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  1. #1
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    Which will be more competitive - Light 26 or heavier 29er?

    I'm trying to choose between 2 bikes for this upcoming season. I'm not a hardcore racer, but with regard to my stable this bike will be for my XC racing. I have another bike for more trail/AM stuff.

    Santa Cruz Blur LTC, Built light around 26 lbs.
    Santa Cruz Tallboy Alu, Figure it would be around 29-30 with the build I would have for it.

    Focusing on the weight, geo, and wheel sizes, I am Interested in opinions on which you would choose and why.

  2. #2
    No Stranger to danger....
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    I would go the 26 with a 29 front wheel on it, you wanna ba a trendsetter..
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  3. #3
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    Thats been done many times - be careful but search for 69er

    Trek 69er 3x9 Review - BikeRadar

  4. #4
    Rod
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    ^^^ He was playing with you man.

    It's not about the bike, but the rider. If you train or just ride a lot and at different tempos you will do well on whatever wheel size you choose. I honestly feel like I need more information before I can answer this. Are you going to do any upgrades to these bikes before the races or just go out and see what happens? How serious are you taking this racing series?

    I have to ask. Why do you want to use a blur ltc as a cross country machine? 100mm of travel has been plenty for me in the past even on knarly stuff. I have never felt like I needed 140mm of travel. For 5,800 dollars I think you could find a better cross country bike or a much lighter 29er, but I have never ridden the blur Ltc. It may pedal good, but I think that much suspension wouldn't be as efficient as other bikes designed to race. Just sayin.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  5. #5
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    I figured he was joking around. the "be careful" was related to my recommendation he search on "69er". The results probably wouldn't be safe at work

    I'm looking between these two because I have the BLTC (have ridden it for a while) and picked up the tallboy AL frame this winter with plans to build it up. I decided I'm going to sell one or the other. I cant have them both built at the same time, and if I decide to sell the Tallboy frame would like to do that while it is still new. In the end, I want to keep the one that will serve me better on the XC course.

    In typing up more info in a response, I think I answered my question of which to keep. Guess I just needed to start putting the pros and cons on paper. Thanks for looking and giving it a shot though.

  6. #6
    Rod
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    If it's possible, I think you should keep both bikes. They're both very different.

    If you're just wanting to get the most money back sell the tallboy frame while its still new.

    Last option build them both up and time them on the same course. You may like the 29 or hate it. Get a light wheelset for the 29er though. The wheels are usually heavier and harder to accelerate so if you don't have a light wheelset you could fatigue yourself faster and climbing on a heavy wheelset will definitely fatigue you. It feels like slow motion. Trust me on that one.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  7. #7
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    All 29ers are slightly heavier than their 26er counterparts. Not to sounds like a broken record, but try to demo both and see which rides the best.

    Also, like Rod says, 140mm of travel is overkill and I think its only going to slow you down.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  8. #8
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    Why don't you convert your Blur to 650b/27.5 wheels and have the best of both. The Blurs work very well with this conversion, look in the 650b/27.5 forum. I converted my Blur XCc that I used for racing as well as trail riding, couldn't' be happier, as a matter of fact I won the local race series and never finished out of the top 4 racing this bike in the cat 1 50+ category.

  9. #9
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    I just made the switch and went from a light 26 to a heavier 29, and it takes some getting used to. Like the above comments, my wheelset needs to be switched out. can feel the lack of acceleration on climbs.

  10. #10
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    Like stated above, you'll feel it mostly in the wheels, I'd race the one with the better wheelset. I've raced both my old 26er and my newer 29er this season, I do about the same on either, it's 98% about your legs. If you can find a video of the course you'll be riding, watch it and ask yourself which of your bikes would be more fun on that terrain.

  11. #11
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    I think it really comes down to you, the rider, and which bike you're most confident on. Training will net you more results than bike geo, weight, or wheel size (within reason). If you're doing a variety of races, like some with an All Mountain challenge or Super D component, then you'll want to take the bike that is better across multiple types of terrain.

    Personally, I would go with the BLTc for a few reasons:
    - On long climbs I'd rather not spin a big wheel, even though over some terrain I'm a hair faster on a 4" 29er.
    - Faster handling and more travel for technical sections
    - 3# lighter is a significant difference, especially over potentially a lot of climbing
    - The BLTc is incredibly stiff and coupled with the VPP makes it a really efficient platform
    - It converts to 650b if you ever feel the desire to try out a larger wheel
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I think it really comes down to you, the rider, and which bike you're most confident on. Training will net you more results than bike geo, weight, or wheel size (within reason). If you're doing a variety of races, like some with an All Mountain challenge or Super D component, then you'll want to take the bike that is better across multiple types of terrain.

    Personally, I would go with the BLTc for a few reasons:
    - On long climbs I'd rather not spin a big wheel, even though over some terrain I'm a hair faster on a 4" 29er.
    - Faster handling and more travel for technical sections
    - 3# lighter is a significant difference, especially over potentially a lot of climbing
    - The BLTc is incredibly stiff and coupled with the VPP makes it a really efficient platform
    - It converts to 650b if you ever feel the desire to try out a larger wheel
    I have a similar question. I have a 21lb 26" hardtail with 120mm of travel and a 27 pound tallboy LTC with 140mm travel. It turns out the TMBRA (texas) races are not technical at all, but I really like the comfort of the tallboy LTC.

    is it a no brainer to race on the 26"? How much should I train on it vs riding the LTC? I really want to believe there isnt much difference with wheel sizes, but I feel like Im a lot more tired on the 26" on the same course that I ride a lot.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    I have a similar question. I have a 21lb 26" hardtail with 120mm of travel and a 27 pound tallboy LTC with 140mm travel. It turns out the TMBRA (texas) races are not technical at all, but I really like the comfort of the tallboy LTC.

    is it a no brainer to race on the 26"? How much should I train on it vs riding the LTC? I really want to believe there isnt much difference with wheel sizes, but I feel like Im a lot more tired on the 26" on the same course that I ride a lot.
    You can dress your LTC up as an XC bike with some XC tires and enjoy the comfort of the suspension (that's why you feel more tired on the 26" HT on the same course). What tires are you running on it now?

    BB

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    You can dress your LTC up as an XC bike with some XC tires and enjoy the comfort of the suspension (that's why you feel more tired on the 26" HT on the same course). What tires are you running on it now?

    BB
    I have a hans dampf in front (hate sliding out the front) and I just switched to an ikon in back

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    I have a hans dampf in front (hate sliding out the front) and I just switched to an ikon in back
    That ought to work. Do you really need a Hans Dampf in Texas? You could probably go a bit lighter with a Nobby Nic or the new Ikon 2.35 up front and be fine.

    I've got a similar bike to the LT C - a RIP 9 - with a Nobby Nic 2.35 up front and a Renegade 2.3 in the rea2.25r (more like a 2.25 measurement wise) which is nice and comfy to ride XC to stay fresh. It's not my main race bike (JET 9 is with an Ikon 2.35 up front and Ikon 2.2 in the rear), but it's nice to use the big cushion trail bike every now and then if the course is one that will beat me up.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    That ought to work. Do you really need a Hans Dampf in Texas? You could probably go a bit lighter with a Nobby Nic or the new Ikon 2.35 up front and be fine.

    I've got a similar bike to the LT C - a RIP 9 - with a Nobby Nic 2.35 up front and a Renegade 2.3 in the rea2.25r (more like a 2.25 measurement wise) which is nice and comfy to ride XC to stay fresh. It's not my main race bike (JET 9 is with an Ikon 2.35 up front and Ikon 2.2 in the rear), but it's nice to use the big cushion trail bike every now and then if the course is one that will beat me up.
    Austin is a bit different than most of texas. There are a lot of technical rocky trails. I really like the hans dampf for downhill switchbacks with a lot of loose chunky limestone. Sometimes the limestone is damp and gets really slick. I could probably go ikon in the front for races, but not for general riding. A lot of people do ride nobby nics so they would be ok.

    The 26" hardtail is about 6 pounds lighter than the LTc. Is it worth it to ride it instead of the LTc? Especially because the TMBRA race trails are not very technical.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    Austin is a bit different than most of texas. There are a lot of technical rocky trails. I really like the hans dampf for downhill switchbacks with a lot of loose chunky limestone. Sometimes the limestone is damp and gets really slick. I could probably go ikon in the front for races, but not for general riding. A lot of people do ride nobby nics so they would be ok.

    The 26" hardtail is about 6 pounds lighter than the LTc. Is it worth it to ride it instead of the LTc? Especially because the TMBRA race trails are not very technical.
    Got it.

    I guess the question is the amount of climbing in the races. If the ability to keep pushing the power out through the rough stuff on your full suspension bike compared to not being able to do that in certain sections on the HT makes up for it - it's a wash and you are aboard the bike that keeps you more comfortable and doesn't beat you up in spite of the additional 6 pounds.

    I don't know what components you have on your Tallboy LT C, but 27 pounds is a pretty decent weight for a trail bike. Keep in mind there are a lot of guys racing HT's that weigh that much due to the components on them. The Nobby Nic would save you a bit of weight up front (125g) over the Dampf. The cost of shedding more weight (probably by goint to XX1 single ring drivetrain, light pedals, carbon bar, carbon post, light stem, light saddle, light grips, light wheels) is going to add up to quadruple digits $$$$wise.

    If one did that, you might be much better off just getting a full suspension race bike that is "between" your HT and your LT C. Something like a lower cost JET 9 alloy frame, or Spearfish. I find that 80mm - 100mm in the rear and 100mm up front is plenty for XC races and provides that comfort/fresher feeling you are seeking over the HT, yet is still a very efficient XC race bike.

    Or if the budget allows, a Tallboy carbon, or JET 9 Carbon/RDO race bike, or Epic.

    Then you'd have more to choose between thanks to the increased investment.

  18. #18
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    The 26" hardtail is about 6 pounds lighter than the LTc. Is it worth it to ride it instead of the LTc? Especially because the TMBRA race trails are not very technical.
    I have a 19lb hardtail a 24lb 5inch travel dually. For one off efforts I am faster on the hard tail, not by a lot, but faster. However, in race conditions where fatigue governs performance more than anything, I am significantly faster on the dually.

    The funny thing is the dually shines more on non-technical course. If the terrain is super techy and I am not in the saddle very often the hardtail is really quick. On non-technical terrain where you tend to sit and pedal I get beat up on the hard tail.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  19. #19
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    The Blur LT has a pretty short top tube (reach), the Tallboy is longer, which works out better for most people at race pace. But if you do switch to the Tallboy, be prepared for a bit more aggressive position.
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