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Thread: Climbing

  1. #1
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    Climbing

    What climbs better a 29er or 26er? why?
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  2. #2
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    FS, HT or rigid on mud, roots, rocks or slick rock? On double track, single track, open trail, technical trail or urban out on the street?

    Do you prefer to spin or mash the pedals, stand or sit while climbing?

    There's a whole bunch of variables to climbing speed and wheel size is one of minor ones.

    To answer your question, depends.
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  3. #3
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    As stated it depends.

    29er definitely has advantages. 26" wins for pure lightness, but you can't be fast climbing if you can't keep rolling.
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  4. #4
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    It's a wash really.

    More leg power and/or less body weight is really what makes you climb faster.
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  5. #5
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    I prefer which tastes better debate Coke or Pepsi. I say conditions determine which climbs better.
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

  6. #6
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    The one with more time in the Saddle

  7. #7
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    I have both, and race both. I don't find much of a difference between the two in climbing. the 29'ers do keep momentum and speed better on the flats and downhills. I don't find 29'ers to be as nimble in the tight single track, but that might just be my skills.

    I'd suggest ride/race what you are more comfortable with.
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  8. #8
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    In a race situation?

    Whichever one the fittest, fastest, luckiest rider is on.

  9. #9
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Not sure either...

    What would be faster...a 34er or a 19er..haha. I think there are performance thresholds at both ends of the spectrum. I am guessing that there is a perfect wheel size out there for "climbing" and perhaps the 29er and 26er or NOT even them.

    Hmm...

    FWIW...I am strongest in the climbing aspect of racing and I do just fine on my 29er. I do not feel faster on a 26".

    Hardtail = yes. I have ridden a ton of full suspension frames that claim to lock-out/have minimal bob on climbs, but have yet to experience a full susp bike that performs like a hardtail. I am sure there are some out there, but I have yet to try one..

    Also, bec. of so many years on a SS, I tend to stand more than the average person during climbs. Having a front shock that has some sort of "brain" or lockout is extremely advantageous imo...

    One last thing...climbing w/out bar ends just seems kooky to me. A lot of the fastest guys out there race sans bar ends though...

  10. #10
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    26er because I'm on it and climbs are my office.

    I'd say the topic has been pretty well done to death, advantages or disadvantages of the equipment, objectively, are a wash, and it comes down to what you climb better on, on your local terrain.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Not sure either...

    What would be faster...a 34er or a 19er..haha. I think there are performance thresholds at both ends of the spectrum. I am guessing that there is a perfect wheel size out there for "climbing" and perhaps the 29er and 26er or NOT even them.

    Hmm...

    FWIW...I am strongest in the climbing aspect of racing and I do just fine on my 29er. I do not feel faster on a 26".

    Hardtail = yes. I have ridden a ton of full suspension frames that claim to lock-out/have minimal bob on climbs, but have yet to experience a full susp bike that performs like a hardtail. I am sure there are some out there, but I have yet to try one..

    Also, bec. of so many years on a SS, I tend to stand more than the average person during climbs. Having a front shock that has some sort of "brain" or lockout is extremely advantageous imo...

    One last thing...climbing w/out bar ends just seems kooky to me. A lot of the fastest guys out there race sans bar ends though...

    FS that climbs like a HT, Sworks Epic

    on bar ends, I have used them for huge days in the mountains. they offer more positions etc. for 1.5-2hrs *race pace* bar ends are extraneous for me. if you look at WC Euro riders they all use them though. part of me thinks that those riders only use them to promote the smaller companies that contribute to their paychecks.

    also i have done some eyeballing of photos and such. i think it is possible that bar ends have been used to compensate for bikes that are on the smallish side relative to rider dimensions. this could be practiced to drop weight, smaller frame, and still get a good position without ridiculous long stems which could also compromise descending.
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  12. #12
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    Easy the one with the highest power to weight ratio

  13. #13
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    FS that climbs like a HT, Sworks Epic

    on bar ends, I have used them for huge days in the mountains. they offer more positions etc. for 1.5-2hrs *race pace* bar ends are extraneous for me. if you look at WC Euro riders they all use them though. part of me thinks that those riders only use them to promote the smaller companies that contribute to their paychecks.

    also i have done some eyeballing of photos and such. i think it is possible that bar ends have been used to compensate for bikes that are on the smallish side relative to rider dimensions. this could be practiced to drop weight, smaller frame, and still get a good position without ridiculous long stems which could also compromise descending.
    I hear you..

    I do feel extremely awkward (think t-rex dino arms) when standing and climbing when I don't have bar ends and have felt this way since day one back in late late 80s. Even more puzzling are SS riders/racers with no bar ends for out of saddle leverage.

    Don't you feel like when climbing and standing that you need the extra reach?

    Also, imo, the perpendicular position of the hands when standing and climbing feels less affective/natural than a more parralel position that one gets with ends.

    For descents...I do wish they would disappear..ha
    Last edited by rydbyk; 07-06-2012 at 11:00 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Even more puzzling are SS riders/racers with no bar ends for out of saddle leverage. Don't you feel like when climbing and standing that you need the extra reach?
    Sorry, quick off topic...but perhaps I can shine some light on the above.

    One too many high speed hook ups between the bar ends and small trees. I did love the hand position, but I still brush trees on a regular enough basis to keep me bar-end free.

  15. #15
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatlat View Post
    Sorry, quick off topic...but perhaps I can shine some light on the above.

    One too many high speed hook ups between the bar ends and small trees. I did love the hand position, but I still brush trees on a regular enough basis to keep me bar-end free.
    Yep! The nubs pictured above are nice. They barely reach beyond my knuckles, so they are not prone to hook ups. Still, no bar ends are better if you ride where there are massive tree branches around every corner.

    I don't feel bad about this thread taking a left turn bec. the whole 26 v. 29 thing is out of control. I think the OP has enough good info now to make a decent decision.

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    Do you run those stubbies on a carbon bar? I've considered them, but worried about clamping them on my bars (XC70).

  17. #17
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatlat View Post
    Do you run those stubbies on a carbon bar? I've considered them, but worried about clamping them on my bars (XC70).
    Yes I do. I am currently using Salsa flat carbon bars. They do not recommend the use of bar ends on these bars, but tell me "they know of a lot of people using them..hint hint.. IMO, you can run bar ends on most carbon bars...just be careful not to over tighten is all...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gatlat View Post
    Do you run those stubbies on a carbon bar? I've considered them, but worried about clamping them on my bars (XC70).
    You can get special end plugs such as these Ergon LS100 ones. The idea is that they reinforce the ends of the carbon handlebar so that it is less likely to be damaged by using bar ends.

    http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/ls100

    .

  19. #19
    gunslinger
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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    FS that climbs like a HT, Sworks Epic
    No joke people... I was very skeptical going from a HT to FS - I never thought I'd find something that didn't provide the same climbing rigidity as the HT... and the only way you know the Epic (wound tight enough) isn't a HT on a climb is when you're not bounced off the saddle over a root, rock or rut. Other than that it's some kind of magical HT w/ a shock!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Easy the one with the highest power to weight ratio
    We have the correct answer here folks!
    "Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?"

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE=rydbyk;8178055]
    I do feel extremely awkward (think t-rex dino arms) when standing and climbing when I don't have bar ends and have felt this way since day one back in late late 80s. Even more puzzling are SS riders/racers with no bar ends for out of saddle leverage.

    /QUOTE]
    My $0.02 on this side topic-
    A lot of the extra leverage comes from the wider bars most people run now, 680-700mm are very common especially in the SS and 29er groups. In the late 80's/ early 90's 620mm (and narrower cut down) bars were more popular, very little leverage and bar ends widened the effective grip as much as they gave a more forward position. The wider grip of modern bars does a lot to eliminate the need for bar ends, at the expense of aerodynamics. Wider bars also bring your chest forward more without moving your hand position so much further beyond your steerer tube: which gives you a good compromise between keeping the front end down climbing, but keeping your overall weight back for handling purposes, IMHO. Also, with wider bars, the whole bar ends catching branches issue becomes a much bigger risk.
    I think the world cup guys with bar ends must either still run narrower bars, or the courses are wide enough that catching a bar end is less of a risk. I still think narrower bars and bar ends are probably the fastest just due to aerodynamics at the speeds the WC guys run. Hands in a narrow, more aerodynamic position for straights and descents, wide position for climbs where aerodynamics are less important.
    I run 680 risers, no bar ends, on my trail bike that I happen to race, but I still grip my bars like I have bar ends on some climbs-- a smaller grip than a bar end, but it still works.

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