26/01/2016 - Fitting 26 Wheels to Rocket275

Yes you read that right. It’s January 2016 and we’re talking about a Rocket with 26” wheels. What’s going on?

Richard the mechanic / photographer comes from a BMX background and is (extremely) slow to jump on the big-wheel bandwagon. He explains what he’s been up to recently…

#26aintdead (just yet). Going fast, leaving the ground, quick turns and bashing elbows with my friends when racing / razzing down hills, is my jam. In 2014 I took a Rocket26 demo bike to the Alps for a fortnight, which was a treat. There was nothing that my skill allowed that the bike didn’t cater for. It’s no surprise that 99% of people out there were on 26” bikes. They’re strong, light, cheap & readily available. After that Rocket26 went off to its new home, I looked for an alternative 26” frame and ended up with a Santa Cruz Blur 4x. A perfect companion for the short, jumpy, rough riding I prefer to do. The only problem was it’s nearly 10 years old and with that, comes the 1 1/8” headtube and the rapidly dwindling choice of forks with straight steerers. In the meantime the Rocket275 arrived and would be my first choice but the thought of changing my lovely new Hope Enduro wheels was a bit of a bugbear. We get a lot of inquiries about whether we’re going to make another new full-suss 26” frame and the answer is still NO. However, would 26” wheels work in the new Rocket275? Why not give it a go? So we did.

And – nothing bad happened. The bike industry survived, luddites and futurists weren’t waiting round the next tree to jump out and attack me. All was good.

The main worry was that the BB would be so low it would make pedal strikes a major problem. We spend most of out rides in the Peaks, full of ruts, uneven grit stone rocks and high heather – pedal strikes are a way of life so a marginally higher BB is actually an advantage. The 26" set-up has been tested at a smooth, trail center style park with jumps, a tight & twisty explore through the local woods, a long Peaks loop and a mud filled slog through steep and technical woods. I’m very far from the best rider that’s graced a bicycle, but I can count the total pedal strikes on one hand and found nothing that reminded me that I was on a hybrid. As we kept 27.5 forks on it as well, the ride height dropped equally front and rear. The stock BB height has a 3mm drop with 27.5 wheels. The effective BB drop with 26” wheels, when compared with other 27.5” frames is 17mm, which is still comparable to other bikes on the market. Clearance is obviously fine for a larger tyre (and with the new Cotic mudgards, the extra space at the front end is hidden somewhat). If you have a pair of 160mm 26” forks (541mm static height or taller) then these will work too, making the geometry approximately the same as stated for 150mm 27.5" forks (66 deg head angle), and you can upgrade piecemeal over time.

As a result of all this, I literally put my money where my mouth is and am now the owner of a shiny new Rocket275 in orange, running my lovely 26" Hope wheels, and I've treated myself to some Sweep Roughcut HLR forks to go with it.

Rocket26-275 Richard on his first ride on his new bike

Check out the video below for more explanation and get booked onto the demo day on 6th February to try out the new Rocket with whatever wheels you fancy.


Read more about the Rocket275…

Order your Rocket275 today…

Find out more about our Demo Day on 6th February…

Watch the original 26 ain't dead video…



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