Thanks to some personal experience and professional research, we have found your best wheel size directly corresponds with how you ride your bike. Here’s a quick guide to help you find your size.
Racers, cross country riders, or anyone who counts seconds out on the trail, will benefit the most from 29″ wheels. 29ers are the fastest wheels, period. These wheels maintain more speed through bumps by regaining contact with the ground faster after a bump than smaller wheels. Research shows that over the course of a one hour race, 27.5″, or 650b wheels are 1.5 minutes slower than 29″ wheels, and 26″ wheels are over 2.5 minutes slower.
If you’re the type of rider who plows over roots, rocks,and gullies, you’ll also want a 29er. The fact that these wheels contact the ground more frequently creates a more confident ride and the ability to carry speed over obstacles.
Riders who aren’t looking at the clock and are looking for more active, lively handling, you’ll want to try 26″ and 650b wheels. These wheels are actually closer in size than the label 27.5″ leads on, and research shows they perform similarly. These two sizes are for the riders who concentrate on their technique and the technical aspects of the trail. If you’d rather jump an obstacle than plow over it, 26 or 650b wheels are your best bets.
Lastly, a common misconception is that rider height affects your bike fit. This is simply not true. Frame geometry affects bike fit. So in the end, go by your riding style to find the best wheel size for you.