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  1. #1
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    29er tough to pedal?

    I bought a Fantom Pro 29. I do not have anything to compare it to, but it sure seems tough to get those 29" inch wheels spinning. It looks like it takes much less effort to pedal on the smaller bikes if you ask me. Again, I have nothing to compare it to. Perhaps someone can chime in?

  2. #2
    Cartographer
    Reputation: xocomaox's Avatar
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    Logic will answer your question. Larger wheels are harder to get going. Smaller wheels are easier.
    2008 Motobecane-USA Fantom Pro
    Cleveland Area Mountain Biker

  3. #3
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    Go with some lighter tires, preferably less than 500-600 grams. Also some lightweight tubes will help too.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Larger wheels accelerate slower. But this is compounded by the fact that no one offers 29er specific gearing either. The gear ratios are much higher due to the larger wheels/tires. There ought to be smaller chainrings for 29ers, so that the gearing is more like a 26 inch bike.
    2012 On One Whippet 650b
    2012 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
    2014 On One Dirty Disco
    2010 Soma Groove
    1987 Haro RS1

  5. #5
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    I agree that the gearing or somehting should be different. I do not think you can get the bike to move with the first few gears, and the last few are really difficult to turn. I think for anyone just getting into riding, a 29 is probably not the best choice. I am sure I can get used to it, but it seems as though a long trip on the 29er will always be more difficult than if it were a 26er.

  6. #6
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    No big difference really. I just gear a tooth or 2 lower (on my 29er vs. my 26") and there is no major change in acceleration or difficulty over the course of the ride.

  7. #7
    Another Retro Grouch
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    I have both, here's my take, all IMHO:

    On the trail the 29er isn't as nimble when climbing slowly in rock gardens. On trails, the 29er's rear wheel climbs better when I sit and spin, rear wheel eats up all the bumps and stumps. On fast downhills with loose sand/gravel, the 29er is more stable.

    On the roads, 29er handles better in all areas. Difference in wheel weigh is very subtle, larger wheel handles curbs and expansion joints much better. Better climbing out of the saddle. I'm not having any trouble with the stock gearing, 10" steps work well for me.

    Is it worth the hype...maybe. IMHO, both sizes have their advantages and disadvantages. As a taller rider (6' 2") I'm sure 29er is better for me. Under ~5' 10" riders might want to be sure before they buy a 29er. Under 5' 6" riders, I wouldn't buy one.

    This is my opinion, YMMV

  8. #8
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    I just feel like if I ride with a bunch of 26ers, they are working a lot less than I am to keep up especially on a long distance....

  9. #9
    Another Retro Grouch
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    I went out riding in Kettle Morine last weekend with my ubber fit sons, me on the 29er, them on their 26ers. They started out by killing me on the double track, soon I was off the back, they were out of site. It went to single track after about a 1/2 mile, I caught 'em at the 2 mile mark. In the last 5 miles I never saw 'em, they were behind me by about 2 minutes at the 10 mile mark. Was it my 29er? Nope, I just knew how to ride the hilly single track much better. In a few more rides, they'll get good at this type of trail and start killing me again. It was good to have a little glory while I can. IMHO, the difference between 26 and 29 is tiny, it's still all about the rider (as it's been forever).

  10. #10
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    I haven't noticed any difference in effort from my 26, but I've only had my 29 for 2 days. It makes sense that the larger tires would be harder to get going. I liken it to having an extra gear. Start out in an easier gear and then shift once you're going.

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