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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Looking at what the big 3 are now showing for 27.5” models, I think it is safe to say 27.5” is about as dead as 26” was back in 2012-13. Specialized and surprisingly, Giant, seem to be leading the way.

Spec has zero 27.5” full suspension models now. Zero
Giant only has 2 full sus 27.5” models available, but what is really surprising is the top level 27.5” they even offer is only $3,650 which puts it at the lower end when compared to their mid level and high end models from $4k to $9k+
Trek is a little harder to tell as they use 27.5” for XS and as an option for S along with 29”, but how long much longer can they get mid to high end level parts for XS and some S sizes if the other 2 aren’t ordering any?

It‘s like 2012 all over again, but this time it’s 27.5” high end and mid level specific products are starting to disappear from newer models. Looks like time to stock up on quality forks, wheels and tires just like I was doing with 26” back in 2012. Was able to get some quality 26” nos items for a few years after, but started to become too difficult to source. Assume same will happen with 27.5“ given the lack of big industry interest.

The question is, will 27.5” disappear from lower end models too?

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I don’t think 27.5in is going away at all.

But I do think it’s days are numbered as a front wheel size, for the masses. Meaning, 27.5in rims and tires will carry on as I don’t think mullets are going away anytime soon, especially on long travel/DH bikes.

But I doubt we will have as many full 27.5 in models in the future. And more and more previously dedicated 27.5in bikes will go mullet (a la Bronson, and Patrol).

I expect we will see 27.5 stick around for the smaller sizes as well. Much like we see 26im wheels being used on jr bikes
 

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Bipolar roller
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you think 27.5” will stick around as a realistic mullet option for Non-DH bikes?

I do agree that the mullet will help keep 27.5” rear going a little longer, but a mullet bike is not a 27.5” bike. Plus, how long will mullet be a thing if only a few options available? There has to be some kind of threshold orders need to meet to keep 27.5” parts worth it for factories to have specific molds and tooling or whatever for. And if the big 3 aren’t ordering…
 

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I don't think it's dead, there are still riders who want a more nimble bike and on the gravity side of things mixed wheel bikes are still on the podium. If there are race results on a world level, it's justified to still be relevant.

When it comes to entry level bikes, hard to say. The push for 29ers makes sense since it ultimately results in a bike that's easier to ride which for beginners is a good thing. But I can also see 27.5 being marketed as the more fun bike because it's smaller and more importantly, some companies bet big on 27.5 and still have sunk costs on the equipment and won't just scrap it just because of trends.

There's also the road/gravel side of things as well too where 27.5 wheels with "high volume" gravel specific tires are being hailed as the next big thing for riders who want a comfortable bike.

So, I don't think it's dead. But I also still ride 26" wheels on some of my bikes so my perspective is skewed.
 

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Sneaker man
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I don't think it's dead...yet... but I think the people saying that 27.5 will be around for a long time yet, are just echo of what people said about 26 back in 2010.
I remember when it was the BIG thing back in 2015, but by 2017, not so much... now its 27.5?
 

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No inside info, but in my local used market 27.5 bikes are getting noticably harder to sell. 29ers on the other hand get a good price and move very fast. A couple of my riding mates just sold their 27'5" wheeled enduro bikes as they believe they were gonna lose a lot of value in the next six months.

Ours is a small market though and people follow trends like sheep. People who got long travel 29ers a couple of years ago are replacing them with e-bikes now.
 

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29ers are definitely becoming the norm, but I think the industry has changed and bike design matured since 26 died. Mountain biking has become more mainstream so the sheer quantity of 27.5 bikes still out there will mean there's enough of a market to continue making parts (tyres, rims) even if there's a smaller choice. A majority of people I know just buy a bike, ride it and replace parts when needed, with many of them running 27.5. I don't think there was quite as big a buying power among 'leftover' 26 riders.

It's pretty easy to look at somewhere like here or pinkbike and think it's the norm, but they're where you're most likely to find enthusiasts clawing for the next big thing (and shifting their "outdated" stuff on classifieds).

Fox have stopped making some 27.5 specific forks and I'm guessing RS will follow... but any 29er fork will work fine with smaller wheels. I can't see myself having trouble getting minions in 27.5 for at least 10 years honestly, by which time I'll have gone 29er anyway. Mullets will only extend the life of 27.5 further. I reckon XC tyres will become harder to find though.

I think 27.5 will be "dead" soon, but it will take longer to become 26 dead.
 

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Introduction of new tires, or lack thereof in 26" or 27.5", would be a good leading indicator of the trend.

I just bought new 26" tires. There were several tires I would like to have considered that were not available in 26". I didn't think about it at the time but it seems as though they were available in 27.5" and of course 29".

There were also new or updated tires available in both 26" and 27.5" so the tire manufacturers are still designing and making molds in those sizes. I was able to find tires I liked, Nobby Nic and Racing Ralph tires in the widths I wanted.

Choices in rims were somewhat limited. DT Swiss had EX471's in 26" but not in other models.
 

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I don’t think rims/ wheels will disappear. 650b/27.5 is pretty popular in the gravel world. Also there are manufacturers that still spec 27.5 on the smaller sizes of their mtb bikes. Finding high end forks might become a problem. But also keep in mind that the bike industry has discovered that switching things up every few years lines their pockets with cash. If 29ers take over, they might discover some “new” geometry that makes 27.5 “better” and start pushing that size again. Or maybe a 28” wheel size which is supposedly better than both.
 

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I have no idea. But I did replace my 27.5" SC 5010 last year with a 29" SC Tallboy.

I am a consumer, not a bike techie and 29" is where my money went and if I was to buy another bike soon, I would stick with 29" That may say more than all the reason you might read for 27.5".
 

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massive middle class in Asia of a billion people with lots of disposable cash buying all the 27.5. Think they are going to 29 since thats all they can get from suppliers.

If bicycle manufacturers could source cheap 27.5 wheels to turn a profit they would
 

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Although people joke about it but will we see a larger tire in the near future? Bike builders need to introduce new designed to get the riders to want to upgrade. Will there be a 31" at a trade show in the near future?
 

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Although people joke about it but will we see a larger tire in the near future? Bike builders need to introduce new designed to get the riders to want to upgrade. Will there be a 31" at a trade show in the near future?
Probably but not sure it will become popular as some people already have trouble with clearance on 29ers. Outside of XC, a 27.5" rear wheel is very popular and I don't see racers going 31 or 32" up front with 27.5" out back. I also don't see a wheel size that's not popular in racing becoming popular with the general riding population.
 

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I really believe that you are seeing less 27.5's is more of a manufacturer SKU issue rather than a popularity issue. 27.5 bikes work for a lot of people. But having to stock 2 wheel sizes of varying widths, forks of different travel and tires for both 27.5 and 29ers can be overwhelming.
So I think the manufacturers pushes out one of the sizes creates more profit for them. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it.
 

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I have always stood by my opinion that wheel size is just one of many variables in a bike's design. I never have, and never will, buy a bike based on wheel diameter. It will always be about the bike as a whole. Wheel size just happens to be what it is on the bike I like. As such, my most recent trail bike purchase happened to be a 27.5. Yes, there have been 29's in my life, starting as far back as 2002ish (a Fisher). As far as the question in this thread goes (Is the end really that close: 27.5” dead?), I think my response is going to be "no". I say that because unless some miraculous incarnation of a drastic new revaluation in bike design comes along, I'll probably keep riding the 27.5 trail bike I have now indefinitely. So, by definition, it will never die. Incidentally, I still have a 26" XC bike that I will never replace. It's perfect for me for XC riding, and I have not been on a 27.5 or 29 XC bike I like better. Again, nothing to do with wheel diameter, but everything to do with the bike's over all design. So, I guess for me, 26 will never die either.
 
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