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Switch from 29 to 27.5?

Old 10-01-20, 01:32 PM
  #1  
Broid
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Switch from 29 to 27.5?

New to mountain biking, still road biking, and recently picked up an Intense Primer with some nice parts, including Spank 345 Trail tubeless alloy wheels. Thinking about switching to 27.5, would like to feel my bike a bit lower overall as the 29's make for a very tall bike. Medium size frame is right, but the wheels make it feel much larger. My question, is that an odd thing to do? So many 29'rs out there now and not sure if 29's are really important for me as a total mtb noob. So, is that a dumb switch? And, anybody out there want to sell some 27.5's or swap for my 29's as part of the deal?
Thanks in advance...
Brian
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Old 10-01-20, 02:49 PM
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Nope, not odd. 27.5 still has a ton of bike, tire and wheel support. There are new 27.5 bikes coming out now as we speak. There is a reason for that, people still demand 27.5 bikes. 27.5 seems to get up and go for technical climbs, easier to navigate on tight switchbacks, easier to correct when picking lines, and so on. 29s are faster, but not all of us are racing in the EWS.
That being said, if I were to pick up a bike, I would stick with it assuming the fit is okay. I am not sure why you feel like you are on top of the bike if the reach is okay. Is the reach off? Do you have a dropper post to shift weight around during descents? There is a little bit of "on top of feeling" with most bikes when the post is raised for climbing. It's just the way it is. Bike Mag and others call this the "hover bike" feeling.
My current bike is a 27.5. My next bike will most likely be a 29...but the bike after that might go back.
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Old 10-01-20, 03:13 PM
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Most who get a second wheelset in 27.5 go wider. Plus size has some advantages off road, and you won't lose as much bottom bracket height. If you need the width, you won't notice the added weight. If you don't need the wider tires they will feel slow to accelerate. Frame geometry generally trumps wheel sized for handling feel. My Pugsley with a 26x4 front and 27.5x 2.5 rear is quicker steering than my Monocog 29er, as counterintuitive as it sounds. My Fargo has the widest tallest tires I could get on it (29x3 and 29x2.5) just to keep from hanging pedals everywhere because of the low bottom bracket.

I choose the width of tire I want to ride for the trail, I have all three wheel sizes. The diameter usually doesn't make as much difference as some think.
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Old 10-01-20, 03:41 PM
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Thanks both of you. Faster is not an issue for me, I'm mostly a light trail rider at this point and the 29's feel large and unruly. Wider or lower is not going to be an issue as much as making the bike more nimble and easier to ride for me. At least that's my goal and I'm just thinking the switch to 27.5 will give a good nudge in that direction...
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Old 10-01-20, 04:10 PM
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Some people are more sensitive to how each part differs. My boss can ride anything, slay the trail and climb like a champ, but he can barely tell me how one bike felt different.
I would suggest demo'ing a bike if buying new. I'm concerned you feel strongly connected to how 29s feel ungainly. Remember that most XC bikes are 29 now. In fact, it's hard to find one designed in the past few years that isn't a 29 (different story with trail bikes). And most XC riders would call their trails "light" in features and would describe their bikes as nimble and race car twitchy.
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Old 10-01-20, 04:54 PM
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I already own the bike, bought an Intense Primer from a local guy on CL. Really sweet bike, just looking for adjustments based on my experiences riding it so far...





Originally Posted by beermode View Post
Some people are more sensitive to how each part differs. My boss can ride anything, slay the trail and climb like a champ, but he can barely tell me how one bike felt different.
I would suggest demo'ing a bike if buying new. I'm concerned you feel strongly connected to how 29s feel ungainly. Remember that most XC bikes are 29 now. In fact, it's hard to find one designed in the past few years that isn't a 29 (different story with trail bikes). And most XC riders would call their trails "light" in features and would describe their bikes as nimble and race car twitchy.
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Old 10-01-20, 08:14 PM
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You shouldn't just slap 27.5 wheels on a 29er bike, it will throw all the geo out of whack. If nothing else your lower BB height will be annoying as hell, pedal strikes left and right. Just keep riding it as a 29er for awhile and it will stop feeling weird. If you want a 27.5er then you need a new bike.
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Old 10-02-20, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Canker View Post
You shouldn't just slap 27.5 wheels on a 29er bike, it will throw all the geo out of whack. If nothing else your lower BB height will be annoying as hell, pedal strikes left and right. Just keep riding it as a 29er for awhile and it will stop feeling weird. If you want a 27.5er then you need a new bike.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-02-20, 01:11 PM
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There are threads all over the place of people going to 27.5, or going to a B9er with the 27.5 in back. Some like it, some hate it.

No one can tell you if you will like it or not. As for pedal strikes, a lot depends on how light the trails are that you ride. You need something on the trail to strike first.

If you can find a decent set of 27.5 wheels pretty cheap, try it and see if you like it.

John
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Old 10-02-20, 02:17 PM
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Most of the people putting 27.5 wheels on 29ers are putting 27.5+ tires on those wheels so there is very little difference in the diameter between the two. The rest are running 27.5 just in the rear and usually for some specific use like downhill racing.

Last edited by Canker; 10-02-20 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 10-03-20, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Broid View Post
I already own the bike, bought an Intense Primer from a local guy on CL. Really sweet bike, just looking for adjustments based on my experiences riding it so far...
Sweet ride, but we need a photo to be sure.

here's mine
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Old 10-05-20, 11:08 AM
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Intense Primer in the wild

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Old 10-05-20, 11:17 AM
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I still ride a "regular" hard tail mountain bike with 26" wheels as that was all there was when I bought it. I would like to upgrade to a full suspension and would probably go with 27.5" over 29". My understanding is that while the larger wheels make it easier to go over things there is some sacrifice in handling. I like that the 27.5" wheels offer a nice middle spot between obstacle clearance and technical handling.
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Old 10-05-20, 11:32 AM
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29's do take a while to get used to. I did find that running a slightly narrower bar brought back the steering speed that was more inline with what a 27.5 felt like. You might want to try moving your grips and everything in around 10mm per side & see if that feels more normal.
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Old 10-05-20, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Broid View Post
I don't like SRAM, but I'd rather ride that, than any 27.5 bike.
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Old 10-05-20, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I don't like SRAM, but I'd rather ride that, than any 27.5 bike.


Thanks Noodle...
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