29 vs. 26: better for descending- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    inner peace to make peace
    Reputation: TrailNut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,284

    New question here. 29 vs. 26: better for descending

    29 vs. 26: which better for descending, "free-riding," and rough "all mountain" riding...for example: which could be faster going down California's Downieville Butchers-Third Divide trails? i xc race to ride better, and i climb to ride downhill, as descending is when the real fun is at on a mtb.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  2. #2
    www.ntxbmx.com
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    366
    I had wondered if anyone had a 29er DH bike, but I thought the whole 29er thing was more about simplicity. like riding SS.

    But if it works do it,

    how about a 29 on the front and a 24 on the rear??

    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    29 vs. 26: which better for descending, "free-riding," and rough "all mountain" riding...for example: which could be faster going down California's Downieville Butchers-Third Divide trails? i xc race to ride better, and i climb to ride downhill, as descending is when the real fun is at on a mtb.
    www.ntxbmx.com North Texas BMX

  3. #3
    My arm hurts a little
    Reputation: #1ORBUST's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,471
    29'ss HAHA!!!! Come on buy some 30's or try 40's hell go with the 50's

    26 the only way to go!!!

  4. #4
    Bum Buzzer
    Reputation: Huck Banzai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,988
    They roll over bumps better, but are weak as crap laterally and the bikes are sluggish and big!

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,236
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,236
    Nut, a 29er works great around Downieville. One of the full bouncies (LensSport Lev' or 'Moth, Venetana El Cap') would kick butt on those trails. I would have no issues with a nice hardtail either.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  7. #7
    inner peace to make peace
    Reputation: TrailNut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,284

    thinking about a 29er freeride bike

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Nut, a 29er works great around Downieville. One of the full bouncies (LensSport Lev' or 'Moth, Ventana El Cap') would kick butt on those trails. I would have no issues with a nice hardtail either.

    thanks, while i luv my steel hardtail, i'm thinking about a 29er,
    geared or not is not as essential, but having a nicely damping fork & hydro disk brakes are essential...cause anything that costs more than a $600 IRO Rob Roy SS cross bike, I'd want it to be decisively faster on desends than my 5" Z1 hardtail.


    come to think of it, a 26er-tried-and-true VP-Free, Bullit, Coiler (w/coil) or Stinky may still be my best bet for freeriding joy, as 29er Ventana El Capitain's selection of 6" oil-damped coil-forks are pretty limited, no?
    Last edited by TrailNut; 01-11-2006 at 06:16 PM.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  8. #8
    what a joke
    Reputation: ozlongboarder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    They roll over bumps better, but are weak as crap laterally and the bikes are sluggish and big!
    How many 29ers have you ridden?
    blah blah blah

  9. #9
    Bum Buzzer
    Reputation: Huck Banzai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,988
    Quote Originally Posted by ozlongboarder
    How many 29ers have you ridden?
    Recently, 2 - a day on a Ziggurat and a 15 min spin on some steel nutmachine some guy I met at Rocky point had - he was trying to sell everyone in sight on em.


    Anyway, Physics isnt subjective. These bikes are not what people are looking for - they will be parked with the recumbents - oh so dreamy and efficient!

  10. #10
    what a joke
    Reputation: ozlongboarder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    Recently, 2 - a day on a Ziggurat and a 15 min spin on some steel nutmachine some guy I met at Rocky point had - he was trying to sell everyone in sight on em.


    Anyway, Physics isnt subjective. These bikes are not what people are looking for - they will be parked with the recumbents - oh so dreamy and efficient!
    Are you sure it was a Ziggurat? I believe they are a 26" xc race bike and the only one I have seen a picture of in 29er was a proto race bike for GF rider Nat Ross, did you ride his bike?
    blah blah blah

  11. #11
    Recovering
    Reputation: jbogner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,483
    Huck- you should ride Sprain Ridge with us some time, and watch this guy Ian kill it with trials-moves on his Salsa Dos Niner. 3-4' wheelie drops to flat. Tech ups. You'd be surprised what can be done on 29ers.

    I swear by mine for XC riding/racing, and I think my 29er hardtail is actually a better descender on really tight XC descents. I still ride my 8" travel FR bike more, just because I like drops, but for XC and trail riding, 29ers are fast and fun.

    Clearly there are enough people buying 29ers to propel the market forward, and convince frame makers like Intense, Ventana and Turner to get in the game and expend precious resources on them. Those guys have yet to build a recumbant...


  12. #12
    Bum Buzzer
    Reputation: Huck Banzai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,988
    Quote Originally Posted by jbogner
    Huck- you should ride Sprain Ridge with us some time, and watch this guy Ian kill it with trials-moves on his Salsa Dos Niner. 3-4' wheelie drops to flat. Tech ups. You'd be surprised what can be done on 29ers.

    I swear by mine for XC riding/racing, and I think my 29er hardtail is actually a better descender on really tight XC descents. I still ride my 8" travel FR bike more, just because I like drops, but for XC and trail riding, 29ers are fast and fun.

    Clearly there are enough people buying 29ers to propel the market forward, and convince frame makers like Intense, Ventana and Turner to get in the game and expend precious resources on them. Those guys have yet to build a recumbant...

    I'm putting you on my list! lol

    I will check it out. As I said - I think they definitely roll better - and I havent put in any XC rides more than an hour in a while. I trried to carve some fast lines and switchbacks and it understeered and missed turns - AND it was a little small on me, so it wasnt oversized.

    Ventana doesnt surprise me, but I wasnt aware the turner or intense was climbing aboard.

    I shall still doubt away! - I'd love to see someone pedalkick a 29er tho - and I havent been to sprain in a while. hmmmm............

  13. #13
    Recovering
    Reputation: jbogner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,483
    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    I trried to carve some fast lines and switchbacks and it understeered and missed turns - AND it was a little small on me, so it wasnt oversized.
    A lot of that is just getting used to how it steers, and trusting the traction. I was riding Stillwell a couple weeks ago in the snow and ice, and the bike amazed me with how much traction it got in the really sketchy conditions, and how easy it was to push FAST through the icy turns.

    Did you see the vid I posted around of our Sprain ride last weekend? There were a couple shots of my buddy Simon pulling some technical moves on his 29er SS...

    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    I shall still doubt away! - I'd love to see someone pedalkick a 29er tho - and I havent been to sprain in a while. hmmmm............
    Here are a couple slow-speed 29er wheelie-drops. (thanks to Merlin for the top photo of Ian)




  14. #14
    Recovering couch patato
    Reputation: Cloxxki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    14,017
    For XC, rigid or 80-100mm, 29" simply IS better for anything remotely rolling DH. Anyone that seriously tried it, knows it. It's like a fact of life, not subject to interpretation.

    For 20ft+ hucks, I'm sure 26" suffices. It's more about landing than rolling anyway?

    Interestingly, the 29*5" FS currently in existence, and the few longer travel customs, work more than fine for those that ride them. And that's with extremely flimsy 2.3 WTB ExiWolfs. They're narrower than many XC tires. Waiting is for a tire that has a similar width and tread to what you guys prefer to run on your 26" bikes. It will simply be faster. Heavier by about a pound for the bike, all else remaining the same.

    Riders vary from a good 5' to almost 7'. Trails vary from lame to imposiible. Why would 10% larger wheels be a negative factor? DH has been here for 30 years, surely technology is now ready to make 10% larger wheels that hold up? Actually, it is, and they do. Kris Holm unicycle rims should be strong enough for most of you guys.

    I heard that in DH racing it's about going fast, man powered. About going fast through corners, reaching as high as possible speeds through pedaling, and staying upright. All things where 24" seems to have been tried, and given up on. 26" was better. Who's racing Pro DH anymore with 24"? Take the diff between those two, and add that to 26" another time.
    In XC people are very scared of the added weight, but actually when you do the math, the rolling resistance more than overcome that, even during the out-of-corner pedaling itsel. RR is just too huge a factor in man powered offroad riding.
    I'm hardly a DH rider, and have only done some 4-cross, but I am much faster now with 29" on downhills than I ever was with 26". Similar bikes, obviously.

    A Kenda Nevegal 2.3 is rumored to hit the market this year. WTB is considering something. More is a-coming. Stand by for what happens then.
    What I've seen from Pro DH is a whole lotta rolling, and guess what fysics say larger wheels excel at? I envision relatively light 700c DH bikes, with relatively short travel, maybe 1" below average, turning DH tracks into XC by just making it easier. Ok, I'll still be a chicken sh!t, but those with the right sized balls will be quick on them. at least, when they use the 29" traits : cross rock gardens faster, reach higher terminal speeds everywhere, corner and exit faster, brake later, wash out less often, take more fluent lines without losing them, etc.

    It's really not about "if", but "when" larger wheels will prove to be faster. Riders like Greg Minnaar when they take the max out of a bike, will show it. If their sponsors permit...

    Rampage stuff will be for 26" and 24" forever, I believe that alright.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  15. #15
    BMW 2002, Dodge A100, etc
    Reputation: Pimpride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    602

    How about 24?

    I always figured a 24" rim super wide with a bunch of spokes would be a good freeride size. It would be more moto-x style in the rear and probably be super beefy. Save on weight some. Maybe because I ride a 17.5 shorter mtb frame that I think the 24" would bring my center of gravity down.

  16. #16
    Elitest thrill junkie
    Reputation: Jayem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    31,545
    I felt that the 29s made the bike feel more stable, it was like having "DH wheels" on an XC bike, making it feel more stable in the turns, made it hold a line better once you were committed.

    On the negative side, forget about last-minute changes, it makes the bike feel more sluggish when trying to manuever fast. I didn't feel there was a big difference in traction, but the 29er had around 2.1" tires while my normal ride is a 2.5 front and 2.3 rear.

    I don't think I'd want a 29er wheel with a big heavy tire, that would make it even more sluggish.

    They do roll over stuff better, but that's only one aspect of "descending".
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  17. #17
    Bum Buzzer
    Reputation: Huck Banzai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,988
    Corner and exit faster with larger wheels? Did you take physics at any point?

    Plenty of people still use 24's for DH. I prefer 26, but 29 isnt EVER GOING TO HAPPEN!

    Except for people who like to spend most of their time going straight. Just what we need - RAISE the center of gravity - THAT ought to be the bees knees for turning, oh yah.

  18. #18
    Recovering couch patato
    Reputation: Cloxxki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    14,017
    Smaller wheels don't lower COG much, if any. BB height is most essential here, limited by crank length and suspension style/length.

    I followed some physics, but I also rode a lot of bikes, and I rode them hard. some of the 29".
    Huck Banzai, follow me into a corner with 24x2.1" tire while I run 29x2.1. what happens, I brake later or not at all, drop my speed down to a higher minimum velocity, and have much less speed to put back into not only my 3kg wheels, but also my 15kg bike and 85kg ass. Wheelsize in the 20-30" range just doesn't affect acceleration much at all. During acceleration wheels momentarily weight double yes, but still not very significant if the larger one proportionately reduces rolling resistance.
    Pedal hard to catch back up to me cruising my 20mph again, and tell me your psysics lesson agaon how bigger wheels are slower through corners. Don't shout something too loudly you don't know to be a fact, makes you look silly when taking bets on things.

    Back to that corner. I'll decide on a line, and just ride it. You on the 24" tires will turn in, out, in, out, in, all through the same simple corner. Everytime you turn the wheel, you turn forward velocity into heat. Say we hit the corner both at 20mph. I drop down to 15mph, exit at 15mph, and then have 5mph to pedal it up to speed. You'll drop down to 12 or less, lose more speed through the corner, exit at 11 or 10, and have much more pedaling to do to get back up to speed while I'm just disappearing in the distance. Same effect if we swap bikes.

    Again, wheel don't affect COG. If anything, 29" riders experience to sit in between the wheels more rather than on top of them. Even if chainstay and wheelbase are actually the same or shorter.
    Sinc wheels are the lowest things on a bike, COG of the bike itself, keeping BB height the same, may actually drop. Also physics.

  19. #19
    BMW 2002, Dodge A100, etc
    Reputation: Pimpride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    602

    29" are probably faster...

    but, I was thinking more free-ride stuff, I don't really race much. I watch some videos of people hucking themselves off cliffs and think that the equipment is limiting the rider. 24" wheels would allow for more strength and maybe more suspension compression. What everyone needs are two new levers to dial the suspension travel up and down depending on size of the drop or approach. Racing is a whole different beast, when seconds count. Travel might be an issue on a 29, you would want the frame to be split sorta.

  20. #20
    Bum Buzzer
    Reputation: Huck Banzai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,988
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki
    Smaller wheels don't lower COG much, if any. BB height is most essential here, limited by crank length and suspension style/length.

    I followed some physics, but I also rode a lot of bikes, and I rode them hard. some of the 29".
    Huck Banzai, follow me into a corner with 24x2.1" tire while I run 29x2.1. what happens, I brake later or not at all, drop my speed down to a higher minimum velocity, and have much less speed to put back into not only my 3kg wheels, but also my 15kg bike and 85kg ass. Wheelsize in the 20-30" range just doesn't affect acceleration much at all. During acceleration wheels momentarily weight double yes, but still not very significant if the larger one proportionately reduces rolling resistance.
    Pedal hard to catch back up to me cruising my 20mph again, and tell me your psysics lesson agaon how bigger wheels are slower through corners. Don't shout something too loudly you don't know to be a fact, makes you look silly when taking bets on things.

    Back to that corner. I'll decide on a line, and just ride it. You on the 24" tires will turn in, out, in, out, in, all through the same simple corner. Everytime you turn the wheel, you turn forward velocity into heat. Say we hit the corner both at 20mph. I drop down to 15mph, exit at 15mph, and then have 5mph to pedal it up to speed. You'll drop down to 12 or less, lose more speed through the corner, exit at 11 or 10, and have much more pedaling to do to get back up to speed while I'm just disappearing in the distance. Same effect if we swap bikes.

    Again, wheel don't affect COG. If anything, 29" riders experience to sit in between the wheels more rather than on top of them. Even if chainstay and wheelbase are actually the same or shorter.
    Since wheels are the lowest things on a bike, COG of the bike itself, keeping BB height the same, may actually drop. Also physics.
    1/2" of BB height can make a huge difference. The axels will be ~1.5" higher on a bike with 29" wheels - how DOESNT that effect COG? How does a larger wheel,with a larger rotating mass accelerate better than a smaller one? I concede it will roll over smaller stuff better, and be more efficient under ideal circumstances. It is a disadvantge for technical riding. BMXers and their 20" wheels take tech to extremes, 20" trials as well - they are well ahead of their 26" counterparts, but lose ground in the rough - many riders go with dual 24's - solutions havent been found for strength issues at 26" and 29" is going to solve something? I am not the physicist to elucidate the minutiae of the flaws in your argument but neither am I lacking for comprehension.

    Steering around things? No you're discounting both suspension, and the fat ass tires - I will GLADLY lead you into that corner, for if I follow you, my exit will be blocked! Larger wheel will also have more 'contact patch' and thusly rolling resistance - even on smooth ground - ESPECIALY if you get your 2.5's....

    Bring that 29'er to diablo and hit Alpine - see what you can do!

    You are obviously intelligent and passionate, and I do expect to see more 29ers in the land of XC, less agressive riding - but I will have to let time tell this tale - zeal is a difficult obstacle to overcome....
    Last edited by Huck Banzai; 01-18-2006 at 12:45 PM.

  21. #21
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Posts
    48,236
    The OP is asking about a bike for Downieville. Riding up as well as down. Not talking about cliff drops and road gaps.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  22. #22
    JMH
    JMH is offline
    Sugary Exoskeleton
    Reputation: JMH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    4,659

    It's academic...

    All this back-and-forth really doesn't matter. Give the thread about Lance (that Shiggy posted) a read and see what he has to say about it... He actually raced and hucked a 29er, so his opinion might be worth evaluating. Bottom line according to him is that until there are rims and tires worthy of freeride or DH abuse, it's a moot point.

    I ride a 29er XC hardtail and it kicks a$$ over a 26" bike for going fast. But when I want to play or ride really tech stuff I ride a 26" bike with big wheels and tires. The manuverability is a big plus and the wheels can take WAY more abuse.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    1/2" of BB height can make a huge difference. The axels will be ~1.5" higher on a bike with 29" wheels - how DOESNT that effect COG? How does a larger wheel,with a larger rotating mass accelerate better than a smaller one? I will GLADLY lead you into that corner, for if I follow you, my exit will be blocked!

    Bring that 29'er to diablo and hit Alpine - see what you can do!

  23. #23
    Bum Buzzer
    Reputation: Huck Banzai's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,988
    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    All this back-and-forth really doesn't matter. Give the thread about Lance (that Shiggy posted) a read and see what he has to say about it... He actually raced and hucked a 29er, so his opinion might be worth evaluating. Bottom line according to him is that until there are rims and tires worthy of freeride or DH abuse, it's a moot point.

    I ride a 29er XC hardtail and it kicks a$$ over a 26" bike for going fast. But when I want to play or ride really tech stuff I ride a 26" bike with big wheels and tires. The manuverability is a big plus and the wheels can take WAY more abuse.

    JMH
    But did he compare 26 to 29 and state a preference? Straight lining off of drops is one thing, If he had to hip-gap something then drop into a turn sideways - Im confident he would be reaching for a 26"! There are alot of good engineers out there, and apparently a receptive consumer base- so where are these bikes?

    Your 2nd paragraph - SPOT ON - I dont hate the 29"s - but as clearly as Cloxxki sees a benefit, I see limitations. I would say that for most XC riding a 29" would possibly be the better choice.

  24. #24
    conjoinicorned
    Reputation: ferday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,525
    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    1/2" of BB height can make a huge difference. The axels will be ~1.5" higher on a bike with 29" wheels - how DOESNT that effect COG? I am not the physicist to elucidate the minutiae of the flaws in your argument but neither am I lacking for comprehension.
    simply design the bike to have whatever BB height you want. we're not talking putting 29" on a 26" bike here...
    i agree with the acceleration, a 29" will not accelerate as fast. i do notice the difference between my 26" and my friends 24" in acceleration, so it's silly to say the acceleration is not that much different.
    Rolling resistance of a tire arises almost entirely from flexural rubber losses in the tire and tube, and has little to do with contact patch. tires being equal on a 26 and 29, the 29 will resist slowing better and therfore will have better rolling resistance.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  25. #25
    JMH
    JMH is offline
    Sugary Exoskeleton
    Reputation: JMH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    4,659

    I think so,

    HB-

    Read post #7 by flymybike from that thread... it sounds like he thought it was pretty great, except for the flimsy tires and wheels.

    But yeah, I tend to agree with you about purpose-specific bikes. I don't believe that one bike (or wheel diameter) can do everything, and I tend to doubt those who say otherwise. I love my 29er, but it ain't the Holy Grail of bikes.

    I am sure that the technology will progress to the point that you might see DH on big wheels, but it will be a while.

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Banzai
    But did he compare 26 to 29 and state a preference? Straight lining off of drops is one thing, If he had to hip-gap something then drop into a turn sideways - Im confident he would be reaching for a 26"! There are alot of good engineers out there, and apparently a receptive consumer base- so where are these bikes?

    Your 2nd paragraph - SPOT ON - I dont hate the 29"s - but as clearly as Cloxxki sees a benefit, I see limitations. I would say that for most XC riding a 29" would possibly be the better choice.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.