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.

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.



Snappier acceleration and a reduced angle of attack for a smoother, more agile ride.
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.


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.

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

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.


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.


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.

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 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.

Ride Report: Maui, Hawaii

This past week I traveled to Maui. After many trips to Hawaii, I was finally going to get to ride! Needless to say, I was super excited! Prior to my arrival, I’ve been in contact with West Maui Cycles which was located in Lahaina, the same city as our hotel.

We arrived in Maui on Wednesday. On our way to our hotel, I stopped by West Maui Cycles to pick up my rental. Only bike they had available was a Giant Trance in either a small or a large. The guy helping was Aaron aka “Moose”. If you have seen The Collective, you may remember a segment where they rode in Hawaii. Their guide for that shoot was Moose.
With my rental – Giant Trance. Lanai behind me

My original plan was to ride at the Makawa Forest, however the trail was on the other side of the island and I was there for a company function, so I didn’t want to be too far away. Moose gave me directions to a trail that he’s been working on called Nillpes (It’s actually a body part but since this is a PG site we’ll change it a bit). It’s located just outside of there shop. Being in the same city, this would be a perfect fit for my schedule.
Nilppes from the trailhead

Moose drew me a map…a couple of landmarks, turns here and there…climb… and singletrack. He swapped the stem on the Large Trance with a shorter stem and I was good to go! I also rented a bike rack for $5.00.

Excited for my ride I made sure to turn in early Wednesday night. Thursday I was up at the crack of dawn. I followed Moose’s instructions and headed to the trailhead. I parked at a shopping center and rode in. The trail started off relatively flat, riding through red dirt. Just about one mile in, the ascent started. I reached the base of Nilppes and continued to climb. Nilppes was an actual hill that I would have to ride around to get to the top. At this point, I had only gone about 2+ miles but I was soaking wet! There is a lot of humidity in the islands thus making this a warm ride at 7:30 am. I wasn’t going to let this stop me. The directions that Moose gave me were very accurate and I knew there was a singletrack at the top!
Looking back from the top

Portions of Nilppes was a rock quarry. As I made my way around the mountain, workers were starting their day. Several passed me on their work trucks giving me the “shaka / hang loose” sign. The steepest of the climb was the last stretch just before I reached the top of Nilppes. At top, I took a short break and examined the first parts of the singletrack. Loose dirt! I lowered my saddle and started down the singletrack. It was pretty flowy but apparent that not enough people are riding it. As I got closer to the trees, I was surprised with a little wall ride that was built on top of a pipe that ran through portions of the trail.
The climb up on loose gravel

Wall ride

A bit uneasy, I walked through this part; little did I know there were more surprises coming up. All of a sudden the trail started to get technical. I came up on a some rock drops that was a little over my skill set. Shortly after this I ran into the pipe again. This time there was a teeter-totter on it. This ended on what looks like The Great Wall of China (see pictures below). Past this section was more singletrack that eventually led to the fireroads that I rode in.


Part of the trail, what appears to look like The Great Wall of China

Once I knew I was nearing the exit, I hooked up with the main road and did the loop again. It took me this long to ride in Hawaii, I might as well enjoy it as much as I can. The ride was a good one considering I walked portions of the technical section. The ride is different from what I was used to, regardless I had a great time! Cant wait for my next trip to the islands!