Ask MBaction: Should I Stick With 26?

Q: Ride a 2004 Specialized S-Works Epic. Yep, that’s right. It’s time to upgrade. Now I’m 44 years short of 100, but I do fairly well for my age. I don’t do jumps. I don’t bomb down mountains. I do ride aggressively and enjoy epic singletrack rides. So, is an endurance bike more than I really need? Am I adding unneeded weight and expense? Would I be better off going with a 26-inch wheeled trail bike?
-John, who will love how much better bikes are in 2014 than they were in 2004

A: We asked our resident 40-years-short-of-100 rider to field this one, because you guys sound similar.

“I find the enduro bikes are overkill for what we like doing, John. A dual-suspension bike with around 4 inches of travel rolling on 27.5-inch or 29-inch wheels does everything you and I need going down the mountain and helps us clear climbs we would end up hiking on an enduro bike.

“You will find some amazing deals on 26-inch wheeled trail bikes now because they will be gone from high-end trail bikes in the next few years. Actually, they are pretty much gone already except for the closeouts. After riding 27.5 wheels for trail riding, I just don’t want to ride 26ers anymore. You will find the larger wheels make you a better rider at slower speeds (you have to commit on a 26er, whereas you can roll stuff on the larger wheels).”

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