26 or 29 - Help Make My Decision- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    26 or 29 - Help Make My Decision

    I've narrowed my decision down to a new bike and need some help deciding between a 26 or 29 as they cost the same and have similar but different components. I've attached a PDF with a comparison of the two bikes I'm considering and need some feedback on the component comparison and whether a 29er is a good purchase for a beginner.

    Here are links to the two bikes:

    26 - http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...700HT_2010.htm
    29 - http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...liff29comp.htm

    They are both Bike Direct bikes and I will work with my LBS on the sizing as they will assemble, tune and maintain the bike. One of the reasons I like these two options is they have locking forks which would be helpful for street riding.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    2Hip
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    You mentioned street riding, but what are your other goals, and intentions with riding it? Are you the kind that likes to upgrade components or leave them as is? Do you see yourself more on the trails or on the asphalt, or a mixture of both? Give us some information so we can help you determine something close to what you may want, because it may not even be either of the two you've originally chosen.

  3. #3
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    Also, how tall are you? Some may disagree, but I still see 29ers as better choices for taller than average riders. A buddy who is a bit shorter than me (I'm 5'9") has a 29er, and at first he was all about that bike, but lately he seems to be showing up at most rides with his old GF 26er dual squish. OTOH, another friend who is about 6'3" loves his dual squish 29er, and he just looks more at home on it than he did on his last bike, a 26er.

    David B.

  4. #4
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    Both are very similarly speced, but the dart 3 is a definite step up vs the dart 2. As stated, It really come down to ride styles. Pavement probably favors the 29er and the Dart 3 has the lockout, but I'e heard the lockout is pretty much useless on the Dart3, so maybe not such an advantage. I would say go for the 29er as it will rolls over things better and If you are tall if will likely fit you better.

  5. #5
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    First off I'm a beginner and I live in Western Maryland (Frederick area) where from reading this forum there seems to be a good amount of parks to ride in. I plan to do some beginner to intermediate trail and street riding around the neighborhood with my kids. I'll try to get together with some of the groups in the area that are kind to beginners in hopes I'll be able to get out with some of my other beginner friends this spring.

    I've picked these two bikes as they seem to have decent components that I hope will last me a few seasons before having to upgrade which I'll only do when I break something. I was looking at some of the less expensive models but after researching the components I've upped my budget in hopes I won't have to replace them to soon.

    Thnx - 2Hip

  6. #6
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    David B - I'm 6' and 215lbs so I'm sure my fat ass will be hard on the bike.

  7. #7
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    started at 6'3, 250lbs. I'm a lot lighter now, but I never had any issues with the bikes related to my weight.

    For the bikes, the derailleurs are better on the 26" bike, the I prefer the brakes on the 29er. The BB5 disc brakes are reliable and solid, the hydros on the 26er are low end, and probably solid and reliable, but I'd take tried and true cable discs over the hydros. Easier to maintain the cable brakes too - adjustments can be less finicky and such.

    I own a 26er and a 29er..it's hard to explain why but the wheel sizes do feel different, and I really like riding my 29er. The 26er is fun as well, but I like the 29er on the trails. Big wheels look cooler too.
    :wq

  8. #8
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    Thanks for everyone's input and right now I'm leaning towards the 29er but please keep the suggestions coming.

    Thnx - 2Hip

  9. #9
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    I started on a 29er and would deffinately recomend it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2hip
    Thanks for everyone's input and right now I'm leaning towards the 29er but please keep the suggestions coming.

    Thnx - 2Hip

    I'd keep leaning that way if I were you. If the bike fits you well, I think you will be happy with the choice. My next bike will be a 29er.

  11. #11
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    Now that you've given some feedback, I can share a little on my end. I have a Motobecane 400HT since mid-April of this year, and I'm 7 miles away from 1000 miles. On a mountain bike, that's probably a lot, considering road bikes kill 1000 miles in a matter of a few months if that. Anyhow, out of 993 miles, I'd say 15 miles at most was offroad trails. I love urban riding and I commute to work everyday/night.

    I've come to learn, that I am at the point where I should upgrade the entire bike instead of any more components on the current setup. So I'm going up to the Motobecane Fantom 29 PRO SL. I'm fortunate enough to be able to transfer every carbon component I have to the new bike, which is always a plus. The only thing I won't be able to transfer are the lighter tires, and roadbike cassette. I want more speed, and better braking power when I play on bridges at night. I also want to pick up speed without resolving to a roadbike where my roots lie.

    I don't think you can go wrong with a 29er, but it won't hurt to go with a 26" wheel equipped bike. By the way, I'm 5'6" and have test ridden many 29ers before finally moving up. Good luck with your choice!

  12. #12
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    If your choice is still just wheel size go to a rental shop and ride both wheels.

  13. #13
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    Bought a 29er today but went with a Fuji.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2hip
    Bought a 29er today but went with a Fuji.
    Depending on the Fuji, I would guess that was a good choice. Have fun out there, let's see some riding pics!

  15. #15
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    Fuji Tahoe Pro 29er.

    Here's a link to the thread I started about my purchase: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=579329

    Will be taking pics once I can get out in the woods which there seems to be a nice selection in my area. I'm going to be working on doing some road work around the neighborhood to get my legs under me and build up some stamina before Spring.

  16. #16
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    Ha! Not even a contest with the earlier bikes!

  17. #17
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    Don't Know if this Helps.....

    After a few years of riding, I bought a 29er. I love it. I'm a big guy (6'0, 215), so maybe it suits me. After 1500 miles of mixed ( paved trails, ST, and fire roads), I am amazed at the versatility of the bike. I still occasionaly ride on of my other 26er bikes for more technical MTB. That is where they seem better (at least for me).
    Overall I recommend the 29'er.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.wilkinson@datacon.at
    Both are very similarly speced, but the dart 3 is a definite step up vs the dart 2. As stated, It really come down to ride styles. Pavement probably favors the 29er and the Dart 3 has the lockout, but I'e heard the lockout is pretty much useless on the Dart3, so maybe not such an advantage. I would say go for the 29er as it will rolls over things better and If you are tall if will likely fit you better.
    how is the lockout on the dart 3 useless. it lockout the fork and it works it doesnt let it move. at least my fork works like that.

  19. #19
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    First figure out 29er or little wheels. Then figure out what model............unless you are real small...29'r.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the advice Yogii but a few post up I linked to the thread of my new purchase and I went 29er and got a pretty good deal local so now I'm !!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2hip
    Fuji Tahoe Pro 29er.

    Here's a link to the thread I started about my purchase: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=579329

    Will be taking pics once I can get out in the woods which there seems to be a nice selection in my area. I'm going to be working on doing some road work around the neighborhood to get my legs under me and build up some stamina before Spring.

    Sweet!! That excellent purchase is a thousand times better (okay, at least a few times better.... ) than the bike direct choices you linked.

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