New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

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bychosis
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New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby bychosis » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:07 pm

Been looking to replace my 2009 26” XC race bred machine after the frame developed a crack in the head tube. I’d like to replace it with a fun trail type bike with more relaxed geometry and more travel. While the XC Bike was nice and fast, it didn’t inspire confidence on descents but was nice and nimble on single track. I want a new bike to be a blast for down, agile on single track and capable on the ups. I’m willing to sacrifice a little climbing ability or straight line speedfor fun factor.

Of course the wheel size thing is another factor in any decision. Trek only do the fuel ex in 29 and remedy in 27.5. Giant seem to be running 27.5 on most, specialised have the camber on 29 and stumpy on27.5 or 29. Others have any size wheel available and chuck in 27.5+ to further complicate.

What’s your experience? Bike shop today suggested the the fuel ex 29 was THE bike for local trails (glenrock, Awaba), but I’m not convinced on 29” for being agile. Second shop seemed to think I’d enjoy 27.5, or even 27.5+ more.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby Duck! » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:49 pm

27.5 is a better package; the geometry isn't as compromised to fit the wheels in, so maintains a decent level of agility, although the trend to generally slacker head angles (which will help the descending) will take a fair bit of sharpness off regardless of wheel size.

I'm yet to find a 29er that makes me go "wow"; the ones I've ridden have ranged from dreadful to kind of OK.The 27.5s that I've ridden have been very well-rounded packages, although the climbing, in major part due to the slack front ends, has suffered compared to my trusty 26", because they get vague & floaty.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby Usernoname » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:47 am

So many options 27.5 vs 29er, 1x or 2x, sram or shimano. I changed from a 26er XC epic last year. My pick for a dually was Lapierre Zesty XM 527 - 2x XT, decent height BB, light etc. Took one for a test ride around my local and it did everything well. BUT ended up with a 27.5 plus HT why - just couldn't justify twice the price and extra maintenance for the amount and type of riding I was doing. Research - test ride - choose. Only you can make the right decision and have to live with it.

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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby bychosis » Sun Oct 29, 2017 7:53 am

Thanks duck. I guess you would have had the chance to ride quite a few. I'm conscious of a 5min test ride not giving the full feel for the bike, but should give me enough feedback that I'll be able to make a decision. Think I'm going to try another shop for their opinion and probably hire a demo bike for a decent ride.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby trailgumby » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:43 pm

I'd be wary of going 27.5".

There is a lot of development going on with geometry that addresses most of the traditional moans about 29ers and nimbleness, to the point where they're even running 29er Downhill bikes at some tracks on the World Cup circuit now. Recent comment from an importer on a local All Mountain FB page on the Northern Beaches stated that his biggest enquiry rate is for 150mm travel 29ers.

No-one really wants 27.5, according to him. Maybe that's a local phenomenon, maybe not.

My view is that 29ers will always offer more efficient rolling due to a smoother axle path, and it has just taken a bit of time for designers to catch up and make the geometry more engaging to ride. The test ride I did on the Trek Fuel EX9.8 at Old Man's Valley was brilliant. A very engaging and capable ride.

For those who want super nimble and "exciting", they can always stay with 26", or even go down to 20" BMX! :twisted:

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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby Mugglechops » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:49 pm

I have been on 29ers now for 11years and 29plus for 18 months.

The only thing I would go to is a 27.5plus after riding 2 plus hardtails.

I still have one 26er but that's a Fatbike so it doesn't count...

I only ride rigid bikes these days so can't comment on suspension versions.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby bychosis » Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:32 pm

There's just so many variations to choose from! Still looking.

Last attempt at test riding or at least test sitting was a failure. One shop only had the Fuel in medium and a single Remedy in Large so couldn't compare. Second shop was busy and I was able to hop onto an XL 27.5 Norco which funnily enough was a little big but not enough time to test another.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby Mububban » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:32 pm

trailgumby wrote:There is a lot of development going on with geometry that addresses most of the traditional moans about 29ers and nimbleness


I did see some Youtube reviews of the Fuel EX 7 29er that raved about how good it was and how well it handled
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby bychosis » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:47 pm

Mububban wrote:
trailgumby wrote:There is a lot of development going on with geometry that addresses most of the traditional moans about 29ers and nimbleness


I did see some Youtube reviews of the Fuel EX 7 29er that raved about how good it was and how well it handled


Yeah, I've seen some of those too which is confounding my decision. Then I also read a review on the Remedy 27.5 yesterday saying it was just more chuckable/agile than the 29er Fuel or even Slash 29er. Ultimately I guess either is a great bike and it'll come down to throwing a leg over.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby Calvin27 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:56 pm

I've been through this with heaps of people who have asked me to help them buy a MTB. Generally I tell them to ride it and the result is usually:

- If you are medium or smaller go for the 27.5. No questions.
- If you are L or XL, try it out, but most would go for the 29.

Personally a 27.5 is ideal for me (I'm a M/L to confuse things). But take this option only if you care squat for times and just wanna have fun.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby defy1 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:50 pm

Go 27.5+ and you can swap to a 29er when you feel like it

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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby TheReality » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:58 pm

I had the Fuel EX 8 27.5 (2015) and it was great, suspension wise I always wanted a bit more. I'm currently bike shopping again and will be looking to get the remedy 8 27.5.

I rode my mates 29r Fuel ex and I reckon mine was more fun to ride.

Trek in Brisbane do demo bikes you can loan, maybe they can do the same where you are.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby bychosis » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:32 pm

Yeah, not going 27.5+, don't need the extra weight in wheels, but good idea in theory being able to switch wheels.

As for test rides, still waiting. I had a plan to visit some shops today and was half way to the first this morning when the preschool rang and told me junior was crook, so that curtailed my plans for another week or so.
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby rangersac » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:15 am

Modern geometry 29ers are pretty impressive in their abilities. My Intense Primer climbs almost on a par with my old 100mm Superfly FS, despite it being 140/130 travel, corners way better, and plows all but full on downhill descents. However I still run an old Titus Motolite 26er (2008), and for tight twisty stuff it's still more maneuverable, and definitely easier to get airborne if that's your thing. So I reckon It really depends on your trails, and additionally as others have said if you are tall then a 29er is going to feel more natural. 29ers are also more forgiving with obstacles due to their roll-over abilities.

Now that I've said all that, at the end of the day given you are coming off a 2009 XC 26er, anything you ride (provided it isn't a Kmart/ Aldi bike!) is going to feel amazing given the changes in geometry and suspension improvements
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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby Cardy George » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:57 pm

rangersac wrote:Now that I've said all that, at the end of the day given you are coming off a 2009 XC 26er, anything you ride (provided it isn't a Kmart/ Aldi bike!) is going to feel amazing given the changes in geometry and suspension improvements

That's what I was told too when I asked the biggest (probably the most expensive too) shop in Adelaide about a month ago. They also said for where I live (flat and sandy) they wouldn't sell me anything but a 29er. Horses for courses.....

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Re: New bike decisions. 27.5 or 29?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:22 pm

Cardy George wrote:That's what I was told too when I asked the biggest (probably the most expensive too) shop in Adelaide about a month ago. They also said for where I live (flat and sandy) they wouldn't sell me anything but a 29er. Horses for courses.....


That bike shop is misguided...plenty of punters at the club are still running 26" and the split between 27.5 and 29 is pretty even. Probably because the Coomie track allows all sorts of things to be run successfully even in the tight spots. Away from the track...you are more at risk of being over damped than having the wrong wheel size.
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