Tread Talk: The 27.5" Wheel Craze
Published on 04/24/2013
As the ski season starts to wind down, it’s time to dust of the bikes and hit the trails. Whether you’re in the market for a new rig or not, it’s worth checking out the 27.5” wheel format. Also dubbed the 650B, the new format attempts to create a hybrid that exploits the benefits of both 26” and 29” formats. For those of you who were hesitant to convert to a 29ner, this may be the size you were looking for.
Santa Cruz Bronson in Carbon
While the new wheel size has not been adopted by everyone, companies like Santa Cruz, Intense, and Ellsworth have all debuted bikes with the new format. Does the new format require new components? Yes, bikes that are designed for the 27.5” format will require size specific wheel sets and forks. Not to fear, all your favorite companies have 27.5” compatible components such as Fox, Rock Shox, and DT Swiss.
Intense Tracer 275
Most of the 27.5” bikes seem to be in the mid travel length, 4"-6”. With recent growth and interest in the Enduro and Super-D racing formats, companies are looking to provide the optimum bikes to get the job done. The 27.5” format combines the pedaling benefits of a 29ner with the maneuverability of a 26” wheel. While owning a quiver of bikes is every riders dream, companies are hoping to provide a bike that can be your do-it-all set up.