26 Inch vs 29er was a great question. The question has been answered.
It doesn’t matter if you hate 29ers and love 26ers or visa versa. The market has spoken. The 26 inch wheel size for mountain bikes will be like the 27 x1 1/4 wheel size for road bikes. It is all over but the crying. The Market has spoken.
Have you noticed all the expensive 26 inch wheel sets on closeout? A friend bought what had been a $300 Mavic wheelset for $90 delivered. There are bargains in 26 inch stuff all over the place and it is not moving. This is the end of the 26 inch reign. When a major standard changes it changes quickly. High end 26 inch bikes have not been selling except in full suspension. 29 inch everything is selling especially in expensive bikes. The rest of the market tends to follow what is selling at the high end.
Within two years even the bikes in Wally world will be 29ers…. Rick Kern
What to do if you love 26 inch wheeled bikes.
Buy some nice tires, there will be cheap tires available for many years but good high quality tires will start to become scarce within about two years. All the good tires will be gone soon and they will not be replaced at the wholesale level. If you have several nice 26 inch bikes I would suggest buying a set or two of nice wheels that will last you a long time. They are very cheap right now and they will not be replaced.
The experience you will be having trying to find nice 26 inch stuff in five years is similar to what someone trying to find nice 27 inch tires sees right now. Sorry all we can get is low end junk.
It may take a little longer to complete the changeover to 29er because most of Europe is still not buying the 29er stuff. I believe that will change. In mountain bikes at least the United States has been the largest market by far and the manufacturers tend to build and design mainly to meet our market.
March 2011 Rick Kern….
I believe the market has spoken in the 26 inch vs 29er question and the future is 29 inch Mountain Bike wheels.
If you don’t agree with me tell me why in the comments. Thanks for reading this.