We know that we harp on about how a modern trail bike can “climb like an XC bike and descend like a downhill bike” and hopefully this video will prove one of those points.
This video was taken from a race back in July at round four of the American North West Cup. Strobel won the race with a time of 3:54.04, putting three seconds into second placed Matt Orlando but craziest of all, Strobel was racing it on a 29 inch Evil The Following.
Downhill has always been the preserve of the 26 inch wheels with their smaller diameters theoretically making them better for jumping and accelerating but does this show all that to be irrelevant?
There are a few caveats in this example, of course. Firstly is the track, you can see a track preview here (although there is some strong language so proceed with caution) and you can probably see there is a long fireroad section where the faster rolling 29 inch wheels will no doubt be quicker.
However, there still looks to be enough tech to intimidate most riders on trail bikes and if the commentators are to be believed then Strobel made up most of his time on the techy bottom section.
Secondly Luke Strobel himself is an immensely talented World Cup rider who would no doubt have won the race on any wheel size. What do you think though? Is the 29 inch wheel the future of downhill?