If you're having a hard time deciding what kind of wheel size to get next, Black Market Bikes has got you
covered. The company's new Roam frame allows you to run any wheel size and hub spacing you want. The
Roam features Black Market's proprietary All Wheel Dropout (A.W.D.) Systems. With said systems, you can
run 26-inch, 27.5-inch, or 29-inch wheels and use 135x9mm, 135x12mm, or 142x12mm hubs. We haven't
ridden a Roam yet, but we're hoping to test one soon. Black Market's owner, Carter Holland, told us he has
a downhill course that he uses to test the bike setups. He says the 27.5-inch wheels have proved to be more
than six seconds faster on that course on average (comparing them on Strava) than the 26-inch wheels—and
that is on the same frame on a downhill course that is only about a minute long. Carter says the difference is
amazing. The bikes should be in production now, but you might have to put your name on a waiting list to get one.
The frame offers 4.7 to 6.2 inches of rear-wheel travel, depending on the wheel and shock sizes used (it can
use every 6.5- and 8.0-inch shock on the market, according to Holland). The MSRP on the aluminum Roam
frame is $1899. If you get three different forks and all three wheelsets, that will add to your cost, of course.
Photo: JK/Mountain Bike Action