On the eve of the first 2013 World Cup DH race in Fort William, Scotland tomorrow, the wheel size debate is alive and well among the DH crowd. For my thoughts on the subject you can see my blog post here. I happened across this quote on Dirt Magazine’s website that I believe offers the most intelligent thoughts on the topic that I have read so far. The author is Swiss World Cup DH racer and Neuropsychology graduate student Emilie Siegenthaler:
“I know its a big debate at the moment, but I think this is purely individual. We had the opportunity to test some stuff in the Gstaad-Scott team, some liked it, some others didn’t. But as our sport is constantly evolving, from the athletes preparation, but also the technology of the bike, towards a more serious and professional discipline, it is normal that changes happen. I’m quite surprised that some people are so stuck into a “downhill racing is 26 inch” approach, because the essence of DH was first on bike with no suspension, and it evolved to what it is today! These bikes have nothing to do with each other, except for the wheel size. Maybe that’s why everybody is so skeptical about it all? Every pro rider tries to develop the best bike in collaboration with brands, and the geometry, suspension, everything is rethought and developed. So why try to make the bike faster for every aspect except for the wheels? I don’t get it. If I find myself riding faster on Gambler with 27.5 wheels, I will use that option without a doubt.”
Daniel Slusser is a professional bicycle mechanic with over ten years of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HSU and a master’s degree in history from Cal Poly. When he is not riding, wrenching, or writing he enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.