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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Best Bike for Endurance Race- 26 FS or 29 HT?

    Just volunterred for the PCP2P- great race. Unbelievable how fast Alex/Tinker/Josh were!

    Will be racing next it next year. Currently have a 13 year old 26 HT...Am 6'1"...

    Need to get a new bike. Am trying to figure out if a 26 FS or 29 HT is the best option for a 8-9 hour race? I would imagine the 1st couple hours would be faster on a HT- but would it be more comfortable on a FS bike for the long haul??? Don't think I'd want a 29 FS due to the weight.

    Has anyone done endurance races on both?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by NeedO2 View Post
    Don't think I'd want a 29 FS due to the weight.
    you should do your research. i'd choose and epic or spearfish or lenz 4.0 first on the list.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    +1 for the above. I've run the gamut of endurance racing bikes over the years, and short-ish travel FS 29er is my favorite.

    If I were to answer your actual question (not that common on the interweb, eh?!) I'd choose HT 29er.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  4. #4
    Daniel the Dog
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I really enjoy my Niner Jet 9. Sure, it is heavier than a 26er and you lose about a gear of grunt gearing on the steepest of climbs; however, I just feel like I can push harder for longer and feel fresher. At your size, I think it is a no brainer to at least try.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I just raced the PCPP on my 29er HT (Niner A9C) and it was a good bike. Parts of the race had me wishing for a full squishy (John's!!!!!) and a bit of the mid-mountain trail. Nothing is going to feel good after 9+ hours (11:28 for me), and I was really happy to have the HT for all that climbing. If I go full-squish for next year, it'll definitely be a 29er FS. There's a lot of terrain where the bigger wheels are just going to roll better on that course.

  6. #6
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    If I'm on my bike for 8 or 9 hours, I want full suspension. As for what wheel size, I feel it depends on the course.

    If you have the budget, you can get a reasonably light fs 29er.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  7. #7
    Livin' the Dream
    Reputation: Asbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    I've been using my Yeti ASR-C for 3 years now for XC and endurance. It is a great platform for just about any terrain. As was mentioned, nothing feels great after hours in the saddle. I'm 6'2" and have been thinking about the 29er route for a while so I borrowed an Orbea Alma from the LBS for a local 6 hour race. Make no mistake, a 29er HT is still a hardtail! It was much tougher on me than the Yeti. It's got me thinking about 29er FS all the way. The new Scalpel 29 looks sweet.

  8. #8
    Dirty South Underdog
    Reputation: Andrea138's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Rigid SS 29er

    Brickhouse Blog (most known unknown)

    Just Riding Along- best internet radio show on Mountain Bike Radio

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bamwa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138 View Post
    Rigid SS 29er

    dont listen to her, she's insane! look at the way she thinks that puppy is a water bottle
    Keep trying to do the awesomest thing you've ever done.

  10. #10
    mnoutain bkie rdier
    Reputation: rydbyk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Jet9 vs. Ti or Carbon ht 29er...yep...done it..

    Seems like either one will be a huge upgrade HT29er ftw... IF you are transitioning from aluminum 26" hardtail with high psi/tubes, then going to a carbon 29er hardtail with tubeless set up is going to seem like heaven...

    I feel that titanium, while less "snappy/quick" than carbon, is the ultimate material for an endurance 29er hardtail fwiw...

    For XC, I like carbon a tad bit more..

    Lynskey is pretty good bang for buck. Motobecane, while lacking bling factor is a pretty good deal too.. Wow...did I just admit that??

    24 hr solo?? Hmm...maybe get full squish??

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    29er FS...

    Another vote for 29er FS. Anything over 4 hours and I need FS. Maybe, if you are really young and fit, and your body is trained to take 9 or more hours of abuse a HT can work, but I suspect that FS will be faster for most riders over longer distances.
    Considering how much $ can be spent on racing, and training, $6K or so for a really good carbon FS 29er does not seem like too much money.
    I would be looking at the Tallboy and Niner Jet RDO, or the new Scapel, with a well specced build you can end up with a reliable, fast, comfortable bike under 24 lbs. Big wheels with a light, high volume tire (Ikon, Race King) are a definite advantage the longer you go, unless the courses are butter smooth...

  12. #12
    Reputation: FNFAL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    You could always look into 650b as well.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Hand/of/Midas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by FNFAL View Post
    You could always look into 650b as well.
    As someone who owns a 18lb 650b bike that i ride often, that wheel size is better used as a band-aid on existing bikes then a new platform to start from. It really made my DISS ride better, but i would never build/buy a bike from scratch with that wheel size....but like i said it has it's place.

    I am sure i'll get flamed by the 12 people in the 650b forum for saying that, but it's ok, i am a firefighter too, i can take heat.

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