YT has revived the 26-inch wheel size. The German mountain bike brand, best known for its winning downhill bikes and long-travel enduro frames, has done the unusual by offering a new range of smaller wheeled frames.
With its new Primus, YT is not looking to completely revive the virtually defunct 26-inch mountain bike. The marketing strategy is to specifically target riders who are much smaller in stature – mostly juniors.
Packaging 27.5- or 29-inch wheels into an XXS frame for talented youngsters, poses significant technical challenges. Once you shorten the overall frame length to fit a 10- or 12-year old, there simply isn’t space for a regular rear wheel and the required arc of motion to make suspension kinematics work.
YT’s solution has been the completely redesign its offering with the new Primus 24- and 26-inch frames, targeted at riders between 1.35- to 1.5m (for the 24-ich bike) and 1.45- to 1.6m (on the 26in frame).
The Primus has been specifically engineered to package smaller wheels in a trimmed version of the Jeffsy frame. YT has also selected rear shocks with the correct tune and compression/rebound balance, for very light riders.
Some of the angles might be familiar, but the millimetre numbers clearly illustrate how small these Primus 24- and 26-inch bikes are. They feature reach numbers of only 370mm (24in) and 397mm (26in), but the head angles are both an aggressive 65.5-degrees, which is what you’d encounter on YT’s 29er enduro bikes.
All the other frame details you’d expect on a miniaturised enduro bike. The Primus 24-inch runs a 130mm Manitou Machete Junit fork and McLeod air shock. Gearing is provided by SRAM’s NX 1X11 system and it rolls SunRingle Duroc wheels with a 30mm internal width.
If you are shopping for a slightly larger junior rider, YT’s Primus 26-inch has 10m more travel, with a 140mm Machete fork up front and RockShox Deluxe Select+ air rear shock. It adds an additional gear too, with SRAM SX Eagle 1x12 drivetrain.
Although both the YT Primus alloy frames are very small, they aren’t that light. The Primus 24-inch build is 12.6kg and retails for €1900, while upsizing to 26-inch wheels will push the price to €2000 and settles mass at 14.2kg.