Can I put 29 Wheels On A 26 Bike?

If you are new in the world of mountain and dirt bikes, some terms might be very new to you. With time, the times like; 29, 27.5 and 26 inch wheels will be like a song into your ears.

The question pondered by many riders is whether it is possible to put a 29-wheel on a 26 bike? This question has two answers “Yes” and “No”.  The no part comes if you are using a very skinny tire. On the other hand, it can be done if you are lucky to have a suspension MTB.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Between 29 and 26 Inch Wheels, Which is The Best?

29 inch wheels are much better than 26 inch. There have been so many debates between the two wheel sizes over the years. Many people have actually started spreading rumors that the 26-inch wheels will be out of market very soon. This is however not true at all.

Although 29-inch wheels have more advantages than the 26-inch wheels, riders have different opinions about the two. Therefore, for the sake of those who have much faith in the 26-inch wheels, both of them will remain in the market.

There are many reasons why some riders prefer smaller wheels compared to the 29-inch wheels. Smaller wheels are fast, easy to control and easy to throw around. At the same time, if you are small in size, you’ll be more comfortable riding on a small wheel than large ones.  

Can a 27.5 Wheel Fit On a 26 Bike?

Putting a 27.5 wheel on a 26 bike is not automatic. This is because there are some wheels that will fit automatically while others won’t. Not all 26 inch frames can be converted into a 27.5 inch wheel. Some are feared to run on the bottom bracket or on the stays.

In case you have a 26-inches bike, make sure that you get one that is flexible. This allows you to move from one wheel size to the other depending on your needs. Luckily, manufacturers have provided riders with the list of frames that are easily convertible to 27.5”.

The wheel you choose should be easy to convert and should provide you with enough clearance on both sides. At the same time, it is very important to understand that every decision has consequences. Putting a 27.5” wheel on a 26 bike might slightly interfere with the stability of your bike.

Are 29 Inch Wheels Too Big?

29-inch wheels are not too big. 29er mountain bikes became popular during the 2010 season. The bikes offered several advantages that made many riders prefer them over the 26” mountain bikes. 29ers wheels are much bigger in size which means higher top end speed and overall traction than the 26”.

Due to the big size of the 29” wheels, they are able to easily roll over obstacles. The riders are no longer afraid of going over rocks, roots, ruts, stumps and many other obstacles. On the contrary, those with a 26” bike will have a very hard time trying to avoid all these obstacles.

At the same time, the bike will be more stable and convenient. This will add to your confidence and comfort even when participating in a race. We can also not forget that this bike will need less suspension to improve the bike’s efficiency compared to a 26”.

 How Do You Convert a 26” to 27.5” Wheel Size?

Converting a 26” to 27.5” wheel is a very easy task. With the right information you will not need the services of an expert. There are a few things to consider before doing so to ensure you get the right results. There are:

  • Ensure the rear wheel fits into your MTB frame: converting your 26” into a 27.5” might be easy but you must ensure your frames are compatible. When buying a 26” make sure that its frame is easy to convert whether you have plans of upgrading it or not.  
  • Make sure that the front wheel will fit into your fork; there are three types of forks available in the market and these are; Rock Shox, Fox and Magura forks. Among the three, only fox forks are compatible with 27.5” wheels.
  • Are you ready for the changes in the geometry of your MTB? 27.5 inches are definitely 1.5 inches larger. This means, the geometry or the size of your bike will slightly change (standing at -.75 taller). When cornering, the bike will feel slightly less nimble. Luckily, the extra grip provided by bigger wheels will compensate for this difference.

Is A Bigger Wheel Really Better?

Bigger wheels are definitely far much better than smaller wheels. Initially, the 26” mountain bikes were very common. With time, these bikes were replaced by the 27.5” bikes. People enjoyed the difference and comfort they experienced with the new 27.5” bikes.

On the other hand, manufacturers were impressed by how well the new wheel size was embraced. This pushed them to look for even better wheels and they settled on 29ers. The 29” wheels became more popular in 2010 and up to date, many people prefer them than the other two.

Advantages of larger wheels

  • Faster top end speed.
  • They are more comfortable when going over obstacles like roots, rocks and many more.
  • Great choice for taller riders.
  • Less suspension travel is required in larger wheels when you need to soak up terrain. This results in increased efficiency and less pedal bob.
  • Larger tire footprints means increased traction which comes in handy when climbing and descending downhills.
  • Running with lower tire pressure is possible with larger wheels compared to the small ones.
  • Since you don’t need to avoid so many obstacles, you will comfortably ride over long rides without feeling worked up.
  • Increased rotational weight.

Winding Up

Winning a race takes more than hard work and experience. Having the right tools for the job also matters a lot. Looking up on the information provided in this article, we can all agree that larger wheels are more convenient. The chances of winning on 29” wheels are slightly higher than when riding on a 26” wheel.

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