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18 inch vs.19 inch rear wheel for woods

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Hi, I've got a 99 yz 250 and I'm wondering how much better an 18 inch rear wheel will do compared to the 19 inch wheel? I ride a lot of tight single track and some rocky terain, and intermediate level hill climbs. It does seem the tire selection is better for the 18 inch wheel for woods riding.

Also, it seems I read an article some years back about a guy who tricked out a yz 250 for the woods and not only did he put the 18 inch rear wheel on but he also put a 20 inch front wheel on instead of the 21. Any one know what benefit that would hold? Kind of interesting.

Does any one know what would be the easiest route to go on this? Perhaps a WR 400 OR 426 rear wheel would be a direct fit? Any help and input is appreciated. Thanks and Merry Christmas

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I put an 18" rear on only because I wanted to run a trials tire, but the other advantage is you can run lower air pressure than a 19" on the trails, which gives you better traction.

I bought a 18" rim and spokes and laced up my old hub, only cost me a $100. The best route would be to find a wr wheel... I had a hard time finding one

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Your lucky your bike is a 99, the first year for the bigger rear axel so all wr's will work and even the wr250s but the rim will be slightly narrower, maybe ok with an 18. Some people will say don't do the 18 and I personally would only do it if I were going to race and that was the first mod I did when I used to race. The weight difference is minimal as I have weighed both and the 18 does help with flats and in the mud because you have a taller side wall to help grip. I just don't race anymore right now, rarely ride in mud, and have learned to pick my way through rocks instead of blasting through them. 18" tires are cheaper for some reason and seem to be a little easier to change.

I thought the 20" wheel was for Hondas and mainly Mike Laracco did it 10 years ago. I know it was wider than the standard 21 and wasnt much shorter because it had taller sidewalls. I know it didn't stick around long.

Edited by Wideopen24_7
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This has been brought up many time. I think it depends who you talk to. I like the 18 for tire choice, and better ride in the rocks. But just opinion. The WR wheel is a easy replacement if you can find one.

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I think its kinda a wash. I have run both a 19 and 18, currently on 18 and previously on 19 and I somewhat like the 19. The only reason I stick with a 18 is because they dont make my tire in a 19. For racing, I prefer 19 though. I dont like wide tires either!

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I think its kinda a wash. I have run both a 19 and 18, currently on 18 and previously on 19 and I somewhat like the 19. The only reason I stick with a 18 is because they dont make my tire in a 19. For racing, I prefer 19 though. I dont like wide tires either!

I'm with you. I prefer the cornering and handling advantages of the 19 over the plush ride of the 18. Just got a new rear wheel for my RM250 woods bike and still went 19. 19's are also easier for me to find good deals on tires for.

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