650b and 29er debate still gets MTB community hot under the collar

Singletrack poll shows MTBers are highly passionate about the future of the sector; Poll sees 650b market just a tiny fraction of market, with 26-inch far ahead
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While much of the cycle world is currently focused on a race in France, MTBers have proved they’re just as animated about where the future of the MTB market lies regarding wheel sizes.

Singletrack recently ran a poll a week that effectively asked the question, ‘what size wheels does your current main MTB have?’ The reaction from the website’s readership was surprisingly vocal, Singletrack told BikeBiz.

The results to that first poll were:

  • My main MTB has 26" wheels (77 percent, 665 Votes)
  • My main MTB has 29" wheels (22 percent, 188 Votes)
  • My main MTB has 27.5" (650b) wheels (1 percent, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 867

As 27.5/650b currently only makes just a tiny fraction of Singletrack’s readership, the mag ran another poll (which is still running), asking what new MTB its readers were likely to buy next. The results (so far) read:

  • I've no plans to buy a new bike in the next 12 months (45 percent, 180 Votes)
  • 29 in wheels (20 percent, 81 Votes)
  • 26 in wheels (20 percent, 81 Votes)
  • 27.5 in wheels (15 percent, 59 Votes)

Total Voters: 401

“What has taken us by surprise is the levels of actual anger that the whole wheel size debate has stimulated," publisher Mark Alker told BikeBiz. "We've had actual threats of a subscription being cancelled unless we 'stop peddling this bullshit!'. That was on Twitter.

“We did deliberately start a debate by pointing out that the stats indicate that over 70 per cent of future purchases will not be of bikes with 26 inch wheels. That seemed to send some Twitter followers into a bit of a rage with responses that included, 'bias', 'agenda', 'promotion', 'greed'... All in the context of a passion over the issue that has taken us a little by surprise.

“We can't think of anything in the last decade that has resulted in such a passionate debate consisting of such contrasting opinions, both on the actual use of wheels of different sizes and of the way the industry is moving towards a new standard.”

singletrackworld.com

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