Twenty-niner mountain bikes may be the new thing but the new new thing is the two-oh. Today mountain bike manufacturers Trek and Specialized have announced a new line-up of hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes with 20-inch wheels. The new bikes make use of standard 20-inch BMX wheels so there will be plenty of tire and wheel options available immediately from dozens of manufacturers.
The 20-inch mountain bike wheel has many advantages over the standard 26er. First, 20-inch wheels are stronger than larger wheels which means you can huck them all day long without worrying about coming home with two soft tacos. The new, smaller wheels are also super nimble in corners and allow the skilled rider to cut 90-degree corners without harshing the flow.
One of the complaints some riders have about 29ers is the big wheels take more energy to get rolling. Not so with the two-oh. Acceleration is nearly instantaneous on two-oh mountain bikes but the trade-off is they take more energy to keep rolling.
Bottom bracket clearance is a bit of an issue for two-oh bikes and we’re told the next iteration should address some of the issues. In the meantime it’s not advisable to ride over sticks larger than two inches in diameter or to use crank arms longer than 150mm.
Yes sir, mountain bike technology is constantly changing and we’re stoked to have yet another wheel size option. Mark this date down in your history books – April 1, 2010; the two-oh will change the MTB landscape forever!