February 15, 2014 Comments Adventure, Bicycles, Blog Posts, Reviews

Changing Rims — 26 / 27.5 / 29

Since the dawn of the decade, there have been so many discussions with regard to using the right rim size for the job.
For me, before jumping into something, one should properly know the pros and cons. Are you really a 29er guy? Should you really stick it with the classic 26-incher? 650b is the latest craze so “I-gotta-have-one”?

fireeye rims
For me, choice of rim size now should really depend on the
1. Type of riding you do
2. Your height.
3. Skill level.

If you are one big (2.) cross country (1.)kind-of-rider, the bigger, the better. If you choose to ride back roads and just go over small rocks and bumps, 29 inch is suited for you. You just need a (3.)lot of legs/ saddle time to get accustomed to the big rims. Bigger diameter means more power to make it turn. Thus, you gotta work it, baby!

If you like aggressive riding (1.), going down really fast, and riding technical tracks with berms and drops— no matter how tall or short (2.) you are, the 26 inch rims are the ones for you. Free ride or Downhill? Whatever your skill level may be— if you like going fast or you like burning brake pads (3.), the smaller wheel diameter is much more nimble and it can easily turn faster compared to the bigger papa.

Now the 27.5 inch rims or what they used to call 650b is a sweet middle for all this.
XC boy who’s a little short for a niner? Go get yourself a 650b.
Tall All-Mountain guy who wants more challenge? Get a bigger chainring. Slap in a 36 tooth middle ring and a 24 ring granny. Done that? Then it is time to upgrade to a 27.5.

epic ni ryan (2)

There are frames with enough clearance to accommodate 27.5 rims with tires. Those who plan to jump the bandwagon and change rims size— be warned… not all forks can accept the 27.5 upsize. If you were to use the 29er fork and downsize, that’s OK. But there are 27.5 specific forks out there.

The Epic pictured above is one of my mate’s ride. It is the preferred race bike of many. The owner said that his velocity greatly improved thanks to the rim size upgrade. He used to have 26 inch rims but he recently slapped on ZTRs and wrapped them with Rocket Rons. Wow.

Bottom line: It’s all up to you. Not just because it is the fad, you should go join the bandwagon. If it improves your style and performance, well and good. But at the end of the day: It’s not in the bow and arrow, it’s in the Indian.