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  1. #1
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    What's wrong with a 26 inch wheel

    NOOB, Thinking about picking up a focus raven and some on this site think I should not get it because its a 26. Most of my riding on this bike will be commuting and training on not very challenging courses. Picked up a stumpjumper FSR comp last week for serious off rode riding.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by caljah View Post
    NOOB, Thinking about picking up a focus raven and some on this site think I should not get it because its a 26. Most of my riding on this bike will be commuting and training on not very challenging courses. Picked up a stumpjumper FSR comp last week for serious off rode riding.

    Thanks
    buy what you need and what fits you. Fit is the #1 thing you should consider. Second value, and third is wheel size. 29ers are popular for the same reason that iphones are. Not because they do anything better than the other options it is just what is popular now. If you go back in 2 years I bet the bike shop is pushing 650B/27.5 bikes as relevant.

    Get what you like, mtbr is opinion and 26er vs. 29er so subjective. Ride some of both, pick the one that fits you best and fits in your budget and the one you like the best. It will be the best choice!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    buy what you need and what fits you. Fit is the #1 thing you should consider. Second value, and third is wheel size. 29ers are popular for the same reason that iphones are. Not because they do anything better than the other options it is just what is popular now. If you go back in 2 years I bet the bike shop is pushing 650B/27.5 bikes as relevant.

    Get what you like, mtbr is opinion and 26er vs. 29er so subjective. Ride some of both, pick the one that fits you best and fits in your budget and the one you like the best. It will be the best choice!
    I know you're an admin and all, but I don't think saying there are no advantages/disadvantages between wheels sizes is the right thing to say on a beginner forum.
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    I would say wheel size is fourth behind geometry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I know you're an admin and all, but I don't think saying there are no advantages/disadvantages between wheels sizes is the right thing to say on a beginner forum.
    No but the advantages and disadvantages are outweighed by getting a bike that fits. I rode 26ers for decades and didn't hate them and I have ridden a 29er for around 8 years now and don't hate it but if they didn't fit me I would most certainly hate it.

    Jon Richards I usually consider geometry as part of fit as a bike with slack geometry is designed for a certain purpose and will fit differently than a bike with steep geometry designed for a certain purpose.

    I highly recommend with any new rider to go to a shop, don't let them steer you towards what they sell but instead have them size you to a bike, then decide after test rides and research what suits your riding style, terrain and needs based on the fit you have determined as optimal.

    As a bike for commuting I would consider a cyclocross bike myself or a comfort road bike over a 26er anyways.
    Try this: HTFU

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    I highly recommend with any new rider to go to a shop, don't let them steer you towards what they sell but instead have them size you to a bike, then decide after test rides and research what suits your riding style, terrain and needs based on the fit you have determined as optimal.

    As a bike for commuting I would consider a cyclocross bike myself or a comfort road bike over a 26er anyways.
    Great advice!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post

    As a bike for commuting I would consider a cyclocross bike myself or a comfort road bike over a 26er anyways.
    This was where I was going with my comment. Why would anyone buy a 26er for road/commuting. Yes the bike has to fit, but there advantages and disadvantages to the different sizes or we'd see 26ers on the tour, after all smaller lighter wheels right?
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    If you already have a MTB think about a road bike. You can ride when the weather's not cooperating and good to commute on too. Ride lots of bikes either way and buy what fits best and what feels comfortable.

    29ers do all the boring stuff better 26ers are just more fun to ride.
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  9. #9
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    Measure a 700c road wheel/tire diameter and a 26" MTB wheel/tire diameter.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Measure a 700c road wheel/tire diameter and a 26" MTB wheel/tire diameter.
    Just make sure that there are slicks on the 26er for an apples-to-apples comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I know you're an admin and all, but I don't think saying there are no advantages/disadvantages between wheels sizes is the right thing to say on a beginner forum.
    I think it's precisely what needed to be said in the beginner's forum. Too many noobs are choosing and recommending 29ers like it's the cure to all problems. Many short riders want to get a 29er because a 5'2" Willow Koerber race with it. I own all 3 mtb wheel sizes so far (too short for the 36") I don't see one more superior than the others, that said there are times I would choose one over the others for the fun factor as there are more than one way to ride the same trail


    I like them all but clearly none are better than the other over all for an avg rider. If you are 6'5" or a racer yeah I'd tipped the scale to the bigger wheel.

  12. #12
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    All things being equal, it's really hard to say that there aren't advantages and disadvantages to the 29er. Saying it's only around because it's fashionable sounds like one person's jaded opinion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    All things being equal, it's really hard to say that there aren't advantages and disadvantages to the 29er. Saying it's only around because it's fashionable sounds like one person's jaded opinion...
    Most opinions are bias, that's the nature of opinions. They are based on personal experience

    29ers are not the answer to all mountain biking, they are slower, heavier, and bigger. Sure the opposite can be a good thing that they are more stable, offer more traction and more forgiving than smaller wheels. These are the main reasons people buy them.

    Racers can get away with using the 29er HT on a well groomed race course without the extra weight of the full suspension. They also have the skills to compensate any big wheel disadvantages.

    Noobs may like them because they are less twichy and a bit more forgiving on the descends, and offer more comfort than smaller wheels. Is it better than 26er overall, not really. It's kinda like getting a gel cover saddle or one with thick gel insert. It feels great at the show room or riding around the parking lot, but the more you ride the smaller and firmer saddle you'd preferred as long as it fits the sit bone. The point is many riders prefer the more responsive bike once they have improved their trail riding skills and 26ers seem to fill that need.

    Many new riders write 26er, and 650b off because they have 29ers or thinking that 29er would be better than the pos size they are riding, well give one a try first before posting general comment. I ride all wheels combo so far including 69, and 76 and while they are fun in their own way overall the pros and cons would wash out. However, if you are up for a certain kind of challenge one day and choose the right weapon to attack that trail in a certain way, yeah!! One wheel size or combo would be more superior than others.

  14. #14
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    I think 29ers are pretty cool, but they don't make me hate my 26er. Actually, by the end of the last extended demo I did on a 29er, I mostly missed having my cockpit setup, my front tire (even if it is smaller) and my fenders. That was on a wonderbike SRAM had on a tour promoting RockShox. Kinda get the wrong message from demo days lately...

    OP, for commuting it matters even less, depending on the riding environment. I find that most of the time I lose on a typical commute is spent standing at stop lights. I don't do that any faster on a road bike than a mountain bike. Look for something used for about $300 - you won't mind so much as it gets chewed up by being leaned against bike racks and whatnot. That said, I do prefer a road bike as a commuter. I get a fair number of hours on drop bars anyway, between pleasure rides, training, and lately doing some track racing. Drop bars are nicer to my shoulders. So for me, unless there's a reason to be on a mountain bike - in order to go mountain biking, generally - I'd rather be on a drop bar bike of some description.
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    The OP wants a commuter bike. A 26er would be fine for that. I much prefer a MTB with slick tyres than a road bike. Far more relaxed, comfortable ride for me than being on a razor thin frame with razor thin tyres and can take the occasional bumps of kerbs, potholes, sidewalks etc. Road bikes are great for training rides, racing, fitness etc but for a basic city commuter I'd take a basic hardtail MTB with slicks any day.

  16. #16
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    I love this site. It's like being at my dinner table. It could be 70 degrees and sunny outside, and if you asked what's the weather is like, you would get 5 different response. But they will all say its great, but to different degrees. Heading to test the focus raven now. Will be riding it to a trail, then some on the trail. I will let you all know what I think.

    But keep responding, it's a great way for me to learn.

    Thanks

  17. #17
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    Get one of each, I have both 26 and 29 and ride them all when I can.
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  18. #18
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    There are loads of threads there on mtbr discussing 29 vs 26, which is better, or if it matters. All you are going to get here is the sliver of those opinions from folks why happen to open this thread.

    I will say that I think most people are going to find a 29er to be a better match for what you are describing needing the bike for. I'm basing this on what I have seen happen among the folks I know that have been riding a long time. Almost all (except the gravity / DJ guys) have migrated from 26 to 29 on at least their hardtails.

    Also, if your stumpjumper is a 26er, why not mix it up?

    On the other hand, "most" people is not the same as "all" people. Thus no one can give you a definitive answer.

    I would not fret over this too much at this point. Even the most die-hard 29er zealots were enjoying riding bikes before 29ers, so its not like you are making a BAD move getting the 26er.

    Of course it has to fit, that should go without saying.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  19. #19
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    OP: If you like the bike get it. Someone else's opinion on wheel size is just that, an opinion....

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by caljah View Post
    NOOB, Thinking about picking up a focus raven and some on this site think I should not get it because its a 26. Most of my riding on this bike will be commuting and training on not very challenging courses. Picked up a stumpjumper FSR comp last week for serious off rode riding.

    Thanks
    i think it depends on your taste..ok, this is similar when people choose 100mm fork or 120mm fork..if you like the 26, then use it, or you like riding the 29, so use the 29..let's make cycling fun, just cycling, feel the air, see the scenery, and feel free!!!

    woohooo!!!

  21. #21
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    Picked up the focus raven today, heading to LBS to have some slicks put on and then going for a ride. Very excited. Rode the bike around and loved it. Everything is in perfect shape, it's amazing how the bike handles. It's more of a bike than I will need for the next couple of months but, I will certainly grow into it.

    P.s. the guy threw in new pair of scott team shoes.

    For the price and purpose, I did very well. Thanks for all the feedback, but for me, this 26 will be perfect for the near future.

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    Re: What's wrong with a 26 inch wheel

    A mountain bike generally is not a good commuter bike unless you commute on a path that needs it.

    A $300 used beater cyclocross or road is faster than an $7000 mountain bike.

    What kinds of conditions will this bike be ridden on and in?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by caljah View Post
    Picked up the focus raven today, heading to LBS to have some slicks put on and then going for a ride. Very excited. Rode the bike around and loved it. Everything is in perfect shape, it's amazing how the bike handles. It's more of a bike than I will need for the next couple of months but, I will certainly grow into it.

    P.s. the guy threw in new pair of scott team shoes.

    For the price and purpose, I did very well. Thanks for all the feedback, but for me, this 26 will be perfect for the near future.
    Congrats man. Most of us would love to own a FSR and a HT but many of us have to settle for one or the other. In about a week you have gone from no bike to two great bikes. Congrats dude. Now get out and enjoy them!

  24. #24
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    My commuter/rail trail bike is an older 26er hardtail, my first real mountain bike from back then. It's sporting a 1x9 drivetrain, semi slicks, and rim brakes. Although I have drank the kool-aid with the whole 29er thing and I do own and love my carbon roadie, in this application wheel size isn't very important. The tires roll fast and the gearing is good and it fits me, for pavement this is all I need, wheel size is inconsequential.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    buy what you need and what fits you. Fit is the #1 thing you should consider. Second value, and third is wheel size. 29ers are popular for the same reason that iphones are. Not because they do anything better than the other options it is just what is popular now.

    Get what you like, mtbr is opinion and 26er vs. 29er so subjective. Ride some of both, pick the one that fits you best and fits in your budget and the one you like the best. It will be the best choice!
    What you say is somewhat true. However, 29'ers are faster on the street then 26'ers. I have 2, 26'ers and while I do enjoy riding them I end up spinning the top gear (street riding) and it is a noticeable difference. When I get back on the 29'er I am faster (tracked on gps data). I think that there are great deals out there on 26'er with good components that are selling at a discount which makes them a great deal. If you are looking to get back into the sport or starting something new a 26'er is a great place to start due to price point in the market. On the trails the 29'er shines as well except for tight rock gardens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caljah View Post
    ... Most of my riding on this bike will be commuting and training on not very challenging courses. Picked up a stumpjumper FSR comp last week for serious off rode riding...
    I agree w/ rockcrusher - it sounds like you're looking for a CX bike!

  27. #27
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    My experience as a "noob" whos hopped on a dozen different bikes and styles in the last year trying to find an ideal... your body will tell you whats right for you.

    There is no wrong. Super nice rides of all styles exist but your body and the bikes "geometry" will tell you whats right for you.

  28. #28
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    I did not read any of the other responses so what I say may be a repeat, but here's my thoughts....

    Not a darn thing wrong with a 26" bike, if it fits you and it matched the style of riding you want to do. I started on a 26" bike and loved it. I'm a big guy though. I tried a 29er and it was amazing, for me. The larger bike just fit me better and it match my style better. I am not a finesse rider that can take advantage of the 26"er's lighter more maneuverable size. I roll over stuff like a tank and mash pedals. 29er was perfect for me. I'd get out and try as many bikes as you can and figure out what's right for you and go for it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    29ers are popular for the same reason that iphones are. Not because they do anything better than the other options it is just what is popular now.
    That's a load of crap. Anyone that's ridden both knows full well they both do different things. Each has pros and cons but I wouldn't say one is better than the other, just different, and YES, they are different.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    All things being equal, it's really hard to say that there aren't advantages and disadvantages to the 29er. Saying it's only around because it's fashionable sounds like one person's jaded opinion...
    I don't know . . . I think there may be some truth in the "fashion" statement. I was open to any wheel size when I purchased my latest bike last week, and I was looking forward to comparing the different wheel sizes. Well, the LBS made it easy: they only had 29ers in the bikes I was looking at ("adventure" or "beefy" XC bikes), at the price point I was looking at. To get a 26er, the price point was lower and I would have been investing in a slew of new parts. It was quite disappointing.

    As a 5'10" woman, I've always found that unisex (or men's) 18"-19" XC bikes are a great fit. I had a really hard time getting a good fit this time. My choices were 17" or 19". The 17" bikes were too short in the top tube, and I'm not a fan of long stems (which the 17" bike would have needed). The 19" bikes, with basically perfect frame geometry for me, had me barely able to touch the ground when on the saddle.

    I decided to purchase and try the 19" bike with the 29" wheels, but I may live to regret it. If the LBS had carried the 26" version of the bikes (all of the bikes I looked at are available with 26" wheels . . . but I'm guessing that the LBS is caving to fashion trends) there is no doubt in my mind that I would have left with a 19" frame and 26" wheels. This is not a small bike shop. It is one of the biggest in Calgary, with a huge inventory. One can point out virtually anything on the floor and they've got it in every frame size . . . just don't ask for 26" wheels.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    . Fit is the #1 thing you should consider. Second value, and third is wheel size. 29ers are popular for the same reason that iphones are. Not because they do anything better than the other options it is just what is popular now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    That's a load of crap. Anyone that's ridden both knows full well they both do different things. Each has pros and cons but I wouldn't say one is better than the other, just different, and YES, they are different.
    Wait you called BS on his post but said the same thing he did??

    I know this is a beginners forum that's why the info on this forum has to be even more accurate than any other forum because noobs can't and usually won't argue the point back. There are more than one way and more than one school of thoughts and posters who ask the question should consider all side.

    I have nothing against new trend heck I get two or three new gadgets every year and twice to three times that on new bikes at one point, but reading some "best thing since sliced bread" recommendations every time a noob post "what bike to get?" is just silly and irresponsible in my bias opinion

  32. #32
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    No, he says they are the same but that the 29ers are just the current fashion. He states they do nothing different. I said one isn't better than the other, they each have their own pros and cons. Different from each other but not better than the other.

  33. #33
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    What's wrong with a 26 inch wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    No, he says they are the same but that the 29ers are just the current fashion. He states they do nothing different. I said one isn't better than the other, they each have their own pros and cons. Different from each other but not better than the other.
    I think you've misread the post, I know English is not my first language but if he said that I must have missed it, because after I read the post I agree with what he said. His follow up post even mentioned that there are pros and cons on both, but it meant nothing if OP get the bike that does not fit.

    Personally, I think the 29er fad among noobs is like a clipless pedal sort of way. The rite of passage mentality keeping up with the trend. While I don't think any wheel sizes are trends and more choices are always better for consumers there are plenty of posts trying to validates the benefit of 29ers.

    I like what Andrew said about liking the 29ers does not mean hating 26. It was spot-on, wish I can rep you again drew.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neacail View Post
    ... The 19" bikes, with basically perfect frame geometry for me, had me barely able to touch the ground when on the saddle....
    That's not a bad thing. At proper seat height, I can't touch the ground while seated on any of my 3 bikes. I either stand over the top tube, or lean it over with one foot on the ground. I never stand on the bike while seated, there's really no reason to have to be able to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    ....Personally, I think the 29er fad among noobs is like a clipless pedal sort of way. The rite of passage mentality keeping up with the trend. While I don't think any wheel sizes are trends and more choices are always better for consumers there are plenty of posts trying to validates the benefit of 29ers....
    Funny, I don't see running clipless as a fad. When I first started riding in the 90's, everyone either ran clipless or beartraps with clips/straps (that's what I ran). I never saw anyone riding BMX pedals (platforms) on anything other than a BMX.

    To me, platforms are the fad, while the clipless is more of the standard. I f'ing LOVE my clipless on the trail. I just got a set of the platform/clipless as yes, I sometimes fall over in really technical terrain as I'm not the most coordinated person, so being able to unclip and run o nthe flat side during really techy stuff is nice, but using the platform at any other time just feels awkward as hell.

    And when I got my 'cross bike last month, my first ride out on it was on a set of platforms I had (I just wanted to get out and ride it), and my first ride with clipless I gained just about 2mph avg speed over the same route.

    Anyhoo, I love my 26'er, but I wouldn't not get a 29'er. Depends on the trail I guess. For really tight trails, I imagine a 29'er being a bit unwieldy, but I can see the larger wheel being an asset in the really technical stuff as being able to roll over obstacles more easily.

    Even though 29 is the latest, greatest thing, I still see a place for 26" wheels, and they are by no means "dead" as I've seen stated in other places on this site.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I know you're an admin and all, but I don't think saying there are no advantages/disadvantages between wheels sizes is the right thing to say on a beginner forum.
    I ride a 26" bike and don't think any one needs a 29. If you like the way the 29er rides go for it. However a 26" bike can be as good or better even for a beginner. If the bike fits, rides well and is a good price who cares what the wheel size is. For anyone just starting it is best to get a solid bike under them first.
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    Get one of each, then you can truly decide whats better or worse, I used to ride both 26 and 29 but sold the 26 so now its just the two 29ers. Do I think they corner as good as a 26, nope, mines pretty nimble but not near as twitchy as my 26 was. Can I accelerate as fast on my 29 yep, some say they are slow I say get stronger legs and stop whining.

    Do they roll over stuff easier hell yeah, rooty sections now are just hammer town no more having to worry about stalling on roots that may cup your front wheel if you know what I mean.

    Are my times faster yep, do I love my 29er yep ,do I say its the best bike ever, nope. It works for me and thats the point, get what works for you be it 26, 27.5 or a 29er. Get one and ride the shit out of it, and most importantly have fun!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I ride a 26" bike and don't think any one needs a 29. If you like the way the 29er rides go for it. However a 26" bike can be as good or better even for a beginner. If the bike fits, rides well and is a good price who cares what the wheel size is. For anyone just starting it is best to get a solid bike under them first.
    This will come across as rude, but your comment is opinion. The fact of the matter is the different wheel sizes do have advantages/disadvantages and that is what my comment was directed at. A beginner shouldn't be told there is no difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    This will come across as rude, but your comment is opinion. The fact of the matter is the different wheel sizes do have advantages/disadvantages and that is what my comment was directed at. A beginner shouldn't be told there is no difference.
    The differences won't make a difference to a beginner. They still need to learn balance and pedal the bike. I started on 26" and guess what? I did not die or kill myself. The only thing a beginner needs to start with is a solid bike that won't break on them.

    The differences in 26 vs 29 come down to things like roll over, low speed cornering, agility, and acceleration. None of which a beginner needs to be particularly concerned about. What the beginner needs to learn is pedal technique, standing on descents to let the legs do the work, being relaxed and not tensing up. They need to learn to keep the bike rolling on climbs or descents to prevent it falling over. They need to learn to use the brakes and gears properly as well as basic cornering and probably some fitness. All of this can be learned on either bike. 29ers make somethings easier, but others harder.

    In fact the best bike for a beginner is probably an entry level 26" hardtail. Nothing fancy, but basic solid low cost bike. No need to spend lots of $$$ on fancy bike when you start as there is so much to learn. Start on something like this and learn basic riding skills and get basic fitness. Over time you can learn what style of riding best suits your desires and favorite trails. Then get the bike that fit this the best. It could be 29er FS or DH bike.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5",Vassago Verhauen SS 29" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  39. #39
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    I own both, I love both and I ride both on a weekly basis. My times around courses are very similar on both bikes. In the end, its all about the motor, you still have to pedal them both. You carry more momentum with the 29 so you loose less speed when going through the rough but it takes more energy to recover that speed than it would on a smaller or lighter wheel. Simple physics. Its all a give and take. You will get a slight advantage on a 29er on some types of terrain just as your will for other types of terrain on a 26er.

  40. #40
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    Very few, if ANY, beginners will be paid to go fast on a MTB. I don't understand the infatuation with someone riding for fitness and fun being caught up with efficiency. Making shit easier does not burn calories or, necessarily, make an activity more fun/enjoyable.

    Quit trying to impress other dudes and ride your ****ing bike.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Very few, if ANY, beginners will be paid to go fast on a MTB. I don't understand the infatuation with someone riding for fitness and fun being caught up with efficiency. Making shit easier does not burn calories or, necessarily, make an activity more fun/enjoyable.

    Quit trying to impress other dudes and ride your ****ing bike.
    Right on!!! Just get out on the trail with a bike that fits (26er or 29er) and have FUN...that's what it's all about. I'm never in a hurry to get back home
    SWING YOUR LEG OVER IT AND PEDAL

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Very few, if ANY, beginners will be paid to go fast on a MTB. I don't understand the infatuation with someone riding for fitness and fun being caught up with efficiency. Making shit easier does not burn calories or, necessarily, make an activity more fun/enjoyable.

    Quit trying to impress other dudes and ride your ****ing bike.
    I'll go ahead and trade in my BMW for a Kia then... Ya know, because going fast and having a well built car is soooooooo not the point right? Being able to go faster, turn tighter, shift better, etc (ie. efficiency) all make for a more fun experience whether it's biking or driving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    I'll go ahead and trade in my BMW for a Kia then... Ya know, because going fast and having a well built car is soooooooo not the point right? Being able to go faster, turn tighter, shift better, etc (ie. efficiency) all make for a more fun experience whether it's biking or driving.
    You are masturbating with a chamois glove. Last time I checked, you aren't driving your BMW for fitness. And your analogy that all 26" bikes are equal to a Kia while 29" bikes are BMWs is equally silly. It's more like arguing over whether your Kia is faster with 18" wheels vs 20" wheels. It's a ****ing Kia and you are Walter Mitty.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neacail View Post
    I don't know . . . I think there may be some truth in the "fashion" statement. I was open to any wheel size when I purchased my latest bike last week, and I was looking forward to comparing the different wheel sizes. Well, the LBS made it easy: they only had 29ers in the bikes I was looking at ("adventure" or "beefy" XC bikes), at the price point I was looking at. To get a 26er, the price point was lower and I would have been investing in a slew of new parts. It was quite disappointing.

    As a 5'10" woman, I've always found that unisex (or men's) 18"-19" XC bikes are a great fit. I had a really hard time getting a good fit this time. My choices were 17" or 19". The 17" bikes were too short in the top tube, and I'm not a fan of long stems (which the 17" bike would have needed). The 19" bikes, with basically perfect frame geometry for me, had me barely able to touch the ground when on the saddle.

    I decided to purchase and try the 19" bike with the 29" wheels, but I may live to regret it. If the LBS had carried the 26" version of the bikes (all of the bikes I looked at are available with 26" wheels . . . but I'm guessing that the LBS is caving to fashion trends) there is no doubt in my mind that I would have left with a 19" frame and 26" wheels. This is not a small bike shop. It is one of the biggest in Calgary, with a huge inventory. One can point out virtually anything on the floor and they've got it in every frame size . . . just don't ask for 26" wheels.
    Sounds like a stand over issue. What bike are you on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    I think you've misread the post, I know English is not my first language but if he said that I must have missed it, because after I read the post I agree with what he said. His follow up post even mentioned that there are pros and cons on both, but it meant nothing if OP get the bike that does not fit.

    Personally, I think the 29er fad among noobs is like a clipless pedal sort of way. The rite of passage mentality keeping up with the trend. While I don't think any wheel sizes are trends and more choices are always better for consumers there are plenty of posts trying to validates the benefit of 29ers.

    I like what Andrew said about liking the 29ers does not mean hating 26. It was spot-on, wish I can rep you again drew.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    My personal results make me favor 29ers. I am faster on ALL trails with the exception of one... And the difference on this tight little DH is only 3-4secs. I sold my much beloved but dust gathering 26 a few months after buying my 29 (Tallboy LTc).

    Also, I am not into racing. I simply enjoy improving my skills and speed. The 29er gave me a big jump start on my local SoCal terrain.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    Sounds like a stand over issue. What bike are you on?
    How is this a stand over issue?
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    "The 19" bikes, with basically perfect frame geometry for me, had me barely able to touch the ground when on the saddle."

    Right or wrong the above makes her uncomfortable. My wife felt the same. So we found a bike with low stand over and she loves it.

    I actually think low bottom bracket is key for 29s... I've ridden some that made me feel my head was in the clouds. Very difficult to control. The experience on my bike is the opposite.

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    Now that I reread... It's strange that she expects to touch the ground while on the saddle. I first thought she couldn't stand on the bike when off the pedals and saddle. Only my 6 yr old rides in this seat position.

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    The Stumpy is a good call for the dirt. Commuting, I use an old steel road bike. What are you commuting on? I'm in Denver, great bike paths.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Richard View Post
    I would say wheel size is fourth behind geometry.
    2nd that.

    And wholly crap those designs are everywhere. Go buy a Diamondback, Commencal, etc for a Knucklebox.

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    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    You are masturbating with a chamois glove. Last time I checked, you aren't driving your BMW for fitness. And your analogy that all 26" bikes are equal to a Kia while 29" bikes are BMWs is equally silly. It's more like arguing over whether your Kia is faster with 18" wheels vs 20" wheels. It's a ****ing Kia and you are Walter Mitty.
    You assume that everyone rides purely for fitness, if that were the case we'd all just go do spin classes and check out some hottie ass. Speaking for myself I ride for fun and the fitness is just an added bonus. So yes, in my analogy I drive a BMW because it is more FUN than driving a Kia. In addition, please show where I compared a Kia to a 26er? I was responding to your assumption that efficiency (speed, handling, comfort, etc) are only for racers and us normal folks shouldn't be concerned. That is absurd and so was your response... good day sir.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Very few, if ANY, will be paid to go fast on a MTB.
    Fixed that for ya.

    No one cares about mountain bike racing. I race. I know. I don't care.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Funny, I don't see running clipless as a fad. When I first started riding in the 90's, everyone either ran clipless or beartraps with clips/straps (that's what I ran). I never saw anyone riding BMX pedals (platforms) on anything other than a BMX.

    To me, platforms are the fad, while the clipless is more of the standard. I f'ing LOVE my clipless on the trail. I just got a set of the platform/clipless as yes, I sometimes fall over in really technical terrain as I'm not the most coordinated person, so being able to unclip and run o nthe flat side during really techy stuff is nice, but using the platform at any other time just feels awkward as hell.


    Even though 29 is the latest, greatest thing, I still see a place for 26" wheels, and they are by no means "dead" as I've seen stated in other places on this site.
    My example of clipless pedals was about "the right of passage" mentality. Many noobs wants to use clipless so they look like they belong. This day and age it's ridiculous! Platform pedals and sticky shoes are just as effective for an avg rider. That's another post

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    This will come across as rude, but your comment is opinion. The fact of the matter is the different wheel sizes do have advantages/disadvantages and that is what my comment was directed at. A beginner shouldn't be told there is no difference.
    Again I don't think RC said specifically that there's no difference between the 2 wheel sizes. It's just silly to pick the wheel size over fit as in the OP.

    Beginners should be told the difference not just the advantage of big wheels. That's mostly what I see here in the beginner's forum. Are 29er any good? You bet!, are they better than 26er, not at all. Yes that's my bias opinion.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParsedOut View Post
    You assume that everyone rides purely for fitness, if that were the case we'd all just go do spin classes and check out some hottie ass. Speaking for myself I ride for fun and the fitness is just an added bonus. So yes, in my analogy I drive a BMW because it is more FUN than driving a Kia. In addition, please show where I compared a Kia to a 26er? I was responding to your assumption that efficiency (speed, handling, comfort, etc) are only for racers and us normal folks shouldn't be concerned. That is absurd and so was your response... good day sir.
    I do not assume everyone rides purely for fitness, I wrote "fitness AND fun." So, you ride for fun and fitness. Fine. I still do not understand how riding a 29er is more fun than a 26er. AND, I don't understand why it is assumed that having 29 inch wheels magically makes riding a MTB significantly more fun or enjoyable.

    Speed: a 29 inch bike is not necessarily faster than a 26 inch wheeled bike.
    Handling: a 29 inch bike does not necessarily handle better than a 26 inch bike.
    Comfort: a 29 inch bike is not necessarily more comfortable than a 26 inch bike.

    OP SPECIFICALLY stated, "NOOB, Thinking about picking up a focus raven and some on this site think I should not get it because its a 26. Most of my riding on this bike will be commuting and training on not very challenging courses. Picked up a stumpjumper FSR comp last week for serious off rode riding."

    A 26 inch bike is fine for commuting. A 700c road bike and a 26" MTB with slicks have the same diameter wheel. A 29 inch bike has no advantage on the road. If it did, All road riders would have switched a long time ago.

    Any advantage a $1k bike 29 in wheel bike has over a $1k 26 in wheel bike has by being able to add to the enjoyment of a recreational rider is purely in one's own head.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    That's not a bad thing. At proper seat height, I can't touch the ground while seated on any of my 3 bikes. I either stand over the top tube, or lean it over with one foot on the ground. I never stand on the bike while seated, there's really no reason to have to be able to do that.
    I think I've figured out the root of the issue: and it is the length of the seat post. I like to be able to drop the seat completely out of the way and have good and quick access to the ground in case I need it. I can't get the seat far enough out of the way to get good access to the ground. I'm going to have 2" cut off of the seat post, which will allow me to drop it as far down as it can possibly go. That should alleviate the issue (which could very well be predominantly psychological).

    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    Sounds like a stand over issue. What bike are you on?
    It is a Norco Charger 9.1. (it is actually 18.5" and not 19" as the frame indicates) SOH is listed as 777mm (30.59 inches). I'm 34.375" from crotch to floor in bare-feet. Usually I cycle in Vibram Five Fingers (which only add an extra 3mm in length), but sometimes I wear shoes with a much thicker sole.

    Standover feels pretty comfy (much better than the GT Frakenbike I've been riding for the last 11 years). I'm pretty convinced at this point that it is the seat post that is messing with my head, and that my initial assessment of tire size being to blame is incorrect.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by neacail View Post
    I think I've figured out the root of the issue: and it is the length of the seat post. I like to be able to drop the seat completely out of the way and have good and quick access to the ground in case I need it. I can't get the seat far enough out of the way to get good access to the ground. I'm going to have 2" cut off of the seat post, which will allow me to drop it as far down as it can possibly go. That should alleviate the issue (which could very well be predominantly psychological).



    It is a Norco Charger 9.1. (it is actually 18.5" and not 19" as the frame indicates) SOH is listed as 777mm (30.59 inches). I'm 34.375" from crotch to floor in bare-feet. Usually I cycle in Vibram Five Fingers (which only add an extra 3mm in length), but sometimes I wear shoes with a much thicker sole.

    Standover feels pretty comfy (much better than the GT Frakenbike I've been riding for the last 11 years). I'm pretty convinced at this point that it is the seat post that is messing with my head, and that my initial assessment of tire size being to blame is incorrect.
    If you are cutting the post to go down all the way ensure that when it is in the upper location where it is optimal for pedaling it has at least the minimum insertion of being at the top tube junction at the seat tube. If it is above this junction it could cause undue stress on the frame and cause it to fail prematurely.

    The other thing that might be the total ticket for you would be a dropper post. If you are regularly lowering your saddle for descents and technical areas then raising it again to ride this would be great for you.

    However if you are always riding your bike with the saddle that low then you need to get confident enough to ride it with it in the proper height so that you don't damage your knees pedaling with a low saddle. Again a dropper post would really help you gain this confidence as well. Most people recommend the Kind Shock brand droppers which can be expensive but are the higher end options or the gravity dropper posts which are well proven and more economical. Either would help you with this issue provided the have enough drop. I would investigate this option.
    Try this: HTFU

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    The differences won't make a difference to a beginner. They still need to learn balance and pedal the bike. I started on 26" and guess what? I did not die or kill myself. The only thing a beginner needs to start with is a solid bike that won't break on them.

    The differences in 26 vs 29 come down to things like roll over, low speed cornering, agility, and acceleration. None of which a beginner needs to be particularly concerned about. What the beginner needs to learn is pedal technique, standing on descents to let the legs do the work, being relaxed and not tensing up. They need to learn to keep the bike rolling on climbs or descents to prevent it falling over. They need to learn to use the brakes and gears properly as well as basic cornering and probably some fitness. All of this can be learned on either bike. 29ers make somethings easier, but others harder.

    In fact the best bike for a beginner is probably an entry level 26" hardtail. Nothing fancy, but basic solid low cost bike. No need to spend lots of $$$ on fancy bike when you start as there is so much to learn. Start on something like this and learn basic riding skills and get basic fitness. Over time you can learn what style of riding best suits your desires and favorite trails. Then get the bike that fit this the best. It could be 29er FS or DH bike.
    Again, I was commenting on someone telling a beginner that there is NO difference. Even in you posted above you admit there are differences. So bottom line I don't think it's a good idea to tell noobs there is NO difference between the wheel sizes.

    Where did I advise them to spend lots of money on a fancy bike? You can get a low cost entry level 29er as well as a entry level 26er, so why wouldn't you advise them to look at 29er since this is one of those situations a 29er would have an advantage. Keep in mind the original post -"Most of my riding on this bike will be commuting"
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Wait you called BS on his post but said the same thing he did??

    I know this is a beginners forum that's why the info on this forum has to be even more accurate than any other forum because noobs can't and usually won't argue the point back. There are more than one way and more than one school of thoughts and posters who ask the question should consider all side.

    I have nothing against new trend heck I get two or three new gadgets every year and twice to three times that on new bikes at one point, but reading some "best thing since sliced bread" recommendations every time a noob post "what bike to get?" is just silly and irresponsible in my bias opinion
    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    No, he says they are the same but that the 29ers are just the current fashion. He states they do nothing different. I said one isn't better than the other, they each have their own pros and cons. Different from each other but not better than the other.

    I read it the same way and hence my response. RC makes it sounds like there is absolutely no difference and 29ers are only selling because it's the in thing and no actual performance difference.
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  59. #59
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    The difference between a 26" bike and a 29" bike for a beginner is the 30% premium charged for a similarly spec'd 29" vs 26" bike. I've been investigating this for three years now and I keep getting the same, tired, arguments. Here's a guy, who has a specific use for a bike, and he got responses from people to not buy a lower cost option that would serve his needs. It just doesn't make sense. It's such a heard mentality.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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    If you're just communting than get a hybrid, problem solved.

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    in case you are coming here to start more 26er vs 29er arguments and it is tl;dr for you the OP took the advice and went with a new bike already.

    Quote Originally Posted by caljah View Post
    Picked up the focus raven today, heading to LBS to have some slicks put on and then going for a ride. Very excited. Rode the bike around and loved it. Everything is in perfect shape, it's amazing how the bike handles. It's more of a bike than I will need for the next couple of months but, I will certainly grow into it.

    P.s. the guy threw in new pair of scott team shoes.

    For the price and purpose, I did very well. Thanks for all the feedback, but for me, this 26 will be perfect for the near future.
    You can continue to argue the merits of 26er vs 29er here as a it pertains to bikes or to a beginner but the OP has solved their problem. As far as I am concerned in the OP's case a 26er or a 29er or a road bike or a CX bike would be sufficient for commuting and the odd noodle around trails and such. There is no benefit to either in that situation and those that are arguing that there are should be sure to read the OP's concerns before commenting.

    If the OP wanted a bike that would be more suited to one wheel size or another or one bike type or another then it would be a different discussion, one that might say that no 29ers aren't a good choice for a park bike or a DH rig or 26ers aren't a good choice for a gravel grinder but for the average mountain biker noob the bike that is best is the one they love. It has to hook you with its awesomeness, it has to call to you, because ultimately it is what will keep you going out and learning to ride better and better. As you do so you might find that your choice of wheel size has effected your riding style in a bad way but by then you will probably be ready to move to a more specific bike anyways and you can then jump on the latest trend, be it dropper equipped 27.5 AM rig or fast and low DH bike or stout and 26er park bike or 4+" 26er fat bike.

    Arguing semantics isn't beneficial to noobs, they only know what their LBS tells them and what they read on the internet, they don't have years experience riding 26ers then trying 29ers or v-brakes to disks or whatever new go better, go faster, go expensiveier option is the current trend in bikes. They only know what we tell them. Put your personal preferences behind you and imagine what it would be like to buy a mountain bike from a store with all the damn options we have available to us now: XC, Trail, AM, FR, DH, DJ, Fat, gravel, bikepacking, carbon, steel, aluminum, 1x10, 2x10, 3x10, FS, HT, Rigid, tubeless, tubes. It goes on and on. When I first bought my mountain bike there was 2 options: less expensive or more expensive.

    A lot has changed.
    Try this: HTFU

  62. #62
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    OP bought a bike in post 21 and you all went on "helping" for another 40 posts. Awesome...

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    My thoughts exactly and I posted the question. It's had been very interesting to watch, but certainly not inviting. Thanks to those that have been helpful to my original question. I have my bike, I am enjoying myself and getting a good workout.

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    I ride a 26 and I enjoy ridding the crap out of it, just ride what you like
    what I have heard is that for a begginer is better a 26 because they can grow fitness easier and achieve a better technique, the same than starting ridding a FS than a HT

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    I turn my back on you guys for a couple days, and look what happens. ;-)

    OP: glad you got the bike and it's working out for you. Ride it in good health.
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    I did not read the thread (intentionally) But i'll answer : Nothing. Ride whatever bike you have. Really.

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    if you already have an MTB and are looking for a bike to commute on primarily, you should be considering something more road inspired. Most people don't want to commute slowly but do want comfort so an aggresive road bike isn't really the answer but a slack MTB with heavy, durable, parts isn't the answer either. flat bar road bikes are designed to be ridden on the road with an upright position. an entry level flat bar road bike will weight 23lbs while an entry level 26er is easily around 30lbs. even if you put slicks on the 26er it's still gonna be 28lbs and that is noticeable commuting. Personally, I have a 29er hardtail for the trails, a carbon fiber aggressive road racer, and a surly disc trucker for commuting. there are bikes that can "do it all" but usually they don't do any one thing great. it all depends on your budget.

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    On-topic
    i used to have a stock giant Rincon with a frozen dart fork and thin road tyres
    i used to have a cannondale system six racer with sram rival groupset.
    during that time, i used to commute 6.7km every morning to the train station to catch the train to work.
    every morning i was late and every morning i was pushing as hard as i could (for an entire year).
    The giant used to take 15min and 30 sec or thereabouts (front door to platform).
    The system six's BEST time was 14:39 (front door to platform). That is a 8kg racer compared to a 14kg 26 inch mtb, for commuting purposes.
    So... NO! for commuting the wheel size makes absolutely no difference. Get some thin slick tyres and you're set.

    Off-topic
    Re the lady that wants to touch the ground while seated.
    I am 5'8" and of a regulat body build. The Giant mtb is a 19" frame
    I can barely touch the ground while on the saddle of the bike and there is absolutely no reason in the world why I would need to.
    Lots of beginners think they need to but all you need to have is a bit of coordination.
    If you lose balance, just let the bike lean a little more to one side then put the foot down. when you do that, you can fully drop the bike even without as much as a scratch.
    If you want to get on the bike, there is no reason why you need to be on the saddle before being on the pedals. you can either stand over the bike, put your foot on the pedal and press on it (therefore lifting yourself on the pedal while the bike starts rolling) or (if you insist to stay on the saddle) just lean the bike, have one foot on the ground, your bum on the saddle and the other foot on the pedal (which is at 10 o'clock). The push yourself up (on the ball of the foot that is on the ground) while simultaneously pressing the pedal so that the bike starts rolling.
    This will make you a better rider and also save you the ~250$ for the Gravity dropper seatpost.
    THIS is the kind of stuf that beginners NEED to know. Infinitely more important than the dam wheel size.

    For me, bikes are about the joy of going wherever, whenever, and about enjoying the ability to feel free and in control. For me, bikes are about FREEDOM.
    Imho the feeling is lost if you are unable to control the bike. Or not as good as it should be.

    SO
    Ride it like you stole it!
    Treat it like you OWN it!
    Experiment with your technique!
    Then, your cycling experience will transcend.

    Ride on!

  69. #69
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,722

    What's wrong with a 26 inch wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    This was where I was going with my comment. Why would anyone buy a 26er for road/commuting. Yes the bike has to fit, but there advantages and disadvantages to the different sizes or we'd see 26ers on the tour, after all smaller lighter wheels right?
    Why? Well for starters, if there's some urban assault that you like to hit on your commute.
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  70. #70
    Titanium junkie
    Reputation: Loudviking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,429
    Blah blah blah blah blah, enjoy your new bike!
    26er, 29er, 27.5 or fatbike, enjoy.......
    Climb into the sky, never wonder why - Tailgunner
    You're a Tailgunner

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