So last night I was in Edinburgh Cycles picking my bike up from a quick service and whilst I was waiting for it, as is customary whilst having a few minutes to kill in a bike shop, I had a quick snoop around the various shiny new bikes on display.
Now, this is where the confusion starts. Amongst the 29ers the 620B's and the various 27.5" wheeled bikes where some that seemed to have a smaller wheel size.
I asked my mate who works there what the crack was and he told me it was the latest thing to hit the scene - a bike with 26" wheels. Crazy I know - they've already got the 3 wheel sizes (29", 650B and 27.5") - why the **** do they need a 4th?
My mate said that apparently these new smaller wheels (according to the manufacturers at least) handle better than the larger wheels.
Apparently they make trails more fun - particularly root sections and twisted bermy sections, they feel less 'dead' than the old fashioned 29ers. Being lighter they turn better, spin up easier and make mud fun.
Apparently, one bike maker had tested them and found that they made most trails up to 25-30% more fun - sounds good to me. Better for long travel trail / DH bikes as well - the wheels are stronger and less likely to fall apart.
Being cynical though my mate reckons its all just a marketing ploy and the real reason is that these new smaller wheels are cheaper to make (less metal in the rims and spokes and less rubber in the tyres).
So, 26" wheels - the future or marketing ploy?
Wish I hadn't just spunked out on my new 29er now these have come as along as my mate reckons they're selling like hot cakes and soon anyone with a 29er will be castigated from their local MTB clan.
Should I put the 29er on ebay or stick with what I've got?