One of the most striking aspects of the switch from 26” to 27.5” wheels a few years ago was that the speed difference manifested itself more clearly on downhill bikes rather than trail. Taking that size up again exposes the rider to an even greater transformation of pace across the ground.
Words and images: Steven Jones
For whatever reason there has been a certain reticence to adopt the bigger wheel by many on the enduro circuit and a handful of pro DH riders have voiced their opinions of 29” wheel bikes very clearly on instagram. Many without having tried such hardware. Such comments only show the cluelessness of those that make them, maybe it’s better maybe to at least have some experience of the subject before giving an opinion or getting all xenophobic on wheel size.
Indeed I travelled to the hills east of Los Angeles with a certain amount of fear myself. Knowing the capabilties and pace of 29”x160mm bikes, the prospect of even more travel and a big Fox 40 up front, on a decent track, with Trek’s R&D boffins to hand filled me with a mix of apprehension and excitement.