 26" for 27.5" as now they have to keep two half-dead standards.
 

ultrazenith

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A lot of tourers / trekkers still use 26 and Shimano still offers modernised oldschool semi-groupsets like the T-series, which I expect will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.
 

Baulz

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brocklanders023":2vbdy5ob said:
Don’t think you all need to worry anyway, you can still buy every part you might need in 26” flavour.

But are high end parts still available? Does anyone still make a 26" suspension fork, with 1 1/8 steerer and QR dropouts? That's where I worry about parts supply long term and have started hoarding when possible like many of us here.

There will always be cheap 26" parts to buy, just like you can still get a low end 8 speed cassette. 5 bolt 94mm chainrings are getting scarce though.
 

brocklanders023

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Last time I looked Suntour still did 1 1/8th qr 26" forks. As said above, they may not be the best on the market but they will be as good as any you've ever been able to get in that size.
 

Woz

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There's another point to this debate. Rim brake or disk? I think Baulz nailed the problem in his post.
 

tintin40

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Baulz

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My favorite and most used bike for the past 10 years is a 26" wheel v-brake Chinese carbon hardtail. Over time I slowly got it down to 18.3lbs, it's scary to ride when you're not used to it. Fork is a noodle, brakes barely work, gearing is limited. But man oh man it is fun, and I can keep up with any modern bike on the trails around here.

But the last couple years I've thought of stripping it down and spreading the parts to other bikes like my 6 year olds 20"er. I feel like I'm one part failure away from the bike being done, the Kooka BB finally gave up and it took me a year to get a Race Face cromo axle BB in to replace it. I have a few old UN-52's but the bike deserves better than that. With kids and a fleet of 10 bikes (just for me) it's hard to justify spending big money on replacement parts knowing something else may wear our next.

With all that said I started riding my 1999 Homegrown 4Banger around the neighbourhood with the kids this past year. No concerns about wearing it out on these short easy rides, so at least I still get to spend time on a 26er.
 

madjh

Yeti Fan
Re: Re:

Baulz":240ovwec said:
brocklanders023":240ovwec said:
Don’t think you all need to worry anyway, you can still buy every part you might need in 26” flavour.

But are high end parts still available? Does anyone still make a 26" suspension fork, with 1 1/8 steerer and QR dropouts? That's where I worry about parts supply long term and have started hoarding when possible like many of us here.

There will always be cheap 26" parts to buy, just like you can still get a low end 8 speed cassette. 5 bolt 94mm chainrings are getting scarce though.

Not easy to find but my new built a NOS 2006 Element has been built with a 2018-2019 Reba, rock shox still made good 26" forks and for wheels ... custom made CK and alpine rims, the wheel set was a problem. Not easy to find a Easton or Mavic top range in 26" only Cross ride in mavic. The other componets are compatible. The handlebars are still made in 600mm (Ritchey superlogic). Even the rear shox is from 2018-2019 fox.

This bicycle is amazing how it works and feels. For me it is perfect.
 

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hamster

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Baulz":8zwu2tay said:
I feel like I'm one part failure away from the bike being done, the Kooka BB finally gave up and it took me a year to get a Race Face cromo axle BB in to replace it. I have a few old UN-52's but the bike deserves better than that. With kids and a fleet of 10 bikes (just for me) it's hard to justify spending big money on replacement parts knowing something else may wear our next.

I'm puzzled about what you say: the Kooka BB I have uses stock industrial bearings, available from any bearing factor for around £5. Likewise the Shimano UN91 can be repaired in the same way. UN72s seem to last me upwards of 10,000 miles.

I've swapped to Phil Wood and Superstar hubs on my main ride, which take stock bearings, although I had to retire the Hope rear hub on my singlespeed after I bent the axle...but it was 25 years old.
 

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