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INTERBIKE 2013: COMMITMENT

Posted by Art Aguilar On October - 7 - 2013

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LETS TALK COMMITMENT

Commitment is a big word for some people, some will run from it, some will half commit and not fallow through, and some will go head long into it all the way knowing they have done their homework believing in what they are doing.
Now a lot of you may know already that GIANT BICYCLES has done just that, they have went head long into the 27.5 tire size for just about all their 2014 mountain bike line and have all but sent the 26″ mountain bike way of the Dodo (for our younger readers this is a saying referring to an extincted bird) except for their DH Glory and Reing X which I would bet will fallow next into the 27.5 line, after all their are others that are doing DH and Freeride bikes in 27.5 with some success.
For those who know GIANT this wouldn’t be the first time they have done this. In 2006 GIANT was the first manufacturer to bring the tapered headtube to market, known as OverDrive2. So you can bet that when Giant decides to do something big it won’t be on a whim.
Here is a look at why GIANT feels the 27.5 is superior performance without compromise and cool pics of the 2014 27.5 line.
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Overall Bike Weight
Compare the weights of identically equipped bikes with different wheel sizes and you’ll see substantial weight differences. As expected, the 26-inch-wheel bike is somewhat lighter than the 27.5, and substantially lighter than the 29 (up to two pounds of overall bike weight savings from 29 to 27.5). Every gram saved helps you ride faster.

Wheel/Tire Weight
The overall weight of a 27.5 wheel set (wheel, tire and inner tube) is only 5% greater than that of an identically built 26-inch wheel set. Compare this to the 12% increase of a 29-inch wheel set and you can see how a seemingly small increase in diameter results in substantial weight gain—and poorer performance when climbing or accelerating.

Weight Comparison
Static wheel weight
Lighter wheels/tires result in a quicker acceleration and lighter overall bike weight – a win-win combination.

ANTHEM ADVANCE O TEAM

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Snappier acceleration and a reduced angle of attack for a smoother, more agile ride.
Rollover
Increased wheel diameter decreases the angle of attack (the angle in which a round object intersects a square object). This is a good thing. A 29-inch wheel rolls over a 6-centimeter square-edge obstacle 14% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does. In comparison, a 27.5-inch wheel rolls over the same obstacle 9.8% more efficiently than a 26-inch wheel does.
Another way to analyze angle of attack is the degree of impact—where 26-inch equals X degree, 27.5 equals X-4 degrees and 29 equals X-6 degrees. Again, a shallower angle is better—so 29-inch takes the win, with 27.5 exhibiting nearly the same performance but without the weight penalty.

TRANCE ADVANCE O
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Acceleration
Arguably the most important benefit of 27.5 over 29 is quicker acceleration. This is the “snap” that a rider feels when they push hard on the pedals. It is affected not just by overall static weight but also where the weight is distributed throughout the wheel. The farther the weight is from the center of the hub, the slower the acceleration. So a similarly constructed 1000-gram 29-inch wheel is slower to accelerate than a 1000-gram 26-inch wheel—because the larger diameter rim and longer spokes place weight farther from the hub. The key to snappy acceleration is minimizing the weight of the outermost components (rim, nipples, spokes, tire, tube). As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel is only 1.5% slower to accelerate than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel, but a 29-inch wheel is 3.6% slower than a similarly constructed 26-inch wheel.

TRANCE ADVANCE SX
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A larger tire contact patch, increased stiffness, and optimized frame geometry improve traction, braking and handling.
Traction

The larger the diameter of a wheel, the greater the contact patch of the tire. A larger contact patch results in better traction, which leads to improved acceleration, deceleration and cornering. As you can see, a 27.5-inch wheel has a similar contact patch to the 29.

TRANCE ADVANCE O
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Frame Stiffness
Lateral (side-to-side) frame stiffness can be affected by wheel size. To accommodate larger wheels, frame dimensions must be elongated. Therefore, a size medium 29-inch wheel frame has more lateral flex (bottom bracket and headtube) than a size medium 27.5 or 26-inch wheel frameset. Additional flex compromises handling under heavy pedaling or sharp cornering
Frame Geometry
The larger the wheel, the more difficult it is to optimize geometry, especially on smaller frames. As the frame size decreases, headtube heights become higher (in relation to saddle height). On 26 or 27.5-inch frames, it’s less of a problem, but geometry limitations can affect smaller 29-inch-wheel frames.

XTC ADVANCE
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Their was quite the buzz around the GIANT both and it was great to see them back at Interbike. The Advance line was beautiful to look at and people were very interested in the bikes, with the reps super busy and questions being ask I have to say GIANT may have a very good year in 2014.
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FINAL NOTE
So you got a glimpse of the 27.5 tech and a look at GIANT’S Advanced Composite line, but if you don’t want the Advance bike GIANT also has their ALUXX SL aluminum framed 27.5 Bikes, and Frame sets for the ANTHEM XC and TRANCE in Advance composite, as well as ALUXX aluminum, so they have your taste cover one way or the other.

Commitment, a big word for most brands out there. Most will want to wait and see what and where the current trend will go before they commit major resources and time to something as big as this. GIANT has the resources, takes the time, and has always brought their brand one step further then most I have seen with a lot of bang for the buck.
You could go to GIANT’s website at giant-bicycles.com or see your local GIANT dealer today.

We want to say thanks to GIANT for the 27.5 Tech provided on their website and Mark Helms for the time at DirtDemo going over the 27.5 bikes.

One Response to “INTERBIKE 2013: COMMITMENT”

  1. […] truly be the ultimate wheel size for MTBs. Check out our sister site Mtnbikeriders.com for the benefits of that size and lots more Interbike […]

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