Through the ages, wheel sizes have always been a hot topic. bigger, smaller, wider, skinnier, but in recent years the hotly debated wheel size has always been a bone of contention in many riding circles and groups with one Wise rider often showering superiority, on their opinions at least.
Now fast forward from early 1800's Europe where the velocipede was formed. It was basically an adults version of the modern day strider we give to our toddlers in an attempt to start them on a bike without tantrums and any form of bias towards manufacturer, style or wheel size. Life was good!
Since the inception of the Bike, the wheel size has been one of many, many changes. The opinions from industry experts, manufacturers and local pioneers can lead us to only imagine how the design of the penny farthing came about right?
Having been involved with mountain biking now since the mid 90's and seeing the surge of fads, thousands of ground-breaking industry standards that were dead set to hang around, geometry changes and countless "the next best thing"'s, I've started to realise the industry is amazingly very repetitive especially with the things that ground us the most.
The choices we now face and are effectively brainwashed over, are endless with clever internet driven videos, sales jargon and our riding hero's forming elusive marketing techniques that we don't realise. Quite quickly, we find ourselves being sucked-in wanting the latest penny farthing made by radius bikes and the next switch in what ever is going to re-shape the riding world. Quick! Bust out the tin foil hats!
How have we gotten so damn passionate about change or lack there of over fucking wheel sizes? Now I must confess here, I have got caught up with these fads to a degree and bought a plus bike, own countless 29er's and gone to the 1 by solution but thankfully have not become a stravasshole.
But in all honesty, my decisions around particular bikes and styles haven't come down to following an industry trend. It has been from trial and error, finding what I like, making my opinion up and riding countless demo stock of big, small, fat, skinny solutions (I have proof). Have we forgotten what exactly riding is all about to us? Not at all! Ahem! Yes, well maybe all of that above....
Often accompanying our group rides is various shit flinging regularly around the size of one's wheels between the weirdo stalwarts who still ride 26" wheels (apparently they're still being made), the bogan trail riders who like the 650b platform and the purebred stallions (obviously) who ride the 29er's. With that, comes a whole bunch of Segment comparing at the end of each ride with a little more shit flinging and banter that is actually an exciting part of it all.
The real truth is though, there is no magic recipe. This is by no means an article or opinion set to drive your mind towards a specific wheel size. there is absolutely no one, do it all wheel or tyre and size doesn't matter as much as you think (in some areas of life at least). We all fling shit at each other regardless of what wheels we have so we may as well just fling away and keep our own personal stance on what we like, while realising our enjoyment really isn't altered by wheel size as majorly as we think it is.
But do remember, the 29er revolution is coming. And we told ya so!