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.
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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.
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  1. #1
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    Why the push to sell a 29er?

    So I went to my LBS to discuss buying something "all mountain" in the next few months. I already have a 29er hardtail so I was looking for something in a different direction. The bikes I am considering were a Remedy, Heckler, or Reign. The LBS was trying to steer me more toward a Rumblefish or Trance. I know the benefits of a 29er when it comes to clearing but what I was looking for was something for the tight trails with a lot of switchbacks. Both are good bikes in their own right but why push them over the 26 inch wheels? In the end the LBS will of course sell me whatever I choose and take care of me but it just seems odd to go that direction.


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  2. #2
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    While 29ers aren't really new they are still one of the newest changes in mountain bike designs. Forks and tires are not generally as heavily discounted as 26" items. They may hope that this brings you into their shop more than just going to Nashbar, Pricepoint and other fine online retailers for pretty much ALL of your needs. That's one possibly. More likely (if they are a good shop) they really do believe in the benefits of a 29" over a 26". Smoother ride, clearance, cleaner turning and so on. All in a bike or about the same price as a 26". Look at their stock, too. If that's all they have they be looking to get rid of some of their "older" 29ers to make room for the new year.
    "Faster, Faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - Hunter S. Thompson

  3. #3
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    CAnt hurt to at least try their recommendation on a test ride. If it sucks then you know they are not quite grasping what you are looking for.

    Also take a look at the "new" 650b options.

    Could also be they are pushing what they have in stock?

  4. #4
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    Is that what they had in stock? Another I would ask is how tall are you? IMO the biggest reason to roll on big hoops is if you are a tall rider. Take that for what it is......an opinion.

  5. #5
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    No offence to those of you who like 29ers but they are not for everyone and 26ers still have some advantages and vice versa. I like a 26 over the 29 due to the size on tight technical and the stance I have over the bike. Seems like the 26 is still very popular here in CO just my .02.

  6. #6
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    What's with the conspiracy theories? People at bike shops have the same biases that everyone else might even though they're supposed to be far more knowledgable. If the shop guys ride 29ers then they will want to sell 29ers. You always sell what you like, it's not some conspiracy about higher priced components, it's simply what the shop guys like best for better or worse. They probably are taking your idea of "all mountain" and cramming it into their own personal experiences.

    In the end, buy what you want. That way you'll be happy.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    What's with the conspiracy theories? People at bike shops have the same biases that everyone else might even though they're supposed to be far more knowledgable. If the shop guys ride 29ers then they will want to sell 29ers. You always sell what you like, it's not some conspiracy about higher priced components, it's simply what the shop guys like best for better or worse. They probably are taking your idea of "all mountain" and cramming it into their own personal experiences.

    In the end, buy what you want. That way you'll be happy.
    Agreed!!!!!!!! 👍

  8. #8
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    I'm in an area where 29er's are just catching on. The LBS sales people are excited about the "new technology" and assume that their customers are new to the idea as well.

    I've owned 29er's for years but they see me riding a 26" hardtail and assume I've never owned a fully or a 29er.

    They have mostly 29er's in stock and they want to sell their floor stock before ordering in because they have money tied up in it.

    It could be any of these things.
    I have a device that can access the total knowledge of man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and argue with strangers.

  9. #9
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    "29ers are like sooooo awesome, didnt you know, they are better, why you ask, they just are."

    Thats what everyone in my area will tell you. Wether they work at a LBS or a recreational rider.

  10. #10
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    Just depends on the rider.. If you like it go with it..

  11. #11
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    Their reasoning behind the 29er was less suspension travel would be better for climbing....personally I hate the climb regardless...heck I have what should be the one of the easiest climbing bikes in the world and hate the climbs....I'm looking for the option for faster descents.
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  12. #12
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    I'm weak....going with a Tallboy or Tallboy LT

    Now time for that pesky tax return to get here.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    What's with the conspiracy theories? People at bike shops have the same biases that everyone else might even though they're supposed to be far more knowledgable. If the shop guys ride 29ers then they will want to sell 29ers. You always sell what you like, it's not some conspiracy about higher priced components, it's simply what the shop guys like best for better or worse. They probably are taking your idea of "all mountain" and cramming it into their own personal experiences.

    In the end, buy what you want. That way you'll be happy.
    This

    A good bike shop owner/manager would train and/or communicate with the employees the widest margin of profit and that's what they should be pushing first.

    29er are no better overall than a 26er or 650b, just another tool to get the job done with different experience. Do the demo or test ride, and pick one that suits your wants and needs on the second bike.

    If my shop(s) start pushing 29er to me for no reason then I'd just find another shop that would get me what I want.

  14. #14
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    Any good salesman should be first, 100% devoted to understanding your needs and wants and offer his best advice and experience. Most times people are looking for reinforcement of ideas or beliefs they already have.
    I am always more concerned in creating a customer who will want to come back and do business with me again and again. I don't really care what they buy, it's their money. What I want is him, or her to recognize me as their go-to guy and good information source.
    Find the shop with this guy and you have something you can depend on now and later.
    I've been selling for 30 years and is easy to me, someone with that kind of experience is probably the owner of a bike shop. When I was going around to my LBS's it was hard to find anyone with a little gray to talk with. It was fun, reminded me of how much of a turd I must have been in those early years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radamus View Post
    Any good salesman should be first, 100% devoted to understanding your needs and wants and offer his best advice and experience. Most times people are looking for reinforcement of ideas or beliefs they already have.
    These are contradictory statements. Customer expectation do not always align with their needs. When a customer comes in hot for a hybrid because they want to ride bike paths and they want to ride trails, what do you do? You don't concede a hybrid because you know that a hybrid won't meet off pavement needs. A good salesman meets the needs of the customer while explaining to them how a product meets their needs and giving them pros and cons of options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radamus View Post
    I am always more concerned in creating a customer who will want to come back and do business with me again and again. I don't really care what they buy, it's their money. What I want is him, or her to recognize me as their go-to guy and good information source.
    Find the shop with this guy and you have something you can depend on now and later.
    I've been selling for 30 years and is easy to me, someone with that kind of experience is probably the owner of a bike shop. When I was going around to my LBS's it was hard to find anyone with a little gray to talk with. It was fun, reminded me of how much of a turd I must have been in those early years.
    So a customer comes into your shop looking for a new crank. They haven't done any research and you present them with three options in their price range; let's say one's Shimano, one's Truvativ, and one's FSA. The customer has no preconceived opinion of any of them and they're all pretty evenly received. You ask them more questions but the customer says "I want what you would want"; what do you sell?

    You're going to pick, for better or worse, the one you prefer. Let's say you offered Shimano as the one you'd pick, that doesn't mean that it's some scathing review on FSA and Truvativ it simply means that it's what you prefer. If the customer would have asked another employee that that shop they might have gotten a different answer and bought a different crank. It's the same with any purchase (bike or non-bike), the sales person is likely to sell either what their training says they should sell or what their personal preferences say they should sell. It doesn't mean they're not 100% customer focused, it doesn't mean they're wrong, it simply means that they're trying their best to sell what they think the customer will like best because that's what they like best. It is reasonable to expect that someone in the bike industry has experienced a wide variety of bikes and they will provide the best possible advice they can.

    Now I understand that not every shop is a "good" shop and not every shop will operate like this. I've been lucky working at some pretty well informed shops but even at well informed shops people will operate by their experience. People with more experience will operate with a wider view on each person's needs, but they too suffer from the burdon of their own experience. If you live in a region where 29ers are prevalent then there's probably a good reason for it; the sales person knows the reason behind that and will probably sell a 29er based on those reasons. There is no reason to say that a shop is inherently trying to fleece you by selling or stocking only one type of bike. I know it's a bit of a shock to the system, but the world does not revolve around you, individual consumer.
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  16. #16
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    Everyone has their bias and preference. It's especially tough for a newbies to shop for their first bike without arming themselves with some basic knowledge. I think Zebrahum said it best "Customer expectation do not always align with their needs." While I don't think that 29er is a fad, I'm certain that it's not for everyone.

    I own 2 so far, now just a hardtail sold my FS. When I had my FS I thought that it was the next best thing since slice bread, but after I sold it, I didn't miss it as much as I expected, and found myself liking 26er even more. I added the HT for a different flavor on the trail.

    It's far from "must have" that many pushing it to be Must haves are things like disc brake, dropper posts, index shifting, yada blah etc,

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