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  1. #1
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    Slacker vs 29er - Endo

    I had a bad accident about a year ago where I went over the bars, I'm just now getting ready to get back into riding. Body position, suspension, line through the rocks were all factor in my accident. I doubt a 29" or a slack 26" would have prevented it. I'm considering a new bike soon and I can't have another accident like I did. I can change my riding style, etc... and I will. I'm just curious as to what's more effective in just the bike itself.

    So, what's less likely to endo in the same situation 26" slacker geometry with more travel or larger wheels? This is so broad so lets narrow it down to say a 29er trail bike like a Tallboy LT vs a Specialized Enduro or similar.

    Again every situation is going to be different so it's going to be hard to generalize this.

    Everyone says 29ers roll over objects better, but looking at the "angle of attack" it's really not hitting objects much different than a 26" wheel from what I can see. Does it really make that much of a difference?

    It seems like 26" bikes with aggressive geometry is still the choice for terrain that I would consider an "endo" likely.

  2. #2
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    How about an Enduro 29er?

    Specialized Bicycle Components

  3. #3
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    I'm with jeffj. 29" wheels will be less likely to induce the sudden stop phenomena when your front wheel catches an obstacle, esp at slow speed when the fork doesn't compress. I ride a RIP9 with a 140mm thru-axle fork. It is slacked out and stiff enough to be confidence inspiring. You could make it slacker still with a an AngleSet or SlackSet headset. There's other 29ers that could be built similarly. A bike like mine or the Spesh Enduro are worth considering.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  4. #4
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    Slacker vs 29er - Endo

    I was considering the Enduro 29 as well, as with the Niner I suppose you can both aggressive geometry and big wheels.

    I guess I can demo a 29" bike and ride my 26 right after and see if its enough of a difference to notice while rolling through technical sections.

  5. #5
    undercover brother
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    Proper body position. Not trying to be an dick here, just being honest. You shouldn't switch to a 29er just because you want to endo less. Slacker head angles will help, but ultimately, proper body position is the best remedy.

  6. #6
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    Slacker vs 29er - Endo

    I agree with tangaroo, and I'm a fan of 29ers with aggressive modern geometry. I have two, one with a 67.5 HTA (Banshee Prime) and the other with a 67 HTA (Canfield Yelli Screamy). But I've had my fits of stupid and have gone over the bars on both of them at one point or another. And I've ridden the same terrain successfully with a Niner EMD with very steep XC geometry. From my experience, my gut feeling is that a bigger wheel will get you a little more leeway than a couple fewer degrees of HTA, but it's a really minor effect. Body position and technique is 95+% of it.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    i agree with tangaroo, and i'm a fan of 29ers with aggressive modern geometry. I have two, one with a 67.5 hta (banshee prime) and the other with a 67 hta (canfield yelli screamy). But i've had my fits of stupid and have gone over the bars on both of them at one point or another. And i've ridden the same terrain successfully with a niner emd with very steep xc geometry. From my experience, my gut feeling is that a bigger wheel will get you a little more leeway than a couple fewer degrees of hta, but it's a really minor effect. Body position and technique is 95+% of it.
    yup
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  8. #8
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    Long travel slack 29er!

    But what helps the most? I'd say my slack long travel 26er is less likely to endo than my steep 29er.

  9. #9
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    A properly set up fork makes a big difference too. You don't want something that dives on you unexpectedly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Proper body position. Not trying to be an dick here, just being honest. You shouldn't switch to a 29er just because you want to endo less. Slacker head angles will help, but ultimately, proper body position is the best remedy.
    This is the answer. You can endo on any terrain for any reason. Proper technique is the best way to limit an endo.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    This is the answer. You can endo on any terrain for any reason. Proper technique is the best way to limit an endo.
    I agree completely, but a slacker bike will help.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  12. #12
    undercover brother
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    I agree completely, but a slacker bike will help.
    Indeed. Nothing like endoing face first into a tree after manualling to hopping a rock garden. I learned the proper body english reeeeaaallly fast after that one. I now have a slacker bike, but that came with more aggressive riding.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Indeed. Nothing like endoing face first into a tree after manualling to hopping a rock garden. I learned the proper body english reeeeaaallly fast after that one. I now have a slacker bike, but that came with more aggressive riding.
    If you are manualling, your head angle makes no difference, right?

  14. #14
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    Like others have said, body position is more important than HA degrees. I have only endo'ed my Enduro once that I can think of, and that was coming down a very steep rocky section of Porcupine Rim and I stalled out on a rock for kind of a 3/4 barrel roll. But I don't recall a lot of endo's on my less-slack trail bike in the last few years, either.

    To help with body position, I might recommend a seat dropper post. It isn't necessary, of course -- people can get themselves in position regardless of seat height. But having your seat out of the way so you can get back far enough is a big help to keep yourself in position in the tricky spots. The benefit of the dropper is that you can drop it quickly for the upcoming difficult section, and pop it back up to pedal again, whereas without it, you just give the tough section a go and hope it works out.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Like others have said, body position is more important than HA degrees. I have only endo'ed my Enduro once that I can think of, and that was coming down a very steep rocky section of Porcupine Rim and I stalled out on a rock for kind of a 3/4 barrel roll. But I don't recall a lot of endo's on my less-slack trail bike in the last few years, either.

    To help with body position, I might recommend a seat dropper post. It isn't necessary, of course -- people can get themselves in position regardless of seat height. But having your seat out of the way so you can get back far enough is a big help to keep yourself in position in the tricky spots. The benefit of the dropper is that you can drop it quickly for the upcoming difficult section, and pop it back up to pedal again, whereas without it, you just give the tough section a go and hope it works out.
    Or, for long decents, a seatpost quick release works fine for me to drop the post until I get to the bottom of the hill.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangaroo View Post
    Indeed. Nothing like endoing face first into a tree after manualling to hopping a rock garden. I learned the proper body english reeeeaaallly fast after that one. I now have a slacker bike, but that came with more aggressive riding.
    No offense taken, I already recognized that other factors were more significant than the bike itself. My body position was an issue, it was at the end of a long ride I and I could have been further back. The rebound on the fork was too slow, I think the fork ran out of travel, air pressure in the front tire was set a bit too low as well for more traction.

    Having said that my accident caused me too loose a significant amount of hearing. With 3 kids and a mortgage, I can't justify getting back on a bike unless I'm as conservative as I can be. I'll definitely be sure to improve my riding techniques, a dropper post would help get over the rear tire when riding changes from climbing to descending quite often.

    You wouldn't believe the impact losing your hearing has on your life and believe me if you did you consider little safe guards.

    Somethings are inevitable and we can only do so much, can't live life worrying about what if. I can however live with knowing that I did what could. If a 29er with aggressive geometry makes it a little bit better on top of improving myself and my set up I'm all for it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Or, for long decents, a seatpost quick release works fine for me to drop the post until I get to the bottom of the hill.
    I'm all for a dropper post now, I actually crashed on the last decent I was only a couple hundred yards from the end of my ride. The ride was intervals of steep climbs followed by descents. I hadn't thought that it was a long enough section to justify getting off to lower the seat post, then stop 5 seconds later just raise it up.

    Guess I learned my lesson!

  18. #18
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    Slacker vs 29er - Endo

    I love having a dropper. I don't just use it for steep downhills, I pretty much use it on any downhill. Or tight flowing terrain where you can pump. I like to really throw my bike around and want the seat the hell out of my way.

    Sounds like maybe a full face helmet is in order too.
    I hope you have a big trunk... cause I'm gonna put my bike in it!

  19. #19
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    I went through the same thing in 2008. Bad OTB in a rocky section that resulting in posterior locked shoulder dislocation and good crack to the head. That's when your arm bone no longer connects to the shoulder bone and is stuck behind your back bone (scapula). I was riding a very slack 26er, got lazy, not enough momentum, all of the above. It took about a year before I was cleared to ride (3 surgeries) and lost alot of shoulder mobility.

    When I was prepping to ride again I was also looking for the same, a new bike, something that would lessen the chance of going OTB. I think the super slack 26er was it but it was also very confidence inspiring, maybe too much. I settled on a 29er 120mm squish (69.5 deg), slightly over forked to 140mm with some slight riser bars. Bottom line a slightly slack 29er isnt going to help all that much more than a slack 26er for pure OTB concerns.

    Its still totally stuck in my head and changed the way I ride completely. It took a long time before the cahonies started showing themselves again. I still walk many tech sections I used to blow through. I have nothing to prove and if you cant commit fully to a section then you may as well not roll it.

    I ended up focusing more on endurance & climbing. The hearing loss really sucks, hope its not permanent.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Or, for long decents, a seatpost quick release works fine for me to drop the post until I get to the bottom of the hill.
    Yeah, it certainly isn't a required part. But I really like having it around, especially on those rides that have some up and down, or that are generally smooth but have "that one part" coming up. Plus, I get lazy and don't get back as far as I should with my seat all the way up.

    Again, a dropper isn't a necessity, but going over the bars is almost always the result of bad body positioning. A dropper can remove one excuse for not being in the right position.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  21. #21
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    I can only speak from my personal experiences, but going to a more slack 29er has saved my arse more than a few times over previous bikes. When you are dropping in on that normally shallow drop, but has since been eroded from rain or whatever and is now 6 inches deeper than expected....it makes a difference. Or riding unfamiliar terrain and your body position isn't correct; the bike can help. I would only grade myself out as a "B" or "B+" rider, so the bike may make a bigger difference to me. YMMV. Good luck
    "No good deed goes unpunished"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by abeckstead View Post
    I love having a dropper. I don't just use it for steep downhills, I pretty much use it on any downhill. Or tight flowing terrain where you can pump. I like to really throw my bike around and want the seat the hell out of my way.
    +1. To me, the biggest advantage of a dropper post is getting the saddle out of the way so I can lean the bike in corners.
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  23. #23
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    I crashed on greens Lick in Bent Creek near Asheville a few years ago. I was a tight technical singletrack kind of rider with a 4" dual suspension xc bike. I was riding that day with two very fast guys and trying to keep up. As you can guess, it got away from me. Bad body position in the air, landing front wheel first + rock pile = a custom made OTB flight long enough for that contemplation moment of how bad landing was going to suck. It did. Helmet busted into 5 pieces, abrasions over half my upper torso, no major damage, aches and pains.

    The part I did not expect was the loss of desire to go fast, do big drops, jumps etc... at all. Was basically off the bike for almost a year. Lost some of the joy I guess... I had been OTB many times before, but never like that.

    I started exploring new rides. I had some of the same thoughts as you are having. I chose a slack steel hardtail for simplicity, durability and all that. I built up (and am now on my second) an On One Summer Season. The slack HTA with longer travel forks is right for me (66.6 HTA + 140 forks... I tried 150 and it was too high and slack...).

    I am slower for sure. Some of that is me being more cautious, some of it is that the bike is just not as fast, some of it is that I just do not are if who I am riding with is blowing me away anymore. I have come to grips with being slower and enjoying the bike, the ride and being away from things. I am less likely to try to ride every obstacle, have no shame over going around. I am back to enjoying downhills.. have since come to an "agreement" with Greens Lick that allows me to ride it fast enough to have fun and slow enough to not, well... die

    So long story for a short purpose.
    1) Yes a slack 26" bike has helped me ride better, safer I think
    2) After an OTB crash of magnitude it was necessary for me to rethink my riding style steed and all. Why do I ride, what is most fun, what balances the rest of my life in a positive way.
    3) As a rider who started in 1990, I have relearned the joy of a simple hardtail and now ride it singlespeed. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity... though I do love that Fox float 140 up front.

    Hope my experience helps in some way. get back on the bike, ride what you are comfortable with and enjoy.

    John
    On One Summer Season Single Speed

  24. #24
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    Slacker vs 29er - Endo

    John thanks for the input. I may rethink my choice of bike as well. Maybe just something light and fun. I demo'd a Blur Trc awhile back and had a lot of fun, with it being a shorter travel bike I was really surprised. 29" wheels and more travel will probably be a pretty heavy bike.

    I really need to demo a 29" bike for myself to decide if its going to give me the confidence I need and still be fun.

  25. #25
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    Slightly off topic but +1 to this.

    And agreed with other posters endoing is usually the product of the rider not the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    +1. To me, the biggest advantage of a dropper post is getting the saddle out of the way so I can lean the bike in corners.
    "Chancho. When you are a man sometimes you wear stretchy pants... Its for fun..."

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