From the Forums: Will 26-inch wheels ever make a comeback?

Is there room for 26-inch mountain bikes in the modern world?

From the Forums
Will 26-inch wheels ever make a comeback?

Will 26-inch wheels ever make a comeback?

Despite the complete dominance of larger-wheeled 27.5 and 29-inch mountain bikes, some mountain bikers still prefer the agility of 26-inch wheels. A lively discussion is taking place in our forums about the future of 26-inch mountain bikes. One member posed the question: Will the 26er ever rise from the ashes?

One die-hard 26-inch fan claimed that he would keep riding 26-inch wheels until he can’t buy tires anymore. Lucky for him, that day is unlikely to come—26-inch tires are still popular with dirt jumpers, children’s mountain bikes, and fat bikes. That said, some forum members expressed their frustration with the lack of components options available these days. A common lament is that it is getting increasingly difficult to find high-end wheels and suspension forks for the smallest of the three mountain bike wheel sizes.

There's still room for 26-inch wheels on children's mountain bikes, like the Trailcraft Maxwell 26.

There’s still room for 26-inch wheels on children’s mountain bikes, like the Trailcraft Maxwell 26.

Another forum member pointed out that 29-inch mountain bikes have eclipsed 27.5 mountain bikes over the past two seasons. If 27.5 is on the way out, does it follow that 26-inch wheels could see a resurgence?

What do you think? Have 26-inch wheels been relegated to mountain biking’s past, or will the cycling industry take a turn back to 26-inch wheels once again? Join the conversation here.


  • Matt G says:

    Day 10 of the article and the only other comment besides this is spam. I guess this answers the “Will 26-inch wheels ever make a comeback?” question. Hot topic

  • DPeper says:

    sure enough my 10 year old rode one the whole season 2 years ago.

  • Greg S says:

    Yes it will. But they won’t call it 26 inch and it won’t be compatible with any 26 inch stuff. It will be something like 25.5 of 585 and will be the new ideal setup for quick handling mountain bikes. 25.5 for 2025

  • Sean B says:

    I don’t forsee a resurgence amongst adults. I could see it gaining popularity amongst kids but the jump from 24″ to 27.5″ isn’t so large that 26″ arguably really needs to be present. I see support, especially high-end support of 26″, fading since every adult in the market for a MTB is going for a 27.5 and 29 these days. It all depends on how popular mountain biking becomes in grade school, particularly for ages 12-18. If junior high’s/middle school’s and high school’s have mountain bike teams, and if mountain biking becomes popular amongst peers in that age range then 26″ bikes could make a resurgence. The need for high quality and inherently expensive equipment to facilitate that is a major hurdle, but multiple organizations are trying to change that not limited to but including an organization spearheaded by Gary Fisher himself.

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