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  1. #1
    FKA Malibu412
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    Another downside to 29ers

    Other than I'm not sure whether this should go here or in the other half of the 29er forum....

    Anyways, I discovered another aspect of 29ers that may make them inferior to 26" bikes and I don't think it's been talked about much: riding and racing with strong headwinds and crosswinds.

    I did a 23 mile race yesterday with steady winds of about 25-30 mph. It was mostly open with very little wind breaks and no trees. Riding on flat section and even some of the descents required pedal effort of a climb. The climbs? Holy sh!t ! In granny, tucking in like a roadie, grinding away at what would usually be a fast climb. If you lost focus or got a little air, the wind would blow you off your line.

    Everyone, even the pros and cat 1s on 26" bikes, struggled with the wind. One guy I talked to said his time was 15 minutes slower this year over the same course. It felt for me that I was just one big fvcking kite going the wrong way most of the race with my wagon wheels, the xxl frame and my big hulk trying to cut a path.

    Just wondering if I'd have been faster or at least expended less on a smaller wheeled bike?
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    No you wouldn't.
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  3. #3
    MountainGoat aka OldGoat
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    That sounded like it was a pain for everyone. The slight ride height will cause some extra wind to catch you but I suspect it was minimal. I have noticed that it is a little easier on my TallBoy to get my elbows onto my bars or my hands onto the fork crown when I'm on fast smooth sections of road. I know that won't help with the climbs but see if in other places you could take advantage of the more aero position.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    Other than I'm not sure whether this should go here or in the other half of the 29er forum....

    Anyways, I discovered another aspect of 29ers that may make them inferior to 26" bikes and I don't think it's been talked about much: riding and racing with strong headwinds and crosswinds.

    I did a 23 mile race yesterday with steady winds of about 25-30 mph. It was mostly open with very little wind breaks and no trees. Riding on flat section and even some of the descents required pedal effort of a climb. The climbs? Holy sh!t ! In granny, tucking in like a roadie, grinding away at what would usually be a fast climb. If you lost focus or got a little air, the wind would blow you off your line.

    Everyone, even the pros and cat 1s on 26" bikes, struggled with the wind. One guy I talked to said his time was 15 minutes slower this year over the same course. It felt for me that I was just one big fvcking kite going the wrong way most of the race with my wagon wheels, the xxl frame and my big hulk trying to cut a path.

    Just wondering if I'd have been faster or at least expended less on a smaller wheeled bike?
    Really? You think the larger wheels and tires created enough extra wind resistance to notice when compared to a smaller sized wheel/tire? If true, what about the times on the course you were riding "with the wind". Then, given your theory, you should have gone faster with all that extra surface area of the wheels and tires to catch wind and blow you forward in those sections to make up for any losses you felt going against the wind.

    Sounds like everyone had a tough day in those winds regardless of wheel size.
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  5. #5
    Rides the Desert
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    My biggest downside to 29ers is that most 26" tires do not come in 29".

    29ers have a much worse selection. Im hoping this will change over time though.

  6. #6
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    ^^ I agree with that. As with the original post, I really really doubt the larger 29" wheel has enough additional wind resistance to have any noticeable (beyond placebo) effect. And where you ride may be unique, but I would say that 99% of MB races take place in wooded areas where wind isn't even an issue at all.

  7. #7
    FKA Malibu412
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltk1144 View Post
    My biggest downside to 29ers is that most 26" tires do not come in 29".

    29ers have a much worse selection. Im hoping this will change over time though.
    So, are you saying that if some of the more aero 26" tires came in 29", that might help in a situation like this?
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  8. #8
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    You are right!

    Last year I was riding in a Greek island for some -windy,5-6 bf - days and there is definitely a difference between 26/29, though I believe I'd face stability problems regardless of the wheel size ..

  9. #9
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    its your subconscious finding excuses to why you where having wind trouble.

  10. #10
    Rides the Desert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    So, are you saying that if some of the more aero 26" tires came in 29", that might help in a situation like this?
    Nope, I dont think that being a 29er has anything to do with your problem. Thats just my complaint because I would like to see some tires with more traction being made 29er.

  11. #11
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    Is you bar as low on the 29er as it is on the 26er? Body position plays the biggest role in wind drag.
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  12. #12
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    Race in Texas in the summer time 20MPH winds are normal. Regardless of wheel size it sucks for everyone.

  13. #13
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    Wind either sucks, or blows your way. Get over it. I think we've all been there at some point in time, when you ride into it, it's just plain miserable at times.
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  14. #14
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    good you will become a stronger rider because of it.

  15. #15
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    I once did a century out in borrego Ca one section was an out and back on the way out the wind was at our backs coasting 40 mph. On the way back you were lucky to reach 8 Mphs the only guys not having as much trouble were the guys on Bents .Wheel size was not a factor unless your running one of those solid disc wheels you sometimes see in time trials
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  16. #16
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    And another reason. This guy Jaroslav Kulhavy rides one. He will never get anywhere in the pro circuit riding a fs 29er.
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  17. #17
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    At 5'6 I do sit higher on a 29er and at high speeds (road riding) I do notice that it is more aerodynamic resistance and the bike seems slower. But if I was just two inches taller, my position on the 29er would be the same as what it is on a 26inch bike and there wouldn't be much of an aerodynamic difference.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    Other than I'm not sure whether this should go here or in the other half of the 29er forum....

    Anyways, I discovered another aspect of 29ers that may make them inferior to 26" bikes and I don't think it's been talked about much: riding and racing with strong headwinds and crosswinds.

    I did a 23 mile race yesterday with steady winds of about 25-30 mph. It was mostly open with very little wind breaks and no trees. Riding on flat section and even some of the descents required pedal effort of a climb. The climbs? Holy sh!t ! In granny, tucking in like a roadie, grinding away at what would usually be a fast climb. If you lost focus or got a little air, the wind would blow you off your line.

    Everyone, even the pros and cat 1s on 26" bikes, struggled with the wind. One guy I talked to said his time was 15 minutes slower this year over the same course. It felt for me that I was just one big fvcking kite going the wrong way most of the race with my wagon wheels, the xxl frame and my big hulk trying to cut a path.

    Just wondering if I'd have been faster or at least expended less on a smaller wheeled bike?
    A cross wind will have more impact on a 29er, sure, but in winds that strong, they'll pretty much be messing with everyone.

    I'm curious what the "other" thing is. Your subject is "Another downside to 29ers"...What's the first one that you're assuming we all know and agree upon? Or are you just a troll?
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  19. #19
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    What's with the overly defensive attitude towards 29ers? It's getting old, and you guys need to chill out.

    In my experience, my 29er is more effected by headwinds and crosswinds, but I've always attributed it to the wider bars. A 29er wheel/tyre would likely have more surface area than a 26" wheel/tyre, and like aero wheels on road bikes, more surface area is significant in a crosswind.
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  20. #20
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    I doubt the wind was making you slower, winds make everyone slower. Anyways here's a
    note that there isn't a downside to 29ers but an upside.

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  21. #21
    FKA Malibu412
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    Perhaps a question mark after my title would have worked better so as to indicate " is it a possibility?" No sh!t the wind bothers everyone in the same race and I don't recall saying I was the only one slowed by the wind. Essentially, I posed the question of "is it possible that severe head and crosswinds can effect the larger surface area of a large (XXL in this case) on larger 29" wheels?"

    Someone sure read a lot into the word "another".
    Last edited by Glide the Clyde; 03-04-2012 at 06:22 PM.
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  22. #22
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    What's to read into it?

    Quote Originally Posted by dictionary.com
    adjective
    1.being one more or more of the same; further; additional: another piece of cake.
    2.different; distinct; of a different period, place, or kind: at another time; another man.
    3.very similar to; of the same kind or category as: What we need today is another Thomas Jefferson.
    pronoun
    4.one more; an additional one: That first hot dog tasted so good I'd like another.
    5.a different one; something different: going from one house to another.
    6.one like the first: one copy for her and another for him.
    7.a person other than oneself or the one specified: He told her he loved another.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    Other than I'm not sure whether this should go here or in the other half of the 29er forum....

    Anyways, I discovered another aspect of 29ers that may make them inferior to 26" bikes and I don't think it's been talked about much: riding and racing with strong headwinds and crosswinds.

    I did a 23 mile race yesterday with steady winds of about 25-30 mph. It was mostly open with very little wind breaks and no trees. Riding on flat section and even some of the descents required pedal effort of a climb. The climbs? Holy sh!t ! In granny, tucking in like a roadie, grinding away at what would usually be a fast climb. If you lost focus or got a little air, the wind would blow you off your line.

    Everyone, even the pros and cat 1s on 26" bikes, struggled with the wind. One guy I talked to said his time was 15 minutes slower this year over the same course. It felt for me that I was just one big fvcking kite going the wrong way most of the race with my wagon wheels, the xxl frame and my big hulk trying to cut a path.

    Just wondering if I'd have been faster or at least expended less on a smaller wheeled bike?
    I'd think the only true way to tell would be to have ridden 2 nearly identical bikes but one a 29er and one a 26" bike, on that day one right after the other. and even then the jury is out as your second time through you'd be more winded and spent than the 1st...
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  24. #24
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    A 29" wheel will carry more momentum compared to 26" but takes slightly longer to reach this potential advantage so.....if there is a force "wind" that negates this then i could see where a snappier 26er might have an advantage.Only speculation on my part.

    This scenario would be rare where all the racer's were fighting a head-wind from start to finish on the road while not allowing the many advantages of 29" wheels to shine.
    The same head-wind off road would be to the advantage of wheels with less rolling resistance.IMHO

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltk1144 View Post
    Nope, I dont think that being a 29er has anything to do with your problem. Thats just my complaint because I would like to see some tires with more traction being made 29er.
    Exactly. Almost every tire out there is geared to XC or Race.

    As more people realize that 29er is also great for AM and maybe even DH, hopefully people will start building bikes with more clearance for some meatier meats and we also get some 2 ply DH specific tires as well.

    Dissents are gone, for the time being at least, and Minions are slow coming on board.

    29" is good. 29" with volume and big tread is even better. Not everyone wants skinny tires but those who do have what they want already. More choice is usually a good thing.

    Not that I haven't said this before but I'm just going to post something like this every time the issue comes up so that producers may get a drift of the desire.

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