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  1. #1
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    Big Wheels Be Damned

    It wasn't long ago that I blissfuly went for bike rides with friends and shot the $%*+ about all manner of things. Everything except wheel size! Now I can't bump into anyone with out having to compare notes on, "how are you digging 650B bro"? Or, "How were those switchbacks on that 29'r"?
    Guess what. I just bought the bike of my dreams and it's a good old fashioned 26'r man! Apples and and oranges. Different strokes for different folks, right? I know the science says that bigger wheels are more efficient and carry more momentum but smaller wheels are quicker, more nimble, and still go pretty damn fast. I'm looking forward to the wheel revolution losing some of that momentum so we can get back to talking about beer, backcountry trips, and how sick your last ride was.

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I bought my Enduro 29er 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.

  3. #3
    passed out in your garden
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    I'll happily talk beer with you, as the size of my beer is more important than the size of my wheels
    2012 Trek Rumblefish Elite
    Frankenbike (Pump/BMX track bike)
    1993 Colnago Elegant

  4. #4
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    Everyone wants to be faster than their friends. New stuff is bright and shiny and dangles that promise. No-one wants to accept that speed comes from genetics and training, not the bike. There will always be gear talk, and for a while to come it will be about wheel size.

  5. #5
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    I can understand reduced rr, but more momentum? thats been debunked on most motor sports for decades. Heavier wheels are never an advantage.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing! View Post
    I can understand reduced rr, but more momentum? thats been debunked on most motor sports for decades. Heavier wheels are never an advantage.
    Yes, more momentum. Momentum = Mass x Velocity. So, more mass at a given velocity = more momentum. You can argue that it doesn't matter, or it doesn't have an effect, but you can't argue that the bigger wheels don't carry more momentum; they do.

  7. #7
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    I only discuss bottom brackets while riding.

  8. #8
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    No-one wants to accept that speed comes from genetics and training, not the bike.
    AKA: G-wat

  9. #9
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    I'm gonna go slap both my parents. I inherited being slow.
    AKA: G-wat

  10. #10
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    Yeah, speed does come from genetics and training, but that same exact person may be faster on a better bike right.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I only discuss bottom brackets while riding.
    this.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  12. #12
    undercover brother
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    Quote Originally Posted by jredling View Post
    Yeah, speed does come from genetics and training, but that same exact person may be faster on a better bike right.
    So wheel size makes a bike better?

  13. #13
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    No, I just mean in general. I don't believe that bigger wheels are better. I love my 26 enduro.

  14. #14
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    Buddy of mine rides a 29er and he says it's not as nimble as his 26.

    I ride a 26 and can get smoked by a better rider on a 24, 26, 27.5, 29, etc. Which is pretty much anyone on the trail. I'm seriously slow...

    I'm not as experienced as many on this forum, but I've found that putting strength and endurance aside, technique and proper bike setup is the key element to efficiency whether bicycles, motorcycles, guitars, etc...

    Best bike? The one you're enjoying riding...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    I only discuss bottom brackets while riding.
    Man, with all the BB "standards" you have conversation for miles and miles of riding.

  16. #16
    unrooted
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    I'm pretty sure there are pros and cons to every wheel size, and you should personally evaluate those and apply them to the type of riding you plan on doing.

    Wheels and bike frames should never be onesizefitsall.

    I am 6'4" tall and for xc/trail riding it makes sense to me to ride a 29er. For my 5'8" wife that ALWAYS keeps the wheels on the ground it has made her a much more stable rider to use 29" wheels. Last month I demoed a 6" travel Ibis 26er, I was not stoked on the rocky uphill, but I had a blast throwing it around on the rocky downhill.

    I am over talking wheel size as well. I would much rather talk about how much fun the trails are, tech tips, good food/beer, etc.

  17. #17
    29ers Forever
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    Yes, 29ers are somewhat slower and turn not nearly as well, but with improved rollover, and the fact that once a 29er is up to speed, there is NO stopping it. Where a 26er would be slowed down in ruts and such, a 29er rolls over everything.
    The only thing stopping a 29er is a tree, or another biker in the way.
    2013 Trek Cobia- 29er
    2015 Raleigh Misceo- Gravel bike
    2013 Trek 3700 Disk- 26er
    1994 Cannondale R300- narrow tire roadie

  18. #18
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    Who the hell wants to talk about beer? I want to drink it, plus a
    shot of good whiskey.

  19. #19
    Merendon Junkie
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    I am a tad faster on my 29er in most of the trails I ride but more momentum is not an advantage. Its a disadvantage. The benefits mainly come from the angle of attack, bb position vs hub axles etc but definitely not from increased rolling momentum. If you loose less speed in a bump because the wheel is heavier, thus more momentum, it takes more effort to recover that speed vs a lighter wheel, because of that same said momentum. On a long and sustained climb, that momentum (mass) is always working against you, but the increased rollover more than compensates (not on a smooth climb). Its funny how marketing guys turn cons into pros that easily.

    Cheers!

  20. #20
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    Get a 29er FS frame and put 26ers on it, and a square taper spindle BB.
    Frozen Trails... err

  21. #21
    squish, squish in da fish
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    ^^^ LOL!!! coffee now in sinus cavity

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    Who the hell wants to talk about beer?
    blasphemy!

    i only talk about stem size and nipples

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haymarket View Post
    Yes, more momentum. Momentum = Mass x Velocity. So, more mass at a given velocity = more momentum. You can argue that it doesn't matter, or it doesn't have an effect, but you can't argue that the bigger wheels don't carry more momentum; they do.
    by that logic you could achieve the same effect by adding weight to a roller skate wheel. It's true that at a given speed a heavier bike has more momentum, and yet conventional wisdom holds that lighter is better. I don't see people adding weight to their bikes; maybe they are so dumb the only way they can figure out how is with bigger wheels?

    I know this will come as a shock to some, but there really is more to engineering than googling a couple high school physics lessons.

  24. #24
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    ride.

  25. #25
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    Yay, another wheel size rant! Why does wheel size cause so much drama? Why does it require a debate? Why does the "other" wheel size make people angry? Why do people have such an allegiance to something so trivial? I don't get it.

    The best example is in Brian Lopes' book "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills", in that book, Brian has very strong (and silly) opinions against 29'ers. Guess what he rides now?

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