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Is 27.5" dead?

Old 07-17-19, 06:15 PM
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dieterpi
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Is 27.5" dead?

I have a 27.5" mtb which is starting to show its age, and I have started looking for a replacement. (without a hurry)
It might be just me, but it looks like 27.5" is going to have same fate as 26"? All the new mountainbikes seem 29"...

I'm a bit hesitant of switching to a 29'er, because of the slight loss of manoeuvrability (perhaps nothing to be worried about?)
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Old 07-17-19, 06:50 PM
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I've had both at my disposal and when it came to purchase new I've always stayed with the 27.5. Like you, I feel a real loss in maneuverability with the larger diameter tire even if the ride is slightly smoother. I used to be able to thrash the trails on my old Raleigh 26" and it took me a bit to adapt to the 27.5. I never was able to adapt to the 29er. Then again, I've gotten older too so that might have something to do with it...
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Old 07-17-19, 07:36 PM
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What are you riding now? My first 29r was a 2010 Lenz Leviathan. I always felt I was too tall in the saddle with the massive BB height with the old 29r geometries. I continued to buy 29rs as 27.5s started to take over the market but with the lower BBs and slack fronts the "wagon" wheels now feel less big even with the high volume tires we are all now using. Don't discount 29rs demo and form your own opinions. I have 2-3 27.5s for my big travelers, I'm 5'9" and the smaller wheels are easier for me to handle at the higher speeds.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:36 AM
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I hope not dead, but it's becoming difficult to find low-travel, full-suspension XC bikes in 650b. I'm not saying there aren't any to be found, but the 120 mm full suspension market does seem to be dominated by 29ers.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:55 AM
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Ummmmmm, 27.5 seconds of Google searching got this:

Pivot Mach 4 27.5
Pivot Mach 5.5 27.5
Pivot Trail429 27.5
Santa Cruz Bronson 27.5
Ibis Mojo 27.5
Salsa Spearfish 27.5
Salsa Rustler 27.5
Giant Reign 27.5

No telling what you'd find with 27.5 minutes of searching. ;- )
....no, it's not dead.
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Old 07-18-19, 07:34 AM
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Ha! No..... the 29rs appear to be dead. It's a fad...... "I got the new improved 27.5 wheels."
29rs still rule Cross Country.
Depends on what you want and terrain.
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Old 07-18-19, 07:51 AM
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Quite a few DH pros still ride 27.5 or a mix with 29 front, 27.5 rear.
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Old 07-18-19, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by PickleRick View Post
Ummmmmm, 27.5 seconds of Google searching got this:

Pivot Mach 4 27.5
Pivot Mach 5.5 27.5
Pivot Trail429 27.5
Santa Cruz Bronson 27.5
Ibis Mojo 27.5
Salsa Spearfish 27.5
Salsa Rustler 27.5
Giant Reign 27.5

No telling what you'd find with 27.5 minutes of searching. ;- )
....no, it's not dead.
think most are marketed as a 27.5+, yeah it's a 27.5 rim but the diameter of the wheel with tires make them close to a 29" wheel. Which is why many can fit both wheel sizes.
For many a regular 2.2" tire would drop the BB too much and contribute to significantly more pedal strikes
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Old 07-18-19, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by 2cam16 View Post
Quite a few DH pros still ride 27.5 or a mix with 29 front, 27.5 rear.
yes, the great Mullet bikes everyone seems to be trying out. Foes had this 3-4 year ago but people are finally wanting to try something different as wheel sizes seem to have stabilized.
Remember the 96rs? they were all wrong with the wheel size differentials. I actually like 276rs with a 80mm fork. But 26rs are dead right....
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Old 07-18-19, 03:16 PM
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Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for.
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Old 07-18-19, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for.

I had to google that. Nice.
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Old 07-18-19, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
What are you riding now? My first 29r was a 2010 Lenz Leviathan. I always felt I was too tall in the saddle with the massive BB height with the old 29r geometries. I continued to buy 29rs as 27.5s started to take over the market but with the lower BBs and slack fronts the "wagon" wheels now feel less big even with the high volume tires we are all now using. Don't discount 29rs demo and form your own opinions. I have 2-3 27.5s for my big travelers, I'm 5'9" and the smaller wheels are easier for me to handle at the higher speeds.
I'm riding a Cube Attention.


Originally Posted by PickleRick View Post
Ummmmmm, 27.5 seconds of Google searching got this:

Pivot Mach 4 27.5
Pivot Mach 5.5 27.5
Pivot Trail429 27.5
Santa Cruz Bronson 27.5
Ibis Mojo 27.5
Salsa Spearfish 27.5
Salsa Rustler 27.5
Giant Reign 27.5

No telling what you'd find with 27.5 minutes of searching. ;- )
....no, it's not dead.
Well, I'm always looking at XC hardtails. Seems like the enduro/downhill-scene still mostly uses 27.5".
I asked the question because when I look at:
  • The new Merida line-up for 2020, all 29'ers,
  • Scott only offers 27.5" wheels for there women specific range (Contessa)
  • Canyon and Cannondale, still have 27.5" bikes, but only in the XS, S (or Medium) frame sizes.
  • ...
(which are some of the major brands around here)

PickleRick: In the list you wrote, Santa Cruz and Gaint would be best know around here. Santa Cruz doesn't seem to offer 27.5" hardtails anymore. Giant does. Salsa's 27.5 hardtails are actually 27.5+.
But thanks for the list, I will need to consider those brands :-) Also Marin seems to be offering some 27.5" hardtails.

I guess a better question would be: "Is the 27.5" hardtail dead?" ;-)
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Old 07-18-19, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dieterpi View Post

PickleRick: In the list you wrote, Santa Cruz and Gaint would be best know around here. Santa Cruz doesn't seem to offer 27.5" hardtails anymore. Giant does. Salsa's 27.5 hardtails are actually 27.5+.
True.....but it still ain't a 29'r


Originally Posted by dieterpi View Post
I guess a better question would be: "Is the 27.5" hardtail dead?" ;-)
Ahhhhhhh, OK that -is- a bit different. Good question! ... but I'm not a hardtail guy, the last "hardtail" I rode was Schwinn Stingray. ;- )
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Old 07-18-19, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by dieterpi View Post

I guess a better question would be: "Is the 27.5" hardtail dead?" ;-)
That clears it up. Sorry, don't know much about modern hardtails. My newest hardtail is a 2011.
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Old 07-18-19, 09:37 PM
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I think 27.5 entry level bikes like the Giant Talon are still around. They should have the newer geo with the longer toptube and short stays but won't be much of an upgrade to your Cube. Have you tried a SC Chameleon with 27.5+ tires? Many love the combination but it wasn't for me.
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Old 07-19-19, 02:09 PM
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J
Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
think most are marketed as a 27.5+,
Actually NONE of those are marketed as 27.5+. All but two are marketed as 27.5, and the remaining two (Spearfish and 429) as 29ers that can take 27.5 Plus.
  • Pivot Mach 4, Mach 5.5 (and also Mach 6 , and "standard" Firebird) are all 27.5, not 27.5 plus. None of them will even clear plus tires.
  • Santa Cruz Bronson (and 5010) are both built around 27.5 though they can clear 2.8s. Several built kits come with 2.3s.
  • Mojos comes stock with 2.6s. So sort of in between plus and standard. 2.3s would work fine with that if that is how you roll.
  • Giant Reign (along with many other offerings from Giant) is 27.5, not plus. It is designed for 2.3-2.8.
  • Salsa Rustler is designed for tires 2.3-2.8.

Yes, some of these CAN clear 2.8s, but that is not what they are built around.

27.5 is not dead and is unlikely to die, even if it becomes less of the market share.

Last edited by Kapusta; 07-19-19 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 07-19-19, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by dieterpi View Post

I guess a better question would be: "Is the 27.5" hardtail dead?" ;-)
Yeah, 27.5 (non-plus) are going to get hard to find.
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Old 07-19-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Actually NONE of those are not marketed as 27.5+. All but two are marketed as 27.5, and the remaining two (Spearfish and 429) as 29ers that can take 27.5 Plus.
...

Yes, some of these CAN clear 2.8s, but that is not what they are built around.

27.5 is not dead and is unlikely to die, even if it becomes less of the market share.
At the start of a product cycle a manufacturer has to decide to jump a certain way (do we do super boost? do we want to accommodate 170 droppers?) and they don't always wind up jumping the same direction as the market. Then they're stuck for a year or two with the wrong product. Giant and Pivot both fall here... Giant put all their money on 27.5 a while back. This is not my supposition, it has been covered in the industry press.

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/prod...r#.XTJHccIUlD8
https://www.bicycleretailer.com/node/28554#.XTJJpMIUlD8

The 5010 and Mojo 3 are both specialty "playful" bikes that are getting long in the tooth and overlap in travel with some other bikes in their lineups that get refreshed sooner. In the case of Salsa I honestly don't know what they were thinking.

I like 27.5... I liked 26. But they're going to get harder to buy now.
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Old 07-20-19, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
At the start of a product cycle a manufacturer has to decide to jump a certain way (do we do super boost? do we want to accommodate 170 droppers?) and they don't always wind up jumping the same direction as the market. Then they're stuck for a year or two with the wrong product. Giant and Pivot both fall here... Giant put all their money on 27.5 a while back. This is not my supposition, it has been covered in the industry press.

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/prod...r#.XTJHccIUlD8
https://www.bicycleretailer.com/node/28554#.XTJJpMIUlD8
I think you (and many others, you are not alone) are reading more into the data in those articles than is warranted...

Yes, 29 is gaining market share at 27.5's expense, and it is pretty clear it will be in the majority soon (if not already).. However, it is still (according to that article) roughly 50/50. It is a bit soon to decide based on this info whether we are seeing the beginning of the end (like with 26") or simply a correction to the over-enthusiasm (like Fat Bikes and Plus-Size). An important thing to keep in mind about 26's fate is that it was ultimately 27.5 that put the nail in that coffin.

Also, I find the reporting somewhat contradictory and sensationalist. They quote one bike shop that says it is selling basically all 29ers and no 27.5. Well, based on the fact that the industry-wide figures are showing roughly 50/50 sales, this shop is not very representative of the industry. For every shop selling nothing but 29ers, there must be some shop selling all 27.5 (or a number of them selling slightly more 27.5 then 29).

The 5010 and Mojo 3 are both specialty "playful" bikes that are getting long in the tooth and overlap in travel with some other bikes in their lineups that get refreshed sooner. In the case of Salsa I honestly don't know what they were thinking.

I like 27.5... I liked 26. But they're going to get harder to buy now.
I don't know about the Mojo 3, but the 5010 (and Bronson) both got refreshed for 2019. Clearly SC still thinks they will sell. I think it is hard to call them "long in the tooth". And yes, the 5010 is known as a "playful" bike. That is probably the biggest reason why people choose 27.5 over 29.

In the post you responded to I was simply pointing out that while many are saying that 27.5 is getting rare, when you look around at what companies are actually offering right now, that claim is not being backed up by reality... at least not yet. You/we/they can make predictions about where this will end up, but they are just our guesses. The data is not backing any scenario in particular.

Yes, non-plus 27.5 hardtails are indeed rare... but hard-tails had mostly gone 29er even before 27.5 exploded. That was never going to be 27.5's strong suite.

EDIT: Sorry, I misread the data. It was reporting consumer's INTENTIONS not what they actually bought. But it still makes my point. I am trying to find the actual sales numbers.

Last edited by Kapusta; 07-20-19 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 07-22-19, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
J

Actually NONE of those are marketed as 27.5+. All but two are marketed as 27.5, and the remaining two (Spearfish and 429) as 29ers that can take 27.5 Plus.
  • Pivot Mach 4, Mach 5.5 (and also Mach 6 , and "standard" Firebird) are all 27.5, not 27.5 plus. None of them will even clear plus tires.
  • Santa Cruz Bronson (and 5010) are both built around 27.5 though they can clear 2.8s. Several built kits come with 2.3s.
  • Mojos comes stock with 2.6s. So sort of in between plus and standard. 2.3s would work fine with that if that is how you roll.
  • Giant Reign (along with many other offerings from Giant) is 27.5, not plus. It is designed for 2.3-2.8.
  • Salsa Rustler is designed for tires 2.3-2.8.

Yes, some of these CAN clear 2.8s, but that is not what they are built around.

27.5 is not dead and is unlikely to die, even if it becomes less of the market share.
I stand corrected for the Pivots, should have known this since I ride a 429SL, lol

Do you know if they changed the molds to accommodate the 2.8 tires? I'm pretty sure the older 5010s and Bronsons my friends ride can't stuff in a 2.8 or even a 2.6
The websites clearly sell the bikes abilities to take a 27.5+ even it they are only 2.8 vs 3.0 or larger

As for 27.5 HT, they have their place. Not everyone can ride or wants to ride a 29r wheel. I sometimes ride with a 5 foot on a good day female and she would have trouble with a bike with larger diameter wheels.
Choices out there are very limited and unfortunately to lower end models. Guess their market demographics are not her unless she want to spend a lot more on a full suspension
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Old 07-22-19, 08:32 AM
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Lots of 27.5 bikes out there yet. Definitely not dead.

What's dead is 26"
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Old 07-22-19, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by qclabrat View Post
I stand corrected for the Pivots, should have known this since I ride a 429SL, lol

Do you know if they changed the molds to accommodate the 2.8 tires? I'm pretty sure the older 5010s and Bronsons my friends ride can't stuff in a 2.8 or even a 2.6
The websites clearly sell the bikes abilities to take a 27.5+ even it they are only 2.8 vs 3.0 or larger

As for 27.5 HT, they have their place. Not everyone can ride or wants to ride a 29r wheel. I sometimes ride with a 5 foot on a good day female and she would have trouble with a bike with larger diameter wheels.
Choices out there are very limited and unfortunately to lower end models. Guess their market demographics are not her unless she want to spend a lot more on a full suspension
I am not sure exactly what you mean by “change the molds“, but both the 5010 and Bronson frames have been updated several times, and somewhere along the way clearance for 2.8s was included.

The ability to run 2.8s is advertised as an option, but these bikes are clearly not being marketed or intended as plus bikes. Look at the build kits. There are options for 2.3 and 2.6. There are no “plus” (2.8) builds available stock.

SC is accommodating plus tires here. That is not the same as marketing it as a plus bike. I think the build kits pretty clearly indicate their intentions with these bikes
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Old 07-22-19, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dieterpi View Post
Well, I'm always looking at XC hardtails.
I had difficulty last year sourcing a 650b aluminum hardtail frame designed around a 100 mm fork. Had to be aluminum. Had to be modest cost. I wanted a frame-only. Finally did land one on eBay from a dealer who was parting out some unsold inventory. I'm not saying the frames aren't out there, but the XC segment does seem to be dominated by 29ers.
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Old 07-22-19, 11:59 AM
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I think it may be fair to say that the segments of 27.5 most likely to die are hard-tails and xc bikes.

I think it is also possible that 27.5 could die simply as a result of a self-fulfilling prophesy. All of the cries of "27.5 is dead!" may lead people to avoid them, fearing they will become obsolete and unsupported (like has happened to my high end 26er).
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Old 07-22-19, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I think it may be fair to say that the segments of 27.5 most likely to die are hard-tails and xc bikes.
I also wonder if some of what I see is the result of changing habits around how people get rid of unwanted frames. Back in the day I would cruise eBay and would find plentiful quantities of 26er hardtail frames, and often good ones like the Rockhopper M4 superlight frames that I snagged three of one year. These days eBay feels like sort of a wasteland in that regard.
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