Mountain Bikes

Drouin Cycles has put together a list of the top #3 recommendations across the categories below based on customer feedback and experience. If your preferred model isn’t listed, feel free to scroll through our preferred supplier websites and Contact Us for availability and a price on your nominated selection.

Hard-Tail

Drouin Cycles recommends…

Soft-Tail

Drouin Cycles recommends…

Womens

Drouin Cycles recommends…

Kids

Drouin Cycles recommends…

What should you choose? 26″, 27.5″ or 29″ Mountain Bikes…?

For many years mountain bikes have used 26″ wheels until the introduction over the past 2 years of the 29″ wheels, or ’29ers’. After initially being treated with caution, the industry has seen a shift towards 29″ wheels becoming the size of choice for MTB sale.

Despite this shift, MTB riders are now faced with another alternative… the new 27.5″ wheel (otherwise known as a 650B).

Initial impressions would have us believe that 27.5″ is half way between 26″ and 29″ and therefore the decision comes down to aesthetics. However Giant have done extensive research and have concluded that that 27.5″ is actually, in many respects, better way to go most of the time.

If we break this down it is easier to think with.

Weight

  • 26″ wheels are obviously the lightest, but 27.5″ are only 5% heavier, compared to 29″ which are 12% heavier.
  • Another major factor is how far from the centre of the wheel that weight is. The greater the distance from the hub, the more effect it has. A lighter wheel accelerates faster, it feels more “lively”. So, lighter wheels result in a bike that accelerates faster, with lighter overall weight.

Control

  • 29″ wheels are the best overall, as the larger diameter wheel has a 33% larger contact patch than a 26″, resulting in better grip. Surprisingly the 27.5″ have a 25% greater contact area than the 26″, so it has a similar grip to the 29″ wheel.

Rollover

  • A 29″ wheel rolls over obstacles more efficiently than a 26″ wheel, because the angle of attack is less. A 29″ wheel rolls over a 6cm obstacle 14% better than a 26″ wheel. The 27.5″ rolls over it 9.8% better, so again, it performs better than expected.

Frames

  • Usually the rule of thumb is that the smaller the frame triangle, the better. This is because the frame is stiffer and can transfer power more efficiently. Obviously a 29er is at a disadvantage here, and has about 5% more flex than a 26″, whereas a 27.5″ has only 2% more, subject to frame quality of course.

So overall it appears that a 27.5″ is not better in any single aspect, but put together all the factors, and it is clearly the best choice for most riders. It is really the best compromise.