Apples to Oranges....tires for 26 and 29- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Apples to Oranges....tires for 26 and 29

    I've been following the contact patch/rolling resistance info laid out on this 29 forum. It only makes sense that in the 29er forum there is bias pro-29! Expected and accepted. But, has that Shiggy fellow or others addressed the myriad differences OTHER than simply the 26 v 29 sizes such as testing out 26 x 2.3/2.4/2.5 tires (arguably more volume, more contact patch, +/-? rolling resistance......), the tubed v tubeless tires regardless of diameter, the huge variety of competent suspension options and how that affects traction/rolling resistance....on and on. Perhaps I'm asking too much!

    I could buy into a 29 x 2.1 steel hardtail having a "better ride" than a 26 x 2.1 steel hardtail (apples to apples so to speak). BUT truly compare that 29 x 2.1 steel hardtail to a modern 5" travel full suspension rig equipped with 26 x 2.3 tubeless tires......cornering, traction, climbing, rolldown test, something along those lines (apples to oranges).....again probably too many variables. Opinions? Anyone here go from a modern 4-5" travel, stable platform era 26" FS bike to a 29er?

  2. #2
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow
    I've been following the contact patch/rolling resistance info laid out on this 29 forum. It only makes sense that in the 29er forum there is bias pro-29! Expected and accepted. But, has that Shiggy fellow or others addressed the myriad differences OTHER than simply the 26 v 29 sizes such as testing out 26 x 2.3/2.4/2.5 tires (arguably more volume, more contact patch, +/-? rolling resistance......), the tubed v tubeless tires regardless of diameter, the huge variety of competent suspension options and how that affects traction/rolling resistance....on and on. Perhaps I'm asking too much!

    I could buy into a 29 x 2.1 steel hardtail having a "better ride" than a 26 x 2.1 steel hardtail (apples to apples so to speak). BUT truly compare that 29 x 2.1 steel hardtail to a modern 5" travel full suspension rig equipped with 26 x 2.3 tubeless tires......cornering, traction, climbing, rolldown test, something along those lines (apples to oranges).....again probably too many variables. Opinions? Anyone here go from a modern 4-5" travel, stable platform era 26" FS bike to a 29er?
    Oooh, good idea! You provide the funding (bikes, tires, travel, per diem, incidentals) and I'd be happy to conduct the research. I'll have my accountant contact your accountant manana!

    I currently have Blur (4.5" VPP) and have ordered a Rig (29er hardtail), so as soon as Gary Fisher sends me my new bike, I can start our project.

  3. #3
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    Many, many variables in there and no real way to test them. Hard enough just evaluating different tires on the same bike and the same rider. Different riders have different riding styles that may or may not suit the tire and/or conditions. Using different types of bikes introduces even more changes as different riding techniques may be needed.

    Realistically no one is going be choosing between a 29" hardtail and a 5" travel 26" trailbike. That is apples vs watermelons. Picking between a 26" XC hardtail and a 29" XC hardtail is red delicious vs gala. Both apples but different.
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  4. #4
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    Exactly...

    Not that just one guy's opinion is good science, but your experiences comparing your Blur to your Fisher 29er hardtail will be nice to know. Assuming similar XC ish parts picks, that oughta be an interesting showdown.

    In an unrelated and unscientific rolldown test, a riding partner and I compared a rigid 26 bike to a 5" full suspension rig, also 26", same tires at same pressure, and the 5" FS rig was remarkably faster and easier to pedal (on that given terrain).

    It got me wondering if a 29er would have fallen in the middle there somewhere, been found superior to the 5" bike....or what.....again too many variables perhaps.

  5. #5
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    Your Apples are Rotten - Trash talk

    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow
    I've been following the contact patch/rolling resistance info laid out on this 29 forum. It only makes sense that in the 29er forum there is bias pro-29! Expected and accepted. But, has that Shiggy fellow or others addressed the myriad differences OTHER than simply the 26 v 29 sizes such as testing out 26 x 2.3/2.4/2.5 tires (arguably more volume, more contact patch, +/-? rolling resistance......), the tubed v tubeless tires regardless of diameter, the huge variety of competent suspension options and how that affects traction/rolling resistance....on and on. Perhaps I'm asking too much!

    I could buy into a 29 x 2.1 steel hardtail having a "better ride" than a 26 x 2.1 steel hardtail (apples to apples so to speak). BUT truly compare that 29 x 2.1 steel hardtail to a modern 5" travel full suspension rig equipped with 26 x 2.3 tubeless tires......cornering, traction, climbing, rolldown test, something along those lines (apples to oranges).....again probably too many variables. Opinions? Anyone here go from a modern 4-5" travel, stable platform era 26" FS bike to a 29er?
    Yep, your asking too much in trying to compare everything. Why attempt to compare a 29" HT to a 26"FS with 4-5" travel? Let's bring the appples back together and compare FS to FS and HT to HT. A 26"FS with 4-5" travel and tubeless 2.3's would be mine if I thought it had some advantage that I desired (I use to have one) - but then again I do desire so I now have 29"FS with 4" travel and tubeless 2.2 tires that has a bad habit of rolling over those 26"FS 4-5" travel, 2.3+tubeless tired bikes.

  6. #6
    HIKE!
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    no trash talk

    Well, I suppose SuperE has it solved.

    Shiggy, thanks on the apples to watermelons analogy! Has any magazine done some sorta 29 v 26 wheeled bike comparisons? In the more apples-apples or even apples-oranges categories, avoiding apples to watermelons.

    I just get blanket 29er rolls better, as you'd expect in the 29er forum, but no qualifiers as to what has been compared. I'd like a more detailed review from SuperE, no need to trash talk, though....what bikes/tires/etc?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow
    I just get blanket 29er rolls better, as you'd expect in the 29er forum, but no qualifiers as to what has been compared.
    Hi, Sparrow.

    If you are the Acme Bikes in Rapid City, I'll be out there again post Christmas for a week (skiing and riding). You (or your shop) changed the oil in the Marzocchi fork on my Gary Fisher Sugar 293 not too many weeks ago when I was out there. I can bring a two niner or two along for you to ride around and run your own tests on to see what you think. I've got a size XL Sugar, a size XL Karate Monkey hardtail/rigid, a size small Sugar 292 (my son's) and a small steel hardtail with front suspension (Wes Willits frame).

    Anything from that bunch tickle your fancy for test riding to compare? I'm planning on riding Storm Mountain trails while I am there provided it is not covered in snow.

    BB

  8. #8
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    29er test drive.

    Bring bikes, and it will snow. Bring skis and it will be dry. Bring both and we will see some sort of munge fall from the sky that is neither skiable or bikeable.

    It would be fun to test drive 29er on my familiar ground. Bring what you've got room for!

    The trails are bone dry, been out on the trail 40+ days in a row, best time of year to ride. No heat, and no crowds (I mean in the summer you can get upwards of 3 people in a parking lot on a busy Saturday afternoon)

  9. #9
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Realistically no one is going be choosing between a 29" hardtail and a 5" travel 26" trailbike.
    Ummmmm...

  10. #10
    HHL
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    Smile Where is the MTB Lance when you need him?!

    Until there is someone out there to be as motivated to break down all the different riding situations, the type of equipment that serves best, second per second, on the terrain of a given course, the training necessary to handle that equipment, etc., it will be hard to give definitive answers on all that. Yeah, wheel size is important, but in many situations so is cockpit size, wheel base, and other factors you guys know more about than I. So, start with a list of the basic 10 or 20 situations a MTB rider encounters. Same rider, two different bikes, one 26, one 29, see what happens on same type terrain. I'll give my 2 euros worth (better than the dollar right now!) on 2 situations: 1) slow speed drop offs, less dangerous on a 29 as it is less like hitting a wall. 2) long, smooth downhills, faster on a 29. The tires on my 26 hardtail, Specialized Roll-X, are very similar to the MotoRs on my 29 hardtail. A data bank of specific behaviors, coupled with a given race or ride description, % this, % that, rider weight, should give optimum bike style to finish a given course in the best possible time. Problems? Who will be the keeper of the data? Lance wins not because he is the best rider, but because he is the keeper of the data. He brought the Tour out of the stone (stoned?) age. The Tour generates income. Lance generates income. The two together, awesome income. Nat is right. The data will have to be generated without that income, unless someone is willing to fund Nat and his research. But, we have some dedicated riders, out there, like Mikesee. Just need a commited data keeper !
    HHL

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HHL
    Lance wins not because he is the best rider, but because he is the keeper of the data. He brought the Tour out of the stone (stoned?) age. The Tour generates income. Lance generates income. The two together, awesome income.
    Lance wins because his body is a freak machine and the "data" is used to run the machine at peak efficiency. Throw him in a pool, put him in running shoes, toss him on a bike and his ticker and lungs are about as surreal as God intended. Hard not to watch that Alpe d'Huez TT and not say he was the strongest and the "best" rider.

    BB

  12. #12
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    Combination of both for sure. Amazing power per mass, as well as endurance. But, less than Virenque, even when clean. Lance rides with his brains when training and racing, Virenque much less with, well, I don't know. I've been waiting for years for an explanation why when climbing, riders' cadences have to drop. lance told us, it shouldn't, and proved it.

    All else being the same, IMO it's hard to design a race cours that truely favors the 26" bike anymore, for any adult rider. Someone else provide the proof and keep the data this time.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  13. #13
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    I like apple & oranges too

    Quote Originally Posted by sparrow
    Well, I suppose SuperE has it solved.

    Shiggy, thanks on the apples to watermelons analogy! Has any magazine done some sorta 29 v 26 wheeled bike comparisons? In the more apples-apples or even apples-oranges categories, avoiding apples to watermelons.

    I just get blanket 29er rolls better, as you'd expect in the 29er forum, but no qualifiers as to what has been compared. I'd like a more detailed review from SuperE, no need to trash talk, though....what bikes/tires/etc?
    Sorry about the trash talk - I actually have a ton of fun with who ever I ride with and never run over anyone or try to intentionally demoralize their ride (exept when trying to pass them in a race). As far as detailed review I don't have time now (maybe later), but I will tell you this - I had a Klein Palomino (not a big hit, but it had 4" travel, is modern and an awesome ride). I compared the Klein to a Fisher Supercal-29 HT. Both had IRC Mythos 2.1 tires run tubeless with Stan's. I ran both multiple times on a MTB time trial course that has a 700 ft climb, a steep downhill, some rollers, flat runs, etc. The end result was that the Fisher consistently was faster by over a minute. Now this is not totally scientific, but I came up with the same result no matter when I made this comparison. These consistent results convinced me enough to ditch the Palomino (that was hard to do because I loved riding that bike). I then built up a 29" FS. Now I am comparing my 29ers to each other (HT vs. FS) on the same TT course. So far they are nearly equal in the final time around, but the HT is a faster climber where the FS is way faster on the downhill. I ride 29 because it works so well for me and the kind of riding I like to do. It's not for everyone (just like SS or DH is not for everyone), but I would encourage anyone to honestly ride one before passing judgement.

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