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27.5 vs 29

Old 12-31-22, 08:34 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
You were doing so good.

26 is not almost extinct it is still very much used maybe not as much as it was but it is not near extinction or close to dead.
650B is not going anywhere it is an old French size that became quite popular again and will still be around a while. If it were dying I wouldn't be using it and I am using it on my mountain bike and my commuter and have plans for a gravel bike down the road that is 650b/27.5.
29 is fine no complaints not necessarily royalty of any gender but a fine size.

For instance QBP a very large distributor of bicycle parts lists 151 models of 27.5 tires (Not all MTB some have different sizes under those models) and under 29" you get 154 models (again with a bit of a mix and different sizes under that model) and for 26" you get 168 models (same thing as before with maybe a bit more road stuff maybe only because 27.5 and 29 usually is MTB specific where 26 is a bit more catch all) so I think if things were dying and extinct or on life support there wouldn't be nearly an equal number of each tire. If Schwalbe, Panaracer, Continental, Kenda and Cheng Shin (owners of Maxxis and they make some low quality stuff under CST) stop making 26" and 27.5/650B then yes we know things are on the way out. Right now not so much.
In the USA MTB scene, 26" is dead and buried. I am going to show my elitism but go to any "real" MTB area and you will not see a single 26" MTB. They are all gone. Very few people who are real mountain bikers ride them. You will find the occasional "real" mountain biker that still rides a 26er - and they are generally very good riders, but rare.

27.5 in the MTB world is going the same way as 26ers. The new 29ers are as flixable as smaller wheels but with the added stability of the larger wheels.

And yes, I still ride a 26" MTB, a 27.5" MTB and a newer 29" MTB. They are all different and all fun but when I ride the 26er, I am usually the only one and generally the only one many have seen for years. Finding tires is a pain but I have a stash of 30 tires that I have as a backup.
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Old 01-01-23, 03:35 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by FREEBIRD1
I have all 3, on the trails the, 29 does not have as much tendency to wash out the front wheel, and is much smoother over the ruts. I don't notice much difference between the 26 and 27.5, they are "snappier" and have a sharper turning radius.
Which is true and also the 26 MTB is a much faster accelerating bike compared to 27.5 or 29, smaller sized wheels mean less weight, also some high end frames made with top quality tubing made back in the days when the models were 26 are now made with entry level or mid level quality tubing when proposed in 27.5 or 29.
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Old 01-01-23, 04:15 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
In the USA MTB scene, 26" is dead and buried. I am going to show my elitism but go to any "real" MTB area and you will not see a single 26" MTB. They are all gone. Very few people who are real mountain bikers ride them. You will find the occasional "real" mountain biker that still rides a 26er - and they are generally very good riders, but rare.

27.5 in the MTB world is going the same way as 26ers. The new 29ers are as flixable as smaller wheels but with the added stability of the larger wheels.

And yes, I still ride a 26" MTB, a 27.5" MTB and a newer 29" MTB. They are all different and all fun but when I ride the 26er, I am usually the only one and generally the only one many have seen for years. Finding tires is a pain but I have a stash of 30 tires that I have as a backup.
Interesting testimony in my area, I still see plenty of 26 MTBs but less than before. Finding tires for a 26 isn't a pain, you just need to look at the manufacturers proposing them:
Continental Trail King Protection Apex
Continental Mountain King Protection
Continental Cross King Protection
Continental Race King Protection
Hutchinson Python2
Hutchinson Gila
Hutchinson Toro
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Old 01-01-23, 04:59 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by georges1
Interesting testimony in my area, I still see plenty of 26 MTBs but less than before. Finding tires for a 26 isn't a pain, you just need to look at the manufacturers proposing them:
Continental Trail King Protection Apex
Continental Mountain King Protection
Continental Cross King Protection
Continental Race King Protection
Hutchinson Python2
Hutchinson Gila
Hutchinson Toro
Second part of my response for tires available in 26
Michelin Force XC
Michelin]Michelin Pilot Slope
Michelin DH34
Ritchey Z Max Evolution
Ritchey Comp Speedmax
Panaracer Soar All Conditions
Panaracer Swoop All Trail
Panaracer Comet Hard Pack
Panaracer Dart
Panaracer Smoke
Panaracer Fire XC Pro
Panaracer Cedric Garcia All Conditions
Schwalbe Magic Marry
Schwalbe Big Betty
Schwalbe Hans Dampf
Schwalbe Nobby Nic
Schwalbe Racing Ralph
Schwalbe Racing Ray
Schwalbe Rocket Ron
Manufacturers like Vittoria, Good Year, Pirelli and Vredestein don't even offer 26 sized tires. My best experience regarding MTB tires has been with Continental and Hutchinson. Schwalbe and Panaracer are some serious high quality tyres. Michelin had its glory back in the late 90's with the Wild Gripper lite S, not sure about their tires now . About Ritchey, a friend of mine love them but had some flats with them in a race. I only ride 26 sized MTBs, the last trail race I have been on three years ago, I was going faster with my 26 Kona than the other 27.5 and 29 MTBs.

Last edited by georges1; 01-01-23 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 01-01-23, 05:07 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
You were doing so good.

26 is not almost extinct it is still very much used maybe not as much as it was but it is not near extinction or close to dead.
650B is not going anywhere it is an old French size that became quite popular again and will still be around a while. If it were dying I wouldn't be using it and I am using it on my mountain bike and my commuter and have plans for a gravel bike down the road that is 650b/27.5.
29 is fine no complaints not necessarily royalty of any gender but a fine size.

For instance QBP a very large distributor of bicycle parts lists 151 models of 27.5 tires (Not all MTB some have different sizes under those models) and under 29" you get 154 models (again with a bit of a mix and different sizes under that model) and for 26" you get 168 models (same thing as before with maybe a bit more road stuff maybe only because 27.5 and 29 usually is MTB specific where 26 is a bit more catch all) so I think if things were dying and extinct or on life support there wouldn't be nearly an equal number of each tire. If Schwalbe, Panaracer, Continental, Kenda and Cheng Shin (owners of Maxxis and they make some low quality stuff under CST) stop making 26" and 27.5/650B then yes we know things are on the way out. Right now not so much.
You are correct about 26MTBs being not as popular as before but still popular and some vintage 26 MTB frames fetch high prices, I keep my 26 MTB bikes preciously because of the higher quality tubing especially when it came to steel frames, more interesting paint schemes and many other things.I tried a 29 and 27.5, those weren't for me.
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Old 01-01-23, 05:35 AM
  #31  
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Sure some of the tire manufacturers still make quality 26 inch tires but the selection of sizes has gotten way smaller than what it used to be. I remember days when I could walk into any LBS and find tons of different tires in 26 inch size. Today I would be lucky if I can find one or two, anything 26 inch is special order or they don't make them anymore.
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Old 01-01-23, 06:28 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by georges1
Interesting testimony in my area, I still see plenty of 26 MTBs but less than before. Finding tires for a 26 isn't a pain, you just need to look at the manufacturers proposing them:
Continental Trail King Protection Apex
Continental Mountain King Protection
Continental Cross King Protection
Continental Race King Protection
Hutchinson Python2
Hutchinson Gila
Hutchinson Toro
I mountain bike primarily in the NC (Pisgah/ Dupont) and in the Philadelphia region (Fair Hill/Wiss/ Sals). Not sure where you live. Except for people riding old 26" HT, with flat pedals and sneakers, I don't see anyone on a 26er (except for me). Once, in the lake imaging parking lot at Dupont, there were maybe 50-60 cars, 100's of bikes and I was the only one with a 26er. I was looking because my son rides my IBIS when we ride together and he thinks I am slow because of the bike (he is 20 and I am not!).

I still mostly ride my old Turner 5-Spot in most places. I have modified it to be able to run 27.5 wheels (with 2.4" tires) but honestly, there is little difference between the 26 and 27.5 ride feel and I swamp them out all the time. The list of people making tires is great but no LBS carries good 26" tires any more. A lot of on-line retailers still have them and that is great - especially those in Europe.

Last edited by vespasianus; 01-01-23 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 01-01-23, 08:53 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by georges1
Second part of my response for tires available in 26
Michelin Force XC
Michelin]Michelin Pilot Slope
Michelin DH34
Ritchey Z Max Evolution
Ritchey Comp Speedmax
Panaracer Soar All Conditions
Panaracer Swoop All Trail
Panaracer Comet Hard Pack
Panaracer Dart
Panaracer Smoke
Panaracer Fire XC Pro
Panaracer Cedric Garcia All Conditions
Schwalbe Magic Marry
Schwalbe Big Betty
Schwalbe Hans Dampf
Schwalbe Nobby Nic
Schwalbe Racing Ralph
Schwalbe Racing Ray
Schwalbe Rocket Ron
Manufacturers like Vittoria, Good Year, Pirelli and Vredestein don't even offer 26 sized tires. My best experience regarding MTB tires has been with Continental and Hutchinson. Schwalbe and Panaracer are some serious high quality tyres. Michelin had its glory back in the late 90's with the Wild Gripper lite S, not sure about their tires now . About Ritchey, a friend of mine love them but had some flats with them in a race. I only ride 26 sized MTBs, the last trail race I have been on three years ago, I was going faster with my 26 Kona than the other 27.5 and 29 MTBs.
Not to mention:

https://www.wtb.com/collections/tire...s/velociraptor
https://www.wtb.com/collections/tire...ant=1024398960
https://www.wtb.com/collections/tire...ucts/trailboss

And no, 650b/27.5 is definitely not going away. In fact, with the increasing popularity of gravel bikes, there are even more options for 650b/27/5.
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Old 01-01-23, 09:27 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
I am using both 26 inch and 700cc or 29er and I was thinking of maybe adding 27.5, but cycling trends just change so fast, I am not sure if it would be worth investing in 27.5 wheels. I love my my 26 inch rigid MTB, it was my first real bike I purchased but none of the LBS in my area offers many choices of tires in that size. I am just wondering if 27.5 will meet the same fate as 26 inch has. I prefer frames that are designed to run two different size wheels as it gives me more options.
Just because a frame can FIT different sizes does not mean they are optimized for two sizes.

Most of the frames I see that are designed for two sizes are designed for standard tires in one size and plus tires in another. Like 27.5 Plus and 29 (standard)

If the issue is tire availability, there are still good options out there for 26 if you are willing to shop online. Last year I bought some high end Maxxis and Schwalbe tires in 26.
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Old 01-01-23, 09:39 AM
  #35  
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How popular are mullets (29f/27.5r) out in the real world? I'm not in a big mtb area so my sample size is pretty limited, I only know of one dude doing it.
Just to ad more BS to this thread both my current mtbs are 27.5ers, had several 29ers in the past, and 1 26er.
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Old 01-01-23, 09:54 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta

If the issue is tire availability, there are still good options out there for 26 if you are willing to shop online. Last year I bought some high end Maxxis and Schwalbe tires in 26.
I was looking at a Kenda website and I see they still make some decent quality tires in 26 inch sizes.
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Old 01-01-23, 09:59 AM
  #37  
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I looked at WTB website. 29er and 27.5 greatly outnumber 26 tires. What they offer in 26 inch sizes is nothing compared to what they used to offer.
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Old 01-01-23, 01:56 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Sure some of the tire manufacturers still make quality 26 inch tires but the selection of sizes has gotten way smaller than what it used to be. I remember days when I could walk into any LBS and find tons of different tires in 26 inch size. Today I would be lucky if I can find one or two, anything 26 inch is special order or they don't make them anymore.
The hype of the 27.5 and the 29 isn't really justified since until 2009-2010, the 26 was the king and you don't find vbrake rims anymore for 26 unless you go to dt ,mavic stopped to make the legendary xm 819 ust tubless vbrake rim a while back.
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Old 01-01-23, 01:57 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Lombard
Not to mention:

https://www.wtb.com/collections/tire...s/velociraptor
https://www.wtb.com/collections/tire...ant=1024398960
https://www.wtb.com/collections/tire...ucts/trailboss

And no, 650b/27.5 is definitely not going away. In fact, with the increasing popularity of gravel bikes, there are even more options for 650b/27/5.
You are correct
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Old 01-01-23, 01:59 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
I was looking at a Kenda website and I see they still make some decent quality tires in 26 inch sizes.
Decent quality, yes but not comparable to the top of the range unlike Continental,Schwalbe, Hutchinson, Panaracer and Michelin.

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Old 01-01-23, 02:39 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by georges1
The hype of the 27.5 and the 29 isn't really justified since until 2009-2010, the 26 was the king and you don't find vbrake rims anymore for 26 unless you go to dt ,mavic stopped to make the legendary xm 819 ust tubless vbrake rim a while back.
I agree but we can't change the direction that the bike industry is going. It's just like 135mm rear spacing and quick release or solid nutted axles which work perfectly fine...but bike industry just had to change it to 142mm and then to 148mm boost thru axles.
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Old 01-01-23, 03:11 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
I agree but we can't change the direction that the bike industry is going. It's just like 135mm rear spacing and quick release or solid nutted axles which work perfectly fine...but bike industry just had to change it to 142mm and then to 148mm boost thru axles.
I figure as more and more cogs are added to cassettes, longer axles will be necessary to prevent a severely dished wheel. Granted that disc brakes offset the problem a bit. Thru-axles are better than QR with disc brakes.
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Old 01-01-23, 03:35 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Lombard
I figure as more and more cogs are added to cassettes, longer axles will be necessary to prevent a severely dished wheel. Granted that disc brakes offset the problem a bit. Thru-axles are better than QR with disc brakes.
Yes one thing leads to another.... They could of kept things simple and the rear spacing the same by staying with 9 speed cassette and just use a single chainring...As for thru axles being better than quick releases for disc brakes, that's debatable.
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Old 01-01-23, 03:48 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
Yes one thing leads to another.... They could of [sic] kept things simple.................
There is no money to be made that way.

Originally Posted by wolfchild
As for thru axles being better than quick releases for disc brakes, that's debatable.
And open fork QR with disc brakes is not a great idea. The torque on the hub while braking is enough to pull the wheel right out of the fork if it isn't secured properly. Not to mention that a TA ensures you get the position exactly right which is important for the limited clearance of disc brakes.
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Old 01-01-23, 04:28 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Lombard


The torque on the hub while braking is enough to pull the wheel right out of the fork if it isn't secured properly.
TBH I've never seen that happen in real life.....This type of thing only happens to some fool who files off the lawyer tabs on the fork and doesn't tighten the axle properly. It's impossible for the wheel to be pulled out on a fork which has lawyer tabs and a properly tightened quick release axle.
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Old 01-01-23, 04:36 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
TBH I've never seen that happen in real life.....This type of thing only happens to some fool who files off the lawyer tabs on the fork and doesn't tighten the axle properly. It's impossible for the wheel to be pulled out on a fork which has lawyer tabs and a properly tightened quick release axle.
I agree with you that people who file off lawyer tabs are fools. They claim they do this for convenience. I mean how much longer does it take to turn that QR a few more turns to let the wheel fall out?

The key words are "a properly tightened quick release". I have been on more than one ride where I helped someone change a flat and their QR could be loosened with one finger!

Still, TA gets the wheel in exactly the right place every time. And it's really not much more of a hassle than a QR. People just don't like change.
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Old 01-01-23, 11:11 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild
I am using both 26 inch and 700cc or 29er and I was thinking of maybe adding 27.5, but cycling trends just change so fast, I am not sure if it would be worth investing in 27.5 wheels. I love my my 26 inch rigid MTB, it was my first real bike I purchased but none of the LBS in my area offers many choices of tires in that size. I am just wondering if 27.5 will meet the same fate as 26 inch has. I prefer frames that are designed to run two different size wheels as it gives me more options.
Cycling trends change-ish sometimes but rarely does stuff magically go poof unless it is a really poor idea and isn't widely adopted or they alter it as needed so it can be more widely adopted. 27.5/650B is not going anywhere anytime soon. I am sure we will say similar for 29" down the road when 32 or 36 or whatever the new massive wheelsize is. The only thing that really never caught on enough and is pretty nearly gone is 650c (minus some much older stuff that isn't as relevant here)

Originally Posted by vespasianus
In the USA MTB scene, 26" is dead and buried. I am going to show my elitism but go to any "real" MTB area and you will not see a single 26" MTB. They are all gone. Very few people who are real mountain bikers ride them. You will find the occasional "real" mountain biker that still rides a 26er - and they are generally very good riders, but rare.

27.5 in the MTB world is going the same way as 26ers. The new 29ers are as flixable as smaller wheels but with the added stability of the larger wheels.

And yes, I still ride a 26" MTB, a 27.5" MTB and a newer 29" MTB. They are all different and all fun but when I ride the 26er, I am usually the only one and generally the only one many have seen for years. Finding tires is a pain but I have a stash of 30 tires that I have as a backup.
Yes 26" is not common but still found on Dirt Jumpers and big BMX stuff. It is not dead and buried, not common not seen on many new bikes and especially new bikes of quality but it is far from dead. I know some folks in cycling media and parts of the industry are trying to push that cause forward. No you won't see any in UCI competition and NORBA and stuff like that and probably many of the local trails are going to see a lot more modern bikes but 26" is not dead and buried. Dead and buried means no parts for it nobody is buying used stuff it is actually truly done. Keep in mind not that long ago we didn't really have 29ers and we rode 26" on a lot of the same trails we are still riding today. I am not saying 29" is not a great size, it is fine so is 27.5/650B but we clearly were able to ride all these trails on 26" and we all survived and had fun.

I also believe sometime probably in the future 26" might make a bigger comeback as 650B did for gravel into MTB stuff. Heck Jan Heine released an old desmodromic derailleur last year. It may not but old stuff frequently becomes fashionable again. Plus something new will come along.

Originally Posted by georges1
You are correct about 26MTBs being not as popular as before but still popular and some vintage 26 MTB frames fetch high prices, I keep my 26 MTB bikes preciously because of the higher quality tubing especially when it came to steel frames, more interesting paint schemes and many other things.I tried a 29 and 27.5, those weren't for me.
You can get plenty of modern bikes in larger wheel sizes in high quality tubing and plenty of custom frame builders are doing precisely that. This is one bike I am highly considering down the road (or trail I should say). There are tons of others including hardtails and 27.5 specific stuff but this stuck out when I read an article on them probably on the Radavist or one of those blogs. Starling also makes some killer stuff and Sklar in 'Murica knocks hardtails out the MF park swoopy ti, oh my oh my!
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Old 01-01-23, 11:59 PM
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People rise to the defense of 26 as though it was correct while it was really an accident of history. When MTB's launched there had been an immediate prior fad of 26" BMX cruisers that used the beach cruiser tire size, so that was the only near adult size balloon knobby. Getting tires made was really the limiting factor. All the other fabrication stuff is just bending and mitering. The wheel machine can bend the rim extrusion to whatever size. But a tire mold is a big expensive tool requiring big corporate support to make and use in a big factory

27.5 got a reprieve this year thanks to some major companies making "mullet" bikes. But this time more than ever it seems like churn for churn's sake, especially since this time it's back to a pre-existing tire design. They did not come up with new width, tread, carcass, etc. It will be tough to see how this succeeds in the market since the whole market is in a nose dive right now
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Old 01-02-23, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
It is not dead and buried, not common not seen on many new bikes and especially new bikes of quality but it is far from dead.
I also believe sometime probably in the future 26" might make a bigger comeback as 650B did for gravel into MTB stuff. Heck Jan Heine released an old desmodromic derailleur last year. It may not but old stuff frequently becomes fashionable again. Plus something new will come along.
In the USA MTB scene, 26" is dead and buried. I said nothing about dirt jumpers or the BMX bikes. DEAD. BURIED. And I will add, CREMATED.
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Old 01-02-23, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by vespasianus
In the USA MTB scene, 26" is dead and buried. I said nothing about dirt jumpers or the BMX bikes. DEAD. BURIED. And I will add, CREMATED.
Then why can I still get parts for it and why do 26" bikes still exist? Giant popped up in a search and they have Full Suspension bikes in 26". Sure it is an entry level bike (I use it properly not just to describe the bottom of the barrel but a decent enough bike someone can start on and get into it with. It has SRAM Eagle and Boost Spacing so it is not some old fuddy duddy QR bike.

Dead and buried and creamated means GONE. 26" isn't gone until you cannot find anything for it anymore aside maybe from used and that stuff isn't selling either. When the major tire manufacturers stop making good quality tires in 26" I can see it being dead.
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