Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

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Devz
Posts: 23
Joined: 28 Dec 2020, 1:13am

Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby Devz » 13 Jan 2021, 11:02pm

Hi guys

So I’ve been shopping around and tbh the bike I have actually feels better than the ones I’ve tried in Halfords, except the wheel size is defo too small

I have a Barracuda Phoenix and an thinking of bigger new wheels for it as they seems like the main issue; only thing is, I do not know if I can fit bigger wheels on this bike?

Can anyone help me find out if this possible?

Thanks guys

iandusud
Posts: 656
Joined: 26 Mar 2018, 1:35pm

Re: Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby iandusud » 14 Jan 2021, 7:13am

Whilst I have no idea of what a Barracuda Phoenix looks like the answer to your question has to be no. When you say that the wheels seem to be the "main issue" what is the issue? I'm 6'1" and am perfectly happy riding a mountain bike with 26" wheels.
Ian

ElCani
Posts: 335
Joined: 5 Mar 2015, 11:24am

Re: Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby ElCani » 14 Jan 2021, 8:49am

I agree with the poster above. There are very few, if any, situations where the wheel size on a bike is a 'problem', assuming the bike fits the rider overall. I'm 6'5" and my 26 inch XL 2007 GT Avalanche fits me well. Modern MTBs with 27.5 and 29 inch wheels have quite different geometry (frame angles) to older bikes which significantly changes their handling characteristics, but you can't achieve the same changes on an old bike by fitting larger wheels.

gregoryoftours
Posts: 1393
Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby gregoryoftours » 14 Jan 2021, 8:38pm

You just might squeeze 27.5 wheels in with fairly narrow tyres if you're lucky. No chance of getting 29er in though. The toe of your shoes will be more likely to hit the larger diameter wheels as you turn, and other issues with geometry of the bike that isn't designed around wheels that size.

Your bike is a £250 full suspension bike, which is way too low a cost to get a good quality bike of this type in particular. The quality of the bike combined with the cost of the parts needed make putting bigger wheels on it not a worthwhile experiment. It will also be probably quite difficult to get a 27.5 disc compatible rear wheel that takes the 7 speed freewheel that your bike is fitted with, and any such wheel will also be quite poor quality.

The main thing slowing you down with that bike will be not the wheel size but the heavy weight of the bike, the suspension fork and rear suspension, neither of which can be locked out for better efficiency. A large part of your energy on anything that isn't rocky or downhill will be spent in bouncing around rather than propelling the bike forward.

I'm sorry to sound so discouraging, but if you get on well with the bike there is a decent change that is definitely worth going ahead with. I'd suggest to do to make it less hard work to ride is to get some suitable semi slick tyres. That's your best bang for buck to improve the ride unless you want to ride mud and rocks. It should make quite a big difference.

Devz
Posts: 23
Joined: 28 Dec 2020, 1:13am

Re: Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby Devz » 14 Jan 2021, 8:52pm

gregoryoftours wrote:Unfortunately changing wheel size is not a goer, I'd say, but there is a good bang for buck change that would make it much better to ride on road/tracks that aren't too rocky/muddy.

You just might squeeze 27.5 wheels in with fairly narrow tyres if you're lucky. No chance of getting 29er in though. The toe of your shoes will be more likely to hit the larger diameter wheels as you turn, and other issues with geometry of the bike that isn't designed around wheels that size.

Your bike is a £250 full suspension bike, which is way too low a cost to get a good quality bike of this type in particular. The quality of the bike combined with the cost of the parts needed make putting bigger wheels on it not a worthwhile experiment. It will also be probably quite difficult to get a 27.5 disc compatible rear wheel that takes the 7 speed freewheel that your bike is fitted with, and any such wheel will also be quite poor quality.

The main thing slowing you down with that bike will be not the wheel size but the heavy weight of the bike, the suspension fork and rear suspension, neither of which can be locked out for better efficiency. A large part of your energy on anything that isn't rocky or downhill will be spent in bouncing around rather than propelling the bike forward.

I'm sorry to sound so discouraging, but if you get on well with the bike there is a decent change you can make. I'd suggest to do to make it less hard work to ride is to get some suitable semi slick tyres. That's your best bang for buck to improve the ride unless you want to ride mud and rocks. That should make quite a big difference.


Thanks guys

I think this post nails it as i slow right down next to a stop on any type of incline, no matter how steep.

I’ve tried adjusting the back suspension but it hasn’t helped. Lowering the saddle has helped loads, and highering the handlebars has also helped a lot. Downhill a lot faster than normal and even uphill is easier than a bigger bike, but the effort to get anywhere is a real slog

Anything else I can do to speed it a tiny bit in the meantime? Until lockdown changes a bit, can’t really try out hikes except Halfords

nsew
Posts: 632
Joined: 14 Dec 2017, 12:38pm

Re: Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby nsew » 14 Jan 2021, 8:57pm

Pedal faster

gregoryoftours
Posts: 1393
Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby gregoryoftours » 14 Jan 2021, 9:08pm

Hmm it sounds a bit strange that lowering the saddle and raising the bars helped - especially on inclines because it means that you can't pull on the bars very effectively and use your upper body strength to help you. Normally I'd expect the opposite, raising the saddle so your legs can extend more and not get as tired (the way I think of it is say like climbing stairs while in a semi-crouched position is way more knackering than stood up and extending your legs normally), and lowering the bars a bit which enables you to pull on them more effectively. This is especially true while standing on the pedals to go uphill. But with a full suspension bike with no lockout to the suspension they do tend to wallow going uphill, especially they bounce around more when standing up. The best you can do with the rear suspension is as you say adjust it, to be as stiff as possible if it's a coil spring then compress it with the notched adjustment disc as far as it will go. I wonder if your bike just doesn't fit you very well. I'd just experiment with saddle/bar height more and find what suits you best. Moving the saddle back a bit might help with leg power too. Apart from swapping the tyres out for less knobbly ones, plus keeping them well pumped up for road (maximum pressure is always printed on the sides of tyres) I don't know what to suggest really. It is a really heavy bike. Unfortunately full suspension bikes need a lot of expensive components to work well and still not weigh a tonne, to the point that they start getting decent at about £1000! Much below that and you're better off going with a simpler bike so the money can go on fewer, better quality components.

WrightsW5
Posts: 823
Joined: 1 Jun 2010, 10:37pm
Location: Saddle City

Re: Fitting a 27.5 or even 29 on a 26in & 18f bike

Postby WrightsW5 » 15 Jan 2021, 1:33am

One of my bikes started as a 5 speed hub gear with 26in mtb wheels and v brakes. It evolved into a fixed gear with 650a wheels and caliper brakes. When I needed new forks I bought rigid forks, it had them anyway but no way would I buy suspension forks. I would not buy any tyres that were not commuter/road bike either. So you can change it bit by bit if you want to.