Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 51
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    179

    All Mountain 26er vs. 29er

    I know the topic has been discussed many times. But as strictly an all mountain bike (ie. taking drops, hitting, jump, rolling down knarly rock gardens) which do you prefer? I own several 29ers and a 26er Pivot Mach 5 (140mm 2.4 Arden/flow rims). My 29er FS is a short travel (100mm with flow rims/2.4 RR) Spearfish. As far as overall fun factor on the things I mentioned I really like the 26" Mach 5 a lot. Maybe it's the rider but the 29ers feel sluggish not very fun on jumps and drops. They definitely climb better and roll faster there's not doubt, but if I'm out on a nice easy ride looking to just hit some stuff I think I'd rather be on my 26er. What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    595
    I think that is a fair assessment and I tend to agree. I really hope that very soon wheel size becomes like suspension travel (there is no one best, just a lot of options).

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    354
    Well you already have the 29er so why not a nice new shiny 26er? I have both for whatever mood i'm in
    JUST DO IT

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    179
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan1113 View Post
    Well you already have the 29er so why not a nice new shiny 26er? I have both for whatever mood i'm in
    That exactly what I'm doing. I think for most rides I like my 26er. Its quick and very flickable compared to my 29er. Ill ride my 9er on longer rides where its more about riding for distance than hitting whatever happens to be on the trail. I kind of feel with all the attention being thrown at bigger wheels some of the fun factor is being lost when it comes to 26ers.

  5. #5
    two wheel whore
    Reputation: Shmoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    469
    The Spearfish design is a bit traditional 29er-ish, isn't it?

    Either way, I think this is how most people that like 26 feel.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    206
    My yeti sb95 has been working great for me. Just competed in a local enduro event in hood river, OR and it worked awesome. Course was fast and flowing with some short techy sections. For setting a fast time, the 29er works.

    If there are lots of man made bermed out bowl corners the wheels will flex, and on short transition jumps it seems to require a little more body English to keep level.

  7. #7
    beater
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,307

    All Mountain 26er vs. 29er

    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    The Spearfish design is a bit traditional 29er-ish, isn't it?

    Either way, I think this is how most people that like 26 feel.
    This. I wouldn't expect a Spearfish to feel fun/playful on jumps and drops. It's a XC bike.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: borbntm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    406
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    That exactly what I'm doing. I think for most rides I like my 26er. Its quick and very flickable compared to my 29er. Ill ride my 9er on longer rides where its more about riding for distance than hitting whatever happens to be on the trail. I kind of feel with all the attention being thrown at bigger wheels some of the fun factor is being lost when it comes to 26ers.
    Agreed......It's nice to have both!

  9. #9
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,238
    Exactly, it's always best to compared Apples to Oranges, you always can get to the conclusion you want when you do that sort of absolutely pointless comparison. Why not get a 5" travel, slack angled, shorter stayed 29er designed with the same intents and purposes as the Pivot, then make your conclusion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shmoo View Post
    The Spearfish design is a bit traditional 29er-ish, isn't it?

    Either way, I think this is how most people that like 26 feel.
    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    This. I wouldn't expect a Spearfish to feel fun/playful on jumps and drops. It's a XC bike.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My MTB vids

  10. #10
    undercover brother
    Reputation: tangaroo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    872
    For me, it comes down to feel and playfulness and the fact that I can only have one trail bike. Most 29ers I have ridden have been XC oriented, but I recently got to try out a new carbon tallboy LT. Hoping that after riding it I would cross over to the dark side and join the wagon wheelers. Nope, still felt awkward to me. I enjoy popping off stuff whenever I can, jumping, berms, etc and the big wheels just numb all that a little too much for me, but the roll over factor is nice, but I enjoy the challenge of rock gardens and finding the smoothest line. I am now waiting for my new SB66 to be built and should be picking her up Friday. Now don't get me wrong, if I had to funds for 2 or more high end trail bikes, then I'd have a 29er as well as a 26er, but my studen loan debt does not allow that.

    The problem with the ever prominent wheel size debate is marketing already makes up 40% of your opinion. You read that you will be 29% faster with big wheels, and 27.5% faster with tweeners, so its already in your head, not to mention when you get on MTBR where everyone is professional analyst and tells everyone that riding trails on 26" bikes just doesn't work anymore. Ride a lot of different bikes and make up your mind for yourself. A lot of people are switching to 29ers, a lot of people are switching to 650B, alot of people are going back to 26ers, people are switching to fatbikes, people are still riding rigid singlespeed.

  11. #11
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,927
    the spearfish is not exactly an "am" 29er. use it like it is meant to be used and it is a great bike.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Tystevens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Exactly, it's always best to compared Apples to Oranges, you always can get to the conclusion you want when you do that sort of absolutely pointless comparison. Why not get a 5" travel, slack angled, shorter stayed 29er designed with the same intents and purposes as the Pivot, then make your conclusion.
    I agree with this -- the geometry of the the bikes has as much or more to do with the "feel" than the wheel size, I would expect. I would bet that a comparably slack, low 29'er would feel pretty similar to your am bike.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bigfruits's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    711
    you need two bikes. a 26" steel HT and a 27.5" alum or carbon FS.

  14. #14
    FM
    FM is offline
    luxatio erecta
    Reputation: FM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    8,777
    Wheel size is overrated.. as others have said.
    There are playful 29'ers and dead riding 26'ers. Peoples impressions of 29'ers are largely driven by limited selection from years ago.

    Tystevens is right, if you ride a slack/low 29'er it's much more like a slack/low 26'er. Too many people have compared steep long 29'ers to slack/low 26'ers. No surprise they didn't like 'em!

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    588
    Agree with what a few others have said...there are some playful 29ers, and some sluggish 29ers...same goes for the 26 inch wheels...ive ridden some down right fun and flickable 26ers, but ive also ridden some horrible ones. Really comes down to the actual bike and what its intended use is.

    Im thinking in the very near future youll see more 29ers that can hold their own in the true all mountain/freeride/dh categories. 29ers like the new enduro come to mind...havent ridden one but it looks good on paper. Technology is constantly improving. For me, being on the taller side, i just feel like the wagon wheels fit me better. I still dont think one wheel size will ever own the industry...just gotta ride what feels best to you.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Tystevens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by FM View Post
    Too many people have compared steep long 29'ers to slack/low 26'ers. No surprise they didn't like 'em!
    Yep, just like not all 26'ers feel the same. Yesterday I had occasion to ride my old, probably 71* HTA hard tail after riding my 65* Enduro for the last 2 years (little group ride with the scouts, lent a kid my old HT which, as it turned out, was shifting quite badly, so I switched the kid for my Enduro because I could deal with the shifting issues better). I hadn't ridden that bike on a trail for years, and man, what a difference -- I felt like I was constantly going to endo for the first 10 minutes I was on it.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    179
    Point taken. I haven't been out on a slack 29er FS thus far. I might have to try out my buddy's new Tallboy LTc to get a feel for it. One other thing I forgot to mention, the 29ers I currently have in my stable in addition to the Spearfish are an On One Scandal V2, and a Vassago Jabberwocky. The Jabber full rigid SS. It doesn't like to be thrown around so I keep it pretty much glued to the ground. However it climbs like a billy goat. The On One is set up as a fully rigid 1x9 and feels a little better when thrown up in the air. It requires a little more work to get the wagon wheels up but still feels fairly nimble for a 29er. I'd be less hesitant to do more with it if I had a suspension fork on it rather than a rigid carbon fork.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    7
    I ride a BMC FS 26er and never have trouble climbing, jumping or anything. My buddy rides a rockhopper 29er and is always having to true his wheels up. Maybe just a bad wheel, but it seems like a larger wheel is more likely to bend.

  19. #19
    beater
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,307
    Maybe, but again, the wheels that come stock on a Rockhopper aren't the best basis for considering what an AM bike will handle.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  20. #20
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    17,238
    Fix it for ya....
    Quote Originally Posted by kbro225 View Post
    I ride an Orange and never have trouble climbing, jumping or anything. My buddy rides a Mango and is always having to true his wheels up. I'm comparing two things to each other that are nothing alike except that they're orange .
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
    MTB Barbados
    My MTB vids

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    240
    Didn't you get the memo from the bike industry? You are supposed to buy a 650b this year, because it is the most bestest thing ever.

    I would love to try a Tallboy LT or Devinci Atlas, but I would still lean 26 for a "true" all mountain bike. Having both 26 and 29 is my ultimate goal

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    246
    Dare I recommend the Pivot 27.5 Firebird.
    '10 Marin MountVision 650b conversion

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    I agree with this -- the geometry of the the bikes has as much or more to do with the "feel" than the wheel size, I would expect. I would bet that a comparably slack, low 29'er would feel pretty similar to your am bike.
    I agree 100& with this. I have an all mountain type 26er that handles almost like a XC 29er when it comes to turning. I suppose from the slacker head angle and longer wheel base than my XC 26er. The geometry of my two 26er changes the way the 2 bikes handle, obviously its not the wheel size.

    I say to ride a number of different bikes, with different wheels sizes and geometries, then ride what you like, regardless of what anyone else says you "should" do.
    I would rather walk my bike through the woods, than sit on the couch doing nothing.
    Bike Buddy Creations

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AllMountin''s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    301
    I don't *always* ride all mountain... but when I do... I ride Dos Nueve.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,981
    I still have trouble with XC, All-mountain, Trail bike, etc, etc.....seems like a lot of micro-classifications here.

    But it's all good for 'bidness!
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Can a Rocky Mountain Element 26er convert to 650b?
    By LowOnO2 in forum 27.5 - 650b
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-01-2013, 08:19 AM
  2. change all mountain 26er to all mountain 29er
    By brunomu in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-23-2013, 08:00 PM
  3. Has anyone gone from 26er to 29er and back to 26er?
    By grendelos in forum Colorado - Front Range
    Replies: 68
    Last Post: 11-22-2012, 07:21 AM
  4. FS 26er to HT 29er?
    By GT5050 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 08-10-2012, 10:41 PM
  5. Best 26er all mountain hard tail........
    By 69ERCAT in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 117
    Last Post: 01-22-2011, 12:15 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •