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Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+
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I’m looking at buying a new Mtn Bike this summer. Narrowing things down a bit but am curious if anyone has insight into the 29 vs 27.5+ choice.

Specifically looking at the Santa Cruz Tallboy and the Niner Jet 9. Both are compatible with both wheel sizes and you can get them set up stock either way.

My current bike is an older FS 29er but have never ridden a 27.5+ bike. I plan to demo both but looking for first hand experiences.

I race very occasionally (short XC races and XTerra) so thats not a huge deciding factor.

Live in CO and ride all the terrain it has to offer although I’m getting a little less reckless as I’m getting older.

Formerly DrD
Last edited by: Broken Leg Guy: Jun 11, 18 20:13
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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I'd demo both. I haven't spent a ton of time on a 27.5+ but lots on a 29. 27.5+ feels like it can basically do anything you want. It does not feel especially "fast" in my opinion compared to a normal 29er. But it's burly.

I'd just ride both and let yourself be the judge. You'll find about a million different opinions on this on various mountain bike articles, reviews, and forums.
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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I recently upgraded to a new mountain bike. I had a 29er hard tail. 27.5 was new from when I bought the last one.
Based on everything I could research AND based on the type of riding I do, I didn't see any upside to 27.5. I went with 29er full suspension and couldn't be happier.
The only downside I see with either the Santa Cruz or the Niner, is that you'll give your trail buddies a hefty dose of bike envy.
Last edited by: Ellsworth53T: Jun 11, 18 17:58
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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27.5+ tends to work better for shorter riders. I'm 5'6 probably the minimum height for a 29er.
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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AndysStrongAle wrote:
27.5+ tends to work better for shorter riders. I'm 5'6 probably the minimum height for a 29er.

Noticed this fact as I too am looking around for a new MTBer and hadn't bought one since 29er days. The models I am looking at are 27.5 for smaller frames, and 29er for larger frames.


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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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Just an fyi, if you're looking for an XC bike in 27.5 you get a killer deal on new old-stock Giant Anthems.
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Ellsworth53T] [ In reply to ]
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Ellsworth53T wrote:
I recently upgraded to a new mountain bike. I had a 29er hard tail. 27.5 was new from when I bought the last one.
Based on everything I could research AND based on the type of riding I do, I didn't see any upside to 27.5. I went with 29er full suspension and couldn't be happier.
The only downside I see with either the Santa Cruz or the Niner, is that you'll give your trail buddies a hefty dose of bike envy.


I agree with you with regards to regular 27.5 bikes. The newer 27.5+ bikes have wheels with 2.8-3.0 tires that are run at lower pressure. The bike shop guys were raving about them especially if you are not a racer. The advantages of the two bikes I’m looking at are the ability to run both size wheels. I’m trying to decide on what to by as the stock wheel set. Probably won’t buy a second wheel set for awhile.

Formerly DrD
Last edited by: Broken Leg Guy: Jun 12, 18 6:37
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [jkhayc] [ In reply to ]
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jkhayc wrote:
I'd demo both. I haven't spent a ton of time on a 27.5+ but lots on a 29. 27.5+ feels like it can basically do anything you want. It does not feel especially "fast" in my opinion compared to a normal 29er. But it's burly.

I'd just ride both and let yourself be the judge. You'll find about a million different opinions on this on various mountain bike articles, reviews, and forums.

That’s my plan. Kind of intrigued by the 27.5+ for general riding. The LBS guys love them for a majority of riding.

Formerly DrD
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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AndysStrongAle wrote:
27.5+ tends to work better for shorter riders. I'm 5'6 probably the minimum height for a 29er.

I’m a tad over 5’9” and have been on a 29er for 11 years. In general I love the 29er but am intrigued by the 27.5+.

Demo rides will be the decider

Formerly DrD
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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My vote is 27.5+.
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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I've ridden mostly 29ers, and actually demo'd the Tallboy last March. I demo'd another 27.5 last year, and enjoyed it, but while it was awesome with technical stuff, I think I enjoy 29ers more. There are a tremendous number of different 29ers out there that cover various niches. If you're considering just those two, I personally enjoyed the Tallboy--fast, good descender, adequate travel. There are others that I would consider that blend the two better: Pivot 429 Trail, Yeti SB 4.5.
Have fun!
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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I just picked up a new 27.5 (Intense Spider) and I’m generally happy with the move from 29. This brought me to a more modern geometry and features with 1x drivetrain, slacker angles and more travel. ((Not a 27.5+ bike ). I learning to like the dropper post and the silence of a 1x drivetrain.

My 29r, which I promised sweetie would be sold off is still around however - it is unquestionably faster on the pedal to the trailhead or fast fire road sections Strava proves this - but it also proves the 27,5 is faster on single track twisties. One stretch of my regular training loop has a series of switchbacks where I had to place my wheels just right with the 29er, while with the Spider I have a whole universe of new lines open to me.

I’m 5’8” with short legs, and have raced the 29er hard for ~4 Seasons, I loved the bike but it was getting tired. If you’re planning fireroads and xterras, the bigwheels (29) will likely be faster, but if you like to catch a bit of air and chandler, then the plus wheels might be your best baseline

" I take my gear out of my car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of of their lives shocks me. "
(opening lines from Tim Krabbe's The Rider , 1978
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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You can run 29" wheels on a 27.5 PLUS bike. Get a 27.5+ and buy a light set of 29er wheels for it and you have both.
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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One more bike for you to consider: the Trek Full Stache. All the shops in FL are sold out until September so Trek must have done something right with that bike.
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [ridenfish39] [ In reply to ]
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ridenfish39 wrote:
You can run 29" wheels on a 27.5 PLUS bike. Get a 27.5+ and buy a light set of 29er wheels for it and you have both.

That’s the way I’m leaning going into the demo rides.

Formerly DrD
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [big-w] [ In reply to ]
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big-w wrote:
I've ridden mostly 29ers, and actually demo'd the Tallboy last March. I demo'd another 27.5 last year, and enjoyed it, but while it was awesome with technical stuff, I think I enjoy 29ers more. There are a tremendous number of different 29ers out there that cover various niches. If you're considering just those two, I personally enjoyed the Tallboy--fast, good descender, adequate travel. There are others that I would consider that blend the two better: Pivot 429 Trail, Yeti SB 4.5.
Have fun!


Thanks! Im getting the AL model so the Pivot and Yeti are about $2K more than what I’m wanting to spend.

Formerly DrD
Last edited by: Broken Leg Guy: Jun 12, 18 13:42
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [AndysStrongAle] [ In reply to ]
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AndysStrongAle wrote:
27.5+ tends to work better for shorter riders. I'm 5'6 probably the minimum height for a 29er.

5'5" woman here and both of my mountain bikes (Specialized Epic and Fisher Epic SS) are 29ers.

Try not to drown / rock the bike / hobby-jog
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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Salsa Horsethief is also on my list

Formerly DrD
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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fwiw, I wouldn't "race" on a plus bike at the moment but I think the sweet spot for 27.5+ is about 2.6". More than that and you have a lot of rubber to move around and can really suffer from the spring in the balloon tires. That said, the plus tires are pretty forgiving and you almost have to do something really stupid (which is easy to do for some of us - raises hand) to lose traction. Aside from the weight, general lack of tire choices (getting better) and how big the tubes are I think they're fun but the geometry is still evolving. IMO, I'd generalize and say they're better for beginner/not quite confident riders or for a fun all day non-race bike. I'll probably use the wheels for some bike packing things late summer.

all (or damn near all) boost frames can swap between but you may be limited to 2.6 or 2.8 in the back depending on the model. To add to that, a 27.5x2.8 (on 45mm id rims) is just shy of an inch shorter than a 29x2.2 (on 23mm id rims) so your bb will be a fair amount lower. You'll often get a compromise from the manufacturer by offering the 15-20mm lower headset adapter thingy. this doesn't quite make up for the difference and changes the geo enough to notice. Some are now adding the chips for the rear dropouts (or similar) to also help address this difference.

also worth noting that most newer fat bikes can handle 27.5+ and 29+ in addition to 26+
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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I used to live somewhere that forced you to ride fat once you strayed from the road. I moved and found myself with two fat bikes that were overkill for the local conditions so I pulled apart the wheels I didn't like and rebuilt them with WTB i21 and i23 rims and put Conti Race King protections on them. I was really surprised how tall that bike was. What surprised me more was how much I missed having that massive tire for control on the front and traction on the back. Not very often where I ride, but one crash/fall on that machine made me start thinking about it. Now I am wondering if 27.5 x 3 inch might be the happy medium if I am just out riding trails and not racing. If I had a few more dollars to burn I would try and built up a 27.5 wheelset for my rigid fatbike and see how it faired as a road plus with the WTB Byway tires. The industry might have started some of the myriad changes for marketing, but I think it offers up a lot of options to the clever rider.
Chad
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [cdw] [ In reply to ]
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The Tallboy 27.5+ comes stock with 2.8s.

I’m trying to setup a demo riding the 29er and 27.5+ back to back on the same course.

Ultimately that will help me decide.

Formerly DrD
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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Look at Scott Genius - 2018 model can fit both 29 and 27 due to the “flip chip” they have.

I was recently looking for a dualie, ran across YT Jeffsy as a 140mm/140mm 29er...reviewed really well... purchased online (direct to customer sales)... couldn’t be happier.

Almost as fast uphill and on non-technical as my carbon hardtail 29er. Much faster on the downhill.
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Broken Leg Guy] [ In reply to ]
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Totally on a whim I took a DeVinci Django 27.5 for a demo ride.

Sold.

2017 Carbon NX model on sale from Evo.

Comes stock with 2.3/2.25 but can fit 2.6s.

Pick it up later this week! First new Mtn Bike in 11 years. Can’t wait. Huge step up from current bike.

Carbon
Dropper post
1x
Hydraulic brakes
130/120mm travel (80/76 on old bike)

Formerly DrD
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Re: Mtn Bikes: 29 vs 27.5+ [Helliquin] [ In reply to ]
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Helliquin wrote:
I was recently looking for a dualie, ran across YT Jeffsy as a 140mm/140mm 29er...reviewed really well... purchased online (direct to customer sales)... couldn’t be happier.

Almost as fast uphill and on non-technical as my carbon hardtail 29er. Much faster on the downhill.

Same here, just bought a Jeffsy 29er and it's awesome. A ton of bike for the money.
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