29 Vs 27.5 Mountain Bike Wheels | What Do The Pros Think?

29 Vs 27.5 Mountain Bike Wheels | What Do The Pros Think?

Fort William World Cup and one of the big issues this
weekend is 29 inch wheels. There’s like 10 pro bikes here
with this new prototype bike that’s got 29 inch wheels and
it could be a big advantage on a track like this at Fort William. So we’re gonna take a
look around the pits, ask some questions, get
the views from some pros and some privateers to see
if it’s a big advantage or is it something that
we just don’t need. Is it a good thing, is it a bad thing? How do they feel? What’s your view? – I’m enjoying riding mine, so yeah it’s a good thing for me. It’s faster, makes it
easier I guess a little bit, so that enables you to go a bit faster. – I mean, you’re a racer. You want the fastest equipments so I totally get your point of view, but I guess I’ve been
speaking to some privateers and they obviously feeling like how are we ever gonna keep up? Is it like an unfair advantage or is that just the
evolution of the sport? – Finally change from 26 to 27s. – He’s hard to argue with ain’t he? Brendan, simple question. – No.
– I haven’t asked it yet. 29 or no? – In my opinion, I think that we should, the XE boys should have their 29s. Give them that, we’ll have the 27s and the slope styles guys can have 26. I’ll give you my two cents. I think we all get 29s, say it is fast. We don’t know yet. We’re all gonna be the
same positions we are now but two seconds faster
at the end of the track. And it’s gonna be the same set of thing. I do agree that we’re like the
formula one of mountain bike. We need to be as fast as we can go. I do agree with that but
then also I think that buying a bike these days is so expensive. You have to put wheels,
tyres, rims, forks everything and these poor people have
bought a six grand bike. And now, we’re saying
now you might need to go and get a 29er as well. So in my opinion, I think
we should stick on 27s but with the way it goes. I’m not gonna say I’m
never gonna ride a 29 ’cause if it is faster, I wanna be on it. I’mma race, I wanna move
as fast as I can go. – I mean you must be sick
of being asked the question but what’s your view on it? – I think there are benefits for sure, just with the wheel size. With the traction, going
over rougher stuff. I think there are certain
benefits but at the same time, it’s a whole new bike
so you’d have to test and really get ready. I feel like we have an
awesome bike with YT and I feel like we can
compete with those guys still. So I’m kind of just
focused there right now. – For me, I reckon it’s
a step back in the sport. I mean it’s not good for kids coming up through the sport. You’ll have parents trying to chuck him on 29 inch wheels too early
and it be hard especially for smaller riders like me
and younger kids coming up. I think in the whole it
will be a native thing and it’s pretty crazy this weekend. You’ve got people recently, I don’t know if you notice bemoaning about tracks being too easy and stuff. Wanted it to get more technical and then here we are this weekend. Tracks got real technical and good and you got some 650 B riders doing well and everyone’s moaning like. – For me, I feel more centred on the bike so it make sense. Actually, I haven’t gone
back to back on 27s. Actually once i made my mind
up on the 29 inch wheels I haven’t gone back. So it’s a lot of working parts that need to happen to
have a 29 inch bike. Need a four which fox have available now. Wheels, rims, tyres. Those are the little things
that took a bit of time to get and took a bit of work. In the bike that is no problem but there’s no point pulling
a bike without any wheels. It’s surprising what such a
little change in wheel sizes has created such a big
whinge from all these guys. – And is it a whinge or is
it like, for the pro guys I guess you guys wanna be on
the fastest thing, I get that but for the privateer out there. Someone who’s come to
Fort William this weekend to try and have their moment. Have they got a big
disadvantage to these bikes? – I don’t think they do, no. We use different suspension
than they do anyway. It’s a apart of the game. We at one end trying to push technology and the companies can’t afford to spend hundreds of thousands giving
everyone the same product. – Do you wish you did have them? Do you think it’s an advantage? – I don’t know. I haven’t ridden one so I can’t say yes, can’t say no. Obviously they’re gonna roll faster. Bigger wheel. Maybe they’re gonna suit me more I’d say ’cause I’m a taller rider as well. So I don’t know we’ll have to see. We’ll have to wait and see. – Feel different to ride. Does it feel really quick? – So actually it is quite the opposite ’cause I’m pretty sure it’s a bit quicker and easier to ride ’cause it’s smoother. So you feel slower like for sure but in the same time. To go fast on the 27.5,
you have to push it and the 29.9 is the opposite. It goes fast by itself so you
have to break it a bit more trying to pull it in the corner so it’s a different way to
ride but it’s still a bike. You just ride your bike and have fun. – Bikes are bike I guess. I mean how long did it
take you to adjust to it or did you get on it and
think first ride on the 29. What was it like? Oh not sure about this or was it like, oh my God, I’m going quicker. It was kind of long for me
to say okay the 29.9 better, but the first time I rode it. It was really good. I felt good and after I went back to back and that was really hard ’cause
you’d feel so much faster on the 27 but in fact, it’s insane. You like oh, I’m so good. I’m wow but actually,
the time don’t show it. So that was the other
process and after that. I chose the 29er ’cause we did some data
acquisition and stuff. – Okay, I’m in the
specialised tent, the riders are getting ready for qualifying. They don’t wanna talk about
29 inch wheels at all. They just wanna get down to action. Alright, it’s definitely
a controversial subject. Now I get the feeling this time, it’s not something that’s
I should be bringing up. I guess you guys have also got that job that you wanna be on the fastest equipment and you’re suppose to be
leading the sport forwards. So is it a bit of a catch 22? You’ve got to push this out. – You’ve gotta push it. There’s nothing that’s
been out of the rules and it’s pretty black and white. Wheels got to be the same size. They could be twice as big
as this if they wanted to and we gotta do whatever’s faster. – Should there be a rule on wheel size? – At present we have one technical rule with regards to the bikes
and that’s the wheels has to be the same size. And I think as soon as we
starting to introduce new rules, we’re just gonna get
in trouble with the UCI ’cause they don’t really know what’s what with mountain biking and if
they start to get involved then all hell will break loose. – Right I think Ben’s gonna
have a bit of an opinion on this too, so go for it Ben. Let me just lean back
while you give us this. – Well, first thing I
have to say is obviously, if we can’t beat them, we’re
gonna have to join them. If it all goes out that way,
we’re gonna have to do it. But for me personally, I
think its the worst thing I seen happen to mountain biking since I’ve ever been involved in it. I think for loads of reasons like obviously there’s the obvious ones. I don’t think it looks as right. I think it’s more difficult,
it’s more challenging to fight with a 26 inch
wheel bike through a section. Obviously around 27.5, no but we don’t wanna make that even easier. The tracks are getting
more mellowed out already. The bigger wheels are
mellowing them out even more and I also think the sport will begin to land itself more to taller riders. ‘Cause I think the bikes will
fit better to taller riders at the minute the sport’s
really, really cool because you can have
5’7″ guy on the podium with 6’3″ guy. – Well that’s what the pros
thinks but why don’t we find out from some of the privateers
and the smaller brands. I’m back here at the secondary pits. Let’s get some opinions from these guys. I don’t know, I think
you have an advantage over a smaller wheel but in a
year’s time or whatever then. You know everyone’s gonna be on 29er then there’s no advantage at all. But I guess the sport has
to go progress and what not. – Don’t know if it’s
necessarily a good thing. I feel like it would be good if the track sort of went the way of
slabbing and how everything use to be like it seems
like everything’s sort of starting to get a bit faster
and which is all good. It’s good for watching and stuff but it almost seems like
everyone’s focused on how it looks for the camera rather than how it looks for riders. – It seems like the bikes
are trying to go faster and straight lines and the
tracks are becoming faster. Everything is higher speed in it. It’s hard, it’s not like
something to watch cause it feels like it numbs it down and
then it’s getting the riders at such a high speed. If you go down, you going
down big like world cup tracks would soon be getting
just faster and faster. Rally have restrictions like
how much power you can have. How much down force you can have. It should almost be the same in downhill ’cause it’s almost like
Formula One downhill now. It’s becoming that serious. – What a controversial subject. It’s so divisive, we’ve got riders who
think it should be banned. We’ve got riders who think it’s just the development of the sport. We’ve even got one
rider who’s got the bike and is not gonna use it. It’s incredible. 29ers has really found
a cat amongst the pigeon in downhill mountain biking. Very interesting. It will be great to know
what you think about it. Let us know in the comment
section down below. If you wanna see some
more videos from GMB. Why don’t you click just up here. Not on that man’s head but on this video to see our E bikes opinion video, and click down here to see some
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  1. Here is my view. I have a road bike. I love it. It is a domane 5.9 15 pounds by Trek. Endurance bike but can be a rocket too. I love 29ers because the transition is much easier from my road bike and vice versa. I am 6 ft. I find the 27.5 too low for me. 29ers feel comfortable and I am more confident. I feel safer if that makes sense. You lose travel yes but one can always update forks and such. yeti 5.5 is the best example. Great travel. Great climber.

  2. I thought this conversation was over in 2013. It feels like I just went back in time. I don't personally know. But from years of reading mtbr, I'd have to say there isn't a question that 29 is the way to go, at least for us doing XC.

  3. Only way for the bike industry to survive is through evolution! I demoed a Santa Cruz Tallboy 29er for the first time a few weeks ago and you can have a lot of fun with those bikes hauling over the most chunky stuff on the trail! I'm def all for it!!

  4. The roll of the pros is to push the limits of the technology so we can see what works best. What they race on is not what the average enthusiast is going to be on, and ultimately all of the advantages now will make the way down to price points that we all benefit from. I do see the wheel size debate really being an issue of rider height as we move forward. Bigger riders already have a huge advantage over shorter riders in the area of weight and leverage. Giving them an advantage of wheel size will change the sport. I am a shorter rider, and did fairly well against my taller friends, however, they always had a downhill advantage. In XC that advantage went away and I carried much less weight going uphill. This is what we could see the sport evolve into, short guys race XC, and tall guys race downhill.

  5. I made a short video about the newest Huffy 29 inch MTB. It rides great on fairly flat but rough roads, and if you go over 10 miles of non stop riding, it is the best size for those long distances… really LONG distances.

  6. i tried a trek uel ex 8 with 29er wheels and it seemed to roll over everything too easily. I think to make it challenging for the pros they need to stick with 27.5 inch wheels

  7. i rode 26" since childhood last year i got 29" it was so much faster but i felt like i lost swiftness and confidence on bigger wheels

  8. I bought a 29er because I'm 6'2 and everything else felt small. Of course, I'm not trying to compete on a professional level so I can't see why it's a problem. I love mine so far.

  9. what? You still arguing? Meanwhile, I just done the Fort William track and my Penny-farthing rolled that wood section smoove a shilk maan

  10. I personally love climbing mountains more than riding down them. I'm not a racer and not trying to eat shit so I get a thrill of trying to climb over tough terrain and getting up the hill the fastest, so for me, 29" has made it a lot more fun and easier to climb those steep hills.

  11. You could also go for a 27.5 plus as the total diameter leans very close to a 29" wheel.
    Upside of a 27.5+ bike is that you can choose if you want to ride 27.5 one day or a plus another, some frames also allows you to mount 29" on it..
    So I think the new thing will be 27.5+/29" frames, 29" is ugly and feels clumpy in my opinion but it will ride over big stuff easier and roll easier but I think the 17.5+ does the same and looks OK. I like 27.5 in size, I feel they are better in handling and I feel they fit me better. My next buy will be a frame that supports both 27.5/27.5+/29, then I can always change to what ever I lean to for different trails or usage. I ride allot of road on my MTB at the moment, so I would like the ability to throw on some 29 slim gravel wheels for better performance on the road. But when I go though forest I will change to 27.5 or 27.5+ for better control and more fun/play in my riding.

  12. Very interesting report… It seems that the pros just want to win at all costs… and I do not think this is in the true spirit of the sport.

    I have a beautiful 26er, but now feel that I am being held to ransom by the industry to go 27.5… 26 tyres and wheels are becoming more and more difficult to source….

  13. I got an idea. If you're the average height guy you can ride 24". If you really short you can ride 20" wheels and anyone who's tall can ride 26" wheels. You see…a 29" wheel to me (6'5") is basically a 26" to the midgets who get to go to the bike shop and can ride all those pansy medium frames. Me, on the other hand, usually ride the bike for the first time because the damn things are always special order. A normal sized guy can piss off about telling me that I should ride or be limited to anything less than 29"!!! 26" is like a BMX bike to tall riders and don't debate me because I started mountain biking in 1985 when suspension was the kind of metal bikes were built with. If you want to piss & moan about suspension wheel size etc. then go back to rigid bikes. At least then the sport might be affordable again!

  14. Interesting for sure. Having taken a hard spill, and then the surgery to bring my collar bone back to semi normal shape again, I do agree that there is something to be said about pushing a bike too fast. 🙂 Ouch!

  15. saying "everything's progressing" is the ultimate cop-out…. just put 29 inch wheels on them and use the electric versions and it'll be electric motocross

  16. I say that it doesn’t matter what you ride. If some pros are on 29 while most are on 27.5, then so be it. Some guys still ride 26 and I say it comes down to personal preference and just riding your damn bike

  17. Seeking Bike Advice
    My Criteria:
    – intermediate rider
    – not into racing, taking air, extremes
    – into trails and some downhill (intermediate level)
    – don't want to pay more than $2000 US ($2600 CAD) – used or new
    – open to 29", 27.5" or 26" tires (including switchout option like the Scott Genius)
    – Norco Sight and Giant Trance were mentioned to me (just to get it started)

    Your mission, should you choose to accept, involves offering specific models (year, model name, et),
    why you think it could work for me, and if used – what you would pay for it if you were buying it for yourself.


  18. 5:03 Loris says that if you want to go fast with a 27.5 bike, then you will have to push it, and that the 29 bike goes faster than a 27.5 by itself. If this is true, then what's the meaning of mountain biking without pedalling?

  19. A few years back i was doing biketrial on a 26". I fell in love with that wheel size. I also had dirt jump and xc bike. People stood amazed of the way i was riding them because once you learn tecnique you can ride anything. I had to leave the bikes a few years because of a back injurie. Now that i came back i cant seem to find good fun affordable bikes. I live in Argentina so avalability of components is not good but when i look for them in big mtbbike name websites i find they are not making these anymore. Cannondale used to make the chase, giant the stp, specialized the p2 and p3. I see mountain bike manufacturers are leaning further and further from the bike basics and its turning almost into motorsport. It already happened in the x games

  20. I have both; 29 for XC and Enduro and 27.5 for XC and Enduro, and I have learned the following: Ride on whatever weel size that puts a smile on your face !

  21. The camera guy sucks, instead of taking the photo with the camera of the persons whole body near the 29" wheels so it can help people visualize how tall a person can be for that 29" bike, He did not, This didi not help me at all. They should have asked the riders how tall they are omg. not even once. Geez. no help in this video at all. Duh.

  22. I thought we went out on trails cuz the roughness was this whole other kind of fun that made you feel like a kid again. And yet the industry does everything possible to make trails as smooth as concrete LOL

  23. i don't know, pros are getting​ paid by sponsors, so if the sponsor says use that bike and i will pay you x dollars, the pro will glorify that bike. Its almost the same with energy drinks, red bull x fighters rider's do not drink that shit they use a bottle with the logo of red bull full o water and everybody clearly can see that….so its about us who buy a bike, use it and them we will get our answer.

  24. I think it depends on the personal preference. Me personally prefer the 27.5 because it can slowdown and accelerate quicker and is slightly more nimble.

  25. You all need to harden up, I am 5 ft2 and I ride a 2018 29er enduro medium size and honestly it feels amazing, all this bullshit about smaller riders and that like holy shit harden up people, when I can ride one quite fine and do some pretty crazy shit. Plus those who say 29ers are gay probably haven’t ridden one

  26. How about a 27.5" "class" and a 29" one just like BMX racers 20" class and 24" Cruiser class? Argument/problem solved. Not mixed wheel sizes….

  27. I have been 26 inch rider for about 20 years, Just purchased a 29er S-works enduro. I enjoy it, but it's just not as challenging as the 26er!

  28. For me it's the 29. My riding style is just XC. Not much enduro or downhill. I enjoy the extra stability of the 29 on rough trails, going over roots, branches and loose rocks. So I guess it really depends on the riding style.

  29. This is like asking if an XL frame is better than a small frame. WTF it's a fitment question, not a race category. STOP IT! So I will run faster if I am a size 10 shoe but wear a size 12 COME ON! To me, 29 is the same as going to that track and shrinking all of the roots and rocks and ditches and jumps. CHEATING. We don't change the course and then say we are faster in 2019. STOP IT!

  30. So, everyone races out and get a 29er, then in a couple of years, they go up a size. Do we all then have to race out and get one of them? I had a choice and went 27.5. I don't regret it at all. After numerous debates like this one, there is still no definitive yes, or no!

  31. The year is 2053. A ruggedized penny farthing is winning every race. The old timers are still crying about how back in their day we all rode 26ers.

  32. The best option is for UCI is to collect statistics for the next 12 months and standardise the wheel size for Pro and Elite riders using the sample size as per average Athlete height and final speed+time… = Different wheel size = different categories and they should not mix up wheel sizes on the same category to be fair to everyone…

  33. I am gonna buy 27.5 cycle and replace front fork wit a good29" rockshox and 29" wheel in front only. I think it will improve my posture

  34. People are dumb this isnt a controversy its a preference not everyone is going to want the same thing this is not black and white

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