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It's not SO much better. Marked improvement on that sandy stretch of your local trail. Lower pressures increase traction in many situations, while increasing compliance. Particularly useful for hardtails, where it reduces harshness and extends the reasonable usage of the bike into slightly more chunky territory. Reduces the importance of small bump sensitivity in shock tunes for FS. Set up your bike for bigger hits and more aggressive riding?

Trade off is minor increase in buff rolling resistance and decrease in tire durability in the rocks.
 

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Surprised that so many posters missed the point that 26+ wheels are not designed for a 26 inch frame, but to offer a high traction / cush option for a 27.5 frame.

And no one seems to have picked up on the point that it gives the option of owning two sets of wheels for the same 27.5 frame, switching between both 27.5 and 26+ wheels based on trail conditions or mood :)
 

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I see a market for 26+ on 27.5" frames. I kind of like the idea better then 29"+... where the chainstay gets pretty long. 26"+ has potential to be more flickable and also swapable.
FS 29+ & 17.1" CS. They don't have to be super long.

http://forums.mtbr.com/27-5-29/presented-moment-without-comment-969055.html

You lose the roll over of that big 29+ wheel if you go 26+. That may not be a bad trade off for a specific rider/situation, but it's important to note it's not just the width of the tire that makes 29+ awesome.
 

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web-footed pedaler
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It's not SO much better. Marked improvement on that sandy stretch of your local trail. Lower pressures increase traction in many situations, while increasing compliance. Particularly useful for hardtails, where it reduces harshness and extends the reasonable usage of the bike into slightly more chunky territory. Reduces the importance of small bump sensitivity in shock tunes for FS. Set up your bike for bigger hits and more aggressive riding?

Trade off is minor increase in buff rolling resistance and decrease in tire durability in the rocks.
You forgot to mention the extra cornering traction. I've been on a 29+ bike for over a year now and it's not just a marketing gimmick. The bigger overall diameter seriously helps when riding really rough terrain, like rocky stream beds or ledgy trails. The tires really do feel like they'll roll over anything (and that's before you add suspension). Also, being able to run low pressures (10-12psi) gives you more than just a trivial traction advantage. All that without the sluggishness of a full fat bike.

I would have been more than happy with a 26 inch wheel with wide rims and a 3" tires back before all this wheel size stuff took off. I raced XC on 2.5" tires and some lightweight DH rims and did quite well at the expert level with that setup. Many of us have been looking for these bigger volume options for a long time.
 

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not that my opinion means crap cause im pretty much a low talent hack, but i bought a krampus a year ago. i have not had this much fun riding since i was a kid. have done all kinds ofstuff from long road rides to crashing down sunday river( i do mean crashing). was thinking about putting a sus fork on it, but i really wish surly would ask me to be their northeast crash test dummy on an instigator. i think it would be better in the real rough stuff. i think a 650+ would be just to close. if not for the krampus it would definitely be the choice.
 

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I see the industry supporting 27.5+ because it's easier than 26+. It lets them focus on two rim sizes and it also works on frames designed for 29 with just adding boost hubs. Anything that can limit production costs but still providing the consumer options is a win for them.

That said, I can see 26+ being beneficial on big travel bikes that are now being adapted for 27.5. From watching the fat skis' evolution over the last couple decades, I can see the fatter tires open up new lines for the free-ride and DH set. I could see it being a good option for the Red Bull Rampage courses.

After making the switch to 29ers on my last xc bike, I see the traditional 26er being dead for all but kids bikes where it belongs. However, 26+ could have some merit down the line, but all the industry's energy needs to finish out it's run on 27.5+ for awhile. When the engineers get bored, we might see more experimentation from them on 26+.
 

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I see the industry supporting 27.5+ because it's easier than 26+. It lets them focus on two rim sizes and it also works on frames designed for 29 with just adding boost hubs. Anything that can limit production costs but still providing the consumer options is a win for them.

That said, I can see 26+ being beneficial on big travel bikes that are now being adapted for 27.5. From watching the fat skis' evolution over the last couple decades, I can see the fatter tires open up new lines for the free-ride and DH set. I could see it being a good option for the Red Bull Rampage courses.

After making the switch to 29ers on my last xc bike, I see the traditional 26er being dead for all but kids bikes where it belongs. However, 26+ could have some merit down the line, but all the industry's energy needs to finish out it's run on 27.5+ for awhile. When the engineers get bored, we might see more experimentation from them on 26+.
Experimentation on 26+? What's there to experiment? It is what it is.
 

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2015 was the year of 650b.
2016 will be the year of the b+
2017 will be the rediscovery of the 650b via a 26+ tire.

Round and round we go. :) I'm with the OP. I'll wait until somebody comes up with a 27.5/26+ frame to upgrade.
 
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