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  1. #1
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    Anyone racing XC on a 26" FS?

    I know that the 26" HT is as good as dead on the race circuit but I've heard a lot of comments that "everyone is on 29ers."

    While it surprises me that no one is racing 26" HT (especially for shorter women), it's even more surprising that no one is on a 26" FS.

    I haven't followed the race scene, as a fan or a participant, in many years so I don't know how the courses have changed. Are these buffed out fireroads or is there still technical singletrack on the course?
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  2. #2
    I'd rather be riding
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    I raced a full suspension 26" (Trek Top Fuel) the past two seasons and it was great. Broke it and moved on to a 29 hardtail. At 6' 3" it fits me better and helps my climbing while barley slowing me down on the descents.

  3. #3
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    I'm racing with a 26 HT, it's not dead to me. I started mtb'ing in 7th grade and I'm 34 now so I enjoy the "feel" of the trail, picking really good lines, and not just rolling over everything; that's what attracted me to the sport when I started on a 18 speed rigid. I wouldn't ever consider a FS for racing unless it was a endurance race, the 12 - 15 miles races I do FS is completely unnecessary.
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  4. #4
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    Wheel size is the most overhyped thing in biking. There are alot of people racing and doing well on bikes of every wheel size. Not sure what race you are referring to about the conditions changes.

    If you are asking this question because you want to go back to racing but think you need a new bike to compete the answeris no. I have a 26 inch FS bike (Titus racer-X) and a 29 inch hardtail (Cannondale Flash) and the differences between the bikes in terms of speed are negligable.
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  5. #5
    Metalheadbikerider
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    I race a Trek Fuel EX 9.8. I wanted a bike that I could race, and enjoy riding tech trails all day long on as well. I think it is a great in-between bike.
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  6. #6
    Always pushing harder!!!
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    I race a 26 FS (Pivot Mach 4) and a 29er HT (Stumpjumper). I like both bikes...but depending on the course, I switch from one bike to the other...but for every day fun riding, I prefer my 26 FS...

  7. #7
    Has skills-will travel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    Wheel size is the most overhyped thing in biking.
    Amen to that!

  8. #8
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Yes. (Not me personally though). Depends on the course really. IMO, a 26" fs makes more sense than a 29" fs.

    For me, the benefit of a 29er is the FACT that you can ride a more simple hardtail and still have a bit of plushness that you gain from a bigger wheel.

    That is it. If I were to race a fs, it would NOT be a 29er in S. California. Just my opinion..although I did own a 29er fs for awhile and it was just plain overkill for my tastes for where I live..

    I would entertain the idea of a 27.5 uber light fs race bike though..haha. I know...splitting hairs here, but a 27.5 version of the Cannondale Scalpel sounds very appealing!

  9. #9
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    First off let me shoot off a few disclaimers:

    1- Ive only been racing for 2 years (this will be my 3rd) and I just moved up to CATII last fall. (So im no expert)
    2- What im about to say will get me flamed. (Oh well)

    I raced the last 2 years on a FS 26" bike in the Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS). This year I am moving into a HT 29" Stumpy. It is my belief that racing a 26" bike against 29" bikes is a disadvantage when taking equal ability and fitness into account. At least in the race series here in WI.

    Now there are people who just have the engine to run just about any bike and beat people, so there are always exceptions.
    People ask me all the time "who beat you up"? I tell them "a tree". They just look at me funny....

  10. #10
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    Unfortunately I feel like flaming on 29ers mostly because I can't afford one right now and I was sick of feeling like there were people I was more skilled than and at least at the same fitness but they always pulled away from me in different spots. It makes me feel better to pretend I don't need a 29er
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  11. #11
    26 ain't dead
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    I race my Pivot 5.7 in the local XC series here in AZ. May not be the most ideal bike for racing, but I'm more about having fun. I have enough other hobbies that the need to have a Carbon 29 HT to be potentially somewhat quicker in Cat 2 isn't that big a deal to me. If I were to get another bike, I would probably still go with a Mach 4, I love those bikes. Guess it all depends on your goals.

  12. #12
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    Yes, I race on a 2010 Spec Epic 26er. I'm 5ft 7 and ride a small, so a 26er works well for me. My mate races a 29er FS XXL, so the 29er works better for him.

    2012 was my first year racing. I was top third in CAT2 for most of my races.

    I plan to race it for a few more years until all this wheel size nonsense calms down a bit.....

  13. #13
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    I raced a 26 carbon hardtail the past two years. This year, I've switched to a 26 FS. It was the rockgardens that made me switch. I was getting jarred off my HT bike so I hope FS will help. I've never ridden a 29er before.

  14. #14
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    Been racing a 26" Santa Cruz Blur XC.Anyone racing XC on a 26" FS?-blur-xc.jpg

  15. #15
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    Get a dropper post on any a 26er and you'll be able to drop anyone on any bike without a dropper post on a descent and scorch them on the ascent with your weight advantage. The hit in weight is negligible for a dropper post in comparison to going to a 29er setup. My first race with a dropper post had me laughing all the way to the finish line. Words cannot describe how much faster you can descend when ur seat isn't in the way.

  16. #16
    zrm
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    S-Works Epic w/26" wheels. It's a very fast bike and if people are faster (or slower) than me it's not because of the size of their wheels.

    29" wheels have their advantages and disadvantages just like 26" wheels do.

  17. #17
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    nice bike! I'm getting rid of my Niner Carbon HT drank the wagon wheel cool-aid for 2 years and finally realize 26 is magic. Its retro by now and thats awesome. Josh Tosado won the 24 hrs of moab and is reigning endurance racing champ and he's on a 26. Josh Tostado I can't find the link but not all 29ers win at the worldcup level.

  18. #18
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    I raced a 26 inch hardtail last year. My fiance races a 26 inch full suspension. I'm going 29er fully this year because it is a faster and safer machine for the courses in New England.
    Some of the issues with the 26 inch hardtail has more to do with people being in your way when you come to the sections that the bike excels at. The places to pass are in the flats and wider areas, and the 26 inch hardtail rips corners really well, but passing is really hard in those areas and you're usually stuck behind a slow turning 29er which is keeping you riding slower at the parts that the bike wants to rip... If you can't beat 'em, join 'em I guess.

  19. #19
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    Re: Anyone racing XC on a 26" FS?

    I races a 5" 26er a week ago and will be doing it all year. First season for me and I look forward to it. I swear 90% were on 29ers. It was nice passing a bunch of them! It's all about fun. Maybe next year ill get the trance x 29er I've been eyeballin.
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  20. #20
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    The leading my class in the TMBRA series (cat 2 30-34) has won two of the first three races and he rides a f/s 26er. Doesn't slow him down at all... :-)
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein

  21. #21
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    I race on a 26" Carbon Trek Top Fuel that I love for the rough courses. Anything that has a constant sort of bumpyness to it. I race a 29" Cannondale Flash 3 carbon on anything that is a little smoother or if there is a lot of climbing. The Flash is way faster on long smooth climbs. It has amazing grip on climbs. It is a beast out in the open on the flats. The Top fuel crushes it if the course is really twisty or constantly bumpy. I am an Ottawa guy though, so here it is pretty much always bumpy.

  22. #22
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    I placed 3rd at nationals cat 2 on a 30lb fs 26". As a cat 1 now, I feel the weight is narrowing the margin of what can be overcome by fitness. Probably will buy 29 HT when I am able to buy a race bike. I suspect the weight and pedal efficiency will make the most difference. for this season, I built up a 1400g Stans wheelset. Hopefully that helps at least some.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
    Best thing about an ultra marathon? I just get to ride my bike for X hours!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlliKat View Post
    I placed 3rd at nationals cat 2 on a 30lb fs 26".
    That's very impressive on a 30lb bike. Nice job.
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  24. #24
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    i won when i used my yamaha .

    Kidding aside i prefer racing with a yeti asr 26 fs

  25. #25
    go vegan!
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    That is awesome and makes me realize there is hope for me this season haha. congrats.
    btw what age group and was it XC?

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