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.
FUJI Nevada 27.5 1.4
“The Nevada is designed with trail-ready geometry adapted from Fuji’s top-end models. No hype just reliable components on a proven frame built for real-world conditions. Lauded for its versatility, the Nevada can take riders from their first weekend ride to their first mountain bike race.”
GIANT Talon 2
“The lightweight ALUXX aluminium Talon frame features classic off-road design that’s updated with Giant’s proven 27.5-inch wheel technology. The hardtail frame is designed to optimise the wheel size and its 100mm suspension fork. It’s an ideal choice for aspiring off-road riders looking for a balanced blend of quickness and control on the trail.”
FELT 7 Eighty
“With powerful rolling characteristics and plenty of durability, the 7 Eighty gives you the best of both worlds in a 27.5” package. The light aluminium frame is designed to maximize the benefits of this nimble and strong wheel size. A reliable SR Suntour XCT fork with 100mm travel, seamless components, and powerful brakes makes the 7 Eighty as comfortable on fire roads as it is on windy trails.”
GIANT Anthem 2
“The quick and agile Anthem XC bike is updated this year with a new trunnion-mount Maestro rear suspension system for even smoother trail performance. The new Advanced Forged composite rocker arm adds strength, giving you 110mm of smooth, active rear travel. The lightweight ALUXX SL aluminium frame is engineered specifically for 27.5 wheels and a 120mm suspension fork. New this year is Boost hub spacing (110 front/148 rear), which improves wheel stiffness for added control, while adding tyre clearance and improving drivetrain performance. The frame also features Giant’s OverDrive steerer tube for razor-sharp handling, plus a PowerCore bottom bracket for maximum pedalling stiffness and power transfer.”
FUJI Rakan 27.5+ 3.5
“The Fuji Rakan might be the most efficient pedaling trail bike on the market. 120mm of MLink™ suspension gets you to the top of the climb as fast as you get down the mountain. Trail bike capability with XC bike pedaling combined with 29â€œ or 27.5-plus wheels makes the Rakan the obvious choice if you can have only one bike in your quiver.”
FELT Compulsion 30
“If Enduro is your game, then the Compulsion 30 is your bike of choice. The ultra-efficient Equilink™ suspension system, combined with a light and durable 6061 aluminium front and rear triangle, makes a bike that rails turns, pops off lips and absorbs hits like no other. This bike helps you shred any trail you traverse with a RockShox Pike RC 160mm fork, Monarch RT3 160mm rear shock, KS Drop Zone seat post and Shimano XT 11-speed components.”
LIV Tempt 1
“Tempted to try a new gravel road or singletrack trail? Bring those challenges to life with Tempt helping you redefine the attainable. A more upright frame design keeps you comfortable and confident, so you can enjoy the views and take it all in. A plush suspension fork, 27.5-inch wheels and powerful disc brakes offer added confidence and control to take you from tame dirt trails to more challenging singletrack. Incredibly smooth and quick acceleration, low stand-over height for handling bobbles and dismounts, and increased stability — all of these features combined are the keys to unlock your inner adventuress.”
LIV Embolden 2
“With 120mm of sweet suspension, plus confidence-inspiring front end handling, you’ll be finding a new passion for speed. Embolden hands you the keys to unlock your mountain biking potential. With an active feel, loads of traction and powerful disc brakes, everything about this bike screams, “You can do this!” Embolden has your back with beautifully simple, single-pivot frame geometry that provides a lower stand-over height, making dismounts and maneuvering your body around the frame as effortless as can be. The 27.5-inch wheel size ensures that bike handling is still nimble and playful while providing a stable, trustworthy feel.”
LIV Bliss 1
“It could be your first time putting rubber to dirt or heading out in the neighbourhood for a light pedal – an introduction to the freedom of cycling shouldn’t equal a huge investment. A relaxed style keeps you more upright and comfortable in the saddle without sacrificing efficiency. When variable weather conditions arise or your chosen path begins to get bumpy, capable front-end suspension, braking precision and traction are combined to keep you riding smoothly. Pack a Saturday picnic and go find adventure with Bliss – open up the possibilities to follow the road less travelled. Integrated dropouts allow you to install a rack or add a kickstand to transform the bike into capable commuter or weekend adventurer.”
“Designed for young boys and girls looking to start exploring trails, parks and dirt lots and for parents introducing their children to the world of mountain biking, the Dynamite is the gateway bike. And family outings are most successful when everybody is on the same page equipment-wise. The Dynamite is a real bike that can grow with kids as they fall in love with riding.”
GIANT XTC SL Jr 24
“Off-road performance isn’t just for adults. This youth-specific trail bike is designed to help kids progress and learn to love off-road riding. With its lightweight ALUXX alloy frame, fast-rolling 24-inch wheels, front suspension and disc brakes; it helps make the trail riding experience more fun than ever.”
LIV Enchant 1 24 Disc
“With fun, colourful style in a lightweight package, Enchant Disc allows girls to tackle the bike path or dirt trail with confidence and pride. Thanks to friendly geometry, low stand-over height and stability she will be on her way to learning how to mountain bike. Designed to be agile and easy to manoeuvre off-road, this bike includes a front suspension fork and powerful disc brakes for added comfort and capability. Featuring fast-rolling 24-inch wheels and trail-ready tyres — it’s a fun, stable bike to help her build confidence and skills..”
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.