Is there any future at all for the 26 wheel?

hamster

Retro Wizard
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fearfactoryüberalles":s0n40l0f said:
hamster":s0n40l0f said:
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.

Hmm, could you be a bit more specific about overhauling the bearings on UN91 BBs, please? I've only met with "bearing balls located directly in axle'groove" type Shimano old-school cartridge sq.taper BBs so far, thus redering these parts FUBAR/broken when opened by any special method on earth.

Maybe the UN90 series used generic, removable cartridge bearings?

Exactly as you describe - UN9x series can be dismantled and the bearings swapped, all others cannot.
 

fearfactoryüberalles

Senior Retro Guru
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"Exactly as you describe - UN9x series can be dismantled and the bearings swapped, all others cannot."

I'm still puzzled by this "bearing swap" option since all XTR sq. BBs seem to have "monoblock" housing as UN7x-UN5x etc., BBs do. How are you supposed to remove the bearings from it then without damaging the housing permanently?
 

Woz

Senior Retro Guru
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fearfactoryüberalles":yc22up76 said:
"Exactly as you describe - UN9x series can be dismantled and the bearings swapped, all others cannot."

I'm still puzzled by this "bearing swap" option since all XTR sq. BBs seem to have "monoblock" housing as UN7x-UN5x etc., BBs do. How are you supposed to remove the bearings from it then without damaging the housing permanently?

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=178735

...something for you to try over winter :xmas-wink:
 

CassidyAce

Senior Retro Guru
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26 has lost its niche to 27.5 and 29. It needs a new niche to make a comeback. That could be a new fad, fashion or form of fun. In some ways, single speed is a backwards step, but it has a niche in the market. Gravel bikes are not radically new but there's clearly s niche. Fully rigid steel mountain bikes have appeared from Marin and Genesis in recent years: perhaps a step back, but perhaps a new niche. If the good old 26 can fill a new niche in the market, it will come back. It might just be a fashion for a retro look: Bobbin have built a whole business based on bikes with a vintage look to them. I can't see 26 reclaiming its former dominance in the MTB market but it could easily find a new place in the market.

When looking at the whole wheel sizes debate a few years ago before getting a 27.5, I came across a comment on some forum saying that 27.5 was just a bit less nimble, a bit less flickable, a bit less fun. And so I have found it. 26 will come back in some guise if it can offer more fun.
 

M-Power

Old School Grand Master
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^ Good post.

The iconic artisan bikes from the 80/90s will never be recreated to the exact same standards again imo. Many tubesets were custom spec and no longer made and the expertise and time consuming processes just too costly to recreate today. Sadly apart from most of us, few modern generation riders appreciate just how good these ‘old’ bikes are to ride - yet. It takes more skill to carefully pic a line rather than just blasting over everything on a modern full sus rig and thats more satisfying for many of us.
 

Duxuk

Retro Guru
Motorcycle wheels have changed in size over the years, yet you can still easily get a good choice of tyres. I just hope that this is replicated with 26" MTB wheels. I've realised whilst looking for an amber walled tyre to replace my front Velociraptor that NOS may be my only choice. Rubber ages so I'm not that keen.
 

legrandefromage

Bin Monkey
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Dont get hung up on amberwall tyres. God knows how they took so much precedence, many bikes were offered with blackwall and as long as you can stand the shouty decals, there's still a good supply.

So few older tyres worked out in the real world anyway, but if someone does have a Wolber hanging around to pair with my lonely one or a set of Tioga Trail Dawgs, I'm all ears! :xmas-big-grin:
 
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