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27.5 vs 29

Old 03-19-22, 07:27 AM
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trance 27.5
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27.5 vs 29

I run a 27.5 because I'm short (5'5") and find I can control the bike better, than with a 29 tire.

I spoke to someone at the trail yesterday and he said 27.5 is better at climbing... but he has a 29er.

I don't know if what he said is true, so I ask here...
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Old 03-19-22, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by trance 27.5 View Post
I run a 27.5 because I'm short (5'5") and find I can control the bike better, than with a 29 tire.

I spoke to someone at the trail yesterday and he said 27.5 is better at climbing... but he has a 29er.

I don't know if what he said is true, so I ask here...
There are reasons to go with one size over the other. Climbing is not one of them.
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Old 03-19-22, 03:20 PM
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If anything the 29er should climb better. It's physics. As for rider size, my ex g/f is 4'10" and rides a 29er.
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Old 03-20-22, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by trance 27.5 View Post
I run a 27.5 because I'm short (5'5") and find I can control the bike better, than with a 29 tire.

I spoke to someone at the trail yesterday and he said 27.5 is better at climbing... but he has a 29er.

I don't know if what he said is true, so I ask here...
im 6-2 and 240 and love riding my 27.5 compared to my previous 29
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Old 03-21-22, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by trance 27.5 View Post
I run a 27.5 because I'm short (5'5") and find I can control the bike better, than with a 29 tire.

I spoke to someone at the trail yesterday and he said 27.5 is better at climbing... but he has a 29er.

I don't know if what he said is true, so I ask here...
Honestly i had lots of 26 and one 29 buyed 1 year ago.
The bike with 29 seems to be easy for climbing because the whells height roll easy on rocks and small bumps. But the 26 is a lot more agile.
For me a 26 without rocks and perfect terrain will be a lot more faster than 29 , but at the same time in a bad terrain a 29 seems to be more faster because the rocks and bumps do not impact on the bike overall handling.
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Old 03-21-22, 04:57 PM
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The 29 tire will have a greater contact area but whether this is going to make a noticeable difference on the trails is doubtful. When buying many bikes one needs to decide if the size of the tire or the model is more important. My Specialized Stumpjumper was available only with 29 inch tires as was my Scott Scale. If I wanted 27.5 tires I would have had few choices. The bike manufacturers made the choice for me.
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Old 03-21-22, 05:53 PM
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Go mullet, young man, go mullet!

I spoke to someone at the trail yesterday and he said 27.5 is better at climbing... but he has a 29er.
Maybe he meant that for any given gear ratio the smaller 27.5 was easier to turn. There was no way I could pull the steep pitches around these parts with the 32 x 42 my bike came with. Because I like high volume tyres I ended up with a 26 x 50. Put me on a 29'r I'd need a Sram 52 cog. At least.

Last edited by tungsten; 03-21-22 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 03-22-22, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by trance 27.5 View Post
I spoke to someone at the trail yesterday and he said 27.5 is better at climbing... but he has a 29er.
Lol. I wouldn't speak to that person again.

In order of importance as far as "better at climbing" is concerned.

1.) Fitness Level / Strength
2.) Skill
3.) Type of bike...Hardtail or full suspension...Some full suspension bikes suck at climbing due to pedal bob.

Least important...

4.) Tire size.
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Old 04-27-22, 07:02 AM
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It does not matter what mountain-bike you use as long as you are well practiced in riding and handling it. A good rider that is used to their bike, who is in good shape and well practiced will out-ride and perform any rider who is not in shape, used to their equipment or practiced. As long as your bike is maintained and reliable then it can do anything you can do.

Periodically bicycle manufacturers have to change minor things about bicycles just so they have something new to market and can maybe sell new equipment to those who believe that the equipment makes a worthwhile difference. In any riding it is the rider that is 90% or more of the equation as long as the bike, whatever it is, is reliable. You could buy a $10,000 mountain-bike, and a pro will beat you on any course with a thirty-year old used 20" bmx bike.
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Old 04-27-22, 09:08 AM
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I never would have predicted this, but my 5'5" wife's 26" Santa Cruz Superlite was stolen a few months ago and replaced with a 29er. This transformed her riding and she's a better climber (we have pretty serious ascents in socal) and better and more confident at bike handling. There will be all kinds of opinions so who knows why she improved so dramatically.
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Old 04-27-22, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old View Post
I never would have predicted this, but my 5'5" wife's 26" Santa Cruz Superlite was stolen a few months ago and replaced with a 29er. This transformed her riding and she's a better climber (we have pretty serious ascents in socal) and better and more confident at bike handling. There will be all kinds of opinions so who knows why she improved so dramatically.
There are many differences between an old 26er Superlight and a pretty much any modern bike beyond wheel size. Modern geo is a major improvement for both climbing and descending and overall stability for most riders.
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Old 04-27-22, 12:55 PM
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The aspect that surprised me and the objective of the post was that an individual relatively diminutive in size was comfortable on a 29er in the event that this was a concern for the OP.
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Old 05-02-22, 01:37 PM
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I can only compare 26er to 29er as I recently (finally!) upgraded from an old hardtail with 26er to a new full suss (140/130) trail bike with 29er. I will also get a new hardtail with 29er.
I am pretty tall (190cm) so the large wheels feel good to me. I have only very limited experience with 27.5er when I borrowed such a bike.
Of course, as already pointed out, there is much more than just wheel size and my new full suss has many advantages over the older hardtail with 26er besides the wheels.
The 26er were very agile and great for tight u-turns on narrow fire roads and trails. My 29er climbs really well but as already said, I have limited experience.

If possible try out different bikes, ideally with a very similar overall setup so you can compare the differences between the wheels without adding too many additional variables like very different geometry, suspension, etc.
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