Video: Tobi Leonhardt’s slays Lake Garda on 29er/27.5 mashup bike

27.5 29er Video

Lake Garda

After spending some time in Italy’s Lake Garda region a couple weeks ago, we thought we’d give you a taste of what some of the trails are like. In this video Tobi Leonhardt pivots, drops and bounces his way down one of the area’s spectacular yet chunky trails. What’s more, he does it on a unique bike that mixes a 29er front end with a 27.5-inch wheel in the rear.

Though Garda has some purpose-built trails that are more flowy, there’s hundreds of miles of goat tracks like the one shown here as well. Whatever your poison, you’re sure to find it in Garda.

Lake Garda

Credits: Rider – Tobi Leonhardt; Filmer – Colin Stewart; Music – Ron Rauscher Audio

Video: Tobi Leonhardt’s slays Lake Garda on 29er/27.5 mashup bike Gallery
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Lake Garda

Chunky, gnarly and rocky are three apt words for the trails around Italy’s Lago di Garda.
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Lake Garda

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Lake Garda

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.


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  • padrote says:

    “mashup bike”? ugh.

    I thought we were past this wheel-mixing phase. Because we decided it didn’t work. Or we should have at this point.

    • NSBM says:

      looks like it’s working for him.

    • ktothetothe says:

      Really dude, that’s what your focusing on? Who cares? What ever works for you, right? People clearly recognize the benefits of larger wheels, though having a slightly smaller wheel in the back would obviously benefit a more trials oriented rider. Get over it and just appreciate how amazingly rad this video and the rider are.

  • 7foot smurf says:

    My Ventana El Cap/Zeus is the best bike I’ve ever ridden by a long shot! can still have longer travel rear with short chainstays and a straight seat tube…best of all worlds…

    • Brad says:

      I’m on an El Ciclon and definitely ready for some bigger hoops. I’ve talked to Sherwood about a CapZeus. Full review, please!

  • Chris says:

    @padrote: This is the philosophy of the brand he is riding. Liteville calls it scaled sizing. XS frames with 24 rear and 26 front…… L with 26 rear and 27.5 front.
    XL with 29 front and 27.5 rear and XXL both 29.

    http://syntace.my1.cc/liteville/pdf/Scaled_Sizing_301Mk11_engl_ver-01.pdf

  • PinkFloydLandis says:

    Is that a zero extension stem he’s riding? It looks like its mounted directly on top of the fork steerer.

  • randycpu says:

    I like the drone footage.

  • bill hennessey says:

    When did anyone decide mixing wheel sizes doesn’t work? I thought the opposite was true, and it seems to work just dandy for motocross.

  • C Markie says:

    Id be more interested in 26″ front and 24″ rear (I know, already done years ago by Cannondale and others) so long as 26″ is still in there somewhere!
    Anyway, I thought that the standard of the riding outclassed that of the performance of the bike. Stand out video footage though.

  • Shred Man says:

    Nice, but the same trail could be done on a 26″ without all of the hopping just to make the turn.

  • agmtb says:

    First time I ever heard of 27.5 was on a Gypsycycles with a 29″ front tire about 5 years ago with a similar setup. Present website just list repairs and custom fit so marketing might have been a problem.
    When I rode a Moots Gristle, 29-26 it’s handling is as fun as ANY bike tried.
    Have to learn to swing the rear wheel around a switch back that well.

  • Vineo says:

    This is crazy, carrying round two different size tubes incase you get a flat!

  • No breaks says:

    Nice control good to see a video of some controlled riding with as little trail damage as possible. trick bike setup

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