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  1. #1
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    how much faster will i be on a 29er

    i am shopping for a XC race bike after 10 years off. i've searched this forum but can't seem to find a straight answer. what is the percentage point difference in lap times that I can expect to see by going to a 29er?
    something about the west coast...it makes me wanna ride

  2. #2
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    That all depends on you. Your lap times will increase as your fitness and skills return.

  3. #3
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    29er Lap time = ((29er smugness/26er lap time) * (purchase price of 29er/ purchase price of 26er))/ number of Dales Pale Ales consumed weekly

  4. #4
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    ~42

  5. #5
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    Infinity. And beyond.

  6. #6
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    you wont. you will be slower. have fun!

  7. #7
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    Who cares. Have fun.

  8. #8
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncreative View Post
    i am shopping for a xc race bike after 10 years off. I've searched this forum but can't seem to find a straight answer. What is the percentage point difference in lap times that i can expect to see by going to a 29er?
    ~0% +/- 4%
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  9. #9
    PeT
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    Breaking the string of funny answers (many of them good), here's my real world data: no increase in average speed between 26er and 29ers, although I cleaned more things on the 29er. However, when I converted the 29er to a single speed, 1 to 2 hour rides on my regular routes were accomplished at a ~10% increase in average speed (from 10.5 mph to 11.5 mph average).
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncreative View Post
    i am shopping for a XC race bike after 10 years off. i've searched this forum but can't seem to find a straight answer. what is the percentage point difference in lap times that I can expect to see by going to a 29er?
    About 50 percent faster. (+/- 75%)

  11. #11
    West Poland Reprazent
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    you will be 3" longer.
    rower & power

  12. #12
    Trail Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by EclipseRoadie View Post
    About 50 percent faster. (+/- 75%)
    That sounds about right.

    You will definitely be faster on one than you will be if you aren't on one, but instead continue to let all the other aspects that are also considered "life" get in the way of riding one.

    Life that includes riding a 29er > Life that does not include riding a 29er

    but,
    Ultimately Life that includes riding a bike > Life that doesn't include riding a bike.
    Santa Cruz Tallboy carbon
    Lynskey Pro29 SL SS
    Cervelo S2 Ultegra
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    Soul Cycle Dillinger Gen3

  13. #13
    Old Punk
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    Dude...... Go ride 26", 29", hardtail, full suspension, entry level and high end. And ride as many different brands as possible. Then buy what fits your body and wallet.

    I ended up on a 29" because I'm 6'3" and no 26"xl frame ever felt right. You'll be surprised how much better of a rider you'll be if the bike fits you, regardless of wheel size. Technique and fitness make speed, not the diameter of your wheels.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

  14. #14
    dru
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    Quote Originally Posted by panplan View Post
    you will be 3" longer.

    and your girth will increase exponentially.....


    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  15. #15
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    On my local trails my lap times are actually slower on my 29er.Similar bike weight and wheel weight. I'm using a 650B front wheel on the 26" for added cornering grip and stability though. Both are FS.

    You may gain something on a 29er hard tail if you are racing on a 26" hard tail. Be prepared to spend big bucks to get a 29er down to xc race weight though.Top xc 29er bikes are phenomenally expensive compared to a similar weight 26" bike. Xc races are mostly about the climbs. My 29er hardtail is slower on the climbs than my 26" hardtail because it's heavier. Our climbs are smooth .There's no magic in wheel size on a climb unless it is very rough. There is on the way down though.

    So all is very much dependant on the courses you run.Look at what the others are using in your area and look at what the bike weighs. If it's heavy and they are still competitive then there may be an advantage in wheel size. You can get 26" fs bikes at similar weight to 29er hard tails at similar or cheaper prices. Add a 650 front wheel and vola. Race ready. The pro's are still swapping between 26" FS , 29er hardtail and 29er FS depending on courses.
    Last edited by gvs_nz; 10-15-2011 at 12:36 PM.

  16. #16
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    If you carry your wallet with you on rides, then yes buying a 29er will make you go faster because your wallet will no longer be anchored with money you just spent on the 29er.

    If you're fast, then you're fast.
    Just keep pedaling, don't stop pedaling.

  17. #17
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    29 times faster!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__ View Post
    ~0% +/- 4%
    Correct answer. You win!!

  19. #19
    Token Hillbilly
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    I have both. If I race locally I ride the 26 because of the type of terrain we have here, but if I'm riding/racing at say, Syllamo, I ride a 29er because of the more surefooted handling.

    Were it me, and I was buying a bike to start out on, I'd get a 29er, then grab a 26 later down the road... if I felt like it and had the spare cash.
    Trying to win hearts and minds, but willing to stomp them if necessary.

  20. #20
    Uncle
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    Quote Originally Posted by uncreative View Post
    i am shopping for a XC race bike after 10 years off. i've searched this forum but can't seem to find a straight answer. what is the percentage point difference in lap times that I can expect to see by going to a 29er?
    14 I think. Maybe 15.
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

  21. #21
    Uncle
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder View Post
    ~42
    Damn.. I swear it's either 14 or 15.
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

  22. #22
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Simple calculation

    (26 + 29) X (69 - 40) = your speed increase. You will be 9 seconds faster as long as you are using bar ends on both set ups.

    For every psi lowered = 1 second faster. This sort of thing does not work on 26ers.

    You will also have to consider your ego. Your ego will tell you that you must perform at optimum levels to justify your purchase of said 29er to all friends/associates. Doing so will increase your speed by 2 additional seconds.

    So:

    (26 + 29) X (69 - 40) -9 seconds + -17psi X 10 X ego -2 seconds = increase in speed

    Overall, you can expect a 23 second gain on any competitor on a 26" wheeled bike. It does not matter if it is a 100 yard sprint or a 100 mile race though. It will always be a 23 second gain.

    Pretty simple math really..

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    (26 + 29) X (69 - 40) = your speed increase. You will be 9 seconds faster as long as you are using bar ends on both set ups.

    For every psi lowered = 1 second faster. This sort of thing does not work on 26ers.

    You will also have to consider your ego. Your ego will tell you that you must perform at optimum levels to justify your purchase of said 29er to all friends/associates. Doing so will increase your speed by 2 additional seconds.

    So:

    (26 + 29) X (69 - 40) -9 seconds + -17psi X 10 X ego -2 seconds = increase in speed

    Overall, you can expect a 23 second gain on any competitor on a 26" wheeled bike. It does not matter if it is a 100 yard sprint or a 100 mile race though. It will always be a 23 second gain.

    Pretty simple math really..

    Ha, I figured you were going to throw in something about the bar end factor.

  24. #24
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    wow really? it was a serious question guys.
    something about the west coast...it makes me wanna ride

  25. #25
    transmitter~receiver
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    According to a "study" that used to be posted on Gary Fisher's site it was ~3%.

    You got ridiculous answers because it is a ridiculous question.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

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