The 26er is dead.
Or is it?
TeamCow aims to find out. In an in-dpeth two-part expose, I will examine the current retail situation for 26ers, and the aftermarket opportunities for upgrading.
We’ll pick five companies and look at their lineup for 2018 and see what they still sell for 26ers. I expect there are some cheap ones, and maybe some DH options, but not much else. Then in part two, let’s see what’s left in the aftermarket; does Fox still sell a 26″ compatible fork? Are there still high-end 26″ wheels made by Mavic or ENVY?
Before we start, I’m going to make a couple exceptions. DH bikes don’t count in our search here. DH bikes are highly specialized bikes for one purpose – getting down the mountain fast. They’re not general purpose trail bikes at all.
Also fatbikes. There are still lots of fatbikes with 26″ wheels, but they’re not “normal” bikes. They have custom frames and custom wheels of course, and they’re much more specialized than a 26er mountain bike.
2001 Schwinn Homegrown Comp
Like this 2001 Schwinn Homegrown for instance. From about 1981 to about 2012, this was simply a “mountain bike.” But today, you probably can’t go into a store and buy a new bike with 26 x 2.0″ tires for general trail use.
Or can you?? Let’s find out!
There are tons of people I’m sure that buy one bike, ride it, and are perfectly happy doing so. There are also tons of people – like myself – that follow a formula for bicycle ownership, and it goes a little like this;
S = N + 1
Where S is the number of bikes you should own, and N is the number of bikes you currently own.
What I love about this formula, is coming up with reasons for another N + 1 in your life.
This is the stickiest question in all of Vintagedom; How much is my insert vintage thing here worth?
And nobody likes it.
Most forums will have a separate thread for these questions to keep them out of the regular, useful, conversations.
But you can’t blame people for asking. The last thing anyone wants is to sell a part and then see it for sale again right away for 50% more.
I like to think that my knowledge of market value is above average, if for no other reason that I spent a lot of time looking at Kijiji. I see all of the bikes for sale here, and it’s pretty easy to see which ones are selling right away, and which aren’t.
So to that end, there’s this;
The Specialized Hardrock.
Now, I just found this bike on kijiji, so if you happen to be selling it, please know that I’m not saying that your Hardrock is the ugliest bike ever. It looks like your bike is rather smartly set up to roll around town, and that’s fine.
In fact, it’s not even really the Hardrock that’s the ugliest bike ever, it’s this style of bike that’s ugly.
Actually, it’s not even this style, it’s the thinking behind it.