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  1. #1
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    Speed on 26'er vs 29'er ?

    Have been riding my '97 Super V 900 for years and got a Carbon Flash 2 three weeks ago.

    On my Super V, I crush my buddy on his 29'er Motobecane during XC rides, but on the same trails on my Carbon Flash , I struggle to keep up with him. What gives ? Everyone told me how much easier a 29'er is supposed to roll.

    Is the gearing so different on my new bike, that it makes such a huge difference ?

  2. #2
    TXTony
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    Interesting observation...when me and my buddy go ride our Motos he kills me...when we go out on our hard tails..he has a Cannondale 29er Lefty..not sure which one..I have a Specialized Stumpjumper 26 Carbon..he mentions how hard it is to keep up...but the more he rides it the more he has adjusted to the 29er and seems to be getting better to the point we ride fairly even now and I find on certain parts of the trail I am behind catching up to him...I tried a 29er and it was not for me..but I see guys out on the trails all the time railing on them..I think you just have to get used to it and the way they handle vs your 26

  3. #3
    FKA Malibu412
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    I don't think it's gearing. If you have been riding full squish for years, which is more of a sit-and-spin style for most people, perhaps you will have to retrain your technique a bit for riding a hard tail. It is definitely more of an out-of-the-saddle thing and as you know, requires more legs for rear suspension. For me, it's more of a dynamic riding style. I can't just rely on the 29" wheel to plow over things while my butt is planted on the saddle. Too much momentum is lost when that happens.

    I think once you develop familiarity and strength for HT technique, you'll be faster on most trails and dust your riding mate if you are a stronger rider. On the really chunky stuff, FS may still be faster. That depends on how well you adapt to an HT.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412 View Post
    I don't think it's gearing. If you have been riding full squish for years, which is more of a sit-and-spin style for most people, perhaps you will have to retrain your technique a bit for riding a hard tail. It is definitely more of an out-of-the-saddle thing and as you know, requires more legs for rear suspension. For me, it's more of a dynamic riding style. I can't just rely on the 29" wheel to plow over things while my butt is planted on the saddle. Too much momentum is lost when that happens.

    I think once you develop familiarity and strength for HT technique, you'll be faster on most trails and dust your riding mate if you are a stronger rider. On the really chunky stuff, FS may still be faster. That depends on how well you adapt to an HT.
    I agree 100%.

    I sat and spun and stood and hammered with great results for 10+ years. Now, on a Carbon Flash 2, I am faster but beat to crap after every ride - lots of standing, lots of "working" the bike through the techy bits, lots of just plain hard work. But I am flying around the trails. Oh yea, there were several sorta unpleasant crashes too during the learning curve - and I doubt I'm done with that...

    You'll need to get stronger and develop the HT specific skills to go fast on your new bike. Absolutely.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sumguy1 View Post
    I agree 100%.

    I sat and spun and stood and hammered with great results for 10+ years. Now, on a Carbon Flash 2, I am faster but beat to crap after every ride - lots of standing, lots of "working" the bike through the techy bits, lots of just plain hard work. But I am flying around the trails. Oh yea, there were several sorta unpleasant crashes too during the learning curve - and I doubt I'm done with that...

    You'll need to get stronger and develop the HT specific skills to go fast on your new bike. Absolutely.
    Yeah, going from FS to HT is a big adjustment in riding style. I have a 26" Scalpel and a 29" Caffeine. The riding style is just sooo different between the two and it takes quite a bit of adjustment to get my speeds level. Personally, I think I'm faster on my HT 29er. All the riding around here is climb-heavy, and that is where I notice the biggest difference. The 26" definitely handles the technical stuff better as far as precision, but I really like how I can just hamfist a lot of things on my 29er. It really comes down to personal preference. At this point in my life, I'm more of a hammerer. I'm sure that will change as I move into my 30s, though.

    The Scalpel 29er is reallly tempting, though. The Carbon 2 is about 1.5lbs lighter than my Caffeine and 100mm of travel front and rear is enticing. I just hope that it doesn't bob badly or I can get a remote lockout. I really like climbing on my HT.

  6. #6
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    The difference in ride between a 26'r and 29'r is sufficiently large to make a quick adjustment impossible. I can't see that a 29'r is any faster overall if the engine powering it is not any stronger.

  7. #7
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    Speed on 26'er vs 29'er ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    The difference in ride between a 26'r and 29'r is sufficiently large to make a quick adjustment impossible. I can't see that a 29'r is any faster overall if the engine powering it is not any stronger.
    I depends on the terrain, IMO. Around here, I prefer a 29er. I'm sure there are places that I'd prefer 26". That said, I sold my 26" Scalpel and bought a 29er Scalpel. It is one hell of a bike and I feel like I can transition back and forth between my 29ers more easily than 26 FS to 29 HT.


  8. #8
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    I think your buddy might be working harder to drop you on your new race bike. Do some solo time trials to compare the speed of the 2 bikes. Find a loop that includes some climbing, and DH that you feel represents normal terain for your rides. Ride the loop at full gas aboard each steed, and compare the results. Blaming the flash because your buddy is putting the hurt on you is a little unfair to the bike.
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