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27.5 vs 29 for the shore

Jan. 21, 2021, 6:20 p.m.
Posts: 984
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Now that 29'ers are more capable and seemingly more out there, is there much of a debate as to which is better for classic shore riding - ie techgnar? I thought I'd post this here vs gear forum as I'm thinking specifically about Shore or S2S riding. Is it down to simply rider preference? Does rider stature matter? My 29'er isn't of the ultra moderne geo spec so I can't really make a comparison to what I've ridden. Although I have a bud who's picked up a new Orbea Rallon who's really liking it but has noticed a few drawbacks compared to his previous bike a Norco Optic. He was on a Warden before that but wasn’t fond of it due to the lack of poppiness as he's a bit of a jumper.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Seneca


 Last edited by: syncro on Jan. 21, 2021, 8:56 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 21, 2021, 7:48 p.m.
Posts: 1780
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Great question. Hard to answer.....

Flowy jump trails the 27.5 is definitely more snappy but the 29 let on the tech trails really kills it.

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch


 Last edited by: Brocklanders on Jan. 21, 2021, 7:49 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 21, 2021, 9:38 p.m.
Posts: 304
Joined: Jan. 2, 2018

When I'm on a 29er, I miss how I can really stuff a 650b bike late into corners. 

When I'm on a 650b bike, I miss how much more confident I feel riding chunk in a 29er. With 29 it just seems there's way less chance of the front wheel getting sucked into a hole and tossing you over the bars. 

My hardtail is a mullet and I think that's the sweet spot for me, because the front wheel is the one I worry most about getting stuck in a bombhole and the rear is the one I stuff into corners. 

If you're not entertaining a mix, I'd say if your goal is to avoid crashes whilst going fast, 29er.

Jan. 21, 2021, 10:56 p.m.
Posts: 789
Joined: March 15, 2013

This thread has been up for about 3 and a half hours, if this thread was on pinkbike someone would have threatened murder by now.

Jan. 22, 2021, 8 a.m.
Posts: 644
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

For freeriding I recommend the 888.

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:09 a.m.
Posts: 644
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: JBV

i don't live or ride routinely on the Shore but it seems to me that there would be little difference, only a preference for feel. originally 29ers were called old man bikes because of their added stability. as an old man and also very tall man, i dig that. my last small wheeled bike was the original Tranny Patrol and it was a killer bike and so fun. it was and still would be great on the Shore. as always i think it depends on what feel you prefer yourself. and maybe height. original Patrol's would be downright cheap used and set up well, they are such great bikes, among many other awesome 650b bikes.

Some of the original 29ers were just terrible gutless poorly adapted from 26" geometry. The first one I rode in 2008 (?) was some Gary Fisher pos and I remember distinctly thinking "wow these wheels are amazing and this bike sucks". Then I got an Enduro 29 and thought wow this is much better but why does it always want to flip over backwards when climbing? Oh right because short people want these big bikes to feel playful so everyone else gets to enjoy that compromise.


 Last edited by: craw on Jan. 22, 2021, 9:10 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 22, 2021, 10:21 a.m.
Posts: 1352
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Cam's Nomad article had some very inciteful bits about 27.5 vs 29. 

https://nsmb.com/articles/introducing-2021-santa-cruz-nomad-xo1/

Mirrored what I felt after my first couple of 29er rides on the Shore (Spartan 29, Hightower): Awkward on tight downhill turns and difficult to the get the weight back.

Jan. 22, 2021, 8:52 p.m.
Posts: 345
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

My first experience with a 29er was probably ten years ago now? I had an Ibis Tranny 26 hardtail and I bought a frame and fork and built wheels for a Giant XTC 29er. I had. 100 mm fork on the tranny and a 120 on the Giant. The big wheels felt very similar in terms of steering input and output but when I rode those big wheels up Hyannis past Bridle Path on that rubble section the difference in rolling was really apparent in an eye opening way. I find 29ers tend to climb better too primarily because of the longer rear centre required by the bigger wheels.

Jan. 22, 2021, 9:52 p.m.
Posts: 789
Joined: March 15, 2013

I've never ridden a 29er on dirt before.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Jan. 22, 2021, 10:10 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Jan. 23, 2021, 8:03 p.m.
Posts: 812
Joined: May 11, 2018

I don’t think one is the clear choice, although for some individuals it may be a no brainer. Kenny hits it on the mark with regards to the pros and cons. I definitely like the bigger wheels when taking on gnar but I also like the small wheels for their stiffness and ability to be more adaptable to changes in line as well as negotiate tight corners at slow speeds. I think a big difference would also be whether you want to charge lines or choose lines. Pop or absorb bumps etc. I find the small wheels way easier to drop with and are more interesting to ride in general. I'm glad I dont have to choose just one. Its a hard choice.

Jan. 23, 2021, 8:37 p.m.
Posts: 14546
Joined: Dec. 16, 2003

Posted by: craw

For freeriding I recommend the 888.

It's really the best choice for drops to tyranny

Jan. 29, 2021, 8:14 p.m.
Posts: 812
Joined: May 11, 2018

Went out for a little rip today on my 27.5 hardtail. I always worry it will start to feel obsolete (what can i say, the media hype infiltrates my thoughts) but every time I go out I realize I prefer the little wheels overall. There is no doubt the wagon wheels are easier. But at the end of the day I can do so much more with the little wheels. Not saying they are superior but they are definitely my 1st choice.

Feb. 6, 2021, 9:13 a.m.
Posts: 644
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Rider height so be a part of these conversations. A taller rider could have easy fun on a 29er in situations where big wheels could be a chore for someone shorter. Proportionality has an effect on what works well for a person.


 Last edited by: craw on Feb. 6, 2021, 9:13 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Feb. 6, 2021, 1:01 p.m.
Posts: 984
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: craw

Rider height so be a part of these conversations. A taller rider could have easy fun on a 29er in situations where big wheels could be a chore for someone shorter. Proportionality has an effect on what works well for a person.

Yeah that's a good point to consider. It makes sense that the larger 29" bikes would be better suited to taller/larger people. I'm in the middle at 5'11, but when I first hopped on a 29er I could feel the difference in the physical qualities of the bike. It wasn't in a bad way but it definitely felt like more bike to move around. I can't say I noticed a similar difference going from 26 to 27.5. For you did the move to the bigger bike feel like it was more natural?

Feb. 8, 2021, 8:01 a.m.
Posts: 644
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: craw

Rider height so be a part of these conversations. A taller rider could have easy fun on a 29er in situations where big wheels could be a chore for someone shorter. Proportionality has an effect on what works well for a person.

Yeah that's a good point to consider. It makes sense that the larger 29" bikes would be better suited to taller/larger people. I'm in the middle at 5'11, but when I first hopped on a 29er I could feel the difference in the physical qualities of the bike. It wasn't in a bad way but it definitely felt like more bike to move around. I can't say I noticed a similar difference going from 26 to 27.5. For you did the move to the bigger bike feel like it was more natural?

Oh yeah. I'm definitely at the taller end of the spectrum and I won't be going back to smaller wheels. They are better for me in every way. At 5'11" you're right in the sweet spot where any wheels size could be good depending on application.

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