There are going to be differences in compatible tires and bike frames that will be able to fit with either of the fork sizes mentioned above. The smaller seventeen-inch fork will be better suited for smaller adults and for children’s bikes, given their heights are under six feet.
The larger fork will be for the larger human being, the adult and teenagers, and the other taller people going for a bike ride. In the end, the two forks could be manufactured by the same company and still have the same basic differences listed above.
What are the Differences?
The differences will be in the shock absorbed during impacts, the size of the bike, and the person that fits on the frame and suspension system, and then there will be the basic sized difference.
For the smaller frame, the seventeen-inch size will make it a better body for youth and children learning to ride a bike.
There will also be larger customized frames that come with compatible 29 inch bicycle parts and are made for the taller than six-foot or taller rider.
Then, of course, there will be the benefits of the larger tires, which will travel farther with fewer rotations and traverse the heavier terrain easier than smaller wheels might.
Which One is More Popular?
There is going to be an overwhelming number of sales concerning the 27.5 inch sized fork over the 29 inch fork.
Part of the reason is the overall lack of taller people in the world who ride a bicycle compared to folks under six feet.
The most popular frame size, fork size, will be based around the 26 wheel setups for standard at most major retail outlets. Then you will have the children’s sizes that come in 12, 14 , and 18 inch wheel-compatible forks.
Can you Put a 27.5 fork on a 29-inch Frame?
Yes, this is going to be a setup for those looking to stay closer to the ground, such as in the downhill bike races and other alpine-type courses.
A rider in these competitions will want the heavier bike frame to weigh the bike down and let gravity pull the bike downhill and keep it from unnecessary slow airtime.
Another reason to do this would be to keep a larger person in balance with their frame and give stability to all other riders with the strength to keep the heavier bike moving.
What will Happen?
In contrast to the traditional standard bike setups with 26 inch diameter wheels, this will be heavier and less prone to airtime. This will be a benefit for the alpine and downhill events that benefit from having a larger mass.
Like the model car races, there will be situations that will need higher mass for speedier runs and better times instead of the lighter, more aerodynamic designed cars. The physics applies to larger vehicles, including a one hundred and fifty pounds, on average, bike rider.
What are the Cons of it?
The cons of this setup will be the weight for certain riding situations, such as uphill riding or trail riding scenarios. The bike will be too heavy, while smaller petite riders will not have the strength to pedal and ride the bigger bike effectively.
This setup will also be an overwhelming con for children, especially the sizes that are over the12 inch to 18 inch range and those kids are still learning how to ride.
Lastly, the large frame might be difficult to mount for those same smaller riders of heights less than six feet.
Final Thoughts on Are 27.5 and 29 Forks the Same
When shopping for a fork, it will be good to keep in mind where you will be riding the bike and what the terrain will dictate to the cyclist.
This will include the need for larger fork and wheel setups that will give the taller, above six-foot person the capability to get up to faster speeds downhill and handle endurance race and trail elements.
The best thing to do for the taller person is to get a fork and frame set up in sizes larger than 26 inches with a wheel included. The shorter person will want to go for the sizes at the standard or closer to 20 inches.