Ask MBA-Wheel Sizes
IS 27.5 DYING?
Q: I’m buying a used full suspension on Craigslist. I’ve narrowed it down to two bikes. One is an older 29er from 2012. The other is a nicer, newer 2015 27.5. I’m 6-foot-2, ride a ton of road and a little mountain. I’ve loved the 29ers, so my brain says go with the 2012, but my heart says ignore the 27.5 and buy the one I really want, the 2015 27.5. I saw your article about wheel size and was wondering, do you still favor 27.5 three years later? Seems like 27.5 is a dying breed.
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A: We definitely wouldn’t say that the 27.5 is a dying breed. The early years of the 29ers were tough, with the bikes having poor handling characteristics and, really, just being big machines. However, with advancements in geometry and frame design, 29ers have become more versatile and user-friendly. From 2012 to 2015 there were pretty big changes in frame design and suspension, and more important, so much so that we would lean towards the 27.5. Overall, the bigger wheels will pedal better on the pavement, but sometimes it’s better to compromise and go with the bike that has the most current standards.
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