29ers...cheating?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29ers...cheating?

    So tonight I went on short ride. Our trails are just now becoming ready for Spring riding with the snow melting. It is the start of the season, so I am still not in my optimal riding shape.
    There was a line of about 5 people waiting to to try to clear a pretty technical uphill rock garden. I somehow managed to clean it for the first time on my 29er (Stumpy fsr comp). I felt pretty proud, partly because I cleared it on my first try and partly because I had a crowd of people watching me haha. After I cleaned it I heard a voice say "That a 29er?", "Yes" I said. "Well that's cheating then!".
    The man was joking, he had a smile on his face when he said it. I did reply to him and mentioned that all that extra travel he had on his 26er was cheating during downhill. As I said, we were both joking, but I have heard people use that as a cop out when their buddies with their 29er clean something they can't.
    My point is that adopting new technology on bikes isn't cheating unless this technology is an electric motor on your bike. 29ers do some thing better, but there are moments when I wish I had the quick handling and acceleration of a 26er but I am used my 29er by now. I guess the only real form of cheating would be doing what Lance did, but I am just a mediocre local trail rider who rides for fun.

  2. #2
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Yep, heard that.

    Also heard but that's carbon & yea but that's a big dollar bike.

    Also but this is your home trail & so on.

    Bottom line is you either rode it or you didn't.

    All bikes have something they are not as good at, Make sure you nail those as well.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  3. #3
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    Yeah, because it's all one big test and we should all use the most primitive tools/method to accomplish it I get that $hit ALL the time because I can clear very big step ups from an almost stand still a few feet away, no one worries to look at my technique compared to theirs - normally they put the front wheel up and try to pedal up, whereas I put the front wheel up and then one hard pedal kick and throw the rear up.

    No denying though, in the rough and chunky stuff the 29" wheel definitely rolls over and gets caught up/stuck less and that the sort of stuff I love, so 29er suits me fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  4. #4
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    I got my first mountain bike in 1988 - an 18-speed, steel full rigid 26er. Every subsequent new part and new bike has been an improvement.

    If I could get in a wayback machine and ride those same trails - as they were in 1988, my current ride, a Cannondale Carbon Scalpel 1, would certainly make me faster. And, if I could race the same guys I did in 1993 on my current bike... I'd likely be a step or two higher on the podium. And that wayback machine would constitute cheating. It wouldn't be fair to those guys stuck in 1993.

    But you know what - I don't race guys on 1988 18-speed 26ers. I race guys on 2011-2013 carbon _____ and trails are cut and maintained with 100mm + travel in mind and... well you get the point.

    And as a pretty fast cyclist once said "It doesn't get easier. You just get faster".
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride are usually slow.
    Roadies who don't mountain bike are usually d***s.

  5. #5
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    When I got my 29er, I said to myself "This feels like cheating" because I was so much faster and rolled over things so much easier than on my hardtail 26er. I've often wondered if I should ride the hardtail again to see if I have the same skills as I do on the 29er now, but I don't feel like going back! Could it be that the 29er is giving me a false sense of improved skills? I don't know, but I'll take it!
    2012 Salsa Horsethief
    2005 Independent Fabrication Deluxe

  6. #6
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    I just upgraded to a much better bike. I'm sure I'll be faster on the DH and on the climbs as well because of a better machine. It's not cheating because I worked hard, saved money and did my research. That's the beauty of cycling...it's man + machine.
    I like to ride bikes.

  7. #7
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    When I clear something on my 29er that my buddies or others can't clear on their 26er, I always yell "29er B!tch!". It makes me feel better about cheating.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  8. #8
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    Gnar, I thought there was some long thread that came to the conclusion that wheel diameter had zip to do with acceleration and that it was dependent upon the weight of the rim and tire only. So a 700 gram tire on a 500 gram rim would have the same resistance/inertia regardless of diameter. IOW the reduced rotational speed of the bigger wheel canceled things out. Couldn't find the thread again.

    I'll admit that the larger diameter does inhibit the steering quickness, which can be a good thing in some situations and bad in others, but if the wheel/tire combo is the same weight as 26" I don't think there's an acceleration difference.

    But I may have remembered the conclusion wrong, Anyone?

  9. #9
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    Yeah I have a buddy who attributes me being able to ride some chunky sections to the fact that I have a full suspension. Oddly enough, my other buddy who is a better rider than me clears it on a hardtail. lol

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    When I clear something on my 29er that my buddies or others can't clear on their 26er, I always yell "29er B!tch!". It makes me feel better about cheating.
    Ha.
    I do the same but I am on my 26er clearing sections that they skip on their 29ers, "26er B!tch"! Makes/made me feel better about not being able to afford a 29er, until recently.

    As far as cheating, I'd say no.
    Advantages, yes, but there are disadvantages as well. When I built up my 29er I went with a SS drivetrain mostly due to cost but also to ensure that my trails weren't too easy. I recently built up a 26er that I really like as well and I didn't want to give myself a reason to spend all my time on my big wheeled bike.
    Mostly a rigid SS, sometimes a geared HT

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulerias View Post
    Gnar, I thought there was some long thread that came to the conclusion that wheel diameter had zip to do with acceleration and that it was dependent upon the weight of the rim and tire only. So a 700 gram tire on a 500 gram rim would have the same resistance/inertia regardless of diameter. IOW the reduced rotational speed of the bigger wheel canceled things out. Couldn't find the thread again.

    I'll admit that the larger diameter does inhibit the steering quickness, which can be a good thing in some situations and bad in others, but if the wheel/tire combo is the same weight as 26" I don't think there's an acceleration difference.

    But I may have remembered the conclusion wrong, Anyone?
    That may be true. Riding a 29er with a heavy wheelset vs one with a light wheelset is night and day. I got a fairly light wheelset on mine and yesterday I was surprised how well it climbed during short, fast, techinical climbs. One pedal revolution gets you more distance and I am still not expecting that since I am accustomed to 7+ years of riding 26ers.

  12. #12
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    So riding a full suspension is cheating compared to a hardtail compared to a rigid, right?

    SPP
    Rigid.

  13. #13
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    SO from "least" to "most" cheating ...

    Rigid 26er => Rigid 29er => HT 26er =>HT 29er =>FS 26er => FS 29er ?

    Insert your 69ers, 650b's, etc where you think appropriate...

    SPP
    Rigid.

  14. #14
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    Well, pedaling your bike is cheating too because the first bikes didnt have pedals, right?

  15. #15
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    Nah, I think you've got that wrong - Rigid 26er / HT 26er/ Rigid 29er/ FS 26er/ HT 29er/ FS 29er
    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    SO from "least" to "most" cheating ...

    Rigid 26er => Rigid 29er => HT 26er =>HT 29er =>FS 26er => FS 29er ?

    Insert your 69ers, 650b's, etc where you think appropriate...

    SPP
    Last edited by LyNx; 04-04-2013 at 11:16 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  16. #16
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    I would have let him use my bike to show me how much it helps his sorry a$$.
    "Having lack of self-preservation makes biking more fun."

  17. #17
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Cheating is if you take a spade to change a trail you couldn't ride.

    End of.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  18. #18
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    So, I was descending down a muddy section for 1/2 a mile. My disc brakes were working great. When I got to the bottom, I waited for my buddy for about 10 seconds. When he finally got to the bottom, he said to me "Those disc brakes on your bike!!?" I said "Yep". He said "Cheater!"

    AKA. Nope.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    When I clear something on my 29er that my buddies or others can't clear on their 26er, I always yell "29er B!tch!". It makes me feel better about cheating.
    You should yell, "STRAVA!" instead imo. Just because.

  20. #20
    Here, diagonally!
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    Tell him 29ers are a handicap! That's because they have slower acceleration, the wheels flex more, handling is ponderous, and the chainstays are too long. I read it right here on MTBR.

  21. #21
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    YES...you were cheating and showing up those on-lookers.
    You should have done an ENDO to build there self-esteem.

  22. #22
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    no not for me. In fact, when my friends are faster and clear more stuff than me it's because my 29er is heavy and slow. But when I flog those same friends and leave them in the dust it's because I am just awesome.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Nah, I think you've got that wrong - Rigid 26er / HT 26er/ Rigid 29er/ FS 26er/ HT 29er/ FS 29er
    I can see this developing into "the spectrum of cheating"... in the visible range going from (in no real particular order) rigid 26 (for the purist), 26HT-through a range of fork travels, 26FS<5", 650B(R, HT, FS), R29, 26FS5", 29FS-through a range of travels... to the "infra" range of invisible cheating and the "ultra" range of invisible cheating.

    Quote Originally Posted by finch2 View Post
    no not for me. In fact, when my friends are faster and clear more stuff than me it's because my 29er is heavy and slow. But when I flog those same friends and leave them in the dust it's because I am just awesome.
    Yeah, brother!

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  24. #24
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    how is there any form of "cheating" when your there to have fun?

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