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  • From 26" to 29", now contemplating 27.5"
  • sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    Howdy!
    I’ve been following the forum for a few months but this is my first post here.

    Long story short; like most here I’ve been pedaling 26″ since day one. In my case the start was a borrowed Wheeler in the late 80’s. The past ten years I’ve been riding full sus xc bikes, first the Giant NRS 2 and then Giant Anthem X2. I’ve never been much for marketing hype, but I’ve always been curious with bigger wheels so for this season I went with a Giant Trance X1 29er.

    I really love the way it eats roots and rocks, and I feel that the riding position is more comfortable on the Trance than on the Anthem and NRS before that. (All frames have been size medium by the way).

    BUT i do feel that the Trance is a little big, slightly heavy and not quite as agile as previous bikes. And while I’ve never felt the need for more than 100 mm of travel, the 120 mm that the Trance offers feels great.

    Since I don’t want multiple bike I am looking for a good do it all bike, and despite all the marketing BS, I can’t help but wondering if a 27.5″ bike might be what I’m looking for.

    I ride singletrack 90% of the time, currently I live in a very flat part of Sweden so there is not much of climbing nor downhill. I don’t jump, or do drops. If I go to a downhill destination I rent a proper DH rig.

    So what I’m looking for is a reasonably light bike that is agile and fun. To that extent I’ve been looking at and reading about the new Giant Trance and Canyon Nerve 27.5″ models.

    One option would be to lighten my current Trance as much as possible, but I guess it will still feel a bit big, beeing a 29er.

    Any suggestions or comments are much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Anders

    JCL
    Free Member

    Inch longer wheelbase on a Trance 650b V’s a Trance 29″. Dunno how the 650b is going to feel smaller?

    sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    I thought it’d be shorter on the 650b… in that case I guess my reasoning is off base. Back to the drawing board… maybe it’s an Anthem for me again then…

    Bregante
    Full Member

    Hasn’t the trail come alive for you yet?

    wobbliscott
    Free Member

    I think there is an optical illusion with 29ers. Cause you’ve got so much wheel waving around in front of you the bike seems big, but when stood side by side with a similar 26er that is set up for a person of the same height and dims as you, you’ll see that the bike itself is actually no bigger. The seat, handlebars and bottom bracket will be the same height off the ground and the wheel base will be roughly similar, its just you’ve got more wheel out in front of you. I recently sat on a mates 26er and though the seat and handlebars were set up the same as my bike and the same height off the ground etc, it felt tiny underneath me cause of the lack of front wheel visible in front.

    ruscle
    Free Member

    Your what the industry likes. A fool who follows and swallows all the bull they dish out! Stop wasting your money and stick with what ever works.

    Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Ruscle, a tad harsh perhaps, but I can’t disagree.

    tthew
    Full Member

    The Trance is by nature a burlier bike than the Anthem. It’s most likely due to the frame geometry rather than the wheel size. I had the same issue with a Specialized Camber, just didn’t suit the riding I do most of.

    Go back to a more cross country bike, like the Anthem. Whatever wheelsize you prefer.

    Turnerfan1
    Free Member

    Time for an Anthem 29!
    Best of both worlds,XC light and a capable trail bike!
    Thanx,
    Max

    howsyourdad1
    Free Member

    It’s your money man if you fancy a change give 650b a try. I live in Sweden too, and when I moved here I had a 29 Specialized EVO ht, fancied a change and a full sus 650b . I’m happy!

    sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    @ruscle Maybe I wasn’t clear about it, but I hate the 650b hype as much as most people seem to do. And as I said, there are some things I really like about my current bike which has everything to do with wheel size, but also some things I do not care for as much, which I think also has to do with wheel size (but I am not 100% sure since this is my first 29er). A the end of the day, I couldn’t care less about wheel size. 🙂

    @Turberfan1 the reason I did not go with the Anthem was pretty much based on the length of the chain stays, that might have been the wrong, who knows.

    @tthew I think you are right on the money. Need to try both sizes of the Anthem for comparison when they arrive.

    @wobbliscott I hear you and agree that there is definitely a matter of perception as well, but at the end of the day there is no denying that my current Trance is less agile than my previous bikes. I honestly thought that it mostly was because of the bigger wheels and weight.

    Prolly shouldn’t have made it a thread about wheel sizes. What I should have asked was something along the lines of: “Any tips on a bike that feels like a Trance X 29er but lighter and more agile/flickable?”

    So there you go – there’s my question re formulated 😀

    JCL
    Free Member

    So you want something that feels like XC 29″ but is less stable (that’s what more agile/flickable really means).

    Anthem 650b it is then.

    sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    @JCL – you could very well be right.

    chestrockwell
    Full Member

    I’m in a similar position to you sputnik. Always had 26″ and have tried (but not owned) 29ers. I like the benifits of 29″ and don’t like getting left by my 29″ riding pals on the road or flat (on 26″ I keep up with one and drop the other) but don’t like the huge, clumsy wheels and know I’d get pee’d off with a 29er if I had one. Looks like I’ll be getting a 650b as I’m in the market for a new bike.

    PimpmasterJazz
    Free Member

    Your what the industry likes. A fool who follows and swallows all the bull they dish out! Stop wasting your money and stick with what ever works.

    I think the OP is trying to find out what ‘works’…

    chestrockwell
    Full Member

    I think the OP is trying to find out what ‘works’…

    Exactly what I thought. Seems the 26″ only brigade are getting as bad as the 27.5/650b/29er tribe.

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    If you want a decent off the peg bike 27.5 is the only choice, there simply aren’t any 26″ bikes unless you want low end or BSO

    mekon
    Free Member

    I never get left behind by people on 29ers, maybe I just have bigger thigh muscles or know when to change gears quicker.

    tizzzzle
    Free Member

    If you want a decent off the peg bike 27.5 is the only choice, there simply aren’t any 26″ bikes unless you want low end or BSO

    😯 Really? (this was a sarcastic post right?)

    I_Ache
    Free Member

    Rocketdog is right there are no decent 26ers for sale anymore.

    http://specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/mountain/stumpjumper-fsr/stumpjumper-fsr-expert-carbon-evo

    *Not the type of bike the OP is after but proves my point.

    Turnerfan1
    Free Member

    I have had no issues with the Anthems stays despite all the Internet chat.
    Test ride one and find out for yourself! You will be surprised!
    Thanx,
    Max

    smell_it
    Free Member

     Really? (this was a sarcastic post right?)

    Who knows, it seems rd post something like this on every wheel size thread. Read enough of them and it just becomes white noise. I can’t decide if i admire his dedication or just feel a little sorry for him?

    aracer
    Free Member

    Don’t do it – you’ll only encourage them.

    buzz-lightyear
    Free Member

    Vis-a-vis 650b:

    trail come alive

    That is still my STW quote-of-the-year 😆

    clubber
    Free Member

    Mine too. 🙂 Bikeind, wasn’t it? Still I guess he has a shop full of 650bs to shift, doesn’t he…

    I thought of it as I rode my very old (26″) bike this morning. I do wonder though whether my 26″ bikes should make the trail come alive more or less than my 29er or whether 650b is just the perfect inbetween and everything else kills the trail off to the same extent.

    sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    I guess I should have known better than to open a can of worms like this. Why is the wheel size debate so heated? Like someone said – the wheels are only one part of the equation. I’ll be trying out the Anthem 29er and 650b and see what they’re like. I have a suspicion that I’d like something just slightly less race-ish. The bad news is that by the time I get to try these bikes out they will be on backorder deluxe.

    aracer
    Free Member

    Why is the wheel size debate so heated?

    Maybe it’s because it’s something the bike makers are forcing on us rather than something the market wants. Or maybe it’s because the bike makers are telling us it’s what we want. I am of course referring to 27″ bikes there – I think most of us accept that 29ers have a place and the choice between them and 26ers (if we were still being offered those as a choice) comes down to what sort of riding you do.

    chestrockwell
    Full Member

    I never get left behind by people on 29ers, maybe I just have bigger thigh muscles or know when to change gears quicker.

    Yep, you’re probably just better then me. I wish I had your life.

    ijs445ra
    Free Member

    What about doing a Jedi style skills day to see if you can get more of what you want out of your current bike?

    Muke
    Free Member

    I don’t want multiple bike

    😯 That’s not something you see posted on STW very often 😀

    sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    That’s not something you see posted on STW very often

    I can’t imagine having to chose the right bike for every ride – what a nightmare. Luckily my wallet helps me further with the one bike argument. 🙂

    Hob-Nob
    Free Member

    Maybe it’s because it’s something the bike makers are forcing on us rather than something the market wants. Or maybe it’s because the bike makers are telling us it’s what we want. I am of course referring to 27″ bikes there – I think most of us accept that 29ers have a place and the choice between them and 26ers (if we were still being offered those as a choice) comes down to what sort of riding you do.

    Boring arguement. It’s no different from 7,8,9,10 or 11 speed drivetrains, tapered steerers, *insert most other new kit here*, etc.

    It’s like groundhog day on here at the moment.

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    tizzzzle – Member

    If you want a decent off the peg bike 27.5 is the only choice, there simply aren’t any 26″ bikes unless you want low end or BSO

    Really? (this was a sarcastic post right?)

    nope, entry level bike might be 26″ but show me a high end 26″ with all the bells and whistles, they are few and far between with a 2014 model year

    smell_it – Member

    Really? (this was a sarcastic post right?)

    Who knows, it seems rd post something like this on every wheel size thread. Read enough of them and it just becomes white noise. I can’t decide if i admire his dedication or just feel a little sorry for him?

    feel what you like you saucy minx but it’s true, I’m not making it up. Is it white noise or do you just have your fingers in your ears hoping it goes away? If i was short enough to feel comfy riding a 26″ wheel bike I’d be miffed that I’m losing my choice too, I ride a 29er and it might happen to them aswell if 27.5 really takes off, we’re all in the wrong sized boat with different length oars it seems!

    chestrockwell
    Full Member

    Boring arguement. It’s no different from 7,8,9,10 or 11 speed drivetrains, tapered steerers, *insert most other new kit here*, etc.

    It’s like groundhog day on here at the moment.

    Think I’m coming round to that point of view.

    If you want top end gears you have to go 9/10/11 speed.
    If you want top forks you have to go bolt through and tapered.
    If you want a top end dropper you really need to ditch 27.2mm.
    There’s exceptions for all (as there is for 26″, Orange Alpine for example) but it’s all happened in the past.

    It’s nothing new. 😥

    jollyrider
    Free Member

    Hi Anders

    I’m in a similar situation to you. I ride single track, steep stuff, twisty but no big drops.

    I ride a Trance X1 2012, which is a great bike, but I am riding a medium and I really should be on a large, so that is my excuse to upgrade.

    As for the ideal bike in my situation, (which as stated I think is similar to yours) I am considering Trance 27.5 or Anthem 27.5, camber 29er or Jet 9 RDO 29er.

    But just to focus on the Giant bikes as it seems more relevant to this thread, this is what I have learnt from a fair bit of googling.

    TRANCE 27.5
    As with the long wheelbase, at 117 cm the 27.5 Trance does seem long, however from this review that also mentions the trance 29er, the 27.5 Trance still feels nimble, apparently. More so than the Trance 29er

    From
    http://www.bikemag.com/gear/news-giant-goes-big-with-27-5/
    review,

    I make a point of not reading geometry charts before testing bikes—reading angles and frame dimensions can color your perceptions out on the trail. It’s better to just let the riding do the talking. What immediately struck me here on the trails of Park City is that the rear end on the new Trance 27.5 felt considerably tighter. There were countless tight turns and high-speed slaloms through the aspens—conditions in which the Trance X 29er would have felt clumsy. The new bike was worlds easier to maneuver at speed. What’s more, the bike’s front-center felt like it had grown a bit—allowing for a more centered and confident stance.

    It turns out that Giant was able to cleave half an inch off the chainstays by going to 27.5. The front center has been stretched more than an inch. The geometry charts suggest that the wheelbase on the 27.5 Trance is actually more than an inch longer than on the 29er version, but despite that fact, I’d take the 27.5 –flavored Trance any day of the week. The rider’s weight distribution is much better on this bike than on the 29er Trance. From a fit and handling perspective, there’s no comparison—this bike is better suited to aggressive riding than its 29er counterpart.

    ANTHEM 27.5
    As with the Anthem 27.5, which I thought could have been the most suited bike for me (the Trance 140mm suspension seems like overkill for the riding I do), there is one red flag & that is the low bottom bracket, which means lots of pedal strikes.
    Apparently the bottom bracket height is 12.5 inches (31.75cm), but can you can get it to 13 inches (33 cm), if you put on a 120 mm fork.

    See
    http://forums.mtbr.com/650b-27-5/giant-anthem-27-5-review-874500.html
    for more information.

    So I’m curious to find out what you will do, as with me, I have no idea.
    Anyway I hope this helps.

    Cheers – Jollyrider.

    I_Ache
    Free Member

    rOcKeTdOg – Member

    nope, entry level bike might be 26″ but show me a high end 26″ with all the bells and whistles, they are few and far between with a 2014 model year

    POSTED 20 HOURS AGO

    I did, here.

    I_Ache – Member
    Rocketdog is right there are no decent 26ers for sale anymore.

    http://specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/mountain/stumpjumper-fsr/stumpjumper-fsr-expert-carbon-evo

    *Not the type of bike the OP is after but proves my point.

    POSTED 1 DAY AGO

    sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    @jollyrider thanks for an interesting and thoughtful response. At this point I’m still leaning towards the Giant Trance 27,5 and this is based on the fact that I mostly love the 29er and that the 26″ Anthem was probably a bit to race-ish for me. I wonder what the weight differences are between the Anthem and Trance in the 26″, 27,5″ and 29″ versions are. I’d really like to lose a kg or two making a switch. As I said – the Trance is lovely but a little too big for maximum fun on really tight trails, and slightly heavier than I’d like. Then again, the way those wheels just flow over roots and rocks.

    jollyrider
    Free Member

    I’m not sure about weight, but the 27.5 Anthem has been slackened from their 29er & 26er counterparts. It’s at 69.5 degrees which is the samer as my 2012 Trance (26er)

    JCL
    Free Member

    Try not to get caught up in the wheelsizes. Geometry and sizing are still the main factors in how bikes ride, suspension is also a major consideration.

    650b hype is off the map at the moment. You could probably pick up a used 26″ carbon Stumpy Evo that has similar numbers (shorter rear centre though) to the 650b Trance for peanuts and you might prefer the suspension/sizing.

    sputniksthlm
    Free Member

    @JCL hear hear.

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