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  1. #1
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    Finally got the hang of a 29er

    After riding for more than 12 years on only 26" hardtails I bought a 2014 Stumpjumper Comp HT to test out the bigger wheels. Most of the season I really did poorly at managing momentum, timing corners, manuals, and pumping the trail. It seemed I just could not get it down.

    Yesterday was the first of most likely many magical rides. My bike was flying down the trail pumping every little feature, riding manuals when needed but mostly for fun, and just railing the corners. It now feels like the bike was made for the way I ride. What a beautiful feeling. This is why I mountain bike.

  2. #2
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    Hell yea! I'm actually still in the "I've only ridden 26" bikes" phase, so I'm not sure what my next move is (27.5 or 29). But it's good your next move worked out well for you. Tear them trails up. Do it well!

  3. #3
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    Any big change will shake up your action. It's nice, actually, since all your old favorite trails are new again.
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  4. #4
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    I've got to say, I don't get it. I rode nothing but 26" wheels until a few years ago. My last 26" bike was a high-end Intense full suspension. I bought a slack short chainstay 29" hardtail to try 29" wheels (Banshee Paradox). I cleared stuff on the first time out that I struggled to do with the 26" bike and was completely at home from day one.

    Bike "A" is going to handle differently to bike "B" irrespective of wheel size. Either you like a bike or you don't. Sounds to me like it's a psychological phenomenon.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  5. #5
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    It's mostly psychological, but the majority of 29" bikes feel like they don't handle very well ad walking pace (because they are using larger heavier wheels with a more distant polar moment to turn them) - once you move past that pace the 29er is going to be more stable, quicker, and quicker over bits of chunkiness - once you overcame that you immediately understood the 'why' of big wheel bikes.

  6. #6
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    Congrats to the OP Curious if you made some big change to the bike, wider bar, shorter stem etc?

    To Llama - Yet despite what you're saying, I love 29ers most for their slow tech, rock crawlin abilities, they absolutely excel in not getting hung up on stuff at slow speeds, much more so than a 26" wheel. Like Ronnie, I hopped onm y first 29er and didn't really feel a difference, except I cleaned climbs I'd never before and descents seem easier, not as scary, then a couple years later I too bought a Paradox and I had the same sprt of Epiphany the OP had compared to my 1st 29er, no comparison in how the PAradox handled compared to the much steeper angled, flexy FS.

    Quote Originally Posted by tehllama View Post
    It's mostly psychological, but the majority of 29" bikes feel like they don't handle very well ad walking pace (because they are using larger heavier wheels with a more distant polar moment to turn them) - once you move past that pace the 29er is going to be more stable, quicker, and quicker over bits of chunkiness - once you overcame that you immediately understood the 'why' of big wheel bikes.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  7. #7
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    I'll be getting a 29er real soon. I've always had a 26er. My 2000 Cannondale SuperV700SX just had the rear swing arm crack. So under their warranty I will get 40% off on a new bike as the old can't be repaired. No replacement part available. So I'm getting a 2015 Scalpel 29 Carbon 3. It will take some getting used to. Bigger wheels and 2/3 the weight.

  8. #8
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    Yep, once you get used to the slow spin-up of the big wheels....you'll notice they stay spinning with minimal effort, once up to speed. There is no more "heaving" the bike over obstacles, as the 29er just rolls over them. Rock gardens suddenly turn into peas and carrots, after being conditioned on a 29er.

    Wait until you ride a LIGHTWEIGHT 29er......OMFG.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Yep, once you get used to the slow spin-up of the big wheels....you'll notice they stay spinning with minimal effort, once up to speed. There is no more "heaving" the bike over obstacles, as the 29er just rolls over them. Rock gardens suddenly turn into peas and carrots, after being conditioned on a 29er.

    Wait until you ride a LIGHTWEIGHT 29er......OMFG.
    I've got to disagree with you regarding "the slow spin-up" concept. At any given speed a 29" wheel is spinning slower than a 26" so I don't need to spin it up as much. I do not notice any difference.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  10. #10
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    It's been so long since I rode a 26" bike, I've forgotten what they''re like

  11. #11
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    To Lynx - No changes to the bike. It was more getting the timing down on corners and understanding the different arc in a turn. More importantly it was getting a feel for the little movements and how the bike responds.

    It is all fun, practicing, getting better, and then railing it to the best of your ability.

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