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  1. #1
    Rekrul
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    Has anyone gone from 26er to 29er and back to 26er?

    All,

    Back in January I "upgraded" from my old 26er MTB to a 29er MTB, and after nearly a year, I still don't feel comfortable with it. When I was in Breck a month ago, I rented a 26er bike and felt good about my ride again, so now I am thinking about going back to a 26er. Anybody ever do/felt the same? Am I just not giving my 29er a fair chance?

    Don

  2. #2
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by grendelos View Post
    All,

    Back in January I "upgraded" from my old 26er MTB to a 29er MTB, and after nearly a year, I still don't feel comfortable with it. When I was in Breck a month ago, I rented a 26er bike and felt good about my ride again, so now I am thinking about going back to a 26er. Anybody ever do/felt the same? Am I just not giving my 29er a fair chance?

    Don
    Can you elaborate on the "comfortable" part?

    _MK
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    "No man goes before his time -- unless the boss leaves early."
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  3. #3
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    Both have a place in my quiver, two 29ers and two 26ers. One 29er full out racer 100mm FS and a 140mm 29er most Mtn rig. 26ers are 6" & 7" fun all Mtn rigs. No question 29ers like to roll but I like the fun of big suspension on certain rides.

  4. #4
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Quote Originally Posted by grendelos View Post
    All,

    Back in January I "upgraded" from my old 26er MTB to a 29er MTB, and after nearly a year, I still don't feel comfortable with it. When I was in Breck a month ago, I rented a 26er bike and felt good about my ride again, so now I am thinking about going back to a 26er. Anybody ever do/felt the same? Am I just not giving my 29er a fair chance?

    Don
    What are the bikes that you're talking about? And like MK_ asked, what part isn't comfortable?

    In my opinion, I'd never buy another 26er for XC--29ers just roll faster and have more ride stability which is very important to me when riding at speed without much suspension. I find 29ers XC bikes to be less twitchy than 26ers.

    For AM, I'm currently riding a 29er and I'm very happy with it. I think I would enjoy a 650b though for more aggressive AM riding though, and I would not rule out the possibility of a 26er AM bike either. For an AM bike, I think there is a trade off--either you get your "rollability" from bigger wheels, or from longer travel. The bigger wheel way is probably better for the more XC side of AM and the longer travel way is better for more aggressive terrain (although I ride very aggressive terrain on my Shinobi which is a 120mm 29er).

    For anything true DH, I don't think I'd ever be happy with anything greater than a 26er unless it was a REALLY pedally course. I'm more of an "old school" downhiller and prefer to be off the back of the bike a lot so I don't like having the clearance issues of a big wheel under my important parts. On a DH bike you have enough suspension, that having a wheel "rollability" isn't that important, and having a shorter overall wheelbase from 26" wheels makes for a more flickable bike.

    All wheel flavors have their place in my book, but the bottom line is that you should ride what makes you the most comfortable--if you don't like the 29er, sell it and get a 26er or a 650b.

  5. #5
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    I did. I went from a 26" bike a few years ago to a Salsa Big Mama 29'er (100mm travel), and after riding it exclusively for about a year, I bought a 26" bike again. However, I'm like the above poster... I now have both. I love my 26" Nomad Carbon for trails like Hall and Walker Ranch and trips to Moab/Fruita/etc. I love the efficiency of my Trek HiFi Pro 29'er when it comes to riding places like Buffalo Creek, Centennial Cone, Betasso, etc.

    I think each has its place... just like skinny skis and fat skis.

  6. #6
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    Any given day.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  7. #7
    Rekrul
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    Can you elaborate on the "comfortable" part?

    _MK
    It is hard to describe, seems like I am riding higher, so CG is off, especially when I get off the saddle. Feels like I can't be as aggressive in the turns. Went from a Giant Rincon to a Cannondale SL3.

    Don

  8. #8
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    My stable includes the following:
    29 Trek Superfly 100 for racing. Love it and adjust quickly to it's handling.
    26 Trek Slash 9. Awesome all mountain descending machine. Climbs slow but it sure is fun as speed ramps and thing technical.
    26 Surly Pugsley. Fun because it's like I'm riding a tractor. Great to tow the kid in her chariot with.
    26 Rocky Mtn DJ bike. Awesome at the bike park, messing around on the street or at skate parks. Real skill builder.
    700c Yeti ARCX, CX bike. Handles great for what it is.
    Two road bikes.

    Basically it comes down to horses for courses but I feel comfortable on all of the bikes and none of them make me back off because of how the bike feels while riding it. I am however slower descending on the 29er race bike than the 26 AM when things get really technical and the DJ of course handles sculpted jumps and park terrain better than the other bikes.

  9. #9
    Rekrul
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    And I have to add that financially, multiple bikes are not an option; I have to settle on one platform or the other.

    Don

  10. #10
    Living the High Life
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    Dirt, out of the UK, did a great article a few months back. This isn't the full article but you can see how it can really vary. Personal choice.

    26v29 bonus feature
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by grendelos View Post
    Anybody ever do/felt the same? Am I just not giving my 29er a fair chance?

    Don
    Sounds like you gave it a chance. Get another bike.

    Agree with ski analogy in that if you don't like it get a different pair. Keep the old one, sell it, whatever, all that matters is that the bike you ride often should be the one that you can't wait to ride again.
    99% of the problems and questions posted here would be answered if people actually walked into a bicycle shop and asked

  12. #12
    Kaj
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    Your Rincon was a relatively stable 26" hardtail. Designed for more recreational riding, which means it had a low bb, and a high front end more like a trail bike. Your Cannondale has more race geometry 71 degree head angle, meaning it's a bit quicker handling/less stable on the descents.

    so what you could be feeling is just the geo of the bike. Likely you like the trail bike feel more. Most 29er hardtails are in the race category. there are a 29er HT that are way all mountain like the Kona Honzo, but that's for a limited group of riders.

    I would try riding some more trail oriented FS 26ers and 29ers. Like a Giant Reign or Spec Stumpy on the 26" side and the Giant Trance 29er or Trek Rumblefish on the 29er side. (this is if your budget is around $2k or so)

    one note is that it's not true that 29ers need to have a higher CG than 26. The BB heights tend to be the same for the same type of bike or same amount of travel. yes the wheel hubs are a bit higher, but since the BB is the same height so your body weight CG is exactly the same. Now some 26ers and some 29ers do have higher than average BB heights, but that's because the bike maker wanted that, not because of the wheel size.

    in the end the best thing is to get a bike that fits your riding style and preference, that may be a 26 or 29, but in either case pick the geo style first wheel size second. If you are a racer get race geo, a trail rider get trail geo, an all mountain thrasher get that style geometry.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  13. #13
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    Does height of the rider make a difference? A 5'8 guy as opposed to a 6'4 guy?
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  14. #14
    Rekrul
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaj View Post
    so what you could be feeling is just the geo of the bike.
    You know, this makes a lot of sense to me. I will look at those suggested models a little closer. Thanks Kaj!

    Don

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by grendelos View Post
    And I have to add that financially, multiple bikes are not an option; I have to settle on one platform or the other.

    Don
    So ride what makes you smile and don't get caught up in numbers

    Subjective > Objective
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  16. #16
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    Some of you have a lot of bikes...

  17. #17
    Kaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    Does height of the rider make a difference? A 5'8 guy as opposed to a 6'4 guy?
    not really. bb heights are usually the same across sizes for mountain bikes. and top tube lengths are also the same for 26 and 29er. so it's really pick your bike. the exception is if you 5' or so, I've yet to see a 29er with a top tube shorter than 21.7", and at 5' and under that's starting to get a bit long. at 5' most folks want about a 21" or bit shorter top tube.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  18. #18
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    Personally i think you have to ride a 29 different than you ride a 26.
    On a 29 i am usualy taking the outside line on corners and keeping my momentum up and when riding a 26 you can dive into corners in a way that can't be done on a 29.

    I am sold on a 29 when it comes to a hard tail but i still think they have not perfected the squishy bike.
    Long chainstays make those bikes boring if you ask me, still fast unless you are riding really tight singletrack

  19. #19
    Almost Human
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    Can you elaborate on the "comfortable" part?

    _MK

  20. #20
    Kaj
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josie7 View Post
    Some of you have a lot of bikes...
    It's not a lot of bikes until you don't know how many you have-- till then you need one more
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  21. #21
    ride
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    I have and have had both 26 & 29 fs and hardtails. I'll continue to mix it up. I'll own a bike or judge a bike based on how that particular bike rides and handles. Wheel size is only one of many variables on how a bike behaves.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  22. #22
    slow
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    Bought my 29'er about 6-8 weeks ago (after a year of demos) and have been alternating between 26 and 29 every few days. Even though both are set up with same cockpit, pedals, and saddle they feel really different. There are too many variables to say one is much better. (Ti soft tail vs. Alu hard tail , geometry, fork, etc) That being said, for my trails and riding, I still grab the 26 for its flickability and higher bb. Maybe 26+ years of riding 26" mtb has trained me to prefer 26.

  23. #23
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    This is an interesting thread. I have always been weary of getting onto a 29 because I always felt that you would have to manhandle them through tight corners because the CG would be off, but I guess with the right geo it shouldn't be a problem.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkd-rdr View Post
    so ride what makes you smile and don't get caught up in numbers

    subjective > objective
    +1



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    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  25. #25
    Living the High Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69erEverything View Post
    Agree with ski analogy in that if you don't like it get a different pair.
    I used to teach snowboarding with my friend who taught skiing. After a year we both made sure our students gave both a try. One isn't better than the other; some people just like one better than the other.

    When noobs ask me for snowboard advice (after I tell them it sucks and Texas is nice) I tell them to give skiing a shot too.
    You have just been mentally Rick Roll'd. Yup you're thinking about it right now aren't you? Don't fight it.

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