Since the introduction of the 29 and 27.5″ wheels, wheel size debates have become as common place as debating your favorite post ride beverage. Many argue that wheel size is correlated to rider size – if you’re a bigger rider with a larger frame, the wagon wheels are naturally a better fit. Smaller riders similarly benefit from the smaller 27.5″ wheels which are lighter (apples to apples) and allow lower bar positions.
Not all that long ago, a few companies started offering the same bike in both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels but in different sizes. Smaller frame sizes got the small wheels and the larger sizes obviously got the 29″ hoops. Now, Trek has joined in on the trend with their new Smart Wheel Size geometry. By offering 13 and 15.5″ frame sizes with 27.5″ wheels and 17″ and up frames with 29″ wheels, Trek hopes to take some of the confusion out of the bike selection process. The move will also undoubtedly help dealers keep the number of bikes for inventory down since they won’t have to stock essentially two lines of the same bike, just with different wheel sizes.
Sold in 7 different sizes, only the 13.5 and 15.5″ Marlin frames will use 27.5″ wheels. Meanwhile the 17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 21.5, and 23″ frames will run the larger wheels – which should offer frame sizes to fit most riders. The new Marlin will be available in three models – the 5, 6, and 7.
The Smart Wheel Size system will also be integrated into the new Skye WSD as well. The Skye looks like it gains some significant improvement on the frame including partial internal cable routing and a much more slender appearance.
The takeaway? Both bikes will offer modern wheel sizes that are the best fit for each frame size at impressive prices.