Showdown: 27.5 versus 27.5+ versus 29er

Steve Peat, Tracy Moseley, and crew do back to back runs

27.5 29er Plus Video
A group of talented UK riders descended on Bike Park Wales with Soho Bikes to test a variety of different wheel and tire sizes on a technical test track.

This group of talented U.K. riders descended on Bike Park Wales with Soho Bikes to test a variety of wheel and tire sizes on a technical track (click to enlarge).

It used be there was only one wheel size, which then morphed into two, then three, and then all hell broke loose. These new wheel, tire, and axle standards are proliferating faster than rabbits in a cage. These days it’s hard to predict what the future will look like two weeks from now. Hell, Pivot released a new hub standard in the form of Super Boost Plus last week. But before you start pulling out your hair and screaming, it’s worth taking a moment to learn the benefits of these various standards.

To help break it down, Soho Bikes TV gathered a “who’s who” of British bike talent, including Steve Peat and Tracy Moseley. They then roped off a technical test track, setup a race timing system, and set off to do back to back test laps on 27.5, 27.5+, and 29er bikes, plus a few DH rigs. On the track, the downhill bike proved to be the fastest, but the other results may surprise you. Carve out 20 minutes of video watching time and press play to find out why.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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  • ObOne says:

    Overall a pretty lame test of bikes downhill versus trail bikes ON A DOWNHILL COURSE. Hey genius’s why don’t you test the bikes on a course that actually has a mixture of hills, xc and technical xc and then take a poll on which bike is best. I can bet it won’t be a downhill 29′er bike ;-)

  • Highway Star says:

    Everybody knows that 26″ wheels are superior everywhere and in all conditions. They are lighter, stiffer, stronger and have less rotational inertia, are easier to maneuver, and allow better frame design.

  • tyrebyter says:

    It turns out that a NASCAR will make left turns at 200 mph better than a Camry. But a Camry has a better vanity mirror that a Conestoga wagon. What the…

  • Farmer Ted says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scientific test of anything bicycle related. Letting a bunch of bro-brahs ride bikes down a hill is not scientific and therefore the results are nothing but opinion and hearsay. In order to do a scientific comparison, all of the variables need to be eliminated with the biggest variable being the human.

    You’d need to build a ‘bike riding machine’ to do that and I don’t think that is ever going to happen because it would be way too expensive and I don’t think the bike industry actually wants scientific fact out there because they want to keep confusing everyone with opinions and marketing b.s. so that they can sell that ever-profitable placebo effect to anyone who will listen.

    Before you jump my #$%, yes, modern bikes are amazing (coming from someone who started riding 25 years ago) and yes things have improved. But I feel that there’s a lot of nonsense out there as well and that only seems to be increasing.

    P.S. Shave off your dirty hipster mustache, you look like an idiot.

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