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  1. #1
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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    My riding style is mostly XC, but I tend to hold my own on the downhills, despite riding a 100mm 29er HT. I have some buddies who ride 130-140mm bikes and I tend to push the pace on the downhill. I'm a technical rider, preferring slow and steady climbs rather than racing speed. I like drops and jump, log rides, etc but tend to avoid them as my current bike doesn't have a dropper post.

    I've been to downhill parks, ridden the big bikes, done big jumps and drops, but I don't (or won't) do that more than 4-5 times a year.

    Local trails are a rocky mess. You're more likely to get a pinch flat than a broken wheel or frame.

    I've been following the 27.5 market for quite some time, settling on a few bikes in the $2000-$3500 range. That being said, I'd like to keep a 29er around for faster/smoother trails. My current 29er is old enough, however, that doing anything that is frame specific (like the seatpost, fork, or wheels) isn't worth it.

    Currently I've got my eye on a 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Comp. Non-Evo. All stock with the 32mm Fox Float CTD, which I've heard is quite noodley. $1500

    Or a 2014 Trance 27.5 3 for $1850.

    Both bikes would require me upgrading to a dropper seat post and I'd like to get the new Pike. Thing is, I could get shop discount doing it on the new Trance, and I could resell the used parts from the Stumpjumper.

    Suggestions/Advice?
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    I own a 2013 Stumpy FSR Comp with a set of Rovals on it and I can tell you that it rides awesome but yet it does not compare to my Bronson C when it comes to downhill stuff...just my opinion
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ouanlux View Post
    The bicycle manufacturers said that the quality of 650B is not good as 29er in technology, 29er had the better progress
    This just sounds odd to me.. Granted I could see how there could be a difference in exploited potential as the 27.5 frames we see now are more or less first generation ones, whereas 29ers have had a few more revisions to mature. (Chainstays on 29ers for example)

    In a few years 27.5 frames could be more dialed than they are now, who knows.

    But I don't for a second see how current 27.5 frames are lesser in quality than 29ers because that'd just put manufacturers in a bad light.

  4. #4
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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    My riding style is mostly XC, but I tend to hold my own on the downhills, despite riding a 100mm 29er HT. I have some buddies who ride 130-140mm bikes and I tend to push the pace on the downhill. I'm a technical rider, preferring slow and steady climbs rather than racing speed. I like drops and jump, log rides, etc but tend to avoid them as my current bike doesn't have a dropper post.

    I've been to downhill parks, ridden the big bikes, done big jumps and drops, but I don't (or won't) do that more than 4-5 times a year.

    Local trails are a rocky mess. You're more likely to get a pinch flat than a broken wheel or frame.

    I've been following the 27.5 market for quite some time, settling on a few bikes in the $2000-$3500 range. That being said, I'd like to keep a 29er around for faster/smoother trails. My current 29er is old enough, however, that doing anything that is frame specific (like the seatpost, fork, or wheels) isn't worth it.

    Currently I've got my eye on a 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Comp. Non-Evo. All stock with the 32mm Fox Float CTD, which I've heard is quite noodley. $1500

    Or a 2014 Trance 27.5 3 for $1850.

    Both bikes would require me upgrading to a dropper seat post and I'd like to get the new Pike. Thing is, I could get shop discount doing it on the new Trance, and I could resell the used parts from the Stumpjumper.

    Suggestions/Advice?
    My vote is Trance. Price is right and you will like it much on the non-faster non-smoother trails you don't take the 29'er on. The smaller wheels make for a more maneuverable, easier lofting, playful bike IME.
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  5. #5
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    From what I've read the 27.5 bikes are pretty dialed as it is. If you can get a good deal on the Trance do it up. It'l be more fun than a 29er.

  6. #6
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    I have ridden lots of 29ers and own a bronson. Get the trance.
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  7. #7
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    I've owned both a Bronson and 29'er. For my type of riding I enjoyed the 29er more, I felt that it was a better fit and overall really liked the bigger wheels. I wanted something more burly, more park capable, more chunk capable and overall a more AM worthy rig. I ended up on a Banshee Prime and I absolutely love the bike.

    I've done everything from park riding, to xc slog fests, and everything in between. Its set up a little more burly than your normal XC type 29'er, with a 150 Pike on the front end, big meaty Minion 2.5 and Ardent 2.4 on the rear it's a super capable rig.

    It's a fun jumper, its super stable at speed, it destroys chunk, and is a fantastic climber.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by monty797 View Post
    I've owned both a Bronson and 29'er. For my type of riding I enjoyed the 29er more, I felt that it was a better fit and overall really liked the bigger wheels. I wanted something more burly, more park capable, more chunk capable and overall a more AM worthy rig. I ended up on a Banshee Prime and I absolutely love the bike.

    I've done everything from park riding, to xc slog fests, and everything in between. Its set up a little more burly than your normal XC type 29'er, with a 150 Pike on the front end, big meaty Minion 2.5 and Ardent 2.4 on the rear it's a super capable rig.

    It's a fun jumper, its super stable at speed, it destroys chunk, and is a fantastic climber.
    hate to disagree with what your saying but the bronson in probably one of if not the most burly am rig on the maket right now. it was built to ride the fast tech dh of the enduro world cup but still be capable to make it up the hill. you also said you wanted a bike that was good in the park. 29ers are not great on tight tech downhill single track and i wouldnt trust those wagon wheels on drops. i dont think the niner rim has caught up in strenght yet its just to big

  9. #9
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    Sorry to burst your bubble but that is not my experience at all. I'm not saying that the Bronson is a bad bike by any means, it and I just did not get along. That happens from time to time!

    Niners (The wheel size not the brand!) have zero issues in tight DH tech I'm not sure where you're getting that from. Wheel strength is also not an issue, I've pushed my Prime through everything that Whistler has to offer, everything that Northstar has to offer, it's gone to Moab and killed it there and also been to Highland in NH and killed it there.

    My home riding is in Norcal with trips down to SoCal for riding as well. Wheels have no been an issue what so ever. It's quite easy to build a strong 29'er wheel. I'm not a lightweight either at 220lbs and my riding style has been described as "hack". Hah!

    Also if you think that the Bronson is the burliest AM bike on the market, you should do a bit more digging!

    Either way, enjoy what you ride!

  10. #10
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    I just switched from 26 to a 29er. In all honesty, I don't miss the small wheels at all, and I'm a small guy at 5'7. I hardly feel any of the negative effects of the larger wheel on the down hills, but I can really feel the positives on the ups and flats. What I think it comes down to is what you like riding more. Is it the tech downs and jumps (27.5)? or the fast rolling single track and climbs (29)?

  11. #11
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    As someone who started on small wheels and went to 29er...sure I thought they were great. After a while the coolaid ran out, I hopped on the small wheels again and realized all the fun I was missing...or another way to put it: the tables turned and they became new and special.

    My 29er feels large, taller, and cumbersome at times... as well as heavier and slower to accelerate. It's still pretty enjoyable.

    27.5 is a really nice wheelsize. What i really liked about it is how invisible it felt...it's not small, it's not huge, it's just really nice.

    My next ultimate machine will be a fun-geo 27.5 FS rig...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by monty797 View Post

    Niners (The wheel size not the brand!) have zero issues in tight DH tech
    Yep, the problem is making those turns at speed. With the 29er it's harder to make some of them and especially to recover from a loss of speed. Not everyone cares so much about just this, and my Enduro 29er does generally rip downhill, but older 29ers with obtuse long stays and high bottom brackets were poor weapons for slaying downhills. The shorter and lower 29ers that have recently come out from Lenz, Specialized, BMC, even 9er, are much better dialed to be whipped back and forth at a decent pace, make a tight chute-style switchback without scrubbing too much speed or being pushed to the outside, and so on. Yes, you could do these before with many 4-5" 29ers at lower speed, but they weren't nearly as confidence inspiring or as fun to ride in said terrain.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by monty797 View Post
    I've owned both a Bronson and 29'er. For my type of riding I enjoyed the 29er more, I felt that it was a better fit and overall really liked the bigger wheels. I wanted something more burly, more park capable, more chunk capable and overall a more AM worthy rig. I ended up on a Banshee Prime and I absolutely love the bike.

    I've done everything from park riding, to xc slog fests, and everything in between. Its set up a little more burly than your normal XC type 29'er, with a 150 Pike on the front end, big meaty Minion 2.5 and Ardent 2.4 on the rear it's a super capable rig.

    It's a fun jumper, its super stable at speed, it destroys chunk, and is a fantastic climber.
    I would definitely rate the Prime for being as burly as anything you can get for AM use. The problem I have with it is the pig heavy weight penalty you pay for any of Keith's bikes (hoping to see some carbon out of that camp). Even my Spitty weighs in over 30 lbs and I can't imagine you can build up a Prime under 33 lbs with Dh/Park capable components/tires? That's weigh too much for a good climbing bike and the main reason I'm bailling on Banshee for the Bronson. I only go 175lbs tho so I don't need an "overbuilt" bike.

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  14. #14
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    I've tried both my 29er and 26er on the same trails on the Northshore and Sunpeaks. The 29er is waaaaay better at climbing than my 26er, but there really is no comparison when going downhill....the 26er just "feels better and lighter" going down (if that makes any sense at all). I still love going downhill on my 29er, but if the majority of your ride is technical downhill, I vote for the Trance. Again, just my personal opinion.

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    That comes from manufactureres that don't produce 27.5 bikes, ala Specialized and others.
    The 27.5 bikes are the future, love it or hate it, they will dominate in all types of riding with maybe the exception on dj, your already seeing them in DH.

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    I'm not understanding the statement in regards to 29ers climbing better than 26ers, or even 27.5ers, unless maybe all your climbs are wide open wash board type climbs. Given the fact that rotational weight is the #1 cause for slowing climb Times, and comparing apples to apples( same wheel build, same tire) a 29er wheel will always be heavier, especially at the outer most part of the wheel. On technical climbs where quick acceleration is required, 29ers fall even further behind, so I totally disagree in most situations that a 29er is the fastest climber

  17. #17
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    From my experience, If you've got the horses (legs), 29ers excel on technical, steep, climbing sections to the extra contact patch and rollover-ability. Sections that are really nasty steep and rocky, you can stand, and grind up damn near anything. On a straight forward climb, without any serious technical features, I would think that the lightest overall bike/wheel tire combo would win.

  18. #18
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    i don't believe 29er climbs better in slow tech. having done a recent ride where a friend and i were switching mid ride back and forth from my 26enduro to his 29camberevo, the small wheel is easier to pick up and place and hop even with the 160 squish and slack front HA. yeah, unless you're talking washboard rut, rock, or root and open then yes 29 would do much better but stalling, standing, and hopping...nfw

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    i don't believe 29er climbs better in slow tech. having done a recent ride where a friend and i were switching mid ride back and forth from my 26enduro to his 29camberevo, the small wheel is easier to pick up and place and hop even with the 160 squish and slack front HA. yeah, unless you're talking washboard rut, rock, or root and open then yes 29 would do much better but stalling, standing, and hopping...nfw
    This has always been my belief and I have been absolutely destroyed for stating it dozens of times... bring a 29er to somewhere in MA like Vietnam, The Promised Land, Leominster State forest, Lynn Woods, and prepare to walk a lot and go OTB a lot. There was a big group ride this past weekend at a really technical trail system called Harold Parker State Forest and I might have seen 100 people riding 29ers go tumbling over their bars, hilarious. Obviously there were people of all wheel sizes going OTB but the amount of 29er crashes was absurd.


    These are just three pictures I have lying around, but for stuff like this, I simply cannot rider a 29er very well at all, and I don't have fun.

    For reference, these pictures depict terrain that I would consider a 5.5-6/10 in terms of technicality. I can clear all the features in these three pictures in a various number of ways both up and down on my 26 slayer, and I don't wear pads or a full face helmet, ever. I wish I had some other pictures from areas like the promised land and vietnam, there is some really gnarly stuff. I don't stop to take pictures very often, mostly when Im riding with others I will take pictures while waiting.

    Also, I'm curious, what wheel size would you guys all prefer for what is shown in these pictures? Don't forget to include the very, very challenging climb that is shown in the 1st picture (pretty steep! - it is a bit easier when not covered in leaves. At the top of the climb you have to lift front wheel 1-2 feet depending which root you take and then pop rear wheel up onto a rock, there is no possible way to clear the climb if you can't. And don't forget that in the third picture the only way down that is actually on the trail is via a huck off that rock on the left in the background


    This or That? 27.5 vs 29-steep-climb-llf.jpgThis or That? 27.5 vs 29-llf-chunder-tech.jpgThis or That? 27.5 vs 29-llf-yeow.jpg

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    You could ride any wheelsize down that....I think what kind of bike you are rolling down it matters more.

    I'd prefer to be on a 27.5 FS rig though...maybe more 'trail' than XC orientated...but something like the Spark 27.5 would probably be good enough for me...assuming the BBH isn't too low. I'd rather take that than my 29er HT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    You could ride any wheelsize down that....I think what kind of bike you are rolling down it matters more.

    I'd prefer to be on a 27.5 FS rig though...maybe more 'trail' than XC orientated...but something like the Spark 27.5 would probably be good enough for me...assuming the BBH isn't too low. I'd rather take that than my 29er HT.
    I'm talking up and down, obviously you can ride any wheel size down anything if you're skilled enough. It's mainly the ups where the benefits of 26 come into play, and the extra finesse on the downs is great. The lighter wheels offered by 26 and 27.5 make it a lot easier to bunny hop and manual through the really hair parts. Also I really like being able to turn in very tight spaces with my 26. Clearing the second picture going up is a lot harder than it looks and takes some real finesse/strength. Plus you have to be able to stop and then get going again really fast, which is tough with bigger wheels.

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    ^awesome lines there, Rager! looks fun as hell! just the down ofcourse!

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    Not sure if it's been on here but Giant are scraping 29ers and sticking with 650B. I'll stick with 26 until I'm forced into the 650B cult.

  24. #24
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    My generalization:

    Beginner that doesn't jump and comes from a road/commuting background = 29er
    Rider that likes drops and jumps that land to flat = more travel
    Rider that comes from BMX background that knows how to jump and pump = smaller wheel (26/27.5)

    Wide and open trails that go on for miles and are typically dry = 29er
    Trails that cut through a lot of tight forest with darker and slightly moist loamy dirt = smaller wheel

    Rough ground with lots of small gravely bumps, ruts, uncambered turns, and raw/not so well ridden (like a fireroad) = 29er
    Somewhat more groomed ground with rollers and berms, bike-park style, with clearer lines defined by lots of traffic = smaller wheel

    If you said anything "in between", chances are you choices were: "26 or 27.5" for this, and "29 or 27.5" for that, with 27.5 being a common option for whatever scenario brought up.

    Very cool LBS that sells Giant = Giant
    Very cool LBS that sells Spec = Specialized

    Going by what the OP said, looks like the Trance is the easier choice.
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  25. #25
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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by RDMTB-rider View Post
    Not sure if it's been on here but Giant are scraping 29ers and sticking with 650B. I'll stick with 26 until I'm forced into the 650B cult.
    29" is a cult. First it was fighting vs. 26" for cred. Now it is fighting vs. 26" and 27.5" for supremacy.


    27.5" is just the newest thing and the industry is still adjusting to it. Too early to call it a cult. If you must use a perjorative, try "fad."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rager View Post
    This has always been my belief and I have been absolutely destroyed for stating it dozens of times... bring a 29er to somewhere in MA like Vietnam, The Promised Land, Leominster State forest, Lynn Woods, and prepare to walk a lot and go OTB a lot. There was a big group ride this past weekend at a really technical trail system called Harold Parker State Forest and I might have seen 100 people riding 29ers go tumbling over their bars, hilarious. Obviously there were people of all wheel sizes going OTB but the amount of 29er crashes was absurd.


    These are just three pictures I have lying around, but for stuff like this, I simply cannot rider a 29er very well at all, and I don't have fun.

    For reference, these pictures depict terrain that I would consider a 5.5-6/10 in terms of technicality. I can clear all the features in these three pictures in a various number of ways both up and down on my 26 slayer, and I don't wear pads or a full face helmet, ever. I wish I had some other pictures from areas like the promised land and vietnam, there is some really gnarly stuff. I don't stop to take pictures very often, mostly when Im riding with others I will take pictures while waiting.

    Also, I'm curious, what wheel size would you guys all prefer for what is shown in these pictures? Don't forget to include the very, very challenging climb that is shown in the 1st picture (pretty steep! - it is a bit easier when not covered in leaves. At the top of the climb you have to lift front wheel 1-2 feet depending which root you take and then pop rear wheel up onto a rock, there is no possible way to clear the climb if you can't. And don't forget that in the third picture the only way down that is actually on the trail is via a huck off that rock on the left in the background


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Dang those are some gnarly lines. I'd probably go with a 26 FS with like 160mm in order to absolutely conquer those going down. Riding up would probably be easiest on a FS 27.5 with around 130mm travel. But still... those look like tough climbs..

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    29" is a cult. First it was fighting vs. 26" for cred. Now it is fighting vs. 26" and 27.5" for supremacy.


    27.5" is just the newest thing and the industry is still adjusting to it. Too early to call it a cult. If you must use a perjorative, try "fad."
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  28. #28
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    Giant scrapping their 29ers is news to me. Only thing I see that has been cut is all of their 29er womens models, maybe since a lot of compromises were made to make them fit smaller/shorter riders. If they mentioned that they cut five of so of their 29er models, then that's technically true, as there's was a women's carbon FS 29er model, alloy FS 29er, carbon XC Race HT, alloy XC race HT, and entry level stuff... they still seem to have seven 29er models left, but they have at least double that number of 27.5 models (I counted 9 mens and 5 womens).
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I'm not understanding the statement in regards to 29ers climbing better than 26ers, or even 27.5ers, unless maybe all your climbs are wide open wash board type climbs. Given the fact that rotational weight is the #1 cause for slowing climb Times, and comparing apples to apples( same wheel build, same tire) a 29er wheel will always be heavier, especially at the outer most part of the wheel. On technical climbs where quick acceleration is required, 29ers fall even further behind, so I totally disagree in most situations that a 29er is the fastest climber
    I have to disagree with your disagreement . 20+ years in the saddle riding New England and I'm a strong tech rider. I've found 29ers to climb techy rocky rooty climbs worlds better than my many 26ers did. If you compare wheel and tire weights there really isn't a huge difference. I have Arch EX laced to Kings with specialized 2.3 tires; there might be a 20-40 gram difference. If anyone can actually feel that their nick name might be Rain Man.

  30. #30
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    I found the article about Giant potentially phasing out 29er from their line-up (source). A quote from article:

    “I don’t see the ability to have three wheel sizes in the marketplace,” said [Andrew] Justkaitis, [Giant’s global product marketing manager]. “It’s just not feasible. Dealers can’t keep up with it. Nobody can. I truly see 26 going away, and the phase-out of 29. Giant has in our back pocket a two-year plan of phasing out 29er product.”

    Giant’s decision about the fate of its 29er bikes ultimately depends on how the market reacts to the 2014 product line. Justkaitis confirmed that Giant would continue its 29er bikes for the next two years. “We can’t just turn off the faucet,” he said. Beyond two years, though, it remains to be seen whether 29ers will remain part of the Giant product line.

    -----

    Regarding climbing, I think that guy you quoted has it all backwards. On a smooth climb up a light grade with plenty of traction, the 29er doesn't seem to have any advantage. When traction is poor, spin-out potential is higher, and there are small obstacles that are rollable in the way, 29ers are clearly outperform the smaller wheel sizes. I actually go with lower profile XCish tires on my 29er (~600g for a Maxxis Ikon) and end up going with big meaty tires on my 26 (~800g for a XR4, Hans Dampf, Butcher, etc.), to ride the same trails at speeds that I'm accustomed to... looking at wheelset weights for various models, the 29er wheelsets are about 125-150g heavier than 26, and about 80g heavier than 27.5. What kind of tires would 27.5 riders pick for AM, Nobby Nics, Purgatory, XR3 (650-700g tires)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID J View Post
    I have to disagree with your disagreement . 20+ years in the saddle riding New England and I'm a strong tech rider. I've found 29ers to climb techy rocky rooty climbs worlds better than my many 26ers did. If you compare wheel and tire weights there really isn't a huge difference. I have Arch EX laced to Kings with specialized 2.3 tires; there might be a 20-40 gram difference. If anyone can actually feel that their nick name might be Rain Man.
    You should have come to the Wicked Ride of the East this past weekend and taught all the 29er people how to ride technical New England terrain. The amount of people on 29ers who were getting absolutely beaten into the ground was pretty comical.

    It seems to me like one of the biggest issues is maintaining speed. Countless times I watched people make it about half way through a rock garden and then simply lose all their speed and tip over or get their wheel stuck or clip it on something while trying to make a tight turn and go OTB.

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    I tore it up at the Wicked ride this year .Really liked the way they changed the route,felt like less cart roads. I've found that maintaining speed is one of the 29ers strongest points. Add 5" of travel to it and it's like riding a dirt bike. Loft the front end and hang on. The 29er guys you saw stinkin' the place up would probably have the same results no matter what they're riding. No skills is as no skills does .

  33. #33
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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by DAVID J View Post
    I have to disagree with your disagreement . 20+ years in the saddle riding New England and I'm a strong tech rider. I've found 29ers to climb techy rocky rooty climbs worlds better than my many 26ers did. If you compare wheel and tire weights there really isn't a huge difference. I have Arch EX laced to Kings with specialized 2.3 tires; there might be a 20-40 gram difference. If anyone can actually feel that their nick name might be Rain Man.
    That is my experience. My first ride on a 29" (it was a HT) I quickly and with relative ease cleaned a very familiar steep rocky rooty section on one of my favorite trails I had only cleaned twice in many tries over many years on my 26". My immediate reaction was "this damn thing is cheating!"

    I have since decided I like 27.5" better overall; BUT have not cleaned that section on one - YET. Hmmm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ouanlux View Post
    The bicycle manufacturers said that the quality of 650B is not good as 29er in technology, 29er had the better progress. I am not sure is that credible, but I was told more than one times by different manufacturers.

    If you have drastic sports when you are downhill, maybe you can go with wider 29er. It is just my opinion.
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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    DC - is that you, with a new alias?
    Could be. The same vague English with distinct anti 27.5" and pro 29" bias. Not to mention opinions stated as fact with no supporting evidence. If not DC, then a disciple or a clone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I'm not understanding the statement in regards to 29ers climbing better than 26ers, or even 27.5ers, unless maybe all your climbs are wide open wash board type climbs. Given the fact that rotational weight is the #1 cause for slowing climb Times, and comparing apples to apples( same wheel build, same tire) a 29er wheel will always be heavier, especially at the outer most part of the wheel. On technical climbs where quick acceleration is required, 29ers fall even further behind, so I totally disagree in most situations that a 29er is the fastest climber
    Having tested this theory with XC HTs using the same wheel, component, and tire set ups, I can tell you that you are wrong.

    29ers have less rolling resistance. Several percentage points lower. They roll faster going uphill, downhill, coasting or hammering the flats. Whereas the 1lb difference between the 26er and 29er is less than 1% of the rider + bike total.
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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Having tested this theory with XC HTs using the same wheel, component, and tire set ups, I can tell you that you are wrong.

    29ers have less rolling resistance. Several percentage points lower. They roll faster going uphill, downhill, coasting or hammering the flats. Whereas the 1lb difference between the 26er and 29er is less than 1% of the rider + bike total.
    While my own experience confirms this, I prefer 27.5" because fun factor trumps speed for the average recreational rider. Speed can be measured objectively, but fun is completely subjective, so there are bikes with different wheel sizes; wider or narrower rims and tires; various tread patterns; tubed or tubeless; different amounts of suspension (or none), 3,2,or 1 chainrings; various cassette configurations (or 1 cog); different HTA and STA's; and much more.

    If there were only one bike, we could all race each other on it via Strava. What fun! Then we would know who's the friggin boss and be (not be) impressed.
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    I'm pretty sure that there is a reason that most all xc racers are on 29ers. Like everyone has said, fun factor is subjective. Those racers are not out there to have fun.....they are trying to go fast. Bigger wheels make stuff smaller, easier to mash over. Anyone who says its tougher to climb with them needs to hit the squat rack!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rager View Post
    You should have come to the Wicked Ride of the East this past weekend and taught all the 29er people how to ride technical New England terrain. The amount of people on 29ers who were getting absolutely beaten into the ground was pretty comical.

    It seems to me like one of the biggest issues is maintaining speed. Countless times I watched people make it about half way through a rock garden and then simply lose all their speed and tip over or get their wheel stuck or clip it on something while trying to make a tight turn and go OTB.
    I don't know if you've ever been to a race before, but this happens in droves on all sizes of bikes in races. You get like maybe a few dozen or hundred riders up front that have the skills AND the physical ability, and then behind them are tons and tons of guys that stall on any technical terrain, regardless of wheelsize. I've seen it time and time again. It tends to frustrate the guys that have the technical ability but not the physical ability...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    I came to this conclusion from my own testing and ( secret) testing of my riding buddies, who mostly ride 29ers, but are starting to see the light in regards to 27.5's.
    I have found on the trails I ride, that climbing where you have to accelerate quickly to clear an obstacle, my 27.5 has a total advantage, tight single track, again advantage 27.5. What surprised me the most though, and we experimented on several occasions, was coasting down on washboard ridden fire roads, my bike just walked away from all the others. I was extremely surprised, I really thought the 29ers would take me on those.
    Here is the rundown of the bikes we are riding; 29ers, 1 Turner Czar, 1 Turner Sultan, 3 Specialized Epics, 1 Stumpjumper, I ride a converted Santa Cruz Blur XCc(27.5), there was also a 26" Stumpjumper. My bike or any other of the bikes are not running ceramic bearings, the tires are similar, I run Racing Ralph's, one of the Epics use Easton carbon wheels, were all about the same size and weight( between 5'8"-6' 2", weight between 150-190, I'm 6', 165 lbs. We are all cat 1 racers except one of the Epic riders who races cat 2, The Czar rider is a ex pro, who doesn't race anymore, but is probably the strongest of all.
    Everyone is going to have there own experiences on the trails they ride, I understand that, from my own, and I think from some of my friends, we've concluded to which works best on our trails.
    Here is

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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    Quote Originally Posted by ptkevin View Post

    Anyone who says its tougher to climb with them needs to hit the squat rack!
    I call BS. "Pedal harder" was one of the most annoying and obnoxious lines coming from born again 29'er Kool Aid riders that turned me and many others, away from 29'ers without even trying them, for years. Once I finally demoed one, well I "got"'it. But also got that on wagon wheels, gear ratios developed for 26" bikes were a dumb idea. Way too high for Joe Average.

    My TBc came as a triple and the first thing I did to it was dump the 44T ring, which is pretty much useless for
    a non racer on a 29'er. All it is good for is scraping rocks on drop offs or getting hung up on logs. There was NEVER a time I needed 44:11 for any section on any terrain, anywhere, ever. Next I swapped the 32T for a 30T. 32T is the sweet spot middle ring for a 26'er, but too high for 29'er for average people. If you are under 40 and race, lifting is a great supplement for training and increasing strength on mtn. bikes. The vast majority of riders, be they highly skilled or just learning, do not fit that profile. Riding and climbing are how they get into shape, stay in shape, and increase fitness by doing it more often and gradually adjusting to more difficult terrain. Completely transforming one's body just to manage poorly designed bicycle gearing is hardly an option. After 10 years of ignoring consumer complaints, in 2014 Shimano is finally coming out with 29'er friendly cranks and rings, Deore 610: 40-30-24T. My TB is "ghetto" 2x10 with 32T bash -30- 24. I never scrape anything, can stay in the 30T most of the time, and can climb steep technical stuff in 24:36.

    So my answer to "pedal harder" and "hit the weight room" is get the gearing effective for your ability and wheel size. Probably a good idea to engage in weight bearing activity
    to supplement your riding, but no need to bulk up.
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  42. #42
    memento mori
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    Leominster,right? I slay those trails up and down on my 29er. Used to on my 26er too.

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    Hilarious or not...
    Depends what side of the fence you looking at.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Having tested this theory with XC HTs using the same wheel, component, and tire set ups, I can tell you that you are wrong.

    29ers have less rolling resistance. Several percentage points lower. They roll faster going uphill, downhill, coasting or hammering the flats. Whereas the 1lb difference between the 26er and 29er is less than 1% of the rider + bike total.
    Just a quick question so dont shoot me down...
    How does the 29r have less rolling resistance with a 5 to 6 % larger contact patch, therefore 5 to 6% more friction? Forgive me if I am wrong but I thought road bikes run 700c tyres at about 1 1/4 inch wide with 120PSI+ in them to keep the contact patch at a minimum to reduce rolling resistance. The smaller the contact patch the less resistance you have.. So any bike with a bigger contact patch on the road will have more friction and therefore more resistance surely???

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    XC riders on 29ers, yeah it it is a difference from 26ers, they might even climb better, if the traction is lacking. Your going to see lots more racers on 27.5's in the coming years though. Most people who are against 27.5's, have never ridden them, the 29er riders that are against them..buyers remorse? envy? Who knows. Having been mtb'n since 1982, I've tried just about every new technology of the times, my favorites, front suspension, rear suspension, disc brakes, dropper seat posts and 27.5 wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tp806 View Post
    Hilarious or not...
    Depends what side of the fence you looking at.

    Coolest thing ive seen. Couldn't stop laughing
    Check out my riding blog:

    http://onetrailatatime.blogspot.com

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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    I ride the E29 just to piss people off.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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    This or That? 27.5 vs 29

    I ride 27.5" because **** you
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  50. #50
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    Step 23.

    "Learn the three major wheel sizes. 26 inch, 27.5 inch, and 29 inch. Now choose your favorite size, and be a dick about it."
    Getting a dropper post is like getting a bidet. I didn't know I needed one until I get one and boy, does my ass thank me.

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