5 Best Mountain Bike Wheel Size (March, 2023)

Updated on August 18, 2022

Before, things were a lot more straightforward. The 26in wheels on mountain bikes were all that mattered. Since the earliest races down the Californian slopes on 26-inch beach cruiser cycles, it has remained that way, with only sporadic experiments.

Most mountain bikes currently are available in either 27.5 (also known as 650b) or 29 (commonly known as 29ers), with classic 26 wheels designated for dirt jump, freeride, and children’s bicycles.

They are commonly used to express the tire’s diameter in inches and are usually written with the tire’s breadth in inches (i.e. 29 x 2.0, 27.5 x 2.4, 29 x 2.8).

While working with Gary Fisher for over two decades, Trek has gained a wealth of knowledge about the optimal applications and riding qualities of each mountain bike wheel diameter.

The information in this guide is intended to provide you a rough idea of how each of our wheel sizes feels and performs, so you can select the MTB that’s right for you.

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The Difference Between Cross-Country and Smart Wheels

For the vast majority of bikes and riders, 29-inch wheels are the most efficient option.

In addition to this, we’ve learnt that pedalling efficiency and power output in the saddle are dependent on achieving the correct bike fit and posture.

While we provide a wide range of wheel and tyre options for trail riders, we keep things simple on our cross country mountain bikes with a strategy known as Smart Wheel Size (SWS).

This ensures that the rider is getting the most out of their bike by matching the right wheel to the right frame.

We use 29-inch wheels on bikes with a diameter of 17.5 inches or greater, and 27.5-inch wheels on bikes with a diameter of 15.5 inches or less.

Smart Wheel Size provides XC bikers with the fastest and most efficient options.

You can ride a road bike or a trail bike.

Our full suspension trail bike line offers a wide range of wheel and tyre options because the ride quality is important to many trail bike users more than efficiency.

What’s most important is if you like a 29er’s speed and rollover ability over 27.5’s playful, precise feel.

With the emergence of plus-sized tyres, there is a new variable to consider in the debate between 27.5 and 29 inches.

Tires that measure 2.8 to 3.0 inches wide, which offer even more traction and rollover capabilities, are ideal for beginners or those who seek grip over any other consideration, making them a fantastic choice.

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Best Mountain Bike Wheel Size

Although we’d all like it if size didn’t matter, this is not the case when it comes to mountain bike wheels.

The diameter of a mountain bike wheel is generally measured in inches.

Even though 26″ was formerly the de facto standard for mountain bikes, several new ones have popped up in recent years.

Mountain bikers have long relied on the 29-inch wheel, but the “Goldilocks” middle-of-the-road size of 27.5″ has lately emerged.

What does it mean to have a lot of numbers? We’ll guide you through the process of deciding between a 29er and a 27.5er “You should go for a wheeled mountain bike.

The rim diameter of a 29-inch bike wheel is the same as that of a 700c road bike, however that of a 27.5-inch bike wheel is smaller “(also known as 650b) standard stems from European touring and tandem bikes.

Increasing or decreasing the size of your wheels has pros and cons, regardless of where they came from.

It’s possible to make a major impact in your mountain bike rides by upgrading your wheels.

You’ll be able to acquire a greater sense of the game, but you’ll also be able to go faster.

A number of criteria need to be taken into account while looking for the best mountain bike wheels, including durability, weight, size, hubs, brake attachment, and many more.

Several different brands of mountain bike wheels were put through their paces by our lab. The best-selling mountain bike wheels on the market now are examined in the following reviews.

1. Comp Se 26-Inch Vuelta Zerolite Comp Wheel Set

The 26-inch Vuelta Zerolite wheelset is a great option if you’re looking to replace your current mountain bike wheels at a reasonable price.

It is possible to use rim brakes with the 26-inch wheels, which are light and easy to handle. Upgrade your existing bike with these wheels and it will appear like a new one.

They’re compatible with a wide range of mountain bikes and provide good road performance.

The sidewalls of the wheels have been CNC milled to improve stopping power.

In addition, the bike includes 24 spokes on both front and back to ensure maximum strength.

The wheels are made of high-quality aluminium, which is both lightweight and durable, to provide a long-lasting performance.

They have a good appearance because of the double wall finish colour. With Shimano hubs, precise ball bearing, and skewer/rim strips included, the wheels are ready to ride right out of the box.

Features to Consider:

  • Rim diameter 26 inches, two wallets, aluminium
  • Rim brakes will love this.
  • Precision ball bearing Shimano hubs
  • The aluminium alloy

2. Shimano 8-9-10 Speed Mountain Bike Wheels

If you’ve never purchased a pair of wheels before, it can be a tedious process.

Shimano or Sram 8, 9, and 10 speed users who want the best possible wheelset should look no farther than this model.

A spacer is required for Shimano 7 and Shimano 10.

Wheelsets with disc or V brakes function nicely with this set. Additional strength is provided by the addition of 24 spike holes.

They can accommodate 26inchx1.5 to 2.25-inch tyres.

You won’t believe how well these fit and spin for the price. Adding black and silver pieces to your bike gives it a more stylish aspect.

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Features to Consider:

  • A total of 24 holes are present in each wheel.
  • Disc or V brakes can be used.
  • Front hub with Quando KT-MP7F ball bearings
  • It is only compatible with 8 to 10 Speed Shimano or Sram.

3. Vuelta XRP Pro SL 26-inch Wheels

Review of the Vuelta XRP Pro SL 26-inch 26-inch Mountain Bike Wheels
You can reap the benefits of the latest advancements in mountain bike wheel technology by upgrading your wheels.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get high-quality MTB wheels that make use of the newest in engineering.

Shimano-compatible Vuelta wheels are compatible with disc brakes, making them ideal for mountain biking.

The wheelset is compatible with Shimano and SRAM cassettes of various speeds, including 7, 8, 9, and 10. 7-speed transmissions, on the other hand, necessitate the use of a spacer.

Wheels with sealed cartridge bearing hubs and bladed aero spokes contribute to a superior ride quality. This wheel is built to last, unlike many others on the market today, thanks to its high-quality manufacturing.

Mountain bikers will appreciate the wheelset’s precise tension and stringent specs. They are attractive and light, making them excellent for mountain cyclists and XC racing enthusiasts.

Features to Consider:

  • Wheels that come with a fantastic warranty.
  • 135 mm between the fender and the wall
  • Disc and rim brakes are supported.
  • Bladed aero spokes with a cross design on three axes
  • Speakers with aero-bladed tips

4. Sta-Tru STW 26 X 1.5 BO Bike Wheels

Wheel upgrades might improve your mountain biking experience for the better if you’re a daredevil rider.

Durable wheels that are simple to mount are a must.

With the Sta-Tru STW 26 X 1.5 BO Silver Rear Bicycle Wheel, I am confident that you will see an improvement in your riding experience.

High-quality materials are used in the production of the wheels, ensuring that you get a good deal on your purchase. As a result, you may buy them with confidence knowing that they will last longer.

In addition, the 36 holes that are included in the design are strong and durable.

These wheels are adored by professional riders throughout the world because they elevate your riding to a new level.

Your bike will look more costly thanks to the silver-tone of the wheels.

Features to Consider:

  • High-quality components
  • 36-hole quick release axle
  • rim of the STW ST1 single wall
  • Faulty hub for FWD-7 freewheel

5. XRP Pro 26in Wheels

A look at the 26-inch mountain bike wheels from Vuelta, the XRP Pro

When it comes to mountain riding, having high-quality wheels is essential.

Upgrading your mountain bike wheels can be a smart move if your existing ones are making you slow or unsteady.

Smooth and enjoyable rides are guaranteed with the Vuelta XRP Pro 26 inch 26in Mountain Bike Wheels. These alloy pinned wheels measure 26 inches in diameter and can be used with either rim or disc brakes.

7 to 10 speed users would appreciate them the most. A spacer is necessary for 7-speed transmissions.

You can rest assured that your purchase is safe thanks to their high-quality construction and generous warranty.

In addition, they are built to last longer and have extremely smooth ball bearings that are completely sealed from the outside world.

A feature of the wheels’ design is the use of machined side spokes, which adds strength and stability. A sturdy aluminium rim keeps the tyre and tube in place when needed.

Features that are critical:

  • These brake shoes work well with both rim and disc brakes.
  • Spokes with machined sides
  • Aerodynamic spokes with bladed spokes
  • Hubs with sealed bearings
  • A hub with a sealed cartridge bearing that provides incredible smoothness.
  • Constructed to last
  • Check for the Latest Cost


Mountain bikes are a joy to ride, and they’re also easy to master.

There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you have the best tyres.

Any of these wheels will offer you enjoyable and more controlled riding.

They are suitable for any mountain bike rider who is looking for speed, smooth riding, and stability.

Compare their construction, price and other aspects to get the right wheels for your mountain bike.

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