With the announcement of the Santa Cruz V10 downhill bike going to 29″ wheels under the Sana Cruz Syndicate DH team today, I predict 27.5 wheel bikes will soon be falling away faster than ever. Changes to hub spacing and geometry over the last few years seem to have the pendulum swinging back towards the 29″ wheel size already, BUT I really see the announcement of the 29er Santa Cruz V10 today as a huge tipping point.
Some of you may being saying “Huh, I thought the beauty of the 27.5 was it being a more maneuverable in-betweener wheel size that is fun and agile but has better roll over than 26?” In the past, the complaint against 29″ wheeled bikes was maneuverability on tight trails. With modern 29″ geometry that is no longer the case. Nowhere else do you need a more maneuverable mountain bike that can change direction as quickly as in DH racing.
In case you didn’t know, the Santa Cruz Syndicate DH team is perhaps the fastest and most decorated team on the world cup circuit. I found it very interesting to read how Greg Minnaar led the team to commit to the larger wheel size. Read all about it here: https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/news/syndicate-29-inch-v10