Video: 26 Ain’t Dead

26er Video

26ers are under attack and in the crosshairs is the bike most of us started with, the 26er hardtail. While sales forecasts may not show growth in this segment, they are still incredibly fun to ride. Do you still ride yours?

Discuss! http://forums.mtbr.com/passion/anybody-still-like-their-26-hardtail-724452.html

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • WANNABE says:

    Because I am a total WANNABE, I feel as though I have to ride as pro as possible. So, I can no longer have fun Mountain Biking, but instead I feel the need to buy the lightest carbon fiber 29er my inheritance can get me.

  • carver says:

    Have not ridden a 26 in years. tried a 29 this season it was a hot mess lol
    650B is all I ride. Bury the 26 and save a few 29rs for the xc riders who want them.

  • Maxman6000 says:

    26 wheels and flat pedals to boot, just proves it’s more
    about the rider than the wheel size

  • Vytas says:

    I dont care about the inches, but this video is cool, I like the way you ride, man.

  • XR600 says:

    Great riding vid.
    I want to stay with 26″
    Especially when on full suspension.
    No matter what they do with 29 or 650B, they could always build the same bike stiffer. lighter, with shorter stays, and be more fun to ride if they stuck with 26″.
    If I could have literally 6 of road bicycles in my garage, then I would for sure have a 29 hardtail and and a 650B full suss or similar in there somewhere, as I like all bikes. I would also have a rigid, a fat bike, a cyclocross bike etc and ride them all.
    But 26″ will always be my preference for MTB.
    I hope the day is not to far away when the A-holes in the bike industry return to them, but there will be a lot of mixed wheel size combos and the like to be exploited first!

  • aliikane says:

    That guy is just ripping on a hardtail. Shows everyone on full suspension bikes that we aren’t going fast enough. Haha.

  • ginsu says:

    Jeez, I through out my 26er when I read the Press Release on 29ers like last decade…in fact, I saw some teenager on a 26er Wal-Mart bike and I beat the crap out of him and gave him my 29er because I felt bad about it afterward, and I know 29ers are old school so it gave me an excuse to get rid of it because I ride only 650b now anyway.

  • JimmyDee says:

    Yes, I have two bikes, both 26. One is an old hardtail I now use for commuting sometimes that has just been upgraded over the years. The other is a medium-old Cannondale Perp 1 that will probably never die. I have a brand new wheelset for it and tons of custom parts.

    It’s stronger, more versatile and more awesome than any newer FR carbon bike on the market. It can DH if I need and between the custom remote lockout (true lockout) coil shock and the rotor cranks and QR, I can ride it *to* the trail as well, not dependent on a gas vehicle. 36.5lbs is getting up there for weight, but not terrible considering the strength.

    I’d consider a larger wheel diameter for a city commuter, but I am not very tall, so I’m quite happy with 26″.

    Oh and I actually happen to understand the physics of the differences between the sizes, so I’m not sucked in by silly marketing claims.

    The wheel will roll better because of momentum. The more rotational mass and the farther it is from center, the more it will feel stable. But the opposite is also true. Lower rotational mass and closer to center makes it more nimble and faster accelerating.

  • ahaha says:

    This guy is faster than exactly 100% of MTB forum members despite riding a hardtail 26. Yes, he’s faster than the “If u can’t spend $5,000 then don’t bother” fatass “extreme bicycle collector” club.

  • tim walsh says:

    That kid can ride, no doubt about it. On a hardtail, no less. I feel like the larger wheel sizes have been forced on us to keep up bike company profits. Of course, ride whatever wheel size you want – but keep the 26″ for those who want a bike that handles.

  • patrick says:

    Good to know that a bike that rewards skill (and isn’t for the lost roadies) is still out there (I’ve been looking at BFe’s for a while, love cotic).

  • Rafael says:

    Tried a 29er, Too sluggish to get it going. Too long to get right in the air. The big wheel was just about impossible to turn in some tight switchbacks, I am short so it looked like a circus bike. Had a nasty crash trying to jump it (land it) and broke my humerus, a rib and tore my labrum, I have not tried any 650b so I don’t have an opinion yet. But between the 26er and 29er,,,the 26er wins hand down because it is just more fun to ride and that is what mountain biking is all about.

  • Mattias says:

    It’s not the size that matter guys, it’s how we use it…

  • James says:

    ‘Great riding. The kind of stuff a 26″ HT is great for, no debates, even if 95% or more of us are not capable of that level of almost 4-cross riding.
    —My personal comment on wheel sizes beyond that has no relevance to anyone else and is biased by whatever I own or my general perceptions of how I fit into this very broad thing called ‘mountain biking’ goes in here. I hereby recognise I am wasting my time posting on the internet on this topic. —
    Signed,
    A rider on one of three wheel sizes, some point between 0-200mm travel, any number of gears including 30 or just one and my own choice of handlebars’

  • bryan says:

    I own and ride bikes from all disciplines of the spectrum, 26ers, 29ers, downhill, carbon roadbike, singlespeed, fatbike, (although no 650b’s yet), blah blah blah. I’m really getting tired of the wheel size bashing thing and it’s starting to piss me off how stupid some diehards can be. If you don’t like it, ride whatever you want and STFU already!

  • kyle says:

    29> 27.5> gay> 26 freeride or die

  • Chinman says:

    Just goes to show it’s not the size of the sword, but the fury of the attack that is important.

  • john says:

    need help…..just standing 5’3″ in height, as a beginner how do i choose a right size mountain bike for me?

  • Steve says:

    Many good comments above. This video and conversation make me miss my 26 Turner Nitrous! Just can’t wait to ride.

  • john says:

    So glad to see these comments! I love my 26ers, I have one 26 FS that is a total blast to ride, a rigid 26 SS bike and am starting to build a third. 26′s are light, agile and completely valid for any terrain!

  • Dave "doesn't normally leave replies" Jones says:

    Damn, I just got a 26er…

  • Cookie says:

    I’m waiting for the 36ers to catch on so there are better tire choices. 36 inch fat bikes are truly the way of the future (why go around stuff when you can roll over it nestled in between 2 tractor tires). Gary Fisher just needs to “invent” that idea too (oops, just gave away my secret plan to make millions).

    And don’t forget, DH’ers used to run 24s in the back. There needs to be another revival!

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    nice message cookie haha.

    first of all 26 inch wheels are the king!

    the bike company’s now days are trying to get us to buy a new bike all the time
    and there not making good products.

    example u can’t take a industry standard wheel size 26 inch and say its dead
    it been there for 30 years

    the bike companys did not do there research and development on the 29 inch wheel is a joke u can’t take a road bike wheel size and expect it to perform the same way
    in dirt not even dirt bikes use that wheel size

    lets do some research and development of are own guys
    ————————————————————————————
    The wheels on a dirt bike differ in size from front and back but other than that have the same features. The front wheel typically runs bigger than the rear wheel which offers a more comfortable ride over rough terrain. You can get front dirt bike wheels between 18- and 21-inches. The rear wheel ranges between 17- and 19-inches. The small rear wheel maximizes the acceleration efforts of the dirt bike.

    so here the solution to there problem you need wheel sizes numbers to be 1 inch
    between.

    26 inch bikes are here to stay you can run both wheel sizes if the frame geomtry allows
    27 inch bike are here to stay you can run both wheel sizes

    you also could do a dirt bike setup like 27 inch wheel on the front and 26 inch on the back

    and cookie i have seen 4x cross hard tail bikes that can run either 24 inch wheels and 26 inch wheels lets also not forget guys they never really made 24 inch wheels in adult frame sizes in the mountain bike world they did in the bmx cruiser class

    lets not forget the 20 inch wheels either they never had a chance in a adult mountain bike either

    26 and 27 about 1 inch difference

    24 to 26 inchs no big deal

    but 26 to 29 wow 29 is crap not even dirt bikes use that setup

    all i ride is dirt
    all i ride is hardtails i love 4130 cromoly i am a bmx trail racer as well i have ridden
    alot and i don’t care for all the new gimicks

    right before i went to college i got this mountain bike in college i was broke as hell
    i was pissed right when i got it disc brakes came out i needed a new bike i was sold
    lemon so i went old school and sup up a huffy bike with dope parts always a fan of rim brakes and 1 pc cranks even got some custom made sky way mags on that

    my point is all ride the crap out of any thing its the rider who makes the bike go
    not the sales company

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    instead of worrying when the next inch wheel comes out why not have a wheel size
    that will be able to take any tire size example a wheel that can take tire sizes
    20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 like a dirt bike people

    hey any one remember the old
    diamond back bmx bike that was a 7 speed now thats a mountain bike

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    last night i could night sleep with nightmares of wheels sizes

    i thought to my self today 650b 27.5 theres not alot of tire choices
    hopefully that will change in the future

    dam it they don’t make my favorite tire tioga comp 3

    so you know what time it is guys and get sick with it
    research and development R&D
    —————————————————————————–
    so today i called up a local dirt bike shop and talked a mechanic
    and said hey i want to take mountain bike hubs and put dirt bike rims or hoops on
    them with dirt bike tires he said wow that sounds cool it will only work with disc
    brakes of course and if the frame geomtry allows its holes line up
    of course no probelm

    then i asked him whats the bigest wheel they make for dirt bikes
    he said 26 inch dude is the bigest they make nothing more

    thats when i knew 26 inch was king then it got me all thinking

    remember those times riding your mountain bike up a 45 or 65 degree hill
    on the mountain bike trails guys and your climbing half way up and you look
    back your bikes not going any where and u just see your tire spining and no
    traction your like what the hell!!

    then it dawned on me this whole time remember when 29ers came out the big gimick oh they roll over ever thing haha what a joke!!!!!!

    the problem is we don’t need a biger wheel size

    what we need is a fat tire bike they roll over sand ice snow mud
    ——————————————————————————————–
    they roll over every thing guys 26 inch is king!!!!

    650b u have a place in my heart for 1975 27.5 keeping the funk alive
    retro all the way

    650b 27.5 is not made in the dirt bike world
    ——————————————————————
    it has its place in the mountain bike world the mountain bike gods or hall of fame made it back in the day with ritchey bikes but it did not become the industry standard back in the day when it was introduced in 1975

    it does have its place in the mountain bike world no remembers how they rode or handle

    back in the day it was hard to find tires and tubes mostly special order
    in the 80s it was like a euro odd ball wheel size that never took off

    the mountain bike hall of fame people had to make this choice back in the
    day and they choose 26 inch wheels for a reason and this issue came back up again
    in the 80s they tried to bring them back

    650b 27.5 is a european wheel size for sure i am retro kind of guy my self
    i think they could be good but i can’t remember what was bad about them
    does any one remember lol

  • the dirt bike kid says:

    its time to do some more research and development guys
    ————————————————————————————-

    29ers
    ———
    when they first came out they said they can roll over every thing
    what a joke!

    fat tire bike
    —————–
    has 26 inch wheel size and can roll over sand mud and snow
    wow!!

    dirt bikes
    ————–
    don’t use a wheel size bigger then 26 inchs
    confirmed by a dirt bike shop

    650b 27.5
    ——————————————————————————
    retro all the way keeping the 650b 27.5 1975 funk alive
    the story on this wheel size is interesting

    the wheel size was created by ritchey bikes in 1975
    i read this in a magazine and they still make this mountain bike hard tail today

    now thats not what i remember back in the day!

    yes the wheel size was created in 1975 but its was a european wheel size
    that did not catch on

    what happened was the founders of mountain bikes
    had to pick a industry standard
    they got into fights about which wheel was better

    in the 80s they again tried to bring the europeon 650b 27.5 wheel size back
    you had to special order your tires and tubes all the time and there
    was not alot of brands or companys making that tire size was a odd ball
    hard to find back then

    the 650b 27.5 wheel size was popular in euro in the 80s

    there was a guy i recall who use to ride the 650b 27.5
    in the 80s was old guy who loved euro bikes he said he loved the wheel size

    no now days its been so long no one can remember how they ride or handle

    and theres not alot of brands and companys making 650b 27.5 tires
    right now i am sure it will change in the future but not many seem to be
    supporting the euro wheel size

    some people say its too new right now it will catch on
    but the truth is its not new
    i am retro guy my self i say keep 26 inch and euro 650b 27.5

    yeah its euro wheel size dudes get use to it lol

  • rad says:

    whats up dudes i have to say 26 inch wheel accels way faster off road then any other wheel size.

    yeah that whole 650b thing is a euro wheel size,
    they act like its new but its not been around for many years.

    i have to say 26 inch wheels are by far the strongest wheels size
    i build my wheels up with chrome hoops and 14g spokes with brass nipples
    there bomb proof!!!!! and i use rim brakes so when the brake pads hit those chrome rims they stop on a dime.

    i hope they make some 650b hard tails with rim brakes
    and of course some chrome hoops too!!!

    559 wheel ain’t dead it will become the industry standard again
    thats 26 inch for those who don’t know lol

    659b will always be the other option
    euro wheel size

    you would think salsa and surly would catch on the whole 650b wheel
    by now

    can’t wait for the 650b single speeds to come out have a bike thats does it all
    26 and 27 inch wheels

  • rad says:

    yeah 559 and 650b bikes are here to stay

    i am sure the bikes frame geometry will stay 650b or 27.5 inch so you will
    be able to run 26 inch and 27.5 inch wheels

    with disc brakes u can run any wheel size u want

    they should make a bike with rim brakes to do any wheel size
    20 24 26 27 inch wheels

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