27.5"+? = ??

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hercule
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27.5"+? = ??

Postby hercule » 29 Mar 2018, 8:45pm

(I thought I would add the last two characters in the title, it was just too inviting!)

I am thinking about upgrading my 2006 hardtail mountain bike. The front fork is showing its age and I've found replacements for 26" forks with limited travel (85mm in this case) seem rather scarce. There is a handling issue that I've never really got to grips with, namely that on steep climbs its very difficult to keep the front wheel on the ground, which does nothing for my confidence.

With a clutch of Tesco vouchers that could make a sizeable inroads into the purchase price and the prospect of getting rid a rusty heap in the back of the garage, I've been looking at what Evans have on offer and have been taken by the Cannondale Beast of the East. It runs 3" wide tubeless ready tyres and has an air sprung fork with lockout. Once upon a time I fancied a fat bike like a Surly Pugsley but concluded the opportunities for using such a machine were really too limited. And whilst I am literally right on the doorstep of miles of forest trails, there's some steep hills to climb and a proper fat bike seems like it would be too much work on the uphills and possibly not compliant enough to really let go on the downhills.

27.5"+ however seems like a good middle ground between conventional MTBs and fat bikes - wide enough to minimise the need for full suspension (too much maintenance), wide enough to cope with all the rooty single track, not so heavy as to blunt the appeal of faster paced riding along the fire roads. I think I'm a bit on the short side for 29" wheels (5'8" on a good day).

Anyone any insights into this or am I best sticking with more conventional width tyres? I'd like something that inspires confidence in the tricky bits and has a reasonable turn of speed but I'm not interested in racing.

hoppy58
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby hoppy58 » 30 Mar 2018, 1:06pm

I think I'm a bit on the short side for 29" wheels (5'8" on a good day).


I'm exactly the same size and ride a small Genesis Longitude built up with 29" wheels - it's a really confidence inspiring ride...I run it with 2.4" tyres which soak up general trail bumps; and it climbs brilliantly. I think Alpkit will build up a Sondor as a 29er and you can try it first at one of their shops.

ImageIMG_5442 by hop58, on Flickr

reohn2
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby reohn2 » 30 Mar 2018, 1:20pm

I'm with hoppy58 :D
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reohn2
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby reohn2 » 30 Mar 2018, 5:00pm

TBH,If I were buying a hardtail with a boinger up front I think It'd probably be a Voodoo Bizango,they get excellent reviews and are great value for money.
You could buy a pair of 27.5 handbuilt wheels and + tyres,and still save £400 over the 'dale :)
Last edited by reohn2 on 30 Mar 2018, 5:16pm, edited 1 time in total.
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firedfromthecircus
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby firedfromthecircus » 30 Mar 2018, 5:06pm

Plus size tyres are a good compromise between fatbike and normal size IMHO. If you are over 5'10" I see no benefit of a 27.5"+, just go straight for the 29+. ****Edit to add- Just spotted the 5'8" bit in your op. Ignore 29+ in that case, but the advice still stands for others. ******
One thing about full fat tyres is that the traction they offer gives you much more leeway in weight distribution when climbing. What I mean is that if your technique is not spot on you can put more weight over the front to stop it lifting while still having the traction to get up the slope. If your technique is good then the traction enables you to climb really rather steep slopes as long as you have the gears, the legs and the lungs! :lol:

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LinusR
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby LinusR » 30 Mar 2018, 5:32pm

The 27.5 with plus tyres will make the complete wheel the same size as a 29er with 2.3in tyres. With a 27.5+ bike you can even swap out the wheels and fit 29ers with a 2.3 tyre. Best of both worlds if you like having loads of wheels! Which model of Beast were you thinking of getting? Presumably this one? https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale-beast-of-the-east-2-2017-mountain-bike-EV254001

One thing to bear in mind with a 1x system is the lowest gear. Is 30x42 low enough?

I have a Voodoo Bizango 29er and I run 22x36 as a bottom gear. Any lower and I'd fall off.

hercule
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby hercule » 30 Mar 2018, 10:38pm

That's all useful feedback, thanks!

I had considered the Genesis, I particularly liked rehon2's bike in earlier pictures but I wonder about handling without a suspension fork. My hardtail GT was a revelation downhill compared to the no-suspension Specialized that preceded it.

Jack Thurston in the Bike Show podcast recently commented that one difference between "road" cyclists and MTB'ers is that the former like riding up hills, the latter riding down them. A bit of a simplification but I am one who enjoys the climb rather than seeing it as a mere precursor to the descent. I am also of an age where hurtling down hill is tempered by how much it is going to hurt if I come off; the good climbing ability of the Genesis is attractive but I am concerned that the absence of front bounce might also lose some all important comfort and control.

It is the BOTE 2 I was looking at, the only thing that I see as a downside is the 1x11 transmission, I would prefer a double. Though low gear is actually 30x42 or about 20" - bottom gear on my GT is only slightly lower than that at 18" and I very rarely use it (because of the aforementioned front wheel issue). If anything I would like some more higher gears in the middle of the range, I can see myself wearing out the smaller cogs quickly with brisk riding on the forest roads. Apparently the BOTE can take front mech though I'm not sure how true this is - the seat tube seems to be bending in unconventional directions at that point. The Cannonade Cujo 2 has a double and the same sort of wheelset, and is cheaper to boot.

The Voodoo sounds promising but it's not sold by Evans and those Tesco vouchers make a big difference!

I guess what I can conclude is that 27.5+ tyres aren't necessarily such a far out idea after all and I had also considered the possibility of swapping in/out 29ers as well.

hercule
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby hercule » 1 Apr 2018, 4:19pm

Having looked into the Genesis a bit further, I must say I am tempted... it looks like a good bike for riding round the woods with minimal maintenance but the possibility of being far more flexible... the Cannondale by comparison is much less flexible. On the other hand, would I miss the front suspension? I'm too timid and conscious of my mortality to hurtle down the black runs (or indeed even attempt them), but I do like a fast downhill on the forestry roads.

firedfromthecircus
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby firedfromthecircus » 1 Apr 2018, 5:51pm

From the sounds of the riding you like to do I'd say if you have a plus tyre on the front you won't miss suspension forks. I certainly don't!

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Cunobelin
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby Cunobelin » 1 Apr 2018, 6:03pm

29ers are the same standard size wheel used for many years for the majority of bicycles before some marketing guru decided to con the public into believing they were something new and special

reohn2
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby reohn2 » 1 Apr 2018, 6:47pm

firedfromthecircus wrote:From the sounds of the riding you like to do I'd say if you have a plus tyre on the front you won't miss suspension forks. I certainly don't!

I agree,I'm old and knackered,and find the Longitude a great bike for the sort MTBing I do and I do like descending.
The 2.4inch Conti X Kings I ride are great with 15psi up front and 25 in the rear,all the suspension I need :)
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reohn2
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby reohn2 » 1 Apr 2018, 6:50pm

Cunobelin wrote:29ers are the same standard size wheel used for many years for the majority of bicycles before some marketing guru decided to con the public into believing they were something new and special

They're are something special with 2.4inch tyres on at really low psi :) and the Longitude will also take upto a 3inch tyre up front if needed :)
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Cunobelin
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby Cunobelin » 2 Apr 2018, 9:14pm

reohn2 wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:29ers are the same standard size wheel used for many years for the majority of bicycles before some marketing guru decided to con the public into believing they were something new and special

They're are something special with 2.4inch tyres on at really low psi :) and the Longitude will also take upto a 3inch tyre up front if needed :)

The OP was talking about radius and frame size

reohn2
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Re: 27.5"+? = ??

Postby reohn2 » 2 Apr 2018, 9:46pm

Cunobelin wrote:
reohn2 wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:29ers are the same standard size wheel used for many years for the majority of bicycles before some marketing guru decided to con the public into believing they were something new and special

They're are something special with 2.4inch tyres on at really low psi :) and the Longitude will also take upto a 3inch tyre up front if needed :)

The OP was talking about radius and frame size

If I'm understanding this correctly....
The Longitude BB drop is 77mm making saddle height to ground with 29er/2.4inch wheels/tyres much more favourable for a 5ft 8in rider,unlike many 29er MTBs with higher BBs
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I cycle therefore I am.