You may have noticed fewer and fewer 26-inch mountain bikes on the roads in the recent past. Question is, do they still make 26 Inch mountain bikes? Has the bike industry abandoned this old darling of many for newer versions and models?
The old 26-inch was a perfect trail bike, road bike, country bike, and basically, an all-rounded bike. Unfortunately, it now slowly eases back into the vintage mountain bike closet.
Fewer of these are still in existence, barely capable of hitting the rocky terrain with their seemingly perfect frame size, progressive geometry, and their awesome mechanical disc brakes coupled with a brake lever that made them the darling of the bike daredevils.
The 26″ was the perfect adult bike ideal for ol’ school bike geeks. But it looks like now all that is left is for this bike’s lovers to reminisce about it and the good old days.
Are 26-inch Mountain Bikes Good?
People are moving away from 26-inch mountain bikes. While they were big just over a decade ago, there are now many wheels that compare to the performance and stability of the 26-inch wheel.
Nowadays, the trend is to have a bigger wheel size.
Should I Get a 26-Inch Mountain Bike?
If you truly want to ride one, maybe it’s worth waiting for a while before you decide on one.
If your time frame is not too long because you still have an interest in riding one, try looking into other options like hybrids or an entry-level mountain bike with smaller wheels so you can enjoy your ride more while experiencing less challenge.
So, are these mountain bikes good?
There are incredible bikes out there that have 26-inch wheels, and it’s just an idea of preference if you want to try one. Again, there are many amazing quality bikes out there made with different wheel sizes today.
Who Still Makes 26 Mountain Bike Tires?
26-inch mountain bikes are still manufactured by a number of companies, including:
- Fishermen’s Trail Cycles
- Devinci Cycles.
What About 26-inch Wheels?
The leading tire brands for 26-inch mountain bikes are:
- Schwalbe (including the popular Nobby Nic tire)
These include tires with different levels of knob or tread patterns to offer a variety of grip depending on the conditions you’re riding in.
For example, a smoother tread pattern would be better for an intermediate rider who will be spending time on paved trails or roads while a more aggressive tread pattern is preferable for riders who will mostly be tackling dirt trails and single-track routes.
Who Still Makes 26-inch Mountain Bikes?
If you’re looking to purchase a 26-inch bike, you’re going to find some difficulty in the market.
Some companies have discontinued production and others are making bikes that are more than a foot smaller than the original.
Other companies have chosen to keep 26-inch production alive but make them with 27-inch or 29-inch wheels.
I got tired of the lack of answers, so I did some digging and asked questions. What I found was not what I had expected.
The market is still filled with 26-inch bikes, but they are not being produced by the big brands you would find in a bike shop.
So if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line mountain bike, 26-inch wheels may not be your best bet. But there are still options out there that put quality at an affordable price tag.
Here are some things to consider when purchasing a new bike:
Quality steel frames with 27-inch wheels can be found for less than $500. You can also find some decent aluminum models in the same price range.
These bikes come with a quality steel fork, lightweight components, and an aluminum or titanium rear triangle.
What Options Are Available for The 26 Inch?
Some companies are making 26-inch mountain bikes with larger wheels, that is, 27-inch wheels and high-end equipment for less than $700.
If you’re looking for value in your 28-inch mountain bike, you’ll be able to buy one of these bikes that feature Shimano Deore XT or 105 components.
Another option is to get a 26-inch mountain bike with 26×2.1 tires. These are made by Schwalbe.
There is an option for a new bike that is discussed in the article, but many people may not choose to go with it because they want the old-time feel, so it’s worth trying some in the bike shop around you.
The 26-inch wheel size was introduced into mountain biking in the late 1980s as a marketing move by manufacturers, to gain a larger market share in the US domestic market.
What you need to consider is your preference and if you want to keep up with the changing times.
It’s best to just try it out on your own, walk around the bike shops and check out what bikes they have, and then decide what you think is best for you.
If 26-inch mountain bikes are good for anything, a beginner may find a comfort zone riding one.
Do They Still Make 26 Inch Mountain Bikes?
A big reason why people don’t think that a 26-inch mountain bike is still good enough is that the bigger wheels provide better rolling speed, endurance, and performance than smaller ones.
There are smarter bikes available today that are known as hybrids or entry-level mountain bikes with bigger wheels so that people can enjoy their rides more while experiencing fewer challenges.
Even if you like it, choose wisely. Know your price range and how well the bike will hone your skills before you make a decision.
This will help you determine if a 26-inch mountain bike is good enough or not, and find out if it’s worth holding out for or not.
Nowadays, you can find quality 26-inch mountain bikes that are made with lightweight aluminum frames along with the right components.
Together with this, there are many parts and accessories available that will make your ride more comfortable, fast, and stable.
It isn’t hard for you to decide if a 26-inch mountain bike is good enough or not for you. The other thing you have to consider is your price range because this will define what kind of bike you’ll purchase.
It is worth holding out for a 26-inch mountain bike if that’s what you really have your heart set on.
However, many times the decision is made not by preference but by availability.
If you don’t have immediate access to a good 26-inch mountain bike, then it might be best to just try something else because, in the long run, you’ll be better off with any other types of bike as they will make it easier and more comfortable for you to enjoy your ride more and experience less challenge.