1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    29er or higher spec 26er?

    It's been a while since I've hit the trails so I'm back to square one. I ride in the DFW area (river legacy and big cedar wilderness) and I'm having a hard time deciding between a 29er and 26er. Specifically between the 2013 Marin Bolinas Ridge Hydro and the 2013 Marin Pioneer Trail 29er. I think I'd like a 29er best but the 26er has better specs. I am not trying to spark another 26 vs 29 debate. I just want to know if the 29er in this case is worth it over the 26er with better spec due to wheel size alone.

  2. #2
    R.I.P. DogFriend
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    Biggest difference I see (that would be noticeable) is that the 29er is 8 speed vs 9 speed on the 26". And I don't really see that as a big disadvantage on the trail provided you can climb with the 32t rear cog on 29" wheels. I'd rather ride the right bike with 8 speeds than the wrong bike with 9 speeds. . . . . IF it's the right bike.

  3. #3
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    Test ride them,how tall are you? What the trails like around there? 29er's are little better on more open riding and roll over stuff better .26er's are a little better in the tight stuff. You are the only one who knows which one you like better.

  4. #4
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    If you can test-ride any 29er and see how it feels, do it. Both bikes are entry-level spec so in my 6',1" world the 29er would be the no-brainer. If you're a smaller guy/gal then maybe a 26" will feel better. Also depends what type of trail you're going to ride. A 29er rolls over bigger chunk better, although it may be a bit heavier. Either one of those bikes will probably be north of the 30# mark.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local chapter. It's trail karma.

  5. #5
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    I see their specs as being pretty similar. Why not look into other bikes as well?

  6. #6
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    I'm average height so I don't think that will be an issue. I've had stability issues with my GT 26 ht. Also, 29ers seem to be the most popular by far in my area. Cross country trails with compact clay/dirt with some hills and rocky areas. I'm leaning towards the 29er despite having lower specs.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    An entry-level 29er isn't going to be a huge improvement over an entry-level 26" bike. I do like the new wheel size better, but if both of these new bikes are fairly comparable to your GT, I think you're better off starting by putting some more miles on the GT and figuring out what's wrong with it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    An entry-level 29er isn't going to be a huge improvement over an entry-level 26" bike. I do like the new wheel size better, but if both of these new bikes are fairly comparable to your GT, I think you're better off starting by putting some more miles on the GT and figuring out what's wrong with it.
    Sold the other bike to a friend who needed it. I'm a full time college student and can't afford the bikes I'd really love to have. Either way I think I'll be more satisfied with the HT 29er for my kind of riding.

  9. #9
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    It really depends on the riding you want to do. I love my 29er HT and my 26 FS for different reasons.

  10. #10
    duh
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    Quote Originally Posted by KogKiller View Post
    I'm average height so I don't think that will be an issue. I've had stability issues with my GT 26 ht. Also, 29ers seem to be the most popular by far in my area. Cross country trails with compact clay/dirt with some hills and rocky areas. I'm leaning towards the 29er despite having lower specs.
    Test ride both, don't go by what others ride. You need to ride what fits and is more comfortable for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KogKiller View Post
    Sold the other bike to a friend who needed it. I'm a full time college student and can't afford the bikes I'd really love to have. Either way I think I'll be more satisfied with the HT 29er for my kind of riding.
    If you really want a 29er then get it. I would not make the same choice, but I am not you. You need to be happy with what you ride and if the 29er does then get it.

    Personally gear ratios are important. I have a 3x9 on my bike and like having the 34 rear despite it being a 26er. I would not want a 32 rear cog as my biggest on a 29er even with a 22 small front ring. However we are not the same, but that ok.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  12. #12
    Redcoat
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    Quote Originally Posted by moefosho View Post
    It really depends on the riding you want to do. I love my 29er HT and my 26 FS for different reasons.
    what Yoda said.

  13. #13
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    I don't see that much of a difference in spec to go with the 26er over 29er for the type of riding you are going to do. I'm also in DFW and ride those trails all the time (Big Cedar and EKG loop at Legacy are a blast!). There's a reason 29ers rule the roost here...all we have is XC. But get the one that lights your fire. My buddy still loves his 26er and I still see quite a bit of 26ers at BC and Sansom.

    Have you tried the used market? You can get a lot more for your money. Granted, it's a bit slow this time of year, in general, but I've had good luck with the buy/sell section on dorba.org.

    Off topic, have you ridden Sansom in Fort Worth? Awesome trail. Also check out Northshore and Solavaca Ranch if you haven't already.

    Good luck! Holler if you need a riding partner some time.

    -Brandon

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty B View Post
    I don't see that much of a difference in spec to go with the 26er over 29er for the type of riding you are going to do. I'm also in DFW and ride those trails all the time (Big Cedar and EKG loop at Legacy are a blast!). There's a reason 29ers rule the roost here...all we have is XC.

    Have you tried the used market? You can get a lot more for your money. Granted, it's a bit slow this time of year, in general, but I've had good luck with the buy/sell section on dorba.org.

    Off topic, have you ridden Sansom in Fort Worth? Awesome trail. Also check out Northshore and Solavaca Ranch if you haven't already.

    Good luck! Holler if you need a riding partner some time.

    -Brandon
    I'm gonna look into those other trails. Thanks!

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