With the 29er wheel size reigning over all and the infectious enduroable 27.5″ wheel size all but swallowing up the existence of 26” wheels, how can someone not carry on the tradition of mixing up wheel sizes yet again? What are we going to call it? SevinFive9er… 79’er… 97’er?
Trip past the break and see what Brent Foes has been up to…..
Back in the mid-80’s, Cannondale made the SM500 & 600 with a 26” front wheel and a itty bitty 24” wheel in the back. The reasoning behind it was that the smaller rear wheel would be easier to spin up faster…. and well, it worked on motocross bikes. It never caught on since lugging the way too small rear wheel over anything significant was ineffective. 26 inch bikes had been fine for years, and during the time we were internet bashing each other over that crazy 29er wheel size, a few companies, including Trek made what most refer to as the 69’er for the same reason Cannondale did the 24/26’er bikes. Though it gained a little steam at first, the two wheel sizes were too far apart in size, and you could tell when rolling over things with both wheels.
What makes the Foes different is the fact that the 27.5 and 29er wheels are not that far apart from each other. So why do it? We did an extensive comparison a good while back which may back up why Foes is doing this. The 29er wheel size was developed because of their superior roll over. The 27.5’ers were originally a niche that didn’t take off…. that is until the demand for more travel and shorter chainstays gave 27.5 a new purpose. With All of Foes’ bikes being handmade domestically in Pasadena, CA, they don’t have to go too far out of the way to experiment with new ideas, and this is one that stuck.
According to Brent Foes, you get the roll-over with the 29er up front and with the smaller 27.5 tucked up behind it gives the bike a livelier feel. What makes it different than the defunked 69’er is that it’s harder to feel the negative effects of the two different wheel sizes compared to the 69’er, given that the two wheel sizes are much closer together. Brent says the guys riding it love it and it has performed really well at some National Enduro races.
The Enduro Mixer will have adjustable suspension travel between 160 and 170mm and the head angle will come in between 66.5° and 77.5° with a 17.6” chainstay.
The Trail Mix will have adjustable suspension travel between 130 and 140mm with a 67.5° and 68.5° head angles. Both bikes will come in medium, large and x-large.
Foes is also now joining in on the fun of Plus size. Having been completed just days before Interbike, the Foes Apline Plus 27.5+ bike is sure to be a worthy addition to the current lineup. Foes built this 27.5+ bike to have an adjustable 5.5” to 6” of travel and though they’re still tweaking it, it is sure to be a fun ride.