THE RIGHT DIAMETER FOR YOUR RIDING
A few years ago, there was a real boom in 29" wheels, offering a proper alternative to the traditional 26". Nowadays, 27.5" is winning over most of the MTB world, as the ideal compromise.
Our choices in terms of wheel size and the emergence of new standards like 27.5" are in response to a need to optimise performances. Our goal is to provide you with the best bike for the way you ride, for your favourite terrain and for your build.
How does it work?
Everybody knows that the smaller the wheels, the more responsive the bike and its handling. The bigger they are, on the other hand, the better suited the bike is to speed and rolling over obstacles.
What's more, larger-diameter wheels have significant inertia (because their rotational mass is greater). You need enough inertia to keep the bike stable, but too much inertia will negatively affect its handling, its acceleration and its braking.
Therefore, we can distinguish 4 criteria that vary significantly with wheel diameter: weight, rollover, grip and acceleration.
For different assemblies with the same component types (wheel + tire):
- A 27.5" wheel is 5 % heavier than a 26" wheel
- A 29" wheel is 11 % heavier than a 26" wheel
A bike's rollover capacity is determined by the wheel's angle of attack to the obstacle. The bigger the wheel, the smaller the angle of attack, making it easier to roll over.
The bigger the wheel, the more contact surface between tire and ground (at the same inflation pressure), which therefore improves grip. Better grip means a bike that is easier to ride and has better braking.
It is wheel inertia that influences a bike’s acceleration performance: the bigger the wheels, the greater the rotational mass, the higher the inertia and, therefore, the slower the acceleration. As we can see in the graph below, a bike fitted with 29” wheels will have a higher top speed, but more time and energy will be needed to reach that speed.
- The 29" is the ultimate weapon for X-country competition and trails, but it is also suited to larger builds and to riders with more limited skills.
- Perfectly suited to all-mountain and enduro, the 27.5" represents the perfect compromise between handling, responsiveness and rollover.