Single Tracks 27.5 SurveyEarlier this month, conducted a survey of just under 500 riders to try and read the markets pulse. Having sat through (and passed!) several statistics and econometric courses in the not so distant past, it’s glaringly obvious the resulting infographic is in no way scientific.

That disclaimer out of the way, their team has put together a pretty cool infograph. Roll past the break to check out the results…

27.5 Single Tracks Survey

Thanks to Greg Hail, our friend and Editor & Chief of, for sending over the link. Click the image to view it full size.



  1. Forget industry hype! Its not about the bike, wheel size, steer tube, handlebar diameter, anything. The bike industry is going to tell you what you think you need so it can sell you more stuff, its business, it doesn’t make it better or you better for that matter. Think for yourself and go ride the bike you want to ride!

  2. One fact that never gets much attention in these debates – It’s plain stupid to have one size wheels for a huge range of body sizes. Individual opinions will vary based on what works for their bodies.

    I’m all for bigger wheels, forks and stays. 29″ is great for me having a 37″ inseam. I want bigger road wheels and frames as well. 62cm road frames look retarded with 700c wheels because of this. No wonder tall guys have giand headtubes when they have to ride the same wheels as 5’4″ guys.

    I appreciate the new wheel sizes in mtb, but we will never get to the ideal when asking a pool of randomly sized humans in these terms.

  3. Funny how Specialized didn’t plan on making 27.5 bike, usually they always ahead on making new trending bike like when they started making 29 bike two years ago.

  4. Um…. Specialized was pretty late to the 29er party Tokek Rider. I would NOT call them ahead on it despite their full fledged support of it now, supposedly.

  5. Well in here Indonesia, Specialized in one of the first few bike brand that sell 29 in the first place. Give my friend who own bike shop and sell spez bike headache because 29 bike is quite hard to sell here in Indonesia, I hope is not happening with 27.5 bike. I was looking forward to swap my Yeti SB66 with SB75 too bad Yeti is not making the carbon frame yet for SB75.

  6. I agree its strange specialized didnt make a 650 mtb yet. They stole so much from ritchey, you’d think it would have been up their alley.

  7. Meh, ride whatever the hell you want. My local trails are dominated by XC 29ers. But after a weekend of demoing pretty much most of the 2014 model range from Giant, both 29ers and 27.5, I went with a 27.5 Anthem. Just wasn’t comfortable on a 29er. But i’m not sitting here thinking 27.5 is the best(it’s not), it’s just what I liked the most.

  8. This poll is the usual BS from marketing types. There is a freight train of 27.5 crap coming over from Taiwan and if it don’t sell, lots of folks will be looking for jobs.
    I’ll stick with 26″ because 29″ handle like wagon wheels and 27.5 just don’t offer enough benefit.
    Did everyone forget that why everyone was so jacked on CF wheels for low rotational weight and now they just shit can those gains for 4″ more tire tread? Really?
    Ever notice how many test bikes for 27.5 AM/Enduro bikes are always running on $2500 Enve wheelsets? Because they are masking the rolling weight increase.

    If you really analyze it, it does not make real sense.

    Wheel strength-26 beats all.
    Weight- 26 beats all.
    Gearing for climbing- 26 beats all.
    Acceleration-26 beats all
    Maneuverability-26 beats all.
    Rolling over rocks-29 beats all.
    I am still trying to figure out what 27.5 is good for exactly?

  9. Ride what works for your riding style and your local trails.

    However, I really don’t see 26er bikes lasting much longer in the mid to high end range models. 26 and 650b are just too close to justify supporting both.

    All I know is I’m stoked to ride my 650b Remedy next season in western NC.

  10. @chasejj: 650b fits when you want to have some of the last point on your list – as rolling over rocks is the whole idea, while keeping as much of the previous points as possible.

  11. Really? Who said 29ers are any good for DH/FR/DJ? Sure, I could see the argument for DH… but Freeride and Dirt Jumping? Really? I mean, really?

  12. Until when the industry will tell us what to ride !!!
    Let us ride what we want !!!
    There is no bad better and best, all wheels have their audience and their perfect trail.
    People also forget that 26 wheels can be 2 kg and 29 wheels can be 1600gr. So it’s not the size but what kind of rider you are, what trails are you riding on, what is your skill level, are you looking for safety, stability or the playfulness and thrill.
    I think we need a new slogon: 26-27.5-29 Coexist !!!

  13. In a perfect world, we would select a size based on terrain, height, and discipline. If my trails were butter smooth, I would still be riding a few 26 bikes.

  14. @chasejj

    Wheel strength-20 beats all.
    Weight- 20 beats all.
    Gearing for climbing- 20 beats all.
    Acceleration-20 beats all
    Maneuverability-20 beats all.

    I guess we should ride BMXes only.

  15. This infograph is probably interesting but it’s too small to read on my iphone so I went to my laptop…Still too small.

    Oh BTW, there are wheel sizes to suit everyone, I don’t understand why people feel so threatened by it.

  16. specialized is going to wait and see what the industry and consumers are going to do about 650, just like they did with 29r. Then when they know what the consumer wants they will produce a product. Just like they did with 29. history repeats itself.

  17. Improper bike fit is the number one cause of 29er rejection as I’ve seen it. Riders going from 26″ wheels to 29″ wheels most often set up their 29er like they had their 26 inch bike and can’t figure out why the 29er dosent handle like their old bike so rather than having the bike professionally fit or experimenting a bit they reject the whole 29er thing and go on to be vocal on how 29er suck and such.

    Personally I got other things to worry about than who’s riding what wheelsize however living in the 4th largest city in the U.S. I can can count on two fingers of all the 650b bikes i’ve seen on the trail or at state XC races… i’m just curious of who is buying all these bikes because they are not in Texas as far as i can tell.

  18. If 27.5″ is sooooo great why the brands never pushed before????…they just pushed when saw many people speaking about wheel size, so don´t come to me telling that this is just to evolve the sport. I don´t complain about wheel size, any can ride the size that fit better but telling that 27.5″ is the best of all is like when the 29″ hit the marked years ago and telling that is was the best and 26″ will disappear. It is just marketing pulling out the 26″ to abandon. Ride the wheel size that most fit you.

  19. Bike companies are just that – companies. For profit. They are trying to sell bikes, and more of them.
    They use marketing to help reach that goal.
    They are not forcing you to buy anything, they are trying to influence you to buy.

    Specialized did not make a 29er until the market for them was well established, and they were not taking any risk…funny from a company whose slogan was “Innovate or die!”

    Ronin – damn straight!

  20. If the infographic is too small, click on it and you’ll find a bigger version. This holds true for most images that seem to be way too small on the internet.
    Maybe next year, Surly will introduce “27.5+” wheels, with 2″ rims, and instead of calling them “fatbikes,” maybe they’ll be called “curvy” or “American.”

  21. Specialized didn’t enter the 29er market until they could sell all the components including wheels and tires. Specialized will for d*mn sure enter both 27.5 and fatbike markets, but not until they can spec their own branded components throughout.

    +1 pick a wheel size and be a d*ck about it.

  22. It’s funny how many cynical people there are on here, constantly blaming “the industry” and “the marketing guys” for pushing new stuff onto them. Haven’t you all figured out that “the industry” doesn’t have the ability to push anything on people who don’t want it? Riders are asking about and buying 650b wheels or else we wouldn’t be building them. They may not be right for all you cynics out there that don’t want to buy something new, but for those that embrace new technology like suspensions, disc brakes, wider rims, etc. once were then give them a shot.

  23. @Bikerguy there’s no doubt there are people out there that gobble everything up, no matter what it is. I know of guys that buy a new bike almost every six months, because they can. I personally have never adhered to that sort of consumerism but if that floats their boat, cool.

    The cynicism in this particular case I think is deserved. For too long particular companies have constantly pushed ‘this year is better than last year’, in a clear and endless aim to sell more even if it was not really true. That’s fine, it’s what a private company is meant to do and one can choose to tune out if they wish.

    This wheel thing though is more than that. The riding public is now being told that over twenty years worth of riding on a wheel size has been totally wrong and we should all embrace an ‘oatmeal’ solution. While yes, the history is that 27.5 size of choice at the start, the reality is that everyone got along quite happily with 26 after it won out over 27.5 for various reasons. The problem is, the reality is quite different and this new size does not offer all the claimed benefits being brandied about.

    It’s not a matter of yet another wheel size. It’s not even a matter of introducing it and letting people make up their own minds and choose accordingly. It’s about being fed falsities and eventually forced to make the swap, not because it’s really any better but because it’s a way to sell more stuff.

  24. Couldn’t be happier about the 27.5 trend. Just bought a set of DT Swiss XRC 1350 26-inch wheels for $850 bucks. Keep lapping it up, sheep. I’ll keep buying your gear.

  25. Couldn’t be happier about the 10 speed trend. Just bought a set of XT 9-speed shifters for $25. Keep lapping it up, sheep. I’ll keep buying your gear.

  26. how much of the ‘oversize,’ meaning 27.5/29 is manufacturers getting around import duties related to bikes with 26″ wheels. Just wondering.

  27. I bought my Jamis 650b 3 years ago, after I broke my “basic” 26er.
    29ers was way too big for me, so it made sense to me to get the 650b.
    Very happy with it, I definitely did the right choice: I’m better with this bike than with the old one: it just fits me right.
    Now, I don’t get all the “hate” about 650b from people who don’t own one. The 650b wheel size doesn’t make 26ers or 29ers shitty or old.
    These bikes are still as good/bad as they were before.

  28. I’m 5’7. Can’t really see an argument to be made for a product to help one accelerate faster. The solution to slow acceleration on a 29er is PEDAL HARDER!

  29. This is just part of becoming a mountain biker: “Choose a wheel size and be a dick about it!” I love that part of the video.

  30. 27.5″ is so industry driven that when I went to a local Jamis dealer 2 years ago to buy one, they had none in stock, and dissuaded me from ordering one with the argument that the wheels were for children and women who couldn’t fit on or handle a 29’er, and they would never catch on. So I bought a Jamis close out 27.5″ on eBay. Some industry marketing…

What do you think?