Why the change away from 26" touring bikes here in Nederland

Hello everyone,

I hope you don't mind me writing in English, I can speak and read Nederlands just not that good at writing it.
Am on a tour at the moment of Southeast Asia Thailand Burma Laos Cambodia etc.
I have been meeting a lot of cyclists from all over the world and every one of then tours with 26" wheels and thats a lot cyclists! So why the change by the manufacturers and general attitude in Nederland towards 29" ?
I always ask my fellow cyclists why they run on 26" and get the same answers, available of parts and tires,
So is it just a way to sell more bikes ?
Just curious :?
Personally speaking, I am a 26" rider myself.

However, as to why 28" or 29" models are popular in the Netherlands I don't believe there's a definitive answer to be given. Asides from perhaps historical marketing perspectives. As such, within the Netherlands I'd wager availability of 28" spares is probably even greater than 26" spares. Consequently, for the tens of thousands of day to day tourists which are present in our country it makes sense to buy 28" bikes as well.

For those touring internationally however, it's questionable as to what is the better choice. With many bikes being produced as 28" variants only though you're quickly limited in what you can get when it comes to our available brands.

As in our surrounding countries 28" models are becoming more mainstream as well, the likelihood of finding 26" models will decrease even further.



The reason as to why 28" is gaining more and more popularity in countries surrounding us as well, the only true difference I can imagine are aesthetics. There are no great benefits to 28" over 26" for touring purposes or daily cycling needs.

Having a proportional looking bike however is considered important for many daily cyclists though. And with the Dutch population and our surrounding countries being amongst the tallest in the world, bigger bike wheels becoming standard therefore comes as no surprise.

After all, a bike like this looks odd, despite having a relatively decent proportional frame:
Afbeelding

Whereas a proportional frame with proportional wheel size gives the bike just all that more flair.
Afbeelding

Note: these are even large wheels, seeing as to how these are 36" wheels. For the giants amongst us towering up to well over 2m in height.
Allereerst hebben de meeste merken nog altijd gewoon fietsen met de ETRTO-maat van 559 mm in het assortiment voor de fietsreizigers, zelfs met v-brake(s/-nokken) en derailleur. Deze zijn best handig voor hen die niet in Verweggistan willen wachten in een grote stad op een pakket uit Europa met hun benodigde onderdelen.
Echter zijn er ook steeds meer 'luxefietsers' die een paar weken op fietsvakantie gaan overal ter wereld. Dan is het vaak voldoende om vooraf de fiets picobello in orde te laten zijn. Versnellingsnaven en hydraulische remmen zijn dan minder een issue. (Hoewel men bij vliegreizen natuurlijk wel de nodige maatregelen moet nemen.) De ETRTO-wielmaat van 622 mm is dan handig voor veel Nederlanders, omdat Nederlanders gemiddeld vrij lang zijn. Vooral de mode-merken als Gazelle, Giant, Koga, etc. spelen hier handig op in. Ook voor vakanties binnen Europa kun je hiermee prima uit de voeten.

Ik vermoed dus dat je steeds meer mensen in Nederland ziet fietsen met de laatste categorie fietsen, en hen dan verwart met zij die een langere reis maken in den vreemde.
Last year I cycled in Panama, Costa Ria and Nicaragua. I met quite a few cyclists on 29-er bikes from Salsa and Surley. So is is indeed changing, but not only in the Netherlands.

Let be honest; when you look at the quality of tires and rims, you can cycle thousands of kilometers/mile without any problems. And when you have problems, it is a matter of days before you have new tires/rims.

The world has changed over the last years and a 29-er just rolls more smooth.