|27.5"ers are "all the rage".|
You may try to draw some comparisons to 29"ers here, but ya know what? These new 27.5"ers are not anything like where 29"ers came from. 29"ers were summarily despised by a big slice of the bicycle industry at the outset, and some companies waited for years, (literally), before coming out with 29"ers. Some said they were "circus bikes" and some said that they would "never build a 29"er", but they did, (in both of my examples), and now have those bikes as a big part of their line.
This is not the case with 27.5 wheels. Companies are pushing this wheel size with no compunctions and no reservations as to its effectiveness, (or lack thereof), so it is not at all like it was with 29"ers, which were driven by demand from riders, and the 27.5"ers are a "top down" marketing gamble. No matter if they are better than the previous 26 inch wheels, which they very well may be. But one has to ask- if the wheel size is good for long travel bikes, why has it taken six years for these companies to figure this out.....all of a sudden? Cause 27.5" wheels for mtb has been around a few years or more. I just find that odd, but again.......the bikes are probably really good, it's just not anything like how 29"ers came about. And I think it is odd that all of a sudden 26 inch wheeled long travel bikes are being dropped like a hot potato.
|The new Yeti ARC: Clown bike indeed!|
Some folks are still bent that Yeti called 29"ers "clown bikes" and think that no one should trust a company that has ever denigrated the idea of big wheels. You know......like Specialized. The company that said it would "never build a 29"er" and put a guy on a FS 29"er that only won the World MTB Championship. Ya know.......kind of a big deal there. But they didn't like 29"ers at first. Here's what I have to say about that:
That just tells me these companies have character to say, “Hey- That is a good idea. We were wrong about them.” And then they get behind big wheels and put in the R&D, creativity, and let’s not forget, money- to build a great product.
I respect that, actually. It says something good to me. Some folks may not see it that way, but I think that Specialized and Yeti saw 29″ers for what they are- a good idea in terms of mtb, and a way to……(yes- I’m saying this)….to make some bucks, cause- ya know- they are in business to make money, not break even, or lose it. Which to the former point means that 29″ers resonate with the riders. Otherwise there would be no marketing, or market, for that matter.
Well, anyway, that's what I was impressed by over the weekend watching from afar. Now, you'll excuse me while I get back to prepping for this gravel grinder I put on......