Why size matters or is it all in your head?
Below you’ll note from left to right three mountain bike wheels with tires:
26″ , 27.7″ and 29″ or is it? Nope, not that simple.
According to Sheldon Brown here the dimensions of the wheels:
A 29 inch wheel is 622 mm or 24.49 inches tall.
A 27.5 inch is 584 mm or 22.99 inches tall.
A 26 inch is 559 mm or 22.01 inches tall.
Turns out a 29er can have anywhere from 30″ to 26″ depending on the size of your rubber.
And so it turns a small tire on a 26 inch wheel might not be much over 25.
Clear as mud right?
What you need to know. What the big deal on wheel size anyway?
Ride what you like. Ride what you know. Don’t let others tell you what is best for you. The caveat is – make the bike fit how you ride and your riding style. The answer there is a complex combination of geometries. Geometry that is easily manipulated via stem length, stem rise, seat post setback, seat height, steering tube length, and handlebar style.