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27.5" inch wheels or 29" inch wheels? What is your opinion?

  • 27.5" Wheels

  • 29" Wheels

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, I am here looking for some advice on choices for bikes that are under $3,000, however I have no idea the differences between 29'ers and 27.5's. I know I for sure want full suspension, however.

I am already considering multiple bikes, of varying wheel sizes, those bikes being:
The Stumpjumper Alloy 29
The Jeffsy Base 27.5 or 29
The Fuel EX 5 Deore 29
The Release 1 27.5
The Fluid FS 2 29
These are all the options I am considering at the moment, but am open to other brands and models.
I live in Seattle, and mostly enjoy riding at Saint Edward's State park, which is mostly cross-country single-track, and at Duthie Hill on the fast jump trails and their flow trails as well.

I have never ridden a 29" or a 27.5" inch bike, but I know the differences between a 26" and a 29" are pretty large, to say the least.

Currently I am riding a 26" 2004 (I believe) Gary Fisher Hard tail with about ~30mm of useable travel without a major fork tune-up.
Right now I am 14, so I would be looking to buy a bike that will last me a long time and that I will grow into.

Thank you for any advice that is given, I am open to pretty much any FS option that has bigger wheels and is high quality.
 

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Murica Man
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i've just gotten a 27.5 hardtail... compared to my old 26 it walks over everything. the smaller the wheel, the faster it feels and it corners better. if you are going for strava kom's i would go with a 29er... otherwise.... get a 27.5. unless you are doing rock gardens and really bumpy stuff get a hardtail! they are way more fun imho
 

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I live right by Finn Hill/ St. Edwards and ride 27.5 which works fine. That said, if I were buying a new bike then I’d probably get a 29er for places like Raging River and Tiger with gnarly trails. I ride a lot of different places though and I suspect a 29er would be more versatile.
 

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i've just gotten a 27.5 hardtail... compared to my old 26 it walks over everything. the smaller the wheel, the faster it feels and it corners better. if you are going for strava kom's i would go with a 29er... otherwise.... get a 27.5. unless you are doing rock gardens and really bumpy stuff get a hardtail! they are way more fun imho
Fun for what? Western Washington trails are typically pretty rough and rowdy which isn’t great with a hardtail. There’s a reason that the vast majority of bikes around here are FS.
 

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Oh, I gave my old Devinci Troy to my son when he was your age. His riding ability skyrocketed with that bike. So much so that I now have trouble keeping up with him.
 

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In that price range, the Giant Trance 29 looks quite good. The Z2 fork and Deore drivetrain are good stuff.
 

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Murica Man
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Fun for what? Western Washington trails are typically pretty rough and rowdy which isn’t great with a hardtail. There’s a reason that the vast majority of bikes around here are FS.
flow trails. like the ones at 360 park and duthie
 

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flow trails. like the ones at 360 park and duthie
No doubt. I like my hardtail at both those places, but a full-suspension will open up a lot more riding places than the local flow trails. A FS bike would be much more fun at Stevens Pass for example. Or Bellingham.
 

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If I were shopping in your price range, I'd seriously consider this Polygon. It think it would make a great trail bike for this area and comes with great parts.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I were shopping in your price range, I'd seriously consider this Polygon. It think it would make a great trail bike for this area and comes with great parts.

That looks like a really solid bike! I also found a guy on Youtube, who is/was sponsored by Polygon and found his bike, it was the Siskiu N9. I think for the price boost, it provides a much better ride. I also don't know entirely what I am talking about, so let me know what you might think.
 

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Cycologist
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If I were shopping in your price range, I'd seriously consider this Polygon. It think it would make a great trail bike for this area and comes with great parts.

Geeze, Curveball, trying to get your post count up? :ROFLMAO:
 

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That looks like a really solid bike! I also found a guy on Youtube, who is/was sponsored by Polygon and found his bike, it was the Siskiu N9. I think for the price boost, it provides a much better ride. I also don't know entirely what I am talking about, so let me know what you might think.
The N9 is a great deal. However, it's also a long travel enduro bike built with the intention of going down steep trails fast. If you're looking at riding Predator on Tiger Mt., then it would be a good choice. It could be a bit of a handful on mellower terrain though. I rarely ride my enduro bike at St. Eds because it just deadens everything (excepting a couple of drops I ride). I posted the T8 because it's a versatile trail bike that would do a lot of different things very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The N9 is a great deal. However, it's also a long travel enduro bike built with the intention of going down steep trails fast. If you're looking at riding Predator on Tiger Mt., then it would be a good choice. It could be a bit of a handful on mellower terrain though. I rarely ride my enduro bike at St. Eds because it just deadens everything (excepting a couple of drops I ride). I posted the T8 because it's a versatile trail bike that would do a lot of different things very well.
Thanks for the advice! I did not know that the N9 was an enduro. I think the T8 would be a lot better of a ride considering the places I like to go. That being said, I also have quite a while before I have saved up enough money to buy a bike and who knows how long it will be until things get back in stock.
 

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Thanks for the advice! I did not know that the N9 was an enduro. I think the T8 would be a lot better of a ride considering the places I like to go. That being said, I also have quite a while before I have saved up enough money to buy a bike and who knows how long it will be until things get back in stock.
Well, with the T8 you wouldn't have to save quite as long.:)

Fortunately we live in an area with amazing trails and one of the new breed of trail bikes will be more fun than you can imagine.
 

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Well, with the T8 you wouldn't have to save quite as long.:)

Fortunately we live in an area with amazing trails and one of the new breed of trail bikes will be more fun than you can imagine.
Yeah we have some of the best trails anywhere! I have tons of fun already on my 26" hardtail, and a new bike would just boost that fun factor I imagine.
 

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I've not actually ridden St Edwards yet, which I guess is surprising as its closer than Duthie is to me. But, I've ridden Duthie, Tiger, Raging, and Galbraith as a local. Personally,

My full suspension bike cost me $2070 including shipping. So there definitely are FS bikes under $3-4k that are worth buying. But this year, it may be hard to find any "deals", just because so many people are buying bikes right now. So temper your expectations a bit.

About hardtails or Full Suspension? I started on a Hardtail, but now have a full suspension bike (153mm "enduro" bike). At this point I don't have any plans to switch my main bike back to a hardtail, but I'm absolutely considering one as a second bike for more tame terrain. The rear suspension does help mask some mistakes, so I'm kind of split on my opinion of it. On one hand, I REALLY like how if I screw up, the rear suspension can help lessen the effect of a bad case/bad line. This feeling of safety increases confidence, and that has a huge impact on how fast you'll learn to ride/progress. On the flip side, relying on the suspension to "save" you can teach bad techniques, and you might not learn correct form/skill quite as easily in some situations (ie, its hard to tell if the line was bad, or you minorly cased the jump when you have 120-160mm of squish on the back).

I will say though, that "trail speed" here is much easier to reach on a full suspension bike. So features that didn't make any sense to me when I rode my hardtail, now make more sense to me, as I have the speed to start to clear things.

Of those bikes that you listed, I'd be most interested in the Stumpjumper, Fuel EX, and Fluid FS2 (in roughly that order). The Diamondback Release is a fine bike. But its geo and design is a bit dated, as it hasn't been updated since... 2016? maybe 2017? And it wasn't exactly cutting edge then either. The Jeffsey is a good bike, but I've heard lots of bad things about YT's customer service and support, so I'd personally avoid them as well.

Other bikes that you could consider that are also great value:

Rocky Mountain Growler (if you want a hard tail, its likely one of the best ones out there atm, at least imo)
Davinci Marshall
Vitus Mythique
Marin Rift Zone 2 (or 3, if you can squeeze it into the budget)
Marin Alpine Trail 7

Good luck on the search :).
 

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Murica Man
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I will say though, that "trail speed" here is much easier to reach on a full suspension bike. So features that didn't make any sense to me when I rode my hardtail, now make more sense to me, as I have the speed to start to clear things.
is that b/c of the breaking bumps? the suspension absorbs them i suppose..
 
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