Welcome, here's your 29er FAQ thread!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    The Duuude, man...
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    New question here. Welcome, here's your 29er FAQ thread!

    (FAQ follows below)

    29" Gallery
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=4274


    Short Rider, 29" Bike? Some good threads, please give us more links!
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=284154
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=272077
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=281337
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=281515
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=275369
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=277541
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=272170
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=273867
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=271008
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=269774
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=268079
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=98670



    29" FAQ Thread : All you or others never dared to ask
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=18514


    The Great 29" Tire Thread
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=272752
    What tire where thread : http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=272752

    An attempt to list all TRUE 29" tires that ever existed (at 45 now, Sept 30th '07)
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=299432


    (proof that 2.5" bigger is not a big deal) Got to see :
    World's first 36" Wheeled Mountainbike!
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=269746


    Where To Buy the 29" goodness? Shop listings, please add your 29"-friendly LBS
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=45988


    Top Threads Please nominate other top threads (multiple ones) in seperate threads to be added here. Don't let me come up with everything myself, thanks.
    Big huckin' 29"er : http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=107647


    Loaner Thread for a 29" loaner near you. Dream to try, often in return for beer.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=44099


    What the Independent Press writes about 29". Please request the mods to add articles worth listing here. Preferably permanent links.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=124686


    History! Discussion on how 29" came to be.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=191842


    Halfbreed FAQ! Trying to better the 29"er by adding a smaller wheel or the 26"er with a bigger one.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=232425


    -----------------------------------

    (Cloxxki totally replacing njc01's fine top post)
    Okay guys, the time has come! We've been longing for a good FAQ section for years, and folks over on the Weight and Singlespeed forum they're posing with their super-duper FAQ's all over the place, we want to have that, too!

    Here's the deal :
    - Come up with a new question, and ask it in a reply
    - If you can, answer a question, amend on it, or even answer you're own
    - If you're really shy (don't want to ask a question all out in the open under a nickname), you can PM (personal message) me the question and I'll post it for you.

    Once we've got most questions covered, njc01 will set up a neat html page with index, flashing icons, the works, to replace this thread and end up as an easy-to-skim FAQ section. Right, Nathan?

    So, post up those stupid seeming questions! We all asked them before, and need to be asked to understand what we're dealing with here. After all, 10% more wheel on the bike, that's pretty complicating stuff!

    Thanks in advance!

    Happy trails, J
    Last edited by Cloxxki; 09-30-2007 at 06:48 AM.
    FS: Everything

  2. #2
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    Some Basic's

    Question: At the most basic level, what is a 29er? How is it different from “regular” mountain bikes?
    Answer: Good question. At the most basic level, a “29er” refers to a mountain bike with a larger rim than a “traditional or regular” mountain bike. The “29” is actually a bit of a misnomer, as it refers to the approximate diameter of the entire wheel (with a tire mounted), whereas a regular mtb is approximately 26” in diameter. To be more specific about rim size, the 29er uses rims of the exact diameter of a “regular” road bike rim also referred to as “700c.” Continue to thumb through our FAQ section to learn all about the nuances of 29er frames, wheels, rims, forks, fads/fashions/paradigm’s, geometries, parts, where to shop, brands available, availabilities, and the like.

    Question: Do I need a special frame, or can I just sling a set of road wheels on my regular mtb and call it a 29er? What if I throw some bigger tires and a flat bar on my cross bike, is that a 29er?
    Answer: We’re on the border of splitting hairs with this question. Putting a 29er wheel on a 26” regular mtb frame would be problematic for 2 main reasons. First, unless you’re fully disc, your brakes won’t line up properly. The rim will be well above the brake studs for V-brakes, and therefore you can’t use your brake pads. You can circumvent this by getting some special V’s from Paul Components, but problem #2 will make that a not-so-good idea. Second, you won’t have much (if any) frame clearance. Specifically, your tires will rub the frame and perhaps the inside of your front fork. IF you are able to get them to fit, they’ll probably be so close that any mud or dirt would lock them up quickly. Cross bikes already have “road” sized rims, but you’ll have the problem with clearance, the frames don’t have the clearance for a true “Mountain Bike” sized tire. Further, cross frames are not optimized for off-road handling. The geometry is not suited for it, and many times (with some exceptions) the frame itself is not rugged enough to take true off-road use. I’m certain we’ll have more FAQ’s about frame geometry, tire choices, clearance, and the like, but at the most basic level, it’s difficult and problematic to “Frankin-bike” a 26” frame into a true 29er.

    Question: So any old set of road wheels will work on a 29er? Asked another way: Are road wheels the SAME thing as 29er wheels?
    Answer: Kind of, but not really. The rim diameters are the same. However, at a basic level, the rear hub spacing (from frame dropout on 1 side to the other is usually 135 on mtb’s and 130 or so on road bikes) is different making the hubs a bit different. Usually a frame can accommodate this difference between road/mtb hubs, but it is a difference. Next, road rims in general are not designed for heavy off-road usage. The rim itself also tends to be narrower, meaning it may be more difficult to hold a full sized mtb sized tire. There are many people who understand these limitations of using a straight Road wheel set and do it anyway. Specifically, people have had success with the Mavic Ksyrium’s, various Zipp wheels, Speedcity’s and perhaps others. Here’s a 29er with the Ksyriums. This guy and others report no problems:

    <img src="https://picserver.org/view_image.php/96M99P7K0DA2/picserver.jpeg">

    If you opt to build (or have built) a set of custom 29er wheels, the options are many, and often people will opt to utilize road, cross, tandem, or touring rims. For the most part, many of these options offer a stronger and slightly wider rim, which works very well for 29er applications. There are also a variety of 29er specific designs available which are driving the weights down to competive race-able weights even with a 29er sized rim. I am certain we will have several FAQ’s on the topic of wheels, rims, availability, design, building, etc., so I won’t labor those here.
    FS: Everything

  3. #3
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    Question: It is just a Clydesdale thing, or is 29" for everyone?
    Answer: For tall people, 29" can help bring things back into proportions, and this way also take away the disadvantages they suffer riding a bike with dispropotionately small wheels. With a properly designed 29" bike, they will be more stable in the saddle, even in extremely steep climbs and descends. The larger contact patch of the 29" tires helps them generate the grip and traction to keep up with lighter riders a bi more easily.
    For short people, 29" offers the same pro's and con's. The con's of 26" mean less of a problem to them, but are improved upon anyway, while the con's of 29" (like weight), affect them a little more. People as short as 1m53 (5') are enjoying their 29" bikes, though under 5'5", it does take attention to detail in order to not produce toe-overlap (toe rubbing front tire when steering).
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  4. #4
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    Question: Quick and dirty, give me a list of 29" vs. 26", which wins where, concept-wise?
    Answer:
    29" Pro's:
    Rolling resistance (by some 10%)
    Bearing resistance and wear (by some 10%)
    Tire wear (by at least 10%)
    Roll-over stability climbing and descending
    Overall comfort over a ride
    Grip and cornering balance
    Traction
    Pinch-flat resistance

    26" Pro's :
    Weight (300-400g lighter on the complete hardtail bike, all else being equal)
    Due to this weigth advantage : faster acceleration, by around 2%
    Wheelies are easier, the front lifts more easily.
    Flickability in extremely tight corners (where walking would actually be faster)
    Wheel stiffness, at least when using hubs of equal flange spacing
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  5. #5
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    Question: So, 29" rolls better over every type of bump more easily, right?
    Answer: Actually, no. Some deeper (roll-through) bumps approach the 29" wheel's size so closely, that it almost remains stuck in them, making it harder to get through them. These bumps, in regular XC riding, don't occur very often, but every wheel size has it's critical bump size. A 36" wheel (it exists!) will just crash into a dirt jump ramp, where 20" will smoothly roll it up, closely following the curve of the ramp. In regular XC, with roots and rocks, a larger wheel in 99% of the instances means you roll over it with greater ease, fewer energy loss, and therefor faster. Brake bumps made by 26" wheels seem like minor bumps when rolling over them with 29" wheels which don't pick up that resonation frequency. By the time everyone rides 29", the bump frequency will probably become 10% lower. This, and the idea that with 29" you can brake later, will reduce the number of brake bumps before a corner. How that rides exactly, a the point this FAQ is written, probably no-one ever even experienced.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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    Question: I think I'm all set now with my new 29" rig, I simply love it. Now, tell me which tires to get for which circumstances. Back in my 26" days, I had tires for everything : sand, mud, hardpack, street, etc.
    Answer:
    Okay, some popular choices. All are over 1.9", thus truely 29" :
    Mud : Kenda Klaw XT, IRC Notos and Mythos, Continental Vapor
    Fire roads : WTB Nanoraptors, Bontrager ACX Jones, IRC Notos and Mythos
    Rocky : WTB Motoraptor, Bontrager ACX Jones
    Hardpack/Grass : Bontrager ACX Jones, WTB Nanoraptors
    Sand : WTB Nanoraptors, Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35" (option for rear only)
    Street and beach : Schwlabe Big Apple 2.0" or 2.35", Kenda Khan
    Trekking and ultra-long distance allround dry surface : Kenda Khan
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  7. #7
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    Question: You got me all curious now! Where to get my taste of that 29" action, got one I can borrow or something?
    Answer: Starting point for most will be the world-wide spread Gary Fisher dealers, the better part of them have 29" bikes for testing purposes, they're even listed on www.fisherbikes.com . For Europe, Nishiki dealers are an option as well. You could post on your local (MTBR) forum or even the 29" forum to ask for a testride, 29" riders are often ready to help a fellow rider out. State your location and body length, and you're as good as set.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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    Question: I love my 29" bike, but not every shop yet carries spare tubes. I guess I better just ask for a road tube, as it's already the 700c size? It's made to stretch, right?
    Answer: Correct, rubber stretches...till it tears. Using narrow tubes in a 29" tire would be like using a balloon in a football. The tiniest needle that passes the outer layer will make it blow. If purposely designed 29" tubes are unavailable, better first opt for 26" tubes that are meant for slightly wider tires, for instance a 26x2.2-2.5" tube for your 29x2.1" tire, to make up for the 10% larger 29" wheel. Some slight of hand, or just one extra hand from a riding buddy, will mount it up pretty easily, reliably, and be very affordable. 700c x 45mm tubes have been reported to work, but also to unannouncedly blow like a shotgun. Of course, these 45mm tube are not made to work for anything bigger, and why should they, 29" simply never existed before!
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  9. #9
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    We the people ...

    Question: 29er's sound good, but there's not any choices for Frames or bikes, right? I mean, there is no way to have a different bike, every one is riding the same 1 or 2 bikes that are available, right?
    Answer: No, there is a surprising number of frames and bikes and builders out there doing 29ers. Here's the "short" list in no particular order. I'm sure I missed several:

    https://www.titusti.com
    http://speedgoat.com/product.asp?par...at=160&brand=2 -- Asylum (House branded Titus RX in Aluminum)
    http://www.nishiki.com/
    http://www.orbea.com/
    http://www.29inch.com/
    http://www.moots.com
    http://chainwheel.com/site/intro.cfm (see Sofa Kings)
    http://www.litespeed.com/home.aspx
    http://www.sevencycles.com/
    http://www.slingshotbikes.com/showro...in/bigshot.cfm
    http://www.kellybike.com/
    http://www.ionicbikes.com/
    http://www.bti.com
    http://www.deanusa.com/index2.htm
    http://www.mattchester.com/
    http://www.fisherbikes.com/index.asp
    http://www.gunnarbikes.com/
    http://www.ingliscycles.com/retrotec/
    http://www.vanillabicycles.com/
    http://www.sycip.com/
    http://vandesselsports.com/main.html
    http://www.mikkelsenframes.com/
    http://www.huntercycles.com/mainpage.html
    http://moots.com/home.php
    http://www.vandesselsports.com/b_buzzBomb.shtml
    http://www.slingshotbikes.com/
    http://taylorbicycles.com/
    http://www.swiftcycles.com/home.html (broken?)
    http://www.vulturecycles.com/
    http://chainwheel.com/site/ (Sofa King link in upper right)
    http://www.strongframes.com/
    http://www.quiringcycles.com/home.html
    http://www.peytocycles.com/
    http://www.cookbros.com/
    http://www.desalvocycles.com/
    http://www.davidsonbicycles.com/
    http://www.anvilbikes.com/
    http://www.airborne.net/
    http://www.bohemianbicycles.com/ (limited I think)
    http://www.curtlo.com/
    http://www.tetcycles.com/
    http://www.willitsbikes.com/
    http://www.oxbrandbikes.com/
    http://www.viciouscycles.com/
    http://www.soulcraftbikes.com/
    http://www.surlybikes.com/
    http://www.ifbikes.com/
    http://www.serotta.com/
    http://spotbikes.com/
    http://www.bilenky.com/index.htm
    http://www.beone-bikes.com/
    http://29inch.com/
    http://www.duratec.cz/
    http://waterfordbikes.com/ (not in thread but since they make Gunnar…)
    http://www.titusti.com/ (not in thread but since we've seen 29"er Racer-x pics…)
    http://www.steelmancycles.com/ (not in thread, will they do custom?)
    http://www.sevencycles.com/ (not in thread, will they do custom?)
    http://rivbike.com/ (not in thread, see Atlantis model)
    Voodoo Cycles
    http://www.wilycycles.com/
    Nicolai http://www.nicolai.net http://forums13.consumerreview.com/[email protected]
    DaVinci 29" Tandems http://forums13.consumerreview.com/[email protected]

    Cloxxki 20-4-4: I added and edited some
    Last edited by Cloxxki; 12-31-2006 at 05:27 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Question: Since 29" seems to use road size rims, I guess it also rides much like a road or cyclo-cross bike, mostly useful for fast, smooth, LAME courses, huh?
    Answer: Wheelsize affects ride characteristics for sure, yet BMX share the wheelsize with many folding bikes and even recumbents, so it's not exactly all-decisive. 29" owners say they like the way their bike allows them to ride up climbs they before were forced to walk, and ride down stuff they'd before would dare or just hike-a-bike. The severely improve stability (over 26" bikes) for most means that 29" allows them to ride more agressively and cross more extreme terrain more easily. Big rims = speed, fat tires = extreme. The combination of both opens up new riding oppotunities, and to it's users : more, bigger grins..
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  11. #11
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    Fork FAQ

    Question: What about forks? What forks are available? Are they any good?
    Answer: Well, if you went rigid, there is no limit to the fork options, Ti, Steel, Aluminum, custom, whatever you want. This rigid/suspension question is another FAQ altogether, so here I’ll focus on availability of suspension forks.

    There are two mainstream fork companies serving the 29er community, and various smaller/more obscure companies also offering alternatives.

    Marzhocchi: They have a long tradition of great forks, and they have adapted their flagship XC fork for 29er use. First, they took their Marathon SL and put it in a 29er package. This is what Gary Fisher bikes feature(d) on their top of the line 29ers (Supercaliber and Sugar 292). This fork offers many adjustments, and is a highly capable and race-able fork. Second, they also adapted their MX fork for 29er use. It’s a great basic fork that will take everything you can dish out, no question. It’s a great choice for watching your spending when trying out the 29er for the first time.

    White Brothers: They have a very long tradition of high quality in the suspension fork market, for bicycles and motorcycles. Long before Fox Forks starting putting out their 32mm sanction tube bicycle forks around 2001, White Brothers was quietly putting out some of the best, lightest, stiffest, most durable and serviceable forks on the planet. Starting before any other major fork manufacturer, they used this same high quality products, mentality and world class customer service to offer the first major suspension fork for the 29er application, the CX-1. This is still a fantastic fork and while not currently available new, they can be easily had very cheap on ebay. It is certain that this fork is the best intersection of performance, lightweight, and value to be had – anywhere. In 2003, WB came out with two updated versions and called them the BW .8 and BW 1.0 (with 80 and 100 mm travel respectively – with the 1.0 being adjustable from 80-100). The .8 is air and the 1.0 is coil. These forks, with the 3.4 pound .8, put 29er forks on par with any existing fork on the market, 29er or otherwise. While they utilized a low-volume, high-pressure design, they also had features such as external rebound and compression dampening, lockout, and of course disc compatibility. For the 2004 year model, they changed to a high-volume/low-pressure system, which further refined the ride so that you have a stiff fork with buttery smooth action, with all adjustments external (as an FYI, you can send your 2003 .8 in to WB, they will retro-fit it with the 2004 internals, and your fork will be a literal identical twin to a 2004, so find a deal on a ’03 and send it in…cost is around $75). There is no finer fork to be had. The ’04 BW .8 weighs in around 3.4 pounds, which is excellent.

    Winwood: Not a lot is known about this fork. It does come in an Air or Coil Spring versions. It appears to be very nice, lightweight, has carbon materials, with disc compatibility. We don’t have a review at this time. Once one is available, site will be updated. They will have significantly lower prices, so if performance is good, it will be a strong contender for the price conscious market. The air fork is around $290, with the coil around $240.

    Here are some representative photo’s of some of these forks:

    Here are photo's of some the major forks:

    2004 Marzocchi Marathon SL:
    <img src="https://speedgoat.com/images/products/101731.jpg">

    2004 White Brothers BW 1.0:
    <img src="https://www.whitebrotherscycling.com/images/bw-lg.jpg">

    2004 Winwood DeeDee Carbon 29er:
    <img src="https://www.bikemannetwork.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/Alt-Bimage/FK1222B.jpg">
    Last edited by ncj01; 04-21-2004 at 10:25 AM.
    FS: Everything

  12. #12
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    Please, if you have some time to spare, help us out and add a question/answer or PM me a list of Q's. Thanks in advance!!!

    Question: So I understand I can't just swap out wheels and frames of 26/29" size. Then what's so different about the 29" frame? I don't see it!
    Answer:
    -Canti mounts, if needed, are placed 31.5mm (half of difference in rim diameter) further away from the wheels' axles.
    -The rear triangle offers some extra room for the larger wheel.
    -The bottom bracket is lower compared to the axles, to end up with a typical BB height for the intended type of riding.
    -To compensate for the higher front axle and longer fork, head tubes are often on the short side. If not, the handlebars may end up pretty high. This counts especially with use of a suspension fork, which of course is longer than most rigid forks.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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    First question from our viewers! Please don't hesitate to call us on the above number! without your calls, this good thing cannot take shape!

    Question:
    I'm new the 29er scene. Should I expect to have about the same standover height on a 29" bike as on a 26er for a given effective TT length? If not, how much less standover am I likely to be looking at?

    Answer: (long version)

    Standover height is often measured on the top side of the toptube, right in between head tube and set tube.
    Let's say your new 29" bike has the same BB height as your old 26" one, and also the same seat tube length. So one of the 2 points on the new 29"er is already identically positioned as you're used to. All the height increase (hard to prevent it) up front, therefor, will count for half to the standover height increase.
    So what really doesn happen up front?
    Well, with the identical sag and travel (assuming suspension), your fork will have to be some 31mm longer, to accomodate the 29" wheel. This 31mm, corrected for some 68º angle between headtube bottom and axle, is worth some 29mm vertically. With the front axle sitting 31.5mm higher, the total is about 60mm. This leads to a 60/2=30mm higher standover height, at least, when using the same headtube length as one the 26" bike. But, because you probably want your bars in the same position as before, you'll try to spec a headtube 60mm shorter. 60mm less is sometimes hard to make in a proper way, so if you can't lose more than 40mm, your standover rises some 20/2=10mm. Actually, these 20mm should be corrected with the ~72 headtube angle, but whose counting loose mm's?

    Not all 26" have the stem seated directly on top of the headset, so running your 29"er spacerless can help bring the handlebar right there where you need it. For some, 29" will allow them to leave their riser bars,a nd go to flat. Some will go from a 15º stem to a 5º one. It's all about whare you're from and where you're heading.

    As you hopefully now understand, all choices and measurements on your new bike together bring you to a new standover height. All in all, excluding extreme exceptions, standover on a 29" will not HAVE to be much higher then you're used to. Bikes such as the Surly Karate Monkey, where the choice was made to have a tall seat tube for a retro look, standover, as expected, is significantly higher than with a 26" rigid racer hardtail.

    Answer: (short version)
    With proper frame design, done to minimize 29" standover, there's little reason to have an average standover to rise more than 10-20mm, even though the wheels themselves are 63mm taller.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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    Question: Woooow, dude, those wheels are massive!! But I guess you can't build a decent light bike with them, right?
    Answer:
    Let's first set some ballparks standards for a typical race-worthy 26" bike, with it's 26"-specific parts.
    Rims : 425g a pice, 850g total
    Tires : 500g a piece, 1000g total
    Tubes : 130g a piece, 260g total
    Rim strips : 15g per wheel, 30g total
    Spokes : 350g
    Fork : 1500g
    Frame : 1700g

    Rims, tires and tubes all only need to be 10% bigger, thus 10% heavier.
    Weight penalty for rotational weight : 214g

    Spokes, let's say those are 13% longer, but in the thinnest part, so still 10% heavier : 35g penalty

    Frame : needs longer chainstays, longer downtube, but much shorter headtube : zero penalty
    Fork : only 31mm longer, in realily (Whitch Brothers otherwise identical 26" vs 29" forks) 60g

    Chain will be probably have to be 2 links longer due to longer chainstays, but then again, one can ride with a smaller chainring. Overall : zero penalty.

    What did I forget?

    Total 29" vs. 26" penalty for this example: 309g. Compare this to a 10% rolling resistance advantage. Rolling resistance is between 40 and 80% of the total resistance to overcome in XC riding, so the weight penalty (3% on a bike and around 0,4% on rider+bike) seems only like a detail in comparison.

    At the time I'm writing this, 24-4-4, no tue big meat 29" tire under 560g is actually available in shops. The 560-570gg Bontrager AcX Jones 2.2", though, has an agressive tread, still lots of room for future weight savings in semi-slick race tires. as the industry embrases the 29" tire more and more, we'll hopefully see more tires to even put the standard 10% on 330g race-only tires such as the Maxxis Flyweight 330 or the Continental Twister Supersonic.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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    Another good Q from my PM box (you can also just reply in this thread, I'll take away the question when someone answers it).

    Question: I am considering discs for my Sugar 293. Since the wheel is 10% larger, do my discs need to be 10% larger like a 7" or 8"? I do weigh 240 lbs.
    Answer: Disc brake power is a result of rotor/wheel diameter. More is better. Indeed, 10% larger ones are needed to obtain the identical power to ones used with 26" wheels. Still, the added traction of the 29" wheel may for some make 160's still acceptable, and who says 160mm is just enough for 26", and not already overkill? But anyway, if ou want your discs to feel like the same ones on the 26" bike, go a size bigger on the rotors!
    By the way, the 29" wheels do not affect heat buildup, decelleration is decelleration, heat conduction is heat conduction. So if you match the rotors to your 29" wheels, as a bonus you actually improve the heat-buildup characteristics over the 26" small-rotor setup.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  16. #16
    Recovering couch patato
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    From the PM box, related question to one on the first page :

    Question: I want a 29er sooo bad. Do you think a person that is 5'10", or normally rides a 17.5 MTB bike is too short for a 29er?...whats the smallest 29er you can get?
    Answer: A ladyfriend of mine is 5'9' and did a testride on a Fisher Medium, it fitted perfectly. Fisher also makes a Small... Okay, the Medium is 17", the Small 15", and a framesize is worth about 4" (twice the leg difference, Michelangelo). Theoreticizing, a 5'5" rider would still be perfect on a small, and not even on the lower end of the range yet. At 5'10", you can do weird things to geometry and still be okay on a 29"er.

    Question: I am thinking about selling one of my bikes for money for a 29er. Is this a good idea?
    Answer: Financially, I can't think of a better way to finance a new bike and not over-crowd the bike room at home. If you've already decided you want it bad, you need to decide if you want it badder than your present bike. Ask around, on our forum even, for locals with 29"ers that will fit you, and get yourself hooked up for a testride amongst good people. You'll be able to make a decision based on experience, not on our enthousiasm you've been caught in.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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    V brakes on 29" wheels?

    Is there a way to modify standard V brakes (ie for a 26" wheel) so that they would fit 29" wheels mounted in a standard MTB frame? Or is there a manufacturer who makes suitable V brakes? I checked Paul Components but at $115 this seems a little steep!

  18. #18
    The Duuude, man...
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    Question from Buster

    Buster's Question:Is there a way to modify standard V brakes (ie for a 26" wheel) so that they would fit 29" wheels mounted in a standard MTB frame? Or is there a manufacturer who makes suitable V brakes? I checked Paul Components but at $115 this seems a little steep![/QUOTE]

    Answer: There is no known way of making regular v-brakes work on a 26" frame with 29" wheels. I can see you already read my FAQ about that above, and you checked Paul's Components...Paul has some sweet stuff, that is for sure, but yes, they are quite spendy.

    If you have a steel frame, you could have the brake mounts moved up the frame and re-welded on there. Some places, such as Walt's bikes will do this king of service relatively cheaply. But then you still have to do the front fork, which will be impossible if it's a suspension fork, but possible if its a rigid steel fork. However, these are both still not recommended, becuase your tire clearance will be horrible, you'll not be able to run full sized meats, etc, and by the time you paid for shipping both ways, and the service, you'd have spent more than the pauls brakes, and still have the clearance problem.

    I suspect your concern, and most people's about coming to the 29er community is this: I don't know if I will like it, so I don't want to spend a boat load of money trying it out. This is a valid and very common concern. Afterall, if you wind up hating it, you don't want to be out $2000 bucks for a custom Ti hardtail. so far, I've never even HEARD of anyone not liking it (qualifier: anyone who has seriously spent some time in the saddle and given it a fair shake...1 time I had a guy -- a buddy in fact -- ride my Monkey in a parking lot for 2 minutes and denounce all 29ers as slow and heavy).

    2 Suggestions:

    1) Try to find a shop or buddy, or mtbr member in your area who will let you really test ride a 29er. Get a feel for it, realize it's the way to go, and then you'll feel better about commiting.

    2) Try to find a used Surly Karate Monkey, either as a whole bike, or as a frameset. They are dirt cheap, and come with a rigid fork, so basically all you need a road bike sized wheelset and your 26" wheeled parts, and you're off an running.

    You'll like it, you won't go back.
    FS: Everything

  19. #19
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    Good points, ncj01 and Cloxxki. When I started writing I couldn't stop, so forgive me for repeating issues you have already covered. Please pick any fragments you might want to use, and ignore the rest.

    Why bother about wheel size?
    What are the effects of wheel size?
    Can I go faster with bigger wheels?
    Is stability better with big wheels?
    Is grip different?
    Is energy better preserved with big wheels?
    Is the need for suspension less with big wheels?
    Are big wheels more comfortable?
    Why is safety claimed to be higher with big wheels?
    Are big wheels only for big people?
    What type of riding are big wheels for?
    What measure is the wheel size referring to?
    Which bike parts are wheel size specific?
    Are 29" wheeled bikes expensive?
    Are big wheels heavy?
    Does wheel size affect gearing?
    Does wheel size affect braking?
    Does wheel size affect maneuverability?
    Are big wheels weaker?
    Are all wheel sizes legal in races?
    So, should I go 29"?

    Q: Why bother about wheel size?

    Your mountainbike's wheel size affects how you ride. It affects how efficiently you can ride in off-road terrain, and it affects the bike's handling. It affects your ride's entire feeling.

    Most stock mountainbikes come in a handful different "sizes", by which all have the same wheel size. You can typically not change a bike's wheels to others of another size, since the entire frame geometry depends on the wheel size. Bigger wheels will generally not fit, and smaller wheels will have you strike the pedals to the ground. Therefore your very first step when choosing a mountainbike should be to decide which wheel size you want.

    The effects that wheel size has to your ride can be described by their nature. It is then much up to you to value these effects, depending on your preferences and priorities.

    Q: What are the effects of wheel size?

    From off-road, cross-country riding point of view, big wheels are different from small wheels in two important technical aspects: The angle of attack for the wheels against obstacles is smaller, and the contact area with the ground is longer.

    Those two differences translate into a number of real riding benefits, depending on your type of riding and what is important to you. The benefits are higher speed capability, better stability, better grip, better energy conservation, less need for suspension, higher comfort, and a safer ride.

    The main benefit with small wheels is that they make it easier to design a frame for a small person.

    As a first illustration of the different benefits of big wheels and small wheels, you may try to imagine an adult riding with 12 inch wheels off-road, or a child learning to ride with 29 inch wheels.

    Q: Can I go faster with bigger wheels?

    Bigger wheels roll easier over rough terrain. That is probably the most important benefit with bigger wheels. Some go further and say "big wheels roll easier on flat ground also", but even if there may be some truth in that, it is not equally intuitive and general scientific evidence is yet to be seen.

    One reason that bigger wheels roll easier over rough terrain is that their angle of attack towards obstacles, small as big, is less. Put in other words, they are not as hindered by stones, roots, and rough ground as small wheels are. Another reason to the lower rolling resistance may be that they due to the longer contact area with the ground are staying on top of the ground better - the deeper you sink, the more speed you lose.

    With easier rolling, or lower rolling resistance, it becomes possible to ride at higher speed since more of your power output is available to increase speed when less is needed to overcome rolling resistance.

    The benefit with low rolling resistance may very well be underestimated in off-road biking. There are few studies on rolling resistance for different MTB tire types, materials, knob patterns, air pressures, and wheel diameters, and even fewer that also takes into account real-life terrain types and variations. Weight, by comparison, has in the bike business a tremendous focus, which might be simply because it is so easy to measure, although the realistic effect of a weight difference at off-road riding is not by far equally straightforward to try to determine. Many riders are positive that the lower rolling resistance of big wheels helps them go faster much more than any weight savings do.

    Can we accurately quantify this advantage in rolling resistance? Probably not. Again, any derivation attempt quickly gets complex. Nevertheless, there have been some tests with tires rolling against one single surface (such as asphalt or steel), actual bikes rolling down a hill, or people riding with measuring devices for heart rate or oxygen consumption. These tests may all provide numbers, but those sure will be prone to be questioned.

    Q: Is stability better with big wheels?

    Bigger wheels have a longer contact area towards the ground, and they tend not to bounce as much on rough ground due to their lower angle of attack to obstacles. As a result, big wheels are perceived as more stable than small wheels, especially on rough terrain. Such higher stability provides better comfort and a safer ride, and may allow higher speed.

    Q: Is grip different?

    Again, bigger wheels have a longer contact area with the ground. Some feel that they get a better grip that way, enabling them to corner, brake, climb, and accelerate faster and more confidently.

    Q: Is energy better preserved with big wheels?

    The rider is going to be able to preserve energy better because bigger wheels roll with less resistance, less vertical oscillation, and less abrupt hits. Less rolling resistance spares your power output. Less vertical movement and less abrupt hits spares not only your arms but your whole body. This is particularly advantageous at long-time riding, such as in marathons and 24-hour events.

    Q: Is the need for suspension less with big wheels?

    Many riders are feeling that the smoother ride of bigger wheels allows less suspension. For example, among riders with 29 inch wheels, some are choosing hardtail instead of full-suspension, some are comparing an 80 mm 29" fork with a 120 mm 26" fork, and some are feeling that a rigid fork is a smoother ride with 29" wheels than with 26" wheels.

    Q: Are big wheels more comfortable?

    The ride is more comfortable with big wheels for the same reason as why energy is better preserved. The bigger wheels are not hitting rocks and roots as hard as small wheels do, because of the smaller angle of attack. Also, the bigger wheels are not finding their way as deep down between every rock and root and into every cavity, as small wheels do. As a result, the rider will not have to work as hard with arms and legs, acting as springs, for smoothening the ride.

    Q: Why is safety claimed to be higher with big wheels?

    Higher safety has been brought up as an advantage with 29 inch wheels. A couple of reasons why some feel safer with them, may be that the bigger wheels roll more stable and are less prone to be abruptly halted by obstacles, making it less likely for the rider to go over the handlebars.

    Q: Are big wheels only for big people?

    Everyone can experience the benefits with bigger wheels. That is what we all do several times during our grow-up, when we step up from 12" wheels to 16" wheels, from 16" to 20", and so on. The maximum practical wheel size is mainly determined by your body size. You must be allowed to sit in your preferred position and still have enough space for your desired front fork and enough clearance between feet and front wheel, to name a few aspects. The biggest size mountainbike wheel commercially available today is 29 inch. There is no exact minimum rider size for which 29 inch wheels fit, but there are size Small (around 16" frame size) production mountainbikes with 29 inch wheels, and short persons saying they fit them well, and custom frames in even smaller sizes.

    Bigger people seem to be over-represented among riders with bigger wheeled mountainbikes. Consider that the height of a 180 cm (5'11") rider is proportionally to 26" as the height of an average height 165 cm (5'5") rider to 24" wheels, and then ask yourself how many average size riders choose 24" wheels for mountainbiking. Some claim that just looking at the proportions of an extra-large frame with 26" wheels says something.

    In terms of body properties, not only the rider's height is important when choosing wheel size, but also the weight. Heavier riders have found the bigger wheel longer contact area with the ground give them better support, just like a heavier person benefits with longer skis.

    Q: What type of riding are big wheels for?

    Most of what is said here regards general off-road riding. Considering the properties of bigger wheels, they would certainly seem to have some benefits also in hardcore downhill riding, at least for the front wheel. For general-purpose street or commuter bikes, bigger wheels than 26" have since long been common, and in many parts of the world even the norm.

    Q: What measure is the wheels size referring to?

    "29 inch" is a mountainbike marketing denomination, a label, for tires and rims with 622 mm bead seat diameter. Another, much older and more common label for the same diameter is "700c", which is used in the road bike world. Yet another label used for the same bead seat diameter is "28 inch", which is used in some countries for street and hybrid tires. Thus, ISO 47-622 (47 is the width in mm), 700x47c, 28x1.85", and 29x1.85" are theoretical different denominations for the same tire, fitting "29 inch" rims. The labels "29 inch" and "700c" do not specify anything about a rim's measures other than the bead seat diameter, such as width, height, or intended brake type. You will need to find that information separately.

    The "29" in "29 inch" refers to an approximate outer diameter of a typical mountainbike tire labeled about 2.1" wide. With a 2.1" mountain bike tire being about 55 mm tall from the bead seat, the actual outer tire diameter is (622+55+55)/25.4 = about 28.8 inches. Similarly, "26 inch" is a label for 559 mm bead seat diameter rims and tires. With the same tire height, actual tire diameter is (559+55+55)/25.4 = around 26.3 inches. So the difference between "26 inch" and "29 inch" is in reality two-and-a-half inches.

    Q: Which bike parts are wheel size specific?

    The parts that depend on wheel size are frame, fork, rims, tires, and tubes. Add spoke and rim tape length to be specific. Then gears and brakes may also be chosen different size, but they are not "wheel size specific" in the same sense.

    Q: Are 29" wheeled bikes expensive?

    Price is higher for 29" wheeled bikes, because the 29" specific parts are still made and sold in much smaller quantities than their counterparts for 26" wheeled bikes. So you are likely going to have to pay more for an equal-quality equipped 29er, or accept some lower-level components for a given amount of money.

    Q: Are big wheels heavy?

    Weight is a common objection to bigger wheels. So how much extra weight are we talking about, and how big effect does it have?

    As an estimate, the weight difference between one 29" wheeled bike and one 26" wheeled bike with some kind of similar component quality level, can be over 1000 g for low-end bikes but doesn't have to be more than 500 g for high-end race bikes. The difference is expected to decrease, since there are yet no hyper-light versions of some of the 29" specific parts. The geometrical differences in frame, fork, rims, tubes, tires, and spokes, call for a theoretical, overall race-weight difference of about 300 g. To put this in perspective, the total weight for bike plus rider is around 90,000 g with an average 80 kg rider.

    Another reason why 29 inch wheeled bikes tend to be heavier than the 26 inch counterpart is that the 29" specific parts are more expensive due to the smaller market and production volumes. Since they are more expensive, a given amount of money that could buy you a high-end, lightweight 26" part may sometimes only buy you a mid-end, heavier 29" part.

    Some people are worried about the fact that most of the extra weight is in the wheels, increasing "rotational weight". All bike weight, rotational and non-rotational, affects your ride in two major aspects: acceleration and climbing. Additional weight in tires and tubes counts from acceleration point of view as an extra approximately 90% compared to "fixed" bike weight and an extra 70% for rims, but just as any weight from climbing point of view. But of course if you accelerate at a climb, there is still the acceleration penalty. For example, a 50 g heavier tire affects acceleration as much as 95 g on the frame does. Whether that heavier tire is 26" or 29" doesn't matter - it is the weight that matters, not the diameter itself. Another example: when climbing at constant speed, an extra 50 g in a tire feels exactly as much as an extra 50 g on the frame does (there is no constant speed riding is real life, but close).

    So what practical effect does this extra 0.5% rider-and-bike weight have? The theoretical answer seems to be, from calculations on simplified conditions, that it would slow your race time down a number of seconds...if you didn't have the 29" wheels rolling advantages.

    As a last note on weight, the same extra energy you need to put into a heavier bike to get it up to speed, may then help you keep that speed. It takes more to brake a higher momentum, which may then help keeping speed over rough ground and at downhill sections.

    Q: Does wheel size affect gearing?

    The distance that you travel by one pedal revolution depends on the front ring, the rear cog, and the rear wheel diameter. A 29 inch wheel has about 10% bigger outer diameter than a 26 inch wheel, with average 2.1" tires, resulting in a "heavier" gearing if you would run the same front ring and rear cog. So with 29 inch wheels and a standard derailleur drivetrain, you will, maybe without thinking about it, either be using the granny ring a little more often and the big ring a little less, or tend to use a little bigger rear cogs. With today's 27 gears, the difference has little practical effect - you "lose" your lowest granny gear and get one even higher top speed gear. However, when you are getting into special setups like only one front ring or two, you will want to take the difference into account.

    For singlespeeding with 29 inch wheels, you simply need a 10% smaller front ring or a 10% bigger freewheel to get the same gearing as compared to a 26 inch wheeled singlespeed bike.

    Q: Does wheel size affect braking?

    Braking depends on wheel size, because the wheel size affects the ground contact area, the braking leverage, and in some setups the heat-up and wear. Some say they feel a difference in braking characteristics between 29" wheels and 26" wheels, while some feel that the theoretical differences is overshadowed by aspects of brake type and setup.

    The contact area with the ground is longer with bigger wheels, which some feel allows harder and more confident braking. This is hard to quantify, due to an infinite number of different combinations of surface, tire, and velocity, but might just be more significant than the difference in leverage.

    Better leverage means that you don't have to pull the brake levers as hard to achieve the same braking effect, or speed reduction. Less leverage does not mean that you will not be able to brake hard enough, though. A rim brake is relatively a little closer to the wheel periphery on a bigger wheel, while a disc brake is relatively closer to the hub, given the same disc diameter. With 29" wheels and rim brakes, leverage is a few percent better as compared to with 26" wheels. With 29" wheels and disc brakes of same diameter, leverage is about 10% less. If you prefer, you could go up one disc diameter size, which would make up for the less leverage and as a bonus give extra-low disc heat-up and wear.

    With the 10% higher mass of 29" rims, given same rim profile as a 26" rim, the heat-up and wear is 10% less. Heat-up and wear with disc brakes, on the other hand, is independent of wheel size.

    Q: Does wheel size affect maneuverability?

    Maneuverability is, besides weight, a common concern with those who hesitates going to bigger wheels. It is the bigger physical size, and perhaps also the longer contact path with the ground, that some believe would have an adverse effect on maneuverability. The contact path with the ground is indeed longer, and the wheels are about 10% bigger.

    Some who are used to a 26 inch wheeled bike and have taken a test ride on a 29 inch wheeled bike, have claimed to have experienced a worse handling in tight terrain with the bigger wheels. Yet others claim the opposite - that their 29 inch wheeled bike is actually easier to handle in all types of terrain, let alone trials-style trick riding, due to better stability and support. Perhaps rider size again has something to do with it, and what you are used to.

    Q: Are big wheels weaker?

    Big wheels may be weaker than small wheels, especially if the number of spokes and overall construction is the same. For that reason, one would perhaps want to use 32 spokes instead of 28, 36 spokes instead of 32, and so on. However, big wheels take less hard hits due to their smaller angle of attack to obstacles, reducing the need for more spokes. In reality, many riders seem to use about the same number of spokes on their 29 inch wheels as would have been normal on a 26 inch wheel, and it has not seemed to be an issue.

    Q: Are all wheel sizes legal in races?

    All wheel sizes "no bigger than 29 inch" are allowed under UCI mountainbike rules. Until the end of 2003 only up to "26 inch" was allowed, for a reason that seems to be known by no-one.

    Q: So, should I go 29"?

    There is no guarantee that a 29" wheeled bike is the best for you. Everyone has got his or her own priorities and type of riding. It is up to you to ask yourself what is important to you, and to judge what you believe and what you do not believe, with or without test riding.

  20. #20
    Frame Building Moderator
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    Why NOT to move your canti posts

    First off, it's Waltworks, not Walt's Bikes. www.waltworks.com.

    Second, there are VERY few 26" frames out there that will accept a 29" wheel with any kind of mountain bike tire at all. You can get a decent sized (~40c) cyclocross tire on some frames. But it's not worth the expense or difficulty.

    I second the Karate Monkey recommendation. And you can also find some builders (like me) who will build you a bike with straight-gauge tubing for relatively cheap if you want to try something a bit different. The Karate Monkeys are mostly straight gauge .035" 4130 tubing - which costs in the range of $3-4 a foot. Very cheap, surprisingly rideable. Expect a 6 pound frame, though.

    If you're REALLY on a shoestring budget, get a non-suspension corrected rigid fork (410-425mm crown to axle works pretty well) for your 26" bike and put on a 29" front wheel. It's easiest if you have one with disc tabs (no worries about the brakes reaching the rim) but you can also bolt on a bmx-style v-brake adapter (available from places like Dan's Comp) which only costs $10 or so. Ugly? Yes. Ghetto? Perhaps. Functional? Completely.

    The handling characteristics with this setup are not the full 29" experience, but it'll help give you some idea of what 29ers are all about. You can actually keep your bb drop, head angle, and general handling characteristics pretty decent doing this, though your mutant 26/29 bike isn't going to earn you any admiring looks at the trailhead.

    Cheers!

    -Walt

  21. #21
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    Convert 26" wheel frame to 29"

    Question: I have an old Ibis Mojo steel frame with 7/8" clearance from the rear tire to the frame seat stay and chain stay cross braces (3/4" if I put my 700 x 23cm road wheel on). Can I just get some 29" wheels, disc brakes, and a new fork and have a state of the art 29er?

  22. #22
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    Answer: probably not

    By all means, give it a try, but I don't think a 2.1 is going to clear. Additionally, you're going to run into a BB drop problem (you won't have enough) because of the taller wheels, even if you manage to keep the rest of the geometry workable. Good luck!

  23. #23
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    Question: I'm considering building one of my 29" bikes into a singlespeed. I run a 2:1 ratio (34:17) on my 26" bike, however I realized I will need to run a different ratio to make up for the increased circumference. What is the recommended ratio to use, at least as a starting point for a 29" singlespeed?

  24. #24
    giddy up!
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    I'd start with 2 extra teeth in the rear compared to your 26 inch ratio....sooo 34-19 or maybe 34-20, which is what I like for all around riding.


    Quote Originally Posted by funboarder1971
    Question: I'm considering building one of my 29" bikes into a singlespeed. I run a 2:1 ratio (34:17) on my 26" bike, however I realized I will need to run a different ratio to make up for the increased circumference. What is the recommended ratio to use, at least as a starting point for a 29" singlespeed?
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  25. #25
    Boj
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    Are there any FS 29er frames?

    Can a 29er wheel fit into a lefty fork?

    Also, for triple cranksets where do you get your 40t rings, I haven't seen many around?

  26. #26
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    Forget the lefty.

    I hate to say it, but if you're going to make a kludged 29er out of 26" parts, you might as well use cheap stuff so you don't feel as bad when it rides poorly. Sell your lefty and get yourself an entire Karate Monkey!

    Vuelta makes chainrings from 24t-56t in 2 tooth increments for compact or standard 5-arm cranks. If you can't find a 40t online, drop me a line and I'll get you one.

    If you're looking for a FS 29er, look at the Gary Fisher models. They are very popular and by all accounts well made. Keep in mind that many people move from full suspension to hardtail when switching to 29" wheels, and are very happy with the switch thanks to the bump-smoothing big wheels. Also keep in mind that FS 29ers are HEAVY. Figure 28-30 pounds for a pretty tricked ride.

    -Walt

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boj
    Are there any FS 29er frames?

    Can a 29er wheel fit into a lefty fork?

    Also, for triple cranksets where do you get your 40t rings, I haven't seen many around?
    FS
    Not a frame only, but the FS-29 at €1700:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=17628

    Lefty
    A couple here, for whatever it's worth:
    http://forums13.consumerreview.com/[email protected]/0
    http://forums13.consumerreview.com/[email protected]/0

    40T
    Just a note: Before spending money on getting the same gearing as the average 26er, by going from 22-32-44 to 20-29-40, you may want to take the opportunity to ask yourself what set of front rings are actually suitable for your riding and preference, if you haven't already done that. Some find, for example, that with a 34T mid ring on a 29er (equal to a 38T on a 26er) they don't need a big ring at all.

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    Rim Width

    There has been much talk about a need for wide touring/29 specific rims, rather than putting up with ~16-18mm wide road rims. However, if we look at the majority of 559 XC rims out there, we see they generally fall in the 18 to 20mm range. What is the thinking behind a need for a wider rim for 29" than 26" use? Do the lower tyre pressures require a wider rim to give sufficient carcass support?

    ---------------------
    Sorry, no answer myself (except for my proposition)- I just asked it in another thread, and Nate suggested adding it to the FAQ, so here 'tis.

    Sam

  29. #29
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    Most MTB rims are >22mm.

    They did start out pretty narrow when Keith Bontrager cut and re-welded 700c hoops (I think he used MA40s or something?) to make lightweight mtb rims. But most modern rims are 22mm, minimum.

    The need for wide rims is dictated by your preferences, especially tire width a pressure. Many larger riders who like low pressure tires find that narrow (~19mm) rims make their tires feel "floppy" or "mushy" in turns - as if they are about to roll off the rims. Not so fun! I haven't heard of anyone actually losing a tire this way, though.

    I have personally had EXCELLENT luck with the IRD "Cadence" road rims. They're 20mm wide, 700c, and only weigh 390 grams. Available in all kinds of drillings - I'm running a 32 3x front and 36 3x rear. No problems in over 1000 offroad miles so far. I weigh 150 pounds, though - if you're a larger rider, these rims might not work well. They also work great with Stan's/DIY tubeless. I just threw some packing tape on the rims, stuck in valves, and was ready to go. No squirming, no burping air, great handling. And super light!

    Here's a picture...

    -Walt
    Attached Images Attached Images

  30. #30
    Feet back and spread 'em!
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    29er forks

    I test rode a GaryFisher 29er hardtail at DuPont over a year ago and I'm convinced they are superior. I want one bad. The question I have is: the 2004 GF hardtails have a Manitou South fork. The Manitou/Answer website makes it sound like a light duty item. Do you have any experience or feedback on it? can it be purchased separately? how does it compare to Marzook and WB forks?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikecop
    I test rode a GaryFisher 29er hardtail at DuPont over a year ago and I'm convinced they are superior. I want one bad. The question I have is: the 2004 GF hardtails have a Manitou South fork. The Manitou/Answer website makes it sound like a light duty item. Do you have any experience or feedback on it? can it be purchased separately? how does it compare to Marzook and WB forks?

    I'm not too impressed with the Manitou 29er forks. Marzocchis are pretty nice, lighter, and much more available (since they come spec'd on the Fisher 29'ers). The WB fork would be probably the best bet, but chances are you'll pay top dollar for one as well. I think its a better fork than the Marzocchi and waaay better than the Manitou, and everyone else seems to think so too. I've yet to see anyone who wanted to upgrade from a WB to a Marzocchi or Manitou.

    I'm not too impressed with the equipment levels on the 2004 29ers. The Sugar 292/293 seems to have received the better components, while the 129, 229 and the others received lower level components. I think Fisher is trying to make the 29er idea more affordable to help get more out there. It was probably too hard to sell a $2500 Supercaliber hardtail (with those goofy, oversized, road bike wheels) against a Trek Fuel 98, Specialized Enduro, Klein Palomino, and all the other companies selling nice $2000 f/s bikes.

    Your best bet, I think would be to find a 2002/2003 Mt Tam (or Supercaliber). I bought my Tam off of ebay almost 2 years ago for about $800.

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    chainstay length on a singlespeed

    FAQ Fodder:
    -29ers have to have longer chainstays. How short can the chainstays get on a SINGLESPEED 29er without screwing around with the seat angle?
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

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    chainstay length on a singlespeed, rims, steep stuff

    FAQ Fodder:
    -29ers have to have longer chainstays. How short can the chainstays get on a SINGLESPEED 29er without screwing around with the seat angle?
    -The number of 29" tires seems to have reached a point where every kind of terrain is covered by more than one type of tire, so almost no-one is left out in the cold. But what about rims? Besides the Rhyno Lite, what are some reasonably stout 29" rims?
    -Riding down steep stuff on a 29er: Everybody knows that riding down steep stuff means crouching down as low as you can over the rear tire. Does the reduced rolling resistance of a 29" wheel make up for the reduced ability to crouch down super low withouit your butt buzzing the tire?
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

  34. #34
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    Short chainstays

    There are several things to consider here.

    First of all, why do you want short chainstays? Remember, the function of short chainstays is to pull the rear axle under the rider - but there's (for most people) a limit to how far under them they want the axle. For larger (6 feet or so) riders, the axle on a 29er with 17.5" chainstays will be in a similar position to (roughly, all other things being equal) a 5'7" rider on a 17", 26" wheel frame with 16.5" chainstays. Of course, this assumes similar saddle fore/aft positions, seat angles, etc. My point is that for some people, the geometry makes more sense with LONGER stays. Short stays aren't the end-all and be-all of mountain bike geometry.

    Now that I've ranted on about a pet peeve, here's the answer: it depends. Do you want to run a normal chainline and a 2.1" tire? If so, the practical limit for ME (other folks who use different materials or techniques can produce different things) is about 440 mm. That's 17.3 inches. I might be able to go quite a bit shorter if I pushed the chainline out or was willing to use a smaller tire (or really squeeze in the 2.1"). But I generally want to make sure that if someone wants to run a normal chainline with a 40 tooth ring or something along those lines, it'll still work.

    The limiting factor isn't the seat tube, generally, but the tradeoff between chainline and tire clearance. Folks working with aluminum often use a chainstay "yoke" to solve this problem to some extent, but I don't like to build stuff with yokes.

    Of course, with dedicated singlespeed frames, the actual chainstay length is always longer than the theoretical shortest possible, since the rear wheel or EBB must be adjusted to tension the chain. It's easy to produce a frame with a theoretical chainstay length (minimum) of 430, even 420mm. But you won't ever actually have the wheel that far forward in the drops, so it's irrelevant that the tire might not have much room at that setting. I just did an EBB frame that can go as short as around 425 or 430, but it'll never actually be that short.

    Personally, I think reasonably long chainstays (445 or 450mm) rule. Yes, you have to muscle your bike through tight corners a bit more, but most of us tall folks know that feeling already. Big bikes are wicked stable and hard to knock off course. They impress your competition. And there's lots of room for stickers. What's not to like?

    I hope that was helpful. I'm ranting because my powdercoater (an idiot) called and is trying to milk me for an extra $20 because he didn't know what he was doing and had to re-powder something. So I'm a bit manic. I'm sure others will chime in on this subject and disagree, and I'll say in advance that I respect y'alls opinions. Everyone have a great day.

    -Walt

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    Personally, I think reasonably long chainstays (445 or 450mm) rule. Yes, you have to muscle your bike through tight corners a bit more, but most of us tall folks know that feeling already. Big bikes are wicked stable and hard to knock off course. They impress your competition. And there's lots of room for stickers. What's not to like?

    I-Walt[/QUOTE]

    Walt: I don't think that chainstay length is the end-all and be-all of MTB geometry, but I must say that the thought of a bike with 17.5" stays sort of makes me uneasy. I don't have a 29er yet, and am sort of on the fence about getting one. My main concern is sluggish handling, and the thought of 17.5" stays does bring that word to mind, as I have always liked bikes with shorter rear ends. They just feel like they have more traction when climbing. I know the bigger contact patch of the rear tire on a 29" rear wheel should more than make up for the shortcomings of long stays, but it would be nice to get the best of both worlds.
    Anyways... to the topic at hand. My 26er runs a giant Tioga 2.3" Factory DH, so the real diameter of the rear wheel is 27", or maybe even a little larger. The stays on that bike are 16" even, and the bike has no chainline problems, even with a 113mm bottom bracket. So, a 29" wheel is obviously 1" smaller in RADIUS than my current rear wheel. That means a 17" chainstay should be possible. Maybe you could win a shade more space by ditching the chainstay bridge while you're at it.
    But all this above assumes we're running gears. I don't know anything about framebuilding, but it seems to follow from what we have above that 17" should be possible with gears, and if we're permitted to throw front derailleur clearance to the wind, as is the case on a singlespeed bike, then maybe even something like 16.5" might be possible. Jeff Jones has 15.1" stays on some of his 26er singlespeeds, which means something like 16" might even work.
    undefined Absolutely must have: Black Machine Tech Zeroflex brake levers (the ones with the rotating leverage adjuster)

  36. #36
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    Sure, 17" is possible.

    What are we talking about here, 0.3 inches? Sure, it's doable. Handling "quickness" has more to do with wheelbase and angles than short stays, IMO. And if you want a bike that requires very little input from the rider to make a turn, that can be accomplished a lot of ways. It's a 29er. The stays will be about 1.5" longer than stays on a 26" bike. Period. There is no free lunch.

    The only real way to find out is to try a 29er, maybe from a friend. Don't sit on the fence, give it a try!

    -Walt

  37. #37
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    I agree with Walt.
    1º slacker seat angle at my inseaaaaam length means that my seat moves 14mm aft. It's easy to find frames in the same size, but with seat angles differing 1.5 or 2º. If you simply slide in the seatpost and mount the seat centered over it, 0.3" in the chainstay is nothing.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  38. #38
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    So why not BIGGER?

    If bigger is better, why not 32", or 36", or 48"? Obviously the availability of 700cm rims/tires is a major issue, but with the level of customization many go to on their bikes, why aren't some of you riding really BIG wheels?

    also

    Is it conceivable that for certain body/terrain types a 26" wheel IS a big wheel? And a 29" wheel is just silly (like a 48" above)?

  39. #39
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    29"/700c is the biggest available size that allows to build a properly manouvrable bike for average adults. And the weight/stiffness/rolling resistance balance in the wheels doesn't just improve as you go larger.

    For people under 5' or so, 26" indeed is already on the big side of ideal. Hence kids' bikes...
    If you dig holes in a field the size of a 26" wheel, that will be the least efficient size to roll "over" it. On smooth bumps, 20" can even roll more smoothly. One reason the use them for dirt jumping.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  40. #40
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    Availability of parts

    The only larger aluminum rim than 700c that I know of is a Coker - at 36". So it's conceivable (if you tracked down the spokes and some vaguely trailworthy tires) that you could try that. Ideally, I'm sure there's a "perfect" size wheel for every size and shape of rider - but the market isn't going to start producing fully custom sized rims/tires/etc. You'd of course need a custom frame as well. Many of these items could probably be fabbed up, but at ludicrous cost - most folks don't want to spend the money on just a new wheelset, tires, and frame, let alone a fully custom set of all those parts.

    For really big people (Shaq?) wheels bigger than 29" might be beneficial in some situations. But the problems and cost associated with deviating from the 700c standard are simply too much to deal with. If mountain biking was as popular as soccer or basketball or something, there would probably be a niche market for custom sized wheels and parts. But it's (thank heaven) not, so be happy with your 29er.

    -Walt

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    I'd start with 2 extra teeth in the rear compared to your 26 inch ratio....sooo 34-19 or maybe 34-20, which is what I like for all around riding.

    34/19 APPEARS to be the way to go on a Fisher frame to do it without a tensioner. I'm awaiting a 19T King cog to make my final decision. The King cogs tend to 'add' a little tension to the chain compared to the regular cassette cogs. I have a tensioner on it now, in a 'push-up' configuration, and it barely looks like its doing anything.

    Since all the Fisher HT 29ers are spec'd with the same length stays, this should work for all of them. Key word=should!

  42. #42
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    Great info! 34/19 is a bit of a low gear for our trails here. I may try a 38/19 once, which should make the chain just that little bit tighter stilll right? Or 30/15, as 15's are easy to obtain, and I've already got a 30.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Great info! 34/19 is a bit of a low gear for our trails here. I may try a 38/19 once, which should make the chain just that little bit tighter stilll right? Or 30/15, as 15's are easy to obtain, and I've already got a 30.
    I think 38/19 would be too tight... maybe 37/19. Maybe 30/15 might work...
    Like I said before, the chain has very little slack in it... just a little too much for the ramped cassette gear in the back presently. The singulator looks like it really isn't doing anything back there!

    The ratio is pretty decent for riding too! Its very comparable to the 34/17 I ran on the 26er!

  44. #44
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    29"er chainstay length

    We've built as short as 16.9" chainstays on a 29er, and still have decent tire clearance for 2.1". If someone wanted to run 2.3" tires (if they ever get released), then I wouldn't go that short. We have done 16.9" both on singlespeeds and one geared frame (74 degree seat angle, 15.5" frame for a short female, about as small as we could make it and we wanted to keep the overall wheelbase length a bit shorter). The shorter chainstays work much better on singlespeeds where front derailleur clearance isn't an issue obviously. We had to be a bit creative on the geared frame, and only certain types of front derailleur would work (the new Shimano dual top pull/bottom pull won't work). I wouldn't go that short on the chainstays again for a geared bike however, but for SS I really like having the tire tucked up underneath me.

    Brad

    www.wilycycles.com
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  45. #45
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    How much does a Karate Monkey frame (and a rigid fork) go for, new or on eBay?

    What 29" tires work well with Stans?

  46. #46
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    Fist Q probably is too date-specific for an FAQ, eBay itself has the answer.
    Kenda's, IRC's and steel WTB and Schwalbe Big Apples have been made to work with Stan's. Don't try kevlar WTB's or Bontragers.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Fist Q probably is too date-specific for an FAQ
    Well I wasn't asking cause I wanted to make FAQ better, but thanks anyway.

  48. #48
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    I have a question I don't know the answer to.

    "why to Karate Monkeys have a curve in the seat tube that has a different curvature to a 29er tyre?"

    Maybe the KM riders out there know why this is.

    P::..

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    Question: Can you get different colored tires for a 29" MTB?

  50. #50
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    This was answered above in this thread I think. all mentionned tires apart from the IRC Mythos come in just the black color, a partly red Mythos is available in the UK.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  51. #51
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    Question:

    What is new for 2005? Are there more bikes/parts/options? Is the "movement" taking hold?
    FS: Everything

  52. #52
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    question

    street related...

    When riding on the street ( for a good distance 30+ miles), either with a club ride or solo, compared to riding a 26er do you find it harder to keep up on a 29er MTB? Going from a 26" wheel, Is it easier to maintain a higher speed on the street on a 29er mtb?

  53. #53
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    All else being the same, 29" offers a 10% reduction in rolling resistance, even before the momentum thing kicks in. Normally, with constant speed, the momentum is unnoticed, the wheels could just as well have been weightless. In theory, passing through a cobblestone street, you'll lose less speed, or require less effort to keep speed constant, thanks to the increased rollover ability. Put 28x2.35" Schwalbe Big Apples on your niner, and it'll feel like the love child of an Abrahams and a road bike. I find myself putting in really strong long commute TT times with such a setup, may be momentum, may be mental, may be the lack of rolling resistance, or even the confidence the ride inspires.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  54. #54
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    Now that 29" wheels are allowed in UCI races, how many World Cup XC racers are taking advantage of their obvious superiorities to 26" wheels? How many downhillers (where the weight liability is a negligable factor)?
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

  55. #55
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    "Now that 29" wheels are allowed in UCI races, how many World Cup XC racers are taking advantage of their obvious superiorities to 26" wheels? How many downhillers (where the weight liability is a negligable factor)?"

    As World Cup riders all race on sponsored bikes, only some get to even try 29".
    The 2004 HPC Nishiki team did use 29", scored a Dutch National title, and showed up to some biger races with their 29" bikes. For them, limiting factor was only the Nishiki's geometry, which made the bikes steer very slowly with a suspension fork. So they rode easy courses with 29" and short rigid Pace fork by choice, and tough courses with 26" hardtails. A shame.

    The only other mayor team with access to 29" bikes, Fisher Subura, was hampered by Manitou sponson contracts (they don't do 29"). So, they rode 26". Bad promotion for Fisher, but so be it.

    But a few members of the Fisher team do use 29". Nat Ross and Cameron Chambers are both world-class and post on here, too.

    Just before he doped out of the sport, Filip Meirhaeghe had Specialized make a race-specific 29" tire that would have rocked in Athens. Specialized is even oppposed to 29" as a concept, they hate it, but Filip gave them the option to do it, or say goodbye.

    Bart Brentjens has a secret 29" bike, but he only got fat tubulars for it. His tire sponsor didn't have 29" tires, tubulars are imagined to be much faster, and allow any tire's tread to be used, for a one-by-one produced tire. His custom tires wrecked easily, he didn't want to risk a SILVER MEDAL at the Olympics. Still, I wonder how far he'd come on my personal bike, the guy just ripped that day. I'm positive he'd ridden sections he now was force to walk, where Absalon and Hermida (dope) were able to ride.

    World Cup racing is both the brake and the katalyst for bike development. If sponsors forbid it, they're not going to use discs, suspension or whatever. If the sponsor sells something, the riders ride it, and Average Joe buys is. Simple marketing.

    Big brands are 26" selling bikes right now, and may figure they'll lose customers if they join the 29" thing. Offer something extra, lose customers. Logic with the same source that decided smaller wheels are a good idea for MTB's world domination, and it still was. Imagine 29" to have been the first thing they tried back in the 70's. Imagine Fisher, Ritchey, Kelly et all just working double jobs for a few months and coming up with the money to order a couple rolls of 29x2" tires, which really was what they were looking for, pinch flatting their crossbikes all the time. Time machine stuff.

    Cool thing is, we can now build up bikes we know in our heart are simply faster than the Pro's on TV have to do their thing with. Until their sponsors join the club, whih takes even longer than our product selection, as teams need to get multiple sponsors behind the idea.

    The HPC Nishiki team will ride for BeOne in 2005. They also have a 29er program, I know some of their riders are dieing to be able to ride 29" again.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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    broken spokes more strain

    hi, with disk breaks wouldent it cause more spoke fatigue and more latteral flex?

  57. #57
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    No and yes.

    When your spokes flex, they don't fatigue unless they flex past their elastic limit (assuming you're using steel spokes - I can't speak for some of the other odd stuff out there) - and if they flex that far, you've probably had a headon with a car or something similar - the wheel will be long dead from 1,000 other causes before spoke fatigue becomes an issue.

    It is true that 29er wheels are a bit weaker (and flexier) laterally, at least if you're comparing similar hubs/rim/spoke combinations. I have never met anyone who has really even noticed this, though, let alone had a problem with it - and I know 250+ pound guys who ride 29ers.

    -Walt



    Quote Originally Posted by joshey
    hi, with disk breaks wouldent it cause more spoke fatigue and more latteral flex?

  58. #58
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    Full suspension 29ers

    Can anyone put together a fairly comprehensive list of FS 29er builders?

    Thanks,

    Eric

  59. #59
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    I'll start off with some :

    www.lenzsport.com (Leviathan for a superlight, really burly 3" travel bike)
    www.zinncycles.com (even a 5" travel model if you're over 6'6" tall)
    www.fisherbikes.com (Sugars 292 and 293)
    www.speedgoat.com (Asylum, alu Racer-X made in series by Titus)
    Titus Ti (Racer-X custom Ti)
    Astrix (Monk, 4"+, to be released)
    Vicious (Was that the one, Titus Race-X rear with custom steel front?)
    Nishiki (FS-29, affordable, Europe-only)
    ...
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  60. #60
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    Other Industry Articles

    http://www.billingsgazette.com/index...gearjunkie.inc

    Might need to copy and paste the link into your browser. figured showing a non cycling related publication article might give a bit of merit to the 29" wheel.
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  61. #61

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    Backwards Compatability

    I know it might be heresy to even suggest such an act, but is it possible to (with disc breaks) throw a set of 26" wheels on a 29er and have something similar to 26" performance? I understand the bottom bracket would be lower that on a dedicated 26", and that some of the angles would be messed up... but what the actual implications of that would be are too much for my poor noodle to attempt contemplating

    Oh, and just to explain myself, I don't actually want to do this necisarily, I am just curious as to what the different frame geometry of a 29er would do if one were to put a set of 26" on it, and why. I figure because of the longer stays, lower BB, etc would it behave roughly like a slack angled dedicated 26", or am I thinking about this the wrong way?

  62. #62
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    The low BB will be a huge impact, making the thing unridable unless with really big tires, and on the road only. Steering would change as if the headtube angle was steepened by one degree, while really identical. Reason, fork trail being reduced.
    The whole setup would be one big disappointment. Endo much easier, lift a front wheel already on less steep inclines, corner slower as well as quirrily, require a longer braking into a corner and would be more likely to lose traction.
    The low BB is simply undesirable, otherwise we'd see more 26" bikes with pedals screaping the ground everz pedal stroke. Low BB's could howver be nice for mopeds, I guess.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    I'll start off with some :

    www.lenzsport.com (Leviathan for a superlight, really burly 3" travel bike)
    www.zinncycles.com (even a 5" travel model if you're over 6'6" tall)
    www.fisherbikes.com (Sugars 292 and 293)
    www.speedgoat.com (Asylum, alu Racer-X made in series by Titus)
    Titus Ti (Racer-X custom Ti)
    Astrix (Monk, 4"+, to be released)
    Vicious (Was that the one, Titus Race-X rear with custom steel front?)
    Nishiki (FS-29, affordable, Europe-only)
    ...
    The lack of pivots may prevent it from being considered a true FS design, but the softtail Moots Mooto-X YBB has done very well in long-distance MTB events, having been used to set records on both Kokopelli's trail and the Continental Divide trail from Canada to Mexico.



    Another ST design that surpasses the Mooto-X when it comes to lateral stiffness, vertical compliance (1 3/4" travel) and price (don't ask) is the custom only John Castellano-designed, Steve Potts-built Silk Ti 29:


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    Long and Tall lookin for a ride

    Hello everyone,

    Fortunately, I am in the market for a new mountain bike and am looking for some help. I am 6' 10" tall, weight 245 and have an 38" inseam. My current ride is a 22" cannondale HT which I am looking to replace with something more my size. I am currently living in Germany and have seen that GF and Nishiki are both producing 29ers. Can't find one in stock though and was wondering if anyone knows where I might find one in stock or any other suggestions as to rides for my size and lbs?

    I have also seen plenty written about the GF's but nothing about the Nishiki's. Can anyone link me to a review or please give your first-hand experience with a Nishiki?

    I am attempting to keep the cost of my new bike reasonable and any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Gymbo

  65. #65
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    Good luck...

    If you're 6'10", I can say with some confidence that there is no production mountain bike that will fit you worth beans. If you want any kind of decent fit at all, you're stuck with custom, and the extra expense/waiting/etc that entails.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, but there's just not enough market for bikes that big for any sensible company to produce them in any volume.

    An XL Karate Monkey is probably your best bet (even though the TT is WAY too short) if you want to keep costs reasonable.

    -Walt

    Quote Originally Posted by Gymbo
    Hello everyone,

    Fortunately, I am in the market for a new mountain bike and am looking for some help. I am 6' 10" tall, weight 245 and have an 38" inseam. My current ride is a 22" cannondale HT which I am looking to replace with something more my size. I am currently living in Germany and have seen that GF and Nishiki are both producing 29ers. Can't find one in stock though and was wondering if anyone knows where I might find one in stock or any other suggestions as to rides for my size and lbs?

    I have also seen plenty written about the GF's but nothing about the Nishiki's. Can anyone link me to a review or please give your first-hand experience with a Nishiki?

    I am attempting to keep the cost of my new bike reasonable and any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, Gymbo

  66. #66
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    I have to agree with Walt. Zinn has perhaps the most experience with fitting really tall people, but Gunnar might be able to come up with a frame at a bit lower cost.

  67. #67
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    how are these bikes in the air? majority of my riding is singletracks, mixed with some long rides around town, but every once in a while (about once every week or two) i like to hit up the dirt track or local bmx ring. i'd be considered a fairly aggresive rider, i blame the bmx roots on that. but my main passion really is trail riding. from what i've read on 29", they seem to be great for fast trail riding, rolling over bumps, up hills, all that good stuff, but how are they for maneuverability up large berms, bunnyhopping curbs and such on the way to coffee, feeling the lip of a jump, things like that. is the "feeling" for lack of a better word kind of muddled and vague as compared to a 26"? i ride rigid cause i really feel out my lines when i ride bikes, the sports just allways had alot of flow for me, i'm just concerned and wondering if 29", like suspension, takes away from that.

    my wording is poor i know, sorry about that. i'm genuinely interested in this wheel option though.

  68. #68
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    Cycling being so much of a precision sport, the rider so well connected to the bike, able to sense every detail, the impact of 29" (10%, not even a lot if you get it as a raise) is pretty intense. Riding at the same speed as before, the ride will get much more stable. You could have a very nervous 29" bike made, with rims that will take a beating, but it'll still corner more securely, so you'll have to move faster to get the same sence of fighting for a line.
    If you'd prefer the feel of 24" over 26", then 29" isn't for you. If the air 29" feels rock solid, not much like air, but more like elevator. living in a pancake-shaped country I get scared at drops over a foot, but with 29" they're managable for me. 29" does ask for more airtime to do 360's, though.

  69. #69
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    29er amd cyclocross

    I have a Jeff Lyon cyclocross frame that I'm really happy with, but it has narrow rims that I feel I couldn't cram a 1.9-2.1 width tire into. Is the hub width of a 29er wheel the same as a cyclcross wheel? Could I just buy a 29er wheelset and throw it on? I'm set up with canti brakes and figure I could just adjust them to the new width.

  70. #70
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    It's more the frame itself limiting tire clearance than the rim. Narrow rims actually limit tire width the slightest bit. I've never heard of Lyon bikes, but I bet a good sixpack you won't fit bigger than 45mm in there. Look at where the chain- and seatstays almost meet the tire.
    Some CX bikes use 130mm (road) rear hubs, some 135 (mtb), some (Surly Cross-Check) arejust 132,5mm to accomodate both. Personally I don't have a problem with exchanging wheels without looking at width too much. My frames have never giving problems with that 5mm.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  71. #71
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    BB drop

    In all the threads I've read about trying to convert a 26 to 29er, BB drop is mentioned, but I don't get the specifics of why a 31.5mm higher BB is an issue. Sure, I see it will be harder to put my foot down, but what are other effects?

    Thanks,
    Will

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gymbo
    Hello everyone,


    I have also seen plenty written about the GF's but nothing about the Nishiki's. Can anyone link me to a review or please give your first-hand experience with a Nishiki?
    don't know about the nishiki 29', but i had a full rigid 26" nishiki backroads(1993) and it was a great bike!!!
    [Edit Cloxxki : I wonder if ANYTHING is still the same as in those days, manufacturer, designer, marketing people... It's a far cry from a high-end brand nowaday, just complete bikes with middle of the road geometry.]
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  73. #73
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    I have a question...

    Just so you know, I currently ride a 26" hardtail but have a heavy interest in the 29er movement. I lurk this message board quite often and have been taken in by the allure of big wheels (not to mention, I am also impressed with the number of bikes some of you guys own/ride). I happen to find this board one of the more interesting ones on mtbr.

    Anyway, let me cut to the chase. Does a 29" hardtail negate the need for a full suspension bike, 29er or otherwise, being that you would seem to just roll over stuff? I like the Sugar 292 a lot, but with the 29er's ability to roll over everything on the trail, would I be able to save a few $$ and get a sweet build on 29" hardtail and still get the same utility.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfire
    I have a question I don't know the answer to.

    "why to Karate Monkeys have a curve in the seat tube that has a different curvature to a 29er tyre?"

    Maybe the KM riders out there know why this is.

    P::..
    I'll take a shot at it.

    It could be to move the front derailer further forward so it doesn't rub on the rear tire. It's so close in fact, that you usually have to run the provided Monkey Nuts to hold the rear wheel back a bit. Doesn't the front derailer clamp to the portion of the seattube that is bent forward? This is the most logical explanation I can dream up.
    FS: Everything

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziggurat22
    Just so you know, I currently ride a 26" hardtail but have a heavy interest in the 29er movement. I lurk this message board quite often and have been taken in by the allure of big wheels (not to mention, I am also impressed with the number of bikes some of you guys own/ride). I happen to find this board one of the more interesting ones on mtbr.

    Anyway, let me cut to the chase. Does a 29" hardtail negate the need for a full suspension bike, 29er or otherwise, being that you would seem to just roll over stuff? I like the Sugar 292 a lot, but with the 29er's ability to roll over everything on the trail, would I be able to save a few $$ and get a sweet build on 29" hardtail and still get the same utility.
    That's a hard one, and depends a lot on personal preference and your frame of reference.

    If you're coming from a 26" FS bike, a 29er hardtail is going to feel like a hardtail, no doubt about it.

    However, if you're coming from a 26" HT, a 29er HT is going to feel a lot more smooth and forgiving.

    A HT is still a HT, just the 29er forgives a lot more that it's smaller wheeled little brother.
    FS: Everything

  76. #76

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    SS and Internally Geared Hubs - Frame Compatibility

    I'm interested in a 29 SS that I could later run with an internal geared hub like a Rohloff Speedhub.

    Will an internal geared Rohloff Speedhub work with vertical drops and EBB? For that matter, does a Rohloff even need a frame with any horizontal adjustment like an EBB or horizontal drops?

    (Edit Cloxxki : this doesn't seem to really be a 29" FAQ, please post answer in a new thread on the 29" forum)
    Last edited by Cloxxki; 09-21-2005 at 01:00 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling

  77. #77
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    Pinch Flats?

    Hi, I just bought a used WaltWorks frameset. It will be my first 29er, and I am really exicited to build it up and get on the trail. From my internet research it seems like a reliable tubeless 29er rim/tire system is yet to be perfected. I've been riding tubeless 26" tires since the year they were released, and don't want to go back to either frequent pinch flats or rock hard inflation pressures. Are 29" tires more or less susceptible to pinch flats compared to 26"? What is your advice on how low I can safely go as far as tire pressure with a WTB Exiwolf or Maxxis Ignitor rear tire, considering I weigh about 190 lbs and ride pretty rocky trails? Thanks.

  78. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfire
    I have a question I don't know the answer to.
    "why to Karate Monkeys have a curve in the seat tube that has a different curvature to a 29er tyre?"Maybe the KM riders out there know why this is.
    P::..
    It's because you can run a rear derailleur with a Karate Monkey, and you want to shove the rear wheel all the way forward in the horizontal droupouts when you do. This optimizes and standardizes the positioning of the derailleur for precise shifting. The curved seat tube accomodates a big tire without it rubbing against the tube when the wheel is properly positioned (fully forward) for a derailleur.

    EDIT: Oops. Upon re-reading the question, I just realized that this probably doesn't answer it at all. This is why it's curved, but you wanted to know why the curve doesn't correspond to the arc of the 29" tire. Well, damn... I'll go with the front derailleur explanation offered by someone else and not be so quick to spout my "knowledge" next time! Sorry...
    Last edited by Fixintogo; 10-03-2005 at 07:16 PM. Reason: misunderstood the question

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    I just have a question regarding cockpit sizing on a 29er. Does the higher front end of a 29er mean I should stick with a flatbar, or do most people find a low riser bar to work?

    I do like my handlebars to end up about even with my seat, not my armpits.

    Does anyone have the need to run a stem inverted to drop the height down? Or will a simple 90 deg x 50 mm stem work?

  80. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tetreves
    I just have a question regarding cockpit sizing on a 29er. Does the higher front end of a 29er mean I should stick with a flatbar, or do most people find a low riser bar to work?

    I do like my handlebars to end up about even with my seat, not my armpits.

    Does anyone have the need to run a stem inverted to drop the height down? Or will a simple 90 deg x 50 mm stem work?
    The HT on 29er's is correspondingly short to offset the longer fork legs. IE, no difference.

  81. #81

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    Great! Thanks very much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 29inch
    The HT on 29er's is correspondingly short to offset the longer fork legs. IE, no difference.
    That is generally true, but if you need a small frame and want to run 100mm forks risers are probably out.

  83. #83
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    Cyclocross Conversion?

    So I've been really curious about the 29er craze and really want to try it. However, being low on cash and not finding any locally in my size, I was wondering if I can convert my cyclocross bike into a 29er. I think I would get a much better feel of the bike if I weren't riding the trails in the drops. Even w/ the skinny cross tires, I can already feel the benefits of the larger wheel rolling over roots and rocks.

    Soooo...can I just lose the drops, put on a regular stem and flat bar, mount a sti shifter and regular brake levers and go? I was thinking about running a 1x9 and taking off the 48t outer ring. Will this work, or am I missing something or is this a totally retarded idea?

  84. #84

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    I got the On One 18" (small-ish), I'm just about 6'2", and I went with a really low rise (just to get the 8 deg. sweep), and a 70mm x 90 stem.

    I'll let you know how it feels in a couple weeks when the fork comes in (New WB 100mm)

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by fangofever
    So I've been really curious about the 29er craze and really want to try it. However, being low on cash and not finding any locally in my size, I was wondering if I can convert my cyclocross bike into a 29er. I think I would get a much better feel of the bike if I weren't riding the trails in the drops. Even w/ the skinny cross tires, I can already feel the benefits of the larger wheel rolling over roots and rocks.

    Soooo...can I just lose the drops, put on a regular stem and flat bar, mount a sti shifter and regular brake levers and go? I was thinking about running a 1x9 and taking off the 48t outer ring. Will this work, or am I missing something or is this a totally retarded idea?
    It's not about the bars and rims, it's about the rims and tires. If you can get the fatties to fit (probably not) on 700c rims in your bike, you can get the 29" sensation. Before you run an MTB-worthy tire, it's still a cross bike IMO, sorry. BTW, I think drop bar 29"ers totally rock. If you can get it to work, whoohoo!!
    Realize that for many, coming from drop bars, to get a similar setup running a flat bar, they'll need some 40mm longer a stem. Cross bikes are just a lot shorter than MTB's most of the time.

    Good luck!

  86. #86
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    good info

    how problematic is it to use a new 29" front wheel on my 26" frame hardtail with Z1 5" fork and 8" Hope rotors?
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  87. #87
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    That's more a Freakily Asked Question, please open a new thread for it!

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    Cloxxi, I think that we can answer his specific question in a manner that is general enought to place here.

    In general, standard suspension forks for 26" wheels that use braces to tie the left and right lower fork legs together do not have enough room to accommodate MTB tires on 700c rims. Suspension forks that use an "upside-down" design can be used for either 26" or 29" wheels, but must have some form of travel limiter to prevent contact between the tire and the fork crown. Rigid forks that have disc brake mounts and enough Axle to Crown Race length can also be used for either 26" or 29" wheels, but all frames have specific ranges of fork geometry which work best, and use of non-standard wheels and/or fork lengths can cause a variety of different problems including toe overlap, poor handling characteristics, frame breakage and/or death depending on the case in question.

  89. #89
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    29R Geometry

    So 29R's have been out for a few years now. How good has the geometry been revised to accomdate these larger wheels. Is the feeling that manufacturers have revised/refinded the geometry to what is exactly needed?

    For a full suspension 29R, will these bike be capable of getting the type of rear travel to be a 4-5-6" travel trail bike? The Asylum 29R frame from Speedgoat made by Titus cycles has about 1" less rear travel the the comparableOr do the bigger wheels negate the need for additional rear suspenion travel?

  90. #90
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    Rear travel will always be tighter with a bigger wheel. It depends on how badly the manufacturer wants it how well it all fits, and what length stays are required. That said, the need for short stays is not exactly an established fact. Even FSR's are reported to have 2-foot long chainstays, and corner just fine.
    The ret of the 29" geometry is well dialed, although fork makers might come up with longer offset forks rather than the same offset that was alrady considered short for 26"ers.

  91. #91
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    New Tyres

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Question: I think I'm all set now with my new 29" rig, I simply love it. Now, tell me which tires to get for which circumstances. Back in my 26" days, I had tires for everything : sand, mud, hardpack, street, etc.
    Answer:
    Okay, some popular choices. All are over 1.9", thus truely 29" :
    Mud : Kenda Klaw XT, IRC Notos and Mythos, Continental Vapor
    Fire roads : WTB Nanoraptors, Bontrager ACX Jones, IRC Notos and Mythos
    Rocky : WTB Motoraptor, Bontrager ACX Jones
    Hardpack/Grass : Bontrager ACX Jones, WTB Nanoraptors
    Sand : WTB Nanoraptors, Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35" (option for rear only)
    Street and beach : Schwlabe Big Apple 2.0" or 2.35", Kenda Khan
    Trekking and ultra-long distance allround dry surface : Kenda Khan
    Since 2004, I imagine there are many more tyres that are now on the market.

    Can you give us an update on the above list?

    Cheers.
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  92. #92
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    Spacialized Fast Trak 2.0
    Kenda Karma 2.2
    Bontrager Jones XR F2.25/R2.20
    Maxxis Ignitor 2.1
    Schwalbe Little Albert 2.1
    WTB ExiWolf

  93. #93
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    Question: Are travel cases available for 29er bikes? (for traveling on airplane)

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    I'll start off with some :

    www.lenzsport.com (Leviathan for a superlight, really burly 3" travel bike)
    www.zinncycles.com (even a 5" travel model if you're over 6'6" tall)
    www.fisherbikes.com (Sugars 292 and 293)
    www.speedgoat.com (Asylum, alu Racer-X made in series by Titus)
    Titus Ti (Racer-X custom Ti)
    Astrix (Monk, 4"+, to be released)
    Vicious (Was that the one, Titus Race-X rear with custom steel front?)
    Nishiki (FS-29, affordable, Europe-only)
    ...
    How about some kind soul updates this for the FAQ? I don't follow the industry close enough to do it myself, but I think we should have an up-to-date list of 29" non-custom full suspension bikes available. This list is at least missing the Ventana, the soon-to-be-released GF Super Caliber, Spyder, Niner, and maybe more I know not.
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  95. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsb
    Question: Are travel cases available for 29er bikes? (for traveling on airplane)
    I was looking for an answer to that exact question!

  96. #96
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    There have been various of both such threads. Will someone please copy data from there, or link to the threads?

  97. #97
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    Crank Length for 29ers

    Hi, I am finally getting a 29er and have heard from one person that you need shorter cranks with these. She indicated some reason like pedaling efficienty but that makes no sense to me especially in light of the larger gearing of the bigger wheels. The only think I can think of is toe-wheel overlap because of the bigger wheels and short cranks would help alleviate that.

    So, do I need shorter cranks with a 29er? I am 5'11" and will be on a medium Airborne frame with Marzocchi Marathon S shock.

    Thanks

  98. #98
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    Short people, short cranks. Long people, long cranks.
    Length length dictates crank length, whether you have wheels or not.
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  99. #99
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    Susp. fork question

    I've looked briefly through the Marz. website but couldn't find anything. I have an 05 MX pro w/eta - could it be adapted to their 29" design? Thanks for helping a newb!

  100. #100
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    No, lowers are too short to make it fit.

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by anden
    Some people are worried about the fact that most of the extra weight is in the wheels, increasing "rotational weight". All bike weight, rotational and non-rotational, affects your ride in two major aspects: acceleration and climbing. Additional weight in tires and tubes counts from acceleration point of view as an extra approximately 90% compared to "fixed" bike weight and an extra 70% for rims, but just as any weight from climbing point of view. But of course if you accelerate at a climb, there is still the acceleration penalty. For example, a 50 g heavier tire affects acceleration as much as 95 g on the frame does. Whether that heavier tire is 26" or 29" doesn't matter - it is the weight that matters, not the diameter itself. Another example: when climbing at constant speed, an extra 50 g in a tire feels exactly as much as an extra 50 g on the frame does (there is no constant speed riding is real life, but close).
    Hey, when you talk about a heavier tire increasing rotational inertia, it does matter whether the heavier tire is 26" or 29". The formula for moment of inertia of a hoop about the symmetry axis (like a bike wheel assembly) is I=m*r^2, and the formula for angular kinetic energy is KE=1/2*I*w^2, w being the angular velocity. As you can see, an increase in the radius of an object requires more energy to bring the object up to a certain angular velocity, even more so than a similar increase in the mass.

    So, we can make a general calculation about 26" wheels versus 29" wheels in terms of energy required to bring the bike up to a certain speed. A 29" wheel will have an approximate circumference of C=pi*d=pi*29=91.1", and a 26" wheel would be C=pi*26"=81.7", which is 91.1/81.7=1.115 times as much mass as a 26" wheel. So, using a mass of 1 unit for the 26" wheel, the rotational inertia will be I=m*r^2=1*13^2=169. For 29", using a mass of 1.115 units, we get I=1.115*14.5^2=234. We can then calculate that the rotational inertia, and thus the KE and energy required to bring a 29" wheel up to speed compared to a 26" wheel will be 234/169 = 1.38, or 38% more energy.

    Of course, this calculation is approximate and doesn't factor any of the other numerous things that make 29" wheels generally faster other than this one factor. Also, this 38% only applies to accelerating, not moving at a more or less constant speed, and ignoring other factors as well. Hope this clears the whole rotational inertia thing up, although I though you already figured it out since you stated that the wheel and tubes affect acceleration more than the rim.
    Last edited by Trifixed; 09-17-2006 at 08:24 PM.

  102. #102
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    That's a lot of numbers. Did you factor in that the larger wheel don't need as much angular speed, turn at a lower rpm?

    Also, remember that 29" is 29", and 26" is 26.5". Really. There's 2.5" difference, or 9.4 louzy percents, less than 10%.

  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    That's a lot of numbers. Did you factor in that the larger wheel don't need as much angular speed, turn at a lower rpm?

    Also, remember that 29" is 29", and 26" is 26.5". Really. There's 2.5" difference, or 9.4 louzy percents, less than 10%.
    You got me there! I did neglect to factor in the angular velocity providing a faster speed for the larger wheel. 38% did seem like a bit big to me. I'll recalculate for the KE later today when I have time; I have h/w and class this afternoon.

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    Not sure if anyone has answered this or not yet, but oh well.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of steel frames? I know a lot of 29er "purests" prefer steel to aluminum, and am just curious why that is.

    Also, what are the advantages and disadvantages of aluminum, scandium, or titanium?

  105. #105
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    Ok, so I redid the calculations accounting for angular velocity, and have concluded that since the larger size of the 29" wheel allows a smaller angular velocity to make up for the larger moment of inertia than the 26.5" wheels. I would show all of my redone calculations, but I'm too lazy to type 'em all in. What happens is that the the factor for the decrease in angular velocity, (26.5/29)^2, is the inverse of the increase in the moment of inertia, so they cancel out. So, I was wrong in saying that the diameter mattered, but my recalculated number turns out to 20% more energy to accelerate (when accounting for 26.5" vs. 29" tires). Thanks for finding my error, Cloxxki, I thought I had it all figured out like I was the greatest or something; but now I can at least say that I know why acceleration doesn't depend on wheel size.

  106. #106
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    i'll take a shot

    OK, first of all recognize that nobody builds with pure metal. Steel is alloyed with chromium, molybdenum and other things, aluminum is alloyed with different metals including scandium (when you hear about scandium frames, they are really aluminum with scandium as the alloyed metal), and titanium is usually alloyed with aluminum and vanadium. There are others but the point is that the alloying material affects the base metal to create an entirely different set of strength and fatigue characteristics. I will tell you typically what people say about steel, aluminum, and ti but I am speaking of the alloyed metals:

    Steel was the first material to be built into frames and so there is a certain allure to its historical significance and acceptance. It tends to be lively, taking alot of the small vibrations out but retaining good lateral stiffness, which you want. In recent years, steel tubing has become increasingly thinner to allow it to compete weightwise with the others and because technologies allow it. The ride is nice but those thin tubes can ding/dent pretty easily. A well made (as in proficient frame builder using good annealing techiques) steel frame also does not tend to develop problems like fatigue fracturing even after many years of use.

    Aluminum can be alloyed with different metals and these combined with different tube diameters all affect the ride and longevity. Generally though, aluminum frames are stiff and tend to be unforgiving. Those charactreristics though make it ideal for a full suspension frame where you don't want the tubeset to be active. That's what the suspension is for. They also tend to fatigue over time and are generally not the best choice for a frame that you want to keep and ride forever. Alloying with scandium is supposed to make the ride somewhat more compliant by allowing a thinner-walled tubeset which is also lighter. By the way, annealing is a critical and often underappreciated step in aluminum frame welding. It is the reason why some manufacturers who weld and immediately ship have problems with frame breakage while reputable frame builders using the same materials but who perform a careful anneal do not.

    Finally, titanium is the material that should last forever, is stronly resistant to dings and dents and provides excellent vibration absorption. It is also very expensive to work and the frame builder really needs to know what he is doing because welding can greatly weaken the material if not done correctly. And, titanium isn't ideal for everything in my opinion. Although it is excellent in a hardtail because of its damping qualities, full suspension rigs out of ti typically have to be overbuilt to ensure that the frame doesn't flex too much and they are often heavier than their full suspension aluminum counterparts.

    I'd say carbon fiber is most similar to titanium in most ways but I have to go do chores and I will see if anybody flames what I have already written before I bore you any more.

    take care, good luck

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    davek, nice work on describing the frame materials. There are a few more things that I think are probably important enough to go over, though.

    First, since carbon fiber frames are made of multiple thin layers of fibers and resin, they can be shaped to provide precisely the strength and stiffness at any point on the frame, creating the lightest frames possible. However, carbon can catastropicly fail, breaking apart with little warning. Unlike metals, carbon fiber frames do not bend significantly when they fail; instead they just snap apart. For this reason, carbon fiber frames are always overbuilt in order to minimize this risk.

    Second, steel frames are popular not only for their ride quality, but also because of the ease of building a custom frame. Until the past few years, 29ers and dedicated single speed frames were pretty uncommon, so people usually had to get one from a smaller production (e.g. soma or surly) or custom frame builder. There are many steel tubing sets available, and steel can be easily filet brazed, lug brazed, or welded. Brazing can be done with just an oxy-acetylene kit, and I think the welding can be done with the same. I'm in a metal fab and welding class right now, so I'll post that later.

    The point is, you can make a steel frame in your garage for minimum cost; if you have the proper equipment it will probably only cost a few hundred dollars and take minimal skill to make. This isn't as easy with the other materials. Aluminum is harder to weld, and titanium welds must be absolutely uncontaminated. Making a carbon fiber frame at home is possible; check out Sheldon Brown's website However, it takes more skill to design the frame, and the material is generally harder to get and more expensive.

    I know this isn't 100% accurate; I'm not an expert on framebuilding; but if you search around on the web you can find more about the materials.

  108. #108
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    Wow, thanks guys. That was exactly what I was looking for. After riding a Haro Mary (steel) and a Gary Fisher Rig (aluminum/scandium), I was pretty sure I liked the feel of steel better, but I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

    Thanks again!

  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Spacialized Fast Trak 2.0
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    This is great, but can you do one more thing, divide these into the categories above, ie. mud, fireroad, etc.? Thanks!
    single speed bikes, single coil pickups.

  110. #110
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    Does road bike tires work on 29'er rims?

    Hi,

    Does road bike tires work on 29'er rims? This would make sense for commutin on roads.

    Thanks,
    Lars Hansen

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    running 700c tires on 29" rims

    Yes, you can use a 700 c tire. In fact, I have a set of cyclocross tires (700c x 42c) tires on right now to allow me to ride road to trail and then light to medium dirt roads and trails. It is a very utilitarian concept. I would think that narrow road tires (700 x 20) might be pushing the limits though because the 29er rims are significantly wider than road rims. May be able to get away with it though?

    Any of you guys have expereince running bonafide narrow road tires on 29" rims?

  112. #112
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    Have they won any significant races?

    Hi,

    If 29'er are so great, do they have anything to show for it? Do any pros ride them?

    Thanks,
    Lars

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Hansen
    Hi,

    If 29'er are so great, do they have anything to show for it? Do any pros ride them?

    Thanks,
    Lars
    This IS an FAQ, but subject to change with time.
    The US 24hr champs were won with 29" wheels.

    But over the whole, a typical Pro's mindset and sponsorship package are incompatible with trying something new that happens to add a bit of weight. A pro will rather spend a complete day in the rain and cold on a road bike by himself than demo a "strange" MTB on nice trails.
    If pro's are your role models, you're going to spen an aweful lot of money on parts that effective are the same each time.
    A pro's riding excellence will have them win on a ike a size too small with silly knobless tires even if conditions do not favor it. A pro is as willing to try new things as is a history book. World class pro's will follow when sub-world class riders are giving them a hard time. But even they are often too narrow minded to ee technical advantages, ask their sponsors, etc. And even if they do "think" they have given it a go, it was often not really given any time or chance to work.
    Believe in yourself, not in a guy that lacks the gene to only train/ride when one feels like it.

    Something as simple as tire sealent that prevents flats, even when generally available for decades, won' tempt the average pro. They prefer to flat in a big race and feel sorry for themselves over it, rather than add a single swallow worth of liquid to their tires or tubes.

    There's other threads on pro's adopting large wheels, please discuss there, but thanks for posing this FAQ :-)

  114. #114

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    Hey Cloxxi, have a look at the "Lurkers" thread where "Billy" has pic.s of his Rock Lobster. First, it's a collapsible bike -- whoa! Second, and really interesting to me, is the trick adapter on the rear dropout. It looks like he has made a 29er out of a 26in frame with some sort of adapter.

    Where can I get this? Does it work? Might it work on my townie cruiser? I don't need the derailler hanger, just the exra 1.5" to squeeze in a 29er wheel.

    Thanks. (Couldn't find anything via Search.)

  115. #115
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    You might want to try a seperate thread, hardly an FAQ :-)

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    More on Crank Length Please

    Cloxxi, just found this thread, great stuff for us new to 29’s

    Can you elaborate on crank length and 29’s?

    First some background:
    Did my first demo ride today on a 29 (has a 32 cassette), the trail included about 1+ hr/ 2500 ft elevation gain, granny gear single track stuff

    I did same climb two days ago with my 26 FS (with 34 cassette) and walked only a few steep sections. On my 26 I normally do ok at keeping my “balance point” on low speed, low traction sections, I just gear all the way down and spin and stay smooth.

    However with the 29 I had to walk a lot more of the same steep “power” sections I was able to ride with the 26. Part of the problem is finding the new balance point on a totally new bike, that’s just bike set up and ride time, but I think part of the problem was losing that lowest gear and not being able to keep the pedals turning without straining more than I am use to……

    So to get the same low speed handling on the steep stuff with a 29 vs my 26 I am thinking:

    1) Slap on the 34 cassette

    2) Familiarize myself with more time on the bike plus the usual cockpit changes I would normally dial in on the bike if I buy it

    3) Go to a 180 (vs my current 175) length crank to get a little more leverage to try to make up a little for that 10% gear inch loss??? Would this help the old knees a little??? Ideas, comments???


    PS I am 5’ 10”

    PSS My first 29er ride impressions pretty much match this threads explanations of 29er handling characteristics, really rocks climbing up leadges, stable on the DH etc etc, I am 90% convinced to get one,

    Thanks in advance




    forever lost in the desert, except when in the mountains

  117. #117
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    Cranklength is independant of wheelsize, however both do affect gearing. If 180mm is closer to your optimum (it may well be, depending on many factors, 175 was short enough for a 5'5" Olympic Champion), by all means you should be using that.

    Many like to use 20t rather than 22t smallest chainrings on their 29"ers. That does the trick right there. and you'll want the same cassette to mach that, of course.
    A slight bit of improved fitness may see you blasting up the same steeps in a longer gear, the 29" stability and traction will help you do it.
    A huge advantage in granny gear for 29" should be the front wheel staying planted much better, due to taller rear axle and generally longer chainstays. Many first test riders report to clean that nasty steep hill they never could. Myself I notice I can crawl up steep hills seated than I could standing up with 26".

    The 20t chainring is the cheapest and biggest solution i would guess. And a 34t Deore cassette doesn't break the bank, although it does weigh like a good vault (sp).

  118. #118
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    As you noted, the problem on that particular trail may have more to do with gearing than handling. Try running the same trail on your 26 using nothing lower than a 28 and see if you don't have the same problems.

    As far as the 180 cranks are concerned, you might find the extra leverage helpful in really slow speed sections, but I am the same height as you (and with proportionally long legs) and I switched back from 180 to 175 on my SS because I found spinning to be troublesome with the longer arms, and I haven't noticed any real dropoff in slow speed climbing with the shorter cranks. I'm convinced that for those of us who are biomechanically on the fence between two lengths there is much more of a mental difference than a physical one.

  119. #119
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    Cloxxi, Daner, thanks for the replies

    If I get a 29er I will check out a 20 tooth ring,, I seem to vaguely remember some fit/compatibility issues with a 20, any crank style limitations here, never mind I guess my local shop can answer 20 ring questions just fine.

    As far as the 29’s handling characteristics on these steep hills I did play around to see if I could deliberately make the front end come up, I could get it up but would agree it stays planted at least as well if not better than my current 26.

    As far as improved fitness or just using more leg power both do resolve this particular problem. But due to my participation in +12 hour solo races and hopefully a multi day race in 07, solving this issue with “gearing” also needs to be factored in.

    So the 20 tooth ring and a 34 cassette solve my concern from a gearing perspective, thanks!!

    I am still curious about 180’s, low speed leverage, high speed spinning etc etc, I rode a friend’s SS with 180s, did not even know it had 180’s till after the ride. I will just have to do some personal testing on this one.

    Thanks again for the feedback


    forever lost in the desert, except when in the mountains

  120. #120

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    First time caller

    Ok guys (and gals), her I go. This is my first time posting on one of these things but I am now looking to add a 29er to my long list of bikes here in sunny Pittsburgh, PA and I need some advice. Currently I ride a rigid Scott single-speed ( of the homemade type) and a Titus Racer-X. I have been looking at either a hardtail geared 29er or a softtail geared 29er and really I have no idea what I want. Any of you guys ride around these parts and can anyone give me the first bit of informaion?

  121. #121

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    Good list of FS 29's, anyone want to try offering up the top five steel HT 29er frames. I am preparig to build a bike and am wading through a number of frames. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

  122. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    26" Pro's :
    Weight (300-400g lighter on the complete hardtail bike, all else being equal)
    Due to this weigth advantage : faster acceleration, by around 2%
    Wheelies are easier, the front lifts more easily.
    Flickability in extremely tight corners (where walking would actually be faster)
    Wheel stiffness, at least when using hubs of equal flange spacing
    You're right if you consider the same frame and components and a rigid fork but for real "Weight Weenies" the gain is far more important because the lightest frames we find in 26" size are under 1kg (Scale Limited for example) and they are not available in 29" size.
    It's the same with the forks: With a 85mm travel SID WC at 1300g or a 100mm travel Reba WC at 1540g you are very light compared to a 29er Reba at 1720g.
    Moreover all the 29er forks are not V-Brake compatible and when you see that an Extralite V-Brake set is at only 262g (complete without cable!!!) you realise that disc brakes are very heavy.

    Compared to a very light 26" MTB, a very light 29" MTB is often 1,2kg to 2kg more heavy!

  123. #123
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    If you are that obsessed why not go with a fixie setup and ditch the brakes altogether? And there are a number of rigid 29er forks that are considerably lighter than the SID WC.

    Or you could just forget about all of that and ride...

  124. #124

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daner
    If you are that obsessed why not go with a fixie setup and ditch the brakes altogether? And there are a number of rigid 29er forks that are considerably lighter than the SID WC.

    Or you could just forget about all of that and ride...
    I'm not obsessed. I just say that the weight comparaison is not really correct. Nothing else.

    Concerning my bike I ride with a 1540g Reba WC and a rigid fork, event if it's under 700g, is not a good choise for me for the very technical tracks where I like to ride.

  125. #125
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    Please update the beginning of the thread, since new comers might not read to the end and draw a conclusion that there are few forks and almost no tires and rims available for 29ers. This same pertains to the web site MTBR.COM/29ER - there ought to be hot news about WOF9, Jet 9 and substantial numer of hot stuff from contemporariness and from fair.
    Good luck

  126. #126
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    So to simplify:

    A "29er" is in essence a way to get more money out of yet another a marketing niche. Nothing new needed to be invented except a clever term and adding a few cm onto existing cad files for cutting and laying up frames.

    Another great leap forward in gizmonology along the same lines as the Isis-external bearing-internal bearing BB and variable width headtube.

    So. . . Lets see, I need a 29er to hang next to my 8" travel ski park moto bike right between my dirt jumper and weight weenie XC ride.

    I try to stay optomistic but this sorta crap is really long overdue to change.

    Unless you're over 6ft tall theres no need for a 29er, or a large frame that takes 700c rims.

    Long live BGH!

  127. #127

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    Great troll . . .

    Clearly didn't like the 29er you tried, did you? Must be the whole concept is worthless, not just the one you tried, huh?

    Oh, you didn't try one?

  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erBidwell
    Great troll . . .

    Clearly didn't like the 29er you tried, did you? Must be the whole concept is worthless, not just the one you tried, huh?

    Oh, you didn't try one?
    Things must be slow for him now that he's moved to Oregon, had to dredge up a thread that's over a year old.

  129. #129
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    Mods, please clean up troll posts? 82,000 viewers already, and likely still rising.

  130. #130
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    Good info in this thread but very old. The fork list makes it seem extremely limited.

  131. #131
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    I took an older bridgestone mb-3 frame and mounted 26 to 29 inch conversion brackets that I picked up at dreambike.com. Frame clearance with 29 inch mtb tires was very tight, so I went with road wheels and cx tires. So far so good.

  132. #132
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    Is there a comprehensive list of axle to crown heights for 29er suspension and rigid forks? Are there any 29er suspension forks with an a2c of 470mm?

  133. #133
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    I'm also curious about A - C heights as they relate to 29er frames for rigid forks. White brothers specifically but some other manufacturers don't seem to sell mutiple A - C ranges.

    Maybe explain why different HTA would want different A - C heights?

    White Brothers for Instance has a 425 445 and 465mm A - C rigid. I assumed the 425 was meant for 26" bikes but they state all forks fit all wheel sizes.

    I guess I could just call White Brothers but I thought it might be nice to see it explained in here.

  134. #134

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    Thanks for sharing infor here
    laser liposuction before and after pictures cost find pictures of a laser liposuction from before and after the treatment laser liposuction before and after pictures cost

  135. #135

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    Learning to ride on a 29er?

    So I'm a total newb -- I know how to ride/balance on a bike, but haven't tried any trails yet and am still lacking in the confidence department. And now I'm looking at getting a mountain bike...

    Question: Should I build up my confidence on a 26'er first before going 29? Or should I just say to heck with it, buy a 29er and take the lumps as they come?

    Somebody advised me to learn first on a "regular" mountain bike before trying out anything fancy. (Oh, and I'm 5'5" by the way, so am pushing it a bit when it comes to 29er sizing -- particularly when it comes to stand-over height.)

    Any and all opinions would be much appreciated.

  136. #136
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    I'll give you an answer you'll like. Try to test small frames as many as possible generally FS like Jet, Rip, Superfly 100mm, SC Talboy and tell us what you think.

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by J .
    This is great, but can you do one more thing, divide these into the categories above, ie. mud, fireroad, etc.? Thanks!<iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noResize scrolling=no src="http://tinyurl.com/yhycrdp" vspale=0></iframe><iframe border=0 frameborder=0 framespacing=0 height=1 width=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0 name=new_date noResize scrolling=no src="http://tinyurl.com/yz4gjyd" vspale=0></iframe>
    Great idea
    Last edited by gridtalker; 10-14-2009 at 11:21 AM.

  138. #138
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    frames fitting

    hi
    i am 5'7" normal legs heigth which frame size for a full susp 29,i use medium in my
    26 i am comfortable

  139. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by drnoel63
    hi
    i am 5'7" normal legs heigth which frame size for a full susp 29,i use medium in my
    26 i am comfortable
    This is a frequently asked questions thread referred to by dozens of thousands.

    Your own question deserves its own thread. But to cut it short, you need to be much more specific. Standardization in cycling is a myth. A quick search will bring good pointers.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  140. #140
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    frames fitting

    it any test to know if the medium frame 17.5" is rigth for me in a 29er bike, i feel some large and have aprox 1.5" from the top tube and my perineal area what do you think?

  141. #141
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    Who un-stickied this??
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  142. #142
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    i like my handlebars nice and high due to the geometry and not because of riser bars / stems.

    is the geometry of a gary fisher genesis 2 geometry going to place the handlebars higher than your traditional 26" wheel bike?

    according to measurements at this bike shop, they are the same height. i guess the 26er has risers to compensate.

  143. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by common_man
    i like my handlebars nice and high due to the geometry and not because of riser bars / stems.
    Something like the Salsa Fargo with a flat bar should get you sittin' up without spacers and/or a high rise stem. It's designed for use with drop bars, so maybe not the best solution geometry wise.
    "... displays the social skills of a barrel cactus." - TNC

  144. #144
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    will a 29er fit on a rack on the back of a sedan? I use a toyota camry or my friends avalon with a rack on the back to get to some trails, and was wondering if anybody had experience towing them? will they scratch the car real bad or even fit?

    sorry if this has been answered

  145. #145
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    I regularly rack my 29'ers on a Saris Bones 2 rack on the back of my two door 2006 Civic. My friend says I should worry about my tire getting in front of the tail pipe, like its going to melt. Hasn't been a problem.

  146. #146
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    okay cool, maybe i will just try it out at the shop before i buy

  147. #147
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    Anyone cares to update the FAQ with new threads and recent wins on 29ers?
    Last edited by Davidcopperfield; 09-24-2011 at 03:47 AM.

  148. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidcopperfield View Post
    Anyone cares to update the FAQ with new threads and recent wins on 29ers?
    I know you are too lazy to get out of your saddle to absorb a bump so you need loooong travel, but at least raise your fingers and write up an actually informative thread by yourself rather than getting someone else to do it for you. And, is recent 29" wins a question that's still asked frequently? People are buying these bikes like they are nuke shelters with mushroom growing on the horizon. They are not asking who woins on them before buying anymore, and the 26"ers are eerily close to the kids bike section, so they daren't ask about those.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

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