An inch and a half is enough to make a big difference and can directly impact your decision to buy a mountain bike. What’s the difference between the two and how to choose?
What is 27.5+
Since 27.5+ wheels have the same outside diameter as 29ers, 27.5+ bikes can fit 29″ wheels (and vice versa in some cases). If you have to give an example, backtracking, Scott’s Remy Absalon is Won the 2015 Megavalanche Downhill Championship on a 27.5+ bike with a pair of 29″ wheels.
Difference between 27.5″ and 29″ wheels：
27.5″ MTB Wheels
faster response time
Smaller wheels are generally lighter, stiffer and stronger
Good choice for short riders
Suitable for the crowd: Riders who like skill, mobility and style. The speed requirements are not so demanding. Riders who excel at jumping, freeride terrain or bike parks.
29″ MTB Wheels
Easier to roll over rough terrain and obstacles
Popular in cyclocross, enduro and even downhill racing
Good choice for tall riders
Who it’s for: Want to maximize uphill and downhill speed for racing.
As far as current trends go, 29 tires are more popular, and 29-inch wheels have won more races in various races to justify it. 29-inch wheels aren’t for every rider and application, and there are still plenty of people who prefer smaller wheels. While many big manufacturers still choose to launch 29 wheels, at least one of them is guaranteed to be 27.5 wheels.
If you are familiar with Red Bull Rampage racing, you should know that the riders use 27.5 bikes to shuttle through various steep hills, and they rely more on the mobility of the bike to complete all kinds of amazing action performances.
27.5\29 Hybrid Bike
This bike uses a 29-inch front wheel and a 27.5-inch rear wheel, at the front you have the traction of a larger wheel that lets you go straight through rough terrain, and at the back, you have a smaller wheel Maneuverability so you can quickly throw the bike into corners and around obstacles.
More and more mountain bike brands are now adding mixed wheel sizes to their new models, with a 29-inch front wheel and a 27.5-inch rear wheel. The mixed wheel diameter takes into account the advantages of both wheel diameters. The larger front wheel can roll over all obstacles, and the smaller rear wheel has flexible cornering control. For those who want better passability, they must ensure cornering. For users of flexibility, mixed wheel sizes are perfect.
I believe that after reading the above wheel sizes, everyone has a good idea of the purchase plan. For those users who want to go to the pump road or the soil slope to practice their movements, they can choose 26 wheel diameters. If you want to ensure flexibility in mountain off-road, then you can choose a 27.5 wheel size, or even a mixed wheel size with a 29. If you are an XC user who is looking for passability or racing, then the 29 is an excellent choice.
Nowadays, many brands also launch models with different wheel diameters for different sizes, such as 29 wheel diameters above M and 27.5 wheel diameters below M, which is convenient for users who are troubled by height.