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27.5 plus or 29er

Old 11-01-19, 11:24 AM
  #1  
jackb
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27.5 plus or 29er

I've been ready to buy a mtn bike for some months, but have been unable to decide between a 27.5 plus or a 29er. At my age I'm not going to become a dedicated, really serious mtn. bike. No races or treacherous downhill. I simply want to ride on some trails, some gravel forest service roads (I live in Montana, which has these roads in abundance), and city streets and roads in all seasons. I''d like something that lets me ride in winter when the streets contain a lot of gravel and other debirs, but I won't be riding on snow, and I'd like to be able to jump a curb every now and then for riding convenience. I've been a road cyclist all my life, but I'm getting tired of being around cars all the time. I'd like to get away from them and forest service hiking trials sound appealing.

That said, I've been considering two bicycles from bikesdirect.com a Phantom Elite 27.5 plus and a Phantom Elite 29er. Both are priced at $999. Any thoughts?
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Old 11-01-19, 01:24 PM
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bianchi4harley
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Originally Posted by jackb View Post
I've been ready to buy a mtn bike for some months, but have been unable to decide between a 27.5 plus or a 29er. At my age I'm not going to become a dedicated, really serious mtn. bike. No races or treacherous downhill. I simply want to ride on some trails, some gravel forest service roads (I live in Montana, which has these roads in abundance), and city streets and roads in all seasons. I''d like something that lets me ride in winter when the streets contain a lot of gravel and other debirs, but I won't be riding on snow, and I'd like to be able to jump a curb every now and then for riding convenience. I've been a road cyclist all my life, but I'm getting tired of being around cars all the time. I'd like to get away from them and forest service hiking trials sound appealing.

That said, I've been considering two bicycles from bikesdirect.com a Phantom Elite 27.5 plus and a Phantom Elite 29er. Both are priced at $999. Any thoughts?
Best thing is to go to a bike shop and demo both the 27.5 and 29. They will handle a little differently, but being new to Mtn biking, you may not notice the subtle differences. I would suggest though, that for you starting out, comfort and a bike that "feels" good are more important. Both bikes will be good. It also depends on terrain. the 29 will roll over smaller rocks and branches easier, but the 27.5 will be better in tight corners and going up over bigger obstacles.
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Old 11-02-19, 05:37 AM
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CodyDog
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Either one will serve you well. There's a lot of opinion and debate on which size tire to ride in the last couple of years. They each have their positive points and there is a difference between the two. As bianch4harley mentioned above, find a bike shop and demo the two different sizes. My personal preference is a 27.5 tire (2.5 width/trails) versus plus or 29.

Last edited by CodyDog; 11-02-19 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 11-02-19, 05:48 AM
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For single-track an argument could be made either way, though from what you say about yourself I think you might lean towards a 27.5 Plus. But it is hard to say.

However, for everything else I would want a 29er. You just donít need a 2.8Ē tire for any of that.
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Old 11-02-19, 01:50 PM
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If I decide to buy another mountain bike I will get something from Surly that has an option to run both 27.5 and 29'er wheels There are frames out there that can do that....Right now I am riding a Surly 1x1. This frame can run 26x2.8 or 27.5x2.3 or 700x50... I love versatility.
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Old 11-02-19, 05:28 PM
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If you’re not riding a lot of tight and twisty single track where a smaller wheel size AND accompanying geometry that makes a 27.5 quicker handling, than I’d say go 29. The larger wheel does roll faster once up to speed and you might notice that on gravel and pavement. Might be a better choice in 29 tires suitable for snow, etc.... easier to buy a 2nd set off winter wheels to mount alternative tires, etc..,
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Old 11-02-19, 09:01 PM
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The OP is asking about 27.5 plus versus 29 so some of your answers are not relevant. Get a Salsa Timberjack and then you can run both!
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Old 11-03-19, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Further thinking along with a trip to a few local shops have led me to abandon the idea of a 29+. I don't think I'll need such fat tires. so now it is a choice between an 27.5 and the 29er. I'm leaning towards the 29er. almost ready to buy. thanks.
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Old 11-03-19, 06:02 PM
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I am new to mountain bikes myself so cannot speak as an expert, but at my age I am doing what you speak of, mostly just riding hiking trails. I have 29 wheels on my MTB, but also 27.5 on my hybrid.

I have only a few true MTB trails here and they are well maintained. Roots, rocks and logs are set in the ground pretty well and don't move. In contrast, the hiking trails are not maintained and the logs, branches, and some rocks move when you hit them. So does the soil at times. This makes them more precarious to me, and it is not rare for me to fall. Lacking true mountain biking skills, I find the 29 very forgiving, much more stable and just more fun. I do ride fast at times and don't notice a problem with responsiveness, but I am not on anything technical.

Then again, I am pretty much in love with my bike and even ride it on pavement now just because it is so much fun to ride. Just a different perspective from a prior roadie who is also new to these bikes.
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