29er or 26er for short guy- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    29er or 26er for short guy

    I've been out of mountain biking for a few years and I'm looking to get back in it. I'm looking to get a new hardtail and the 29ers seem interesting. I was wondering if a 29er works ok for a short guy (I'm 5'7)?

    Most of my riding will be on non-technical single track.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    i havent personally ridden a 29er, but i am also 5'7" and two of the bike shops local to me both said that their shorter customers didnt particularly care for 29ers. dont let that dissuade you, though... go try one out and see what you think. (fwiw, i stayed with a 26er)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-FOURce
    i havent personally ridden a 29er, but i am also 5'7" and two of the bike shops local to me both said that their shorter customers didnt particularly care for 29ers. dont let that dissuade you, though... go try one out and see what you think. (fwiw, i stayed with a 26er)
    Do you know if they are costlier for similar component levels?

  4. #4
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    I'm a little over 5'8" and found I could still pop up the front wheel on a 29er. That was my biggest concern.

    They're typically more expensive than that brand's equivalent 26" bike, if they have one.

    Do some test riding and see what you think.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    I'm 5'7" and I had a Small Rip9 it fit me great, at the time I have tried most of Niner HT Sm they are very comfortable. Can't say the same with other brand as some were taller like Cannondale, and Giant.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all of the responses! I really appreciate it. I'll be headed to my LBS' and try some 29ers!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-FOURce
    i havent personally ridden a 29er, but i am also 5'7" and two of the bike shops local to me both said that their shorter customers didnt particularly care for 29ers. dont let that dissuade you, though... go try one out and see what you think. (fwiw, i stayed with a 26er)

    Wow... your LBS is losing out on a lot of business.

    I am 5'6" and own a Salsa Big Mama and a Kona Hei-Hei 29er in addition to an Intense Tracer VP.... I ride the 29ers the most by far.

    My wife is 5'2" and rides a Pivot Mach 5 and a custom Siren 29er FS..
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  8. #8
    Truly Doneski
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    Err. I don't think you're even close to being short by 29er standards.

    These days, they have 29ers that fit people who are closer to the 5'0-5'2 range. They have 29ers for anyone these days. The other day I was in a shop and saw a small framed 29er, it looked like it was all wheels!

    I would definately try out a few 29ers to see if any rode in a way that you liked. There are so many options out now, I thin you could find big wheels that suit you. FWIW, I ride a 26er, but I can see several benefits to big wheels, and if I were you I wouldnt be at all discourage by being 5'7.
    Originally Posted by Bmateo1:
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  9. #9
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    i am unaware of any 29er manufacturers that are willing to cater to midgets (i.e., those less than 6 feet tall). short people are far better off with smaller wheels due to simple junior college level physics 101

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFAthens
    Err. I don't think you're even close to being short by 29er standards.

    These days, they have 29ers that fit people who are closer to the 5'0-5'2 range. They have 29ers for anyone these days. The other day I was in a shop and saw a small framed 29er, it looked like it was all wheels!

    I would definately try out a few 29ers to see if any rode in a way that you liked. There are so many options out now, I thin you could find big wheels that suit you. FWIW, I ride a 26er, but I can see several benefits to big wheels, and if I were you I wouldnt be at all discourage by being 5'7.
    29er cater to 5'-5'2", are you referring to Willow Koerber on Gary Fisher? The closest big wheel 5' person can reasonably experience is 650b. Toe overlap is an issue for the frame that small. Are you 5'2" and riding 29er?
    Last edited by mimi1885; 03-09-2011 at 05:53 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    i am unaware of any 29er manufacturers that are willing to cater to midgets (i.e., those less than 6 feet tall). short people are far better off with smaller wheels due to simple junior college level physics 101
    Level?

  12. #12
    Truly Doneski
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    29er cater to 5'-5'2", are you referring to Willow Koerber Gary Fisher? The closest big wheel 5" person can reasonably experience is 650b. Toe overlap is an issue for the frame that small. Are you 5'2" and riding 29er?
    No, I'm not. I actually was thinking of Willow when making that statement.
    Originally Posted by Bmateo1:
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GFAthens
    No, I'm not. I actually was thinking of Willow when making that statement.
    I think that's the extreme end not the norm. My Rip9 is comfortable but there's not a lot of room left, no toe overlap but if you make the bike shorter/smaller, I don't know. It's in the way like riding a bike 2 sizes larger, sure you can do it but it's just not a good idea.

    You can go custom route it would suit smaller 5'5" and shorter riders better. I like Wolfhound but the wait time is just insane.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    i am unaware of any 29er manufacturers that are willing to cater to midgets
    Believe it or not, 29ers are being used on singletrack by those of us 5'11" and under out in the Shire too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoShizzle
    i am unaware of any 29er manufacturers that are willing to cater to midgets (i.e., those less than 6 feet tall). short people are far better off with smaller wheels due to simple junior college level physics 101

    I disagree. I am 5' 4" and ride a 2011 Fisher HiFi. I ride it faster than my 26ers. Plus it rides smoother, and climbs great. If I am far better with a 26, my results sure do not show it.

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