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  1. #1
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    my opinion on the 29er craze

    I'm going to take this opportunity to bestow my opinion on 29ers. I owned one for a full season (rip 9).

    I am 6' 1/2" 200 lbs, I push up pretty hefty squats for football and have pretty good explosive power.

    I hate the way 29ers feel!!

    steering feels like an old boat, acceleration is just terrible and it just doesn't rip nearly as well.

    If you have a 26er and are happy with it, don't sell it before you try a 29er. you may hate it like I do. Unfortunately with all the hype going around, people might be inclined to try a 29er and only highlight the positives ( they does posses some ) and fall into the trap.

    I felt the need to write this article after reading this: Pinkbike's Burning Question - Will the 29er Replace the 26-inch Downhill and All-Mountain Bike? - Pinkbike.com

    Chris sugai spouted so much garbage that I just felt compelled to write this. 29er chainstays will NEVER be as short as a 26er! and they will never be as quick or corner as well as a 26er, we have a shorter wheelbase and a lower centre of gravity to thank for that.

    Not all tall and powerful XC riders love 29ers, I'll be back on a 26er full sus this year and will never go back!

    thanks for reading my little rant

  2. #2
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    Are you saying that all 26er feel the same and handle quickly? Or that all 29ers handle the same and handle poorly?
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  3. #3
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    Right On, I think we are all on here trying to figure out a little better what setup is best for us.

    Have you tried a frame with less travel (front and rear) and quicker handling geo ? That would help relieve the slow acceleration and steering you disliked.

    When I am putting down the power climbing and cornering, I get remarkable stability on my softail 29er and it feels great compared to the bikes I have had with smaller wheels.

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    @ laffeaux, some assumptions are to be made, assuming equivalent intended application and comparable cockpit setup.

    the longer wheelbase and chainstays on all equivalent 29ers require a type of handling that I find to be very sluggish and hard to whip around.

    @knutso, I did spend some time on a gary fisher superfly. The same type of steering and over all sluggishness persisted.

    I think I know what you mean when you say "stability", to me it just feels slow and cumbersome. te me, there's just no comparison when railing corners or when things get tight at all.

    I was hoping to offer a counter opinion, to what I feel is a constant bombardment of praise for the larger wheel. It's just one more opinion. Some people have tried them and don't like them.

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    I know, my influence over the MTB scene is immense! is he going to make me disappear?

  6. #6
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    I went to a lbs to figure out what I should get as a first bike and they pushed me toward a 29er. I still can't figure out why. I'm 5'7" 150.

  7. #7
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    You should try a 24", it schools 26" in handling and filckability. Hell, take a 20" bmx for a spin on your favorite singletrack and you'll be blown away.

    My point is, it's not an apple to apple comparison. Geo, material, wheel size and travel put bikes into different categories all together. My old r'hopper 26" was a great bike, but when I first rode the 29" version, I felt like it was made for my 6'3" frame and not modified for it. So I bought it.

    To each his own, but it's hardly a craze. It's just another style of bike to choose from.

    Different strokes for different folks!
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  8. #8
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    I'm with ya, timms. I rode a 29'er hardtail most of this year. I am now in the process of dismantling it. I'm selling the 29'er-specific parts on eBay and saving the rest for spare parts for my Pivot Mach4. For me, it comes down to this: I have more fun on my 26" bike. I just like the way it handles a helluva lot better.

    Various descriptions of 29'ers that I've heard and chuckled about:

    "It's an old person's mountain bike"
    "It's a mountain bike for roadies"
    "It's a good choice for beginners"

    Long live 26" wheels!!!!

  9. #9
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    I spent too much time cruising mtb forums, both reading personal reviews and the marketing mumbo jumbo.

    I suspect that my bike buying habits are not exceptionally peculiar. I read about bikes, frames suspension designs, latest updates etc... I then proceed to scrounge that internet and buy a bike that fits the technical specs that I'm looking for. I used to be very weary of going to bike shops and asking to test ride, because I knew I wasn't going to buy from them. Only recently have I begun to test ride bikes and not feel guilty.

    my experience in marketing tells me that this shift to 29ers does exhibit some characteristics of a fad/craze. It's a product that has gained considerable traction over the past couple of years. it's impossible for a prospective buyer to hop on a 29er without some pre-conceived ideas about the bike, if they've spent any time reading board opinions.

    people are always quick to recommend a purchase that they've made, It reinforces and further justifies their decision as "the right one". This point goes for all all products, any review has to be taken with a grain of salt, including myself.

    @ SJKevin, As someone who has working in two bike shops, I can tell you that not all bike shops are created equally. I don't know the exact circumstances surrounding their recommendation, maybe a 29er is a good fit? I was on the sales floor at 1 bike shop when I was 17, I didn't know anything about bikes, I would have put a 6'3" guy on a medium, honestly. Just because the guy works at a bike shop, it doesn't mean he knows anything or isn't being driven by a drive to make a buck, which is almost as dangerous.

    The moral of the story, TRY TRY TRY!!!!! don't fall into the trap of reading reviews online and getting fixated. This goes for anything related to bikes, suspension design, brand etc. I picked on 29ers specifically because they get an inordinate amount of, what I see as, unjustified hype.

  10. #10
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    There is no one-size-fits-all bike. Bummer the bike didn't work out for you, I can say that I have the opposite opinion regarding 29ers though. We all ride for different reasons on different terrain with varied experience/fitness levels so the best advice is not necessarily to not buy into the hype, but instead to go out and try them out for yourself. If it doesn't work out for you then move to something else(as you did).

  11. #11
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    yup, just gotta try em out!

  12. #12
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    ^^^^
    So true timms.
    My regard to retail sales and product info; it is all lies until I prove it to be true. Don't believe hype either way, find out for yourself.

    GF has been in the 29er game for most of my 34 years. But I didn't pay any attention to it until I tried it. Most people go overboard with the "29er changed my life" bs. It's kinda nice to hear a "tried and don't like" opinion, and I'm a 29er convert.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
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  13. #13
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    I'd say that 29'ers qualify as a "craze". I work sales at a bike shop, and 9 out of 10 people that walk through the door wanting to try a bike out specifically ask for a 29'er. I find it very interesting from a marketing perspective. Seems like in the consumer's mind, whatever is new is best, or at least better than what came before.

    That said, I do agree that people should ride what feels best to them.

  14. #14
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    Well timms, if the bike didn't work for you then 29ers are clearly a "craze" and Chris must be spouting nothing but garbage, nevermind the many other riders that prefer the larger wheels.

    No, one wheel size isn't perfect for everyone or every terrain, but to go spouting off garbage like this timms, your clearly have no idea what your talking about. I like to have the option.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJKevin View Post
    I went to a lbs to figure out what I should get as a first bike and they pushed me toward a 29er. I still can't figure out why. I'm 5'7" 150.
    Hardtail or FS? I've owned a 29er HT and I can say that it pedaled better and I cleared more stuff with my HT 29er than with the HT 26er. That being said I'm now on a FS 26er and have no desire to ride a 29er HT unless perhaps for some bikepacking or XC racing. FWIW, I'm 5'8" 170#.

    I can think of a few reasons why a shop would push you towards a HT 29er instead of a HT 26er.
    - A comparably equipped HT 29er is going to "feel" better due to a bigger tire contact patch and larger air volume than a 26" tire.
    - They bought too many 29ers and need to get those out of inventory.
    - 29ers are the "in" thing, so they think you'll be happier with the bike.
    - A lot of manufacturers are pushing 29ers so you may in fact get a better equipped 29er for the same money vs. a 26er.
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  16. #16
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    I was hoping the first 29er zealot, to come across this tread would be a little more articulate, dang it!

    Did you actually read anything? or were you instantly up in arms when someone questioned the all powerful 29" wheel.


    BLASPHEMY I tell you, I will burn in hell! lol

  17. #17
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    As it stands, 29ers also have fantastic resale value. I love 29ers, everybody is selling their 26ers to try one, the deals are unbelievable on the secondary market. the used MTB market is a dangerous place to play for an inexperienced buyer.

  18. #18
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    Went from a 26 HT to a 29 HT and will never go back. Just ordered my FSR 29r last night.

  19. #19
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    I don't mean this in any way to be offensive. but, that comment doesn't really add anything to our discussion. you're just another person who's decided that a 29er is a better fit for you, That's great! unless you're going to explain why or add something, it's just another example of someone letting everyone know that they think 29ers are better.

    A divergence from the standard often makes people feel special or unique, just saying.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    I don't mean this in any way to be offensive. but, that comment doesn't really add anything to our discussion. you're just another person who's decided that a 29er is a better fit for you, That's great! unless you're going to explain why or add something, it's just another example of someone letting everyone know that they think 29ers are better.

    A divergence from the standard often makes people feel special or unique, just saying.
    Honestly, I think that personal experience is the ONLY thing that matters. It's great if a bike weighs 3 pounds lighter than your other bike. If it's more uncomfortable and you ride slower on it, that 3 pounds doesn't mean a thing. With ANY bike, it always comes down to what fits best, which depends not only on the rider, but also the terrain on which it's be ridden.

    With 29" vs. 26" wheels, all the statistical advantages of a 29" wheel can go out the door if the bike is uncomfortable, "feels slow", or actually IS slower down the trail. But none of that is based in fact, it's all due to the individual user experience. There are so many factors involved in comfort, speed on the trail and psychological appeal. In the end, it's about what bike fits you best; that's the one you'll be riding.
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  21. #21
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    I started the the discussion specifically because I was tired of reading " I think 29ers are better" "29ers roll better" etc this and that.

    personal experience is really the only important thing, the keyword being "personal". some random person writing their "personal" experience, is nothing but a self serving exercise.

    How often to you read " I love my 26er" or "you should try a 26er" not nearly as often as 29ers.

    I'm hoping to offer a counter offer with this thread, because I feel there is an unbalanced option for 29ers.

    they're relatively new and different, adopters are going to be more vocal, it's unavoidable.

    I don't want new entrants in the MTB game to write off 26ers!!!! they may really like them

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    I don't mean this in any way to be offensive. but, that comment doesn't really add anything to our discussion. you're just another person who's decided that a 29er is a better fit for you, That's great! unless you're going to explain why or add something, it's just another example of someone letting everyone know that they think 29ers are better.

    A divergence from the standard often makes people feel special or unique, just saying.
    I'm still not sure what your point is. As other have said, some people like bigger wheels, others like smaller. Some people like full suspension bikes, some prefer hardtails, and other prefer to ride rigid. Some guys must have a 10-speed cassette, other need a triple chain ring, and there are guys that prefer single-speeds. So what's the perfect bike for everyone?

    If you didn't like your bike that's fine, buy a different bike. Why rant about a bike that didn't work for you. Apparently some people like them.

    I own three purple bikes (one road and two mountain). I'm actually not a big fan of purple, yet I own three purple bikes... weird. I don't think that purple bikes handle sluggishly although one of them does. However, if I had only ridden the sluggish bike I might assume that all purple bikes were sluggish. That's kind of bad logic, but apply it to your experience and your conclusion. Maybe it's possible that not all bikes handle exactly like the one that you own?

    Choice is good. More wheel sizes is good for you and I. Ride what you like, and like what you ride.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

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    don't patronize me pls, I had a season a rip 9 but have spent at least a day on a superfly and air 9.

    I read too much exaltation of 29ers, and I have an idea as to why, as outlined above.

    as mentioned by another member golden boy above, a lot of new mountain bikers are being bombarded with the idea of the big wheel.

    Yes, everyone likes their own type of bike, but if someone goes into a shop with his heart set on a 29er because he's read that it's the bees knees and doesn't give a 26er a fair shake. he's doing him/herself a misdeed and is doing the opposite of what is good for him/her.

    if you're exploring a new bike, don't count out 26ers!!! please. that's it

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden boy View Post
    I'm with ya, timms. I rode a 29'er hardtail most of this year. I am now in the process of dismantling it. I'm selling the 29'er-specific parts on eBay and saving the rest for spare parts for my Pivot Mach4. For me, it comes down to this: I have more fun on my 26" bike. I just like the way it handles a helluva lot better.

    Various descriptions of 29'ers that I've heard and chuckled about:

    "It's an old person's mountain bike"
    "It's a mountain bike for roadies"
    "It's a good choice for beginners"

    Long live 26" wheels!!!!
    This kinda crap is a pretty ignorant statement.

    While I do Own a 29 I also own a 26. They both have their merits. I am not a rodie, beginner or an old person. In fact, it does take some time and adjusting to ride a 29'er well. To me people who make these statements are too quick to judge, or aren't a capable enough rider to hop on a bike, and tear it up. If anything, people who ride both just have more skills than someone who swears by one wheel type only.

    If you're an over-zelest fan-boi of either wheel size you're pretty ignorant.

    IDK how many times it's been said, but here it is again, Remember:
    ITS THE RIDER, NOT THE BIKE!!!!

    Back in the day people rode modified road cruisers faster than some people today ride full carbon 26in FS race bikes. Which I think proves that point 100%.

    Maybe some people should just learn to be better riders and quit hating on someone choice of wheel size?? We're all in the same sport, if you choose to ride a certain bike, great! Have fun, and just ride!
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    don't patronize me pls, I had a season a rip 9 but have spent at least a day on a superfly and air 9.

    First, I am not saying one kind of bike or another other is better or that you are wrong. I simply am curious because I find it interesting that I have a rip9 and I don't find the steering or overall handling sluggish at all. Mine is a medium and we're about the same height. What size did you have?

    My friends and I all rode the Pivot Mach429 at their demo for about 80min a few weeks ago and a couple of us really loved them and another thought it was a sluggish turd.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    some random person writing their "personal" experience, is nothing but a self serving exercise.
    Basically what you've done with this thread.

  27. #27
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    What I don't get is why 29ers are so damned expensive.

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    to a certain degree, yes. but I'm also trying to dispel some of the market BS that floats around, I haven't offered much in the way of technical facts, because I'm no engineer. I suppose this thread is just a reaction to marketing hype in general. I just feel that there is too much hype around 29ers in general, I think most forums surfers could agree with that.

  29. #29
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    I went for a large, with a slighter shorter stem than I normally would. I'm normally like a longer toptube for pedaling ( talking about sluggishness I had the same feeling on the air nine and superfly. I suppose a medium would have helped a little.

    but I think it just comes down to the bigger wheels in general, linger chainstays, the overall geometry.

    26ers are what they are, the standard, no hype anymore. I guess I'm just sick and tired of reading about this and that about 29ers.

  30. #30
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    I won't be selling my Ti 26er anytime soon even though I just picked up all the parts to build a new Air9.

    Timms, I can see your point and hope you find your next bike more enjoyable.
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  31. #31
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    Dear Mr. Timms, can I help?

    I get the impression you are in high school or college, not that there's anything wrong with that. (The reason I ask is because of your comment about squatting heavy for football). I am about the same size as you (6'1, 205). However, I'm 45 years old. I'm pretty fit and pretty strong for a person my age, but I am certainly heavier and not as quick as I was at 20. My titanium hard tail 29er is the best bike (for me) that I have ever owned. Is that because I am old and slow? I don't think so. I think the geometry is better for my height and weight and riding style. And I have ridden every kind of 26 inch bike.
    I am also a roadie too, and I started riding seriously in college when mtbs were Brand New. The MTB was a fad in 1985. Suspension was a fad. Dual suspension was a fad. Disc brakes were a fad. Clip less pedals. Tubeless wheels. Camelbacks? Oakleys? I've been riding for 25 years and I have seen and tried most of these things.
    So, I guess the question is why do things stick around and why do people adopt new ones? Is it magazines or bike shops? Probably they sell what the big brands push. But not always. My favorite LBS is a really local shop. He sells Raleigh and Bianchi and (what's that Canadian company?) so he doesn't follow the big Trek, Fisher, specialized, Cannondale trends. And he sells a lot of 29ers. He thinks tubeless is a bad idea. He thinks Chris King is silly. He will sell you what you want but he won't tell you what to buy or what not to buy. He has really loyal customers. He also rides with our group so knows what people are doing and what they are riding. Most of us are older guys. We all also ride road bikes. None of us are beginners.
    Oddly enough, of all the guys I see on th trail, it is the younger guys who have full suspension 26ers and the older guys who have 29er hard tails. But it is the older guys who are riding rigid and the older guys who are riding singlespeed. Are those fads? It would seem to me that fads are more likely to be adopted by younger people. Anyway, I do think 29ers are great for beginners. I also think they are great for old guys, and for roadies. But are they over-hyped and are they a fad? Would it be bad if they were?
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  32. #32
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    29" r'hopper ,100mm Tora, 120x-6deg stem, 720mm truvativ bars is the best fitting/handling bike I've ever owned. But I can shred xc on my 24" trials bike in comfort as well, and it's seat is only there to keep my leg out of the v-brake.... Point is..... Skill, strength, and conditioning have as much to play as wheel size. If you don't believe that... Get better and you will understand.

    It's a GD geo spec...... Not a new standard. Let it go and the hype will go with it.
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  33. #33
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    I have had more than a handful of 26" and 29" bikes - Full suspension, rigid, 1X, fully geared etc... and at different times each was the apple of my eye but like most things of this world it passes and the next one takes it's place... when I tried my first 29er HT a while back it was to augment may full suspension 26" bike and like you I first felt it was slow and was hard to get started yadda yadda yadda all the same stuff (kinda like your hearing except 180 degrees)- so after a while I sold it because it was too slow- I had a hard time adjusting from bike to bike and did not have a whole lot good to say about that evil 29er. Ha- hind sight is 20/20 and I was just in less than perfect shape and needed a scapegoat- the 29" wheels fit the bill nicely (I was not in terrible shape and could move iron around pretty well- though it had little to do with pedaling)

    So after a year or so I built up a nicer 29er with geometry that worked much better, a fork with offset not stolen from a 26" bike etc... and a bit more ability to carry momentum and more lungs- I still have a few 26" bikes to play on but for my ride style and terrain the 29ers just feel right to me- but I guess I could be wrong about what I like- wrong about the rigid, wrong about the Full suspension, and the Hard tail....

    Believe it or not I ride with a guy who admits to liking both! he loves his 29ers and his 26" bike- what a total lunatic he must be! He likes the flick-ability of his 26" bike on some trails but likes his 29ers on the same ones? How can it be?

    You can appreciate each for it's good and bad- like it or not they are somewhat different and neither does it all better than the other- it has much more to do with the rider than the wheel size
    I Just wish I could ride more!


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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore View Post
    Believe it or not I ride with a guy who admits to liking both! he loves his 29ers and his 26" bike- what a total lunatic he must be! He likes the flick-ability of his 26" bike on some trails but likes his 29ers on the same ones? How can it be?
    I guess I can relate to your buddy.

    I am riding a 29er HT. There's much I like about it, a few things I don't. So far the good has outweighed the bad. I have, however, been checking the used market every so often for a good deal on a nice 26" FS. If I find the right one, I plan to keep the 29er and ride whichever bike suits my fancy that particular day.

    As far as 29ers being a craze, only time and the bike-buying market will tell. A craze, like a fad, is something that catches on quickly at first, but has no real long-term staying power as people lose interest and move onto the next craze. I rather doubt that's going to happen with the 29ers.
    Last edited by PinkFloyd; 12-03-2011 at 08:01 PM.

  35. #35
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    29ers have been more of a slow-burn type thing having been around for at least several years in production form.

    Still, it seems pretty weird that people get so worked up about. It's a 3" difference in wheel size. On the grand scheme of things, it's not important.

  36. #36
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    29ers have been around long enough, for at least 10 years now, that they should have taken off by now.
    Unlike all mountain, downhill and trail bikes, they haven't.
    The people have had a chance to try or rent one, but aren't buying too many 29ers after a decade.
    The pros wouldn't go near them for years. They kept racing their 26" rides for a long time, even when the manufacturers had high quality 29ers available. I suspect many sponsors are forcing the racers to ride 29ers now, because people were asking "if the 29er is so great, why don't your pro riders race them?"
    I know for several years, I was one of those persons asking that very question.

    That being said, I think 29ers have their place. I still don't believe they are the holy grail of mountain bike technology though.

    29er sales have gone up, only because the shops and manufacturers have decide to force it on the population buying new bikes.
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  37. #37
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    ...it's a conspiracy!

    i dunno, i'm in the market for my first new bike in awhile and was a little surprised to have the 29" pushed on me when i went in lookin for a 26"...

    strangely enough tho', my LBS doesn't really have any higher end 26"s to even take out - all 29ers.

    guess i'll be buyin a 29er then, and since i haven't ridden any in a few years, I prolly won't even care...

    guess that makes me the perfect tool of the conspiratorial LBS overlords!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    chainstays will NEVER be as short as a 26er!
    That's absolutely not true. I, in fact, measured my 26er chainstays and my new 29er ones and the 29er is the same length if not shorter by 0.125". I'll post picture proof if you want it.




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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAF View Post
    ...it's a conspiracy!

    i dunno, i'm in the market for my first new bike in awhile and was a little surprised to have the 29" pushed on me when i went in lookin for a 26"...

    strangely enough tho', my LBS doesn't really have any higher end 26"s to even take out - all 29ers.

    guess i'll be buyin a 29er then, and since i haven't ridden any in a few years, I prolly won't even care...

    guess that makes me the perfect tool of the conspiratorial LBS overlords!
    Again, while I like my 29er, I still love my 26er. It's crap that all major makers don't have a quality 26er HT in their lineup anymore. Guess they aren't selling. At least a lot of smaller brands still make a good 26er HT. I'm thinking about buying a Surly 1x1 here soon. And I know it will be a blast!
    -Eric
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  40. #40
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    Trek and Specialized still have highend 26er
    hardtails in their lineup. I'm sure if I looked I
    could find more.

    Best, John

  41. #41
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    29er, 26er.....they're just bikes. I have both.

    Aesthetically my 29er looks a whole lot better than my 26er because I'm 6'5", but other than that it's still just a bike. It does some things better than my 26er and some things not as well.


    We all know the arguments for both and I try to get the best out of each when I ride them, instead of concentrating on the negatives.

    It really is a glass half full/empty kind of a thing.

    Drew
    Last edited by dru; 12-04-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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  42. #42
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    @ gthcarolina

    is it divinci or norco?

    I am in university but as a part time mature student, I actually play Australian Football outside of school ( now there's a trend that I hope catches on.

    All I can say is that I appreciate your insightful and articulate comments,

    I found your observation in regards to demographics and bike choice interesting, Us younguns and out propensity for complications

    I used fad/craze because is had more impact, I have no doubt that 29 inch MTB wheel is here to stay, thereby making it a trend. but as an emerging trend it gets an inordinate degree of accolades.

    I suppose I started the thread as a reaction to the the annoyance at the hype surrounding 29ers and in the MTB scene in general, it's been festering for years.

    I judge no one for liking the larger wheel, but I also don't want to see new mountain bikers bypassing 29ers because they see them as inferior. That is a disservice to them.

  43. #43
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    @knottshore

    That's a great point, there's a such a variance in terrain, that there simply can be one definition for any riding style, especially XC, which can almost be classified as anything that is offroad

    I judge no one for riding what bike they think is best, heck people are winning world cup XC racing on them.

    I suppose that misinformation that sugai was spouting was the last straw for me.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is "ride what you like, but don't limit your decision to 29ers. try everything"

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by torreyaz View Post
    That's absolutely not true. I, in fact, measured my 26er chainstays and my new 29er ones and the 29er is the same length if not shorter by 0.125". I'll post picture proof if you want it.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    let me paraphrase, given equal intended purpose (tire clearance, etc) it is impossible to build a 29er chainstay as short as a 26er.

    29ers have a larger radius, there's no arguing this one. it's just basic math,

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    29er, 26er.....they're just bikes. I have both.

    Aesthetically my 29er looks a whole lot better than my 26er because I'm 6'5", but other than that it's still just a bike. It does some things better than my 26er and some things not as well.


    We all know the arguments for both and I try to get the best out of each when I ride them, instead of concentrating on the negatives.

    It really is a glass half full/empty kind of a thing.

    Drew
    and that's the conclusion MTB action came to very objective post unlike so many others I would like to have a 29er if I could afford a top end light wheelset.I wonder how many riders compare a 29er with boat anchor wheel to a well set up 26er? that certainly is not objective.Seems most low to mid level 29er come with low end wheels?

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    I've gotta agree, aesthetically that 29er looks to be in much better proportion

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    I'm going to take this opportunity to bestow my opinion on 29ers. I owned one for a full season (rip 9).

    I am 6' 1/2" 200 lbs, I push up pretty hefty squats for football and have pretty good explosive power.

    I hate the way 29ers feel!!
    Soooooooo, that means you're interested in selling your R.I.P. 9 frame? Guessing it's a size large. I'm 6'1".

    Let me know..

  48. #48
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    nope, long gone

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    I've gotta agree, aesthetically that 29er looks to be in much better proportion
    A funny (and stupid) part of this sport is the effect that aesthetics have on people's opinions on what should be ridden.

    I've been told numerous times mostly when riding the 26er that 'big guys should ride 29ers', 'you should have a 29er', 'why didn't you build a 29er (I built the orange frame) instead?', 'a 29er would fit you better', etc. ad nauseam...

    I like 26ers too. There are definite advantages to the smaller wheel, and a perfectly fitted frame is exactly that. My 26er fits a bit better than the 29er in fact.

    Why can't a big guy ride both?

    Drew
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    A funny (and stupid) part of this sport is the effect that aesthetics have on people's opinions on what should be ridden.

    I've been told that 'big guys should ride 29ers', 'you should have a 29er', 'why didn't you build a 29er (I built the orange frame) instead?', 'a 29er would fit you better', etc. ad nauseam...

    I like 26er too. There are definite advantages to the smaller wheel, and a perfectly fitted frame is exactly that. My 26er fits a bit better than the 29er in fact.

    Why can't a big guy ride both?

    Drew
    I'm trying to be conciliatory here

  51. #51
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    No worries brother, I wasn't calling you stupid at all, you were agreeing with what I said about the aesthetics of the two bikes earlier.

    You're tall too, do you ever get grief about riding the smaller wheels?
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    not so much grief, but people constantly recommending that I try a 29er! oh man it started to grind my gears

  53. #53
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    It's funny, a buddy of mine knows I'm faster on the 26er than the 29er (rigid anyways) and went out and specifically bought an Ellsworth fully 26er since he hasn't entirely drank the koolaid either. He has a niner and KM too, so he's well acquainted with the big wheels. Now he can kick my butt on either size!

    What's your inseam? Mine's 38" which explains the 24" ST on both XL frames.

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    I'm not that tall I'm only 6' .5" my inseam is only 33"-34".

    I've got a friend who usually kicks my ass too, I'm working on it though, he's got a 36" inseam and went back to 26" from 29" too.

  55. #55
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    Aesthetically you'd look fine on either size. My buddy with the Ellsworth is all leg like me, but not as bad. He gets away with large frames for either wheel size.

    Drew
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    don't get it twisted drew. I, by no means let esthetics dictate my ride. I'm back 26er, I started this thread

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    don't get it twisted drew. I, by no means let esthetics dictate my ride. I'm back 26er, I started this thread
    No, I'm not trying to do that. You and our fellow posters have beaten the subject to death. I'm touchy about aesthetics and appearance that's all. At 6'5" and 180 lbs on a good day, I'm VERY aware of my appearance with respect to clothes, people, and even bicycles. I've spent most of my long life hearing about being very skinny and very tall. I'd be quite happy to be 6' like yourself.

    If I gave in to the pressure to 'conform' because of my height I wouldn't own a 26er at all.

    Drew
    Last edited by dru; 12-04-2011 at 03:49 PM.
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  58. #58
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    That's it, DiVinci

    Quote Originally Posted by timms View Post
    @ gthcarolina

    is it divinci or norco?

    I am in university but as a part time mature student, I actually play Australian Football outside of school ( now there's a trend that I hope catches on.
    Ha, I didn't pick up the possibility of Australian Rules Football (do you guys actually say Victorian Rules Football?)

    I rode some mountain bikes around New Zealand in 89-90, but not in Australia.

    Here's what go me to the 29er as my preferred bike: I used to ride a lot harder and a lot faster and I used to jump a lot of things. For me, with a fairly long inseam, I used to have to push my seatpost up really far. I was riding exclusively Cannondale for a long time and their biggest frame still left me with a lot of post. That combination of geometry and gravity always made downhills dicey for me. I found the 29er just worked better.

    I started my experiment with 29ers by mucking around with 69er conversion and even 650b/26 conversion. I decided to go all in for the 29er and I have not looked back. Right now my wife is riding a 650B front on a 26 inch hardtail.

    I always assumed 29ers were just better proportioned for taller, longer-legged riders, but apparently your experience differs, even though we are similar in size.
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  59. #59
    dru
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    I always assumed 29ers were just better proportioned for taller, longer-legged riders, but apparently your experience differs, even though we are similar in size.
    Like I was saying to the OP, the 'argument' for 29ers for tall guys has nothing to do with anything aside from aesthetics.

    You claim that your 26er felt wrong because of too much post, and frame geometry causing you grief on the downhills, but I'd tell you first hand that your frame was in all likelihood too small with respect to the head tube and top tube lengths especially compared to a 29er.

    If you think about it, 29ers can't really have front ends that are too low, nor too short reach wise because of toe overlap issues.

    The biggest reason I built a 26er frame from scratch was to address the issue of overly short front ends caused by head tubes that were too short. Anyone with a long inseam who's taller than 6'3" or so is likely going to have this issue. While I was at it I also addressed 2 other issues for really big guys like myself which was seat post length (you too) and TT length.


    My orange bike is actually 1/2" longer in the top tube than the Salsa, and the wheelbase is slightly longer as well. The chainstays are the standard 16.75" as almost every 26 HT.
    The bar heights of the two bikes are pretty much identical although the Salsa has a 6* 120mm stem while the orange has a 110mm 0*. The bars on both are 2" below the seat. The reach from saddle to bars is identical as is the relation of seat to cranks (pretty much KOPS). As you can see, the seat tubes are identical.

    The issues I have with the 26er are the same issues everyone has relative to 29ers; traction and harshness. I suffer no handicap riding sketchy steep stuff on the 26er with respect to endoing. With a properly fitting frame tallness simply isn't an issue with the exception of aesthetics.

    Drew
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  60. #60
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    Interesting thread...

    It reminds me of when fs bikes came out, when disc brakes came out, etc. I have never owned a fs bike and had one bike with disc's that I hated. Still I respect the fact that many love disc's and fs and would never ride without either.
    I have 4 29ers, 3 steel, 1 ti. One is a custom geared ht, 2 are ss and 1 is a rigid ss. All rock v brakes, which is crazy to many. Also, I am a 6ft 2in black guy who looks like a linebacker (and was) but made sterile antibiotic and homeopathic drugs for a living for 21 years. I have dreadlocks down to my waist and a beard but love riding mtb's, not smoking weed, lol. People of every race, even my own often don't know what to make of me. So clearly I am not a trend follower and never have been. I am taller and bigger than the OP and tried the big wheels because of reading people that I respected repeatedly saying that they would fit bigger guys like me better. I always felt like something was missing and when I rode my first 29er I found out what that was. It had that "in the bike feeling" not "on top of the bike" feeling that every 26er I rode had. It just felt like an extension of my body much more than any 26er and by that time I had owned many a hi end steel ht. Reynolds 853, True Temper OX Gold and Platinum, Tange Prestige Ultimate, Columbus Life, etc. You name the hi end steel and I have probably owned bikes made of it. Some production, some custom.
    Being a big guy I always spec'ed out my bikes because there were no production bikes made for 250 lb guys in 2000. So I really knew what I liked (quick and nimble handling) and stayed away from 29ers with 26er geometry and cheap, heavy wheels. These are the two things I feel that typically kill the experience for anyone used to a responsive 26er ride. I built my first 29er (a Soma Juice) in 2005 and loved the fit but still felt it accelerated a little slow. A change to some wheels built with Salsa Delgado X rims and XTR hubs w/Stans changed that. At that point I never looked back. Rode my 26ers a couple times more but they could not compare with how comfortable I was and how well the bike fit me. As a result, I was much faster too.
    So you see, some things are not just hype (though many things are) and nothing is for everyone. My preferences are a mix of old and new that SUIT ME. Maybe the 26er is what suits you. I loved my 26ers, I learned to ride on them but my 29ers suit me better.
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by esundell90 View Post
    Again, while I like my 29er, I still love my 26er. It's crap that all major makers don't have a quality 26er HT in their lineup anymore. Guess they aren't selling. At least a lot of smaller brands still make a good 26er HT. I'm thinking about buying a Surly 1x1 here soon. And I know it will be a blast!
    Kona is a prime example of not offering, to the US, a highend HT in a 26 complete. Kinda sucks, but that's the way it is now. Thank goodness the 29er frames are fitting sub 6-footers better now than several years back.
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  62. #62
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    Timms, you ever ride a 69er? Give it a try! You retain the rollover ability of the 29" front with the flickability of the 26" rear wheel. I regularly ride a rigid SIR9 SS but keep a Trek Top Fuel 69er in the stable for when I feel like railing.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by edouble View Post
    It reminds me of when fs bikes came out, when disc brakes came out, etc. I have never owned a fs bike and had one bike with disc's that I hated. Still I respect the fact that many love disc's and fs and would never ride without either.
    I have 4 29ers, 3 steel, 1 ti. One is a custom geared ht, 2 are ss and 1 is a rigid ss. All rock v brakes, which is crazy to many. Also, I am a 6ft 2in black guy who looks like a linebacker (and was) but made sterile antibiotic and homeopathic drugs for a living for 21 years. I have dreadlocks down to my waist and a beard but love riding mtb's, not smoking weed, lol. People of every race, even my own often don't know what to make of me. So clearly I am not a trend follower and never have been. I am taller and bigger than the OP and tried the big wheels because of reading people that I respected repeatedly saying that they would fit bigger guys like me better. I always felt like something was missing and when I rode my first 29er I found out what that was. It had that "in the bike feeling" not "on top of the bike" feeling that every 26er I rode had. It just felt like an extension of my body much more than any 26er and by that time I had owned many a hi end steel ht. Reynolds 853, True Temper OX Gold and Platinum, Tange Prestige Ultimate, Columbus Life, etc. You name the hi end steel and I have probably owned bikes made of it. Some production, some custom.
    Being a big guy I always spec'ed out my bikes because there were no production bikes made for 250 lb guys in 2000. So I really knew what I liked (quick and nimble handling) and stayed away from 29ers with 26er geometry and cheap, heavy wheels. These are the two things I feel that typically kill the experience for anyone used to a responsive 26er ride. I built my first 29er (a Soma Juice) in 2005 and loved the fit but still felt it accelerated a little slow. A change to some wheels built with Salsa Delgado X rims and XTR hubs w/Stans changed that. At that point I never looked back. Rode my 26ers a couple times more but they could not compare with how comfortable I was and how well the bike fit me. As a result, I was much faster too.
    So you see, some things are not just hype (though many things are) and nothing is for everyone. My preferences are a mix of old and new that SUIT ME. Maybe the 26er is what suits you. I loved my 26ers, I learned to ride on them but my 29ers suit me better.
    that's cool stuff... I have to spout it though. some people might call me a hypocrite, but have you even given a good hydraulic brake set a shot. they just feel amazing. I'm not judging, I'm just wondering. because at 250lbs I figure a nice set of saints or other high velocity brakes would be great.

    not having to rely on the truness of a rim
    moving your brakes away from the tire and it's much
    the modulation and sheer power

  64. #64
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    no sir, I reckon I haven't. I'd give em a shot if a convenient opportunity came along.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by gthcarolina View Post
    Ha, I didn't pick up the possibility of Australian Rules Football (do you guys actually say Victorian Rules Football?)

    I rode some mountain bikes around New Zealand in 89-90, but not in Australia.

    Here's what go me to the 29er as my preferred bike: I used to ride a lot harder and a lot faster and I used to jump a lot of things. For me, with a fairly long inseam, I used to have to push my seatpost up really far. I was riding exclusively Cannondale for a long time and their biggest frame still left me with a lot of post. That combination of geometry and gravity always made downhills dicey for me. I found the 29er just worked better.

    I started my experiment with 29ers by mucking around with 69er conversion and even 650b/26 conversion. I decided to go all in for the 29er and I have not looked back. Right now my wife is riding a 650B front on a 26 inch hardtail.

    I always assumed 29ers were just better proportioned for taller, longer-legged riders, but apparently your experience differs, even though we are similar in size.
    nope, austrailian rules football for the outsiders, footy for those in the know

    I love the fact that there are so many choices in this industry, it keeps things fresh!

  66. #66
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    http://forums.mtbr.com/bike-frame-di...ke-754577.html

    I couldn't choreograph a better thread to show exactly what instigated me to start this thread, and yes, I know i have too much time on my hands.

    this is what the thread looks like to me:

    1. older rider with old bike wants to upgrade to suspension
    2. experienced member points out issues that he may come across
    3. relatively new member and seemingly inexperienced rider blindly recommends a 29er.

    I had come across this so many times that I finally got annoyed and decided to start this thread, in hindsight, somewhat impulsively.

    I'll reiterate, I don't don't judge people who like like em, it's cool, do what you gotta do. I actually wanna see people on the best bike for them. the only way to do this is to test test test! not read read read! (yes, I see the irony

    what bothered/s me is a bandwagon trend that I perceive. call me crazy if you'd like.

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    Yeah sorry, I didn't read all the posts, too many of them, but wanted to add to the conversation anyway.

    When I first saw a 36er, I knew we had gone too far. I started to think about how big is too big and how small is too small. To compare I thought about cars and motorbikes. Rally cars drive off road, fast, like bikes, and they have 23/24/25" diameter tyres. Motorbikes have 24/25/26". (This information was not researched)

    I thought 20" too small 30" too big, maybe the perfect size is 25".

    I want to try a purpose built 24" bike.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxforce View Post
    Yeah sorry, I didn't read all the posts, too many of them, but wanted to add to the conversation anyway.

    When I first saw a 36er, I knew we had gone too far. I started to think about how big is too big and how small is too small. To compare I thought about cars and motorbikes. Rally cars drive off road, fast, like bikes, and they have 23/24/25" diameter tyres. Motorbikes have 24/25/26". (This information was not researched)

    I thought 20" too small 30" too big, maybe the perfect size is 25".

    I want to try a purpose built 24" bike.
    36" wheels should be saved for the circuses of Barnam & Bailey only. They looks absolutely moronic, and like Bozo the clown should be the only one on the so called Goof-Mobile.

    Flame Suit ON.

    You in Oklahoma City? If yes, come ride with us.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxforce View Post
    I want to try a purpose built 24" bike.
    On my 24" trials bike I can bunny hop, manual, pivot, fakie, rockwalk and am getting the rear wheel hops/balance down. But it's reeeally pedally and rolls over nothing compared to my 29".
    On my 29", I can't throw the stuff that I can on my 24", but it flies and rolls rocks and roots like they're not there.
    Two completely different bikes for two completely different styles. Why be stuck to one size or style, that's too narrow-minded for me. The more bikes and styles you ride, the better you'll become.

    @maxforce, give a 24" a try for sure, they flick and jump like crazy. There's plenty of 24" dh, dj, bmx and trials rigs out there. You won't be disappointed.
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  70. #70
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    Thanks...

    "that's cool stuff... I have to spout it though. some people might call me a hypocrite, but have you even given a good hydraulic brake set a shot. they just feel amazing. I'm not judging, I'm just wondering. because at 250lbs I figure a nice set of saints or other high velocity brakes would be great.

    not having to rely on the truness of a rim
    moving your brakes away from the tire and it's much
    the modulation and sheer power"

    your not a hypocrite, its a fair question. I have tried a set during a work trip to Minnesota. During work trips I ship my bikes out and ride after work. I have ridden all over the country doing that. A guy on a night ride let me ride his Salsa Mamasita. I was duly impressed with the power and modulation. Once I wear out my rim brake wheel sets I will make the move to disc brakes. They are everything you say they are. Where I live there is nothing steep so I can wait until my rims die.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxforce View Post
    Yeah sorry, I didn't read all the posts, too many of them, but wanted to add to the conversation anyway.

    When I first saw a 36er, I knew we had gone too far. I started to think about how big is too big and how small is too small. To compare I thought about cars and motorbikes. Rally cars drive off road, fast, like bikes, and they have 23/24/25" diameter tyres. Motorbikes have 24/25/26". (This information was not researched)

    I thought 20" too small 30" too big, maybe the perfect size is 25".

    I want to try a purpose built 24" bike.
    problem is those rigs have powerful engines, we do not?

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    Seems like a healthy perspective.

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    I am old enough to remember 23" front wheels on the old Honda off road bikes, what a dud wheel size vaguely relates between motor powered vehicles and MTBs
    '

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar View Post
    29ers have been around long enough, for at least 10 years now, that they should have taken off by now.
    Unlike all mountain, downhill and trail bikes, they haven't.
    The people have had a chance to try or rent one, but aren't buying too many 29ers after a decade.
    The pros wouldn't go near them for years. They kept racing their 26" rides for a long time, even when the manufacturers had high quality 29ers available. I suspect many sponsors are forcing the racers to ride 29ers now, because people were asking "if the 29er is so great, why don't your pro riders race them?"
    I know for several years, I was one of those persons asking that very question.

    That being said, I think 29ers have their place. I still don't believe they are the holy grail of mountain bike technology though.

    29er sales have gone up, only because the shops and manufacturers have decide to force it on the population buying new bikes.
    Few big manufacturers have been in the 29er game for 10 years and most of what was offered was simply pulled from 26er parts bins- decent 29er specific parts such as wheels, tires and Forks are fairly recent and trying trying to adopt these parts to 29" wheels resulted in crappy sloppy wheels and the wrong geo/trail for a 29" bike to feel much like a 26" bike which everyone was coming from. I am not trying to push one or the other but 2007-8 was when 29" full squish really started coming to life with bikes like the Sultan etc.

    I do agree that everyone should buy the bike that is right for them and what they intend to use it for- be it "trail" (a word that was manufactured by marketers...) Downhill, All mountain (another marketing ploy) cross country, etc....

    Why are people scared of change? ride what you like but why be a hater or a band wagon sheep?
    I Just wish I could ride more!


  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by knottshore View Post
    Few big manufacturers have been in the 29er game for 10 years and most of what was offered was simply pulled from 26er parts bins- decent 29er specific parts such as wheels, tires and Forks are fairly recent and trying trying to adopt these parts to 29" wheels resulted in crappy sloppy wheels and the wrong geo/trail for a 29" bike to feel much like a 26" bike which everyone was coming from. I am not trying to push one or the other but 2007-8 was when 29" full squish really started coming to life with bikes like the Sultan etc.

    I do agree that everyone should buy the bike that is right for them and what they intend to use it for- be it "trail" (a word that was manufactured by marketers...) Downhill, All mountain (another marketing ploy) cross country, etc....

    Why are people scared of change? ride what you like but why be a hater or a band wagon sheep?
    I think the issue may be is that test rides on a top of the line 29er are hard to come by? as I stated earlier a very expensive wheel set is necessary if one wants to achieve the ultimate 29er experience.So... my friend it is not necessarily about adapting to change but as is my personal experience is that I can not afford a $1000.00 wheel set to keep up with a modestly equipped 26er?

  76. #76
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    You are making some pretty broad generalizations off of one bike. I own a 29er HT and have ridden a Rip 9, and you cannot compare them. I too found the Rip 9 pretty gangly, too long, not all that much fun.

    However, that is not the way many other 29er are. My Karate Monkey is much more playful, and it is not even considered one of the more playful 29ers out there.

    FWIW, I ride both sizes.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    karate monkey ftw
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    Interesting perspectives. I have been out of biking for about 5 years. I recently dusted off my like new Trek Liquid 55 and started to do some riding. Just the other day I got to ride two Trek 29er's (FS and HT) I thought they were nice bikes but unfortunatly they did not have a demo bike that I could take on the trails. So basically it left me without a real riding experience. My next move is to the Specialized dealer as they have a demo bike I can take on the trails. The jury will be out until then if they are for me. I have been concidering selling my FS Trek for a 29er HT due to different trail type where I moved to. I talked to a guy on the trails riding a nineer FS. He said the 29 is nice but dont sell your 26 to get one. Sound like good advice. I have been eyeing up a Trek Superfy AL alot lately. One thing I have noticed while trying to sell my Liquid is with so many buying the 29ers no one wants to give a Trek Liquid a second look because its a 26".

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    No bike is perfect. Just enjoy riding your bike...




  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff View Post

    @maxforce, give a 24" a try for sure, they flick and jump like crazy. There's plenty of 24" dh, dj, bmx and trials rigs out there. You won't be disappointed.

    I have never been a great fan of wagon wheels (ok, 29ers), as they just make a ride boring. True they roll over stuff better, but that just means that I will have to find bigger obstacles to have as much fun as I used to. I tried a wagon wheeler for a few days a while back, and didn't feel the least bit sorry when I had to hand it back to the owner.

    I built up a 24" a while back, you know, just to see what it is.

    Fast forward a few months, and that bike has become the bike of choice.

    The real fun got into the picture a couple of weeks ago, when I wanted to take my 26" FS ride for a spin.

    Now did that bike feel sluggish or what, after riding a 24" rigid SS with a 360mm chain stay!

    Good thing I can't recall how nimble the BMX bike I had when I was 12 was


    Magura

  81. #81
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    29" ruining trails

    Quote Originally Posted by esundell90 View Post
    This kinda crap is a pretty ignorant statement.

    While I do Own a 29 I also own a 26. They both have their merits. I am not a rodie, beginner or an old person. In fact, it does take some time and adjusting to ride a 29'er well. To me people who make these statements are too quick to judge, or aren't a capable enough rider to hop on a bike, and tear it up. If anything, people who ride both just have more skills than someone who swears by one wheel type only.

    If you're an over-zelest fan-boi of either wheel size you're pretty ignorant.

    IDK how many times it's been said, but here it is again, Remember:
    ITS THE RIDER, NOT THE BIKE!!!!

    Back in the day people rode modified road cruisers faster than some people today ride full carbon 26in FS race bikes. Which I think proves that point 100%.

    Maybe some people should just learn to be better riders and quit hating on someone choice of wheel size?? We're all in the same sport, if you choose to ride a certain bike, great! Have fun, and just ride!
    I do notice that you appear to be from Michigan, where we have many trails being ruined by the MMBA and widened out. I hypothesize that the widening of trails is due, in large part, to 29" wheeled bikes. Of course it is difficult to isolate the effects of a longer wheelbase etc, from the effects of generally increased usage etc, but I'm also firmly in the 26" wheel camp after an affair with an XTC 29er. Don't nothing pull up and manual around a corner like a 26" for me!

  82. #82
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    I didn't read all the comments in this thread. But for me, it is simple. I am 6'2" tall, 195 pounds and have balanced strength throughout my body. I hover around 12% body fat, lift weights, run, bike, whatever.

    I cannot ride a 26er. Quite simpy I feel unsecure because I ride up over top of a 26er. I have ridden 3 29ers and I felt comfortable on all of them, like I was riding in the bike. 26er is off my radar regardless of whatever benefits it has in terms of handling, acceleration, shorter chainstays, lighter weight, whatever.

    29ers feel natural to me, 26ers do not.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvanL View Post
    I do notice that you appear to be from Michigan, where we have many trails being ruined by the MMBA and widened out. I hypothesize that the widening of trails is due, in large part, to 29" wheeled bikes. Of course it is difficult to isolate the effects of a longer wheelbase etc, from the effects of generally increased usage etc, but I'm also firmly in the 26" wheel camp after an affair with an XTC 29er. Don't nothing pull up and manual around a corner like a 26" for me!
    I'm also from the UP, which does not have any trails that have been altered by the MMBA, there not exactly active up here.

    Not that trails downstate that I've ridden are bad, but trails up here tend to be raw, technical and far more demanding physically than ANYTHING I've ridden downstate.

    I just really like 29er's for climbing/all day rides. They really eat up miles and my KM at least, handles really well. I have ridden some 29er's however that really do handle like pigs. I rode an XTC 29, Talon 29, some cannondale 29er HT (forget the name) and none of them handled really well at all. Some of it's in the bike for sure. To me if you want a good XC machine big hoops are the way to go, but for me if you're gonna bomb down something technical at speed, that's when I'm glad I made the decision NOT to sell/retire my 26' in SS HT. She's still a riot to bomb down the sides of hills with, nothing's gonna change that, hence why I don't think 26er's are a waste of time either.

    My suggestion? GET BOTH!! They both have their merits.
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

  84. #84
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    Most people have started on 26er's and gone to 29ers. As time goes on and more people start out on a 29er and then try a 26er for the first time it will be interesting to see how the conversation goes.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by RideMore56 View Post
    Most people have started on 26er's and gone to 29ers. As time goes on and more people start out on a 29er and then try a 26er for the first time it will be interesting to see how the conversation goes.
    I actually wondered that myself. I do agree there are a few too many who are "ZOMG 29er is the best bike ever" crowd, but I think a lot of new riders who start out on 29's discover 26's they may rescind their statements about 29's being the "be all, end all bike"
    -Eric
    Keeping the hardtail dream alive, one ride at a time.

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    180 lbs - 6'2" here. Riding in Moab area 99%. Roadie at heart, have been since 1981.

    My son rides MTB and I wanted to spend these precious times doing things with him, so two years ago I went to the shop and the nice dude with the piercings and tattoos did a thorough interview of me then sold me on a HT 29'er. Pretty good one too. Set it up with the right tires, dialed in the shock, etc.

    In the past 2 years I've been riding that thing, but couldn't get even close to enjoying it, never mind keeping up with the 11 year old on the technical stuff. With my modest skills the bike felt downright unsafe on the descents, hard to handle through steep climbing switchbacks and not inspiring me to try to get better. I crashed a lot.

    After a while I was back to doing my roadie stuff and he did his progressively harder and harder rides.

    Then an enlightened friend talked me into switching to a FS 26" trail bike. After a few weeks of demo'ing we found a quality 5" travel, 68 degree HT thingy that fitted as well the 29'er. What a world of difference. I tell folks that I'm brand new to mountain biking, because it's true: It only really started coming together for me now after getting rid of the 29'er.

    I got a lot of work to do, but I can already hang on my son's wheel in most stuff - and more importantly - I really enjoy it now. Way into it, in fact.

    My story. Not going back.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan_nikolajsen View Post
    180 lbs - 6'2" here. Riding in Moab area 99%. Roadie at heart, have been since 1981.

    My son rides MTB and I wanted to spend these precious times doing things with him, so two years ago I went to the shop and the nice dude with the piercings and tattoos did a thorough interview of me then sold me on a HT 29'er. Pretty good one too. Set it up with the right tires, dialed in the shock, etc.

    In the past 2 years I've been riding that thing, but couldn't get even close to enjoying it, never mind keeping up with the 11 year old on the technical stuff. With my modest skills the bike felt downright unsafe on the descents, hard to handle through steep climbing switchbacks and not inspiring me to try to get better. I crashed a lot.

    After a while I was back to doing my roadie stuff and he did his progressively harder and harder rides.

    Then an enlightened friend talked me into switching to a FS 26" trail bike. After a few weeks of demo'ing we found a quality 5" travel, 68 degree HT thingy that fitted as well the 29'er. What a world of difference. I tell folks that I'm brand new to mountain biking, because it's true: It only really started coming together for me now after getting rid of the 29'er.

    I got a lot of work to do, but I can already hang on my son's wheel in most stuff - and more importantly - I really enjoy it now. Way into it, in fact.

    My story. Not going back.
    So you bought the first 29" you saw and didn't like it. Then demoed 26" for a couple weeks and found the perfect bike. See where I'm going with this.

    I'm sure if you demoed as many 29" as you did 26", you would have found a better fitting one. I'm not saying that you would have still bought a 29", but your opinion would be more credible.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff View Post
    So you bought the first 29" you saw and didn't like it. Then demoed 26" for a couple weeks and found the perfect bike. See where I'm going with this.

    I'm sure if you demoed as many 29" as you did 26", you would have found a better fitting one. I'm not saying that you would have still bought a 29", but your opinion would be more credible.
    Sorry if my little story was misleading; there's far more to it than a couple of paragraphs can hold. Living in Moab with close ties to the bicycle industry and dozens of MTB enthusiasts for friends, there's no shortage of impromptu demos, discussions and hype. With a 29'er, as recommended by my posse, I was for long determined to make it work. Off course I thought my specimen was simply the wrong 29'er bought on impulse, so in the interim I sampled many others, from carbon race to 5" travel. But always 29'ers. I was from the get go being told that those were for me: Tall, roadie, beginner, older, endurance forte over tech, etc.

    THEN my enlightened friend convinced my of the 26'er route.

    Hope this clarifies a maybe oversimplified story.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan_nikolajsen View Post
    Sorry if my little story was misleading; there's far more to it than a couple of paragraphs can hold. Living in Moab with close ties to the bicycle industry and dozens of MTB enthusiasts for friends, there's no shortage of impromptu demos, discussions and hype. With a 29'er, as recommended by my posse, I was for long determined to make it work. Off course I thought my specimen was simply the wrong 29'er bought on impulse, so in the interim I sampled many others, from carbon race to 5" travel. But always 29'ers. I was from the get go being told that those were for me: Tall, roadie, beginner, older, endurance forte over tech, etc.

    THEN my enlightened friend convinced my of the 26'er route.

    Hope this clarifies a maybe oversimplified story.
    I retract my comment.
    And you live where I vacation. Bike, jeep and backpacking heaven.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

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    If all things the same, are there things 26" and 29" worse or better?

    Like 29" will go much easier over medium sized hole because of the wheel size, or 26" is easier to maneuver in tight corners?

  91. #91
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    29ers make great Single Speeds

    I would definitely consider getting another 26" FS they are fun to ride. They feel like riding a BMX bike compared to my 29ers. I wouldn't say one is better than the other. Both have different positive feel.

  92. #92
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    I am dumbfounded as to why people still argue 26" vs 29" wheels. Who gives a ****? If you like what you ride...great. If you don't like what I ride...I don't care. I don't want to hear how you think your bike is better than mine.
    Last edited by A1an; 12-08-2011 at 01:39 PM.
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  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an View Post
    I am dumbfounded as to why people still argue 26" vs 29" wheels. Who gives a ****? If you like what you ride...great. If you don't like what I ride...I don't care. I don't want to hear how you think your bike is better than mine.
    Completely agree!!

    My single speed has 26" wheels.
    My hardtail has 650b wheels.
    My full suspension bike has 29" wheels.
    My cross bike has 700c rims (same as the 29er).

    I love riding all of these bikes! There's nothing magic about the size of a rim that make a bike work amazingly better, amazingly worse, or amazingly different.

    Find a bike that you like, regardless of what wheel fits in the frame, and ride it. Have fun riding it. Drink beer when you're done. Don't get too caught up in the marketing hype about anything.
    Each bicycle owned exponentially increases the probability that none is working correctly.

  94. #94
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    i really tried to stay out of this but eeeesh, it's hard to sit on the sidelines on this one. i'm totally with the op. i have an '08 sultan and it's loaded -- full xtr and hope 2's laced to flows bla bla. it's light, responsive and everything a 29er should be BUT... i feel like i'm driving a bus when i ride it most of the time. i've been riding it for 2 years and that feeling has never faded. my opinion though, like most of you are saying -- everyone is different, respect. it's a great ride but i feel disconnected from the trail most of the time -- on it, not in it. did some 26 riding this summer and couldn't wait to get back.

    from a pure business standpoint, is it possible that the industry jumped into off-road 29er because it was a new market to exploit which meant big profit? as enthusiasts, most of us love to jump at the new best thing, so it all worked well for carving out a new vertical. the major manufactures are too invested now with parts, engineering and marketing to reverse course to say something like 650b. the smaller guys see the big guys embracing 29er and follow because well, they kind of have to to increase profit. certainly explains why many of you have 29er thrown at you when you head into your lbs. anyway, 650b's are probably coming next, so brace yourselves -- actually i really dig 650b's and kind of wish they got the early support 29ers did but hey, i'm just a caveman.

  95. #95
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    I think many people in this thread are confusing what they think about 29ers with what they think about the 29er "craze".

    Just because you like a 29er, does not mean there is not a "craze" going on. A craze does not mean there is no substance, just that there is a lot of talk and excitement about something. Clearly, there is a 29er craze going on.

    Likewise, just because you don't like a 29er, does not mean this is just a craze with no substance behind it, or some industry marketing ploy. Fact is, most of the industry was very reluctant to get into the 29er market.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    kaputsa, I think that you are confused. A craze is something that is big for a while, but then goes away. This is just a different design, or style, that's not going away.

    If 29 haters would quit starting threads about it, this would go away, and then we could discuss real issues.
    I don't like hydro brakes, but no one else cares. So I keep it to myself.
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  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux View Post
    Completely agree!!

    My single speed has 26" wheels.
    My hardtail has 650b wheels.
    My full suspension bike has 29" wheels.
    My cross bike has 700c rims (same as the 29er).

    I love riding all of these bikes! There's nothing magic about the size of a rim that make a bike work amazingly better, amazingly worse, or amazingly different.

    Find a bike that you like, regardless of what wheel fits in the frame, and ride it. Have fun riding it. Drink beer when you're done. Don't get too caught up in the marketing hype about anything.
    You're a rim whore.

  98. #98
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    I feel the same way about 29ers
    (time machine back to 2003)
    I feel the same way about disc brakes
    (time machine back to 1997)
    I feel the same way about full suspension
    (time machine back to 1992)
    I feel the same way about front suspension
    (time machine back to 1988)
    I feel the same way about indexed shifting
    (time machine back to 1981)
    I feel the same way about mountain bikes
    Last edited by TobyNobody; 12-09-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff View Post

    If 29 haters would quit starting threads about it, this would go away, and then we could discuss real issues.
    We are actually discussing the real issues here, and at a quite civilized level!

    It's funny how every opinion that does not match peoples own opinion, has to get the label "hater" or "fanboy" lately. The same could be said about the label so frequently used here on this board "shill".
    Mostly those labels are used without the person using them knowing what they mean, or simply used to express the frustration they feel when others disagree or thinks different.
    From what I can read in this thread, not one single person has posted anything that warrants the label "hater".

    Especially in a thread like this one, where most have expressed a well balanced point of view, using a big part of the gray scale, it comes across as a somewhat unwelcome attitude to start the black or white rhetoric.

    So could we please keep at least this threads discussion in the gray scale, and leave the low level name calling out?


    Magura

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Magura View Post
    We are actually discussing the real issues here, and at a quite civilized level!

    It's funny how every opinion that does not match peoples own opinion, has to get the label "hater" or "fanboy" lately. The same could be said about the label so frequently used here on this board "shill".
    Mostly those labels are used without the person using them knowing what they mean, or simply used to express the frustration they feel when others disagree or thinks different.
    From what I can read in this thread, not one single person has posted anything that warrants the label "hater".

    Especially in a thread like this one, where most have expressed a well balanced point of view, using a big part of the gray scale, it comes across as a somewhat unwelcome attitude to start the black or white rhetoric.

    So could we please keep at least this threads discussion in the gray scale, and leave the low level name calling out?


    Magura
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