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Should I move to a 20"?

Bullit21

Monkey
May 14, 2003
198
0
Socal
Guys,

I live near Santa Monica and have started riding the Cove skate park and I also found another good park down in Fullerton. I am new to park and am riding an '08 Eastern Night Train.

After 3 trips to the park, I am getting jealous of all the kids on 20 inchers and how easily they can whip those bikes around. I will be riding a ton of park and one guy who is a bmxer and a mountain biker said that my 26" bike is going to make it tough for me because all the features at parks are pretty tight and better designed for bmx bikes.

I also do downhilling and trails on the weekends so I am worried about moving back and forth from 20" to 26" every week.

Anyone else on the fence like me?
 

joelalamo45

Monkey
Jun 25, 2007
742
1
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Park on a 26 is like banging a midget... it can be done (some do it really well) but it's awkward as fvck. Parks aren't designed around big wheels.

Making the switch back and forth from 26 to 20 ain't that big of a deal. You get used to it.
 

ServeEm

Turbo Monkey
Feb 21, 2006
1,017
0
SacTown
banging a miget isn't awkward, they make great spinners.

It does take more effort and I'll admit I take my 20 to the park and leave the big wheels for the dirt. Transitioning is no sweat tho, I think both terrains translate well or compliment each other. I DH and ride bmx, I switch back all the time.
 

cmc

Turbo Monkey
Nov 17, 2006
2,059
5
austin
Guys,

I live near Santa Monica and have started riding the Cove skate park and I also found another good park down in Fullerton. I am new to park and am riding an '08 Eastern Night Train.

After 3 trips to the park, I am getting jealous of all the kids on 20 inchers and how easily they can whip those bikes around. I will be riding a ton of park and one guy who is a bmxer and a mountain biker said that my 26" bike is going to make it tough for me because all the features at parks are pretty tight and better designed for bmx bikes.

I also do downhilling and trails on the weekends so I am worried about moving back and forth from 20" to 26" every week.

Anyone else on the fence like me?
there aint nothin wrong with having several bikes. moving back and forth does not hurt you.... in fact i'd say it will help. kinda like cross training.

26" park riding is relatively new (compared to the history of 20"s in skateparks)....but a lot of dudes are out there proving it can be done and done well. it just depends what you're comfortable on. i say try both--keep the nighttrain and pick up a cheap complete 20" and upgrade from there.




 

trib

not worthy of a Rux.
Jun 22, 2009
1,168
95
using a mtb in a park is like using a spade to whisk eggs to quote from an old ride mag. I ride bmx whilst at uni for street and park, and keep the mtb for trails. parks are far easier to ride on a smaller, faster accelerating, easier to throw about BMX. parts also tend to be cheaper for BMX.
youll be amazed at how smooth it makes you aswell.
 

Bullit21

Monkey
May 14, 2003
198
0
Socal
Sounds like I should at least check out a BMX rig. What should I spend for a complete and what are some suggestions for good 20"s? I am about 5'10" and weigh 175lbs. Might ride some street with it, will not be dirt jumping it and will doing mostly park.
 

trib

not worthy of a Rux.
Jun 22, 2009
1,168
95
i know this isnt the most fashionable way to do it but i bought my bmx from a skip and fixed it up. All together a little over £10 spent, that way you can rag the streets for a few days and see if you like how it feels without paying over the odds for a complete.
 

pnj

Turbo Monkey till the fat lady sings
Aug 14, 2002
4,699
40
seattle
i think it's funny how there are all these rules about bikes now. They used to call it FREESTYLE. and it was ground breaking. you were not supposed to do stuff like bunnyhops, or air out of a quarterpipe, or 360 down stairs, or do tailwhips, backflips, grind on rails, ride on walls, coast on two pegs on just the front wheel, etc. But a bunch of people said "screw that" and kept pushing limits and doing what was fun and challenging.

Ride what you like, it's just a bike.

and about the comments that skateparks are designed for a given size wheel. give me a fvcking break. every park I go to has so many different transition sizes. it's just an arched cement chunk. ride it, enjoy. break the rules, it's not football. it's freestyle. ;)
 

sittingduck

Turbo Monkey
Jun 22, 2007
1,962
0
Oregon
20 ----> 26 = super easy, feels odd at first, but right at home real quick
26 ----> 20 = sketchy for a little while, takes a bit longer to get comfy again.

At least that has been my experience.
 
May 23, 2007
168
0
Stamford, CT
20 ----> 26 = super easy, feels odd at first, but right at home real quick
26 ----> 20 = sketchy for a little while, takes a bit longer to get comfy again.

At least that has been my experience.
Hell yeah. 26 to 20 is really sketchy. I ride my buddy's 20 on occasion but after riding a 26 for 1 1/2 years (previously riding a 20 for about 4 years) I just seem to oversteer and feel like a bear on two wheels. I'm 6'3", which was why I made the switch to 26s in the first place, and I do not see myself riding a 20 ever again. lol

Riding a 26 in a park can be done, granted you'll feel more comfortable on the bigger ramps, but i've seen people whip one in a 4ft mini.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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I've ridden a lot of parks on a lot of different wheel sizes (20", 24", and 26", no 29'er yet :) ). By and far, 20" wheels feel the most comfortable on the majority of the parks I've encountered. I have encountered quite a few parks where 26" wheels just feel sorta awkward to ride the ramps due to some tight radii. Is that to say they are unrideable? Absolutely not. There are plenty of riders out there ripping up tight ramps on big bikes. There are not a boatload of parks out there that have ramps/pools/pipes with the large radii that feel super natural on a bike, but they are out there.

Personally, I prefer 20" for park. I enjoy a smaller bike in a park, and the handling skills help me on the big bikes.

FWIW, there are a handful of parks that are open to 20" but nothing larger. With some proper informing, I've heard that some have changed their minds and are now open to larger wheels (most of the reasoning I've heard for not wanting anything bigger because all they thought about 26" bikes were "traditional" mtbs (gears, knobbies, suspension)).
 

TheTruth

Turbo Monkey
Jun 15, 2009
3,903
0
I'm waving. Can you see me now?
I've ridden a lot of parks on a lot of different wheel sizes (20", 24", and 26", no 29'er yet :) ). By and far, 20" wheels feel the most comfortable on the majority of the parks I've encountered. I have encountered quite a few parks where 26" wheels just feel sorta awkward to ride the ramps due to some tight radii. Is that to say they are unrideable? Absolutely not. There are plenty of riders out there ripping up tight ramps on big bikes. There are not a boatload of parks out there that have ramps/pools/pipes with the large radii that feel super natural on a bike, but they are out there.

Personally, I prefer 20" for park. I enjoy a smaller bike in a park, and the handling skills help me on the big bikes.

FWIW, there are a handful of parks that are open to 20" but nothing larger. With some proper informing, I've heard that some have changed their minds and are now open to larger wheels (most of the reasoning I've heard for not wanting anything bigger because all they thought about 26" bikes were "traditional" mtbs (gears, knobbies, suspension)).

I shred park on my 26. I actually enjoy a tight tranny's more with 26in". And yes you can sig that.
 

jonKranked

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Nov 10, 2005
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In all seriousness, if you can borrow a 20" bike from a friend to take and session a park for a while, do it. See if you like it before you drop any money on one.